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Senate Duo: NSA Revelations of Privacy Breaches 'The tip of the iceberg'

Leading critics of NSA Ron Wyden and Mark Udall say 'public deserves to know more about violations of secret court orders'

by Spencer Ackerman | theguardian.com | Friday 16 August 2013

Two US senators on the intelligence committee said on Friday that thousands of annual violations by the National Security Agency on its own restrictions were "the tip of the iceberg."

"The executive branch has now confirmed that the rules, regulations and court-imposed standards for protecting the privacy of Americans' have been violated thousands of times each year," said senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, two leading critics of bulk surveillance, who responded Friday to a Washington Post story based on documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

"We have previously said that the violations of these laws and rules were more serious than had been acknowledged, and we believe Americans should know that this confirmation is just the tip of a larger iceberg."

On July 31, Wyden, backed by Udall, vaguely warned other senators in a floor speech that the NSA and the director of national intelligence were substantively misleading legislators by describing improperly collected data as a matter of innocent and anodyne human or technical errors.

In keeping with their typically cautious pattern when discussing classified information, Wyden and Udall did not provide details about their claimed "iceberg" of surveillance malfeasance. But they hinted that the public still lacks an adequate understanding of the NSA's powers to collect data on Americans under its controversial interpretation of the Patriot Act.

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Terrible for National Security

We allowed the federal government to centralize all the wealth and power and then it was easy for the plutocracy to step in and 'hack' it to their benefit.

What are the national security implications of them jamming everything into a single database and then some hacker wanders off with the jackpot?

Centralization is completely unnecessary in the 21st century. In fact, it is even quite dangerous and undesirable. The sooner we drain the swamp of its sugar, the sooner we'll be rid of all the flies.

Independence is key

Individuals shall lead the way into the ecliptic <>

The government is committing Espionage

The government is committing Espionage against every American, trespassing on our private property without permission, and stealing our private data.

Espionage or spying involves a government or individual obtaining information considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, as it is taken for granted that it is unwelcome and, in many cases illegal and punishable by law. It is a subset of intelligence gathering, which otherwise may be conducted from public sources and using perfectly legal and ethical means. It is crucial to distinguish espionage from intelligence gathering, as the latter does not necessarily involve espionage, but often collates open-source information.


Tip of the iceberg? Scary... Honestly it's hard to imagine worse... Are they recording my thoughts now? LOL.

I wonder, how insane will all this surveillance be in another 20 years, when my daughters are my age?