Unprecedented Powers for Warrantless Surveillance

John Glaser, December 13, 2012

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) amounts to a sweeping database housing information and surveillance records of people the government suspects have ties to terrorism. It is a horrendous monstrosity of Orwellian proportions.

And it just got worse. As a meager restriction on its assault on the Fourth Amendment, the NCTC, was previously supposed to immediately destroy intelligence information about Americans when there were no clear ties to terrorism. But now, the Obama administration – without any public debate or transparency with Congress – has granted new powers to the NCTC.

The Wall Street Journal:

The rules now allow the little-known National Counterterrorism Center to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. That is a departure from past practice, which barred the agency from storing information about ordinary Americans unless a person was a terror suspect or related to an investigation.

Now, NCTC can copy entire government databases—flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and many others. The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior. Previously, both were prohibited. Data about Americans “reasonably believed to constitute terrorism information” may be permanently retained.

The changes also allow databases of U.S. civilian information to be given to foreign governments for analysis of their own. In effect, U.S. and foreign governments would be using the information to look for clues that people might commit future crimes.

“It’s breathtaking” in its scope, said a former senior administration official familiar with the White House debate.

How does the Obama administration justify this radical Orwellian approach to domestic surveillance? With a promise and a kiss. The President seems to think any government measure, no matter how unconstitutional, is perfectly acceptable so long as this meaningless stipulation is uttered along with it: “Counterterrorism officials say they will be circumspect with the data,” the WSJ reports. “The guidelines provide rigorous oversight to protect the information that we have, for authorized and narrow purposes,” says Alexander Joel, Civil Liberties Protection Officer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In other words: we promise we’ll be good.

There were murmurs about this news way back in March. “Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement late Thursday. “The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively.”

Blogger Marcy Wheeler wrote at the time that “To justify this power grab,” advocates “point to two attacks that had nothing to do with the length of data retention: the Nidal Hasan attack, in which information on his conversations with Anwar al-Awlaki hadn’t been shared throughout the government, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, in which his suspect status hadn’t been loaded into the no-fly list.”

“They don’t, however, point to a concrete example where 5 year old data of US persons might have helped solve an actual terror attack,” she added. In other words, the government is using examples of its past failings to justify more surveillance powers.

“It is a vast expansion of the government’s surveillance authority,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “Total Information Awareness appears to be reconstructing itself,” Rotenberg said, referring to the Defense Department’s post-9/11 intelligence program that was killed in 2003 because of privacy concerns.

The Bush administration’s attempt to vastly expand the government’s surveillance authority was met with considerable resistance from the public and from Democrats. Not now, though. The difference with the Obama administration’s tyranny is twofold. The first: he is a Democrat, and the Republican Party isn’t about to check him on this score (nor is his own party). The second is perhaps more important, and the WSJ explains it perfectly: “For one thing, the debate happened behind closed doors.”




33 Responses to “Unprecedented Powers for Warrantless Surveillance”

  1. Oh, I wonder what other government the US will share all this information about us with and let them do an analysis of their own? And what will the US do with conclusions reached by unsaid foreign government? Are we really getting to the point where the US will detain and assassinate US citizen based on a secret analysis by a foreign government on secret grounds that bear no relevance to US interests? Sounds like it. If a certain government wants you eliminated for their own purposes, your own beloved government will do the dirty work and you won't even know what happened. How much worse can it get?

  2. The Bush administration’s attempt to vastly expand the government’s surveillance authority was met with considerable resistance from the public and from Democrats. Not now, though.

    http://www.mikebjohnson.com/

  3. If a certain government wants you eliminated for their own purposes, your own beloved government will do the dirty work and you won't even know what happened. How much worse can it get?

  4. “They don’t, however, point to a concrete example where 5 year old data of US persons might have helped solve an actual terror attack,” she added. In other words, the government is using examples of its past failings to justify more surveillance powers.

  5. [...] Unprecedented Warrantless Surveillance Powers [...]

  6. hello police state! the increasing surveilance, and militarization of law enforcement, combined with the undermining of individual freedoms and rights since 9-11, the states is slowly transforming into an authoritarian regime, unless americans wake up and smell the humus!

  7. Big Brother IS watching you.

  8. But now, the Obama administration – without any public debate or transparency with Congress – has granted new powers to the NCTC.

    Just a necessary periodic reminder: Barack Obama did NOT grant "powers" of any kind, as he has none of his own to grant. His merely served here as the figurehead, the hand puppet up whose arse the hand of the MIC-Bankster establishment is ensconced , for their own self-conferred power enhancement.

