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Do you care if the National Security Agency collects records of your phone calls?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 12, 2006

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Photo of Kate Johnston

“No, because they know that I called, but they won’t know what I said. Unless that’s not how it works, then I would care.”

Photo of Duke Tran

“Well our rights are our rights, and that impedes on everything we as Americans believe in. It doesn’t really bother me personally. I guess it’s kind of comforting that they’re working on something, but it really is a violation.”

Photo of Chris Dockery

“Yes, I do, because it’s none of their business who I call. That’s as simple as I can put it.”

Photo of Rachel Spitza

“I’m not doing anything wrong, so I don’t care if they have my records. I think it’s important to have that privacy; but if they really want to listen in, then I say go for it.”

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Comments

Multidisciplinary 7 years, 11 months ago

Ceal, yes I have, he hasn't had as much time to spend on the board, he has posted on a few others. Nothing drastic happening, the usual kind of ups and downs so to speak. Why don't you drop them a line, he'd love to hear from you.

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militant 7 years, 11 months ago

The security agencies have had the ability to monitor domestic and international phonecalls using computers with voice recognition software for over 30 years and they've done it all along. S what'sall the fuss now???

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hottruckinmama 7 years, 11 months ago

i grew up in the country. we were on a 4 party line. i learned early not to say anything on the phone i didn't want half the neighborhood to know.

still i find this phone thing creepy. but you know what...as long as that man is in the white house and half the public are acting like sheep in a blizzard..we can expect more of it.

enough said. its to nice of an evening to dwell on republicans.

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Ceallach 7 years, 11 months ago

sue, thanks and Happy Mother's Day to you!

jim, I worked there a little later than that, but since people never seem to change, the stories are probably the same :)

btw, has anyone heard from our bearded_gnome? I hope he and Yellow Rose are okay!!! (and of course, gnome dog :)

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Ceallach 7 years, 11 months ago

Multi, hang on girl. Lots of us are lifting up you and yours.

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 11 months ago

Wishing all the mothers, grandmothers, non-evil stepmothers, mother wanna-bes, foster mothers, birth mothers, adoptive mothers, aunts, significant women in children's lives, etc...a very happy mother's day weekend!

Men: This is a reminder: It's not too late to plan something. What we really want is to NOT cook, clean, do laundry, listen to screaming children, etc...just for one itty bitty day. Thanks. -The Management :o) p.s. a card from the kiddies would be nice too. Homemade ones are the best! Oh, and a massage...not from the kiddies! ;o)

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jimincountry 7 years, 11 months ago

My sis worked as long distance operator for southwestern bell in kc in 50's and had great stories to tell.

I do hope the NSA nails all the terrorists and I don't care that NSA sees my phone bill!!!

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 11 months ago

In 1891 a undertaker built the first "automatic" phone exchange to eliminate the operator from routing calls, and listening in. It seems the phone exchange operator was popping the rival undertaker in town, and "data mining" business away from him. This was in KCMO.

Eventually someone will come up with a better mouse trap.

In the mean time, since we only use 5-10% of our brains capacity, I am gonna concentrate on telepathic communication..

It worked for the little train that could..... . . I think I can, I think I can, I think I can

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enochville 7 years, 11 months ago

What are you talking about Multi?

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Multidisciplinary 7 years, 11 months ago

It will be interesting to see just what this Mother's Day will bring. Will the fragile one stay or pass on to peace forever? Or will we still be sitting this fence, teetering, worn, fearful either way?

Thanks to all for the kind words and wishes.

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 11 months ago

Ceal, My mom worked as a phone operator back in the day of "plug and pull." She lived in a very small town and often got bored on the job. You guessed it...she listened in. My mom has never been big on gossip but I guess her views on eavesdropping were somewhat more lax. ;)

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Ceallach 7 years, 11 months ago

kcwarpony: Yet I still use a cell phone -- even less secure:):)

When I make calls to the contact person in my sleeper cell I use pay phones, chosen at random, just to keep the gov guessing.

Earnestine was a hoot!!! I worked there for several years -- information, back in the day when information calls were handled locally and worked special assistance for those who need help making long distance calls. Boy, the things you learn about people that way!!! The "Operator" is usually this non-person in their minds and they say some of the most outrageous things to other people near them while waiting for their call to go through. Sometimes you want to say -- hello!! I can hear you!! But most of the time I just laughed and then talk about them when I got home :)

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classclown 7 years, 11 months ago

I wonder how many of you are worried about the government knowing about all your phone sex calls. :P

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kcwarpony 7 years, 11 months ago

Ceallach, You worked at Ma Bell! Well, now I've got an image of Lily Tomlin's Ernestine in my head... "One ringy dingy, two ringy dingy"...

I have trust in you that you know what your talking about. So this "when the big boys "read" your line, you will never know it!" Really didn't make me feel any better :o)

I may never pick up a phone again...

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enochville 7 years, 11 months ago

Here is the deal. The Supreme Court has ruled that there is no expectation that a record of the numbers we call should be private, so all of you who have a problem with it need to get your representatives to propose an amendment that explicitly says those records need a warrant to be looked by law enforcement. It is very difficult to get an amendment to pass. Complaining about it here is not going to do anything unless you are trying to get support for your amendment.

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sunflower_sue 7 years, 11 months ago

RI, "Bud Select message drop?" Now that's funny! I don't care who you are!

Bea, failurings? Maybe we should call that a Bea-ism?

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one_more_bob 7 years, 11 months ago

If they look up the calls to 1-900-hot-monkey-love, I'm in trouble.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 11 months ago

What is their criteria for choosing which phone records to collect? If someone signs a petition to impeach Bush, do they end up on the list? If you belong to that "terrorist" group, National Education Association, are you're phone records monitored. What is the ratio of registered Republicans and Democrats in those records? Are non-Christians over represented?

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enochville 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, Gootsie and ms_Canada!

And Happy Mother's Day to all! And to all a good night!

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beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago

Did I actually write the word "failurings?" Sounds more like a Bush-ism!

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YourItalianPrincess 7 years, 11 months ago

Kind of weird to know that the NSA is collecting my phone calls. They aren't going to hear anything big.....so I guess who cares.

Happy Mother's Day to anyone who happens to be a mom out there. I didn't want to leave anyone out this year. Have a wonderful Mom's Day and relax.

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beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago

Well then oldenuf, you got your one agenda item taken care of, but at what price? Was it really worth it? Since you had your one agenda item in advance, it doesn't sound like you would have voted for a Dem no matter who the person was, so why say the Dems are responsible for the present situation? You voted for Bush despite his failures during his first term, so now accept the blame for his continued failurings, and quit trying to blame others!

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neopolss 7 years, 11 months ago

It was a joke bobberboy. I expected a laugh.

ummmm, fruitcakes & roundabouts?

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neopolss 7 years, 11 months ago

Odds and ends:

Terrorist - the worst new word of the "post 9/11 world" Somehow by calling them something other than foot soldiers using guerilla tactics, they lose the Geneva convention privilages. This in itself is dangerous.

Prevention - Stripping our freedoms slowly in order to afford safety, and then realizing that your enemies will still strike you if they are determined to do so.

Media - Moving from plot to plot, finding the best new story. The average American who gains their news only from five minute spots on TV are ultimately ill-informed. These distractions also take focus from the war, etc. Last week, we were arguing over immigration. Where's that now? Buried. Onto something new. And the people keep eating it up.

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neopolss 7 years, 11 months ago

Does this mean that most overseas calls are monitored? That would suck. Anyone calling for PC support's going to be flagged. Stupid outsourcing...

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm not going to debate who was the most/least patriotic/traitorous. But, I do feel as if EVERY political party has done their part(s) to destroy democracy by NEVER giving the voters options. Kerry WAS a turd, and wasn't worthy of my vote. Bush IS a turd, but he did do the one thing I wanted him to do: stacked the court against Roe. But now I feel like saying "GOOOD dog! Here's your biscuit. Now take your broken english back to Texas!"

Democracy in America is nearly BROKEN. I mean really BROKEN. My vote only counts when/if my choices are NOT limited to Bush, Kerry & Nader.

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Ceallach 7 years, 11 months ago

bea, you can lead a conservative to a tree, but you can't make them hug it :):)

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beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago

"bea, You're completely right. The repub party has lost its way."

bankboy, I'm gonna make a liberal out of you yet. ; )

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 11 months ago

The same week "Poseidon" is released, Freedom of the Sea sails. . . . Coincidence?

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 11 months ago

No, Das, I liked your sidetrack. It was good. I was happy to read it.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 11 months ago

And for those of you who say, "it's okay. They're just listing numbers, they're not listening in"...are you sure?? Until a couple of days ago, we had no idea that they were recording all the phone numbers that you call, and they weren't going to announce it, either. If they can record all the phone numbers you call without your knowledge, they can record your conversations without your knowledge, too.

How can you be so damned sure??

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Das_Ubermime 7 years, 11 months ago

sgt,

I don't know either. I think that I was originally meaning to take it in another direction and got side-tracked... Sorry, I had a cold yesterday and am still thinking through a bit of a fog...

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 11 months ago

Anyone remember how, just a short time ago, there was stuff all over the news, on CNN, etc., about websites that had people's cell phone numbers listed? There have been a few attempts to get phone books specifically for cell numbers created, and thousands and thousands of cell users objected, saying it was private information and they didn't want to share it.

Guess you were wrong after all, huh?

"If you have nothing to hide, what are you worried about?" Perhaps because I grew up in an era when the KGB would come in the middle of the night and drag out of bed poor Russian people, who had done nothing wrong except disagree with their government, and haul them off to Siberia for the rest of their lives? On trumped up "charges". How far away are we from that?

Oh, please! Ever hear of dialling a wrong number? I sure have. Do you usually have any idea who the person is on the other end? Nope. What if you dial a wrong number and it turned out to be someone the government suspected of something? Would they believe you that you dialled a wrong number? Not bloody likely. And the way things are apparently set up now, they could hold you in jail indefinitely, even if you've done nothing. Would you have any possible way of defending yourself? Probably not. You'd be lucky if anyone, including your family, even knew you'd been arrested, or where you were. Everyone would simply think you'd suddenly "disappeared".

Am I becoming paranoid? You bet. When things like this start happening in my country, a place where I never thought it would happen, you tend to get paranoid.

For those of you who think it's worth it, they're preventing terrorist attacks, and "well, we haven't been hit again in the past five years, so it must be working"...might I point out to you that these things were not done before, and yet prior to 9/11 we hadn't been hit by a terrorist attack for 8 years? (1993)

That would be kind of like saying, "well, I put a piece of cardboard over my head every day, and I haven't been hit by a meteor in the last five years. I guess it must be working. I'm protected."

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bankboy119 7 years, 11 months ago

bea,

You're completely right. The repub party has lost its way. Both parties suck.

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carms51 7 years, 11 months ago

A day or so after 9-11, some friends and I actually found a land line and cell number for someone named Osama bin Ladin in Afghanistan. My buddy wanted for us (a group of ladies at work) to call the guy and ask what kind of jerk he was. I said that I was worried that the government might find out and misconstrue that we were supporters of his. I remember all of them saying that I was so foolish (party-pooper), that the US government would never, ever track calls randomly. Boy were they wrong! And I am really glad we never called.

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 11 months ago

Das, I agree with your statement, but I don't see how it relates to something beatrice said.

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Das_Ubermime 7 years, 11 months ago

Oldenuf,

I agree with beatrice. Grow up and take some responsibility for your actions instead of pointing the finger at someone else. If you don't like the Dem or Rep candidates, then vote for another party or no one at all. However you decide to vote, just make sure that you don't blame your choice on someone else. Your vote. Your choice. Your responsibility.

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dejady 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes. I mind having my phone conversations listened to.

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Ceallach 7 years, 11 months ago

kcwarpony: as a previous employee of Ma Bell, I can assure you that "tap" is just an expression -- when the big boys "read" your line, you will never know it!

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yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

Actually, all of your posts to this site get directly transfered to the Pentagon. I hope you all are comfortable with your posts.

"When they knock down your front door how ya gonna come? With your hands above your head or on the trigger of your gun?" Clash, Guns of Brixton

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beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago

oldenuf: When George W. was in the Reserves, he was possibly AWOL, and he certainly gave up his pilot's license that the government had spent $10s of thousands to provide him -- during a time of war! Kerry fought, and afterward made his points that the war was unjust and that we should get out (which was true). So who is the traitor? Now Bush gives up the name of a CIA operative for his own political gains to cover the lies he was telling to push us toward war. Who is the traitor? To blame the Democrats for the mess the Republicans have caused for all of us in their (hopefully to end soon) time in charge is absolutely ridiculous.

Admit it - the Republican party has lost its way. They clearly can no longer claim to be the party of fiscal conservativism, their hands are so far into corporation pockets that they are now rotten to the core, they listen to religious zealotry over reason, they no longer care for individual freedoms, and they are giving tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest of the wealthy when we have runaway deficits -- during a time of war!!! War profitering is an act of traitors, yet this is exactly what is happening with Cheney's buddies in the oil business! And we still haven't caught Bin Laden! Sure - blame the Dems for the moral bankruptcy of the Republican party, all because you refuse to admit that Gore or Kerry would have done a better job than our present Category Five President. (They couldn't have done worse -- without actually selling the country to the Saudis!)

And I must say, typing that up sure helped relieve some stress!

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 11 months ago

Hey, Multi, maybe they would give you time to eat it ... for a Klondike Bar.

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Multidisciplinary 7 years, 11 months ago

Note to self..in room hospital refrigerators that fill with frost at the top are still not cold enough to keep a Klondike Bar forzen very long when faced with a parade of specialists and tasks from the time you put it in there, to the time you finally get around to eating it!

But it's a fun little attempt anyway!

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beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago

President Bush, reflecting on his time in office, recently said that "the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound perch in my lake." For once, I actually agree with the President.

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ms_canada 7 years, 11 months ago

Christie - I just loved your wee post of 11:30am.

Phone calls monitored. It is indeed a scary and paranoid time in which we live. When those who govern become overly powerful, that is scary.

In enochville we have a voice of reason. thanks E There have been, so far today, a lot of good, thoughtful, thought provoking comments.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 11 months ago

sgt,

just got back from checking my drop. No chalk mark on the mail drop box, so I did not have to check the actual drop. Hopefully no granola eating, tree hugging, Birkenstock clad indivdual will mistake my "Bud Select" aluminum message drop for trash. Since I have smashed my cell phone, and will not answer or dial the landline, the message drop is the only way to see if I need to pick up my devil spawn this afternoon.

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kcwarpony 7 years, 11 months ago

While I was typing my comment, the antivirus software warned of an Internet worm was being blocked.

That's it...I'm out of here...it's getting too hot here!

:)

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kcwarpony 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I do care. I've done nothing wrong and its none of their dang business. Many times, off and on through the last few years, I have heard the clicking sounds on my phone. Always when talking to another Indian with whom I share an interest with in native issues. Why? Back in the 60's and 70's, the government declared members of the American Indian Movement to be terrorists. It is an uneasy feeling thinking/knowing that the government could be listening in and yet some think nothing the NSA keeping track of who you call. The next time you hear clicks on the phone, instead of telling yourself its just the connection, pretend otherwise. See how you feel...

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The_Original_Bob 7 years, 11 months ago

Chuck D. once warned me that the FBI was tapp'n my telephone. He never mentioned the NSA.

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Ceallach 7 years, 11 months ago

This is no fun at all!! Left side, right side, left side, right side, left side, left side, right side, right side. My side's better than your side, my side's better than yours.

It's Friday, folks, and a bright, bright sunshiny day. Hope you have a great weekend.

Oh, yes, and Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers:)

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 11 months ago

I voted for Bush (once) because I had too many reservations about Kerry.

I blame the present sitation on the Democratic Party. If they had put forward a viable candidate (someone who wasn't a traitor), we wouldn't have Bush today.

Bush must be in a crack-induced cloud. We have nearly destroyed what it means to be free in America. I fear that I may be forced to vote for some limp-wristed Democrat if the Republicans don't put forwards a candidate who can find a way to be conservative while still throwing the doctrines of Bush under the bus.

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 11 months ago

R_I, that might go both ways; with modern communication being as easy and broad as it is, those outside the government can try to swing people the other way by telling them their government is dangerous. Do you see how easily some will believe that the government can and does conduct surveillance on any aspect of their lives?

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christie 7 years, 11 months ago

Can I view all the phone records that Bush made?

Would Kate and Rachael like to publish their phone calls and who called them? Go ahead, post it here. Who you called, for how long, who called you - give us the numbers.

Oh, you don't want the public to know that.... hmmm now you know how WE FEEL.

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christie 7 years, 11 months ago

November 2008 - The END of an ERROR

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 11 months ago

"Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."

Hermann Goering

http://www.hermes-press.com/joinwar.gif . . . .

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." - James Madison

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scenebooster 7 years, 11 months ago

I thought the traditional conservative line was "limited government"...this seems like the opposite of that!

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Das_Ubermime 7 years, 11 months ago

Larry,

Do you see that distant speck above your head? That is the humor in my post.

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blue73harley 7 years, 11 months ago

For sgtwolverine -

http://www.strumpette.com/archives/101-Championship-PR-Midget-Toss-Sets-Record.html

Also, there looks to be some games if you google "Midget Tossing" but the corporate internet police are watching my activities and won't let me go there.

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Larry 7 years, 11 months ago

Das_Ubermime Maybe the terrorists just haven't planned to attack yet. Afterall, for some the anticipation of the terrorist attack is worse than the actual terrorist attack.

Maybe you're right - OR maybe the terrorist network is now in such chaos, constantly looking over the shoulder, back on their heels, rather than looking to take the next step forward and bomb another embassy, military ship at port, etc. It's been awhile, hasn't it? Since 2001, the terrorist activity level seems to support the chaos, back on their heels theory.

