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May 02, 2015

Senator Mike Lee Seems To Think That The Government Is Spying On Us [CBD]

It's Time to Put an End to the NSA's Bulk Collection of Americans' Metadata

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Some of you may recognize this sentence (wow...a single sentence) as part of American law, written more than a hundred years ago as a quaint and archaic attempt to limit the power of the government to intrude upon our lives.

Apparently there are a few senators who have not yet learned that the Constitution is a living breathing document that will instantly morph into whatever they happen to need at the time. And they think that collection of metadata is an unwarranted (pun intended) intrusion into our lives and prohibited by the Fourth Amendment.

In short, this metadata can be used to paint a fairly complete picture of the private lives of every person in this country.

Example: I have been driving across the Tappan Zee Bridge* almost every day for the last few months. That information is collected by the electronic toll collection system. Match that to my phone calls -- just the location...no more -- and you will know with a high degree of accuracy where I was. A few more clicks and you can discover where I went from there, and what I was doing. This is not arcane code-breaking or anything even remotely difficult. This is now standard government behavior.

And they lie about it.

In 2012, the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, testified under oath before the United States Senate that the NSA was not collecting data on hundreds of millions of Americans. When it was later revealed that the NSA was doing just that, and had been for over a decade, Clapper admitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee that his earlier testimony was "clearly erroneous."

I have been haranguing our two brats that when they have any contact with law enforcement that they do not consent to any search without a warrant. And, that they do not speak to the officers about anything other than their identification.

But how do I teach them to protect themselves from metadata collection?


* They are building a replacement for this 60 year old bridge just to the North of the original, and one of the few joys about driving on it is watching the construction.

This is a 1,700 Metric Ton crane they are using.

TZ Bridge crane.jpg

And this is what they are building:


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posted by Open Blogger at 01:00 PM

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