Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users

“The U.S. government has attempted to obtain the master encryption keys that Internet companies use to shield millions of users’ private Web communications from eavesdropping,” Declan McCullagh reports for CNET. “These demands for master encryption keys, which have not been disclosed previously, represent a technological escalation in the clandestine methods that the FBI and the National Security Agency employ when conducting electronic surveillance against Internet users.”

“If the government obtains a company’s master encryption key, agents could decrypt the contents of communications intercepted through a wiretap or by invoking the potent surveillance authorities of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” McCullagh reports. “Web encryption — which often appears in a browser with a HTTPS lock icon when enabled — uses a technique called SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer. ‘The government is definitely demanding SSL keys from providers,’ said one person who has responded to government attempts to obtain encryption keys. The source spoke with CNET on condition of anonymity.”

McCullagh reports, “The person said that large Internet companies have resisted the requests on the grounds that they go beyond what the law permits, but voiced concern that smaller companies without well-staffed legal departments might be less willing to put up a fight. ‘I believe the government is beating up on the little guys,’ the person said. ‘The government’s view is that anything we can think of, we can compel you to do.'”

“It’s not entirely clear whether federal surveillance law gives the U.S. government the authority to demand master encryption keys from Internet companies. ‘That’s an unanswered question,’ said Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society. ‘We don’t know whether you can be compelled to do that or not,'” McCullagh reports. “‘One of the biggest problems with compelling the [private key] is it gives you access to not just the target’s communications, but all communications flowing through the system, which is exceedingly dangerous,’ said Stanford’s Granick.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: United States Constitution, 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.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Join The Electronic Frontier Foundation in calling for a full congressional investigation here.

Related articles:
Apple, Google, dozens of others push Obama administration to disclose U.S. surveillance requests – July 19, 2013
Secret court agrees to allow Yahoo to reveal its fight against U.S. government PRISM requests – July 16, 2013
How Microsoft handed U.S. NSA, FBI, CIA access to users’ encrypted video, audio, and text communications – July 11, 2013
DuckDuckGo search engine surges 33% in wake of PRISM scandal – June 20, 2013
Yahoo: Since December 2012, we have received up to 13,000 U.S. gov’t requests for customer data – June 18, 2013
Apple: Since December 2012, we have received U.S. gov’t requests for customer data for up to 10,000 accounts – June 17, 2013
Nine companies, including Apple, tied to PRISM, Obama to be smacked with class-action lawsuit – June 12, 2013
U.S. lawmakers urge review of ‘Prism’ domestic spying, Patriot Act – June 10, 2013
PRISM: Do Apple, Google, Facebook have an ethical obligation not to spy on users? – June 8, 2013
Plausible deniability: The strange and unbelievable similarities in the Apple, Google, and Facebook PRISM denials – June 7, 2013
Google’s Larry Page on government eavesdropping: ‘We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday’ – June 7, 2013
Seecrypt app lets iPhone, Android users keep voice calls, text messages away from carriers, government eyes and ears – June 7, 2013
Obama administration defends PRISM data-collection as legal anti-terrorism tool – June 7, 2013
Facebook, Google, Yahoo join Apple in sort-of denying PRISM involvement – June 7, 2013
Report: Intelligence program gives U.S. government direct access to customer data on Apple servers; Apple denies – June 6, 2013


    1. It is their 18th program for spying. PRISM program is the coolest of them all since it has access to back-up servers where data is stored in raw format, before it gets encrypted and goes out to the Internet.

      But for the case of further totality and reliability of spying, the government, of course, wants to have masterkeys, too. And they also spy on transcontinental data hubs/cables at UK — they collect everything there, too.

  1. In the name of freedom, some will just prefer more bombs blasting everywhere than more control.
    Well, just a matter to be lucky enough not to be in the wrong place at the wrong moment.

    1. The real risk of death or injury from a terrorist act is so remote, that it is negligible for most people. Are you willing to give up essential freedoms for something less likely to hurt you than a tornado or lightning strike?

        1. Oh, the dreaded ‘They’. Funny, if ‘They’ knew about 9/11, ‘They’ must have been spying on someone, and we wouldn’t want that, would we? And I’m pretty sure that if ‘They’ knew something about it, ‘They’ would have done something about it. But maybe I’m getting my ‘They’ mixed up with your ‘They’.