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boogeyman 7 years, 11 months ago

I see we have the truly paranoid stirred up. You people crack me up. Get help.

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Gootsie 7 years, 11 months ago

haha sgt

Again, I repeat - thanks for the research E. You may not agree with Wilkapedia, but E has other things too.

,sigh,,,

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jimincountry 7 years, 11 months ago

Tracking is okay; listening without cause would be something else.

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rhd99 7 years, 11 months ago

Bush thinks he sees nothing or hears nothing. That's right, you're blind & stupid. GET A HEARING AID, Mr. President! People are sick & tired of you spying on them, UNDERSTOOD?! Get the NSA off our BACKS!

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enochville 7 years, 11 months ago

Here we have a representative of the Bush administration saying that warrantless wiretaps of domestic phone calls are illegal.

"Section 201 preserved all of the pre-existing standards in the wiretap statute. For example, law enforcement still must: (1) apply for and receive a court order; (2) establish probable cause that criminal activity is afoot; and (3) first have tried to use "normal investigative procedures."" http://www.lifeandliberty.gov/subs/add_myths.htm#s201

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sgtwolverine 7 years, 11 months ago

"I don't trust Alberto Gonzales further than I can throw him..."

Just once, I would like to see somebody quantify that statement by throwing the person to whom they refer. Not only would it put real weight (so to speak) in their declaration, but it would also be quality entertainment.

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enochville 7 years, 11 months ago

I know that I am posting a lot today. But, while I was researching for my previous links, I found this site that might be of interest to many of you. Granted, I don't trust Alberto Gonzales further than I can throw him, but here it is.

The USA PATRIOT Act: MYTH VS. REALITY http://www.lifeandliberty.gov/subs/add_myths.htm

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enochville 7 years, 11 months ago

tnfats: I never made any great claims of Wikipedia's accuracy and reliability. But, I do find the info there more often right than in error. However, to support the statement I had made about the Supreme Court's decision, here are a few more reliable sources. (Please note the ".gov" suffix suggesting this information comes directly from the government.) If this is not good enough for you, I suggest you either refute or support my claim through sources of your own choosing and then share your findings with the rest of us.

In the following case, they cite USSC decision on "Smith vs Maryland 442 U.S. 735 (1979)" United States Court of Appeals FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT United States Telecom Association vs. FCC and the USA http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/200008/99-1442a.txt

Also, in the following document (Analysis and Interpretation of the Constitution: Annotations of Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States Senate Document No. 108-17 2002 Edition: Cases Decided to June 28, 2002) on page 1341 (pdf page number 63) for note 345, they summarize "Smith vs Maryland 442 U.S. 735 (1979)" by saying "no reasonable expectation of privacy in numbers dialed on one's telephone, so Fourth Amendment does not require a warrant to install "pen register" to record those numbers. http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/pdf2002/022.pdf

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Das_Ubermime 7 years, 11 months ago

Kline:

"It must be working because so far no attack."

Maybe the terrorists just haven't planned to attack yet. Afterall, for some the anticipation of the terrorist attack is worse than the actual terrorist attack.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 11 months ago

Remember,

Better be ghosting when posting to the OTS. It would most likely be viewed as "subversive activity". These posts are being monitored also. . .

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- (Thomas Jefferson)

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beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. -Aristotle, philosopher (384-322 BCE)

(Word of the Day comes through with another great quote!)

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acg 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm with you too, Liberty. I cringe when I hear people say "well I'm not doing anything wrong, so why should I care?" Or "it shouldn't be a problem if you have nothing to hide." You've got to be kidding me!! How can someone walk around on the planet being so misinformed and uninterested in what's going on around them? Those are the sheeple of this nation and unfortunately they're becomming more common-place than I'm comfortable with.

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beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago

One more thing -- President Bush lied about the scope and depth of this administration's domestic spying. Gee, I wonder if he has lied about anything else??? And before anyone goes there - yes, Clinton lied too, but about having sex outside marital bonds, not about stripping the rights of all Americans.

I just realized - this must be a message from God! Liar, liar, pants on fire + President Bush = flaming Bush! God has spoken to the people once again in the form of a flaming Bush! We must answer God's call and impeach Bush now!!!

