back to article CIA boss: Make America (a) great (big database of surveillance on citizens, foreigners) again!

While Washington is busy with the inauguration of President Trump, not all political business has stopped. The incoming administration is hoping to get its new CIA boss appointed today, but the Senate is having none of it. Trump's pick for the top job is Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS), who has some interesting views on data …

  1. NoneSuch
    Big Brother

    And so it begins.

    The thin end of the wedge is inserted.

    1. Graham Dawson

      It was inserted years ago. Barry oiled it up and gave it a good shove on his way out the door.

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Pint

      Well, I take it now that Assange won't be that eager to see his new best mate The Donaldski? Or who knows? Assange is undoubtedly vain enough to ignore warnings that he is on Pompeo's sh*t list and still insist that nothing would happen to him if he went to the USA.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      It begun ages ago. Have you ever registered on ESTA? It even asks for your social media accounts.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        "It begun ages ago. Have you ever registered on ESTA? It even asks for your social media accounts."

        It does make sure to point out that submission of such is voluntary...

        Yeah right... I'm sure they won't have a look in the depths of accounts to see who might be whom...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Have you ever registered on ESTA?

        I have - it is retarded. It cannot comprehend the concept of "I have a cittizenship of country X, but I do not have a passport from it and I do not intend to, because I am not insane to cross the embassy doors - I may not be coming back after that (or I may come back, but make all Geiger counters go off the scale)". Compared to this piece of retardedness the social media retardedness is just a minor annoyance.

        ESTA is just a typical expression of the American Way to see the world: "This is our way of seeing it, anything different is wrong. End of Story".

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          I presume that you therefore have dual nationality/citizenship (because you probably need at least one passport - right?)

          Does it really insist that every citizenship is represented by a passport?

          Maybe it would just be easier to get a visa?

    4. GeorgeHilman

      So it continues, namely the same program as obama/brennan.

      .

  2. redpawn Silver badge

    Lying Sack of Trump

    Putin is the model.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Lying Sack of Trump

      How is Putin the model?

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Lying Sack of Trump

        How is Putin the model?

        One of the first things which Putin did after coming to power was to force the issue by law that any ISP should carry a black box. We now know that those were metadata collection probes.

        Faux and other media monkeys howled their ass off and flung poo in his general direction for months for that one.

        It is funny that what he did is exactly what our guys went on to do. The sole difference is that he put it in law and regulations.

        So Putin is indeed the model. He is the model not just in USA. Israel is adopting his NGO funding laws to the letter, there are European countries following suit too. At least he is doing it properly - law and regs first, action later. Not the other way around and then filing a gigantic Communications Data Bill.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "At least he is doing it properly - law and regs first"

          Just because he can ignore/massage whatever constitution Russia have, and being a journalist/human rights activist it's pretty dangerous there.

          Till now, in US and Europe it would have been more difficult - that's why May also wants to live the ECHR, Trump will need to change enough of the Supreme Court to achieve it.

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: "At least he is doing it properly - law and regs first"

            Just because he can ignore/massage whatever constitution Russia have

            That is the rub. He actually does not - you are listening too much to Faux and the Beeb. Every single thing is put into a law first. Then it is enforced. By the way, as a comparison, it is significantly more difficult for Милиция to get personal details from a SP or Content Provider in Russia than in Great Britain. You have to get a court order which can be contested. In UK the police invokes RIPA and the SP immediately bends over.

            and being a journalist/human rights activist it's pretty dangerous there. True. It is courtesy of our handywork too. If we did not invest that much into regime change operations pushing through human rights organizations, being a part of one there would not be that dangerous.

            Putin himself is a product of our regime change operations. We (directly or through our middle-easter friends) gave a few billion bucks to "freedom fighters" around their borders. These after that went to use maternity wards as human shields, blow up trolleybuses, take whole theatres as hostages and murder wholesale whole primary schools - you name it. If we did not finance them, there would have been no grounds for a macho strongman to arise. Russia would have continued to descend into 3rd world country status unaided. It would have been ruled by some adorable Eltzin-like alcoholic and be of no relevance on the world scene. Instead of that, we got it where it is today - Putin's emergence is the mother of all blowbacks from f***ed up regime change operations. He, like it or not is our creation.

    2. DocJames

      Re: Lying Sack of Trump

      Putin is the puppet master.

      FTFY

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Phoenix Syndrome

    If Donald Trump et al want to collect data about their own people, then let the people decide, not the boss of the CIA..

    We are at a stage where data collection has become a virus, it is infecting everything, and the vaccine is looking ever more difficult to make...

