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Old 11-13-2012, 09:07 PM   #38
Atlanta Dan
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Default Re: David Petraeus resigns from CIA

This definitely is entertaining as long as it is someone else having their life blown apart by Big Brother

The Surveillance State Takes Friendly Fire

In the decade following September 11, 2001, the national-security establishment in this country devised a surveillance apparatus of genuinely diabolical creativity—a cross-hatch of legal and technical innovations that (in theory, at any rate) could furnish law enforcement and intelligence with a high-definition early-warning system on potential terror events. What it’s delivered, instead, is the tawdry, dismaying, and wildly entertaining spectacle that ensues when the national-security establishment inadvertently turns that surveillance apparatus on itself....

It’s not yet clear on precisely what legal authority the F.B.I. obtained access to Broadwell’s e-mail, but under the relevant federal statute, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the government need do little more than ask. Originally passed in 1986, the law is notoriously outdated, and considers any e-mail that is over a hundred and eighty days old to be “abandoned,” meaning that the author of the e-mail no longer has any reasonable expectation that it would remain private. So to obtain access to this e-mail, the F.B.I. doesn’t need a court order; it just needs to ask your e-mail provider....

Our bureaucrats will ponder the threshold at which the F.B.I. should inform Congress about the national-security implications of an investigation, the perils of the more extreme forms of access journalism, perhaps even the efficacy of the Vow of Monogamy enshrined in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. But our spymasters should give some thought as well to how it feels to be thoroughly and mercilessly laid bare at the hands of a legal and technological surveillance apparatus that is their own creation.
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