×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Officials: NSA's PRISM Targets Email Addresses, Not Keywords

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the the-list-you-don't-want-to-be-on dept.

United States 96

wiredmikey writes "The US government's PRISM Internet spying program exposed by Edward Snowden targets suspect email addresses and phone numbers but does not search for keywords like terrorism, officials said Wednesday. Top lawyers of the country's intelligence apparatus including the NSA and FBI participated Wednesday in a public hearing on the controversial US data-mining operations that intercept emails and other Internet communications including on social media networks like Facebook, Google or Skype. 'We figure out what we want and we get that specifically, that's why it's targeted collection rather than bulk collection,' Robert Litt, general counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, told the hearing. Under authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the NSA asks Internet service providers to hand over messages sent from or received by certain accounts such as terrorist@google.com, the Justice Department's Brad Wiegmann said, using a hypothetical example."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So the question is, is this true? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528933)

Or is this like Clapper said: we only call it "collected" when we look at it. It's not collected yet when we save it in our datacenter with everything else.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529001)

What does it matter, join the FNORD-fest and abandon all reason in the belief that EVERYTHING bad comes from the NSA

Is your milk sour? The NSA left it on the counter
Do you have cancer? Certainly the NSA shot you with mind-beams
Didn't win the lottery? You know the NSA rigged the numbers

Snowden is the gift that keeps on giving... if you want to turn rational people into a stupid mob

Re:So the question is, is this true? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529021)

Or you could just make shit up, like what you're doing.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 8 months ago | (#46532351)

Who knows bullshit when they hear it? Hands up!
Is there anyone left out there who believes any official word from the NSA? Hands up!
How about any other branch or office of the government? The press? Business? Your next door neighbor?
Is there anyone out there actually telling the truth instead of lying to get what they want?

Re:So the question is, is this true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529059)

What does it matter, join the FNORD-fest and abandon all reason in the belief that EVERYTHING bad comes from the NSA

We already have a FJORD-fest here.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530159)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who can spot coldfjord's shilling so easily.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530911)

Where?

Re:So the question is, is this true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530195)

Where? I don't see anything. Do you? You seeing things bro?

Re:So the question is, is this true? (2)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 8 months ago | (#46530511)

