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NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

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NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby British_Pharaoh » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:44 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/ju ... s-nsa-data

Land of the free indeed

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows them to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims "collection directly from the servers" of major US service providers.

Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program.

In a statement, Google said: "Google cares deeply about the security of our users' data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government 'back door' into our systems, but Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data."

The NSA access was enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under Obama in December 2012.


The program facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information. The law allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US.

It also opens the possibility of communications made entirely within the US being collected without warrants.

Disclosure of the PRISM program follows a leak to the Guardian on Wednesday of a top-secret court order compelling telecoms provider Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of US customers.

The participation of the internet companies in PRISM will add to the debate, ignited by the Verizon revelation, about the scale of surveillance by the intelligence services. Unlike the collection of those call records, this surveillance can include the content of communications and not just the metadata.

Some of the world's largest internet brands are claimed to be part of the information-sharing program since its introduction in 2007. Microsoft – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan "Your privacy is our priority" – was the first, with collection beginning in December 2007.

It was followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online.

Collectively, the companies cover the vast majority of online email, search, video and communications networks.



The extent and nature of the data collected from each company varies.

Companies are legally obliged to comply with requests for users' communications under US law, but the PRISM program allows the intelligence services direct access to the companies' servers. The NSA document notes the operations have "assistance of communications providers in the US".

The revelation also supports concerns raised by several US senators during the renewal of the Fisa Amendments Act in December 2012, who warned about the scale of surveillance the law might enable, and shortcomings in the safeguards it introduces.

When the FAA was first enacted, defenders of the statute argued that a significant check on abuse would be the NSA's inability to obtain electronic communications without the consent of the telecom and internet companies that control the data. But the PRISM program renders that consent unnecessary, as it allows the agency to directly and unilaterally seize the communications off the companies' servers.

A chart prepared by the NSA, contained within the top-secret document obtained by the Guardian, underscores the breadth of the data it is able to obtain: email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (Skype, for example) chats, file transfers, social networking details, and more.



The document is recent, dating to April 2013. Such a leak is extremely rare in the history of the NSA, which prides itself on maintaining a high level of secrecy.

The PRISM program allows the NSA, the world's largest surveillance organisation, to obtain targeted communications without having to request them from the service providers and without having to obtain individual court orders.

With this program, the NSA is able to reach directly into the servers of the participating companies and obtain both stored communications as well as perform real-time collection on targeted users.

The presentation claims PRISM was introduced to overcome what the NSA regarded as shortcomings of Fisa warrants in tracking suspected foreign terrorists. It noted that the US has a "home-field advantage" due to housing much of the internet's architecture. But the presentation claimed "Fisa constraints restricted our home-field advantage" because Fisa required individual warrants and confirmations that both the sender and receiver of a communication were outside the US.

"Fisa was broken because it provided privacy protections to people who were not entitled to them," the presentation claimed. "It took a Fisa court order to collect on foreigners overseas who were communicating with other foreigners overseas simply because the government was collecting off a wire in the United States. There were too many email accounts to be practical to seek Fisas for all."

The new measures introduced in the FAA redefines "electronic surveillance" to exclude anyone "reasonably believed" to be outside the USA – a technical change which reduces the bar to initiating surveillance.

The act also gives the director of national intelligence and the attorney general power to permit obtaining intelligence information, and indemnifies internet companies against any actions arising as a result of co-operating with authorities' requests.

In short, where previously the NSA needed individual authorisations, and confirmation that all parties were outside the USA, they now need only reasonable suspicion that one of the parties was outside the country at the time of the records were collected by the NSA.

The document also shows the FBI acts as an intermediary between other agencies and the tech companies, and stresses its reliance on the participation of US internet firms, claiming "access is 100% dependent on ISP provisioning".

In the document, the NSA hails the PRISM program as "one of the most valuable, unique and productive accesses for NSA".

It boasts of what it calls "strong growth" in its use of the PRISM program to obtain communications. The document highlights the number of obtained communications increased in 2012 by 248% for Skype – leading the notes to remark there was "exponential growth in Skype reporting; looks like the word is getting out about our capability against Skype". There was also a 131% increase in requests for Facebook data, and 63% for Google.

The NSA document indicates that it is planning to add Dropbox as a PRISM provider. The agency also seeks, in its words, to "expand collection services from existing providers".

The revelations echo fears raised on the Senate floor last year during the expedited debate on the renewal of the FAA powers which underpin the PRISM program, which occurred just days before the act expired.

Senator Christopher Coons of Delaware specifically warned that the secrecy surrounding the various surveillance programs meant there was no way to know if safeguards within the act were working.

"The problem is: we here in the Senate and the citizens we represent don't know how well any of these safeguards actually work," he said.

"The law doesn't forbid purely domestic information from being collected. We know that at least one Fisa court has ruled that the surveillance program violated the law. Why? Those who know can't say and average Americans can't know."

Other senators also raised concerns. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon attempted, without success, to find out any information on how many phone calls or emails had been intercepted under the program.

When the law was enacted, defenders of the FAA argued that a significant check on abuse would be the NSA's inability to obtain electronic communications without the consent of the telecom and internet companies that control the data. But the PRISM program renders that consent unnecessary, as it allows the agency to directly and unilaterally seize the communications off the companies' servers.

When the NSA reviews a communication it believes merits further investigation, it issues what it calls a "report". According to the NSA, "over 2,000 PRISM-based reports" are now issued every month. There were 24,005 in 2012, a 27% increase on the previous year.

In total, more than 77,000 intelligence reports have cited the PRISM program.

Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU's Center for Democracy, that it was astonishing the NSA would even ask technology companies to grant direct access to user data.

"It's shocking enough just that the NSA is asking companies to do this," he said. "The NSA is part of the military. The military has been granted unprecedented access to civilian communications.

"This is unprecedented militarisation of domestic communications infrastructure. That's profoundly troubling to anyone who is concerned about that separation."
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby JJN » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:11 am

ITS ALL LIES TO DISTRACT FROM BENGHAZI!
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby Hikohadon » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:59 am

Oh no, now he'll know all about the internet porn I've watched.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby Orenthal » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:38 pm

Is this #4?
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:07 am

The Patriot Act was passed in 2001. This is not news.

And further, unless you are doing illegal things, does it really matter? The banners on this site track my browsing as well.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby FUDU » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:08 pm

This is cute:

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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby motherscratcher » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:30 pm

http://davidsimon.com/we-are-shocked-shocked/

Or, we can pretend that Obama is sitting in the White House like Monty Burns ready to release the hounds on unsuspecting Americans who's only offense is a predilection to grandma porn.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby FUDU » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:37 pm

I saw that link earlier, it's a good read.

Here's another interesting take on the situation: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/06/author-patriot-act-says-phone-records-collection-excessive/

My issue is with people pretending BHO is any different than anyone else we've had in the WH in the past 13 years, and that he is anything but extremely meh as the "leader of the free world".
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:01 pm

Some of the same cunts in here that wanted Manning's head.... Typical fake patriot bullshit.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby General » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:10 pm

Cerebral_DownTime wrote:Some of the same cunts in here that wanted Manning's head.... Typical fake patriot bullshit.



Peyton or Eli or, God forbid, Archie. Don't forget Rick either, especially after that whole Eckersley thing.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby JJN » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:36 pm

Erie Warrior wrote:And further, unless you are doing illegal things, does it really matter?


Only if you don't care about the 4th Amendment.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:07 pm

Meh. If it means getting through the airport faster and helping to prevent future mass killings, I'll sign up for it myself. No need to sneak around.

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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby YahooFanChicago » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:09 am

Erie Warrior, I agree with your take on this but it seems to me that we are in the minority. Watching the news, it seems that a lot of people are really pissed-off about this. My friends and family aren't but the people on the news sure seem to be.

I value the safety of the country above the right to keep my information confidential from the government. From a pragmatic perspective I don't think they have enough people to monitor much of the communications any way. So unless people are already under suspicion or if they are communicating lots of terrorist terms I don't think their communications will be listened to any way.

If someone is a terrorist this monitoring probably makes life tougher on them which is good. For 99% of the rest of us this monitoring probably never impacts us at all.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby gotribe31 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:02 am

Hey, look at that, another USA slam by BP. Glad we're back to this bullshit.

London is so ringed with security cameras that you could hop across the city on top of them. But yeah, we're the survelliance state. And if you think GCHQ isn't looking at your e-mail, I've got a bridge in Manchester to sell you. But yeah, sit over there and take shots at us.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby pod2dawg » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:07 pm

YahooFanChicago wrote:Erie Warrior, I agree with your take on this but it seems to me that we are in the minority. Watching the news, it seems that a lot of people are really pissed-off about this. My friends and family aren't but the people on the news sure seem to be.

I value the safety of the country above the right to keep my information confidential from the government. From a pragmatic perspective I don't think they have enough people to monitor much of the communications any way. So unless people are already under suspicion or if they are communicating lots of terrorist terms I don't think their communications will be listened to any way.

If someone is a terrorist this monitoring probably makes life tougher on them which is good. For 99% of the rest of us this monitoring probably never impacts us at all.


All good points.

According to people I don't know EVERYTHING is stored somewhere and can be referenced in the event it need be. The RICO Act plus the Homeland Security "thing" gives the Feds the ability to do whatever they want. As you pointed out they really could care less about 330 million of us. They comb looking for the "psychos".
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby googleeph2 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:24 pm

But aren't you concerned about how it could escalate?

Also, people were outraged at Nixon's enemies list... But that's just what politics can lead to, right?

Look at the current administration's IRS targeting mess.

So you might not be on the business end of the NSA, but who's to know about 5yrs from now?

With this snooping culture, we're safe, until we're not.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby Commodore Perry » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:37 pm

Erie Warrior wrote:The Patriot Act was passed in 2001. This is not news.

And further, unless you are doing illegal things, does it really matter? The banners on this site track my browsing as well.


Why do you post under the name Erie Warrior, and not your full name along with your date of birth, current address and phone number posted? You're not posting about illegal things.

Because right now, your entire digital life is being stored in government servers, and you are not anonymous. Read all the Guardian articles on this. Snowden says that anyone at NSA can search any detail on any citizen with no oversight.

Sure, you may never do anything that arouses the ire of a government worker, but surely you have to see that that kind of power, unchecked, in the hands of tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people that won't be held accountable is going to lead to some bad outcomes.

Anyone running for office can have their whole digital life examined. Anyone in business can be blackmailed. Don't you think that there will be some serious money to be made selling information on competing CEOs or that high value campaign contributors will get paid back via some information on adversaries, cheating spouses, etc.

The power is wonderful, when turned against our enemies. But the main issue that outrages most people, is that same power can be turned against political enemies with no checks and balances whatsoever. Even acknowledging the power publicly is subject to imprisonment.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:44 pm

Commodore Perry wrote:Because right now, your entire digital life is being stored in government servers, and you are not anonymous. Read all the Guardian articles on this. Snowden says that anyone at NSA can search any detail on any citizen with no oversight.

Sure, you may never do anything that arouses the ire of a government worker, but surely you have to see that that kind of power, unchecked, in the hands of tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people that won't be held accountable is going to lead to some bad outcomes.

Anyone running for office can have their whole digital life examined. Anyone in business can be blackmailed. Don't you think that there will be some serious money to be made selling information on competing CEOs or that high value campaign contributors will get paid back via some information on adversaries, cheating spouses, etc.

The power is wonderful, when turned against our enemies. But the main issue that outrages most people, is that same power can be turned against political enemies with no checks and balances whatsoever. Even acknowledging the power publicly is subject to imprisonment.


I dig, but here's where I'm coming from:

1. I have a wife, a child and a mortgage- if I do anything that alerts the feds to my activities, my priorities are way off base

2. If it's digital, it's fair game. The freedom of the internet comes with a price. And it should. With all manner of depravity and destruction that can be freely exchanged, there needs to be someone watching

3. Accountability. Everyone needs to be accountable. I like the fact that a billion dollar pederass can be reduced to a pile pennies and shame because some nerdy guy is good at computers. This is especially true of politicians. You sign up for position, you sign up for the scrutiny. Don't like it, get a real job.

If the world was a bunch of me and yous walking around, then I would be outraged. But it's not. It's a bunch of low-lifed, poorly-raised social degenerates that think everyone owes them something and any personal adversity they faced is cause to kill others.

I can't go to the movies, go to school, go to sporting events or travel without worrying I'm about to become collateral damage of some chuckle-fuck's plan get back at society because his parents should not have procreated, couldn't raise him properly, and he turned to some crazy ass religious extremists to find consolation.

I may not like it, but I understand it. I feel my greatest right is the right to not be killed in public by crazy assholes. If that means Big Brother is checking my browser history or listening to my phone calls, fine.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:13 pm

I may not like it, but I understand it. I feel my greatest right is the right to not be killed in public by crazy assholes. If that means Big Brother is checking my browser history or listening to my phone calls, fine.


Yeah that's all well and good.... but what about us who don't want that shit?

I'm not going to be spied on because you're afraid and willing to accept being buttfucked for a false sense of security.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby Orenthal » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:40 pm

I wouldn't trust this government with that type of information. Not because of their capability to be omniscient, but out of their ineptness.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby YahooFanChicago » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:34 am

I have one very simple question, no strike that. I have 2 simple questions:

1. Snowden says he gave up a great life in Hawaii and he made this big life sacrifice becuase he couldn't live in a society where the government acts in this way. If he can't tolerate a government that monitors it's citizens why would he relocate to....CHINA??

2. Why are none of the reporters asking him that question?

China should be in the lower 1/3 of the places someone who is worried about citizen's rights, confidentiality, human rights, etc. should go. That part of this story smells rotten. Maybe there is an explanation - - if I was the Guardian or Washington Post reporter it would have been my first question.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby YahooFanChicago » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:36 am

deleted..double post
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby YahooFanChicago » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:41 am

Cerebral_DownTime wrote:
I may not like it, but I understand it. I feel my greatest right is the right to not be killed in public by crazy assholes. If that means Big Brother is checking my browser history or listening to my phone calls, fine.


Yeah that's all well and good.... but what about us who don't want that shit?

I'm not going to be spied on because you're afraid and willing to accept being buttfucked for a false sense of security.


CDT,

If you were the government what would you have done after Sept 11th?
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby gotribe31 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:30 am

I'm not going to wade too deeply into this, but I'd like to get a couple of points out there:
1) Snowden is a scumbag who should be prosecuted just like Manning
2) The program is being severely mischaracterized and somewhat overblown. No one is reading your browser history or listening to your phone calls.
3) BP is still a wanker who continues to hurl stones while standing in front of his glass flat

Also, I don't think it would be getting so much play if Obama didn't pull the old bait and switch by campaigning against programs like these, then expanding them once he got in office. Just my $.02.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby jerryroche » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:17 am

Snowden is a patriot of the highest order. Who was it that said "Give me liberty or give me death?" Patrick Henry?
Yes, Snowden's also a criminal and must be punished as such. But that's the sacrifice he decided to make for his country.

He, like many of us old farts, simply doesn't trust Big Government, especially not with the corruption and malfeasance we've witnessed in the past 13 years. What may seem to some of you like no big deal today may seem like a real BIG deal tomorrow if the growth in corruption continues to correspond to the growth in size of the institution. (And, based on history, it probably will.)

Sorry...I've been a proud U.S. citizen for more than the 30 or 40 years that most of you have been around, and I've seen the difference between then and now. This continued government seizure of more and more privacy and more and more freedom will not end well. It just won't.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby jerryroche » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:06 am

This guy says it better in "USA Today" than I ever could. Except that he points a finger at Obama, which is only the place to be pointing fingers until a new guy takes over.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/06/10/nsa-spying-obama-column/2405991/
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby mattvan1 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:02 am

Cerebral_DownTime wrote:
I may not like it, but I understand it. I feel my greatest right is the right to not be killed in public by crazy assholes. If that means Big Brother is checking my browser history or listening to my phone calls, fine.


Yeah that's all well and good.... but what about us who don't want that shit?

I'm not going to be spied on because you're afraid and willing to accept being buttfucked for a false sense of security.


If the spying actually prevented terrible shit from happening this would be a more interesting discussion. So far, our liberties are being trampled for no apparent benefit.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:19 am

mattvan1 wrote:
Cerebral_DownTime wrote:
I may not like it, but I understand it. I feel my greatest right is the right to not be killed in public by crazy assholes. If that means Big Brother is checking my browser history or listening to my phone calls, fine.


Yeah that's all well and good.... but what about us who don't want that shit?

I'm not going to be spied on because you're afraid and willing to accept being buttfucked for a false sense of security.


If the spying actually prevented terrible shit from happening this would be a more interesting discussion. So far, our liberties are being trampled for no apparent benefit.


How exactly do we know that?
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:20 am

jerryroche wrote:Snowden is a patriot of the highest order. Who was it that said "Give me liberty or give me death?" Patrick Henry?
Yes, Snowden's also a criminal and must be punished as such. But that's the sacrifice he decided to make for his country.


I'm 30 and agree with your POV but this highlighted part is bullshit. Its no different than the attempted prosecution of Deric Lostutter (the member of Anonymous who exposed the Steubenville rape files). The guy stood up for whats right when the fucking law didn't. The concept of punishing someone who did the right thing, at least in these cases, is ridiculous. A bit hyperbole here, but there are Good Samaritan laws for a reason.

The bigger issue is intent. The NSA and FBI in all these cases are trying to push the intent angle which is patently absurd IE Snowden/Manning/Lostutter carried out their crimes with purpose of aiding the enemy or harming national security. These guys didn't leak information for person gain or to aid the enemy - they blew the whistle when they had reason to believe the government was basically stomping on the 4th amendment. The content of that material classified or not, especially in the Snowden case, is secondary to the lack of checks and balances represented by multiple layers of the government basically encouraging the lack of proper search and seizure of citizens who aren't suspects of a crime.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:33 am

motherscratcher wrote:
How exactly do we know that?


I won't answer for Matt here, but I'll reiterate my post above - what comes first the illusion of safety or the protection of citizens' rights from its own government? The nature of information gathered by the PRISM program and other sources used by the government is immaterial. The fact that its being done and systematically approved by Congress in conjunction with NSA/FBI is the issue at hand and I personally have a problem with it.

Could it have stopped an attack? Sure, but where does it end? Do I have anything to hide, no not really but it sure as fuck isn't the governments right to keep tabs on me without just cause. Also, because something is on the internet does not make it public domain. It makes it more susceptible to theft and exposure, but companies like Microsoft and Facebook have privacy clauses and ToC agreements for a reason.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:44 am

RickNashEquilibrium wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
How exactly do we know that?


I won't answer for Matt here, but I'll reiterate my post above - what comes first the illusion of safety or the protection of citizens' rights from its own government? The nature of information gathered by the PRISM program and other sources used by the government is immaterial. The fact that its being done and systematically approved by Congress in conjunction with NSA/FBI is the issue at hand and I personally have a problem with it.

Could it have stopped an attack? Sure, but where does it end? Do I have anything to hide, no not really but it sure as fuck isn't the governments right to keep tabs on me without just cause. Also, because something is on the internet does not make it public domain. It makes it more susceptible to theft and exposure, but companies like Microsoft and Facebook have privacy clauses and ToC agreements for a reason.


I think this is a bit of strawman argument. Basically you've given me a choice between Big Brother 1984 Government and "Illusion of safety" as if those are the only two outcomes. How do you know that safety is simply an illusion. How do you know that the government, in the form of teh NSA, FBI, SS CIA etc. haven't thwarted a bunch of attacks or threats using some of the very information that everyone seems so loath to give up?

I don't know. Maybe a lot. Maybe none. But I'm not going to pretend that I do know.

I'm willing to listen to Al's thoughts on the matter.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby jerryroche » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:27 am

RickNashEquilibrium wrote:The bigger issue is intent. The NSA and FBI in all these cases are trying to push the intent angle which is patently absurd IE Snowden/Manning/Lostutter carried out their crimes with purpose of aiding the enemy or harming national security. These guys didn't leak information for person gain or to aid the enemy - they blew the whistle when they had reason to believe the government was basically stomping on the 4th amendment. The content of that material classified or not, especially in the Snowden case, is secondary to the lack of checks and balances represented by multiple layers of the government basically encouraging the lack of proper search and seizure of citizens who aren't suspects of a crime.

If the Good Samaritan Laws apply here, you make great points. And if they don't, they should.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby mattvan1 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:46 am

motherscratcher wrote:
RickNashEquilibrium wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
How exactly do we know that?


I won't answer for Matt here, but I'll reiterate my post above - what comes first the illusion of safety or the protection of citizens' rights from its own government? The nature of information gathered by the PRISM program and other sources used by the government is immaterial. The fact that its being done and systematically approved by Congress in conjunction with NSA/FBI is the issue at hand and I personally have a problem with it.

Could it have stopped an attack? Sure, but where does it end? Do I have anything to hide, no not really but it sure as fuck isn't the governments right to keep tabs on me without just cause. Also, because something is on the internet does not make it public domain. It makes it more susceptible to theft and exposure, but companies like Microsoft and Facebook have privacy clauses and ToC agreements for a reason.


I think this is a bit of strawman argument. Basically you've given me a choice between Big Brother 1984 Government and "Illusion of safety" as if those are the only two outcomes. How do you know that safety is simply an illusion. How do you know that the government, in the form of teh NSA, FBI, SS CIA etc. haven't thwarted a bunch of attacks or threats using some of the very information that everyone seems so loath to give up?

I don't know. Maybe a lot. Maybe none. But I'm not going to pretend that I do know.

I'm willing to listen to Al's thoughts on the matter.


I think we'd have heard about the successes. I would be careful about lumping the FBI and CIA together with what is happening with the NSA surveillance. Completely different organizations chartered with protecting the nation in different ways. Lets not muddy the waters further by confusing fighting the bad guys with spying on your own people.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:48 am

motherscratcher wrote:I think this is a bit of strawman argument. Basically you've given me a choice between Big Brother 1984 Government and "Illusion of safety" as if those are the only two outcomes. How do you know that safety is simply an illusion. How do you know that the government, in the form of teh NSA, FBI, SS CIA etc. haven't thwarted a bunch of attacks or threats using some of the very information that everyone seems so loath to give up?

I don't know. Maybe a lot. Maybe none. But I'm not going to pretend that I do know.

I'm willing to listen to Al's thoughts on the matter.


The purpose of my question there was not on what has happened but what doors does it open in the future? If we concede that the grounds the government has set are tolerable, whats to say it doesn't allow this practice to funnel down to the state/local level? If we are going down the slippery slope of pissing on the 4th amendment at the federal level, do we as citizens even get a say if the federal government mandates that state governments can use these practices for local crimes? That's bullshit. You think local authorities should have that type of power/jurisdiction? My point is the constitution even at its age (and is a bit outdated in some regards) is still the best tangible thing we have to keep the government from infringing on its citizens. Again, I don't give a fuck if I or anyone else has nothing to hide - my problem is the concept of the government abusing its power by circumventing people's rights due to the ridiculous ambiguity set forth in the Patriot Act.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:53 am

mattvan1 wrote:I think we'd have heard about the successes. I would be careful about lumping the FBI and CIA together with what is happening with the NSA surveillance. Completely different organizations chartered with protecting the nation in different ways. Lets not muddy the waters further by confusing fighting the bad guys with spying on your own people.


Let's not confuse fighting the bad guys with spying on your own people? Isn't that the point of the whole thing for them to begin with...fighting the bad guys? Without the bad guys there is no spying.

Again, unless it's 1984. But it doesn't really feel that way to me.

And I was lumping FBI and CIA etc together as a generalized all encompassing kind of law enforcment apparatus who's ultimate task is to support and protect the USA, while aware that they all go about it different ways and work in different if slightly overlapping areas.

And I'm not sure why you are so certain we'd have heard about all of the successes. Unless I'm to believe that there have been no successes between 9/11 and Boston.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby gotribe31 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:07 pm

I have lots of thoughts on the matter. But none of them can really be shared in this forum. Wish I could, believe me. There are plenty of pros and cons that are worth discussing.

All I'll say is this; you hear 1000% more about intel failures than successes. And the details of successful operations are almost never fully revealed, for the simple reason that doing so would reduce the chance for further successes. And there are a couple of articles I've seen that have talked about specific instance where this program was used.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:25 pm

RickNashEquilibrium wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:I think this is a bit of strawman argument. Basically you've given me a choice between Big Brother 1984 Government and "Illusion of safety" as if those are the only two outcomes. How do you know that safety is simply an illusion. How do you know that the government, in the form of teh NSA, FBI, SS CIA etc. haven't thwarted a bunch of attacks or threats using some of the very information that everyone seems so loath to give up?

I don't know. Maybe a lot. Maybe none. But I'm not going to pretend that I do know.

I'm willing to listen to Al's thoughts on the matter.


The purpose of my question there was not on what has happened but what doors does it open in the future? If we concede that the grounds the government has set are tolerable, whats to say it doesn't allow this practice to funnel down to the state/local level? If we are going down the slippery slope of pissing on the 4th amendment at the federal level, do we as citizens even get a say if the federal government mandates that state governments can use these practices for local crimes? That's bullshit. You think local authorities should have that type of power/jurisdiction? My point is the constitution even at its age (and is a bit outdated in some regards) is still the best tangible thing we have to keep the government from infringing on its citizens. Again, I don't give a fuck if I or anyone else has nothing to hide - my problem is the concept of the government abusing its power by circumventing people's rights due to the ridiculous ambiguity set forth in the Patriot Act.


Don't disagree with that at all RNE. And I purposely have tried to stay away from the "nothing to hide" argument, because like you've alluded to, it's completely beside the point.

Reading your post here, it seems to me that the fault ultimately lies with the elected assholes that we've sent to Washington to represent our choices on matters like this. And if we don't like what they are doing we should send different assholes. The problem is that every time we send a different asshole he/she seems to be worse than the asshole they replaced.

It's a shitshow and I don't have an answer.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:33 pm

Well, as a tax-paying individual I have a feeling that the government already knows afair bit about me.
They know my race, age, sex, marital status, my kids and their ages, the value of my home, where it is, what I drive, how much I make, where I travel, what I buy, how much of it I buy, what weapons I've purchased and about a billion other things that I do. And they knew this prior to the NSA's efforts (or in part due to the NSA's prior efforts).
I'm also not naive enough to believe that when my email gets hacked and my entire address book gets Viagara ads emailed to them that the internet is "safe" from those with an interest in making it less so.
Now, I may be naive, but this just isn't a huge deal to me. I guess you can politicize it as you care to and I guess you can say it's another example of our right to privacy being further eroded.
But if you don't think that ship sailed years ago then I'm not the only one being naive.
This isn't a new development. It's just an updated methodology. Go ahead and toss your phones and disconnect your internet. Take your stand. See if things improve. If they do, drop me a letter in the mail so I know. Oh wait.... probably want to avoid the mail too.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby jerryroche » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:43 pm

FWIW, IMO, this is a great conversation, guys. Great points from both sides of the argument. Literate to boot, with lots to think about. I love TCF!
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:04 pm

peeker643 wrote:Well, as a tax-paying individual I have a feeling that the government already knows afair bit about me.
They know my race, age, sex, marital status, my kids and their ages, the value of my home, where it is, what I drive, how much I make, where I travel, what I buy, how much of it I buy, what weapons I've purchased and about a billion other things that I do. And they knew this prior to the NSA's efforts (or in part due to the NSA's prior efforts).
I'm also not naive enough to believe that when my email gets hacked and my entire address book gets Viagara ads emailed to them that the internet is "safe" from those with an interest in making it less so.
Now, I may be naive, but this just isn't a huge deal to me. I guess you can politicize it as you care to and I guess you can say it's another example of our right to privacy being further eroded.
But if you don't think that ship sailed years ago then I'm not the only one being naive.
This isn't a new development. It's just an updated methodology. Go ahead and toss your phones and disconnect your internet. Take your stand. See if things improve. If they do, drop me a letter in the mail so I know. Oh wait.... probably want to avoid the mail too.


:thumb up: Agree
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:06 pm

Here's one of the afore mentioned assholes on the topic...Al Franken:

“I’m on the Judiciary committee and the Judiciary committee has jurisdiction (over) N.S.A. and on (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) and the Patriot Act,” he said. “I availed myself of these briefings so nothing surprised me and the architecture of these programs I was very well aware of.”

“I think there should be enough transparency that the American people understand what is happening…But I can assure you that this isn’t about spying on the American people.”

