NSA Uses ‘Stop And Frisk’ Standards To Collect Data, Official Says

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Offline dustypatriot85

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What does the NSA and “stop and frisk” have in common? According to an official who works for the spy agency, more than you’d think (or want). Much like the highly controversial stop and frisk policy, NSA agents use “reasonable suspicion” when identifying possible targets.

The admission was made during a hearing held by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on Monday. The board was created in 2004 to monitor and hold hearings on government intelligence collection programs. According to the Kansas City Star, this is the first time such a hearing has been held.

It was NSA General Counsel Rajesh De who remarked that the way phone call data is collected is “effectively the same standard as stop and frisk,” according to The Hill. As one member on the board, James Dempsey, pointed out, the stop and frisk program is “at the very least, highly controversial.” He pointed out the history of discriminatory use of the policy.

Dempsey refers to New York City police’s aggressive use of their version of stop and frisk. NYC cops have been accused of using racial profiling to disproportionately target Latinos and African-Americans. In fact, last August a federal judge ruled on just this issue, ordering the practice to end.

With this in mind, De’s remarks comparing the controversial NSA surveillance programs to the recently struck down NYPD practice are raising eyebrows. And for good reason — as Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks have shown, the NSA spy programs have turned scanning and collecting phone data on millions of people into business as usual.

Realizing the minefield De planted the NSA in with his comment, agency official Robert Litt tried to reel the comparison back. Litt told the board that the telephone monitoring program violates privacy “considerably less” than a physical pat-down. This, he explains, is because it supposedly only collects numbers called and call lengths.

Some have called the large number of telephone records collected by the NSA to be an act of building a haystack to find a needle. Patrick Kelley, general counsel for the FBI, argued Monday for the necessity of widespread monitoring. Kelley says without the large volume of data, “it’d be much harder, much slower and much more difficult for us” to stop terrorists.

De’s comments comparing the NSA telephone monitoring program to the controversial stop and frisk policy will likely influence a list of recommendations for the spy agency the oversight board will submit to Congress and the White House

Offline dustypatriot85

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Google’s Eric Schmidt Blasts NSA Spying
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 11:34:23 PM »
Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google Inc, says that reports of NSA spying on data centers without consent is unacceptable and possibly illegal. If these claims are proven true, Schmidt says such acts would be “really outrageous.” Earlier this year it was revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that the NSA was willing given access to user data by several major internet and communications companies, including Google.

However, more recent leaks claim that the NSA has been secretly sifting through data centers without approval. As Huffington Post reports, the leaks say the intelligence agency tapped communication links used by Google and Yahoo. Schmidt, speaking from Hong Kong, says Google has already filed complaints with the NSA, President Obama, as well as members of Congress.

Last week NSA Director General Keith Alexander stated that the agency does “not have access to Google servers, Yahoo servers. We go through a court order.” Other spokespeople for the NSA have refuted these claims as well. They insist that the press has presented untrue facts and misrepresented NSA actions.

Recent reports say that US intelligence operations that would not be allowed normally. But laws like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act have cleared the legal hurdles by presidential order, new information alleges. NSA officials have denied these claims.

During his interview, Eric Schmidt claimed that the NSA has gathered telephone metadata on 320 million people to catch 300 high risk suspects. Besides being a legal question mark, Schmidt says it’s “just bad public policy,” reports ZD Net.

It is worth noting that Eric Schmidt has been a major supporter of Barack Obama during his campaigns. The Google head has also been called at on times to serve as an advisor to both the campaigns and the administration.

The US Senate Intelligence Committee passed new restrictions last week on the widespread government intelligence surveillance programs, however, they will still continue. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has not said whether he has gotten any response from his official complaints over NSA spying concerns.