2600 Abu Sayyaf Afghanistan Agriculture Agro Agro Terror Aid Airplane (and derivatives) Airport Al Qaeda (all spellings) Al-Shabaab Ammonium nitrate AMTRAK Anthrax Antiviral AQAP (AL Qaeda Arabian Peninsula) AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) Arellano-Felix Artistic Assassins Assassination Attack Attack Avalanche Avian Bacteria Barrio Azteca BART Basque Separatists Beltran-Leyva Biological Biological infection (orevent) Biological weapon Black out Blister agent Blizzard Body scanner Bomb (squad or threat) Border Botnet Breach Bridge Brown out Brown out Brush fire Brute forcing Burn Burst Bust Cain and abel Calderon Cancelled Car bomb Cartel Cartel de Golfo Center for Disease Control (CDC) Chemical Chemical agent Chemical burn Chemical fire Chemical spill Chemical weapon China CIKR (Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources) Ciudad Juarez Closure Cloud Cocaine Collapse Colombia Communications Computer infrastructure Conficker Consular Contamination Conventional weapon Cops Crash Crest Critical infrastructure Cyber attack Cyber Command Cyber security Cyber terror DDOS (dedicated denial of service) Deaths Decapitated Delays Denial of service Dirty bomb Dirty bomb Disaster assistance Disaster management Disaster medical assistance team (DMAT) Disaster DNDO (Domestic Nuclear Detection Office) Dock Domestic nuclear detection Domestic security Drill Drug Drug Administration (FDA) Drug cartel Drug trade Drug war E. Coli Earthquake Ebola Eco terrorism El Paso Electric Emergency Emergency Broadcast System Emergency Landing Emergency management Emergency response Enriched Environmental terrorist Epidemic Epidemic equivalents) Erosion ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna) Evacuation Evacuation Execution Exercise Explosion (explosive) Exposure Exposure Extreme weather Extremism Facility Failure or outage FARC (Armed Revolutionary First responder Flood Flu Food Poisoning Foot and Mouth (FMD) Forces Colombia) Forest fire Fort Hancock Fundamentalism Gang Gangs Gas Grid Gulf Cartel Gunfight Guzman H1N1 H5N1 Hacker Hail Hamas Hazardous Hazardous material incident Hazmat Help Heroin Hezbollah Home grown Homeland security Hostage Human to Animal Human to human Hurricane Ice IED (Improvised Explosive Device) Illegal immigrants Improvised explosive device Incident Industrial spill Infection Infection Influenza infrastructure Infrastructure security Interstate IRA (Irish Republican Army) Iran Iraq Islamist Jihad Juarez Keylogger Kidnap La Familia Law enforcement Authorities Leak Lightening Listeria Lockdown Looting Los Zetas Magnitude Malware Mara salvatrucha Marijuana Maritime domain awareness (MDA) MARTA Matamoros Meth Lab Methamphetamine Metro Mexican army Mexicles Mexico Michoacana Militia Mitigation MS13 or MS-13 Mud slide or Mudslide Mutation Mysql injection Narco banners (Spanish Narcos Narcotics National infrastructure National laboratory National preparedness National preparedness initiative National security Nationalist NBIC (National Biosurveillance Integration Center) Nerve agent New Federation Nigeria Nogales North Korea Norvo Virus Nuclear facility Nuclear threat Nuclear Nuclear Nuevo Leon Organized crime Outbreak Pakistan Pandemic Phishing Phreaking Pipe bomb Pirates Plague PLF (Palestine Liberation Front) PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) Plot Plume Police Pork Port Port Authority Powder (white) Power lines Power outage Power Prevention Public Health Quarantine Radiation Radicals Radioactive Recall Recovery Recruitment Relief Resistant Response Reynosa Reyosa Ricin Riot Rootkit Salmonella San Diego Sarin Scammers Screening Security Service disruption Shelter-in-place Shooting Shootout Shots fired Sick Sinaloa Sleet Small Pox Smart Smuggling (smugglers) Snow Social media Somalia Sonora Southwest Spammer Spillover Standoff State of emergency Storm Strain Stranded/Stuck Subway Suicide attack Suicide bomber Suspicious package/device Suspicious substance SWAT Swine Symptoms Taliban Tamaulipas Tamiflu Tamil Tigers Target Telecommunications Temblor Terrorism Terror Threat Tijuana Tornado Torreon Toxic Trafficking Transportation security Tremor Trojan Tsunami Tsunami Warning Center TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan) Tuberculosis (TB) Tucson Twister Typhoon U.S. Consulate Vaccine Violence Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Virus Warning Watch Water/air borne Wave Weapons cache Weapons grade Wildfire WMATA World Health Organization (WHO) (and components) Worm Yemen Yuma

Why those cheating lying no good rotten....

Re:So the question is, is this true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46531135)

You having a problem there? Looks like it.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (5, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 8 months ago | (#46529209)

Fuck you.

Our worst fears about what the NSA was/is doing to privacy and our constitution have been realized and you are trying to trivialize it. Just because you're tired of hearing about it and want to move on to the next thing doesn't mean the rest of us don't feel that this is one of the most important things that has happened in our government during our lives. We need to focus on this shit like crazed lunatics if we are going to clean it up.

So again, fuck you.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#46530307)

+1 thomas paine. but be sure to save up your vitriol for obama and the nsa, we'll need everything we can muster.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (2, Insightful)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 8 months ago | (#46530583)

Look, the NSA is a department within our government, they are told what to do and held accountable if they do not do it. It is a management problem, unfortunately this seemingly corporate imposed martial law is a product of corporate lobbying. Admission of all of this is only the first step in solving the problem.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 8 months ago | (#46532127)

It is always worthwhile to seek humour in adversary, it will stabilise your emotion and allow you to focus you attention on solutions. Personally I think it would be rather cool having suspect email address and being able to put people on a watch list just be sending them an email from your suspect naughty email address. Evil by association is a bit more fun when you are the evil association with somewhat deviant sense of humour, it would be rather handy to know the list of suspected evil axis of email, email addresses, especially if you are one of them, mwah hah hah.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46537929)

So what exactly are you doing to clean this up?

NSA is sooooo unlucky ! (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 8 months ago | (#46529221)

Snowden is the gift that keeps on giving... if you want to turn rational people into a stupid mob

Making the people stupid is what every government in the world is busy doing, including the government of the United States of America.

