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cybnetic

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Report reveals number of secret FBI subpoenas

Disclosure mandated as part of Patriot Act renewal

       

                Friday, April 28, 2006; Posted: 11:12 p.m. EDT (03:12 GMT)                

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The FBI secretly sought information last year on 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents from their banks and credit card, telephone and Internet companies without a court's approval, the Justice Department said Friday.

It was the first time the Bush administration has publicly disclosed how often it uses the administrative subpoena known as a National Security Letter, which allows the executive branch of government to obtain records about people in terrorism and espionage investigations without a judge's approval or a grand jury subpoena.

Friday's disclosure was mandated as part of the renewal of the Patriot Act, the administration's sweeping anti-terror law.

The FBI delivered a total of 9,254 NSLs relating to 3,501 people in 2005, according to a report submitted late Friday to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. In some cases, the bureau demanded information about one person from several companies.

The numbers from previous years remain classified, officials said.

The department also reported it received a secret court's approval for 155 warrants to examine business records last year under a Patriot Act provision that includes library records. However, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has said the department has never used the provision to ask for library records.

The number was a significant jump over past use of the warrant for business records. A year ago, Gonzales told Congress there had been 35 warrants approved between November 2003 and April 2005.

The spike is expected to be temporary, however, because the Patriot Act renewal that President Bush signed in March made it easier for authorities to obtain subscriber information on telephone numbers captured through certain wiretaps.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the same panel that signs off on applications for business records warrants, also approved 2,072 special warrants last year for secret wiretaps and searches of suspected terrorists and spies. The record number is more than twice as many as were issued in 2000, the last full year before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The FBI security letters have been the subject of legal battles in two federal courts because, until the Patriot Act changes, recipients were barred from telling anyone about them.

Ann Beeson, the associate legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the report to Congress "confirms our fear all along that National Security Letters are being used to get the records of thousands of innocent Americans without court approval."

The number disclosed Friday excludes requests for subscriber information, an exception written into the law. It was unclear how many FBI letters were not counted for that reason.


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MACJR

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Now if we could get those SOBs to check into all the public and private records of each and every member of the House of Representatives and the Senate. While we are at it, let’s also check the man in the White House and the Vice President and all their appointees.

 

I believe the FBI and Homeland Security would find a lot more criminals, if not terrorists, if they did.

 

Witch hunt? What witch hunt?

 

Police state? Where? Here in the USA? No way! Um, this is still the semi-democratic republic called the USA isn't it? Did someone convert this nation to a fascist country and forget to tell me?

 

 

MACJR


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cybnetic

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that about sum's it up

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ManInBlack

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I hesitatingly offer some perspective.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cybnetic

Report reveals number of secret FBI subpoenas

Disclosure mandated as part of Patriot Act renewal

       

                Friday, April 28, 2006; Posted: 11:12 p.m. EDT (03:12 GMT)                




If the disclosure is mandated, then these really aren't secrets, are they? Looks like the system of checks and balances is working. (so far, I'm getting a touch paranoid myself lately)


Quote:
Originally Posted by cybnetic

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The FBI secretly sought information last year on 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents from their banks and credit card, telephone and Internet companies without a court's approval, the Justice Department said Friday.

Friday's disclosure was mandated as part of the renewal of the Patriot Act, the administration's sweeping anti-terror law.

The FBI delivered a total of 9,254 NSLs relating to 3,501 people in 2005, according to a report submitted late Friday to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. In some cases, the bureau demanded information about one person from several companies.

The numbers from previous years remain classified, officials said.

Once again, if they're providing NSLs then this is not a group of renegade government agents operating under the radar. They're following the law and documenting their activities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybnetic

The department also reported it received a secret court's approval for 155 warrants to examine business records last year under a Patriot Act provision that includes library records. However, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has said the department has never used the provision to ask for library records.



Court approval, warrants, everything looks OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybnetic


The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the same panel that signs off on applications for business records warrants, also approved 2,072 special warrants last year for secret wiretaps and searches of suspected terrorists and spies. The record number is more than twice as many as were issued in 2000, the last full year before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.




It would seem normal to have more counter terrorist activities during a conflict, particularly one in which the intelligence community is being blamed for NOT doing enough surveillance of terrorists beforehand

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybnetic

The FBI security letters have been the subject of legal battles in two federal courts because, until the Patriot Act changes, recipients were barred from telling anyone about them.

Ann Beeson, the associate legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the report to Congress "confirms our fear all along that National Security Letters are being used to get the records of thousands of innocent Americans without court approval."

The number disclosed Friday excludes requests for subscriber information, an exception written into the law. It was unclear how many FBI letters were not counted for that reason.



I'm wondering in what country Ms. Beeson recieved her degree. The only factual statement she makes is that she is fearful.

Has she already tried all the cases involved and knows that the Americans involved are innocent? Does she understand that any standing statute is by definition approved by the courts, thus covering NSLs as "court approved surveillance".

There is plenty to be paranoid about these days, and I know that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you, but this article seems just a touch inflammatory.

I do acknowledge that Bush's appointment of Gen. Michael Hayden as DCI may in fact be evidence that Porter Goss had it right.

There are two basics schools in intelligenge gathering. Most people are familiar with humint, or Human Intelligence. This is the James Bond style, out in the field face to face world that we all know and love, the forte of CIA. Then there's sigint, or Signal Intelligence. This started out as intercepting communications, telemetry, or any other signals. This is the forte of NSA. The power struggles between agencies is one of the arguments for creating the Director of National Intelligence position.

Presently the balance has tilted philosophicly, leaning heavily towards sigint. This is what got us into this mess. Intelligence comes from Humans, information comes from signals. Information can be misinterpreted, causing the gaffs that have plagued the community since Clinton decided the world could be viewed over a cigar from the safety of his office.

There are things you can only learn in the field. Choosing to center our entire Intelligence Community in sigint is an incredible mistake on several levels.

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waltcesca

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Quote:

Presently the balance has tilted philosophically, leaning heavily towards sigint. This is what got us into this mess. Intelligence comes from Humans, information comes from signals. Information can be misinterpreted, causing the gaffs that have plagued the community since Clinton decided the world could be viewed over a cigar from the safety of his office.

There are things you can only learn in the field. Choosing to center our entire Intelligence Community in sigint is an incredible mistake on several levels.

 

   Very, very true. what had happened is that we Americans bought too much into how GREAT computer tech can do to track what people are doing. My wife recently asked me why Bin Ladin is still at large since we have SO many satellites that could be looking for him. While true, we do have satellites, I replied, we still need PEOPLE on the ground looking where the 'birds' cannot see! I used to manage a restaurant and we had a great computer system put in to help track what we were selling and the tracking thereof. However, regardless of WHAT the computer was telling me, I STILL had to walk the floor to see IF and WHEN it was time to start sending employees home. Had I solely depended on that computer, I would have gone well over the budget for labor PLUS the restaurant would have fallen into chaos!

  No, HUMIT is always preferable to SIGNIT, however, a mixture of the two is better (leaning more towards HUMIT, in my opinion)


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MACJR

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Well, if this all does go as bad as it looks to be going, we can all feel content in knowing that maybe our great-great grandchildren will have great-great grandchildren who will rebel against the evil empire and overthrow the powers of darkness so a new age can begin. I’m just hoping it’s not another dark age.

 

Happens sooner or later in every Empire... that eventually it ends, sometimes they just fade away, and other times they go out in very ugly ways.

 

If only the powers behind the empires could truly learn to value, care for, and work with the common people in an attempt to maintain an empire. It seems only right that, among other things, the rich give some of those profits back by providing education and opportunities for those who made, or helped enhance, their richness by being alive and buying their products.

 

I believe for real change, and a better chance to improve our entire civilization, we need a new type of Alpha leader. We need Alpha leaders who are less aggressive, more compassionate, and more intelligent, they also need to be able to work well together, able to work with big business - but not for big business, and able to protect the general population from big business, war, and disaster.

 

I also believe that the new Alpha leaders should strive to maintain human rights and civil liberties. Americans should have the right to privacy and the general population of America should not be treated as suspect, or treated as criminals, without warrant or legal merit.

 

Now that I am done with my seemingly meaningless ramble, to the reply:

 

Perhaps the CIA would be better than the NSA at determining, on a human level, just who is a real threat.

 

I agree with Blake, if I read him right, never should both organizations, the CIA and the NSA, be controlled by one person. It is bad enough that there are those who do have access to both resources. With too much information going in… many pre-judgments about a person could prevent a field agent from seeing the real human. In a system like that people can become thought of as less than human and treated more like data. Someone’s data is not the sum of all their human parts... unless you have one hell of a supercomputer (I don’t expect to see any computers that powerful for at least a thousand years). The data collected on people today does not provide the data takers an entire personality, only glimpses. Assumptions made from a few aspects of someone’s personality can often lead to many wrong assumptions. It takes time and personal observation to see more of who a person is, but even then they can get it wrong sometimes.

 

I think it is a mistake to make our nation’s security and surveillance organizations so powerful that they can analyze the data from your grocery purchases to determine your daily methane gas output as well as have access to every word you type or say online. I believe that this data-mining of civilians is a dangerous trend. Our world leaders could end up micromanaging our entire civilization into stagnation… or worse, if they take all our freedoms to be human away from us and start herding us like cattle.

 

Maybe someday, “Mad Cow” will be the name of a revolution.

 

 

MACJR

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waltcesca

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Reply with quote  #7 

Quote:

Well, if this all does go as bad as it looks to be going, we can all feel content in knowing that maybe our great-great grandchildren will have great-great grandchildren who will rebel against the evil empire and overthrow the powers of darkness so a new age can begin. I’m just hoping it’s not another dark age.

 

Happens sooner or later in every Empire... that eventually it ends, sometimes they just fade away, and other times they go out in very ugly ways.

 

If only the powers behind the empires could truly learn to value, care for, and work with the common people in an attempt to maintain an empire. It seems only right that, among other things, the rich give some of those profits back by providing education and opportunities for those who made, or helped enhance, their richness by being alive and buying their products.

 

   You know, MAC, I tend to be pretty cynical about the nature of human beings. That said, tell me ONE empire where ALL human life was sacred and NOT just those of that empire? One where there was no poverty, where EVERYONE was educated and NOT just the 'in' people and 'royalty'. An empire where the rich gave profits to the poor instead of making themselves more rich? Just name ONE empire where even HALF of those things happened! Then tell me how long that empire DID last?

  LOL, I am not just being that way, I would truly like to know. My money is an Eastern empire or perhaps a MID-eastern one. Maybe an Egyptian one? hmmm, I KNOW it wasn't a Roman or Greek one, nor an South American one. Just wondering because IF it has EVER happened in the past, then there is a chance it could happen again, however, if there has not been, well, we humans NEVER learn 'new' tricks, we just perform the old ones.


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MACJR

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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltcesca

Quote:

Well, if this all does go as bad as it looks to be going, we can all feel content in knowing that maybe our great-great grandchildren will have great-great grandchildren who will rebel against the evil empire and overthrow the powers of darkness so a new age can begin. I’m just hoping it’s not another dark age.

 

Happens sooner or later in every Empire... that eventually it ends, sometimes they just fade away, and other times they go out in very ugly ways.

 

If only the powers behind the empires could truly learn to value, care for, and work with the common people in an attempt to maintain an empire. It seems only right that, among other things, the rich give some of those profits back by providing education and opportunities for those who made, or helped enhance, their richness by being alive and buying their products.

 

   You know, MAC, I tend to be pretty cynical about the nature of human beings. That said, tell me ONE empire where ALL human life was sacred and NOT just those of that empire? One where there was no poverty, where EVERYONE was educated and NOT just the 'in' people and 'royalty'. An empire where the rich gave profits to the poor instead of making themselves more rich? Just name ONE empire where even HALF of those things happened! Then tell me how long that empire DID last?

  LOL, I am not just being that way, I would truly like to know. My money is an Eastern empire or perhaps a MID-eastern one. Maybe an Egyptian one? hmmm, I KNOW it wasn't a Roman or Greek one, nor an South American one. Just wondering because IF it has EVER happened in the past, then there is a chance it could happen again, however, if there has not been, well, we humans NEVER learn 'new' tricks, we just perform the old ones.

 

Ah, my whole point in fact, we have never had that never ending paradise empire yet. It seems that if fate does not step in to kill an empire, then the greed and corruption of its power hungry leaders will eventually lead to an empire's fall.

 

My point is that it is time to evolve past that endless cycle of corruption and build that paradise.

 

I understand that no land run by mankind will ever be perfect, but I believe that if we all work together, unselfishly, then we, the entire human race, might stand a chance of making our future better for our descendents than it is for us today. When even the poorest among us is rich and no one goes hungry for food, shelter, thought, or information, then we have finally succeeded.

 

Not even trying to break the endless cycles of good empires going bad is a waste of our human potential. I believe our leaders can and must do better than they are doing today. Then, when they can lead by example, maybe more of us common people will follow along with a few surprise compliments... rather than be dragged along while griping.

 

If I have no reason to gripe, then there would be no need for some to listen.

 

 

MACJR


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waltcesca

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MACJR

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltcesca

Quote:

Well, if this all does go as bad as it looks to be going, we can all feel content in knowing that maybe our great-great grandchildren will have great-great grandchildren who will rebel against the evil empire and overthrow the powers of darkness so a new age can begin. I’m just hoping it’s not another dark age.

 

Happens sooner or later in every Empire... that eventually it ends, sometimes they just fade away, and other times they go out in very ugly ways.

 

If only the powers behind the empires could truly learn to value, care for, and work with the common people in an attempt to maintain an empire. It seems only right that, among other things, the rich give some of those profits back by providing education and opportunities for those who made, or helped enhance, their richness by being alive and buying their products.

