|QUOTE (sivispacem @ Saturday, Jun 8 2013, 02:38)|
| There's not been a great deal of clarity about the utilisation of these powers. I can see the security value of having access to this data and why the NSA want to maintain the free access capability to data legally held and owned by technology and online service providers, but I question quite how valuable drawing down this data en masse would be from an intelligence point of view. None of the articles I've seen actually address this question.|
I agree that the whole thing is really morally questionable but I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the organisations who effectively extort the information silently and without proper prior consent from users. Thinking that the NSA might have access to it would be the least of my worries given how financially valuable PII is to all sorts of shady and criminal organisations.
How could it not be useful for intelligence purposes to be able to have access to phone numbers and emails. The example I provided on the last page with regard to having suspected phone numbers on a watchlist then having it triggered should a call be made to one of those numbers would be an invaluable intelligence tool. This is all legal and fully constitutional - this was done through FISA court authorization which is fully legal. FISA courts were created in the 70s as counterintelligence tools, they aren't even a USA PATRIOT Act thing. Some choose to argue that FISA courts are rubber stamps, but like the constitution says, Congress has the authority to create courts and they created the FISA court and it does what its mandate is.
PRISM, is madness. As a citizen of the EU, I optate the following to happen; the President of the European Council to put the US Government on notice that they have 24 hours to cease and desist spy activities on EU citizens. And that failure to comply, will result in a motion to dissolve NATO, end all diplomatic links with the USA and end all bilateral links with the USA including all extradition agreements. Further more, the military forces of al EU countries are to disengage with immediate effect from all military engagements that are in partnership with US Forces.
The funny thing is that they're still surprised they're one of, if not the most hated country (governments), on earth.
You're out of your mind if you think the US gives a sh*t if you all left NATO. Apart from the UK, every single NATO nation is a blood sucking parasite on the US military budget.