Government Lies About Spying Again and Again … Here’s What’s REALLY Going On

Government Officials Fail Honesty Standards of 12 Year Olds

Government leaders have been caught in lie after lie about spying … but keep on spouting new lies:

The Government Is Spying On Everything

Despite dishonest proclamations to the contrary, the government is – in reality – spying on everything:

  • NSA whistleblowers say that the NSA collects all of our conversations word-for-word

No Adult Supervision

The NSA has gone rogue … with no oversight:

  • When these judges raised concerns about NSA spying, the Justice Department completely ignored them

Spy Information Being Shared with Numerous Federal, State and Local Agencies … and Private Contractors

Your private information isn’t staying inside the NSA … it’s being spread all over the place:

  • The NSA not only shares our information with other American agencies, it also gives personal, sensitive unfiltered information on Americans to Israel and other foreign nations

Your Sensitive Financial Data Is Being Gathered

One of the types of personal information being spied on is your sensitive financial information:

Spying Is Killing the Economy

Spying is hurting the economy:

  • For example, Facebook lost 11 millions users as of April mainly due to privacy concerns (and that was before the Snowden revelations). And see these reports from Boingboing and the Guardian

Mass Surveillance Doesn’t Protect Us From Terrorism

The main justification for spying – that it’s needed to protect us from terrorism – is false:

Mass Surveillance Makes the Internet and Computers Less Safe

Spying makes us vulnerable to hackers and other bad guys:

  • IT and security professionals say spying could mess up the safety of our internet and computer systems
  • For example, the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes:

“By weakening encryption, the NSA allows others to more easily break it.  By installing backdoors and other vulnerabilities in systems, the NSA exposes them to other malicious hackers—whether they are foreign governments or criminals.  As security expert Bruce Schneier explained, ‘It’s sheer folly to believe that only the NSA can exploit the vulnerabilities they create.’”

  • The NSA’s big data collection itself . Remember, the Pentagon itself sees the collection of “big data” as a “national security threat” … but the NSA is the biggest data collector on the planet, and thus provides a tempting mother lode of information for foreign hackers

One of the Real Reasons the Government Conducts Mass Surveillance

If the spying doesn’t keep us safe, why are they doing it? One of the main reasons is money:

“We collect this information for many important reasons: for one, it could provide the United States and our allies early warning of international financial crises which could negatively impact the global economy. It also could provide insight into other countries’ economic policy or behavior which could affect global markets.”

Bunker Mentality

The intelligence agencies have fallen into a bizarre bunker mentality:

  • As just one example of how far they’re going, the feds are considering prosecuting the owner of a private email company – who shut down his business rather than turning over records to the NSA – for refusing to fork over the information and keep quiet. This is a little like trying to throw someone in jail because he’s died and is no longer paying taxes
  • A Harvard law school professor – and director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University – says:

“The NSA has mounted a systematic campaign against the foundations of American power: constitutional checks and balances, technological leadership, and market entrepreneurship. The NSA scandal is no longer about privacy, or a particular violation of constitutional or legislative obligations. “.

Unconstitutional and Illegal

Not only is mass surveillance unnecessary, counter-productive in fighting terrorism and out of control, it’s also illegal:

  • We’re not talking about just a little bit illegal under American law. Top constitutional experts say that Obama and Bush are worse than Nixon … and the Stasi East Germans

The Danger of Tyranny

Insiders say that the mass surveillance is creating a real danger of tyranny in America:

  • The NSA treats the American people with contempt. For example, Spiegel notes:

“The authors of the [NSA slides] draw a comparison with “1984,” … revealing the agency’s current view of smartphones and their users. “Who knew in 1984 that this would be Big Brother …” the authors ask, in reference to a photo of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. And commenting on photos of enthusiastic Apple customers and iPhone users, the NSA writes: “… and the zombies would be paying customers?

  • A Congressman noted that – even if a mass surveillance program is started for good purposes – it will inevitably turn into a witch hunt
  • Indeed, the NSA was already spying on American Senators more than 40 years ago

Whistleblowers Are Heroes

The Good News …

Fortunately, polls shows that Americans understand the reality of mass surveillance:

  • Only 11% of Americans trust Obama to actually do anything to rein in spying
  • A huge majority of Americans wants the director of intelligence – Clapper – prosecuted for perjury (the chair of the 9/11 Commission agrees)

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

11 Responses to “Government Caught Lying About Spying Again”

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  2. ilsm says:

    “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything” Mark Twain

    There is so much data that remembering anything becomes difficult……………………..

  3. wally says:

    Fish gotta swim and spies gotta lie.

  4. Neildsmith says:

    Wow… what a great summary of whole problem. The internet is becoming a dangerous tool. At this point, I don’t even shop online anymore. I only visit news websites and should probably just stop commenting like this. It is so disappointing to see how our political leaders have let us all down.

  5. panskeptic says:

    If the government is monitoring all this stuff, they can’t keep it for very long. I don’t care how big their farms are, if these reports are true, they can’t keep much past four days’ worth.

    Barry, are you the author of that unsigned Washingtons blog you reprint so often? You’ve signed this post, but the style is identical to the anonymous ones.

    • No, thats a Georgetown Prof, not me

    • honeybadger says:

      Your belief that the government couldn’t keep “all that stuff” for longer than four days does not line up with the current state of computer science (btw, I am a research scientist at one of the world’s leading computer science institutes)

  6. mrflash818 says:

    There may be a solution to the NSA problem:

    Make a new fully open process, open source encryption system, fully peer-reviewed, global internet participation possible, global peer review possible.

    Use the development of the Linux kernel as a model. Use the global participation of Debian as a model.

    Perhaps, like kernel.org, there can be FOE.org (Fully Open Encryption dot org) created.

    Then that FOE system and software can be collaborated on via git, the developer community, and the security community. …just my two cents.

  7. annbury says:

    The real money reason has nothing to do with insider trading. As with any bureaucracy, the intelligence agencies will grow until they stop, and what makes them grow is money. Obama should know better but he seems to support the policies of Bush, who is no better than a criminal. As I have said many times, our security infrastructure totally failed to predict or stop 9/11 and they are going to bankrupt America and destroy our government in order to prevent it happening again. The only solution is to support politicians who can change these things, and since Obama will not, I have no clue as to who we can vote for.

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