        2. The various “they’s” in the Federal law enforcement had pieces of the puzzle but NO ONE COULD PUT THEM TOGETHER because an idiot in the Clinton Administration, now a bigwig in the Obama administration Jamie Gorelick, had built an “information wall” between the various law enforcement departments literally PROHIBITING information sharing! The CIA, NSA, and FBI could not talk to each other. . . Literally. No information was allowed to be shared or passed. Obama has even considered Gorelick to be named director of the FBI. . . She was also hip deep in the sub-prime Mortgage fiasco at FannieMae that precipitated the financial meltdown in 2008. That didn’t stop FNMA from paying her salary and bonuses worth $26 million. But yes, “they” knew but no one could connect the dots because idiocy ruled the day about legitimate information about legitimate terrorist organizations. Our left hand was tied behind our back while our right hand was tied in front and blinders were forcibly applied by the Clinton Administration in the person of Jamie Gorelick. This Zdid all come out AFTER 9/11.

        3. Sounds more like you have a personal vendetta against this Jamie Gorelick character… On second thought, having read a bit about her….she was quite something!

          I will mention, though, that at least on the surface the problem with inter-agency communications (FBI, NSA, etc) had to do with mixing criminal investigation information with intelligence gathering (against US enemies). Silly though that may seem.

        4. The CIA is banned from law enforcement activities within US borders, hence they couldn’t pass information to US agencies operating within the borders. I don’t know how much of that has changed but that was the status at the time.

        5. Meanwhile, the rank and file agents at FBI and DIA tried to stop the attacks but were blocked by their bosses. That is not incompetence, it is obstruction of justice, which is a felony.

          9/11 would not have happened if the normal procedures had been followed, especially with the arrest and investigation of Zacharias Moussaoui. The field agents sought a warrant to look at his computer which was blocked by their bosses in DC. After 9/11 they looked at his computer and found lots of incriminating material.

          The claim that we need to record everyone’s communication is really dumb since when 15 countries and several US agencies provided specific warnings of that attack and the Cheney White House did nothing it shows the real problem is not lack of “intelligence.”

        6. …therefore what, it didn’t happen? Or the loss of almost 3000 people that DAY isn’t of any significance, because that’s such a small percentage of the US population? What’s your point?

        7. Don’t get me wrong. Loss of life is tragic, but it is not more tragic if it is terrorist related than if it is for any other reason.

          Let’s keep things in perspective. Death via terrorism is probably about the smallest contributor to the mortality rate.

        1. No we cannot, but we sure can prevent tyranny. If we lose our freedom then the terrorists have already won. Freedom means far more than a few lives. Far far far more. I would give my life willingly to defend freedom, my ancestors have fought for it. If you’d give it up so easily, then you do not deserve to have it.

        2. While I do believe the government has gone too far (I just want better oversight of what’s collected), I am still curious as to what freedoms you have lost so far? Privacy?? In this day and age??? When your digital footprint extends to all corners of the globe, your expectation of digital ‘privacy’ becomes moot.

        3. I believe anyone who thinks this is about terrorism is naive. I mean get real. Let’s say you are Aaban “The Butcher” bin Mutee world class terrorist. Ever intelligence and law enforcement agency on the planet is looking for you.

          Let’s say you’ve decided to attack America…

          YOU GONNA TAKE OUT A FACEBOOK PAGE THAT SAYS, “COMING THIS FALL, BIGGER THAN 9/11, THE RETURN !” and are you going to email your fanatical followers? No, you know every call is being listened to, you know every email is being monitored. You have more than likely gone very low tech with communications to avoid discovery.

          This is why all the satellites and surveillance technology on the planet couldn’t find Bin Laden. Only good old fashioned boots on the ground intelligence gathering by spies via informants worked.

          Hell, if I was gonna use high tech communications I’d go somewhere off the grid like World of Warcraft. No one suspects a Goblin and a Blood Elf of plotting terrorist actions.

          This whole PRISM and Spying on us thing is about spying on us, The citizens of the U.S. just to build up information on who knows what.

