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Monday, October 24, 2016

Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) said he did everything “short of leaking classified information” to bring attention to NSA surveillance. And though he’s not happy about the leaks that have revealed government tracking of Americans’ metadata, he wants to use this opportunity to reopen the PATRIOT Act.

“My main concern is Americans don’t know the extent they’re being surveilled,” Udall told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.” We hear this term metadata, which has to do with when you make calls, where you make calls to, who you’re talking to. I think that’s private information. I think if the government is gathering that, the American people ought to know it. We ought to have a discussion about it. And frankly I think we ought to reopen the PATRIOT Act and put some limits on the amount of data the National Security Administration is collecting.”

“Terrorism remains a real threat. But I think we also cue to the Bill of Rights,” Udall added.

“Let’s have a debate here. Let’s look at what’s really happening. It’s what I was trying to draw attention to two years ago.”

The senator distinguished between the two programs that have been making news. He said the so-called PRISM program has been “highly effective.” But he thinks the metadata collection of millions of Americans by the NSA requires further discussion in Congress now that these revelations have been made.

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  • Michael Kollmorgen

    The Government isn’t the only one who is in the Surveillance Business as far as the internet and your phone is concerned.

    Install “Ghostery” on your local machine and bring up this page or any webpage. You’ll see anywhere from 1 to as many 30+ “tracking services” which is tracking your IP Address.

    These services IS NOT government intrusion into your privacy. They are Corporate Snooping Tracking Program that gather data on you; where you go, what you buy and even what you talk about.

    What is dangerous is what our government does in as far as our privacy on the Internet. Under certain conditions, our government established sting operations on foreign soil that will have you arrested on even something as simple as downloading a movie that is being shown on foreign soil that is not be shown in the US yet.

    I have a friend in prison right now for doing this exact thing – 5 years. What is absolutely scary about this is not so much what our government and our corporations are doing to us on US Soil, but what these entities have done to enlist a foreign country to repress OUR privacy, our liberties here in the states.

    In essence what they have been doing is manipulating the sovereign rights of a foreign country.

    But, anyone that has any knowledge of the Internet should be totally aware that there is NO privacy on it. And, our phone system isn’t all that much different either.

    And, I suspect, this is going to get a lot worse.

    • Jim Myers

      The reality is that the internet and our phone system have become, and will increasingly become, intertwined.

      It is likely that in the not to distant future, they will become one and the same.

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        With more and more people dropping their land-lines in favor of VOP, absolutely, it will become more intertwined.

        The Internet is my primary preference for TV Viewing now. I hate Cable and most of my viewing now is using a Roku Box and Netflix. My choices are nearly unlimited of what I want to watch.

        It may come to pass where everything we do will be on the Internet. But, I’ll tell ya, these Internet Providers are really lagging behind the rest of the world in SERVICE. Most of the modern world’s cities are run now with Fiber Optics, not copper directly into their homes. This provides the homeowner over there with 10 times the bandwidth we pay a high premium for, which is way too expensive for what we get.

    • RobertCHastings

      I was talking with my son earlier today. He called to wish me a happy Father’s Day, bless his heart. He used to have an X-box, something we all feel to totally innocuous, just a game to amuse. However, he really opened my eyes. With their connection to Netflix and others, they are doing more data mining than the NSA. We complain about the NSA monitoring our phone calls, but x-box mines all kinds of consumer information. If more folks are in front of the game box than the requisite number, you are required to register him before proceeding, generating more data. Big Brother sure is watching.

  • Dominick Vila

    Domestic surveillance has been around since, at least, the J. Edgar Hoover days. This is nothing new, and considering the threat posed by hate groups, by radical elements like the Tsarnaev brothers, and the fact that some of the 9/11 terrorists lived and studied in the USA before that tragedy occurred, our problem is not that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies are monitoring activities at home, but the fact that the technology and concepts they use are not robust enough to preclude tragedies like 9/11, Boston, and others.

    • ram1020

      There is no doubt that domestic surveillance is necessary; however, this broad surveillance does not seem to prevent actions like those of the Tsarnaev brothers. Maybe a more focused surveillance would be more effective and less intrusive.
      The broad surveillance allows identification and allows actions to be taken against those that may not generally considered by the public to be “enemies of the state”.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      The entire problem is, is that no matter what type of technology we might have available, IT will never predict what someone is capable of doing.

      It can predict trends, statistics, things on this level. But, if that person can stay hidden, away from trouble, no tickets, no fines, in another words, no public record of misdeeds, it will never find that one specific person that’ll bomb an entire city.

      So, really, all this surveillance is doing nothing but repressing our freedoms and liberties.