    Data collection was first and foremost a "commercial" tool, it's a means of controlling the population and their habits. Unfortunately, it has also proved to be a very effective tool for the politicians....

    Like most on this forum, living without the internet is difficult to imagine, the wealth and knowledge that we gain from it is fantastic. But the counterside is painful, the cost of being online today is your privacy, your life is being mapped for the benifit of those who which to retain control...

    The internet was intiailly the first true means of worldwide communication, without hinderance or barrier.. Now it feels as though it is becoming a prison, within which we choose to dwell...

    Freedom of knowledge is invaluable and communication is it's primary vector... When we lose that vector we will regress, so now is the time for us to write, create, imagine and create tools which will allow us to continue on this path... We must find ways of protecting our privacy, of ensuring our capacity to learn, of continung to progress as a species.

    America is it's own worst enemy, it will destroy itself from within by continuing to harvest, control and manipulate it's own population..

    The internet belongs to it's users, it's time that we regained a minimum of control. I am not sure who, how, where or when change will come but the spark will fire up and it's resulting creativity will hopefully bring new hope...

    Let the Phoenix rise...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

      What I'd change is this: America's government and the multinationals who control it is are it's own worst enemy, However, and this is reality... other than LEA's being involved, how is this different than what business is doing to our privacy?

      The real test of the new administration and the people will be the next election in 2 years for CongressCritters. Will the Dems return? Will there be a 3rd party that starts moving in? Hell.. the bookies are giving odds on impeachment at this point. There's no telling where this will lead.

      Reading the latest, even the Repubs in Congress are having second thoughts about Pompeo and some other Cabinet level officials. I think Congress will need to be the ones to make the TLA's refocus their missions and reasons for existence. However, given the nature of many of those in Congress, they haven't a clue.

      Both candidates for President made me fear for the future of the Republic. Until the corporates, Wall Street, and the TLA's are reined in, I'll still fear for the Republic.

      Ultimately, it will be the people that will decide. Just how they decide to act remains to be seen.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

        USians just voted that monster in. Nobody to pretend "the people" aren't guilty of the shit their government gets up to any more.

        Americans knew exactly what they were getting in Trump. Ex-fucking-actly. And they elected him anyways.

        Sorry, but the American people are just as guilty as those who lead them.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

          You forget that the other choice was La Clintonita.

          Endless selling out to special interest and sure to to kick off a war with Russia.

          Better a russian roulette.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

            If it came right down to it, a war with Russia is far better for the US than one with China. Sad that you can't see that.

            1. Jo_seph_B

              Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

              @Trevor_Pott - I don't blame those who didn't vote. Not like they really had a choice. Clinton or Trump. Its like playing Russian roulette with a semi automatic....

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

                @Jo_seph_B: the choices were shit, but Trump was still quite clearly the worst of the two. Both would have been bad for the US, but only Trump supports the alt-reich and promises to put identifiable groups on lists.

                Never. Stop. Punching. Nazis.

          2. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

            "You forget that the other choice was La Clintonita.

            Endless selling out to special interest and sure to to kick off a war with Russia.

            Better a russian roulette."

            Hmm, a lot of down votes for pointing out the truth, neither choice in this election had anything going for them, just different approaches to screwing the American public while doing their thing for themselves and their buddies.

            Hilarious would just finish off what her predecessor has been steadily starting, increasing the NATO presense right on Russia's borders and demonising every slightest move on Putin's part just to keep the pot boiling and after her time as First Lady and then ruuning the State Depertment has all the right political connections.

            With some off Trumps appointments the end result might be the same, just via a different approach. Have a read of these: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/09/donald-trump-administration-cabinet-picks-so-far , a load of mostly ex military and commercial types who have little concept or knowledge of running any country let alone the 'Leader of the Free World' .

            All in all quite glad that I didn't stay in the States, now I just have to worry about the fallout.

          3. julian.smith

            Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

            The failed American political system is an American problem - the same as the bloated loser "military - own your problems you weasel

        2. FrankAlphaXII

          Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

          So everyone in Canada voted for Trudeau then? How about Harper?

          Didn't think so.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

            Just because you didn't vote for Trump doesn't mean you aren't responsible for him. Anyone who voted for Trump or chose not to vote are directly responsible.

            Those who voted for the other offering are indirectly responsible, because they neither did enough to get the vote out to prevent the neo-facists from taking over and, collectively, they promoted an political party and series of ideologies that led to the alienation of nearly half the country. And more importantly, the half whose votes matter far more per capita than those of people in dense urban agglomerations.