        4. You realize how many people it would take to track the daily lives of 300 million people? Probably about 300 million people. People actually have the ego to think the government is ‘spying’ on them because they can. There aren’t enough minutes in the day, days in the month, months in the year etc. to ‘spy’ on the average American. I have sad news for all the sad characters out there who are so sure the government is out to get them—-the government DOESN’T CARE what you do, who you call, what you say, what colour your socks are, etc. There are infinitely bigger fish to catch/fry, and THESE are the ones whose privacy I’m glad were invading.

        5. Payshunz, the problem is that the data ARE there for the unethical use when, not if, an unscrupulous government elects to use it. We have already seen the government choose to ignore the safeguards built into the law. We are not children expecting the best. A tool like this WILL BE USED. Obama has already used the tool of the IRS against his political opponents, contrary to law, to help sway an election. Don’t be naive. Don’t believe the main stream news who say there is nothing there. There is. None of the liberal groups were scrutinized to anything near the degree the conservative or religious groups were. Only one progressive group was delayed and that for just three months. There are conservative groups that are still waiting THREE YEARS later, still jumping through hoops never before required of any applicants. Conservative Political candidates IRS records have been opened extremely contrary to law. . . even a Presidential candidate’s and at least one sitting US Senator’s to benefit their challengers.

          You cannot, with a straight, honest face, say that this NSA data will not be abused. . . evidence shows it already HAS BEEN USED for non-national security cases. That is unconscionable.

        6. Having spent 24 years in the intelligence career field and working for a while at NSA, I don’t consider myself ‘naive’. Opinionated, sure! My concern isn’t that data is collected willy-nilly, rather I want good oversight of all that data. I find it humourous, all this fuss about the government’s ability to collect so much data, people feeling their rights are being trampled, yet they don’t give a second thought to all the non-governmental groups (Big Business) collecting/sharing/using the same type of data. One’s agenda is national security, the other’s is MONEY.

          And I disagree that the information collected WILL BE USED. As I’ve stated before, regarding intelligence and the collection of mundane data, the government DOESN’T CARE about you (or me, or my neighbor). What we said to a friend yesterday, what email I sent, what websites I visit. It’s not an individual thing, it’s a total picture thing, it’s looking for patterns. There is SO MUCH DATA, and its filtered such that the absolute vast majority of it is insignificant and of no interest. Yes, it’s ‘there’, but no, no one is abusing it. That’s why I want good oversight on the data.

          Misuse of data collected by governmental agencies has happened LONG before the latest case with the IRS. It’s undoubtedly occurred throughout the ages, and will unfortunately continue to happen tomorrow. Such is the nature of man.

          But everyone wants to take it personally. Gives them a chance to rant and vent and hate and complain.

          I also find it humorous that I don’t think our government is effective at all. Too partisan. Too beholden to big business (oil, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, the rich, etc.). Yet I defend them a bit in this area.

      1. I don’t know what’s worse…
        The reckless selfishness of not caring about the fate of your fellow countrymen wherever they are in the world…or the childish notion that this sort of government surveillance is a recent phenomenon. The idea that ‘Everyman’ is an island, is about as bogus as US insularity.
        What essential freedoms are you talking about?

        1. “What essential freedoms are you talking about?”

          Lets just start with the fourth amendment, and respecting the constitution and not spying.

        2. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…”

          Odd, no mention of emails, phone calls, web browsing history…you would have thought they would have included these.

        3. You cannot possibly this ignorant. . . well, you’re probably an Obama supporter so, yes, you could possibly. You probably have never read the Constitution. Let’s look at the entirety of the Fourth Amendment Shall we, instead of your out of context cherry nose-picking?

          It says: “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.”

          Exactly where in there is the Government granted permission to gather personal data from or about any private citizen? Where has the government presented a Warrant specifying the specific “things”, in this case information—and the is plenty of case law that “information falls under the definition of “things”—to be seized from everyone? Exactly WHO swore or affirmed there was probable cause a crime had been committed giving rise to the necessity of such a seizure? Exactly what part of “the Right of the people. . . SHALL NOT be violated” do you and Obama fail to comprehend?

