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Obama's Privacy Reform Panel Will Report To ... the NSA 569

Posted by timothy
from the just-washing-the-dishes-honey dept.
FuzzNugget writes "No, you didn't just stumble upon The Onion by mistake. Ars Technica reports that Obama's 'reform' panel will report directly to James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence who arguably lied to Congress about whether the NSA conducted dragnet surveillance of Americans' communications. But is anyone really surprised?"
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Obama's Privacy Reform Panel Will Report To ... the NSA

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  • Arguably lied? (Score:5, Informative)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:33AM (#44553297) Journal
    Either he did or he didn't, there's no in-between. In actuality he lied, and did it intentionally.
    • Re:Arguably lied? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:38AM (#44553359)

      Either he did or he didn't, there's no in-between. In actuality he lied, and did it intentionally.

      Technically, I don't think one can lie unintentionally.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Of course there is inbetween.

      There is the truth, nothing but the truth, and the whole truth.

      IMHO, he gave us the truth, but not the whole truth.

      Like if I were to ask you if LInux was open source, what would you say? Yes or no?

      If you say yes, you have lied, as it contains binary blob firmware. or because most people think of Linux as an operating system, and Ubuntu has many components ( Binary drivers and what not) that are not open source.
      If you say no, you have lied, as its released under an open source li

      • Re:Arguably lied? (Score:5, Informative)

        by OffTheLip (636691) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @12:01PM (#44553631)
        Considering a career in politics? Language parsing and nuance abound reaching stellar heights with politicians led by super stars like Bill Clinton with his explanation of the meaning of "is" wrt to his intern. Clapper did not misspeak, he lied.
      • Re:Arguably lied? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Phreakiture (547094) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @12:33PM (#44554069) Homepage

        IMHO, he gave us the truth, but not the whole truth.

        No.

        He was asked if they collected the data on Americans. He said no. That was a lie. It was in no part true. Anyone who knew about Bill Binney [wikipedia.org] or the Quantico Circuit [wikipedia.org] knew it was a lie even before the echo of his words died down in the room.

      • Re:Arguably lied? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chris Mattern (191822) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @01:05PM (#44554567)

        IMHO, he gave us the truth, but not the whole truth.

        Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.): "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

        James Clapper: "No, sir"

        Wyden: "It does not?"

        Clapper: "Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertantly perhaps collect, but not wittingly."

        That is not the truth, but not the whole truth. That is a flat-out lie, told under oath before a Senatorial committee.

    • Re:Arguably lied? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by brxndxn (461473) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @01:16PM (#44554723)

      I'm tired of this 'arguably' and 'allegedly' garbage. James Clapper has already apologized for lying to Congress. HE LIED TO CONGRESS AND HE ADMITTED IT. There is no more 'arguable' or 'allegedly' any more. It is misinformation to keep taking black and white concrete facts and use gray words in their place. It's like there's a hidden agenda somewhere to try to keep people confused on the simplest of facts.

      Therefore, Obama appointed the man in charge of the NSA, who already lied to Congress, to investigate possible reforms for the NSA. But then again, Obama also lied about the extent of the NSA's surveillance. The day after Snowden's original revelations, Obama stated that they only collect 'meta' data - but not actual phone calls. Then, recently, he states that they make copies of everything but do not look at it. Therefore, Obama's original statement was a lie.

      But that's how our country works.. Obama can lie directly to our faces. James Clapper can lie directly to Congress. And the media will say 'they may have lied.'

  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:33AM (#44553307)

    It's up to us to contact our representatives and let them know that they can't just sweep this under the rug like usual. There has to be consequences.

    • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @12:14PM (#44553769) Homepage Journal

      What consequences exactly?
      The same consequences Congress faced when they were found to be engaged in RAMPANT insider-trading?
      The same consequences the Bankers faced when they purposefully bankrupted Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac?
      The same consequences we see any member of government facing for the NSA spying debacle?

      Look guy, I hate to break it to you but the "America" you believed in never really existed and it's never going to exist.
      In generations past, we had the facade of that America and everyone tried their best to preserve that ideal.
      But the cat's been out of the bag for quite awhile now.

      Fact is, Congress and the President are jointly focused on obtaining as much power and control over you as possible.
      It's no longer about liberty, it's about Federal might and majesty.

      It's just a matter of time before the entirely of the Constitution is circumvented by Congress.

  • Democracy has failed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ckwop (707653) <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:35AM (#44553319) Homepage

    I've slowly started to come to the view that representative democracy has basically failed. It's time to try a new system.

