Latest Snowden Leak Shows NSA Spied on Muslim-Americans After 9/11

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Latest Snowden Leak Shows NSA Spied on Muslim-Americans After 9/11

NSA spying program targeted Muslim-American citizens, including prominent political figures.

Faisal Gill is a Pakistani-born American citizen. He moved to the U.S. in 1980, received a Bachelors Degree and JD from American University in Washington D.C., served in the United States Navy, and has been a prominent member of the Republican party in his home state of Virginia. If his academic and military records aren't impressive enough, Gill has top secret security clearance, and served in the White House office of Homeland Security during President George W. Bush's administration.

Gill has proudly served his government, and his country. He was also under NSA surveillance for some period between 2002 and 2008.

A new report by Glenn Greenwald, based in large part on documents and information from whistleblower Edward Snowden, reveals that the NSA and FBI closely monitored a number of Muslim-Americans, with surveillance including email monitoring.

Nearly 8,000 email addresses were monitored, many of which belonged to foreigners that the NSA believe were linked to terrorist organizations. 202 email addresses on the list are labeled as belonging to "U.S. persons," with the other emails belonging to "non-U.S. persons," or "unknown."

Of the 202 U.S. persons, five are fairly prominent Muslim-Americans, including Gill. The FBI carried out surveillance on these persons on behalf of the NSA. The other four are...

  • Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;
  • Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;
  • Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;
  • Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.
  • Because information not leaked by Snowden is still largely classified, it's impossible to tell if these persons were surveilled through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and by association the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. It's also unknown why these persons were under surveillance in the first place, but if the NSA went through its proper channels, the surveillance of these persons would have been renewed every 90 days. That's four times a year for a number of years between 2002-2008.

    The information could lead to lawsuits against the federal government, depending on how the surveillance was approved and carried out.

    And these five Muslim-Americans are just the tip of the iceberg. If identities are ever attached to foreigners in Europe and abroad whose emails appear on Snowden's list, there could be wide-spread and damaging ramifications down the road.

    Source: Glenn Greenwald, Firstlook.org, The Intercept

    Permalink

    In other news that everybody already knew were true, birds go tweet and water is wet. I mean, this has got to be the most unsurprising revelation since Jodie Foster came out of the closet as a lesbian thespian.

    Queen Michael:
    In other news that everybody already knew were true, birds go tweet and water is wet. I mean, this has got to be the most unsurprising revelation since Jodie Foster came out of the closet as a lesbian thespian.

    Having a clue and having tangible evidence is a huge, huge difference. It doesn't matter if everyone knew it was happening because it's all conjecture with no ramifications until something like this surfaces. It's more what this revelation may lead to that is news worthy than the revelation itself.

    Queen Michael:
    In other news that everybody already knew were true, birds go tweet and water is wet. I mean, this has got to be the most unsurprising revelation since Jodie Foster came out of the closet as a lesbian thespian.

    Yeah kinda gotta go with this.

    I'm not saying it's morally right and that no one should be outraged about it but in all honesty I pretty much believed this was happening WAAAYYY before these leaks got out.

    Queen Michael:
    In other news that everybody already knew were true, birds go tweet and water is wet. I mean, this has got to be the most unsurprising revelation since Jodie Foster came out of the closet as a lesbian thespian.

    Yeah, I remember people literally finding tracking devices under their cars.

    It wasn't even a myth. It was a known fact that the Muslim community was being more closely observed and in some cases not without justification.

    Yeah, nobody is going to faint with amazement at this. Slow leak day?

    thaluikhain:
    Yeah, nobody is going to faint with amazement at this. Slow leak day?

    While I think most people assumed that the NSA/FBI were spying on Muslim-Americans following 9/11, and even before, there's a dramatic difference between spying on random citizens and illegal wire-tapping a man who served in the Navy, worked in the Bush Administration for DHS, and was granted top secret security clearance -- a rigorous process that was later reviewed (along with a polygraph test) and re-affirmed TWICE for Gill when his patriotism was questioned. I'm not going to faint, but personally, I find that pretty goddamn amazing.

    And Islamaphobia aside, this also sheds light on the counter-terrorism/surveillance tactics of the NSA and FBI, which leave a lot to be desired. It begs the question of why the government spends so much time and resources investigating people like this, while letting other people like the Tsarnaev brothers, despite considerable red flags and warnings, slip through their collective fingers.