          As to including these modern means of communication in the Fourth Amendment, may I suggest you investigate the legal definition of “effects” and the case law as it applies to “papers” and “persons” and while you are at it check out case law about “privacy” “, “penumbras” and other matters of settled law. Oh, and the constitution also has failed to mention the protection of free speech,—yours for example—over things such as the Internet, virtual printing not through the use of a “manual printing press”, anything broadcast over the air that was NOT said in the immediate personal presence of the listener, etc., but those ARE covered under the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press found in the First Amendment.

          You might also investigate the fact that NONE of these rights were at all GRANTED by the Constitution to the people but are merely recognized by that document as Rights already held by the people AND enumerating SOME of those most important rights to guarantee that they RETAIN THEM.

          So, to further understand this inherent concept incorporated in the Constitution, I suggest that you further READ and try to understand the NINTH and TENTH AMENDMENTS to the Constitution which state:

          Amendment IX
          The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

          (UNDERLINE that phrase “retained by the people”, Payshunz.)

          Amendment X
          The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

          So, any RIGHTS NOT MENTIONED, such as the right to NOT HAVE OUR EMAILS, and our Phone records, and Web browsing histories mucked around with by snooping Bureaucrats WERE RETAINED BY THE PEOPLE since WE THE PEOPLE DID NOT EXPLICITLY DELEGATE THAT POWER TO MUCK AROUND IN THEM TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! Now. Do. You. Get. It?

        4. And I was worried that i was being a bit verbose! ‘Cherry nose-picking’??? My God, what are you, a first-year law school student?

          Its good to see someone who ‘knows it all’. There are undoubtedly books written on each and every line of the constitution, amendments, etc., deciphering exactly what they actually meant on a word-by-word basis. And you know what? There isn’t a consensus about every single word, every single line, every single sentence, what they meant then and how they should be interpreted now.

          What I get is that you, like so many before you and so many after, believe in yourself so much that nothing anyone says or does will ever change your mind. You know what you know and you know you’re right and you know that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

          After reading your incoherent diatribe, THAT is what I ‘get’.

        5. “the childish notion that this sort of government surveillance is a recent phenomenon” No! What’s childish is to think that todays evasiveness technology presents the same limited results received versus the methods past government surveillance methods acquired when used!

          “The reckless selfishness of not caring about the fate of your fellow countrymen wherever they are in the world” So is Obama, Hillary and the Administration selfish over Benghazi!

    2. “Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism… yet we’ve been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it.”

      Edward Snowden

        1. @Tflint
          Terrorism isn’t an accident, and neither are the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people being killed every year in the US, just by the tobacco industry. And the tobacco industry is only one of many producing products or waste products that they know are killing people.
          What kind of sick, twisted, utterly perverted society does it take to allow these companies to KNOWINGLY kill massive numbers of people — numbers that make the terrorists look like a bunch of babies?

        2. That’s nothing compared to the millions killed in automobile accidents.

          What kind of sick, twisted, utterly perverted society does it take to allow these companies to KNOWINGLY kill massive numbers of people?

      1. I don’t consider my email and web browsing history to be my ‘most sacred right’. Nor my phone calls, nor even the content of the letters I mail. Really, you should try living as a female in a Middle Eastern country like Saudi Arabia, or perhaps Afghanistan. THEN I think you’d have a better idea of what ‘sacred rights’ you have or have not.

    3. Almux, I demand your Social Security Number, your date of birth, bank routing and bank account numbers and general passwords and PIN codes. I know you don’t know me, but don’t worry, I won’t use them for anything.

      Still waiting Almux…

      Of course it won’t given me, but he entrusts in the faceless, nameless government worker who spies on him and his internet usage and calls it “in the name of freedom”!

      With Obama, Democrats and Liberals, it has nothing to do with “the name of freedom” and everything to do with CONTROL!

      Also, I hope your comment “some will just prefer more bomb blasting everywhere” is not a barb at so called Neo-Cons, considering when was the last time Obama captured a terrorist versus sending out a Drone?!

      I hope Apple tells Obama to take a hike! Better yet, Obama would probably listen better to Laurene Powell Jobs!

        1. That is what is known as an ad hominem attack. . . used because you cannot refute the facts are the argument, so you attack the person by denigrate the opponent. Bad form, old man. It’s one most liberals devolve to rapidly.

