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posted by Cactus on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the least-untruthful-answer dept.

r00t writes:

"In September of 2013, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper stated that there were many 'important reasons' for the overly broad scope of the NSA's information collection programs. Among the reasons listed was that 'it could provide the United States and our allies early warning of international financial crises which could negatively impact the global economy.' Also mentioned was the long standing argument that the 'collection of information ... saves lives.'

In the months since the NSA data collections have come to light, many people question [pdf] the efficacy of the programs.

Now, in an exclusive interview, with The Beast, Clapper says that the NSA should have been more transparent about the secret programs. 'I probably shouldn't say this, but I will. Had we been transparent about this from the outset, we wouldn't have had the problem we had'. However, he still defends the practice by comparing it to 'fire insurance.'"

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:10AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:10AM (#3108)

    Because they wanted to dance with her all night long. Then McFly showed up, gave 'em a shiner, took their lady and had a happy ending? But watch out, they'll be back sooner than you think to try and change the future.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Bob9113 on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:17AM

    by Bob9113 (1967) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:17AM (#3111)

    However, he still defends the practice by comparing it to 'fire insurance.'

    One problem with that comparison. Fires are statistically a far greater threat.

    [In 2012] U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,375,000 fires. These fires resulted in 2,855 civilian fire fatalities, 16,500 civilian fire injuries and an estimated $12,427,000,000 in direct property loss. - NFPA Report [nfpa.org]

    Deaths is the easiest one to compare on. If you assume there will be another 9/11 tomorrow, the U.S. loses about 250 lives per year to terrorism on average, making fire ten times as great a threat to life.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Nerdfest on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:21AM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:21AM (#3116)

      In this case, the insurance is also more expensive and more dangerous that that which it covers. They are breaking the law, and they have little to no oversight, and they have threatened to use gathered information against what they term 'radicals'.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by dry on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:54AM

        by dry (223) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:54AM (#3181) Journal

        use gathered information against what they term 'radicals'.

        To me this is the scariest part of the spying. My government has shown a habit to consider any opposition to itself to consist of "radicals" and considers dealing with them worth bending and breaking the law as they consider their policies to be necessary for the country. Breaking the law includes letting the NSA establish listening posts and trading information with other countries such as the USA.
        This gives the government "insurance" against opposition and "insurance" in targeting groups to politically neutralize through various means from making voting harder to having agents provocateur to discredit them.
        The other sad thing with the spying coming out is the damper on free speech. People have to watch out for electronically communicating anything that our governments considers radical lest they be targeted. And with the trading of information stopping domestic spying isn't enough, spying needs to be severely curtailed amongst allied countries.

    • (Score: 1) by MaxiCat_42 on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:15AM

      by MaxiCat_42 (2087) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:15AM (#3194)

      Seems just like normal insurance - it never seems to produce any pay back.

      Phil.

      --
      Lexicostatistical Glottochronology - you know it makes since.
    • (Score: 1) by mhajicek on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:59PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:59PM (#3432)

      Time for a fire sale?

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by andrew on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:21AM

    by andrew (755) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:21AM (#3117)

    At this point I just assume everything Clapper says is a lie and not with the bits it been transmitted with.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by hemocyanin on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:26AM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:26AM (#3122) Journal

    When you commit perjury to Congress, this is what you get:

    shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1001 [cornell.edu]

    Unless of course, you are part of the ruling elite to which the law does not apply. Ever. Even when caught: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9ss2_0emOY [youtube.com]

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by osiguru on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:22AM

      by osiguru (1148) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:22AM (#3199) Homepage

      I've written to Dianne Feinstein on this Clapper/Purgist issue directly. How could she consider the opinion of this man?

      She is quite mum on the topic. To this issue, she wasn't human enough to forward even a terse form letter response.
      To hell with the lot of them, there is some biblical phrase that works here...

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:08AM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:08AM (#3217) Journal

        Asking Feinstein to do anything contrary to police state practices is like asking Satan to spare a kitten. She's a huge friend of masspionage so there is no way she would do anything but protect Clapper.

      • (Score: 5, Funny) by smurd on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:42AM

        by smurd (1406) on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:42AM (#3362)

        NSA: Hi, Dainne? I want you to forget about the the time my boss lied to you.

        Dianne: Why would I do that?

        NSA: Remember the phone conversation where a developer tried to bribe you? It was on 3/18/2011 at 4:18pm and lasted for 26 minutes 8 seconds? Where you mentioned your rental propertery at 516 S. 8th street?

        Dainne: I told him I didn't want the bribe....

        NSA; I guess that would depend on how it was edited.... do you have a copy? We do.
                          P.S. I need a raise.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:54PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:54PM (#3394)
          Modded +1 informative, because... you see... what if the joker above actually do have some links inside NSA? Would be good to have a friend like him... me thinks.
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by combatserver on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:43AM

    by combatserver (38) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:43AM (#3136)

    " 'I probably shouldn't say this, but I will. Had we been transparent about this from the outset, we wouldn't have had the problem we had' "

    I am curious to see how Clapper, et al, have solved the problem.

    --
    I hope I can change this later...
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by frojack on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:00AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:00AM (#3147) Journal

      He thinks its over, because the utterly useless changes the administration announced closes the issue as far as he is concerned. After all, he's not in jail yet.

      He is probably right, like a frog in a pot of slowly heating pot water, creeping surveillance would probably have gone virtually unnoticed until we woke up in total slavery to the government.

      But he wasn't describing what should have been the plan. He just announced the NEW PLAN.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1) by koreanbabykilla on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:09AM

      by koreanbabykilla (968) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:09AM (#3154)

      I read this "If we would have just told all you peons that we can and will do whatever the fuck we want and answer to no one so shut the fuck up or we will disapear your dumb asses, Snowden wouldn't have mattered"

      The problem is solved as far as he is concerned, Snowden cant take any more info.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by everdred on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:21AM

      by everdred (110) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:21AM (#3157) Homepage Journal

      > the problem we had

      Not to Godwin this thread so soon, but a quote about telling "a big lie frequently enough" comes to mind.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TrumpetPower! on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:50AM

    by TrumpetPower! (590) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:50AM (#3177) Homepage

    ...because, short of at least a political revolution, we're never even going to have the pretense of a new boss again.

    Some of all y'all might remember a little incident a few decades ago at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. Some of then-President Nixon's operatives got caught red-handed trying to spy on his political opponents.

    If you think Nixon wouldn't have used the NSA had they had the capabilities they do today, I've got some prime Arizona oceanfront property to sell you.

    And if you think today's NSA, especially in light of their activities spying on everybody from girlfriends to foreign heads of state, isn't playing fast and loose with power politics, I'll even add a bridge to the land deal.

    Cheers,

    b&

    --
    All but God can prove this sentence true.