            There might be people in the US who are blameless. People who were ardently pro-Sanders, worked their asses off to see him nominated, then continued to work their asses off to get the democrats to grok the problems ignoring economic disparity was causing. If those same people fought the good fight to the bitter end, held their nose and voted Clinton, all the while throwing every bit of effort they had to get as many people as humanly possible to vote against Trump...then they are among the rare few who are blameless.

            But as a collective whole, the US populace is overwhelmingly responsible for the shitpile the world is facing. Just as the Canadian people were responsible for electing Harper, and for subsequently getting duped by the store-bought mannequin that promised all the right things but never had the courage to implement them.

            The difference is, it doesn't matter who we elect in Canada. Oh, yes, Harper was bad for a Canadian. He broke some social mores and did some questionable things. But a Canadian establishment conservative is almost indistinguishable from a Canadian establishment Liberal. We might get wrapped up in minor economic bun fights, but none of them are going to fundamentally alter what it means to be Canadian, or what Canada stands for. We're too risk averse for that. (Though there are some populists certainly trying with the latest Tory leadership race...)

            Trump, on the other hand, is not, was not, was never going to be and won't be anything like a traditional candidate. He's more like playing Russian roulette with a live nuke. (Ignore the part where he actually is a Russian sockpuppet and now controls 1400 nukes.)

            Not doing enough (or anything) makes you just as guilty as voting in the monsters. This isn't some game we're playing. This isn't some mild version of politics where there are two parties and all the candidates from both are effectively identical. Trump was billed as, billed himself as, and has promised loudly to be a huge game changer.

            Trump can only feed his messiah complex by creating chaos and then proclaiming loudly that only he can fix it. This was known from the very beginning. And the American people either actively encouraged it or simply let it happen.

            They're guilty. Of electing him, and of everything that follows.

            1. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

              @Trevor Pott and any American who read ElReg. I would claim that most Europeans understand that we did not face the same situation as the American voters. We did not have to choose either Trump or Hillary. I don't like Trump simply because I consider him unfit to become President in any country and as for Hillary I still wake up, in the night, soaked in cold sweat to her giggling and f*ing laughter, but I was not forced to choose either. I will have to hope for the best but I admit I have this uneasy feeling as parents have when they give the car keys to their kid for the first time. I needed less than three months to totally wreck my fathers car, luckily with less than two weeks in hospital.

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

                @Lars Europeans have faced Trump-like decisions in 2016, and will be facing lots of them in 2017. As for the whole "you're not American, so it's not your problem" that you're trying to spew here...sorry, I don't accept it.

                I'm Canadian. America heavily influences everything about our country down to the smallest detail. The difference is, we don't get to vote on who is screwing us over. We tend to be very - very - aware of USian politics. More so at times than our own.

                Yes, the US had a shit choice. But it was a choice. And ultimately it chose quite possibly the least capable person on the planet. One who is driven entirely by a narcissistic need for fame and popularity. One whose only most vocal support base consists of racists, xenophobes, nationalists and actual neo-nazis. As he is driven entirely by who flatters him, he is going to follow through with threat of things like "putting identifiable groups on lists", and all the horrors that will follow.

                In the meantime and between time he is going to ruin their economy, your economy, my economy and even the socio-political military alliance that enforces the balance of power in the world. For double-plus bad, the one leader who is flattering of him - Putin -now functionally controls US foreign policy...and that's going to end really, really badly.

            2. fishman

              Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

              I voted for Gary Johnson (Libertarian). Don't blame me.

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

                @fishman

                If you voted Gary Johnson I absolutely blame you. You know damn well how close the vote was, and you chose to shaft your fell Americans anyways. Sometimes, you have to hold your nose and vote strategically. This was one of those times.

                You failed. You deserve everything that follows.

                1. Swarthy Silver badge
                  Flame

                  Re: The Phoenix Syndrome (voting libertarian)

                  I beg to differ. When the choice is between getting your throat slit, being beheaded, or a slap in the face.. who the hell wouldn't vote for a slap in the face?

                  How can I be blamed for other people voting for beheading? Because I didn't vote to have my throat slit?

                  People like you, Mr. Pott, who insist that "There are only the two options, and that if you don't want to be beheaded, you should have voted to have your throat slit", YOU are responsible. No those of us who voted for a slap in the face. You who convinced the weak-minded that there is no way they could get away with a face-slap, and that there only choice was a fatal one.

                  Large parts of the US are fed up with "The System", and had two ways to attack it this past election, by voting Johnson, or by voting Trump. By beating the drum that no 3rd party candidate stood a chance, your people pushed the disenfranchised, the angry, and weak-willed to vote for Trump.