        2. If this person I’m ‘attacking’ is ‘Now now…’, he has stated no ‘facts’, only incoherent blather (a bit like your comments, I might add), thus it’s not difficult to ‘attack’ him, nor you, for that matter. You (and he) strike me as someone who knows lots and lots of big words, but doesn’t quite know how to string them together to clearly make a statement. It all sounds like so much noise.

          Now if English is your second language, that would explain it and I instead commend you on your efforts to make your point.

  2. Mdn… I’m sure you word these headlines for effect, This is a gross violation of the 4th amendment, and be franklin is correct,

    however… this has been going on since the 30’s with the FBI tapping phones illegally. The NSA’s job is to spy domestically, and they don’t listen to anyone. That’s their directive no matter who is president. Is it right? no… It is not. I’m sure we are going to have the requiste arguments on this thread, but I would plead with everyone to just agree that NSA & FBI should never have been doing this in the first place decades ago.

    Also, all the tech companies have to do is decline the request.

    1. Agree with you to a point but not about “all they have to do is decline” since that requires a protracted and very costly legal battle against an unlimited budget of tyrannical and unaccountable federal government. Most smaller firms have no resources to fight this and have no choice but to roll over.

      1. Perhaps, but Limbaugh-loving MDN is known to stir the pot every now and again by injecting Obama into stories of this kind. This type of domestic eavesdropping began under Bush/Cheney shortly after 9/11, if not before. I’m against turning over encryption keys to the government, but it certainly wasn’t an idea hatched under this administration. Unfortunately, those who fail to fact-check or know their history will buy into the propaganda.

  3. A dictator is allowed to ask for whatever he wants and you had better give it to him. Or the IRS might come calling. And don’t mention his big ears. He is sensitive about their massive dimensions. That could cause a late night ATF home invasion.

      1. Obama “decided” to only implement the parts of Obamacare that will help the 2014 election despite what the law says. Obama used “executive order” to make legal about 1 million illegal aliens a year ago. Obama routinely picks and chooses what laws to enforce. Obama instructed the IRS to use its powers of audit and tax exemption to thwart and destroy political enemies. Obama used the IRS and local Democrats to illegally open tax records of Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, who was running for Joe Biden’s old seat. Obama allows political friends to escape penalties for tax violations, like Tim Geithner. Obama used the the DoJ to force an arrest of George Zimmerman, though the local authorities decided not to prosecute and that there was no crime. There was certainly no Federal crime. Obama put a man in jail for making a video about Muslims, falsely blaming this video producer for the attack on the Libyan embassy which killed four Americans. The accusation was later admitted to be a lie, but the poor video producer is still in jail a year later. Why, because we live in a dictatorship. Obama has discard the Constitution and simply does what he pleases. That is the definition of a dictator. You should actually gain some knowledge before you post.

        1. Kent, you are the one who needs to gain knowledge. Mark Basseley Youssef who made that video is in jail for violating his parole after he was convicted of bank fraud.

        2. So the Federal agents, who invaded his home at midnight and took him away with network cameras recording it all, after Obama and Susan Rice and Hillary had lied for a month about what caused the Embassy attack (which the ambassador had predicted when asking for more security which Obama refused) and he was put into jail right in the middle of Obama publicly blaming him. That is why he was jailed and Obama took credit for it. Why was he not in jail already if he was such a criminal? Why – because prior to Libya, the Dictator with Large Ears did not need him in jail to cover the fact that the Dictator allowed four people to die needlessly, while he went to bed and did zero to help save their lives. Yes – he went to bed at 5PM to get sleep before a Las Vegas fundraiser instead of helping his embassy team which was in the process of being attacked, raped and murdered.

        3. You’re entire response is 100% talking points, most of which are twisted and unsubstantiated. Rape? You really believe that one too?

          I feel sorry for you Kent. Living life in your mind must be a daunting experience.

        4. “Rape” – yes, Chris Stevens, Ambassador to Libya, was raped before being murdered. While Obama slept. How far in the sand, or up your ass, is your head?

        5. Don’t worry Kent. It’s not like anyone could have gotten pregnant from all that raping cause if its a legitimate rape the body had mechanisms to shut that kinda thing down.

