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850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement 207

onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.
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850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

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  • Told ya... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @07:23PM (#47752531)
    So all that "slippery slope" shit from 10 years ago doesn't seem so stupid now, does it?
  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @07:24PM (#47752541) Journal
    I find it reassuring that there's no danger this can be abused. Ahem.

    Our worst fears are now realized.

    The Snowden revelations regarding ubiquitous data collection have caused so little civil turmoil that the information is now to be shared with every Sheriff's Department from Bangor to the Bay Area.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2014 @07:28PM (#47752575)

    If you have voted for a republican or a democrat in the last 30 years or so, this is your fault.


    The signs were all there, you ignored them, and kept voting the same jokers in, perpetuating the same power structures, letting the same people get away with gross violations of the law that would get any one of us thrown in prison.

    Now, welcome to the surveillance state. I hope you're happy with the results. But it gets better. It doesn't end here. We've seen, in other societies, where this goes. It doesn't end well.

    But you don't care about that, do you? Because Emmy Awards! Because Jellyfish stung 250 people in one day!

  • Re:Told ya... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by redeIm ( 3779401 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @07:46PM (#47752689) Homepage

    It never seemed stupid to anyone with even a tiny bit of knowledge about history.

  • Re:Told ya... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2014 @07:51PM (#47752715)
    You're not wrong. 850 billion records? The Stasi would have wet themselves. It took a lot less for the people of the GDR to storm buildings.
  • by redeIm ( 3779401 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @07:53PM (#47752727) Homepage

    They're probably utterly ignorant of history, and can't come to simple conclusions on their own. Even someone who is ignorant of history should know that those with massive amounts of power will abuse it.

    "Land of the free, home of the brave," huh? Not while most of the population is either apathetic or supports massive violations of the constitution and people's fundamental liberties.

  • by Livius ( 318358 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @08:00PM (#47752753)

    The media has never been critical of a liberal administration.

    Because there hasn't been one in living memory.

  • Re:ICREACH? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @08:01PM (#47752763)
    ICyREACH. I predict it will have a chilling effect on free speech, etc
  • by jcrb ( 187104 ) <jcrb@noSpam.yahoo.com> on Monday August 25, 2014 @08:04PM (#47752779) Homepage

    Oh sure they have a wonderful system for searching what they want to search and can't be troubled to search what they should be able to but don't want to..

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/p... [judicialwatch.org]
    "Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. "

    The saying "Laws are for the little people" used to be funny, now, not so much.

  • Re:Told ya... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @08:07PM (#47752795)
    It sure was said to be stupid by a boatload of people on Slashdot when the rest of us tried to say it really was a slippery slope.

    I have a feeling a lot of people will be looking back at what many of them call "crazy conspiracy theory" today when some of those things turn out to be real, too.

    Of course many of them really are just crazy conspiracy theory. But not all of them. Real conspiracies can exist and have existed throughout history.

    But there's another thing that some people don't account for: a lot of people, operating under the same (often but not always) erroneous assumptions or misinformation, can make it look like there is a conspiracy when it's really not conspiracy at all. Just a lot of people making the same mistakes.
  • Parallel BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LessThanObvious ( 3671949 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @08:13PM (#47752845)
    ( "Parallel Construction" = Lying = Prosecutorial Malfeasance = A Crime ) It makes my skin crawl knowing that these guys are so out of control that we have an official term for lying to the judge and defense counsel about the source of evidence. If the NSA hears about a delivery of 500 Kilos of drugs and they intercept it, I'm fine with that, but unless the actual source of the information is disclosed it should be a crime to fake the investigation process to get it into court. If they can't prosecute, oh well, seize the drugs and call it a win.
  • Re:Parallel BS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by redeIm ( 3779401 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @08:17PM (#47752873) Homepage

    If the NSA hears about a delivery of 500 Kilos of drugs and they intercept it, I'm fine with that

    I'm not. The NSA should have nothing to do with drugs, and shouldn't be collecting all this 'metadata' on people in the first place.

  • Re:Told ya... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @08:22PM (#47752913)

    It never seemed stupid to anyone with even a tiny bit of knowledge about history.