  9. How does the Obama administration justify this radical Orwellian approach to domestic surveillance? With a promise and a kiss.

  10. [...] Read Entire Article [...]

  11. Need we even imagine who this secret government is?

  12. Why does everyone think that they are asking?
    They are “telling” of an already accomplished act.
    What next; a Committee to pass a bill limiting them to no more than what they now have?
    What and the hell makes people think we live under a government where the people can administer the checks and balances that existed two hundred years ago?
    Every tech advancemt in data collection is already under some government control.
    There is no real private ownership of information. And soon every home computer will not have much more than an operating system as new cloud tech places it one data base a data base that every software manufacture and IP has already given access to our intel agencys.
    Intrpol has been embeded in our intell community for years.
    The huge facility in UTAH can already monitor and store all telecommunications not just in US but most of world, no matter your didget numbers of security. It also automaticly trsnslates.
    Thete are plans for even three larger and higher tech to be built in US and rumors of one other already on line hidden.
    If they want they can at flick of a few switches and tapping of keys eliminate your ever being or isolate you from anyone elses knowledge of your being

    We live in a “We” or “Brave New World” that we are no more than digets on a programed disc.

  13. USA needs a third Party, a People's Party not bought and paid for by this foreign government established on high jacked Property bordering the Mediterainian.

  14. “Total Information Awareness appears to be reconstructing itself…”
    Thats a good one. As if it was ever gone.

  15. And a promise to be very good (after all, it's almost Christmas!)

  16. [...] SOURCE: ANTIWAR Share this:TwitterFacebookRedditDiggGoogle +1StumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Categories: Police State/Big Brother USA, Science & Technology, Surveillance, USA Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback [...]

  17. Nice bolg, however, if you are searching for ways to make money Click Here

  18. Just a Statement "SCRIPT", nothing more than that..

  19. [...] No, Oh, then let me just run this down for you with a partial link madness post I was planning. Orwell would be proud : The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) amounts to a sweeping database housing information and [...]

  20. very blog good adminsasdasd

  21. hat communities divert law enforcement resources from violent crimes to illegal drug offenses, the risk of punishment for engaging i

  22. sadivert law enforcement resources from violent crimes to illegal drug offenses, the risk of punishment for engaging i

  23. call when you get drunk in Riyadh. You don't get a great job at an influence mill with that on your résumé. You do if Ambassador to Saudi Arabia means what doing the "important work" needed under current policies.

  24. Thanks you very nice.

  25. You're so right. I'm there with you. Your blog is definitely worth a read if anyone comes across it. I'm lucky I did because now I've got a whole new view of this.

  26. I am who I am because of you.

  27. Graet!

  28. It is a horrendous monstrosity of Orwellian proportions.Unprecedented Powers for Warrant less Surveillance

  29. I hope,Obama gave the right justice to people and provide the best work. Please let me know about the complete information here.

  30. C?n s?t giàn ph?i qu?n áo
    Không gian ch?t h?p khi?n nhi?u h? gia ?ình ph?i b?ng kho?n lo l?ng khi s?p x?p không gian nhà ? m?t cách h?p lý. gian phoi do
    ?ây c?ng là n?i lo chung c?a nhi?u ng??i trong cu?c s?ng hi?n ??i, ??c bi?t là nh?ng ai sinh s?ng trong các ?ô th?. Không ch? mang l?i ti?n ích, các s?n ph?m nh? gian phoi qu?n áo thông minh hay t? âm t??ng còn ?em l?i s? thông thoáng cho không gian gia ?ình b?n và ph?n nào tô ?i?m c?n nhà c?a b?n. V?i nhi?u ng??i Vi?t Nam, giàn ph?i thông minh còn khá xa l? nh?ng v?i nh?ng n??c phát tri?n nh? các n??c ? B?c M? và ?ông Âu thì s?n ph?m này ?ã tr? nên quen thu?c và ???c r?t nhi?u ng??i s? d?ng. giàn ph?i thông minh&

    Nh? nghiên c?u và t?n d?ng các công ngh? hi?n ??i, giàn ph?i ?? thông minh ?ã ???c ra ??i sao cho v?a hi?n ??i, v?a ti?n l?i nh?ng v?n g?n gàng và d? s? d?ng. giàn ph?i thông minh
    ?u ?i?m b?c nh?t c?a giàn ph?i ?? thông minh là ti?t ki?m không gian, ?i?u mà m?i gia ?ình trong cu?c s?ng càng ngày càng ?ông ?úc, nhà c?a càng thu h?p l?i ?ang r?t c?n. gian phoi
    Nói v? ?? ti?n d?ng thì không ai có th? ph? nh?n r?ng giàn ph?i thông minh là s?n ph?m c?n nh?t cho m?i gia ?ình hi?n nay. Không nh?ng ti?t ki?m ???c không gian s?ng, giàn ph?i còn giúp m?i ng??i thoát kh?i d? b?n lòng v? m?t m? qu?n áo ? ??ng không có ch? thông thoáng ?? ph?i móc. giàn ph?i ??
    Dân s? th? gi?i hi?n nay ?ang t?ng v?i t?c ?? nhanh và còn ti?p t?c t?ng trong nh?ng n?m s?p t?i. Chính vì v?y, c?nh ??t ch?t ng??i ?ông ?ang ngày càng tr? nên ph? bi?n, ??c bi?t là t?i các n??c ?ang phát tri?n và phát tri?n. Trong s? ?ó, t?p trung nhi?u nh?t ? các thành ph? hay khu v?c có ?i?u ki?n thu?n l?i cho kinh t? phát tri?n. Di?n tích sinh ho?t c?a ng??i dân b? thu h?p. giàn ph?i
    Không ít ng??i ph?i s?ng trong nh?ng c?n h? ch?t nít và bé tí. M?i ho?t ??ng ?? duy trì cu?c s?ng bình th??ng c?ng c?n ph?i s?p x?p không gian sao cho h?p lý và hi?u qu?. Tr??c th?c tr?ng nh? hi?n nay, giàn ph?i qu?n áo thông minh ???c thi?t k? và ra ??i ?? giúp khách hàng ti?t ki?m không gian sinh s?ng sao cho phù h?p nh?t. ?ây c?ng là m?t ch?n l?a nh?m gi?i quy?t không gian ph?i qu?n áo trong gia ?ình ?ang ???c ?ông ??o khách hàng tin dùng. gian phoi

    |

  31. your résumé. You do if Ambassador to Saudi Arabia means what doing the "important work" needed under current policies

  32. Không ph?i ai ? Hà N?i c?ng có th? bi?t h?t nh?ng ??a ?i?m thú v? và h?p d?n n?i b?n và c? gia ?ình có th? có nh?ng phút giây th? giãn. H?n n?a, không ph?i ??a ?i?m nào c?ng có m?c giá và ?i?u ki?n h?p lí ?úng theo ý mu?n c?a b?n. Sau ?ây là vài ??a ch? khu ngh? d??ng g?n hà n?i v?i ch?t l??ng và giá c? h?p d?n b?n có th? tham kh?o cho mùa hè s?p ??n.khu ngh? d??ng g?n hà n?i

    Ngoài ra, v?i h? th?ng ki?n trúc hi?n ??i, m?t b? su?i khoáng nóng c?c kì tinh khi?t và s?ch s? là ?i?m nh?n cho khu du l?ch ??c ?áo. V resort c?ng là m?t tòa ki?n trúc ??p, g?n g?i thiên nhiên. Bao g?m nh?ng ti?n nghi ??y ?? nh? spa, nhà sàn, hay phòng gym và t?t t?n t?t nh?ng ph??ng ti?n gi?i trí mà b?n có th? d? dàng tìm th?ykhu resort g?n hà n?i

  33. Chúng tôi l?a ch?n s? 1 cho làm sáng da trong n?m 2014 là Lux chuyên sâu. Làm sáng da tuy?t v?i này ???c th?c hi?n v?i các thành ph?n ch?t l??ng cao nh?t. Lux công trình chuyên sâu ?? thay ??i s? xu?t hi?n c?a da mà không ?nh h??ng ??n c?u trúc ho?c ch?c n?ng da
    kem d??ng da nào t?t nh?t

    .Nó ?i kèm v?i m?t ti?n 90 ngày tr? l?i ??m b?o và b?n có th? nh?n ???c m?t ngu?n cung c?p 30 ngày cho ít h?n $ 35 khi b?n mua gói giá tr?.
    kem d??ng da t?t nh?t

    H? hi?n c?ng ?ang cung c?p mi?n phí v?n chuy?n trên t?t c? các ??n ??t hàng trong n??c. Click vào ?ây ?? truy c?p vào các trang web chính th?c Lux chuyên sâu
    kem d??ng da nào t?t