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Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

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  • Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

    Since I'm not a Qwest customer and I talk to a friend in Pakistan sometimes, should I be concerned? The most frustrating part is that I have no way of getting information on this, nor do I have any recourse (not yet, anyway). I guess I should just accept the fact that the government might be listening in on me. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

    http://today.reuters.com/business/ne...&imageid=&cap=

  • #2
    Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

    Yeah if you have a friend in Pakistan you're probably being monitored, although it's likely that a computer is doing the listening and analyzing what you're talking about, not a person. Although, the Pakistani intelligence service may be actively listening in on your chat? I'm not sure what civil liberties are defined in that country or how well those liberties are enforced. Would you feel less invaded if you knew that they were listening but the USA was not?

    You could both agree to begin referring to some common subject you discuss as "bin laden" and find out pretty fast.

    "What you been doing?" "Oh just hanging out with Bin Laden." (Bin Laden=Steve, a mutual aquaintance)

    or

    "Have you seen Bin Laden yet?" "YES! I saw Bin Laden last night and man does Bin Laden rock!" (Bin Laden = recent blockbuster movie)

    Or you could keep the subject off of terrorism and drug trade and look forward to this mess being over with. Some of us get calls monitored, some of us enlist and get shot at, some of us drop off donuts at the local recruiting office from time to time. There are lots of ways to serve.

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    • #3
      Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

      I just want to 100% clarify what you are saying leejo, so nobody gets accused of putting words in your mouth. Are you saying that accepting and not complaining about having your phone records given to a federal agency without warrant is serving your country?

      Originally posted by AMosely
      I guess I should just accept the fact that the government might be listening in on me.
      Your link specifically deals with archiving phone records, not listening in on conversations.

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      • #4
        Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

        Our constitutional protection from unreasonable search and seizure has already been weakened too much. I don't want to see it slip further away.



        Edit: How funny that you should ask that question, Random. I had originally crafted this message in response to leejo, but after re-reading his post determined that I couldn't precisely tell what position he took, so I took that part out before posting.
        A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

        "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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        • #5
          Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

          I think you're overreacting Amosley. From everything I've read there simply isn't the intention nor the manpower to listen to every phone call ever made, other than electronic filtering of keywords just like e-mails. In this particular case the article mentions this in fact saying they are collecting records of calls, not recordings of calls. The article doesn't mention if there was a warrant used for this program or not (or if it was necessary), so that's also an assumption.

          Wouldn't it make things a lot easier if you found a cell phone on someone in Baghdad/Afghanistan/Philippines and could cross reference the call history/address book with a database to see where, if at all, that dude had called anyone in the US. Would you rather we didn't learn from history? The 911 hijackers were in the US and had made phone calls to their contacts in other countries and of course within the US. This program may just prevent another attack. Sorry boys, until there is some serious case work done on this I think we're jumping the gun shooting it down.

          EDIT:
          If I recall correctly, records that the phone company, cable company, DMV, et al keep are not your personal property are not subject to unreasonable search and seizure provisions.
          New to TG?

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          • #6
            Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

            all the more reason to switch to vonage.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

              Originally posted by USN_Squid
              If I recall correctly, records that the phone company, cable company, DMV, et al keep are not your personal property are not subject to unreasonable search and seizure provisions.
              Precisely.
              A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

              "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

                Originally posted by measley
                all the more reason to switch to vonage.
                VOIP will covered by this soon enough...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

                  Originally posted by DigitalAssassin
                  VOIP will covered by this soon enough...
                  Vonage, Tomatovine and Skype already are, I know.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

                    Originally posted by RandomGuy
                    I just want to 100% clarify what you are saying leejo, so nobody gets accused of putting words in your mouth. Are you saying that accepting and not complaining about having your phone records given to a federal agency without warrant is serving your country?
                    Yeah good question, and not exactly. I'm suggesting that this sort of activity is going to happen right now, like it or not, and I'm suggesting that thinking of it as a small service to the country during a difficult time is a decent way of looking at it, considering the extreme sacrifices others are making.

                    Close your eyes, grit your teeth, think of mother England, and take one for the team. I don't like this stuff one bit, but I think it's necessary and important. For now.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

                      The problem is when "for now" becomes "forever."
                      In game handle: Steel Scion
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                      • #12
                        Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

                        Sure, but that's a slippery slope argument that I don't buy into. Once the shooting settles down and I'm personally comfortable that we have our heads wrapped around the threat these terror organizations pose, I'll support steps that ratchet down these sorts of operations or enhance the controls around them.

                        But right now a lot of processes and techniques are being made up on the fly, and I don't think we have the luxury of waiting for Acts of Congress to bless them. That isn't to say that these new programs are illegal, because I believe that they are legal, given the Executive's authority under the Constitution. This is the sort of situation the Framers anticipated, when it's important to vest the Executive with enough authority such that when events develop to make speed to become a higher priority, the government can act faster than a legislative body can possibly form enough consensus to pass laws.

                        But eventually Congress will act, and it will likely modify these systems somewhat. I doubt anyone is prepared to argue that they are perfect in their current state, merely that they are effective, important, and legal.

                        An example of a control. Suppose the NSA worked with an outside organization to encrypt these phone numbers such that the NSA could analyze the communications pattens without looking at actual phone numbers. Develop pattens and models and then obtain a warrant if an encrypted number stands out loud and proud. That's just an on-the-fly example of a control that would safeguard privacy and also allow the government enough information to act on our behalf. IMO these phone numbers are likely exactly that to the analysts: numbers. A zillion numbers calling other nameless numbers...and they're looking for a way to find the 10 guys in some unknown town who want to kill a few thousand people one day next month.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

                          It's not a slippery slope, it's a real concern. We are giving certain powers to the government without a significant safeguard against their abuse, or a method for preventing their use further down the road when they are no longer needed. A power without a check on that power is dangerous, and in this case we are dependent on the good will of hundreds of unknown actors to ensure that this is done right. I simply don't trust that.

                          Originally posted by leejo
                          That isn't to say that these new programs are illegal, because I believe that they are legal, given the Executive's authority under the Constitution.
                          As with so many others, we will simply have to disagree on this point.

                          ...they are effective, important, and legal.
                          That is very debatable. A lot of intelliegence people have come out against the very premise of this type of monitoring, and the FBI has complained about the NSA generating a backlog of false leads. The legality is something that the DoJ has not been permitted to investigate or comment on, even when Qwest requested a statement clearing the release of their data.
                          In game handle: Steel Scion
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                          • #14
                            Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

                            Originally posted by CingularDuality
                            Vonage, Tomatovine and Skype already are, I know.
                            Yet we're forgetting about open source VOIP here. Combining it with some degree of outgoing data encryption would make listening in very difficult, am I right?
                            -Zephyr
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                            • #15
                              Re: Let's hear it for Qwest Communications

                              Originally posted by Zephyr
                              Yet we're forgetting about open source VOIP here. Combining it with some degree of outgoing data encryption would make listening in very difficult, am I right?
                              -Zephyr
                              Perhaps. But what terrorist would bother using that?
                              A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                              "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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