    What that system should be up for discussion but the idea of voting for representatives who then decide the policy has been tried and failed. It's too easy for corruption to take root and it's too easy for those people to grab power for power's sake.

    I refuse to accept that there is no better solution than the status-quo. There must be a way to capture the will of the people, protect minorities, and protect the people from government overreach. There must be a way to have our cake and eat it.

    • by oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:39AM (#44553375)
      Campaign finance reform would go along way to changing the system.
      • The problem is two corrupt parties. I don't see how guaranteeing only those parties public finance will change things. It will make it worse.

      • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:49AM (#44553507) Journal

        No it won't. It will do nothing. The voter has to learn to resist propaganda, and think critically. Check the records, not the campaign speeches. Campaign 'reform' is a bullshit shell game, just like term limits. They will find another way to launder the money.

      • by Ambassador Kosh (18352) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @12:02PM (#44553647)

        After citizen's united there is no real chance of campaign finance reform.

        Do you know how many decades people worked for in various states to get campaign finance reform at the state level and to have it wiped out in a single instant by the supreme court.

        Do you have any idea how difficult it will be to get this fixed at the federal level since it would require a constitutional amendment. Corporations will spend hundreds of billions of dollars to defeat it and that much money will win. They will have studies that play everywhere constantly about how great it is that money is the same as speech etc.

      • by BoRegardless (721219) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @12:03PM (#44553663)

        As long as the Fed. government can raise taxes with no upper limit, the country will inexorably become a feudal state with the serf-citizens who literally work their entire lives to feed the Fed.

        And then the Feds, debase the value of any savings you manage to hide away from them.

    • by myowntrueself (607117) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:40AM (#44553395)

      Representative democracy is subverted from the very beginning and its so easy to subvert. Most of the voting population make their voting decisions in the same way they make purchasing decisions. By the way, the majority of people don't evaluate the relative benefits etc of the various products they get to choose from. They make their decisions based on advertising. Advertising works, its worth big money, theres no argument there.. It works for products and services and it 'works' for democracy too.

      The people who control the advertising control the democracy and so democracy almost automatically transforms into mediacracy.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)

      There must be a way to have our cake and eat it.

      Probably not the best metaphor. Once you eat your cake, you don't have it anymore.

      I agree, though, that the situation has room for improvement. Term limits, direct voting, jury duty-like selection for public office? There's got to be something in there that will fix issues like this.

    • by intermodal (534361) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:50AM (#44553515) Homepage Journal

      More than anything else, I've been arguing for years that the biggest problem we have in our representative republic is our single-vote system. What we need is an instant runoff voting system to replace our single-vote ballot. I'm tired of the debates over Perot's role in 1992 every time a party needs to drum up support for an unpopular candidate, the debates over how to dethrone current party establishments without splitting the vote and thus forefitting to the other major party among Democrats and Republicans (well, mostly spoken of by Republicans actually), Libertarians and Greens voting for R and D candidates because their own party "can't win", and so on.

      The only two ways to dethrone our two same-result-different-rhetoric parties are either to challenge the establishment in primaries (which occasionally works, but more often seems not to work) or to effectively end the monopoly they have on the ballot box by eliminating this idiotic idea that a third-party vote is thrown away. Instant runoff means no vote is wasted, no matter how unlikely a voter's highest-ranked candidate's victory seems.

      Example: I know a lot of people who hated Romney and Obama as candidates, and would have liked to have selected someone else, but were so terrified of one or the other that they voted for the one who was most likely to defeat the one who scared them most. That's no way to elect a leader. Similarly, we could have used this process during the primaries to avoid similar problems in candidate selection. Especially states with early primaries, where it could be used to correct for candidates dropping out before the conventions. Though to be fair, most people are unaware that they elect delegates, not candidates.

      The whole issue of picking candidates based not on merit but on "electability" is poison to a healthy democratic election.

    • by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:53AM (#44553545)

      I've always been partial to the idea of having government officials selected from a lottery drawing of any citizen, similar to a draft.

      At the minimum, I wouldn't mind seeing term limits in Congress.

    • by Captain Hook (923766) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @12:05PM (#44553689)

      I refuse to accept that there is no better solution than the status-quo. There must be a way to capture the will of the people, protect minorities, and protect the people from government overreach. There must be a way to have our cake and eat it.

      Rather than having professional career politicians drafting bills for consideration by house representatives, have a committee drawn from the General Population in a similar way to jury selection.

      A single professional lawmaker is used in a similar way to a judge to oversee the committee, they ensure the process is legal, give instructions but can't make a decision about the outcome.