    Can someone explain why these leaks continue to trickle out at a rate of once every whenever-they-feel-like it, rather than being dumped on us all at once when Snowden first gained access to the information? It's the same thing that I never understood about WikiLeaks; they'd get ahold of some piece of information, and say "We have classified information about so-and-so, and we will reveal it at such-and-such a date in the near future" rather than just do it right away. I used to joke that the only thing that was missing from their announcements was "...unless our demands our met."

    Aside from the obvious that this would be newsworthy 10 years ago, it's yesterday's news that the NSA has a spy blanket thrown over everything and everyone. All sorts of insane programs revealing activities and future wet dreams are exposed.

    Nothing should be considered private anymore; privacy is dead. That's reality. Muslim-Americans are not exceptionally targeted, especially when random people get pulled out of security lines and violated in public view.

    Steve the Pocket:
    Can someone explain why these leaks continue to trickle out at a rate of once every whenever-they-feel-like it, rather than being dumped on us all at once when Snowden first gained access to the information? It's the same thing that I never understood about WikiLeaks; they'd get ahold of some piece of information, and say "We have classified information about so-and-so, and we will reveal it at such-and-such a date in the near future" rather than just do it right away. I used to joke that the only thing that was missing from their announcements was "...unless our demands our met."

    Greenwald and Barton Gellman at the Washington Post have explained the reasoning for this many times. In fact, Greenwald did a Reddit AMA today and discussed this very topic at considerable length, so I suggest you check it out.

    AgedGrunt:
    Nothing should be considered private anymore; privacy is dead. That's reality. Muslim-Americans are not exceptionally targeted, especially when random people get pulled out of security lines and violated in public view.

    Er, while it is fair to say that the NSA (et al) are going after anyone and everyone, that's not to say that Muslim-Americans aren't in for extra special harassment.

    Steve the Pocket:
    Can someone explain why these leaks continue to trickle out at a rate of once every whenever-they-feel-like it, rather than being dumped on us all at once when Snowden first gained access to the information? It's the same thing that I never understood about WikiLeaks; they'd get ahold of some piece of information, and say "We have classified information about so-and-so, and we will reveal it at such-and-such a date in the near future" rather than just do it right away. I used to joke that the only thing that was missing from their announcements was "...unless our demands our met."

    Because if they were to dump all the information at the same time it would be too much for a news cycle and readers to process and in today's short attention spanned society the information would be forgotten about a week after it was made known while we moved on to less important sensationalist headlines about racist basketball team owners and celebrity twitter meltdowns. Also its harder to discredit or blow off the information this way and it keeps it all in the forefront of our minds.

    Lightknight:

    It wasn't even a myth. It was a known fact that the Muslim community was being more closely observed and in some cases not without justification.

    Maybe watch every gunowner and every political activist or christian, white supremacist or boy who rants about woman not handing out p***y for free. Im very sure you will find a rotten egg.

    Oh and by the gods, did that help much to make you all safe! *cough-Bosten-cough-London-cough-Madrid-Mubai-cough*. Terrorist are crazy but most of them are not stupid, they know that they are watched, they will always find ways, maybe use some piggions again.
    They donīt even use these informations for quick response, you canīt tell me that they didnīt know for at least 3 years where this bearded former employe of them was.
    This might sound a bit too much like conspiracy, but the day might come when you need to hide what you are doing, because you need to resist your government in ways that are considered a crime at that time (not technically, because most countries have laws for that, but that wont matter than). This is not only affecting the US, but all countries, because the agencies corporate and share the intel and when the NSA thinks itīs for the benefit of who ever is paying them, they will pass on the intel. That can be for good reasons, like with the "Sauerland-Gruppe" in Germany. Or for bad reasons, like telling a corrupt dictatorship who is opposing him, just to keep the control over precious resources. And they did that before so don't tell me they won't, the US has a long history of buldig up terror-regimes eg. Nicaragua or the Taliban (they are not the only ones). This is no US-bashing, you are victims as much as the rest of the world, but it is the "main-base" in this countrie.
    But whait there is more! I have gone so far, why not tell more crazy stuff! It is only a matter of time now, untily we wont need big armies anymore. Drones will do all the dangerous shit, good news isnīt it? No more lost sons and daughters in battle, decreased costs and fewer people needed for sevice. The second industrial revolution for the military complex, coming in the next 20-30 years(Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is not that much fiction)!
    Most of the people here will still be around at this point. Well that all sounds great, isnīt is? No! With all this Itel beeing stored forever it is very dangerous. The world can change a lot in ten years and we donīt know how the "West" will lock then. But it is the certainly the dream of every wannabe dictator (or "class") to have all the information he/she can get his/her hands on, and an army that canīt refuse orders. At that point you donīt need that much propaganda anymore, witch is even worse because propaganda thends to be less subtle than drones and spys (well atleast until it is too late).
    All this does not need to happen but I think there is a chance and putting an end to this will be a lot harder later.
    That are the reasons why I think freedom-loving people should be very concerned about this! We still need spys and agencies and countries will allways spy on each other, but the game has changed, this is not all about cold war or countries trying to protect there interests, it is about knowing and controling the average person.
    This might sound a bit corny, but as a german I would like to quote Martin Niemöller:
    "When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn't a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out."

    Man, this got way out of hand ^^! Errors are yours to keep!

    image

    Well, since the end of WW2, it would be a faux pas to round up every Muslim and person of Middle Eastern descent and put them in camps for the duration of the War on Terror. Of course they we watching anyone with any remote connection to the Middle East, probably even businessmen and tourists that traveled over there months before 9/11.

    It's regrettable governments trust no one, not even the man who spent years in service and had high level access. Of course anyone, even a upstanding natural born citizen with apparently everything to lose if their country goes downhill can turn out to be a mole who either just likes the money or secretly was a genuine nutjob. The civil rights leaders are even more obvious targets. Even if every single person in those groups only wish for peace solutions, the government will spy on them for any attempt for a terrorist cell to contact them to either recruit new members, gain support(financial, VISAs, etc.) or find information by pretending to be innocent people just wanting to know about the USA.

    Like AgedGrunt just said above, privacy is dead. Spy agencies don't care about how much porn you watch be leaks might happen, and corporations just want to sell you more junk (or sell your info), so don't share anything online you don't want getting out. And if you are a part of a political or ethnic group that has a few radical members who resort to violence to get their way despite everyone else in that group being decent human beings, expect someone somewhere to be watching your actions.

    Hairless Mammoth:
    Like AgedGrunt just said above, privacy is dead. Spy agencies don't care about how much porn you watch be leaks might happen, and corporations just want to sell you more junk (or sell your info), so don't share anything online you don't want getting out. And if you are a part of a political or ethnic group that has a few radical members who resort to violence to get their way despite everyone else in that group being decent human beings, expect someone somewhere to be watching your actions.

    Privacy dies when we let it die, but more to the point, I don't care what the NSA is after: Unless they have some tangible evidence that I, specifically, am involved in something nefarious they should not be spying on me. In the US there's the presumption of innocence, as well as constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure. I may not be able to tell companies what to do with whatever data they have on me, but the NSA has absolutely 0 business collecting the data of people that they don't even suspect of committing a crime.

    As for your statement on monitoring groups with violent actors, that's every group that has ever existed. Gamers are a group that has violent members, as the media so loves to point out at every opportunity. Should we all just get comfortable being under constant surveillance because we had the audacity to, not only enjoy a hobby, but also exercise our right to free association?

    shirkbot:

    Privacy dies when we let it die,

    I find it disturbing how accepting or apathetic some people on the Escapist are towards surveillance. Just because they are doing it, monitoring us, does not mean we should not speak out about it and take what action we can.

    Speaking of which, I wonder how that bill to cut off water to the NSA's main surveillance facilities is going in ol'Californi.

    Everybody knows that the NSA has conducted surveillance on people that was outside the law. That is not right and it is worrying that they have basically no accountability. With that part out of the way, I dont see why anyone is shocked that they paid special attention to Muslims after 9/11 and during the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. The NSA do not care about what is ''fair'' they want results and when you have just been attacked by Muslim terrorists and are fighting a war on foreign soil against Muslim insurgents you sure as hell are going to pay special attention to Muslims. If I was an NSA analysts thats where I would have been looking at that time. Im sure these people have grounds for a case against the government and I certainly would understand their anger but for want of a better way to phrase it, I would be surprised if this surprised them.

    As terrible as it is, this is probably the least surprising of all the leaks to date. Don't get me wrong, it's terrible that they do this, but why's this one coming out now?

    Where does he get all this stuff? It's every week with this guy! Is this his job, or something? Is he a journalist and does he gets the exclusive privilege of writing about the NSA breach of the moment?

    Isn't there a danger of Snowden fatigue, where people just stop listening to his regular releases?

    I think he should have just released everything at once, so that people would have sufficient ammunition for any kind of revolt they wanted to do.

    You mean a load of muslim extremists did 9/11 and the NSA started to look at Muslims as a security issue? Wow, im so shocked as to how they come up with that connection. Snowden is an idiot who sold his country down the toilet. In a world where google reads your emails, facebook owns everything you post, i really cant see why people moan at the government. Seems they have less power than the big companies.

    Unsurprising.
    Following 9/11, the public demanded action from the government. The people got what they wished...more than they knew.

    shirkbot:
    Privacy dies when we let it die, but more to the point, I don't care what the NSA is after: Unless they have some tangible evidence that I, specifically, am involved in something nefarious they should not be spying on me. In the US there's the presumption of innocence, as well as constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure. I may not be able to tell companies what to do with whatever data they have on me, but the NSA has absolutely 0 business collecting the data of people that they don't even suspect of committing a crime.

    As for your statement on monitoring groups with violent actors, that's every group that has ever existed. Gamers are a group that has violent members, as the media so loves to point out at every opportunity. Should we all just get comfortable being under constant surveillance because we had the audacity to, not only enjoy a hobby, but also exercise our right to free association?

    Indeed we did let it die. With Facebook and the like, governments feel entitled to spy on everyone because they think people don't care about general privacy, and computers enable their agencies to dig up even more dirt. Even worse is 9/11 happened right around when the internet was getting huge and people had to let their voice be heard. We could have stopped it then, but most people online would rather post pics of Osama on a meat hook with a rifle-toting redneck next to him while ignoring the consequences of things like the Patriot Act.

    Spying was bad enough back during WW2 and the Cold War and even before that when a farmer or hunter would be speared on sight because he accidentally got too close to a Roman camp that thought he was with Carthage. It just escalated more and more since the information age kicked in. Due process, the presumption of innocence, and any other constitutional right is more a of a optional moral code when a major government operation is involved.[1] We could fight it more, but the general populous doesn't care, or more accurately, they are oblivious to it. That is slowing any progress. There are plenty of privacy advocates that are fighting this problem at least. The one thing that keeps me idle, though, is as soon as the NSA is finally disavowed, a different one will take over its duties(I use that term lightly here.) or a new agency will spring up, both with the secret intent to continue the old department's schemes. (They certainly aren't going to just fire all the top administrators (Democrat or Republican, they all friends when you're in that deep.) and throw away decades of secret techniques and equipment.)

    The media pointing out gamers as a violent group is just that, the "let's lie so we can get better ratings" media. Any political group latching on to that is just using it, whether they believer it or not to get more votes and campaign contributions from cranky old white people who think any thing they can't relate to is the devil. The NSA shouldn't care about nor waste the time on something like that. Though, you do make a good point. A high ranking politician with stupid ideals could had them spy on a group for no good reason other than they think, with no real evidence, that it's dangerous. That is just what happened to the people in this article.

    [1] There are stories of people trying to sue the government because of debilitating or terminal diseases and injuries caused by chemicals and equipment used in secret projects. Their cases were thrown out citing "national security" issues, when the gov could have at least compensated for the medical bills not cover under insurance. The gov just didn't want to pay in most cases. There was also experiments the CIA conducted on unknowing African American servicemen in the 60-70's that gave them VD. I don't think a single official was punished for that evil act.

    Five people were spied upon? During the Bush administration? Thats it?

    C'mon! After all the build-up, this is the grand finale Greenwald promised? Lame!

    ...but not surprising.

    Steve the Pocket:
    Can someone explain why these leaks continue to trickle out at a rate of once every whenever-they-feel-like it, rather than being dumped on us all at once when Snowden first gained access to the information?

    Greenwald has his "reasons," but IMO he is an egomaniac milking this for all its worth. I'd give him more credit, but he has a tendency to hype the dribbles of info with clickbait headlines that are contradicted by the actual info buried deep in the report. He lost my trust in basically the same way as AAA game publishers did with their bullshot "previews."