Franken, chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, also said there are aspects of security programs that he should be aware of but the public should not.

“There are certain things that are appropriate for me to know that’s not appropriate for the bad guys to know,” he said. “Anything that quote the American people know, the bad guys know so there’s a line here, right? And there’s a balance that has to be struck between the responsibility of the federal government to protect the American people and then people’s right to privacy. We have safeguards in place …The American people can’t know everything because everything they know then, the bad guys will know.”

He said that the data the security agency has collected have kept Americans safe.

“I have a high level of confidence, that it is used…to protect us and I know that it has been successful in preventing terrorism,” he said.


I suspect that how most people react to this was already shaped by whether or not they like Franken to begin with.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:06 pm

motherscratcher wrote:Reading your post here, it seems to me that the fault ultimately lies with the elected assholes that we've sent to Washington to represent our choices on matters like this. And if we don't like what they are doing we should send different assholes. The problem is that every time we send a different asshole he/she seems to be worse than the asshole they replaced.

It's a shitshow and I don't have an answer.


Amazing how many things boil down to this exact point which, in the end, is up for us to ultimately fix by giving more of a shit about the people supposedly representing us. Doesn't mean we only focus on one piece when some uncivil discourse is necessary (in this case even people like Snowden) to make change, or at the very least, make visible the unjust doings done to people whether they care or not. I guess what I'm trying to say is get all the facts out there and let people judge themselves. Just don't infringe on my civil liberties and tell me its for the greater good without me having a say in the matter.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:15 pm

peeker643 wrote:Well, as a tax-paying individual I have a feeling that the government already knows afair bit about me.
They know my race, age, sex, marital status, my kids and their ages, the value of my home, where it is, what I drive, how much I make, where I travel, what I buy, how much of it I buy, what weapons I've purchased and about a billion other things that I do. And they knew this prior to the NSA's efforts (or in part due to the NSA's prior efforts).
I'm also not naive enough to believe that when my email gets hacked and my entire address book gets Viagara ads emailed to them that the internet is "safe" from those with an interest in making it less so.
Now, I may be naive, but this just isn't a huge deal to me. I guess you can politicize it as you care to and I guess you can say it's another example of our right to privacy being further eroded.
But if you don't think that ship sailed years ago then I'm not the only one being naive.
This isn't a new development. It's just an updated methodology. Go ahead and toss your phones and disconnect your internet. Take your stand. See if things improve. If they do, drop me a letter in the mail so I know. Oh wait.... probably want to avoid the mail too.


I'm not as jaded as this, but I understand your perspective and agree with most of this. I guess it just a quantitative judgement on how much someone cares about their privacy. YMMV. I'll reiterate - my problem isn't just the right of privacy - its the wanton manner in which the government is using its power. Checks and balances and all that.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby mattvan1 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:42 pm

peeker643 wrote:Well, as a tax-paying individual I have a feeling that the government already knows afair bit about me.
They know my race, age, sex, marital status, my kids and their ages, the value of my home, where it is, what I drive, how much I make, where I travel, what I buy, how much of it I buy, what weapons I've purchased and about a billion other things that I do. And they knew this prior to the NSA's efforts (or in part due to the NSA's prior efforts).
I'm also not naive enough to believe that when my email gets hacked and my entire address book gets Viagara ads emailed to them that the internet is "safe" from those with an interest in making it less so.
Now, I may be naive, but this just isn't a huge deal to me. I guess you can politicize it as you care to and I guess you can say it's another example of our right to privacy being further eroded.
But if you don't think that ship sailed years ago then I'm not the only one being naive.
This isn't a new development. It's just an updated methodology. Go ahead and toss your phones and disconnect your internet. Take your stand. See if things improve. If they do, drop me a letter in the mail so I know. Oh wait.... probably want to avoid the mail too.


To paraphrase - our liberties are being eroded but there's nothing we can do about it

Then fuck it dude, let's go bowling ;-) ;) :wink:

On a serious note, the government does know a lot about you. But you know they know and there are certain things that cannot, for the most part, be avoided. Like filing a tax return. But there is a line; where it is no one seems to know exactly, but when some contractor, who worked for BAH for only 3 months, can just decide on a whim (maybe he hates people from Ohio) to crawl up the rectum on Mr. Brian McPeek without just cause or due process, the system is broken.

The potential abuse is mind numbing. And to those who are just going through life minding their own business with nothing to fear - how do you know what happens in the future? NRA member - government hates that. Voted Tea Party last election - government hates that. Lurk on certain websites, maybe some Right to Life or Pro China Democracy or 4chan/B - who is to say that in 10 years these will not be viewed as suspicious by some new administration?
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby mattvan1 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:46 pm

gotribe31 wrote:I have lots of thoughts on the matter. But none of them can really be shared in this forum. Wish I could, believe me. There are plenty of pros and cons that are worth discussing.