      • Dominick Vila

        That is very true. Technology and effective surveillance may allow us to control and monitor physical movement, it does little to reveal what is in people’s minds, and there lies the problem.

    • idamag

      Good heavens, just read the lists of people J Edgar Hoover was tracking. Even school clubs and social networks.

      • Allan Richardson

        J. Edgar congratulated Desi Arnaz on his wife’s pregnancy before Lucy even had a chance to call her husband and tell him herself! His “spy” in the doctor’s office called him personally with that bit of intelligence. Did spying on a TV star’s personal life make America safer?

    • The_Magic_M

      The belief that something like 9/11 could never happen with proper surveillance is only correct if you assume Orwellian levels of spying on citizens.
      Anyone can take flying lessons, smuggle a knife aboard a plane and try to repeat this. (Well, at least such a person wouldn’t necessarily be caught before trying to enter the plane, that is.)

      I’m not saying surveillance is bad because it *does* uncover terrorist plots (most we may never know about), but there has to be some equilibrium between protection and freedom, you can’t have 100% of both and you shouldn’t have to choose one over the other, either.

  • Peter Brown

    I applaud the governement for their new non profiling approach to spying on their own citizens. We are all under the loupe and we are all under the gun. There are silver linings of course, I intend to charge the governement for the use of my personal data. I also suggest that we do a freedom of information request to see how much support the actual spies, Facebook, Google and others have received both in cash and in access to DARPA systems and facilities.

  • Allan Richardson

    Perhaps we should hold a national referendum on this issue: choose (a) perfect safety and no privacy, or (b) perfect privacy and no safety from terrorist attacks.

    It is worth pointing out that, while the 9/11 attack killed over 3000 people in one place on one day, other causes of death outweigh even a hypothetical ANNUAL occurrence of a similar attack by large amounts. Every year, 27000 uninsured people die because they cannot get medical help other than ER (and this, no follow up on whatever sent them to the ER). This is equivalent to nine 9/11 attacks a year, every year. That is what Obamacare is intended to reduce. Likewise, thousands of people are killed with guns every year who PROBABLY could have been saved if SOME people did not get guns. We pay little attention to the one-at-a-time tragedies.

  • LaRae Bailey

    the facts are that it is a flat out violation of our constitution, a piece of lies they are selling us to shut us up while they continue to be even more invasive, and if we sit back and do nothing here it is going to get nothing but worse real fast. they have been caught again with their fingers in the cookie jar and now must be forced to stop. this is not a move to stop terroists, it is directed at american citizens.. if it was for terror then they would be closing our skies to the open travel of saudis, require them to use passports, have background checks and secure all borders. they have zero interest in any of these things. just to spy and lie to us..listen to the Blaze and get educated please

    • metrognome3830

      I agree with your opposition to our government placing us all under surveillance. I am afraid that there is no way to stop all those who would try to harm us. I think it is something those of us who don’t wish to give up our freedom will just have to learn to live with. I absolutely disagree with your advice to listen to the Blaze for any education. Crackpot conspiracy theories, maybe, but not education.

      • LaRae Bailey

        Glen Beck does tell us of his thoughts, and some agree that they are kind of out there… but he has predicted everything these fools in this administration have done and will do. He has sources none of the rest of them do, he will report things months before the others will report them, if they choose to report them at all. not once have I heard of any of them be able to prove him incorrect… ABC,NBC,FOX, CNN,CBS all have marriage partners inside the whitehouse or a family member.. so they do not report. when the Bengahzi story finally broke, Glen went on Fox with Bill O and the next week Fox began to open the story. if Glen had not done that we would all still be in the dark. He is honest, open , sincere, believes in god, charity and loves the USA. our freedom is his goal. worth listening too in my opinion and I watch and listen or read many of them everyday. thanks for your opinion though. Have a nice day and continue to teach the ill informed.

  • Robert P. Robertson

    The Bush/Cheney Patriot Act actually tapped telephone conversations, hacked into computers, and read mail. This NSA thing is toy’s play compared to what it did under Bush/Cheney. Many of us complained and whined about it, but what good did it do? It sure as hell didn’t stop it. This surveillance is gathered to observe the certain patterns of calls and communications that the intelligence community is aware that terrorists use. It doesn’t barge in, listen to calls, or hack into computers. The only difference between this and the Bush/Cheney Patriot Act is it said “Fuck you!” and kicked your privacy door in, and this one tip toed quietly across the hall and softly closed the door behind it.

  • ArchiesBoy

    As I understand it, the NSA claims that simply collecting *everything* and sorting out later is their easiest and most effective method. That’s certainly open to debate. It seems to me that once they find out who’s innocent and who’s suspect, they should cut off the surveillance activity on the good folks. Wire Magazine has the best piece on this that I’ve seen: