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Jun 19 2012

NSA: It would violate your privacy to report how many privacy violations we’re committing.

The surveillance experts at the National Security Agency won’t tell two powerful United States Senators how many Americans have had their communications picked up by the agency as part of its sweeping new counterterrorism powers. The reason: it would violate your privacy to say so.

via NSA: It Would Violate Your Privacy to Say if We Spied on You | Danger Room | Wired.com.

12 comments

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  1. 1
    Ned Champlain

    This is not news, the “Patriot Act” took care of that little Constitution stumbling block.

  2. 2
    Marcus Ranum

    That’s because the answer is “all of it.” Once the NSA’s facility in Utah goes live they’ll be keeping it forever, too. Right now you should assume that almost every email, blog post, SMS message, facebook post, google query, and most cell phone conversations are all going into the black hole of data.

  3. 3
    Christoph Burschka

    It would violate your privacy to report how many privacy violations we’re committing.

    I think my brain just broke…

  4. 4
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    That’s some catch.

    1. 4.1
      O'Hurlihee

      My thought exactly! The best catch there is…

    2. 4.2
      Christoph Burschka

      Indeed. In order to sue for a privacy violation, you would need solid evidence of their violation; but since said evidence would itself constitute a privacy violation…

      Paging Yossarian…

  5. 5
    mikespeir

    I realize we’re talking about a governmental agency here, but I think the day is coming when spy devices are so technologically trivial and inexpensive that we’ll all be under surveillance constantly. And it’ll be by each other, not just the government. I don’t know how it would be possible to stop it.

  6. 6
    Gregory in Seattle

    And anyway, it is a Matter Of National Secrety and not even US Senators have the necessary clearance.

    1. 6.1
      Naked Bunny with a Whip

      The Senators should consider themselves on Double Secret Probation just for asking.

  7. 7
    lorn

    How many Americans … all of them. How many in total … something north of seven billion, with room for another three billion as designed. Scalable to N+1 as long as the money holds out. If that overstates the scale of it you have to remember that we are just starting out. Give it time.

    Personally I liked Total Information Awareness (TIA)as the program name, as sweet little acronym with the additional benefit of being open and honest about what it was up to.

  8. 8
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    All of them. Nice try, NSA, but “how many” reveals no PII.

  9. 9
    Balstrome

    It makes sense,when you consider that it is generally accepted that the government you have is the one that most of you voted for. Which leads to the government being in fact you, and therefore revealing this information would actually be a violation of your privacy.

    And then one needs to ask what was the reason these two senator critters wanted to know this information. Would they use this information to actually setup a commission to make sure each intercept was a valid one, or where they just fishing for stuff to use to shoot down someone else’s boat?

    Always be critical of both the news and those who report the news.

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