                  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                    Re: The Phoenix Syndrome (voting libertarian)

                    @Swarthy: except everything you said was bullshit.

                    Your choices were "everyone has their throat slit, their families' throat's slit, and everyone they ever knew's throat's slit" (Trump) or "a smallish chunk of people get beheaded but for the most part everything is status quo" (Clinton). Or, you could vote that you, personally, only get slapped in the face, while most of the rest of the country is randomly pushed into vats of acid (third party candidates).

                    Of course, you also knew full well that voting third party was futile and was never, ever going to amount to anything. But you voted that way anyways, instead of considering anyone other than yourself.

                    Your system sucks. Fix it. But don't waste your vote when so much is on the line. Join a political party and get them to change how they do things. Had this been Sanders versus Trump we wouldn't be in this situation. That's an example of where the system broke down, and nobody seems to give enough of a fuck in the US to actually fix it.

                    At least here in Canada we're having massive national debates about virtually all aspects of our electoral process, in large part because you guys showed us what not to do.

                    P.S. No third party stood a chance. This isn't because third parties can't win - the US has had changes in the bipartisan setup over it's history - but because your third party candidates were fucking lunatics. They didn't have a clue what they were doing and lacked either enough charisma to fake it or the osmium testes to just bullshit straight through. None of your third party candidates had a complete platform that was ready to lead a nation, nor enough money to buy one after the fact.

                    If you want a viable third party, get a platform together, get some politicians with history and cred to back it, build some consensus, put together enough money to make a real run of it, and you'll probably win. Trump has shown us that the US is ready for a third way. There just don't happen to be any leaders (or financiers) capable of forging that path.

                    1. Swarthy Silver badge

                      Re: The Phoenix Syndrome (voting libertarian)

                      no third party stood a chance. This isn't because third parties can't win - the US has had changes in the bipartisan setup over it's history - but because your third party candidates were fucking lunatics.
                      Really?! The other two candidates were likewise fucking lunatics - that hasn't stopped one of 'em.

                      All right, I'll change allegorical tracks to give you a better analogy. Clinton was a Claymore mine: The damage she would have done would have been aimed, timed and controlled. there would have been minimal damage that she, and those behind her, did not want.

                      Trump is a large lot of home-made nitroglycerin: We don't know how, when, where, or if he'll go off. he could cost his holders their fingers, or he could cost the surrounding environs everything, or he could fail to do anything at all.

                      Johnson would probably have been a damp firecracker: a little pop, some smoke (All right, this is Johnson - a lot of smoke) and then obscurity.

              2. Lars Silver badge

                Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

                "I voted for Gary Johnson (Libertarian). Don't blame me.". Was that before or after Aleppo. And I do blame you.

            3. jimdandy

              Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

              Mr. Poot,

              Your diatribe is interesting, considering you are barking at the voters of another country. Had you and your country decided to take a major part in World Affairs, your opinion may have been considered as relevant.

              But since your whiny, poutine-loving and hiding-behind-the-US cheese-government has been busy swiping your own privacy laws into oblivion, I understand your angst.

              You really, really wish that we could have done these important things for you. I do too.

              But since my fellow Americans (don't ask) have decided to do things a different way, well then you should rejoice, instead of whining. Or, you should move south into Michigan/Wisconsin/Minnesota and help turn their recently and stupidly Republican majorities into a North American Solidarity movement.

              Of course, you would then have to root for American football teams like the Vikings, Packers, and Lions. And then you'd have to learn the rules of those games. Just like you'd have to learn the rules of our political games.

              I welcome you to our land, the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave*.

              *If you qualify.

              1. julian.smith

                Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

                Cognitive Dissonance = an American singing "Land of the Brave, Home of the Free"

                Not Brave, not Free

              2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

                @jimdandy: noone in their right mind would leave Canada to live in the United States. That's like moving out of an outdated condo to live in a cadmium tailings pond.

                Whatever you're smoking, you should probably stop.

            4. jimdandy

              Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

              Hey Poot - grow a set. Become a candidate for Prime Minister of Canada, and step up to the World Class game. Become a World Class Player and make a difference, rather than just bitching about your southern neighbor.

              Oh wait. I forgot. You guys are just so nice and non-controversial that you don't do that. Of course, if you'd stepped up to make your country a participating and partnering nation along with the USA and Mexico, you could have a say at the table. Instead, now you get to color your hair orange and do what you are told.

              As it has been in the past, except for the hair color. And don't be rogering any ex-rockstar wives while you're at it.