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Das_Ubermime 7 years, 11 months ago

I dunno, I just don't like it. I mean, such a move does not make sense with regards to more than the 4th Amendment, it also makes the 2nd Amendment seem kinda pointless. Afterall, isn't some of the reasoning behind the 2nd Amendment is that arms and well-regulated militias are an added assurance against our own government should it turn against us? If the American public is meant to be a check and balance against a corrupt government, would not this dramatically effect the public's ability to do so?

A wolf will always ask more of your trust than a sheep will.

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beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago

Liberty: two days in a row we are in agreement! Who'd a thunk it.

Centrist: "All I'm saying is that the guys who collect this info better damn well make sure they don't prejudge anything ... then I won't care. Go for it." If you think this group is capable of not prejudging and that they will get all their facts lined up before they react, I have a reality check for you ... WMDs.

This administration has bungled so many things during their time in office that if you base it on their track record, then you can just about guarantee that they will prejudge. You talk to people from the Middle East, that makes you a suspect. In times of war, we can take prisoners without charging them of crimes. So see ya later Centrist! It was nice knowing you, but please remember -- don't call us, we will call you.

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Kline 7 years, 11 months ago

It must be working because so far no attack.

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Liberty 7 years, 11 months ago

It's not for fighting terrorism. That is just the excuse. It is to control you. It is also to control technology so they can maintain control of the masses to bring about the New World Order that President Bush talked about. Global control through dependence on oil.

They just love it when ding-a-lings say things like: "I'm not doing anything wrong, so I don't care if they have my records.

That person doesn't know what rights are, and has no problem with giving away your freedoms too.

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tnfats 7 years, 11 months ago

"Enochville, good job on the research!"

Not quite. While I'm ambivalent about NSA wiretapping (they'll do it no matter what my opinion is), I have to comment on the use of wikipedia as a reference.

Wikipedia is NOT a valid reference source. It is a webpage, that while convienent, is "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit". Which means, I could go to the page cited, change the text to say whatever I wanted (even to say the exact opposite of what Enochville intended, or read originally). Wiki is a collabrative effort; it guarantees nothing in the way of proper research, fact-checking, veracity of data, or lack of opiniated slant to the information provided. The wiki editors can easily correct falsehoods in hard data (e.g. the distance between Lawrence and Topeka), but not in soft data (such as constitutional interpretation) which is easily corrupted by opinion or prejudice. It is the myspace of encyclopedias.

As the New York Daily News (one of many news organizations that prohibits the use of Wiki as a cite) said "An entry on Russian history might come from a Nobel Prize-winning professor, or it might come from an escapee from a lunatic asylum. Or, from someone posing as an authority, who is doing a hatchet job." Heck, the "entry"Enochville refers to could have been written by the Bush Administration itself.

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Centrist 7 years, 11 months ago

Yep, they'll be hauling me off anytime soon! haha ...

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RonBurgandy 7 years, 11 months ago

Centrist - it was nice having you on here, you will probably have to change your name to "inmate 2" in the near future. How dare you call people of middle eastern origin.

I don't really care if they are listening or seeing who I call, but, overall, it just doesn't seem right.

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bankboy119 7 years, 11 months ago

That settles it Centrist, you're a terrorist.

I agree with gold ol' Ben Franklin.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 7 years, 11 months ago

I can just see the headlines now........

"PRAYER CHAIN GROUP MEMBERS INDICTED FOR TERROR CELL ACTIVITIES"

Anytown, USA. 46 Members of All Saints Church have been indicted for violations of the Patriot Act. The members involved were ensnared when phone data collected by the NSA, revealed that they were operating a "terror cell". The women involved were flown to an undeclared former eastern block country for interogation and torture. No further information is available as they may be detained indefinitely. . . . .

Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others

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crohan1978 7 years, 11 months ago

This is getting way overhyped and is pretty much nothing. For one, are any of you concerned about the fact that everytime you use your Dillons coupon card or any other coupon card out there, they're creating a database of what you're buying so they can send you stuff in the mail? Do you realize Amazon.com does the same exact thing? What about market research, it is all about databases that they build based on information they gather about you. What about the 10 million unauthorized checks on your credit report so you can be sent thousands of pieces of junk mail that say you're pre-approved for this and that??

We are talking about friggin phone numbers, so they can check patterns and see who they DO need to pay attention to, and look for sleeper cells. They're not listening to your phone conversations! You do not have the right to expect privacy when a third party holds your phone records, i.e. the phone companies. This is not a privacy issue at all, and even if you think it is, who cares!! If you're not doing anything wrong, what are you worried about??

The people who are fighting this stuff are going to lead us to be attacked again by terrorists, because you're being stubborn about something you do not need to be stubborn about. Just like we have a major gas problem right now, because tree huggers fight every darn refinery the oil companies every wanted to build! You fighting this is going to cause unwanted consequences, and for why, because you think your phone number is private? Give me a break!

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Centrist 7 years, 11 months ago

What if you have a bunch of calls to people of "Middle Eastern" origin? Will some bureaucrat decide you are a risk? I guess that's me. I have a number of associates from the Sub-Continent (India, Pakistan, etc). Will they collect my information and prejudge the reason for my calls? We communicate purely for sporting reasons, yet there are all those "names" that might raise some "suspicion".

All I'm saying is that the guys who collect this info better damn well make sure they don't prejudge anything ... then I won't care. Go for it.

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 11 months ago

So in 2002 TIA was killed by Congress but since then we have... A mandatory national identification system

A data mining project of tens of millions of american Citizens telephone calls, emails and internet activities.

A travel watch list or "No Fly List."

A universal medical database purportedly intended to provide lower cost prescription drugs.

We must all ask what dos this fascist administration feel is "low-intensity/low-density" forms of warfare and crime? Political protest, maybe?

What would this admin consider to be an "extremely high risk, high payoff area" for their "leave-behind prototype?"

And what exactly would they expect as their "payoff?"

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Fatty_McButterpants 7 years, 11 months ago

lee_go_hawks: You may not think that you read about it in the Constitution, but you did. It's called "the 4th Amendment". The fourth amendment deals with the right to privacy. Telephone calls are expected to be a private conversation between two people [usually]. As such, if the government - or any agency acting as a representative of the government (i.e, Cingular, Sprint, Verizon, etc.) - is monitoring those calls without a warrant then they are violating a citizens fourth amendment rights.

Many things that have been established as "rights" are not written word-for-word into the Constitution. That does not mean that they don't fall under the umbrella of certain amendments of the Constitution.

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paladin 7 years, 11 months ago

Why would the NSA want all these phone numbers if they weren't going to do anything with them? Monitoring anything and everything is what they do and what they've always done. That's why they exist. In a truly democratic nation, "free" men must define for themselves and demand their rights and freedoms and cannot rely on a benevolent shepherd to lead them to green pastures and still waters. This blind trust makes them sheep, not men. The individuals in power, at any given time, WILL do whatever they are allowed to do by the citizens of a nation. Why would anyone expect them to do otherwise? Because they should? Because, just by occupying a position of power, a leader is in inherently good and honorable? Perhaps a nation of sheep does not deserve genuine freedom or any rights whatever, only a delusion of them.

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neopolss 7 years, 11 months ago

enochville, I agree with you on the most part. You touched a little on the legal means of collecting data in prevention of 9/11, and there's a point I would like to share as well. This notion that all of these programs are for our security worries me. I've understood that the price for freedom is in your vulnerability - it can't be both ways. In order to be safe, it requires sacrificing freedoms. A good analogy is staying at mom and dad's house. It's free rent, and you're fed and taken care of, but they call the shots. The alternative is being free and living on your own, but you run the risks of having no food, or money, etc.

That all said, I'm not as keen to the NSA stuff that everyone else seems to be ho-hum about. The way I see it, it took this much to get an admission of their collection of phone data. What else is NOT being admitted to? But then again, I thought we were heading down the wrong road with the creation of the Gestapo - oops - I meant the CIA.

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 11 months ago

Spy Probe Closes After NSA Refuses To Grant Security Clearances

Meanwhile, a Justice Department investigation into the Bush administration's domestic spy program has been closed because the National Security Agency refused to grant investigators security clearances. According to the Office of Professional Responsibility, investigators had been asking for the clearances since January, but were only told their requests had been denied this week. New York Democratic Congressmember Maurice Hinchey called for a probe of the NSA's denial, saying: "The Bush administration cannot simply create a Big Brother program and then refuse to answer any questions on how it came about and what it entails."

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 11 months ago

"But, that is a separate question from today's and it has yet to be demonstrated in a court of law that they broke the law." Enochville

And investigators have been denied proper clearance therefore the Bush Attorney General closed the investigation.

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 11 months ago

Initially John Poindexter of Iran Contra fame set up this operation and it was kept secret. If I remember correctly legislators were taken by surprise and was under the impression funding was cut. As per usual GW ignored this and proceeded to another avenue. Then again he said no more torturing. So far as I am concerned GW Bush has political motivations behind this spying. Obviously he was not paying attention when 9/11/01 took place but going to this extreme make me suspicious.

Fact of the matter is the governmnent does not need to monitor all of the nations calls. It is a waste of resources.