    I'm not in favor of the government spying on its own citizens, (i.e. us) but the "evidence" leaked by Snowden and Greenwald has proven very underwhelming. And thats my sugar-coated description.

    Not to mention Greenwald blocks any and all who say a single unkind word about him from his twitter feed, essentially handling criticism about as well as Muxwell. And its not just rabid right-wingers who are told to talk to the hand. If that were the case, I could understand it. But no, any reputable journalist or blogger who asks tough questions gets the silent treatment.

    And as for Snowden, he told more than one self-romanticizing whopper. He tried claiming that he only blew the whistle because he didn't like what he saw going on. But it soon came to light that he intended to hack the NSA even before he joined it. It was his sole purpose of working there.

    He also claimed that he sent many emails to administrative officials about the abuse of power, only for his complaints to be ignored. But again, there is no evidence that he sent any emails about the subject. And before anybody says that the NSA is just covering its tracks, ask yourself why Eddie didn't bother to back-up any of his emails while he was busy stealing all the data he intended to leak. You'd think someone who planned to out himself anyway would at least try to be thorough.

    The evidence says Snowden isn't some NSA employee whose conscience got the better of him, but an infiltrator from the beginning. Which I probably wouldn't have a problem with, and just might've considered heroic, if only he told us that instead of a rose-colored fantasy. And, more importantly, if the evidence he provided through Greenwald actually matched their claims, instead of being hyped to super-villain levels and then revealed several pages in as something less controversial than NYC's stop-&-frisk policy.

    Both of these narcissistic, bullshot clickbaiters practically smear themselves. And the substance of their "leaks" are ridiculously weak at best. If they are the heroes in the war for privacy, then we are so screwed.

    TL:DR - I would've had a far, far better opinion of Snowden and Greenwald if they simply told the truth instead of hyping themselves and their "leaks" a la Gearbox and Ubisoft. If anyone deserves to be called SJWs in the meanest, most derogatory sense, its these two glory hounds.

    SonOfVoorhees:
    You mean a load of muslim extremists did 9/11 and the NSA started to look at Muslims as a security issue? Wow, im so shocked as to how they come up with that connection. Snowden is an idiot who sold his country down the toilet. In a world where google reads your emails, facebook owns everything you post, i really cant see why people moan at the government. Seems they have less power than the big companies.

    I choose to use Facebook, I choose to use gmail and google. I never agreed for governments to have access to anything of mine

    Atmos Duality:
    Unsurprising.
    Following 9/11, the public demanded action from the government. The people got what they wished...more than they knew.

    This. It's all very well and good to whine about it, but this kind of stuff is more or less exactly what we asked for.

    We were shocked that the terrorists could have learned flying right in our country without anyone knowing about. So we demanded that the government make it so this couldn't happen again. So it did.

    And it's not going to end unless and until members of Congress are afraid of losing votes over it. The NSA, Homeland Security, etc. can be defunded and discarded as fast as they were put up. But as long as they don't offend the wrong people and get their budget cut, they effectively have carte blanche as to how they operate.

    Sseth:

    Queen Michael:
    In other news that everybody already knew were true, birds go tweet and water is wet. I mean, this has got to be the most unsurprising revelation since Jodie Foster came out of the closet as a lesbian thespian.

    Having a clue and having tangible evidence is a huge, huge difference. It doesn't matter if everyone knew it was happening because it's all conjecture with no ramifications until something like this surfaces. It's more what this revelation may lead to that is news worthy than the revelation itself.

    and what exactly we can do with this evidence? oh, right, nothing more than we could before.

    Steve the Pocket:
    Can someone explain why these leaks continue to trickle out at a rate of once every whenever-they-feel-like it, rather than being dumped on us all at once when Snowden first gained access to the information?

    Two reasons:
    1. there is A LOT of data to go through, and only once somone does that and categorizes it we get to see it in the actual news.
    2. The reason Wikileaks dont just dump it is privacy issues. in the documentary about snowden they seem to emphasize working with newspapers to make sure that leaks do not bring sensitive data in a form of the leak getting people killed. however its worth noting that snowden himself wants to just dump it all, other parties want to filter.

    El Comandante:

    "When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn't a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out."

    and yet We fire people for speaking out

    Saulkar:

    I find it disturbing how accepting or apathetic some people on the Escapist are towards surveillance. Just because they are doing it, monitoring us, does not mean we should not speak out about it and take what action we can.