      A committee is formed to consider a specific issue put forwards from 'somewhere' which would be phrased in a high level term which the committee can agree to or ammend,e.g. Committe recommends that National Speed Limits should be increased in light of improvements in vehicle handling but maximum Blood Alcohol of drivers level should be reduced.

      Professional lawmakers then turn those high level recommendations into a proper draft bill but must meet all the high level recommendations and only the high level recommendations (no tacking on a Internet monitoing clause into the bill for transport) before the bill is passed on to the House and Senate in the normal way.

      The randomess of the committee should (if the sample is large enough) represent some sort of democratic consensus and the short period and limited powers of the committee members makes bribery and corporate influence harder / less effective.

      In essence, it's a 3rd layer of the Legislature acting as a filter to the ideas which are allowed to be discussed by the other 2 legislative entities.

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:36AM (#44553329) Homepage Journal
    You explain everything with malice in the government, and idiocy in the voters
  • by Taantric (2587965) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:37AM (#44553339)

    Sarah Palin is an anti-intellectual spawn of Satan, but it is rather funny how that obnoxious line from one of her red meat rallies - "How's that hopey changey stuff working out for ya?" turned out to be oddly prophetic.

    • sorry the people still have hopey. Lots of hopey... I hopey that people that say hopey never get into powery.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:41AM (#44553401)

    This is a panel to determine if the US "employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust."

    This isn't supposed to be oversignt. It's entirely for the NSA's benefit.

    • by Mr.Intel (165870)

      This is a panel to determine if the US "employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust."

      This isn't supposed to be oversignt. It's entirely for the NSA's benefit.

      Well, that's the problem, isn't it? Whoever determined the purpose of this panel (ostensibly, Mr. Obama) missed the point of why Americans are upset. Furthermore, it indicates that the Administration has no intention of changing the status quo. This is why it is newsworthy and why it's to our benefit to know and understand what a "privacy reform panel" looks like. There are other threads discussing how to go about realizing real change (in the broken American political system), so I will refer you to those

  • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy AT tpno-co DOT org> on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:41AM (#44553413) Homepage

    You know, at least politicians of yesteryear would *convincingly* lie to us. I really appreciated the time and effort they went to to construct these elaborate castles of "inaccuracies", all in an effort to appease the masses.

    These new politicians...I dunno...they don't even *try* anymore. It's like they're too busy screwing us and just phone in the excuses.

    • by gaspyy (514539)

      And this surprises you?

      Last time I was surprised was in 2003, after it became evident there were no WMDs in Iraq. I expected public outcry, heads to roll. Nothing happened.

  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@aol.cTWAINom minus author> on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:42AM (#44553435) Journal

    The article doesn't state it, but I heard on CBS News Radio this morning that the panel will also operate in secret, and all records will be classified.

    Nothing to see here, move along, citizen. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • by korbulon (2792438) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:51AM (#44553527)

    Is that they live in a world so far removed from our own - in which civil rights, due process and conflicts of interest are active concerns - to such an extent that doing something like this "ain't no thang". Disturbing.

    Frankly, they could have at least pretended to give a shit.

  • by neo-mkrey (948389) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:52AM (#44553533)
    Except even that doesn't fully capture what is going on here. More like putting KFC in charge of the henhouse?
  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @12:13PM (#44553755) Homepage

    The people investigating wrong-doing will be supervised by the wrong-doers.

  • "arguably"??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superdave80 (1226592) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @12:54PM (#44554365)

    ...the Director of National Intelligence who arguably lied to congress about whether the NSA conducted dragnet surveillance of Americans' communications.

    Damn /. editors, you misspelled "arguably". The proper spelling is D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @02:08PM (#44555577)
    I'm thinking everyone on the internet is going to stop thinking Obama is a secret muslim and start thinking he's a secret Republican. That's because NOBODY will EVER vote democrat again after like 6 scandals in a row plus this bullshit and then dancing around it. He makes Bush look good by comparison. If you think this NSA nonsense is a nail in the coffin, remember that he didn't do a damn thing about the environment. As soon as that medical care bill takes full effect and everyone's rates triple, there won't be another democrat in office for 5 terms minimum. People don't forget stuff like this. Piles and piles and piles of stuff like this.
  • by Typical Slashdotter (2848579) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @02:17PM (#44555737)
    Say whatever you want about how much they may be in the same camp or agree philosophically, but Clapper [wikipedia.org] is the Director of National Intelligence [wikipedia.org]. The NSA is led by General Keith Alexander [wikipedia.org], the Director of the NSA [wikipedia.org], who reports to the Director of National Intelligence. If you're going to complain about who reports to who, at least know who reports to who...

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