Off Topic Messages

Can it be justified that various people are being held, during the course of the "WAR on terror", but are NOT classified as WAR criminals ?!

Poll ended at Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:55 pm

Yes
8
47%
No
9
53%
 
Total votes : 17

Are your emails being read by the US government?

Sat Dec 24, 2005 3:55 pm

The following was an interesting read, so I thought I would post it here, for all those living under the Bush-tyranny:

"Who is snooping on my email?

Home > Privacy > Email snooping


by Richard M. Smith
http://www.ComputerBytesMan.com
Dec. 23, 2005

With all of the controversy about the news that the NSA has been monitoring, since 9/11, telephone calls and email messages of Americans, some folks might now be wondering if they are being snooped on. Here's a quick and easy method to see if one's email messages are being read by someone else.

The steps are:
Set up a Hotmail account.
Set up a second email account with a non-U.S. provider. (eg. Rediffmail.com)
Send messages between the two accounts which might be interesting to the NSA.
In each message, include a unique URL to a Web server that you have access to its server logs. This URL should only be known by you and not linked to from any other Web page. The text of the message should encourage an NSA monitor to visit the URL.
If the server log file ever shows this URL being accessed, then you know that you are being snooped on. The IP address of the access can also provide clues about who is doing the snooping.
The trick is to make the link enticing enough for someone or something to want to click on it. As part of a large-scale research project, I would suggest sending out a few hundred thousand messages using various tricks to find one that might work. Here are some possible ideas:
Include a variety of terrorist related trigger words
Include other links in a message to known AQ message boards
Include a fake CC: to Mohamed Atta's old email address (el-amir@tu-harburg.de)
Send the message from an SMTP server in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
Use a fake return address from a known terrorist organization
Use a ziplip or hushmail account.
Besides monitoring the NSA, this same technique can be used if you suspect your email account password has been stolen or if a family member or coworker is reading your email on your computer of the sly."

Sat Dec 24, 2005 4:24 pm

The day I stop watching paint dry.. I might just do that :roll: :wink:

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:10 pm

Since I never do anything illegal or committ any crimes, they can read my little ole' emails all they want if it helps catch these terrorist murderers!

They might even be kind enough to "spell check" them for me :D

Sat Dec 24, 2005 8:21 pm

They can read anything they want. I have nothing to hide. However, if they delete any of my Elvis pictures or other files relating to Presley, they'll wish a terrorist attack was all they had to worry about.

Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:32 pm

I hope our e-mails are being read:

P*ss Off Bush, go while you still got a brain cell left :lol:

Sun Dec 25, 2005 2:28 am

Steve_M wrote:I hope our e-mails are being read:

P*ss Off Bush, go while you still got a brain cell left :lol:


Mr.President Bush,

If you are reading this.

I have always been an admirer of yours inspite of what people say about you.
You have dont a tremendous job. Make no mistake. :wink:

Sun Dec 25, 2005 5:51 am

Let's take a look at that advice...

Include a variety of terrorist related trigger words
Include other links in a message to known AQ message boards
Include a fake CC: to Mohamed Atta's old email address (el-amir@tu-harburg.de)
Send the message from an SMTP server in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
Use a fake return address from a known terrorist organization
Use a ziplip or hushmail account.

Hmmm, if someone has to go to those lengths to attract interest from the NSA, it does point towards a pretty minor degree of intrusion for law abiding citizens. After all, aren't those exactly the kind of emails that should be infiltrated?

Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:34 am

That's a smoking gun scenario TJ to find out if they are definitely watching. It's pretty scary if they spy on you and you can't find out without going to such lengths. And if a person is law abiding or not is beside the point. You're entitled to your privacy.

Even though the essence really of the debate is not the eavesdropping. For good or bad, this an accepted law enforcement technique that often obtains results. The problem is eavesdropping without a warrant. This opens it up to all sorts of abuse from personal vendettas and political payback to mere curiosity seeking. We only have to look back to J. Edgar Hoover or Richard Nixon to see that. If there is real danger, a judge will always grant a warrant. Historically, they've almost erred on the side of law enforcement, too much so for some people's opinions.

Mon Dec 26, 2005 3:02 pm

Yes but the problem is them knowing that they need to go to a judge to get a warrant and they don't until they've got the intelligence from illegally spying.

The above being the counter argument that the security forces make, not that its right or wrong but rather than complain about privacy being violated or basic rights being abused or anything negative, what we should be doing is providing an alternative solution for the security services in order that they can still protect us to the same degree if not better.

Instead of saying "dont do that to us - do this instead" too many seem to be saying "don't do that to us" then walking away.

Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:59 pm

Big Boss Man wrote:Since I never do anything illegal or committ any crimes....................


Not to worry, your secret is safe with me.