And NSA, being a part of the government of the United States of America, knows that the more stupid the Americans are, the more easier their job will become.

But NSA is soooooooooooo unlucky, for there are _still_ a portion of the Americans who prefer to use their brains, yes, the ones in between their ears, rather than believe in everything that came down from the White House and the Congress.

With Snowden's revelation, at the very least, we have proofs that our government, the government of the United States of America, has turned rogue.

Our Constitution, the Constitution of the United States of America, have been violated.

Our rights, as defined by the Bill of Rights, have been purposely ignored.

And luckily for America, we, whom still manage to keep our rationality (unlike those who soak in everything Obama / Feinstein said) know that we not only have the right, but it is *OUR DUTY" as Citizens of the United States of America, to stand up against this goddamn rogue regime.

Re:NSA is sooooo unlucky ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529571)

You are getting screechy
Stop being a dick for long enough to actually look up FNORD, then you might get it

Re:NSA is sooooo unlucky ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529721)

Hey AC, don't talk to low UIDs like you know somthing when you clearly don't. Oh and get off his lawn.

Re:NSA is sooooo unlucky ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530227)

yessuh, I will not speak in such a way to mah betters

I used to treat most low UIDs with some modicum of respect, at least until they start sounding like children who are terrified enough to let themselves be led off by the friendly man with candy

But the fear-traders at this point in time are hardly the NSA or any pile of government apparatus that might care to point to
(sure that was the whole cold war, 'commies are coming to get you', and drug war, 'druggies are coming to get you', and war on terror, 'terrists are coming to get you thing)

At this point in time the fear card is being played by greenwald and the rest of the snowden 'sponsors of the day', with their way-too-easily-gotten supply of gubmint secrets and daily trickle of splashy news items that have managed to take somebody like good ole 5327 and to get him set to believe that the USofA is headed to the shit can

What I seem to know is that all of these 'secrets' are pretty well known, allowed by supreme court rulings and current legislation, and, even though they certainly could be used against the general American populace, we do not live in a country of disappearances (ala banana republic) and defenestrated reporters (ala former soviet states) and tortured to death intellectuals (ala killing fields) and... any of the other horrors that good ole 5327 seems to be having nightmares about

What I am most concerned about is people buying the fear and giving up on the legal and political processes and getting duped by their own emotional responses into following the nice man with candy

and yea, I like his lawn, just gotta remember not to roll around in the spots my dog uses

Re:NSA is sooooo unlucky ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46533913)

yessuh, I will not speak in such a way to mah betters

Good. Now fuck off.

Re:NSA is sooooo unlucky ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46533999)

Giving up rights for the assumption that you don't need them now is stupid. Right now we are in the state that the current legislation and supreme court rulings don't necessarily represent the will of the people, and seem to go against the will of the people. Nobody wants to give up the legal and political processes that keeps our nation sane and in check, but we want those processes to process and to process honestly.

Just because we may live in a time where our government is not abusing their power for the sake of making America a horror show, does not mean that setting up a future administration to do so, is justified.

Re:NSA is sooooo unlucky ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530635)

yep, it's all obama/feinstein's fault. it's all the democrats' fault. when republicans are in power, nothing happens. wake up, ideological idiot! don't be blind! it's the entire political spectrum that does this nonsense. some of us actually have brains to figure this out. if you remain stupid and believe in the ideological crap either party dishes out to you on this issue, you'll never be able to help.

Re:NSA is sooooo unlucky ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46531401)

No, its your fault. You have no-one else to blame but yourself.

Have you stood up and said no?
Have you Talked to your neighbors and said no?
Have you sat down with your community and said no?

Until you do, no-one will listen, 1 Voice is lost but 1000 can be heard.

Be the crazy crackpot down the road, be right.

Re:NSA is sooooo unlucky ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46531091)

our constitution has not been violated. This was proven by the courts.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529413)

(#46529001) please report to the nearest PATRIOT Centre for your weekly injection. You are beginning to sound like a raving lunatic. The Government cannot permit such rantings to cause the populace to cease question our activities. The more irrational the populace acts the easier the Government is able to pass legislation and preseidential executive orders to thwart the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Failure to appear is cause for rendition to Club Afghanistan.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529409)

Or is this like Clapper said: we only call it "collected" when we look at it. It's not collected yet when we save it in our datacenter with everything else.

Of course it's true. PRISM accepts email addresses as selectors, not keywords. There might be programs other than PRISM might target keywords, but the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board didn't ask that question.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#46532253)

but the summary even sounds skewed.

the explanation is not about the data collection but about DATA REQUESTING which is a totally fucking different thing and program..

of course they don't just go asking google for all emails that used the words "terrorist". they search that from their own db of collected data and then they ask google for all emails from the interesting looking accounts (and of everyone who emailed them and who emailed those persons)

Re:So the question is, is this true? (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 8 months ago | (#46530047)

Of course they ask ISPs to hand over stuff by email addresses, etc.

How do they select those email addresses? Because that's the bit we're actually talking about. The Snowden docs suggest it's by automatically inspecting everything and applying selectors to find the interesting stuff. IMO that's dragnet surveillance.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530121)

That is a different program. If you want to know about that program you will have to know the name of it. If you don't know the name then we cant find it for you. Of course all of this depends on what the meaning of is is.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530171)

Pretty much. You can bet quite a significant amount of money on the statement being true, given the technical meaning of the word "target" that they use internally.

Remember, folks, the NSA is only violating the spirit of the law. That makes it okay.

Their selectors are shit anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530193)

They don't give a crap about their targeting anyway. Just look at the slide from WaPo [washingtonpost.com] - and remember, this is their own training material. Do you see the fail? No? Look closely at their selector and what it actually matched.

Their selector is XXXXXXX@gmail.com, while it matched YYYYYYYYYY.XXXXXXX@gmail.com, which is an entirely different address. They don't anchor their matches. This means all you need is for <joe@gmail.com> to be in their database to match every single gmail address that ends in joe.

These guys clearly have no intention of improving their filtering - if they happen to grab stuff from someone who they didn't intend to target, they couldn't care less. They filters aren't worth the bits they're stored on.

Re:So the question is, is this true? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 8 months ago | (#46532375)

Perhaps it is true in the sense that PRISM doesn't do this, and there is something else by another name that does it. Not they are not saying "We don't do this at all" what they are saying is "PRISM" doesn't do it.

If so, then they are stepping up their game on the treasonous lies.

Well fancy that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528951)

We figure out what we want and we get that specifically, that's why it's targeted collection rather than bulk collection,

Why, that just happens to be the sort of thing that various Senators and Congressmen have said is exactly what the NSA would need to be doing for things like PRISM not to be illegal. And after 12 months, it finally turns out that's exactly what the NSA have been doing all along!

Oh we were such fools, how could we have been lead astray by that horrible Edward Snowden, lying to us about what the NSA was doing all this time?!

Re:Well fancy that! (3, Interesting)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 8 months ago | (#46529027)

We should expect more bombshells from Patriot Snowden soon...

http://arstechnica.com/tech-po... [arstechnica.com]

Oh of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528955)

Only *now* do they come up with yet another bogus excuse for their spying network? Why wasn't this brought up IMMEDIATELY upon Snowden's Prism revelation? I guess the spin doctors were on vacation that week or something.

Re:Oh of course (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#46530843)

It took them a year to create the backstory.

Why should I believe anything officials say (4, Insightful)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 8 months ago | (#46528957)

to the public, when the Snowden documents show they've been lying for years.

Re:Why should I believe anything officials say (3, Funny)

swillden (191260) | about 8 months ago | (#46529083)

to the public, when the Snowden documents show they've been lying for years.

Not to argue your fundamental point, but AFAICT they haven't been lying for years they've been saying nothing for years. They have lied recently, though, and internally they've been using carefully-crafted definitions to interpret the law in ways that allowed them to convince themselves they were obeying it. So, in essence they've been fooling themselves for year, but not actually lying to the public because they haven't been saying anything to the public.

Re:Why should I believe anything officials say (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529351)

Yes. And the carefully crafted definition in this case is that "PRISM targets email addresses". Seeing as PRISM requests are the ones sent to providers (which they probably only send in cases where they want to be absolutely certain they have got everything possible. Or provide deniability for the true source being fibre-taps) then this is pretty self explanatory. It does not deny that the other programs which (for example) tap fibre-optic cables do match on keywords.

Re:Why should I believe anything officials say (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 8 months ago | (#46529437)

I would guess that what they really mean is PRISM captures and stores everything, but their agents are under orders only to look at specified email addresses. Probably with an audit trail if they go beyond this.

Re:Why should I believe anything officials say (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#46529957)

um, no. Actually they have been lying for years.

Re:Why should I believe anything officials say (1)

swillden (191260) | about 8 months ago | (#46530993)

um, no. Actually they have been lying for years.

Cite? I've looked and other than Alexander's recent statements to Congress, I don't see any lies. It's possible they've been lying in closed-door sessions for years, but we have no evidence of that.

Re:Why should I believe anything officials say (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 8 months ago | (#46532355)

It's probably more accurate to say that they said nothing unless they had to and then they lied.

Re:Why should I believe anything officials say (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 8 months ago | (#46529985)

"Not to argue your fundamental point, but AFAICT they haven't been lying for years they've been saying nothing for years. "

As you just pointed out, apparently unwittingly, they have been lying [wikipedia.org] for years.

Re:Why should I believe anything officials say (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 8 months ago | (#46530877)

Try using "I didn't lie, I just didn't tell you" defense with your wife and see how that goes for you.

Re:Why should I believe anything officials say (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 8 months ago | (#46531627)

Lying by omission is still lying.

Re:Why should I believe anything officials say (1)

swillden (191260) | about 8 months ago | (#46538487)

Lying by omission is still lying.

Depends on the context. If you're asked in a context where you should answer and you leave something out, yes. But if you're not even asked, you don't typcially have an obligation to volunteer information.

Nowadays perjury to congress is no more crime ! (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 8 months ago | (#46529315)

As has been portrayed to all of us, lying to the congress, even under oath, is not a crime, as long as you can proof that you are part of the spook network, and/or in charge of the "security" of the nation.

We have become a country where the laws no longer apply to certain *special privileged* people.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46531635)

... We have become a country where the laws no longer apply to certain *special privileged* people. ...

The primary purpose of laws is protection the privileged people: The original purpose of the Magna Carta was protecting the rich from the King. The problem is self-righteous ideology such as "When the President does it, is legal." and "I am not a crook." These are both 'The law does not apply to me' rationalizations. As more privileged people adopt these ideals, the benefit of a social contract rapidly declines for the working class. The middle portion of the working class must force a revolt at precise time during this decline; while productivity is the lowest but before it robs the working class of the strength to force accountability upon those privileged people.

Re:Why should I believe anything officials say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46532321)

They can read all they want (and do).
Fortunately I am not a US Taxpayer - There is no such thing as a Free Lunch - Someone has got to pay.
I am not paying.
If they want they can have a copy of the content of my Harddrive. I do not care.
Poor souls that have to pay for all this.
Maybe someone out there need Foodstamps and the money is spent on NSA.
They would be better off putting away all the guys with a undemocratic mindset.

Liars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528961)

spying program exposed by Edward Snowden targets suspect email addresses and phone numbers but does not search for keywords like terrorism

Liars. It targets everything ever.

Re:Liars. (1)

TWX (665546) | about 8 months ago | (#46528991)

Sad thing is that they don't actually have to be lying, they simply can be ill-informed or misinformed.

Or consider it another way. The people at the very top of the organization most likely don't know what the people toward the bottom of the organization, aka those who actually work are doing. It's fairly likely that even lower-middle management doesn't truly know what the end worker does, let alone higher-level management.

It's the same with institutional change. Unless the workers at the bottom actually change things, the top can make all of the decisions and calls and statements that they want and the organization will still effectively function in the same capacity.

Re:Liars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529067)

But we've already got documents proving that their claim is a blatant lie. What about the leaked presentation a few months back about how they were extracting the content from any text message they could get a hold of and use that content to extract keywords? Those keywords in turn were used to possibly identify potential suspects.

Simple explanation (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | about 8 months ago | (#46528979)

Because I doubt the real "terrorists" would send out emails like:
"OMG I can't wait until we commit our terrorist act in NYC on 9-11! It's such an exciting time to be a jihadi terrorist! GG TERRORISM!"

Re:Simple explanation (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 8 months ago | (#46529101)

No, they'd certainly obfuscate it. For example, they'd change the date to 9-12.

Re:Simple explanation (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 8 months ago | (#46530001)

You beat me to the punch. That was the first thing I thought. It's not like they even think of themselves as terrorists. (Either the US governement or Al Queda)

Be careful for NSA version of the word "collect" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528981)

"that's why it's targeted collection rather than bulk collection"

I suspect this is the special NSA version of the word "collect", the version they use without telling people, so those listening think something else is meant; they mean to say, in our language, they collect EVERYTHING, but they only LOOK at some of what they collect (rather than all of it).

Thing is, I don't - I can't - trust a damn word they say. Not a word. There's nothing they say I can trust. All this stuff from them about "we do this", "we do that" - there's zero communication occurring, because I have absolutely zero faith in what they say - let alone the fact it could change at any time and I know for a fact they wouldn't say.

keywords like terrorism (2)

laurent420 (711504) | about 8 months ago | (#46529005)

>but does not search for keywords like terrorism

Mail from Bob:
>Hey Alice, wanna go do some terroism next monday?
I can't I'm busy, how about we terrorism on tuesday?
Take care,
Alice

Re:keywords like terrorism (1)

DocHoncho (1198543) | about 8 months ago | (#46529191)

Shouldn't Bob be asking Mallory about a terrorism date next monday? Or is Mallory the NSA? I'm confused... can someone provide a car-centric metaphor?

Re:keywords like terrorism (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 8 months ago | (#46530591)

Mail from Bob:

Hey Alice, I have teh car bombz ready for the infidelz. You got Mallory hooked up on the jihadi kick yet? We need a driver.

Re:keywords like terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46533811)

More like:

Mohammed, have you got the dough from Riad ? Pressurecookers are ready, but I need to pay for my new Mercedes and I need to invite Zilcho Gulbudinow for a Halal Kebap before he pressurecookers the Dollar sheeple.

Also, who will pay my vacation to Monaco this time ? Raytheon or General Atomics ?

Under this program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529017)

does the US have ANY program besides PRISM that targets email keywords?

Is that so? (1)

residieu (577863) | about 8 months ago | (#46529019)

We totally believe you. Why would you lie to us?

Re:Is that so? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46529121)

And who would we be to question a government employee? I mean, if you can't trust your government, who can you trust?

terrorist@google.com? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529035)

I just sent a message to the terrorist and I got a reply [google.com] saying the terrorist no longer exists! How awesome is that?!? NSA! NSA! NSA!

Re:terrorist@google.com? (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 8 months ago | (#46529195)

The username terrorist@gmail.com does exist. Why won't the NSA let me send him an email?

Damn it! (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about 8 months ago | (#46529037)

"certain accounts such as terrorist@google.com"

I wish i'd thought of registering that! Not that i'd use it for my primary account, but it would be fun to use on occasion, and i'm sure some really weird stuff gets sent there.

Re:Damn it! (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about 8 months ago | (#46529107)

To: terrorist@google.com Subject: Do you want to build a snowman?

Re:Damn it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529269)

Yes! Then the snowman can chill in his snowden.

Re:Damn it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529525)

Snowperson! Insensitive clod!

Re:Damn it! (1)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#46530011)

Get an e-mail account like name@jihad.com. Anyone puts you on a spam distribution list and you can just sit back and wait for the NSA/CIA/FBI to "take care" of the problem for you.

Propaganda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529057)

Seriously, why is this posted as news? Surely it is no secret that the NSA will lie whenever it wants. I would rather that Slashdot stick to news that has a reasonable probability of being true.

So they are just incompetent? (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 8 months ago | (#46529355)

Are we really supposed to believe that they put in a system that can scan emails at major email providers and even scan emails on the fly at internet exchange points, yet they didn't design the system to allow keyword scanning?

If they are really targeting specific email addresses, then why do they need the system at all? Just get warrants and get the data from the user's ISP.

Re:So they are just incompetent? (1)

complete loony (663508) | about 8 months ago | (#46529823)

PRISM doesn't do that. We just don't know the codename of the system that does.

Re:So they are just incompetent? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 8 months ago | (#46530231)

Re just get "Just get warrants and get the data from the user's ISP" and "codename of the system that does"
Lets say you have members of the US press finding/requesting/sorting/working on/publishing using freedom of information documents, interviews, other documents open to the public...
You cant get a warrant just because the US press is been too smart and working too hard.
For that you need something classic like FIRST FRUITS
http://cryptome.org/nsa-heroes... [cryptome.org] ".....maintains a database that tracks unofficial and negative articles written about the agency"
So think in terms compartmentalization over decades spread over many different systems, funding is shared, with complex origins in past domestic and foreign hardware and software ideas.

There people are so full of sheet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529429)

They've lied to congress before, plenty of times, who can say they're not doing the same now. Whatever they're full of sh1t and not to be trusted, they'll be back next year talking about how here they were talking about PRISM, but bulk collection, etc or whatever is another program called XYZ which was not the topic of discussion.

Of course we can believe them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529445)

They are from the Government and are here to help us.

Phew (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529489)

What a relief! At least they know the target is guilty before they start surveillance.

Re:Phew (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 8 months ago | (#46530365)

What a relief! At least they know the target is guilty before they start surveillance.

Yes, and as guilt can be determined by TLA employees, it would save We The People a lot of money to dispense with the whole judiciary branch. It's clearly pointless.

Targeted if asked for, not targeted if not asked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529507)

Seriously? If that's the case, then why was the NSA secretly screening everything passing between google and other company's servers?

Maybe what they *ask* for from companies is indeed carefully targeted, but there's plenty of evidence that they slurp up loads of other data without asking a relevant company at all. They get blanket "warrants" to collect *everything* that passes along the pipes.

I believe them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529973)

Obviously the project that does keyword searches is called something else, like The PATRIOT or TRUE AMERICAN

suspect email addresses.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530105)

with an '@' in them.

Translation (1)

webdog314 (960286) | about 8 months ago | (#46530317)

Official: "The US government's PRISM Internet spying program exposed by Edward Snowden targets suspect email addresses and phone numbers but does not search for keywords like terrorism."

Public: "So, how many email addresses and phone numbers are suspect?"

Official: "Er... Well, all of them..."

Thank Allah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530439)

THERE you have it! This news IS the BOMB. It is PLANE and simple what happened.

Downmodding certain Snowden comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530487)

I've been monitoring this submission/ story for a few hours now. The pro Snowden comments get modded up, then quickly de-modded, much like what I've seen done with anti-Microsft comments in other accepted submissions. Very interesting....

Does anyone believe this? (2)

dave562 (969951) | about 8 months ago | (#46530565)

The NSA has taps on the backbone, and they want us to believe that they are only searching for specific email addresses? Give me a break. Email addresses are way too easy to setup and discard. Any spy / terrorist with any modicum of trade craft training is going to go through email addresses like a fat girl goes through ice cream.

If people are really using email to coordinate attacks against the United States, then by all means go after them. But please, stop treating us like we are stupid. Do not piss on my leg and tell me it is raining. The NSA got caught, at least man up to it. What is the line the cops use? "Just tell me the truth, and I will get the DA to take it easy on you." ???

I believe nothing that comes from the NSA/CIA/DOJ/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46531139)

The agencies have lost all credibility.

Their employees have lost all credibility.

I would be embarrassed to tell people I work for any of them.

Nothing like being laughed at for my job by nearly the entire population of the planet.

So rather than collecting everybody's email indisc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46531445)

They target specific email addresses without a warrant. And this is better?

Keywords (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46531785)

Hey Steve,

You wanna go out this weekend and do some terrorism?

Jeff

They do only target email addresses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46532143)

They specifically only collect emails from:

*@gmail.com

*@hotmail.com

and finally *@*.com, just incase that bad guy is doing anything bad...

A big lie (1)

allo (1728082) | about 8 months ago | (#46532273)

Snowden even published the keyword list. To lazy to search for it know, but it was a big honor for the CCC, when it found itself on the list ;).

Empty Wheel (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 8 months ago | (#46532349)

The blogger Empty Wheel had a pretty good running account of this. Naturally, most of the time was taken up pinning the weasels down on their florid and disingenuous definitions of terms such as 'search' and 'query' and even 'bulk', FFS.

Except (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46533383)

..when they don't grab 100% of traffic between data centers they go for specific addresses such as

john.doesnotlikewar.against.iran@gmail.com

Don't hold your breath for first option to be no longer in use.

Dubious (2)

wcrowe (94389) | about 8 months ago | (#46535147)

If all they are collecting are email addresses and phone numbers, why do they need such a ginormous new data center in Utah?

NSA double-speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46535167)

PRISM doesn't 'collect' keywords.

That is left to a different program.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?