        3. Whiznot

          Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

          What a bunch of crap. Most Americans hate Trump and his Nazi pals. Unfortunately, evil has a lock on power. I live in a totalitarian state poorly disguised as a democracy. Hard lessons are going to be learned.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

            @Whiznot: not all American votes are equal. And the Americans that matter love the Nazi fuckwit and his entourage of hate.

        4. Palpy

          Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

          Trevor, whilst I have some sympathy with your position, I might disagree with the idea that Americans knew "exactly what they were getting."

          Think about 30 years of Rush Limbaugh. 20 years of Sean Hannity and Michael Savage. Fox News. Bill O'Reilly.

          These and propaganda outlets like them have essentially trained a generation of Republicans to believe that professional journalists do not report facts, they report progressive myths. Hence when it was obvious to anyone who checked facts that Trump is unfit to lead the nation, it was far from obvious to those who have been trained to distrust factual reporting.

          Evidence: Around half (I've seen figures from 43% to 54%) of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim. Somewhere around 70% of Republicans believe global warming is a myth, although upwards of 95% of climatologists say it is real. About half of Republicans believe Trump won the popular vote, an obvious and easy thing to check.

          And 40% or so of Republicans think the stock market has gone down during Obama's tenure. But that's incredibly easy to check: according to Forbes, the S&P rose 235%, and Business Insider pegged the Dow with a rise of 126%.

          But too many people don't check facts.

          Again: a generation of conservatives have been trained to believe that propaganda and disinformation are the truth. It's not that they voted for a sh*thead out of spite or malicious glee. They cannot see what is real and what is not.

          Trevor, to me, it seems that this is the lasting American failure. Trump is one person. But if a substantial number of Americans now make decisions based on falsehoods, then there is little hope for rational American governance. There will be many Trumps.

        5. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

          No Trevor, Clinton had the most votes. The people voted correctly, but the Electoral College was another matter.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

      " then let the people decide"

      Yeah, good luck with that one. That's right up there with Vodafone's "Power to you" slogan.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Phoenix Syndrome

        People seem to be under the illusion that voting for anyone is actually going to improve anything.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The Democracy Myth

          "People seem to be under the illusion that voting for anyone is actually going to improve anything."

          Democracy is the name of the practical administrative solution to the problem of collecting and collating the views and opinions of a self-governing and populous society where the population is too large to be consulted individually. It is intended to work via the election of representatives, each representing the majority view of the group they represent.

          It fails, primarily, because of the party system, within which all of the parties have colluded to make the cost of standing prohibitively high for all those who are not independently wealthy or supported by one of the parties.

          So if the representatives do not actually represent their electorate is there a democracy?

          If it is the case that we don't have a real democracy then It could be argued that participating in what is being passed off as a democracy is condoning and perpetuating the problem.

          The only solution I can see is to do away with the party system and only allow independent representatives. This would certainly slow things down (legislation etc), which many would consider to be a Good Thing, and might encourage the electorate to actually think about what their particular candidate is saying instead of just voting for a party view.

          Trouble is, the parties are running the show and will not give up their positions voluntarily and I can only see things changing if everybody refused to vote.

  4. dalethorn

    God bless us Americans. I'm not at all worried. But if I were a lawbreaker, I would be worried. Very worried.

    1. redpawn Silver badge

      God bless

      You are a law breaker. I guarantee it. The questions is which ones did you violate and are you on the right side of the forces that be. There are so many laws that you can not possibly be in compliance with all of them and when police want to get you, evidence just gets planted.

      1. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: God bless

        As the Cardinal said:

        If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.

    2. Blank Reg

      I guess Drumpf should very worried then.

      1. FrankAlphaXII

        He should be. If he serves a full term I will be very surprised.

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Big Brother

      But if I were a lawbreaker...

      You will be. You will be...

  5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Big Brother

    News Flash...

    Its called Google.

  6. Justicesays
    Mushroom

    Additional requirement that didnt make the story was

    Integrates with Twitter, providing the President a direct right click menu from which he can select options such as

    IRS audit

    Smear campaign

    Dispatch Police/Secret Service/Killer Drone

    Declare War

    Nuke

    1. Florida1920 Silver badge

      Re: Additional requirement that didnt make the story was

      Congress needs to pass laws requiring that any presidential directives must be >140 characters and sent in one lot. That will put the brakes on Tw-ump.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Holmes

        Alternatively-

        Congress needs to pass laws < 140 characters in length. No riders.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I take it R-KS means he's from Kansas, which goes a long way to explaining the stench of hillbilly shit-kicker about him

  8. Mephistro Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Dear American citizens:

    Welcome to the GDR !!!

  9. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Spying on Americans, sabatoging the American tech sector, and murding a whistleblower

    Surely, Pompeo, that's the treason against America that is worthy of a death penalty sentence.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here is the thing you need to watch out for: meta data collection

    Even in more developed countries than the US*, meta-data is somehow billed as less important, not that well protected, I-can't-believe-it's-not-data - but it is.

    Meta data is still data, but because it's circumstantial rather than direct factual we have somehow arrived at a stance that considers that less important. There are two direct issues with this.

    1 - it is misleading. Meta data IS data, but not about events as such, but about interaction. As such, it is just as important as data itself because the data WILL be used - and usually incorrectly, which is why you should not let control be taken from your hands.

    2 - interpretation is usually flawed. Because this data is derived from circumstances, it is not factual, but probability. Combine meta data and you arrive at a balance of probabilities, but that still does not equate a fact, it equated an motivated probability. A non-wild guess, if you like. The problem is that the people that get to work with those probabilities are usually not trained to understand that rather vital distinction and if you want an example of how that can come off the rails, look at all the incidents involving the no-fly list.

    Be on guard: the US has long discovered that your data means money, and now all constraints will go out of the window.

    * Sorry, but I can't continue considering the US as part of the developed world. It's now got all the issues that you normally find in a banana republic

    1. find users who cut cat tail

      Re: Here is the thing you need to watch out for: meta data collection

      > Sorry, but I can't continue considering the US as part of the developed world.

      And that is where you got it wrong. The US is a developed country. It is just further along the civilisation development path and entered (or is about to enter) the ‘rot from within and crumble’ stage. Occasionally, civilisations go out with a bang but let us hope it does not come to that in the US case because the bang could be a nuclear one...

      We will all get to this stage eventually. Where I live we just have the (dubious) luck of being quite far behind in the civilisation game.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: Here is the thing you need to watch out for: meta data collection

        "Americans afford the unique historical example of a people which has passed directly from a condition of barbarism to one of decadence without an intervening period of civilization."

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Stasi are now running the US

    You. Are. Fucked.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: The Stasi are now running the US

      We could hope. Given the history that involved the Stasi, perhaps in 45 years the US will kick down the enormous wall and unite with Canada.

      1. Chemical Bob

        Re: The Stasi are now running the US

        Won't happen. Trevor will be PM by then and will just say no.

  12. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Top Secret Top Secret Ingredient ...... for NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT Bombes

    Collecting national intelligence and foreign metadata from/on citizens is for busy fools on a crazy mission. Placing it freely and widely into the public domain is creatively subversive and disruptively revolutionary and leads with media reacting with stories you can believe to be real.

    Words create, command and control and collapse worlds. Welcome to the Great Game ..... now opening and playing a whole new iteration with novel intelligent editions which suffer not the folly of fools?

    And shared here in question form lest a statement be considered an arrogance drivering an ignorant following ........ although is that not how everything past fools you into accepting a news item and media production as a current unfolding reality to marvel at?

    Change the script, realise whole new brave worlds ...... with words. It aint difficult if you know what you are doing and what to do differently.

    I Kid U Not.

  13. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    WTF?

    Huh!

    I don't understand why people voted for a man who stated that he would repeal affordable health care. Maybe someone can educate me.

    1. Snorlax
      Unhappy

      Re: Huh!

      A lot of Americans confuse socialism with communism, and as such don't like the idea of their taxes being used to heal degenerates who don't pay into the system.

      Needless to say the entire medical system in the US is operated solely for the benefit of the insurance companies. Imagine being made bankrupt because you can't afford to pay for your kid's operation. A 2013 study found medical debt was the number one cause of bankruptcy:

      https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/health/managing-medical-bills/nerdwallet-health-study-estimates-56-million-americans-65-struggle-medical-bills-2013-2/

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Huh! @Mystic Megabyte

      Maybe the following from this page will help you understand the sleight of hand, weak of mind policy, Mystic Megabyte.

      I’ve read a number of articles this week which glowingly praise President Obama’s accomplishments. Others offer scathing critiques.

      Most tend to focus on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), i.e. Obamacare, suggesting that reforming healthcare is one of his most important legacies.

      Maybe so.

      There are undoubtedly millions of people who now have medical insurance that never had insurance before.

      And that is certainly a noble accomplishment.

      The problem is that focusing on this single metric is a terrible premise.

      Millions of people are no longer uninsured. Check. But that’s where their thinking stops.

      What’s the overall quality in the system? What’s the cost?

      Those metrics are conveniently overlooked.

      Not even two months ago, the Obama administration was forced to publicly acknowledge that healthcare premiums will rise by an average of 25% in just a single year under Obamacare.

      Plus, many consumers will only have a single option to choose from as a number of major insurance companies scale back insurance policies they offer.

      The administration also admitted last year that overall healthcare spending continues to rise, surpassing $10,000 per person for the first time ever.

      Then there’s a question of quality and efficiency.

      In 2016, a Johns Hopkins study concluded that the number of preventable medical errors has soared in recent years and is now the third leading cause of death in the United States.

      Obviously no one can blame Barack Obama for this trend.

      But that’s precisely the point: it’s impossible for any program to be successful when the way you define success is so fundamentally flawed.

      Obamacare focuses on one thing: coverage. Are more people insured? Yes. And in their mind, that makes it successful.

      But anyone who looks at the big picture will reach an entirely different conclusion.

      Premiums rose. Overall spending increased. Quality didn’t improve. Americans aren’t getting healthier.

      (Not to mention the matter of that $2 billion website…)

      However noble the intentions, it’s hard to consider these results a major success worthy of an enduring legacy.

      Nothing is ever as it seems whenever only half truths are aired and lauded.

      1. DryBones

        Re: Huh! @Mystic Megabyte

        That's a flaw of the system, wherein insurers and hospitals want their profits and so they keep playing an escalating bargaining game of raising prices and having them limited or pushed back again. Want $2000? Charge $4000. Insurance cuts it back to $2000, maybe makes the patient pay a chunk, and raises their premiums because of "the rising cost of health care".

        I know someone that was charged $500 for 3 Aspirin and a shot of insulin, after having been made to send same home because it wasn't the hospital's stuff.

        If the Republicans really want to control the cost of healthcare, they need to institute the Department of Calling Bullshit on Medical Charges. We need to cut the cost of medical school, we need to cut the cost / pay of the people it turns out, and bring certain professions back down out of the nosebleed section in terms of cost and compensation.

      2. Palpy

        Re: Huh! @Mystic Megabyte

        You wrote: Premiums rose.

        Yup. And under Bush, pre-ACA, premiums... also rose. 58% in his last 6 years in office, 2002 - 2008.

        2009 to 2016, according to Kaiser/HRET, premiums rose 34%.

        This is an example of a misleading argument using partial information.

        What else is wrong in the list you quoted? How about, "Americans aren’t getting healthier."

        For an opposing, research-based viewpoint, see the NY Times, August, 2016:

        "A few recent studies suggest that people have become less likely to have medical debt or to postpone care because of cost. They are also more likely to have a regular doctor and to be getting preventive health services like vaccines and cancer screenings. A new study, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, offers another way of looking at the issue. Low-income people in Arkansas and Kentucky, which expanded Medicaid insurance to everyone below a certain income threshold, appear to be healthier than their peers in Texas, which did not expand."

        Finally, a bit of meta: here's what a media bias / factcheck website wrote about your source:

        "Notes: Zero Hedge is a financial blog that aggregates news and presents editorial opinions from original and outside sources. In between the aggregated news there are crazy economic conspiracies and general right wing biases."

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Huh! @Mystic Megabyte

          I would expect premiums to rise if you're looking after more people. More people, more cost. That's expected.

          Complaining that helping people get well who couldn't afford it otherwise impinges on your choices about which insurance policy you can buy... well, that's one way to look at the world, I guess.

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Huh!

      I don't understand why people voted for a man who stated that he would repeal affordable health care.

      I saw a poll after the election that said that amongst Trump voters who wanted "Obamacare" dismantled, a majority wanted to keep Affordable Care Act, which is actually what Obamacare is. They don't even know what they are voting for, just that they don't want anything that Obama has done.

      The hatred of Obama is perverse; he inherited a country with profound economical difficulties - losing 800k jobs a month when he took office - that was fighting and losing two wars. He got out of Iraq and Afghanistan as best as was possible. He delivered 75 consecutive months of jobs growth, adding 10 million jobs in 8 years. S&P 500 up over 180% over his tenure. US GDP grew faster than any other NATO country during his presidency..

      He should be considered an amazing success, but you have hordes of people who dislike this man so much that they cannot even type his name without it becoming OBAKA. Obummer, Odrama - and usually uppercased - as if to even utter the name Obama relies on some tourette like shout.

      It seems like the conspiracy theorists have taken over, with acronyms like "MSM" and "TPTB" being blamed for anything negative about Trump - even the things he says himself!

    4. Chemical Bob

      Re: Huh!

      "I don't understand why people voted for a man who stated that he would repeal affordable health care. Maybe someone can educate me."