Tom

Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:43 am

My problem is the way that some have admitted to it!

People really are hard to guess though. I figured that people would jump all over Bush, but the opposite has been true. I think Americans just don't care because they figure it happens anyway.

I agree with Likethebike. It is a step backwards for the right and I would think after Nixon they would have learned their lesson.

Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:57 am

Hey Jth.......how was the Kool Ade?? :lol:

Expectation of privacy in ether-based communications?? Executive Branch wartime powers suddenly should be curtailed???Some of you have some case law to study.

The fact of the matter is, this sort of non-specific (untargeted) data collection has been going on for years. Under Carter. Reagan. Clinton.

All duly reviewed by the Judicial Branch. Nothing new here people.......except the sitting President,of course.

Anyone care to look at the extraordinary modes and mores of collecting info used by FDR, or Lincoln in wartime??

No.......apparently not. :wink:

This tempest in a teapot is a straw man used to inflame the ill-informed.

Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:06 am

Scatter wrote:Hey Jth.......how was the Kool Ade?? :lol:

Expectation of privacy in ether-based communications?? Executive Branch wartime powers suddenly should be curtailed???Some of you have some case law to study.

The fact of the matter is, this sort of non-specific (untargeted) data collection has been going on for years. Under Carter. Reagan. Clinton.

All duly reviewed by the Judicial Branch. Nothing new here people.......except the sitting President,of course.

Anyone care to look at the extraordinary modes and mores of collecting info used by FDR, or Lincoln in wartime??

No.......apparently not. :wink:

This tempest in a teapot is a straw man used to inflame the ill-informed.

If I didn't know better, I'd swear that Dean and Pelosi et al were far Right-Wing Republican moles who infiltrated the Democrat Party with the specific intent of sabotaging the Dem Party's bid to re-acquire power.

If they believe that this sort of demagoguery and historical revisionism is going to resonate with voters, they're addled.

Most people are sophisticated enough to see what they are trying to do. It should be an interesting election cycle coming up......

Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:32 am

Because a good president took a bad action doesn't justify it. All presidents want more power than they have and even good ones have overstepped their authority from time to time or have tried. Roosevelt trying to stack the Supreme Court is a good example of an oversstep and the internment of Japanese Americans in prisoner camps is an example of abuse. It doesn't erase the good he did but you have to look at the full picture.

Get your warrants. If there's cause there you won't have a problem. 911 was in the planning stages for the better part of a decade. It is very unlikely that the time it takes to obtain a warrant (if it is a just warrant) will be the deciding factor in a terrorist attack. They have to play a balancing act, just like they do with other sorts of crime and the balance doesn't favor wiretapping or spying e-mails without a warrant. There is nothing wrong with asking a president to respect the rights he is allegedly defending.

Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:07 pm

Nice summary LTB.

I wouldn't be stunned to find there have always been secret government warrantless searches on US citizens.

That said, it appears many current news reports have been based on an RNC press release touting edited phrases from Clinton and Carter executive orders and other articles. Many of those news (and pundit) reports are obviously written solely around the edited phrases and proceed to mischaracterize on that basis.

After trudging through all kinds of legalese I'll just say that I'm disturbed by what I'm reading - it appears the "Everyone else did it too!" spin and the 'The process is too slow!" spin is NOT accurate and the FISA (security court) stated as much in various communications to the administration, these being a bottom line summary only as a bit of illustration:

The Court FINDS that parts of section II.B of the minimization procedures submitted with the Government's motion are NOT reasonably designed, in light of their purpose and technique, "consistent with the need of the United States to obtain, produce, or disseminate foreign intelligence information" as defined in §1801(h) and §1821(4) of the Act.

and

After conferring on August 15, 2002, with the ten judges now on the FISA Court, as well as the past presiding judge of the FISA Court, we have all agreed, not only to provide the unclassified opinion and orders to you and the respective Senate Committees that have oversight responsibilities, but also to publish them. Never before has the entire Court issued an unclassified opinion and order....


Also what I've read has indicated numerous law & policy changes in 1978, 1979, and therefore it's not so straight forward to compare pre to post powers and actions from a legal perspective.

Here are some of the URLs I used while researching the accuracy of some of the news stories:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/
http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/eo/eo-12949.htm
http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/eo12139.htm
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/ ... -000-.html
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/ ... -000-.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02050.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10565905/
http://www.watchblog.com/
http://www.gop.com/News/Read.aspx?ID=6014
http://www.eff.org/Censorship/Terrorism ... a_faq.html
http://www.eff.org/effector/HTML/effect15.29.html#II

Eileen

Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:32 pm

While Big Brother is watching us. Little Brother (The Internet) is helping us watch him. Americans really should be on their guard against the likes of G W Bush.

