- 7/28/2014 8:47:36 AM
No, I won't have great confidence and trust in some of these "public" agencies if there is a document that states clearly what they can and cannot do, or if violators are prosecuted and jailed. That certainly won't stop the NSA abuse altogether. However, it wouldn't hurt to fire a shot across their bow every now and then.
- by Lyndon_Henry, Blogger
- 7/27/2014 10:38:40 PM
... wouldn't it be sweet if the NSA -- just to pick out a random agency -- had operated under publicly-stated (or at least stated to the governing judges who had to sign off on their operations) guidelines on what they could do with their intercepts?
I agree that forcing more of all this snooping (especially by the NSA & Co.) out of the shadows would be better than, well, the current opaque cloak of secrecy. But seems to me this would involve a daunting overhaul of the entire surveillance apparatus, which is predicated on absolute secrecy of just about everything, and all bolstered by a kind of Star Chamber occult legal-judicial system that operates in its own dimension.
But, even if a few revelations were mandated, would I really suddenly have trust in this web of surveillance? Would I heave a sigh of relief when it's explained that the NSA must store my personal communications for perpetuity in a data warehouse in Utah or somewhere because they might need to refer back to them some day to cross-reference with what I'm doing, say, years from now, and this is all for my own protection?
- by Michelle, Data Doctor
- 7/18/2014 1:25:48 PM
@Beth. But wouldn't it be sweet if the NSA -- just to pick out a random agency -- had operated under publicly-stated (or at least stated to the governing judges who had to sign off on their operations) guidelines on what they could do with their intercepts? I would guess that staring at nude photos would not have been on the "do" list. Then you could at least watch those analysts heading off to prison in handcuffs.
- 7/18/2014 8:43:08 AM
@Beth. It might sound harsh but the reason I'd suggest an upfront and honest statement of purpose for monitors/sensors is that you could put the power of the law behind it. So, if someone in a position of authority exceeded the scope of that stated purpose. Oh, let's just consider a situation where analysts for a national security agency were intercepting not just telephone traffic but nude pictures that people were sharing with their lovers. And, those analysts were staring at and discussing said photos.
That would go beyond the stated purpose, right? As the judges like to say at sentencing, that would be "violating the public trust". So, give those analysts a couple of years in government care in a locked room with 3 meals a day and an hour to exercise.
- 7/18/2014 8:06:00 AM
Hi Jim, I appreciate your point that "a public monitoring initiative that doesn't slam the door on future intrusion" is not likely to get the public's trust resoundingly. But, how many of us would actually believe public authorities who say they've locked down any initiative from intrusion? I know I'd be skeptical -- political verbiage what it is these days. Do you think there's a way for public authorities to back up those words with real meat?
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