    Oh come on. I know a guy with that same attitude at work. You're normalizing the situation with this nonsense fantasy that you knew all along. You didn't know all along... you worried about it, you feared for it, but you didn't know Now you do, and you should be surprised... shocked... outraged... But to sit back in your lazyboy, burp, and say "yea, I figured!" is freaking ridiculous. Write you God damned congressman. Get a picket sign. The house is on fire, just because you told the kids not to play with matches doesn't mean you don't need to grab a bucket now.

  • Re:ICREACH? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aralin ( 107264 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @08:39PM (#47753027)

    No, it won't. The US govt. figured out something that the Russians still didn't. Talk is cheap, actions are rare. You can let them talk and talk and talk, you just make up some excuse to arrest or harass the few who act. There won't be so many so you can usually hide it under drug arrests or something else innocent looking. With enough laws on the books, everyone is guilty of something and since you know what everyone is doing, you can arrest pretty much anyone for a legitimate on the books crime. And if you cannot arrest them, maybe their family or friends did something illegal. You can blackmail, bargain, ... That is the power of NSA.

  • by Grog6 ( 85859 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @08:48PM (#47753103)

    They are the modern Gestapo; Orwell just missed it by a few years.

    The future will be the image from the book:

    A Boot, Stamping on a Face, Forever.

  • Re:ICREACH? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2014 @08:48PM (#47753105)

    You don't seem to understand what a "chilling effect" is.

    Simply knowing that your every word and every movement is recorded and available for inspection at any time is extremely chilling. When you constantly have to worry about how your words and actions might be misconstrued, either accidentally or deliberately, then by definition you can't speak freely anymore and you no longer have freedom of association.

  • We The People (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @09:02PM (#47753187) Journal

    We The People need to take our government back. Our leaders have failed us, our politicians have failed up. Time for them to be removed and place. The NSA needs to be removed and dismantled in it's current form.

    Our government is the terrorist problem, as it refuses to obey the constitution and puts corporations over the people.

    I am not saying we need to do this violently, but we have to do this, no matter how it goes down. Our government won't fix itself, it's up to WE THE PEOPLE.

  • by HiThere ( 15173 ) <charleshixsn@ea r t h l i n k.net> on Monday August 25, 2014 @09:02PM (#47753189)

    Do you really think voting for a third party, or refusing to vote, makes any difference?

    If nothing you do makes any difference, is it really your fault? There might have been something that would have made a difference, but voting isn't on that list. That became quite clear when they refused to even count the votes for Pat Paulson. (I suspect he would have won, but there's no way to tell.)

  • And here we go ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @09:58PM (#47753445) Homepage

    When they start these things, they say "oh, this will only be used for this, under strict controls and nothing else".

    People who say that they'll eventually abuse it are dismissed as ridiculous, but then eventually since they have all of this information they might as well use it for something.

    And if they have to lie about how they did it to conceal what they have, so be it. Because, after, they're the good guys, right?

    This is a complete and utter undermining of the fourth amendment and the notion that a just government doesn't spy on you "just in case".

    The US has been transformed into a police state. Worse, they've helped turn the rest of the world into one too.

    Congratulations, America, you've pretty much killed off free societies around the world, and brought in your own special kind of fascism.

    Your spy agencies and law enforcement are truly living up to all of the scary imagery people have been decrying for years.

    Papers please, comrade. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

  • Re:Told ya... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday August 25, 2014 @09:59PM (#47753451) Homepage Journal

    So all that "slippery slope" shit from 10 years ago doesn't seem so stupid now, does it?

    The biggest lesson learned is that when Congress passes a law, to kill a program like Total Information Awareness, all NSA will do is change code-names and reassign the workers to a different team.

    When NSA says "we have not done X in program Y", it means they have done X in program Z. When it says it has not conducted illegal activity under Authority Z, it has done it anyway, under some other contrived interpretation of a different authority.

    To quote Robin Koerner on every new NSA disclosure: "Of course they did."

    Now then, who thinks we still live in a functional Republic?

  • by flyneye ( 84093 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @07:24AM (#47755275) Homepage

    The part that has me giggling is; cops are so fucking ignorant, it's only a matter of seconds before one of their Log/Pass gets spread around long enough for anyone on the internet to D/L anyones details.
    NSA is stupid for providing it
    FBI is stupid for approving it
    Local cops are just plain stupid.

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye