There are 4 messages in this issue.
Topics in this digest:
1. Implant ID chips called big advance, Big Brother (Spy Chips Are So Convenient)
From: "norgesen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
2. NSA program broader than previously described
From: "norgesen" <email@example.com>
3. video - Alex Jones Rocks CNN
From: "smacko" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
4. CNN wants your input on 9/11 story and further research on their part
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 11:51:04 -0500
From: "norgesen" <email@example.com>
Subject: Implant ID chips called big advance, Big Brother (Spy Chips Are So Convenient)
Implant ID chips called big advance, Big Brother
By Jonathan Sidener
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
March 12, 2006
Doctors implanted a radio ID tag under Sean Darks' skin that allows the executive to enter restricted areas of his Ohio security company.
Jack Schmidig, the police chief in Bergen County, N.J., has a similar chip that doctors can use to find his medical records in an emergency.
And in a somewhat renegade use of the technology, Washington state entrepreneur Amal Graafstra unlocks his home and car and logs on to his computer using a chip he bought online and had implanted near his thumb.
All three say putting radio-frequency identification chips under the skin can improve people's lives. An implant is like having a set of keys, or an ID card, that can't be lost, they say. Graafstra jokes that he could end up naked in the alley outside his house and still get inside using the electronic key embedded in his hand.
�People ask me why I don't just carry an RFID card in my wallet,� Graafstra said. �I don't want to have to remember whether I have my card or my keys with me. I can leave my house and not carry anything with me.�
Privacy advocates say today's voluntary use is a step toward a future in which employers or the government mandate implants.
�It's creepy,� said Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego. �People realize in their gut that if we require implanted chips, we've become the kind of society where people can be tracked by their government.�
Good or bad, the technology is having a breakout year in the United States.
Last month, Darks' security video company, Citywatcher.com, became the first in the nation to use RFID implants to control who has access to a restricted area.
Nationwide, about 70 hospitals � none in San Diego � are developing or have begun programs to make the implants available to patients and to put RFID scanners in emergency rooms to scan all unconscious patients.
Those applications use the only radio ID chip approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for implanting in humans, a product from Florida-based VeriChip that's about the size of a grain of rice. Doctors use a syringe and a local anesthetic to insert them under the skin.
Critics say the devices offers the government, employers or corporations a potentially nefarious tool to track citizens. There are several types of RFID, but the technology available from VeriChip and the versions used by the do-it-yourself crowd don't provide a signal that can be tracked.
The chips don't use batteries or any other power source. To work, the they must be held within a few inches of a scanner. Through a process called induction, the scanner temporarily powers the chip by generating a magnetic field that passes through the skin. While it has power, the chip transmits a signal that's picked up by the scanner.
VeriChip says about 70 people in the United States have been implanted with its chips, which cost about $200, including doctors' fees.
In addition, an estimated 80 people have had unauthorized �hobbyist� chips implanted. Like Graafstra, they buy them over the Internet to experiment with the technology, which has been used for years to track lost pets. The technology enthusiasts describe themselves as the �do-it-yourself tagged community.�
The United States lags other countries in adopting radio ID implants. In Mexico in 2004, more than 100 employees in the organized-crime division of the Attorney General's Office received implants giving them access to secure areas.
That same year in Spain, the Baja Beach Club in Barcelona launched a VIP zone for patrons with radio ID implants. VIP members use them to authorize credit-card payments for their drinks. The club's owners have expanded the program to a bar they own in the Netherlands.
At Citywatcher.com, which operates security cameras and stores video for the Cincinnati Police Department, Darks wanted to beef up security for the area where the video is stored.
Biometric systems, which measure unique physical characteristics such as fingerprints or facial structure, were too expensive for his small company, Darks said. So he decided to use the VeriChip system.
He had a radio ID chip placed in his tricep and gave his employees the option of getting chipped.
Three volunteered. Two others carry RFID cards.
�It was completely voluntary,� Darks said. �I wouldn't ask my employees to do something that I wouldn't do myself.�
The implanted device is essentially just an unseen key card, he said.
�I'm not worried about the government or anyone else tracking me through the chip in my arm,� Darks said. �If they wanted to, they could use the GPS information from my cell phone or the trail of places where I've used my credit card. That's much more of a threat.�
Schmidig, the New Jersey police chief, got a VeriChip implant for other reasons. He said a friend's daughter had an episode of diabetic shock and was unable to speak, which delayed medical treatment. At about the same time, he heard about a nearby hospital implementing the VeriChip system.
So Schmidig decided to have a medical ID chip implanted in his arm.
�I have a vacation home in Florida, and there are hospitals down there using this system,� he said. �All my medical records are up here. If something happens to me in Florida, this could speed up access to my medical records.�
Schmidig said he has no concerns about privacy as a result of his implant. His chip doesn't contain any personal information, only an ID number for a medical database.
�I'm not a Big Brother fanatic,� he said. �This is not GPS that can be used to follow me around.�
Graafstra of Bellingham, Wash., is a technology enthusiast and author of �RFID Toys: 11 Cool Projects for Home, Office and Entertainment,� published this year.
A year ago, he decided to take his interest in radio ID technology to a new level, becoming the founding member of the do-it-yourself RFID world. Graafstra bought a chip on the Internet and had a doctor insert it in the tissue between his thumb and index finger.
Graafstra said it's unlikely that anyone would go to the trouble of trying to hack his chip to get the code to his front door. It would be easier to force the door open, he said.
�There's very little possibility that anyone could sneak up and get within a couple of inches of my tag to read it,� he said.
While he's comfortable having the code to open his front door and car in a radio transponder in his hand, Graafstra says the technology may not be secure enough to protect credit-card information or access to sensitive government offices.
Although difficult, it's still possible to record and clone the signal from an implanted chip, he said.
Critics say the practice opens a door that would be best left closed.
�RFID has the potential to produce some wonderful applications,� said Givens, the San Diego privacy advocate. �It also has the potential to be a technology with which a government-issued ID number can be read promiscuously.
�It's being rushed to the marketplace without understanding the consequences,� she said. �The privacy implications have not been thoughtfully explored.�
Liz McIntyre, co-author of �Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID,� said she isn't swayed by technical arguments that implanted chips are benign.
�There may be limits on what the technology can do today, but we don't know what the technology will be capable of tomorrow,� McIntyre said. �Yes, it's a step on that slippery slope. You wouldn't walk down the street with your Social Security number printed on your shirt. Why would you want an RFID chip capable of transmitting an identification number?�
�Big Brother� firms keep eye on workers
By Patricia Kitchen
An employee enters an unauthorized area of the company, his smart-chip badge triggering a hidden surveillance camera. That sends an alert to a security officer, who uses his laptop or cell phone to monitor what the intruder is up to.
Once the realm of Tom Cruise movies, scenes such as this one are playing out at a worksite near you.
What�s more, employer surveillance of workers and property extends beyond the video screen: The boss can tell what Web sites you�ve visited on office computers, the content of e-mail you haven�t even sent, even your every move through cell phones equipped with global positioning. And coming soon: Employee identification through biometrics � measuring such biological components as fingerprints and voice pattern � as well as grain-of-wheat-sized chips implanted under the skin, turning you, in effect, into an EZPass.
All of which might lead the unsuspecting employee to ask: Just what privacy rights do I have when it comes to electronic monitoring? Darn few, says L. Camille Hebert, law professor at Ohio State University and author of �Employee Privacy Law� (Thomson West).
Certainly, bosses can cite significant reasons for tracking worker activity: Monitoring can go a long way toward cutting down on sexual harassment, workplace accidents and goofing off. Plus, in lawsuits, courts expect employers to be able to hand over electronic evidence.
So such surveillance is on the increase: The use of video monitoring for theft, violence and sabotage rose last year to 51 percent of 526 employers surveyed by the American Management Association and ePolicy Institute; only 33 percent were using such monitoring four years earlier.
The federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 � amended in 2001 � gives employers what privacy experts call pretty much carte blanche. Nancy Flynn, executive director of the ePolicy Institute in Columbus, Ohio, says the provisions of the act can be translated this way: �The computer system is the property of the employer and as such the employer has the right to monitor Internet activity and e-mail. Employees should have no reasonable expectation to privacy.�
Still, the exchange of privacy for more efficiency and security carries costs when it comes to employee morale, says Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute in Princeton, N.J. He poses these real and potential situations: A woman who found out she was pregnant visited an expectant mothers� Web site and then got confronted by her boss later that day. Or a worker who sends her doctor an e-mail containing terminology that could also have sexual meaning. Or those subjected to video surveillance in restrooms or changing rooms.
Most employers who use forms of surveillance say they notify their employees. The American Management/ePolicy Institute research found that 80 percent let workers know they�re being monitored for computer content, keystrokes and keyboard time; 82 percent let them know computer files are stored and reviewed; 86 percent, that e-mail is tracked; and 89 percent, that Web visits are monitored.
Despite its potential for abuse, electronic monitoring can and does serve valuable workplace purposes.
Supporters of workplace surveillance point to evidence of its value:
Fourteen nursing home employees in Rochester, N.Y., were charged last month by state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer with fraud and falsifying records because they had moved call bells out of patients� reach so they could watch television or socialize. Their activity was captured when the room of a 70-year-old man with dementia was monitored through video surveillance cameras.
Percentage of employers monitoring some or all of their employees in the following ways:
�Monitoring and reviewing Web Sites visited: 76 percent
�Storing and reviewing e-mail messages: 55 percent
�Using smart-card technology to control building/data center access: 53 percent
�Monitor time spent on the phone and numbers called: 51 percent
�Using video surveillance to counter theft, violence, sabotage: 51 percent
�Saving and reviewing employees� computer files: 50 percent
�Monitoring time employees spend on computer, content, keystrokes entered: 36 percent
�Taping employee phone conversations: 22 percent
�Using video surveillance to monitor performance: 16 percent
�Taping and reviewing voice mail messages: 15 percent
�Using GPS technology to monitor/track employee ID/smart cards: 8 percent
�Using fingerprints scans to control building/data center access: 5 percent
�Using GPS technology to monitor/track company cell phones: 5 percent
�Using iris scan technology to control building access: 0.5 percent
[March 17, 2006]
The bugs in the carpet are RFID
(InfoWorld Daily Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
One of Germany's best-known makers of vacuum cleaners and carpets aims to tap a new market: intelligent flooring embedded with wireless chips.
Vorwerk & Co. Teppichwerke is launching a textile flooring underlay equipped with RFID (radio frequency identification) tags, Vorwerk spokesman Thomas Weber said Friday.
"After three years of research, we're launching field tests with several companies that intend to use our smart-floor technology," he said. "We're now able to mass-produce the product."
The RFID-enabled flooring underlay is the result of a "thinking carpet" project launched together with German chip maker Infineon Technologiesin 2003.
The smart-floor underlay can be used to perform a number of tasks, such as navigating automated transport systems in buildings, according to Weber.
In a first step, together with InMach Intelligente Maschinen, a robot manufacturer, Vorwerk is offering a bundled "smart-floor" package consisting of the RFID-enabled underlay, robots, and software.
The underlay enables robots to orient themselves in a room and move toward precise targets on the floor, using information stored in the embedded RFID tags, according to Weber. Systems administrators can manage the robots from a central point, sending data to them from a control PC via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, he said.
The RFID tags consist of a microchip joined to an antenna coil and attached to an ultra-thin sheet of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. Each tag has its own ID number, which can be detected and identified by the robot's integrated RFID reader from up to 10 centimeters. The power required for reading the tags is supplied by the robot; the tags are passive, requiring no electrical voltage.
Industrial floor cleaning could be one application. Data stored in the chips direct the robot to areas that have to be cleaned and away from those already cleaned.
Vorwerk intends to market its smart-floor system to numerous groups, including building managers, hospitals and nursing homes.
In a next step, the company aims to connect the RFID tags to form an intelligent network that can track movements and respond, according to Weber. The networked tags could be used to help secure floors from intruders or detect nursing home patients who have fallen on the floor, he said.
The smart-floor technology was demonstrated at the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany, which ended Wednesday.
[This message contained attachments]
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 18:45:17 -0500
From: "norgesen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: NSA program broader than previously described
NSA program broader than previously described
By Shane Harris, National Journal
March 17, 2006
The Bush administration has assiduously avoided any talk about the actual workings of its program to intercept the phone calls and e-mails of people in the United States who are suspected of having links to terrorists abroad. Officials' unwavering script goes like this: Present the legal justifications for the president to authorize domestic electronic surveillance without warrants, but say nothing about how the National Security Agency actually does it -- or about what else the agency might be doing.
But when Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 6 to answer questions about the program, what he didn't say pulled back the curtain on how the NSA decides which calls and e-mails to monitor. The agency bases those decisions on a broad and less focused surveillance than officials have publicly described, a surveillance that may, or may not, be legal.
In a hearing that lasted more than eight hours, Gonzales, who didn't testify under oath, dutifully batted away senators' inquiries about "operational details" and stayed silent, under determined questioning by some Democrats, about other warrantless programs that the president might have secretly authorized. When the hearing finally ended, so did Gonzales's comments on the program.
Until 22 days later. On February 28, Gonzales sent committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., a six-page letter, partly to respond to questions he was unprepared to answer at the hearing, but also "to clarify certain of my responses" in the earlier testimony. In the letter, Gonzales took pains to correct any "misimpressions" that he might have created about whether the Justice Department had assessed the legality of intercepting purely domestic communications, for example, as opposed to those covered by the NSA program, in which one party is outside the United States. The attorney general didn't say that Justice had contemplated the legality of purely domestic eavesdropping without a warrant, but he also didn't say it hadn't.
Gonzales's letter was intriguing for what else it didn't say, especially on one point: With exacting language, he narrowed the scope of his comments to address only "questions relating to the specific NSA activities that have been publicly confirmed by the president." Then, as if to avoid any confusion, Gonzales added, "Those activities involve the interception by the NSA of the contents of communications" involving suspected terrorists and people in the United States.
Slightly, and with a single word, Gonzales was tipping his hand. The content of electronic communications is usually considered to be the spoken words of a phone call or the written words in an electronic message. The term does not include the wealth of so-called transactional data that accompany every communication: a phone number, and what calls were placed to and from that number; the time a call was placed; whether the call was answered and how long it lasted, down to the second; the time and date that an e-mail message was sent, as well as its unique address and routing path, which reveals the location of the computer that sent it and, presumably, the author.
Considering that terrorists often talk and write in code, the transactional data of a communication, properly exploited, could yield more valuable intelligence than the content itself.
"You will get a very full picture of a person's associations and their patterns of activity," said Jim Dempsey, the policy director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an electronic-privacy advocacy group. "You'll know who they're talking to, when they're talking, how long, how frequently.... It's a lot [of information]. I mean, a lot."
According to sources who are familiar with the details of what the White House calls the "terrorist surveillance program," and who asked to remain anonymous because the program is still classified, analyzing transactional data is one of the first and most important steps the agency takes in deciding which phone calls to listen to and which electronic messages to read.
Far from the limited or targeted surveillance that Gonzales, President Bush, and intelligence officials have described, this traffic analysis examines thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of individuals, because nearly every phone number and nearly every e-mail address is connected to a person.
Patterns in the Sea
Analysis of telephone traffic patterns helps analysts and investigators spot relationships among people that aren't always obvious. For instance, imagine that a man in Portland, Ore., receives a call from someone at a pay phone in Brooklyn, N.Y., every Tuesday at 9 a.m. Also every Tuesday, but minutes earlier, the pay phone caller rings up a man in Miami.
An investigator might look at that pattern and suspect that the men in Portland and Miami are communicating through the Brooklyn caller, who's acting as a kind of courier, to mask their relationship. Patterns like this have led criminal investigators into the inner workings of drug cartels and have proved vital in breaking these cartels up.
Terrorists employ similar masking techniques. They use go-betweens to circuitously route calls, and they change cell phones often to avoid detection. Transactional data, however, capture those behaviors. If NSA analysts -- or their computers -- can find these patterns or signatures, then they might find the terrorists, or at least know which ones they should monitor.
Just after 9/11, according to knowledgeable sources, the NSA began intercepting the communications of specific foreign persons and groups named on a list. The sources didn't specify whether persons inside the United States were monitored as part of that list. But a former government official who is knowledgeable about NSA activities and the warrantless surveillance program said that this original list of people and groups, or others like it, could have formed the base of the NSA's surveillance of transactional data, the parts of a communication that aren't considered content.
If the agency started with a list of phone numbers, it could find all the numbers dialed from those phones. The NSA could then learn what numbers were called from that second list of numbers, and what calls that list received, and so on, "pushing out" the lists until the agency had identified a vast network of callers and their transactional data, the former official said.
The agency might eavesdrop on only a few conversations or e-mails. But starting with even an initial target list of, say, 10 phone numbers quickly yields a web of hundreds of thousands of communications, because the volume increases exponentially with every new layer of callers.
To find meaningful patterns in transactional data, analysts need a lot of it. They must set baselines about what constitutes "normal" behavior versus "suspicious" activity. Administration officials have said that the NSA doesn't intercept the contents of a communication unless officials have a "reasonable" basis to conclude that at least one party is linked to a terrorist organization.
To make any reasonable determination like that, the agency needs hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of call records, preferably as soon as they are created, said a senior person in the defense industry who is familiar with the NSA program and is an expert in the analytical tools used to find patterns and connections. Asked if this means that the NSA program is much broader and less targeted than administration officials have described, the expert replied, "I think that's correct."
In theory, finding reasonable connections in data is a straightforward and largely automated process. Analysts use computer programs based on algorithms -- mathematical procedures for solving a particular problem -- much the same way that meteorologists use data models to forecast the weather. Counter-terrorism algorithms look for the transactional indicators that match what analysts recognize as signs of a plot.
Of course, those algorithms must be sophisticated enough to spot many not-so-obvious patterns in a mass of data that are mostly uninteresting, and they work best when the data come from many sources. Algorithms have proven useful for detecting frequent criminal activity, such as credit card fraud.
"Historical data clearly indicate that if a credit card turns up in two cities on two continents on the same day, that's a useful pattern," says Jeff Jonas, a computer scientist who invented a technology to connect known scam artists who are on casinos' watch lists with new potential grifters, and is now the chief scientist of IBM Entity Analytics.
"The challenge of predicting terrorism is that unlike fraud, we don't have the same volume of historical data to learn from," Jonas said. "Compounding this is the fact that terrorists are constantly changing their methods and do their best to avoid leaving any digital footprints in the first place."
The obvious solution would be to write an algorithm that is flexible and fast enough to weigh millions of pieces of evidence, including exculpatory ones, against each other. But according to technology experts, and even the NSA's own stated research accomplishments, that technology has not been perfected.
The Bleeding Edge
The NSA began soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to collect transactional data from telecommunications companies. Several telecom executives said in press accounts that their companies gave the NSA access to their switches, the terminals that handle most of the country's electronic traffic. One executive told National Journal that NSA officials urged him to hand over his company's call logs. When he resisted, the officials implied that most of his competitors had acceded to the agency's request.
Not long after the surveillance program started, in October 2001, the NSA began looking for new tools to mine the telecom data. The agency, the industry expert said, considered some that the Defense Department's Total Information Awareness program was developing. TIA was an ambitious and controversial experiment to find patterns of terrorist activity in a much broader range of transactions than just telephone data.
But NSA officials rejected the TIA tools because they were "too brittle," the expert said, meaning that they failed to manage the torrent of data that the NSA wanted to analyze. He noted the irony of rejecting the TIA technologies -- which privacy advocates had characterized as huge, all-seeing, digital dragnets -- because they couldn't handle the size of the NSA's load.
In the fall of 2002, a federal research-and-development agency that builds technologies primarily for the NSA launched another search for pattern-detection solutions. The Advanced Research and Development Activity, ARDA, issued $64 million in contracts for the Novel Intelligence for Massive Data, or NIMD, program. Its goal was "to help analysts deal with information overload, detect early indicators of strategic surprise, and avoid analytic errors," according to ARDA's public call for proposals released last year.
In essence, NIMD is an early-warning system, which is how the administration has described the terrorist surveillance program. In 2003, ARDA also took over research of the tools being developed under TIA.
While the NSA was searching for the next generation of data-sifters, it continued to rely on less sophisticated tools. For an example, the former government official who spoke to NJ cited applications that organize data into broad categories, allowing analysts to see some relationships but obscuring some of the nuance in the underlying information. The results of this kind of category analysis can be displayed on a graph.
But the graph might reveal only how many times a particular word appears in a conversation, not necessarily the significance of the word or how it relates to other words. Technologists sarcastically call these diagrams BAGs -- big-ass graphs.
Such was the state of affairs when the NSA started looking for terrorist patterns in a telephonic ocean. So, instead of looking for a tool that could cull through the data, the agency decided to "reverse" the process, starting with the data set and working backward, looking for algorithms that could work with it.
The NSA has made some breakthroughs, the industry expert said, but its solution relies in part on a technological "trick," which he wouldn't disclose. Another data-mining expert, who also asked not to be identified because the NSA's work is classified, said that computer engineers probably started with the telecom companies' call data, looked for patterns, and then wrote algorithms to detect them as they went along, tweaking the algorithms as needed.
Such an ad hoc approach is brittle in its own right. For starters, if analysts are working with algorithms designed to detect only certain patterns, they could be missing others, the technology expert said. At the same time, the more dependent the algorithms are on identifying very specific patterns of behavior, the more vulnerable the NSA's monitoring is to being foiled if terrorists discover what the agency is watching for, or if they change their behavior. A more complex algorithm that considers thousands, or even millions, of patterns is harder to defeat.
The industry expert added that NSA officials have worried that "if you knew what the technical trick was they were doing [to make the surveillance program function], you wouldn't have to know what specific algorithms" the agency was using. This reliance on a "trick" makes the program very vulnerable to defeat and helps explain why the Bush administration is so keen on cloaking its inner workings.
"It's pretty bleeding-edge," the expert said, referring to a technology that's unperfected and therefore prone to instability. "We're talking about dumping hundreds of thousands or millions of records" into a system. In an unsophisticated system, connections among people can emerge that look suspicious but are actually meaningless. A book agent who represents a journalist who once interviewed Osama bin Laden, for example, doesn't herself necessarily know bin Laden. But she might turn up in an NSA search of transactional data. "False positives will happen," the expert said.
Gonzales and former NSA Director Michael V. Hayden have said that career agency employees decide to eavesdrop only if they have a "reasonable" basis to believe one party to a communication is a terrorist or connected to a terrorist organization.
But what determines reasonableness? In a January speech at the National Press Club, Hayden drew a distinction between the Fourth Amendment's requirement that "no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause," and its protection against "unreasonable searches and seizures."
When a journalist in the crowd questioned his logic, Hayden heatedly replied, "If there's any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment.... I am convinced that we are lawful, because what it is we're doing [intercepting content] is reasonable."
He said that the terrorist attacks fundamentally altered the NSA's thinking. "The standard of what [information] was relevant and valuable, and therefore, what was reasonable, would understandably change, I think, as smoke billowed from two American cities and a Pennsylvania farm field. And we acted accordingly."
Aside from the question of whether NSA employees, rather than federal judges, are qualified to determine what constitutes a reasonable search, that determination provides much of the basis for deciding whose communications will be intercepted without a warrant. If the technology the NSA is using to determine what constitutes a reasonable search is unsophisticated, the industry expert said, "you're talking about tapping a phone based on a statistical correlation."
A New Legal Battle?
Gonzales's narrowly tailored letter to Sen. Specter raised more questions than it answered. Democrats were outraged by what they saw as the attorney general's attempt to alter his testimony and to obstruct senators' attempts to fully assess the program's legal basis.
"Much of your letter is devoted to not providing answers to the questions of a number of us regarding legal justifications for activities beyond those narrowly conceded by you to have already been confirmed by the president," Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the Judiciary Committee's ranking Democrat, wrote to the attorney general in a follow-up letter.
Leahy also raised the question of what else Gonzales hadn't told lawmakers. The attorney general's letter contained "disturbing suggestions ... that there are other secret programs," Leahy wrote.
In Gonzales's letter to Specter, the attorney general had referred to "other intelligence activities" and to his inability to discuss them; he left open the possibility that the president may not have authorized these activities. Gonzales wrote, "When I testified in response to questions from Sen. Leahy, 'Sir, I have tried to outline ... what the president has authorized, and that is all that he has authorized,' I was confining my remarks to the Terrorist Surveillance Program as described by the president."
Gonzales's testimony was meant to defend the program's legality. But as more about the NSA's operations become known, new legal questions arise, including one that goes to the heart of how officials reasonably identify suspected terrorists.
Under normal criminal law, content is defined as "any information concerning the substance, purport, or meaning of [a] communication," but the definition of content under the law that governs electronic eavesdropping on U.S. persons for intelligence purposes is different and is potentially in conflict with normal jurisprudence. That law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, states that content "includes any information concerning the identity of the parties ... or the existence, substance, purport, or meaning of [their] communication."
A phone number can be used to identify a person, said Dempsey of the Center for Democracy and Technology, who for nine years was assistant counsel to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights. Does that mean that a phone number is "content" under the law?
FISA, enacted in 1978, didn't envision today's technology, when anyone with an Internet connection can use a phone number to find someone's name, address, and even an aerial photograph of his house, Dempsey said.
"I just cannot read [FISA] and figure out what it means in the context of analysis of [transactional] data," he added. "Presumably somebody in the administration thinks they understand it.... Whether that's providing any clear guidance" to the people working on the NSA program, "that's not clear."
[This message contained attachments]
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 14:55:36 -0800
From: "smacko" <email@example.com>
Subject: video - Alex Jones Rocks CNN
Alex Jones Rocks CNN
Video [23 MB] download link:
Alex Jones Rocks CNN
Hannity & Colmes Cover Sheen's 9/11 Comments MOV [13MB]
Transcript of Alex Jones Appearance on CNN's Showbiz Tonight
March 23 2006
Aired March 23, 2006 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE
[This message contained attachments]
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 23:16:57 -0500
Subject: CNN wants your input on 9/11 story and further research on their part
CNN wants your input on 9/11 story and further research on their part
( Tell CNN here what you think about their reporting on Charlie Sheen
and Alex Jones opinions and ask them to do more research and reporting
in this area.
Also please recommend to them that they make up a panel of the 5
men who have made up the DVD videos of the Truths of 9/11 and have them
on several times )
CNN.com - Contact Us
CNN Reports More 9/11 Questions
State After State Repudiates Bush
FEMA breaks Katrina contracts pledge - Hurricanes' Aftermath - MSNBC.com
(note to self - When the Revolution starts - Kill anyone who was
receiving a government paycheck.)
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