        6. Yes, the brilliant Obama sent a gay man to be Ambassador in one of the most violent Islamic countries in the world. Good move Obama. And yes, Obama would have had the public pay for the abortion.

          By the way, I beg Obama has the pictures of the Democrat Anthony Weiner, aka Carlos Danger, and his extended two inch penis. Weiner’s wife Huma, is senior advisor to Democrat Hillary Clinton, who taught Huma how to stand by her man, even when he is sexting his penis. It worked for Hillary. Maybe Barney Frank could be brought in to offer counseling.

    1. 30 votes in the House so far to repeal “Obamacare”; not one to fetter funding to the NSA. Does that strike anyone as disingenuous?

      Tyranny requires one or a small group of individuals who hold all the keys to power and are beyond reproach. That being said…

      These set of laws, passed by Comgress seem to me to be an egregious violation of the IV Ammendment. They have been reaffirmed by several congresses since 2001, executed by successive Administrations, and upheld by the Supreme Court. A nightmare to be sure, but not tyranny.

      1. Good idea, Piccio. Let’s defund ObamaCare and the NSA. Two good ideas. Obama uses the NSA to spy on Americans he does not like while inviting Islamic terrorists to dinner at the White House. End ObamaCare and the NSA.

  4. When will the basic foundational laws of the land be respected and enforced. This request never should have been made and if this can’t be blocked, nothing else can be.

  5. If there was any doubt that Snowden did this country a public service, it is gone now. What we are learning about the corrosive compromises our government is prepared to make with the Constitution would have never come to light without his revelations.

    This is gut-check time for the major tech/online companies – if Apple does not publicly tell the US Government to go pound sand I will be sorely disappointed.

  6. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha Hahahahahahahahahahahaha ahahahaha Hahahahahahahahahahahaha ahahahaha.

    All you shithead Ovomit voters must be so proud!

    Enjoy your tyranny, as you are so dumb you wouldn’t know the difference.

    Congrats to all you who voted Emporer Oblabla unto his throne, on being a world class SACK OF SHIT!

    You’re welcome!

      1. Your ignorance shines today…

        For all of you that blame the NSA mess on Bush, read this:
        “But he warned that Congress’ 2008 reform of the FISA system expanded the government’s authority by forcing the court to approve entire surveillance systems, not just surveillance warrants, as it previously handled.”
        Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. But, weren’t the democrats the majority in both houses in congress at that time?

        1. Barely. Majority in House, but a tie in the Senate, though a coalition with an independent brought the Democrats to 50%+1.

          Bush could’ve easily vetoed anything that got through both houses.

          Obama is a disappointment as far as his rosy 2008 promises are concerned. Unfortunately he was still a less bad choice overall compared to Romney+Ryan in the 2012 election.

    1. *sigh*…. Another clueless dullard spewing far right propaganda. Where were you when the Patriot Act was signed… sucking off Beck or letting Limbaugh get you from behind??

      1. Many of us conservatives and libertarians were screaming as loudly as we could that the Patriot Act and its brethren were very bad ideas and were a knee jerk reaction that would not solve the terrorism problem.

        9/11 was horrible, but the info was there without these new surveillance programs and laws. Our intelligence agencies and government were just asleep at the wheel.

        People, the NSA was set up to spy on us — it is the CIA for domestic spying because the CIA is not permitted to spy domestically (now you know why). The government operates off of information, and PRISM et al do just that.

        Congress under Bush gave up our rights, and Congress under Obama did it again. Time to demand change.

        1. I agree with your point, but I never heard one conservative screaming loudly against the Patriot Act. Now they’re coming out of the woodwork trying to pin this mess on the current admin simply to score political points.

      2. What a load of tripe!

        “These were 98 U.S. senators who for voted in favor of the US Patriot Act of 2001 — Senator Landrieu (D-LA) did not vote and Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin was the only senator who voted against the Patriot Act on October 24, of 2001.”

        Except for Landrieu and Feingold, the Democrats who are drying it today ALL voted “AYE!”

        In 2006, 89 Senators voted “AYE” to re enable and EXTEND the Patriot Act INCLUDING Senator Barack Hussein Obama. Eleven democrats voted “nay.”