If Bush is concerned about terrorism he needs to look no further than the white house as this administration is considered a threat to worldwide peaceful coexistence. World war three does not need to be over oil.Today his ratings came in at 29% approval. I think a lot of people care about their privacy among other matters.

Yes I do care if Bush listens to my ordering a carder for my wife as a mothers day gift. It's none of his damn business.

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Gootsie 7 years, 11 months ago

Enochville, good job on the research!

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enochville 7 years, 11 months ago

I guess I should clarify. The government is not doing anything illegal by keeping a record of what numbers we have dialed. The government has done something illegal by listening to conversations without a warrant. But, that is a separate question from today's and it has yet to be demonstrated in a court of law that they broke the law.

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average 7 years, 11 months ago

I know from a case I was involved in that the prosecuters had to get a warrant for this information. That's irrelevant for the feds, though, since the administration has given up on trying people... they just disappear. No trial, no charges, no standards of evidence.

What I wonder is why any foreign corporation would knowingly do business within the US? There are realistic accusations of government espionage aiding US firms. I would be seeking non-government-approved encryption and mandating it company-wide.

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enochville 7 years, 11 months ago

Well, according to Wikipedia, reviewing phone numbers a person dials does not constitute a "search" as there is no expectation of privacy:

"Similarly, there is no search where officers monitor what phone numbers an individual dials (although Congress has placed statutory restrictions on such monitoring)." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_A...

So, it is legal what the government is doing. I guess we as a society need to decide whether we want to change the laws to reflect that we should have an expectancy for privacy in the numbers we have dialed.

I, like Larry, don't care enough to change the law to make a review of numbers dialed explicitly against the 4th amendment.

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reverber 7 years, 11 months ago

It just doesn't feel right. As a child I was taught that the evil Soviet Communists did just this type of thing to their citizens.

Once they have the data, it is there for manipulation by anyone who has a cause to champion. Do you ever call gay people? Have you ever called a doctor who performs abortions ? Your calls may seem innocent enough now, but I can assure you that any [nutcase] government official can figure out a way to make you guilty of something by extending your network of calls out a few degrees of separation.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics"

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enochville 7 years, 11 months ago

lee_go_hawks: US Constitution - Bill of Rights Amendment IV

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.

You are right that it says nothing about phone records. They did not exist in 1791, however, searching your phone history seems to be in the spirit of what this amendment was trying to get at. I'll see if the Supreme Court has interpreted this "right" this way.

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Larry 7 years, 11 months ago

Nope - having the government track my calls does not infringe on my right to make calls to anyone, anywhere, anytime, anyhow, anywhen, or anywho. How did we ever make it through the partyline era? Even your neighbor could listen in back then. Gulp!

Actually, I can see both sides of the issue. For me personally, I could care less if the government listens in on my conversations.

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Jayhawk226 7 years, 11 months ago

I didn't think my life was nearly that interesting to listen to...

...who knew?!!?

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blue73harley 7 years, 11 months ago

It is hard for me to imagine the amount of computer memory that must be required to hold this much info! As far as the question, I pretty much agree with Enochville's post.

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Lee Eldridge 7 years, 11 months ago

Too many people confuse our "freedoms" and "rights" with things that are not "rights". For instance, driving a car is not a "right". There's a process a person must go through to earn that priviledge. It's called a license. I don't remember anywhere in the Constitution that the government is prohibited from monitoring certain activities, especially when it deals with technology i.e. radio transmissions, phone usage, or Internet access. And I'm hard pressed to see where this monitoring is somehow interferring with our freedoms.

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enochville 7 years, 11 months ago

I tend to think that the government should not be collecting personal data on people who are not suspected of a crime. The governemnt goes through so much trouble to protect the privacy of medical records through HIPPA laws, but then compiles lists of every number each of us has ever called.

Governemnt is too corrupt and their motives too suspect to trust that they would use the data for purely benign reasons. Remember Watergate. I use that as an example, because we can all agree that was wrong. The Bush administration is more of a threat, but not everyone agrees.

Those who are suspected of crimes should be investigated, but with the approval of the courts. Some people think that erring on the side of privacy permits events like 9-11 to happen. I believe that 9-11 could have been prevented through the legal collection of data. The governemnt had the legal tools they needed; they just screwed up by not communicating and coordinating the data they already had.

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enochville 7 years, 11 months ago

We're back to the question of privacy vs. security. Let me save everyone the trouble and give the standard quotes from people on both sides of the issue.

Ben Franklin - "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither"

Anonymous - "He who has nothing to hide, hides nothing"

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