 

   You know, MAC, I tend to be pretty cynical about the nature of human beings. That said, tell me ONE empire where ALL human life was sacred and NOT just those of that empire? One where there was no poverty, where EVERYONE was educated and NOT just the 'in' people and 'royalty'. An empire where the rich gave profits to the poor instead of making themselves more rich? Just name ONE empire where even HALF of those things happened! Then tell me how long that empire DID last?

  LOL, I am not just being that way, I would truly like to know. My money is an Eastern empire or perhaps a MID-eastern one. Maybe an Egyptian one? hmmm, I KNOW it wasn't a Roman or Greek one, nor an South American one. Just wondering because IF it has EVER happened in the past, then there is a chance it could happen again, however, if there has not been, well, we humans NEVER learn 'new' tricks, we just perform the old ones.

 

Ah, my whole point in fact, we have never had that never ending paradise empire yet. It seems that if fate does not step in to kill an empire, then the greed and corruption of its power hungry leaders will eventually lead to an empires fall.

 

My point is that it is time to evolve past that endless cycle of corruption and build that paradise.

 

I understand that no land run by mankind will ever be perfect, but I believe that if we all work together, unselfishly, then we, the entire human race, might stand a chance of making our future better for our descendants than it is for us today. When even the poorest among us is rich and no one goes hungry for food, shelter, thought, or information, then we have finally succeeded.

 

Not even trying to break the endless cycles of good empires going bad is a waste of our human potential. I believe our leaders can and must do better than they are doing today. Then, when they can lead by example, maybe more of us common people will follow along with a few surprise compliments... rather than be dragged along while griping.

 

If I have no reason to gripe, then there would be no need for some to listen.

 

 

MACJR

 

   MAC, as usual, VERY well said, and I agree with what you are saying. That said, again, I STILL have not even seen 'proof' of us getting better as a race of sentient beings. People are STILL people, as we both have said, politics are STILL 'business as usual', there is STILL racism rampant in the world, and still lunatics tend to be the leaders rather than the sane! And yet, we STILL allow them to rule, through 'vote', birth, gun, we still allow them to lead!

   You know, prisoners out-number their guards by 50 to one AT LEAST! So why do they let the guards have control? Because otherwise THEY themselves would have to be responsible for themselves! WE LET these leaders lead because, on a whole, there just aren't enough of 'us' to really WANT to take the reigns and actually be RESPONSIBLE for taking care of the business of leading! being the one everyone blames if something goes wrong and rarely blamed when something goes right! Always have a target on ones back, etc. And this is only if that person who wanted to make that change FIRST!

  Certainly, things need to change, but in MY opinion, the REAL 'hero' will be that person that takes that FIRST step in taking over the leadership, NOT the next person after the change had begun, the first one that started it.

  While I believe we have it within us to BE this 'new beings', I do not believe we will ever actually get there. How sad is that?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltcesca
 

   MAC, as usual, VERY well said, and I agree with what you are saying. That said, again, I STILL have not even seen 'proof' of us getting better as a race of sentient beings. People are STILL people, as we both have said, politics are STILL 'business as usual', there is STILL racism rampant in the world, and still lunatics tend to be the leaders rather than the sane! And yet, we STILL allow them to rule, through 'vote', birth, gun, we still allow them to lead!

   You know, prisoners out-number their guards by 50 to one AT LEAST! So why do they let the guards have control? Because otherwise THEY themselves would have to be responsible for themselves! WE LET these leaders lead because, on a whole, there just aren't enough of 'us' to really WANT to take the reigns and actually be RESPONSIBLE for taking care of the business of leading! being the one everyone blames if something goes wrong and rarely blamed when something goes right! Always have a target on ones back, etc. And this is only if that person who wanted to make that change FIRST!

  Certainly, things need to change, but in MY opinion, the REAL 'hero' will be that person that takes that FIRST step in taking over the leadership, NOT the next person after the change had begun, the first one that started it.

  While I believe we have it within us to BE this 'new beings', I do not believe we will ever actually get there. How sad is that?

 

I have noticed that brilliant leaders are often replaced with fools.

 

Can it be true that our situation is so sad that good leaders are only random mutations in the human species?

 

If so, I hope that an exceptionally good Alpha mutation will breed true one day. It might save the human race from eventual extinction.

 

 

MACJR


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ManInBlack

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACJR

Maybe someday, “Mad Cow” will be the name of a revolution.

MACJR


One Special Forces group in Afghanistan wore "I love New York" buttons in the days following 9/11.

The Mad Cow brigade has been born

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