Oops, there's my Visa gone :lol:

Tue Dec 27, 2005 6:47 pm

I heard that Gmail is monitoring all their client's e-mails in order to make offers to people based on what they write about.
That explains why only selected invited people can use Gmail.

Wed Dec 28, 2005 1:12 am

MauriceinIreland wrote:Americans really should be on their guard against the likes of G W Bush.

Oops, there's my Visa gone :lol:


You're welcome anytime and on my dime.

Tom

Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:30 am

likethebike wrote:Because a good president took a bad action doesn't justify it. All presidents want more power than they have and even good ones have overstepped their authority from time to time or have tried. Roosevelt trying to stack the Supreme Court is a good example of an oversstep and the internment of Japanese Americans in prisoner camps is an example of abuse. It doesn't erase the good he did but you have to look at the full picture.

Get your warrants. If there's cause there you won't have a problem. 911 was in the planning stages for the better part of a decade. It is very unlikely that the time it takes to obtain a warrant (if it is a just warrant) will be the deciding factor in a terrorist attack. They have to play a balancing act, just like they do with other sorts of crime and the balance doesn't favor wiretapping or spying e-mails without a warrant. There is nothing wrong with asking a president to respect the rights he is allegedly defending.


Hi LTB.......firstly, there is no expectation of privacy in ether-based communications. You can pick up a scanner at any Radio Shack which will allow you to tap into anyone's cell phone conversations. For fun, do it in front of a cop. Nothing he can do. Same with e-mail. All that is illegal is recording it (verbal communications). The NSA doesn't. It looks for keywords then flags the offender. Now there is cause to look.

Also, this tracks incoming calls from know operatives working against the U.S in WARTIME. A further legal expansion of Presidential powers.

Also........Carter used warrantless searches for spying on the Vietnamese.

Clinton used them to spy on Aldrich Ames. Both using the same legal precedents as Bush.

Wonder why there was no howl of protest and call for impeachment back then?? Congress was notified back then, just as Bush did. The silence is deafening on this point.

As I said earlier, the Republicans couldn't get more election traction from the Dems if we had Dean and Pelosi as our very own moles.

BTW..........latest polls indicate a full 61% of those polled (and 51% of the Dems) support the President for his LEGAL and PRECEDENT PACKED use of his Constitutionally guaranteed powers.

How much do you want to bet, in the face of this poll and their lack of conviction, that the Left's cacaphonous din of demogoguery becomes a chorus of crickets post-haste???

Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:29 am

Re: the Aldrich Ames talking point, which appears to be citing physical searches that were not covered by FISA to justify wiretaps that are covered by FISA -


National Research Council 1996 cryptography report noted:
http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Key_escrow/? ... report.txt

The investigation of convicted spy Aldrich Ames relied heavily on wiretaps ordered under FISA authority.


The Snopes board has some discussion of the Ames talking point:
http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ulti ... 002046;p=2


Judge Royce Lamberth, former presiding judge of the United States FISA, April 2002:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... berth.html

I'm sure all of you recall the Aldrich Ames case, the CIA officer who was a Russian spy, and the key role the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court played in his case. The attorney general had also authorized physical searches of Ames's home, not pursuant to court order, that turned out to be very productive. Had Ames gone to trial, that would have been a hotly litigated issue. The president and the Congress wisely reacted by amending the statute to now require that physical searches for national security reasons also be authorized by the court. The court had authority all along to authorize physical entries to plant eavesdropping devices, but the court had never authorized physical searches for information. The amendment to the statute became effective just as I was appointed to the court in 1995, and Attorney General Reno presented to me at that time all physical searches that she had authorized for my review as to continuation. Many new legal questions were presented and resolved to the court's satisfaction.
......
I think that what's important that I'm trying to do on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is even though we're at war against an unknown enemy and we're fighting with terrorism around the world -- not just in Afghanistan, but in many other countries -- we always have to remember that within the United States we have to protect our own rights. We don't want to give up our rights, even though we're at war.

And I think the importance of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is to ensure that the rights of unsuspecting Americans that might be subject to surveillances is always protected, so that if there is a surveillance being conducted in the United States, we're protecting the rights, we're making sure that there's not any improper motivation, that the information is needed and that there's some basis to think that the person who's targeted is acting as the agent of a foreign power.

Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:58 pm

There's an excellent reason why there were no cries for Carter's/Clinton's impeachment on this issue. They did not engage in domestic spying on Americans.

The Jimmy Carter executive order that has been pushed forth to boost the "legality" of what Bush admitted to has been deliberately misinterpreted to build a false defense. The order states that according section 102A1 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance act of 1978 "The Attorney General (AG my parentheses) is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence surveillance without a court order, but only if the AG makes the certifications required by the section." The section in question clearly states in I think the third paragraph the warrantless surveillance can take place only if "there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communictaion to which a United States person is a party."

