Sunday, July 29, 2007

I Spy

NYTimes (07.29.07):
"A 2004 dispute over the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance program that led top Justice Department officials to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases, according to current and former officials briefed on the program.

It is not known precisely why searching the databases, or data mining, raised such a furious legal debate."

Mining of Data Prompted Fight Over Spying

Why such a furious debate? How about this, from Eschaton (07.28.07):
"Look, all the parsing of statements is a waste of time. [The Bush Administration was] eavesdropping on whoever they wanted to without any warrants or oversight.

Whether or not 'whoever they wanted to' included, say, the John Kerry campaign or Markos Moulitsas is still an open question. They obviously claimed the power to do so, it just isn't clear if they did it."

Whoever the Hell They Wanted To Without Warrants

An observation from Josh Marshall (07.28.07):
"As you can see, we now have the first hint of what was at the center of the Ashcroft hospital room showdown. According to the New York Times, what the White House calls the 'terrorist surveillance [i.e., warrantless wiretap] program' originally included some sort of largescale data mining.

Data Mining

"I don't doubt that this is true as far as it goes. But this must only scratch the surface because, frankly, at least as presented, this just doesn't account for the depth of the controversy or the fact that so many law-and-order DOJ types were willing to resign over what was happening. Something's missing."


"To put this into perspective, remember that the White House has been willing to go to the public and make a positive argument for certain surveillance procedures (notably evasion of the FISA Court strictures) which appear to be illegal on their face."

"This must be much more serious and apparently something all but the most ravenous Bush authoritarians would never accept. It is supposedly no longer even happening and hasn't been for a few years. So disclosing it could not jeopardize a program. The only reason that suggests itself is that the political and legal consequences of disclosure are too grave to allow."

Labels: ,


Post a Comment