Feeds

back to article Leaked docs show NSA collects data on all Verizon customers

The USA's National Security Agency (NSA) has harvested all the call data from US mobile provider Verizon since April, according to a secret court order leaked to The Guardian. The order was granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on April 25 and instructs Verizon to hand over the "session identifying information ( …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Bronze badge
Megaphone

Record this, NSA : I'd like to see a lot of the government in jail with no retroactive immunity.

8
1
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

You say now but when you get black bagged, waterboarded and set to a re-education camp.....

1
1
Silver badge
Big Brother

That sure would be a change of mind they could make you believe in!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Unfortunately any lawsuit even successful would be a civil suit. Too bad the the founding fathers didn't put some teeth into constitutional violations.

Maybe we should have NSA day; make as many calls as possible. Give them a lot of data to parse.

2
0
Silver badge

What's the news

I'm not really sure what the news is here. Surely people don't believe the NSA wasn't doing this already? I guess they're just trying to move from doing what they like without reference to the law, to doing what they like and at least pretending they're abiding by the law!! Personally, I also don't believe they don't intercept the content of many calls as well as the from and to.

1
1
Big Brother

They did...

its called the second amendment. Though tragically most Americans think its about the right to own and carry firearms and shoot each other than overthrowing a possibly corrupt and fascist government.

4
2
Anonymous Coward

Not going to happen ...

I'd like to see a lot of the government in jail with no retroactive immunity.

Not going to happen, which is why you should really avoid entanglement with any organisation that has a USA link anywhere, even if it's just a shed with one man, a dog and a fax machine. We already do this analysis for EU organisations, and in our experience the use of ANY US based resource tends to mark the company as tainted and heading for non-compliance with EU Data Protection law. This is, of course, why they are trying to change EU law.

In that context, Safe Harbor is a nice label, but not legally enforceable and thus essentially just BS.

1
3

This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge
WTF?

Obama's NSA

You say now but when you get black bagged, waterboarded and set to a re-education camp

It's funny.... after 9/11 we the article says "George Bush ordered the NSA".

But for this article, the phrase "Barack Obama ordered the NSA to collect all data on Verizon customers" is strangely missing. Because after all, only the President has the authority to subvert the U.S. Constitution.

Oh, wait...

1
1
Big Brother

Total awareness

Again , Uncle Sam is proving to be on the road to a totalitarian police state where the Citizens have no rights whatsoever and no expectancy of privacy whatsoever. The American People's future is extremely bleak.

8
2
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Total awareness

but hey, they get to keep all their guns!

cos thats what's _really_ important if you want to be free

apparently

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Total awareness

Uncle Sam is proving to be on the road to a totalitarian police state

You're a bit behind. They're not "on the road to", they have arrived already. Try crossing their borders doing something simple as wearing an offensive T shirt.

0
1
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: AC Re: Total awareness

".....Try crossing their borders doing something simple as wearing an offensive T shirt." Offensive to whom? For example, if I were to wear a t-shirt with one of the infamous Mohamed cartoons on it, and maybe the words "Mohamed was a paedophile" across the back, through either US or UK entry points, well then I probably would be arrested and charged if I refused to change my shirt. But then that's the kind of "police state" action liberal types would approve of. And even after I was arrested I would have the option to go to court to defend the statements made by the t-shirt and argue free speech. Now, imagine if you were to try entering Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, or any number of Islamic countries where they not only have real police states but also the death sentence for insulting The Prophet. Do you think you would be allowed to argue free speech in court, even if you lived long enough to get to one? You sure you want to keep on with that "the US is the worst police state in the World" male bovine manure?

0
0
Silver badge
Unhappy

Constitution and ammendments

I often hear Americans (that are less informed than you guys on here) talk about how they are so free because of the great constitution, yet they don't realise the great constitution routinely gets shit upon in the name of "anti-terror"

Not gloating or trying to appear anti-american, it's just that so many people seem to be blinded by their patriotism to see what's really going on (and yes, I have no illusions that things are all fine and dandy in the uk either)

15
1
FAIL

Re: Constitution and ammendments

I was going to put up a post about how it's so great to have free speech in our society, fair use, and privacy from government, all constitutionally guarantee...

oh, yeah.

At least it's not the first time? ***Trail of tears reference*** God, I hate Andrew Jackson. D-I-C-K, DICK. Much like whoever conceived of thin-thread or w/e at the NSA.

Took long enough to leak.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Constitution and ammendments

What needs to be appreciated is that having a set of rules (constitution) is useless without having a body (theoretically the law, judges etc.) willing to enforce that set of rules. Having one without the other is pointless, it has to be both. At the moment, the USA has the first and not the second.

5
0

Re: Constitution and ammendments

that's why they called it "patriot" act, to blind.

3
2
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Constitution and ammendments

Things are definitely not fine in the UK, unless we keep pestering our MP's, we will sleep walk into a police state with all our communications monitored and encryption banned!

Thinking about what they want to bring in makes me sad... I need a beer...

5
1
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Constitution and ammendments

At the moment, the USA has the first and not the second.

The UK seems a bit better in that respect. We didn't use to have many rights but EU membership has fixed that (not always for the better, perhaps). Our judiciary also seems happy to smack the government down - when it's not snoozing after a strenuous morning's work.

But still - we've got an attempt to resurrect the snooper's charter so we can't really crow about it. I just get the feeling that as a nation we Britons at least know/suspect what a nasty, sneaky bunch are in charge. We just don't seem able/willing to do anything about it.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: Constitution and ammendments

Most of them have no idea what the it actually says, the structure it creates, or how this is supposed to enable us to govern ourselves without great risk government becoming totalitarian. Without those ideas, they freely read into it all sorts of "rights" that are really "wants" and don't exist.

I've also found this to be a problem with many of the people who thoughtlessly complain about the US Constitution being shit upon in the name of thwarting terrorism. There are legitimate needs to collect such information. A terrorist calling someone in the US from a disposable phone creates the need to collect more phone records to find the terrorist. If the constant in the equation is the US citizen with the landline, that's the best point to monitor. The problem is in constructing the proper oversight so the power is not abused. Constructing such governmental controls is frankly impossible in a government that thinks it ought to be able to require people have purchased health insurance, or that it must provide a social safety net for those too stupid to plan and save for retirement. The grounds upon which the anti-terrorism threat to social liberty are fertile mostly because those other abuses came first.

1
3
Silver badge

Re: useless without having a body

wrong focus for the body. The body that is supposed to enforce it is the US electorate itself. But having been bought off or seduced with transfer payments from other parts of the electorate, that body has become as corrupt as the politicians who corrupted it. Until it recovers, there is no recovery elsewhere.

0
1
Big Brother

Re: Constitution and ammendments

There are legitimate needs to collect such information. A terrorist calling someone in the US from a disposable phone creates the need to collect more phone records to find the terrorist

But where do you draw the line? Open all the mail, monitor all telephones and email, capture all pidgons In case they are carrying messages, make it an offense to wave your arms In case it is semaphore?

As Benjamin Franklin said "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety"

Also research what the nazis said after wwii, its along the lines of 'we just kept telling the people they were under attack, then they will believe anything'.

.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: Constitution and ammendments

@Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

I suppose one thing any terrorist might do is to call people randomly in the USA pretending to be, oh I dunno, an antivirus rep from MS, and keep the recipient on the line for at least 60 seconds. Lots of them, doing that for a few days, means the NSA will then need to track those recipients incoming and outgoing calls to see who they contact too.

Now that it's out of the bag, it's just too easy to game the system and tie up resources checking all that data.

0
0
Bronze badge

The war on privacy

Taking it to the next level. Don't worry, it will be over soon. Just agree to implant this tracking chip in your head and you are free to go!

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: The war on privacy

I can tell you where to implant your chip, but I'm not sure there will be space next to your head...

0
0

It's for your own good

I'd assumed that cellular (& other) communication is being monitored in the 'fight for freedom'.

Our leaders know what's best, after all.

Ever considered why the PRC (and all the 'problem' nations) allows their rabble to have cellphones?

Keep calm and carry on with your cellphone.

1
0
Silver badge
Big Brother

Speak up citizens

We have a bad line.

1
0
Black Helicopters

N.S.A. testing?

Can you hear me now?

I think I spotted a N.S.A. pin on his lapel.

0
0
Big Brother

Hmm...

At least no official spokesman has trotted out the old "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" line...

... yet.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

so where does this leave Vodafone then?

Well, anyone?.....

Just a shareholder or are Voda's subscribers also on tape?

0
0
Bronze badge

Nothing new

The UK has been doing this for years, under RIPA. The US has obviously just been a little slow.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Nothing new

I'll correct this statement. Both countries have been doing it for years. It's just that the UK moved to make it legal (or at least, some of it) earlier.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Legal

Gotta love the Patriot Act - Fuck Yeah!

1
0
Gold badge
Big Brother

Re: Nothing new

"The UK has been doing this for years, under RIPA."

Wrong.

RIPA requires you to specify who you want to track and at least some vague grounds for why you want to do this.

Under THE PATRIOT act all the NSA had to do was rock up to Verizon HQ and say "We're the govt, hand over a copy of every call record you've collected."

The Snoopers Charter is the one that gives UK spooks the same (or better) facilities than their US colleagues.

8
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Nothing new

RIPA requires you to specify who you want to track and at least some vague grounds for why you want to do this.

You mean for the one time someone actually checks this? RIPA lacks oversight and transparency IMHO.

What's worse is that there are precious few provisions that describe how safe the data from such an investigation should be secured, so even if a team operates correctly under RIPA you have a risk that someone unauthorised (say, a friendly journalist) gets hold of the data.

0
0

Re: Nothing new

I have a bit of experience in the UK of this, and for what it's worth here's what I've seen over the last few years.

I work as head of Customer Services for a small telecoms company, and we get 4 or 5 of these requests under RIPA a month. All requests come from recognised email addresses - the majority of which are within the GSI or PNN networks, which I'm confident are secure. (If I'm ever not confident of the origin, I check out the actual office on line and ask their switch board to put me through to the relevant person.) I've only he one instance of someone not from a relevant body trying to request information under RIPA, at least that I've discovered, but I'm pretty confident about that.

In most cases the numbers requested aren't live and never have been and are either typos or lies. I think the majority of these requests are police checking witness statements and alibis or following up other evidence. The information that's requested are in virtually all cases subscriber details - i.e. who is responsible for the number that was dialled, as opposed to specific call details (can't remember the last one of those) or asking to listen to call recordings ( I've never been asked for that).

The upshot is that while RIPA may give the police and Govt. offices a lot of power, in reality they don't use it. Or at least they don't with me. We're even allowed to charge for our time in responding to requests - though don't as they're not a great burden on us.

Sorry not to point to black helicopters, but I've been doing this for at least 5 years and have never seen it abused by the authorities.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Nothing new

Your understanding of RIPA is all wrong; it is exactly what it says on the tin, the "Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act".

It was brought in to regulate the, previously unregulated, activities of those performing investigative activities; in effect it brought organisations like MI5 and SIS under the control of the law. RIPA didn't really give any additional powers to investigate, it just said explicitly they types of things that could be done and by whom.

Unfortunately, due to the phrase being linked to councils that investigate the addresses of pupils trying to get into popular schools, it has been fixed in the minds of people as a sinister snoopers' charter.

Before RIPA they just did it without telling anyone; now when they do it without telling anyone, at least they're breaking the law.

1
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: Nothing new

"We're even allowed to charge for our time in responding to requests - "

This is probably the only disincentive they actually have to using this law.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

borders on the surreal. (How many surveillance cameras do you have in London? Can you still be arrested for suggesting a policeman's horse might be gay?) At least here in Australia we are somewhat protected by extreme government incompetence, even though they are no more trustworthy than any other government.

0
1
Silver badge

Re: Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

As at least one respondent has said. Nobody is saying the UK is any better than the US. In any event, what the legal situation is, has very little to do with what actually occurs with most of these organisations.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

I find it odd that people hate security cameras (they are NOT usually surveillance cameras, they are not there to monitor people they are there to help maintain security, surveillance cameras would be installed to monitor specific people...).

Security cameras in public are a useful tool, and I can't see the difference to someone seeing me via a security camera or sitting on a chair in that street with a camera...

Who I call and what websites I visit is private information...

Where I walk in public is public information because I do it IN public.

Security cameras used by police are very very useful, they can direct police to crimes in progress, they can help crime prevention by sending police to an area to just show their faces and in doing so deter violence etc...

One example I saw on a program about these cameras in one city, was a woman walking home around 2am, there was a guy walking a short distance behind her, they redirected a patrol car to the area, nothing happened, but in the event of a problem, the police would be there in seconds as they parked near by.

When you have an issue of Asian gangs in some areas raping white girls as they see them as worthless, expendable and of no morals, security cameras are a very useful tool that will DIRECTLY prevent crime...

3
2
Silver badge

Re: Who I call and what websites I visit is private information...

No, it's not. Google knows. Even if you don't use their search engine or mail system. And they're already in bed with the current Marxist leader:

http://origin-www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-05-30/googles-eric-schmidt-invests-in-obamas-big-data-brains

If this doesn't stop soon, Stalin is going to be a piker on the world's worst leader list.

1
2

Re: Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

A lot of Americans seem to cite the security camera issue, but they seem to not understand the difference between public and private.

When I'm walking around in public, I don't care who looks at me or whether I end up on a security video. After all, I'm operating in public.

However, when I'm on the phone I consider that to be operating IN PRIVATE and I don't want anybody eavesdropping.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

"

Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

borders on the surreal. (How many surveillance cameras do you have in London?"

As I said in my first point, I'm under no illusion that the UK is better. The reason that I (and others) made a comment about America is that this article is about something happening in America.

If the article is about something in the UK, us from the UK will criticise that - as will some of our American cousins - I see no problem in that. It's got nothing to do with hypocracy

0
0
Silver badge

How many surveillance cameras do you have in London?

We have lots.

The real question is how many of them work, and of those working how many have a high enough definition to be useful.

PS IIRC Data protection laws say you can ask for a copy of any recording of yourself by a cctv camera operated by, on on behalf of, a public body.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: How many surveillance cameras do you have in London?

Who cares about London? Most people don't live there.

6
1
Mushroom

powned

so who was the one saying the chinese Human Flesh Search Engine was an outrageous thing for a civilized country? Guess if we call it "patriot" it sticks better. Thanks to the 9/11 inside job we're all eating it :/

1
3
Anonymous Coward

The shocking part is that they can get the information so easily, its not like they are saying we need Joe Bloggs records, and then after seeing them, saying we need Jane Doe's records as he made many calls to her etc...

They are saying give me your records and lets go on a nice fishing expedition, that is what I hate, not that they CAN have access to records with a warrant/court order, but that they can get access without requesting one..

The USA, land of the Free, give them time, they are just a young nation, eventually the people will stand up and say no more monitoring, you've gone too far..

If the our governments go so far as to infringe on our freedoms to fight terrorism, then the terrorists have won. Idiots such as Theresa May with her snoopers charter, don't realise how pointless their ideas are, terrorists can easily avoid using any traceable forms of communication, the only real way is to use more targeted monitoring of people, classic spy stuff.

I am sure 90% of reg readers would be able to bypass this monitoring and communicate without being traced, so if people with little to hide people will do it, terrorists/criminals with something serious to hide will do it.

I hate the idea of no warrant access to data, I think having a judge on standby to issue warrants at any time of the day as needed is a better idea, think of a call center for judges, police send in a request, attaching all the details, judge decides based on all available data if the Warrant is justified, and allows the records access.. simple...

It would prevent misuse of the data or fishing expeditions and feature creep, as I can see councils requesting records because of trivial matters.

Invasion of privacy such as this really pisses me off!

2
0

>>"It would prevent misuse of the data or fishing expeditions and feature creep, as I can see councils requesting records because of trivial matters."

Requesting from who?

If all the records were in the hands of a national security agency (NSA, GCHQ, whatever), are *they* actually going to want to have some random civilian body asking them for details of phone calls to see whether John Doe has broken a restraining order by calling his ex-wife?

"Fuck off and get it yourself!" would seem a fairly likely response.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

While that SHOULD be the response, you just know it won't be the end of it...

And even the security services should need a warrant before seeing the data, just because they are the security services does not mean they instantly have the right to read our personal data! if that is the case, I demand the right to read every MP & police officers emails & phone calls records, why not? I have as much right to check they are not up to no good as they do to mine, they are there to serve US, the people of this country, not the other way around....

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.