Sunday, November 03, 2013

Michael Chertoff is a butthole

Remember Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security guy under Dubya? He has a piece in the WP in which he claims that the NSA scandal ain't no real thang.
In the past few months, much has been written about whether the National Security Agency’s authorized storage of anonymous telephone records should be curtailed on the grounds that it’s too invasive of Americans’ privacy. This controversy has raged even though the records are generated by commercial phone companies, they contain no information other than the duration of calls (which numerous courts have treated as worthy of only minimal legal protection) and access to the records is strictly limited.
Where to start? In the first place, the metadata is only one part of the equation: Content is recorded separately. And just who "authorized" this process? Chertoff would probably answer "Congress," but congressfolk have complained that the NSA is not honest about what they're doing. It's true that "commercial" companies keep those records. Does that fact justify the government's grabbing of those records? Does the government have a right to barge into your place of business and take your files?

But that's not the worst of it. Chertoff goes on to pinpoint what he considers the real problem:
Last week, a passenger on an Acela train decided to tweet in real time his summary of an overheard phone conversation by Gen. Michael Hayden, a former director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the CIA (and my current business partner). The same day, a photo was published of Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler at a summer party where he was surrounded by underage youths who apparently were drinking.
The ubiquitousness of recording devices ­— coupled with the ability everyone has to broadcast indiscriminately through Twitter, YouTube and other online platforms — means that virtually every act or utterance outside one’s own home (or, in Gansler’s case, inside a private home) is subject to being massively publicized.
If you read Chertoff's piece, he seems particularly concerned by the rights of the well-known and affluent. Why should the celebrated suffer indignities at the hands of the hoi polloi? As Techdirt notes...
It would appear that Chertoff seems to believe that there should be no expectation of privacy for the things you actually do in private -- generating metadata about who you call, where you go, what websites you visit, etc. But, stuff that you actually do in public should never be "broadcast" because it might embarrass famous people.
My response: If Jim Clapper feels he has to know which websites I visited today, then I demand my right to broadcast a YouTube video of Clapper scratching his balls in public. (Presuming, of course, that I happen to have a camcorder at the ready when he makes his move.)
Comments:
getting pissed off at another 'farmer' type hey? lol.. thanks for the stories!
 
Agree entirely.

Harry
 
No adult likes snipe hunts, but might I suggest someone find an ardent Likudnik who, honestly and consistently, opposes the NSA, opposes the Patriot Act, opposed the Iraq War, opposed the surge in Afghanistan and the thwarted attack on Syria?
 
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