All I'll say is this; you hear 1000% more about intel failures than successes. And the details of successful operations are almost never fully revealed, for the simple reason that doing so would reduce the chance for further successes. And there are a couple of articles I've seen that have talked about specific instance where this program was used.


Al - depsite Moscrather's attempt to paint me as an FBI hater ;-) ;) :wink: I'd be interested in your thoughts on Coleen Rowley http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/11/opinion/rowley-nsa-surveillance/index.html
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:55 pm

I don't think the paraphrasing captures what I was trying (perhaps unsuccessfully) to say: I'm saying this has gone on since the Declaration was drafted and only the methodology of how it goes on changes with time.

I don't necessarily think your rights are being any more violated today than they were 20 years ago. I just think instead of doing it via mail and land line it's done via email and cell phones.

We've all always been observed and observable. It's just more efficiently done in this day and age.

And if there are people overstepping the boundaries then those people need to be replaced and/or maybe buried in a shallow grave somewhere.

I also tend to agree with Al that there is need for some of it, as their always has.

I just don't get too concerned with this.

If that makes me a stooge and an ignorant vessel of naivete, so be it.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby mattvan1 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:56 pm

motherscratcher wrote:
mattvan1 wrote:I think we'd have heard about the successes. I would be careful about lumping the FBI and CIA together with what is happening with the NSA surveillance. Completely different organizations chartered with protecting the nation in different ways. Lets not muddy the waters further by confusing fighting the bad guys with spying on your own people.


Let's not confuse fighting the bad guys with spying on your own people? Isn't that the point of the whole thing for them to begin with...fighting the bad guys? Without the bad guys there is no spying.

Again, unless it's 1984. But it doesn't really feel that way to me.

And I was lumping FBI and CIA etc together as a generalized all encompassing kind of law enforcment apparatus who's ultimate task is to support and protect the USA, while aware that they all go about it different ways and work in different if slightly overlapping areas.

And I'm not sure why you are so certain we'd have heard about all of the successes. Unless I'm to believe that there have been no successes between 9/11 and Boston.


Please tell me that you can see the difference between using electronic surveillence on a person of interest who has been profiled and meets a certain criteria and simply grabbing cell phone traffic for 5,000,000 Verizon subscribers.

BTW, these folks doubt that a "novell intelligence from massive data" program can be successful in stopping terrorist plots.

Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists: A Framework for Assessment
http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12452.html
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:07 pm

mattvan1 wrote:Please tell me that you can see the difference between using electronic surveillence on a person of interest who has been profiled and meets a certain criteria and simply grabbing cell phone traffic for 5,000,000 Verizon subscribers.

BTW, these folks doubt that a "novell intelligence from massive data" program can be successful in stopping terrorist plots.

Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists: A Framework for Assessment
http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12452.html


Of course I can. Please tell me you don't believe that Big Brother recorded and listened to the calls of 5,000,000 verizon subscribers.
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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:12 pm

mattvan1 wrote:Please tell me that you can see the difference between using electronic surveillence on a person of interest who has been profiled and meets a certain criteria and simply grabbing cell phone traffic for 5,000,000 Verizon subscribers.

BTW, these folks doubt that a "novell intelligence from massive data" program can be successful in stopping terrorist plots.

Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists: A Framework for Assessment
http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12452.html


I get that for sure. It's infuriating and wrong and repugnant and not connected to defense by and large. So those engaging in that practice should be dealt with severely.

I don't mind that my doctor knows everything I ingest and every issue with my body and my health. I understand it's necessary. But I'd have an issue with her selling that info to marketers or blackmailing me with it by threatening to show it to Progressive officials ;-) ;) :wink: .
"Great minds think alike. The opposite is also true."

"None of us is as dumb as all of us."


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Re: NSA documents leaked: Obama is watching you

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:17 pm

motherscratcher wrote:
mattvan1 wrote:Please tell me that you can see the difference between using electronic surveillence on a person of interest who has been profiled and meets a certain criteria and simply grabbing cell phone traffic for 5,000,000 Verizon subscribers.

BTW, these folks doubt that a "novell intelligence from massive data" program can be successful in stopping terrorist plots.

Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists: A Framework for Assessment
http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12452.html


Of course I can. Please tell me you don't believe that Big Brother recorded and listened to the calls of 5,000,000 verizon subscribers.



"'Sup, dude?"
"Nothing, bro. Call ya back in an hour when GoT is over?"
"Cool"
<click>

or

"Hello"
"Busy working or can ya talk?"
"No...I have a minute.."
"Just checking to see if ya grabbed he tent from Christina for the grad party?"
"Getting it tonight on the way home."
"Excellent...thanks. Have a good afternoon."
"You too. Love you."
"Love you too."
<click>

I can see the anger flickering in the NSA opeartive's eyes and audits being scheduled, lives headed down the path to destruction.
"Great minds think alike. The opposite is also true."

"None of us is as dumb as all of us."


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