      Health care and health insurance are not the same thing. Health care is when a medical professional is doing something for your benefit, health insurance is the runt in "The Incredibles" screaming about taking care of the stockholders.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OjLjvbZMDs

      When our government declares war on something, we usually get more of the thing they are trying to wipe out.The war on poverty gave us more poverty. The war on drugs gave us more drugs. The war on terror gave us more terrorism. So, too, the war on unaffordable health care gave us more unaffordable healthcare because, while 20 million more people have insurance, it's got such a high deductible that they can't afford to use it. What we need is a war on gainful employment and a war on affordable housing. And a war on health.

  14. Slx

    Don't worry, it's not like the US has a president who makes statements about his 'enemies' or anything like that.

    I mean, there's no risk whatsoever that anyone might compile a list to go after personal vendettas.

    It's also not like any agencies or anyone associated with the US Government has ever used leaked private information to destroy a political candidate or anything like that.

    Nothing to worry about! - just let he nice man install CCTV in your bedroom and hand over your HDD contents, just in case you might be a liberal leftie or some kind of dangerous paranoid 'investigative journalist' who should be safely sent off to some kind of mental institution for questioning authority or for patriotic reeducation.

    Let the war against fake news begin...

  15. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'm sure the ECJ is going to find this a very informative statement when it considers the Privacy Figleaf.

  16. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Big Brother

    This is my biggest policy problem with Trump

    He's a breaker. He doesn't care about the niceties of law or privacy, so more surveillance looking for enemies of the state is just fine with him.

    Oh well, it wasn't like Barack "Hey, before I leave, let's allow a dozen or more agencies to access unfiltered intelligence data" Obama was great either.

  17. Kev99 Bronze badge

    January 20, 2016 echoes January 30, 1933.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So much for choosing a Blackberry as my next phone. They'll cough up everyone's data to governments. Oh well. No interesting "Lifestyle" data happening hear. Boring personal life. Yawn. Nothing to see or here. Time to move on...

  19. EveryTime Silver badge

    Most people are missing an additional aspect of what is going on.

    This is a continuation of a decades-long turf war. The CIA wants an expanded domestic spying role. The FBI wants an expanded off-shore law enforcement and surveillance role. Both with a larger budget to match their new powers, preferably coming from the other.

  20. ecofeco Silver badge

    Just another good Nazi

    See title.

  21. Wzrd1

    Alas, for the village idiot nominee

    Only the military currently, per US law, can be held to the death sentence after conviction for espionage, sedition or treason.

    Usual grandstanding, zero content.

  22. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Is Pompeo Cardassian?

    "He should be brought back from Russia and given due process, and I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence" reminds me of this exchange...

    Gul Dukat: In Cardassia, the verdict is always known before the trial begins; and it's always the same.

    Commander Sisko: In that case, why bother with a trial at all?

    Gul Dukat: Because the people demand it. They enjoy watching justice triumph over evil, every time. They find it comforting.

    Commander Sisko: Isn't there ever a chance you might try an innocent man by mistake?

    Gul Dukat: Cardassians don't make mistakes.

    Commander Sisko: I'll have to remember that.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: Is Pompeo Cardassian?

      "You will be given a fair trail, and then shot at dawn!"

      -Old, old, joke.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It sounds like he wants to take America back to the past ... To 1984

  24. Norman123

    What info. for whom and for what purpose

    Who will use this info. for what purpose? Who control the controllers? Why have secretes in an open society, market and democracy? What is the constitution for? What happened to the unreasonable search and seizure? Innocent until proven guilty? Habeas Corpus? Government of, by and for the people?

    Is the info. going to be in the hands of the same people who went to the UN about Iraq's WMD, who denied in front of cameras in Congress they did not collect metadata on Americans? Whose government is it anyway? Why not put the idea to referendum?

    Governments created with profiteers media manipulations and trickery on people's feelings do not have much concern about the interest of the majority as indicated by Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century...

    Those at the apex of mega private organizations must pay attention to the massive iron fists being raised with every manufactured crisis and should use resources to counter with forces to remove the threats. Raised iron fists are bad omen for a free society based on Constitutional foundation without revising the foundation through mass participation in the process.

  25. fraunthall

    Trumps recruits Fascist CIA Boss

    Hold your collective noses. The Register's description of Pompeo (Pom-pee-u) reveals that Trump may very well be a worse fascist, authoritarian, dictatorial nut than Obama, who supported spying on absolutely everyone. The pee-u prick even wants to murder Snowden, whom I admire for his courage and dedication to democracy, despite his recklessness in endangering his own life. What a great beginning to Trump's U.S. autocracy. The word 'Fascist' is used here out of historical context, merely to highlight the anti-democratic nature of the appointee and his boss.

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