        As for Rush Limbaugh, you simple did not listen to him. He and many other conservative pundits were decrying the excesses of the Patriot Act both before and after passage. They support the Constitution and recognized the damage that Act did to multiple sections of the basic laws ofvour land. Try opening your ears and mind.

  7. To say that the “Obama Administration” is doing this . . . Rather than “The Federal Government”. . . is pure political propaganda! Do you really pretend that the Bush Administration, the Romney Administration or the Palin Administration would propect us from this?

    1. Actually Bush No, Romney not likely unless it was explained thoroughly, but oddly enough, Palin I’d say definitely. Of the 3 she is the most ardent anti-intrusive government politician. While the left attacked and slandered the woman like rabid dogs on meat, her views were classical liberal, not the much that passes for conservatism today, or the slop that passes for liberalism.

    2. The Obama administration is doing this, and Bush did it before him. Wile I do blame Bush, he’s not currently president and Obama is. It’s classic neo-liberalism to blame all the problems under a liberal leader on the previous conservative leader. I don’t buy it. Obama is to blame here personally, and if whoever follows him continues to stomp on the constitution then I will blame that person then.

        1. We can go back a bit further can’t we? I’m an old-timey Truman-era Democrat and well aware of the fiascos of Central America, Indochina, Iran, et al. But the propaganda and disingenuousness worked for attacks on the Philapines, the annexation of Texas, the Revolution itself.

          I’m lucky to be alive at my age, but am not surprised that the age-old argument of individual vs. collective security rages on. The US govt’s structure is patterned on the Roman Republic which never “functioned” in a way that made anyone happy. At least we don’t have open murder of Tribunes, Senators, and Consuls occurring on a monthly basis. Yet.

        2. Excuse me, but those machinations of the past DID NOT involve the wholesale invasion of the privacy of every private citizen of the US and are not of the same caliber of violation of our civil right as protected by our Constitution. No where near. Your attempt to trivialize it won’t excuse the Obama administration from taking advantage of very poor choices made in passing legislation that was ill considered (I won’t say ill thought out, because I think it was, and is accomplishing the purposes intended for it) before passage in the fear and panic following the attacks of 9/11. Too much “baby being thrown out with the bath water” in these huge bills Congress passes without reading, hearings, discussing, or reasoning. Even Bush did not abuse the Act as this administration has. . . although we cannot know what might have been under alternate winners of the Presidency. I, for one, do not think that anyone else but Obama would be ignoring both Congress and the Courts to the extent that this president does.

    3. Maybe you forgot, but Obama has been President for FIVE years. He had a full Democrat Congress for his first two. He could have repealed the Patriot Act which he said he would. Bush used it primarily to listen in on suspected terrorists. Obama expanded the Patriot act instead of repealing it, and he uses it primarily to target political opponents. I remember Democrats screaming about the Patriot Act, now they all love it.

    1. That’s a really good point. Creating and leaving backdoors for that kind of access ESPECIALLY FOR THE GOVERNMENT is insane. If there is a hole, someone will get through it and I guarantee they won’t have our best interests at heart.

    1. It does not have to he is fully responsible for the major policies and actions of the entire executive branch of government. He is entirely and personally responsible for this.

    2. You conservitwits are missing the point that all MDN has to do is chum the waters by simply putting Obama’s name in a headline and you all come swimming in for lunch. You don’t have to cast a wide net here to get you blowhards to start prattling about shit you know nothing about.

      “Ahh the world is ending and its the fault of everyone who doesn’t share my ideology!!”


      “I’m informed and know everything there is to know about complex layered issues that entire teams of people and specialists cant figure out… BUT I know it cause I read 2 blogs, a wiki, and saw a guy on TV talk about it who in no way is biased!! and I use my omnipotent knowledge to argue on forums instead of actually trying effect change in any way other than telling people I don’t know they are wrong from the comfort of my personal computer.”

      I laugh at you morons every day.

      1. And you seem to be ignorant of the world around you, listening to the mainstream media that omits some of the most important news you need to know. For example:

        ■ In all of 2012, the network evening newscasts devoted only 61 seconds to talking about how ObamaCare’s mandates, regulations and new taxes would hurt small businesses.