That's actually a prohibition on what Bush and company have admitted to doing. That's not any liberal blog, it's straight from the act. The order Clinton signed in 1995 was subject to similar misinterpretation. And there was never any substantive proof that Clinton spied on American citizens without a warrant.

Even so if the interpretations presented by the Republican machine were accurate I would say Carter and Clinton overstepped their bounds. I can see e-mail could at least come in under the "effects" portion of the constitution of the fourth amendment.

And I don't understand the problem with obtaining a warrant especially since in the case of a dire emergency the surveillance act permits you to get a warrant up to 72 hours later.

I understand in some ways where the defenders of actions like this are coming from but in the year 2005 we should realize by now that it matters HOW you win the war. If you look at every conflict that has arisen in the past 100 years, you can see a direct connection to the methods used to win the previous conflict. The French insistence on punishing Germany in WWI led to WWII. The desperation to end WWII and ensure continued Russian involvement on both fronts led to the Cold War. (By contrast the humane rebuilding efforts of Europe and Japan eventually led to half a century of peace and prosperity with those nations.) The method of using countries around the world as pawns in the US and USSR chess game eventually helped lead to the situation we're in now. I know it all didn't happen quite as simple as that but few historians would dispute that we (and by "we" I mean everyone in the western world) have paid for sewing dubious seeds to get over particular hurdles. The price we may have to pay here for going the kill or be killed route (I'm talking Guatanamo Bay, the eavesdropping, the occupation of Iraq) is that we will lose what we most value about our country- our freedom to live our lives as we please.

Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:04 pm

likethebike wrote:There's an excellent reason why there were no cries for Carter's/Clinton's impeachment on this issue. They did not engage in domestic spying on Americans. .


Yes Clinton did.

Aldridge Aimes.

Clinton authorized illegal break-ins and snooping on American citizen, Aimes.


But.......

the ends justifies the means, because they caught the rotten sonofabitch (Aimes) who indeed was a treasonous spy working against the USA.

Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:55 pm

Scatter wrote:latest polls indicate a full 61% of those polled (and 51% of the Dems) support the President for his LEGAL and PRECEDENT PACKED use of his Constitutionally guaranteed powers.

The only poll I've found with the 51% Dems is Rasmussen, so I'm going with that as you did not specify. The Rasmussen poll did not ask about nor explain the items currently at issue:
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/NSA.htm

Their poll question was:
Should the National Security Agency be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States?

The question does not mention bypassing FISA, existing laws or executive orders, executive powers, warrantless wiretaps, citizens vs. non-citizens, or even define 'terrorism suspect'. It doesn't mention the president either. The answer to their follow up question indicates that a majority of respondents didn't know what the precedent might be - pretty clear evidence that they were not (could not have been) responding to the issues at hand.

Eileen

Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:06 pm

A crucisal element missing in this conversation is the fact that WARTIME powers of the Executive Branch are in play here. That is why FDR is at issue.

Also, the fact remains that in WARTIME the President IS NOT LEGALLY BOUND TO FISA.......his powers are derived Constitutionally, and supercede FISA. He had no legal compulsion to go through FISA. He did advise Congress. THAT was his duty.

BTW.........Aldrich Ames WAS an American. He was spied upon DOMESTICALLY by Clinton (who then sent his emissary to Congressional hearings to defend the actions he took).

No outcry.........and Clinton WAS NOT IN WARTIME.

I personally HOPE that the Dems bring impeachment proceedings. No way they can win, and a PR coup for the Republicans.

It will never happen though........just like they agitate against the War and insisit upon immediate troop withdrawl. Then, when presented the opportunity to publicly vote on it........to put up or shut up.......they turn tail like vermin. Instead of voting in accordance with their shrill demagoguery, they vote to continue the War,proving that they are simply playing to their kook base in an effort to milk them for more money.,

Just so long as they can give aid and comfort to the enemy while demoralizing the troops, that is alright with them. That is their goal.

Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:34 am

Accusations are not proof. There is no comparison between Clinton and Bush because Bush flat out admitted he has spied on Americans without a warrant. Just because someone says Bill Clinton did something doesn't mean he did it.

It all boils down to the fact that there is almost never any reason that you shouldn't get a warrant especially since in emergency a warrant can be obtained retroactively. If you don't believe you can get a warrant, you're doing something wrong.

Interestingly, one of the "terrorist" groups monitored by the president in "war time" was PETA. Gosh, they're a veritable fount of future Al Queida members.

Actually, I also don't understand the uproar because this is something like impeachable offense number #67. Guatanamo Bay, the prison scandal in Iraq, the arsenic in the drinking water and other lobbyist funded legislation, an invasion of a country that did not attack us, vengefully outing a CIA operative because her husband was against the war etc. etc.