Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Overreach at the NSA

An excellent article at Ars, detailing some of the overreach at NSA:
"NSA had been routinely running queries of the metadata using querying terms that did not meet the required standard for querying. The Court concluded that this requirement had been 'so frequently and systematically violated that it can fairly be said that this critical element of the overall…regime has never functioned effectively'"
So, this is violations of their own standard (which is arguably built on top of an unconstitutional system).  There is no discussion as to whether the system is itself a violation.

I actually agree with one of the caveats of the system administrator:
"'This is not an egregious overreaching by a greedy agency seeking to spy on Americans,' he said. 'It's an inadvertent collection of a relatively small number of US person communications.'"
My argument is not that the NSA is a greedy agency seeking to spy on Americans.

My argument is that the NSA has lost sight of its purpose, and is letting the (dubious) ends justify their (atrocious) means.

From the judges:
"the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program"
"neither the NSA nor the Court has the ability to know with certainty how many Americans’ rights have been violated"
Any system will be abused.  And systems grow and become perverted from the original intent.

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