        ■ For 16 days, the network evening news shows refused to report unprecedented HHS regulations that would violate the conscience of religious organizations by insisting they provide free contraception, including abortion-inducing drugs. The major media ignored massive demonstrations against these regulations, giving them not an inch of newspaper space or a second of airtime, despite 100s of thousands turning out in peaceful protest yet exaggerate small groups of a few dozen into thousands when it supported Obama’s agenda. Only alternative media provided these religious freedom demonstrations coverage.

        ■ After President Obama unilaterally declared a “compromise” on religious freedom, the networks acted as if all was solved, with ABC and NBC utterly ignoring a massive lawsuit against the administration to overturn the rules (CBS gave it just 19 seconds).

        ■ The evening newscasts never mentioned official Congressional Budget Office reports showing ObamaCare would cost up to 6 million workers their health insurance, belying President Obama’s promise that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care

        ■ None of the Big Three evening newscasts mentioned the Fast and Furious scandal, in which guns were permitted to reach Mexican drug gangs that resulted in the deaths of over 300 innocent Mexican citizens and two US Law Enforcement agents, until June 12, when the House of Representatives was about to approve contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder for failing to cooperate with the investigating committee. Instead of treating the administration’s stonewalling as a major scandal, the networks abandoned the story after just a couple of days.

        Who’re the morons? Those of us who dig out the actual facts, find the raw data and make conclusions based on them, or those who choose to remain blissfully ignorant and believe what they’re being spoon fed then having their chins wiped. . . apparently like you,
        who believe that wiser and smarter people—”entire teams of people and specialists”—work for the administration and the news media to take care of and inform you.

        I wish I had your faith in politicians and government employees. . . But I’ve met too many of the modern variety of both to put any faith in either.

  8. So you’re not concerned about abuse of government power, unnecessary surveillance of American citizens, the whole 1984 scenario come to life? Wanting to maintain the freedoms that we have warrants some kind of Fox News slur from you?

    First of all, most people who slur Fox New don’t watch it. I only wish they’d go deeply into this kind of stuff. The big difference in FOX NEWS and all the others, is that FOX doesn’t bend over backwards to support the President.

    Imagine just for a moment that the intelligence agencies are free to grab all the data they want from all of our electronic communications. In 2016 two people will be running for President.

    What sort of information will the intelligence agencies have on these two people by then. Information on them, their friends, their acquaintances, their spouses, lovers, children, lover’s children, the fact that they give to causes some might not approve of… all sorts of nasty stuff. The Intelligence guys can control the elections with their “metadata.”

  9. Fox, like CNN, is horseshit. The new paradigm of the “citizen journalist” is the last hope of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press. The guy with an iPhone recording abuses at a TSA checkpoint, the lady who videos an endless train of DHS light armored tanks, a family in Boston recording warrantless house-to-house searches by Stasi-style militarized police…If the Federal government gets control of the internet and all our personal and public correspondence, to quote Franklin, “we all most certainly will hang together.”

    1. Nonsense, Fox News is nothing like CNN, or MSNBC, or CBS, or ABC, or NBC, or the NY Times, etc. These are all left-wing state run media outlets. The lamestream media remained virtually silent on Bengazi, the IRS, NSA, and DOJ Fast & Furious scandals. The media is supposed to provide checks and balances on the politicians. After the last two presidential elections, it is obvious that this is only the case only if you are a Republican. Fox News provides the checks and balances to the mainstream media. The mainstream media in this country is an affront to democracy!

      1. You are the kind of person no one should ever ever ever listen too. You lack critical thinking skills. If you actually believe what you just posted, you are hopeless.

  10. I find it repugnant that left-wing-nuts who lambasted Bush for spying on those suspected of terrorist activities shortly after 9/11, are now defending Obama who is spying on millions of people without any provocation. And now they want ISP’s to turn over SSL encryption keys, again without any provocation? This is an outrage!

    But don’t worry, the state run media will keep this story quiet for the anointed one. Just as they remained virtually silent on Bengazi, the IRS, NSA, and DOJ Fast & Furious scandals.

    The mainstream media in this country is an affront to democracy!

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