    I know it may be shocking for some to realize, but some people genuinely dont think that surveillance is wrong.

    The Bucket:

    I choose to use Facebook, I choose to use gmail and google. I never agreed for governments to have access to anything of mine

    you choose to be a citizen. This is not a soviet union, you are free to leave. yet you choose to stay. so you agree with existing laws and with the methods provided to change those you dont agree.

    Strazdas:

    I know it may be shocking for some to realize, but some people genuinely dont think that surveillance is wrong.

    What I meant to say, and hope that I was clear enough for you to infer, is that I am against mass surveillance. The kind that can allow a detailed profile of who you are, where you are, what you do, who you vote for, your ideologies, religion, embarrassing secrets. Information that penetrates well beyond what is necessary, for safety and security, into people's lives. Information that can be used by a government to better understand and control its people.

    Security cameras inside of a bank, the I.P. address of an illegal content provider, or dates of phone calls all acquired expediently with a warrant are, what I consider, acceptable forms of surveillance. As long as there is independent oversight. Key word: Independent.

    SonOfVoorhees:
    Snowden is an idiot who sold his country down the toilet. In a world where google reads your emails, facebook owns everything you post, i really cant see why people moan at the government.

    Because Google and Facebook (neither of which you are compelled to use, BTW) can't send me to Guantanamo Bay, hold me without trial/obstruct due process, put me on a no-fly list or, worse, a kill list, and drone me into oblivion. I would think that would be obvious, but apparently it's not.

    Furthermore, the history of mass surveillance in literally every other country/nation/government is littered with abuse and overreach to the point where the objective creeps from spying on potential threats to spying on dissidents and anyone who may object to the government's power. It's starts with Muslim extremists, then it creeps to more Muslims, then all Muslims (even guys that served in the Navy/DHS and basically wore an American flag to work every day), then folks that defend Muslims against mass surveillance (please, I beg you -- read the Intercept story), then vocal critics of the government's spying on Muslims (like me, I'm sure I'm on a list somewhere), and then anti-surveillance critics in general, and so on.

    Saulkar:

    shirkbot:

    Privacy dies when we let it die,

    I find it disturbing how accepting or apathetic some people on the Escapist are towards surveillance. Just because they are doing it, monitoring us, does not mean we should not speak out about it and take what action we can.

    Speaking of which, I wonder how that bill to cut off water to the NSA's main surveillance facilities is going in ol'Californi.

    Because when it was us, techsavvy citizens spying on the elite we embraced it. The idea is the information is always out there only the government hasthe apparati to gather and sift through it. Wikileaks, by its existence, permits the NSA.

    Best part is, the people who spy on us all to "keep" worldpeace, are the same that keep on puring oil into the fire.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/world/middleeast/cia-said-to-aid-in-steering-arms-to-syrian-rebels.html?_r=2&hp&#
    These weapons are the same ones ISIS is using in Irak right now, and there is no control over them. These are the peole that need to be watched and in my eys belong behind bars. Not because Assad is a friend menkind, but because that is insane, handing out weapons to crazy gunnuts for free has to backfire. The US is realy lucky there is a big lake between them and these flash points they constantly produce. The borders of the EU are crushed under the feet of poor people wanting to get out of these death-pits. Same goes for Ukraine, now we have armed fascist at our backdoor. The US-Goverment and the NATO would have a lot less to worry about if they would stop pocking wasps' nests with sticks.

    El Comandante:

    Lightknight:

    It wasn't even a myth. It was a known fact that the Muslim community was being more closely observed and in some cases not without justification.

    Maybe watch every gunowner and every political activist or christian, white supremacist or boy who rants about woman not handing out p***y for free. Im very sure you will find a rotten egg.

    Oh and by the gods, did that help much to make you all safe! *cough-Bosten-cough-London-cough-Madrid-Mubai-cough*. Terrorist are crazy but most of them are not stupid, they know that they are watched, they will always find ways, maybe use some piggions again.

    From what the government already told us, they had specific things that would flag people to be watched, not just that they were Muslim but where they were from and how frequently they visited. Maybe it has helped and maybe it hasn't. Except for leaks we don't generally find out how people may have been alerted to double check a passenger for explosive underwear and whatnot.

    The Boston bombing should have been caught. We were actually kind of aware of the older brother from what I understand. They're more looking for obvious things. They weren't tailing these people unless they were obvious threats or it would be the price of a person's salary for everyone being watched. More likely than not, their information is just being processed via software to catch trends. If something sounds alarms then they can look more closely at the other data they've collected.

    To use arguments that suspicious people sometimes get missed isn't a reasonable argument. If anything, that would lead to even more surveillance of suspicious individuals.

    I hardly think being monitored is the same as being sent to concentration camps to die. Way to turn the volume up to 11 on what's a 4 at best. If I have thrown enough flags in a system to be monitored, so be it. It's not like I'm getting gassed in a chamber or burned alive.

    Exley97:

    Furthermore, the history of mass surveillance in literally every other country/nation/government is littered with abuse and overreach to the point where the objective creeps from spying on potential threats to spying on dissidents and anyone who may object to the government's power.

    Not even that, but all those organisations are staffed by people.
    Normal people with their biases and personal grudges and concerns.

    I know someone who worked for the government, something to do with social security, and she looked up information on a family member to catch them lying about her health issues.

    She was worrying for her, yes, but it was still abuse of power and illegal.

    Lightknight:

    To use arguments that suspicious people sometimes get missed isn't a reasonable argument. If anything, that would lead to even more surveillance of suspicious individuals.

    Well to much information could have been the problem here, somebody has to read it a decide what realy is important. All the posts in this topic will sound the alarm, because of some keywords. The real intel gets lost. That is by the way, the only way to make this cyber-spying hard, false information and encrypting, it binds manpower. Maybe they didnīt even whant to get these guys, the damage was "not that big", let them strike a bit fear. I donīt know but I think they rater spend more effort spying on members of the EU, foreing companys or e.g. Merkel. This is what all of this is realy about, fighting crime is as I alreay said the least reason for this, itīs al about money!
    The energy wastet on this machine is already today missing in all parts of a working society, there are f**king tent citys in your countrie for people who lost there home and people missing basic healthcare or food supplie.

    A better way to prevent this shit from happening is to not bread hate in other countries and your own. This is not something that was created out of thin air, it is the result of a wrong foreing politic of decades. Your big stick crumbels and the world gets smaller, this will happen more often and the machine you need to prevent this terror will grow and one day colaps over our heads.

    Lieju:

    Exley97:

    Furthermore, the history of mass surveillance in literally every other country/nation/government is littered with abuse and overreach to the point where the objective creeps from spying on potential threats to spying on dissidents and anyone who may object to the government's power.

    Not even that, but all those organisations are staffed by people.
    Normal people with their biases and personal grudges and concerns.

    I know someone who worked for the government, something to do with social security, and she looked up information on a family member to catch them lying about her health issues.

    She was worrying for her, yes, but it was still abuse of power and illegal.

    Yes. This is exactly what Snowden, Greenwald, and other NSA critics are arguing: that having this much information, and this much power, is too tempting not to abuse. The argument isn't that the NSA doesn't have good intentions and isn't trying to keep America safe; the argument is that the tools the agency is using to achieve that mission are too powerful and too easily abused.

    Think of it this way: imagine suddenly that you have a program on your PC that allows you to hack into any email system, web browser, VoIP connection, and social media account, and spy on anyone you choose. Now imagine the remarkable (and, probably, imaginary) will power it would take to not use that program. Sooner or later, you're going to break.

    Hairless Mammoth:
    -snippy snip-

    One of the nifty things about concepts, like privacy, is that they are perfectly capable of resurrection. There is very little in this world that is not reversible to a reasonable degree, it just takes a lot of hard work. I know it seems like people don't care, but the fact of the matter is that they don't have to. Very few decisions are made based on broad-based popular opinion or active participation, but many are made by smaller segments of the population putting in that aforementioned hard work to do what they think is best (for themselves or the population, depending on the group). I'm not in this fight because I think it's something that can be settled in perpetuity (political pendulum and all that), or even for thanks, I just do it because I think it's the right thing to do. I know it's hard to work without hope, but I do encourage you to at least go out and vote. There are third parties, and there are people (like me) trying to get systems in place to make them more competitive, but in the meantime first step towards that is just getting people off their duffs to go vote.

    Oh, and remember that any research on alternatives to what is popular will mark you for surveillance by the NSA. Seriously. I'm not joking.

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