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NSA Annoyed They Couldn't Access In-Flight Communications
by Karl Bode 01:15PM Tuesday Jan 07 2014
At this point the Snowden leaks have made it clear that there's virtually nowhere the NSA hasn't extended their surveillance efforts, be it from fiber splits at telco head ends that monitor every shred of network that touches the network, to their covert efforts to stealing user data from social networking companies. Even MMORPGs weren't left unmonitored, with NSA agents tracking communications in video games in the chance that terrorists were posing as the Horde.

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However, despite all of these methods of data collection, one system of communication appears to have frustrated the NSA. Speaking at the Chaos Communication Congress recently, journalist Glenn Greenwald stated that in-flight broadband and communications systems like GoGo have for some reason frustrated the NSA and the GCHQ:
He said he was working on a new story indicating that the NSA was “obsessed” by the idea that people could still use some Internet devices and mobile phones on airplanes without being recorded. “The very idea that human beings can communicate for even a few moments without their ability to monitor is intolerable."
Greenwald doesn't get specific about what precisely stops the NSA from collecting this data. It should be quite technically possible, since the data used on services like GoGo are simply routed down to cellular towers, and then cross a multitude of network points the NSA already has access to. Greenwald states he'll provide more detail in future reports, though it sounds like the NSA may simply have not been given FISC court authorization to collect this data (yet) for some reason.

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Lewisville, TX

3 recommendations

reply to tshirt

Re: Chaos?

said by tshirt:

The NSA is doing exactly what they have been tasked to do
leave NO stone unturned in the search for enemies of the USA.

Not according to one of the authors of the bill:


In an interview last week with The Washington Post, Sensenbrenner said that if Congress had known what the NSA planned to do, the Patriot Act would not have passed — and he wouldn't have supported it.

"What the NSA has done, with the concurrence of both the Bush and Obama administrations, is completely forgotten about the guarantees of civil liberties that those of us who helped write the Patriot Act in 2001 and the reauthorization in 2005 and 2006 had written the law to prevent from happening," he said.

said by tshirt:

If you don't like it, convince the congress and president to change the tasking.

In his 2007 while campaigning for the Democrat nominations for President, Obama said this in a speech:


I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.

That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. The FISA court works. The separation of powers works. Our Constitution works. We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.

He told his supporters what they wanted to hear, then turned around and did the exact opposite: escalated domestic spying. Obama signed a reauthorization of the Patriot Act in 2011, despite objections from members of his own party:


Wyden said there is a growing gap between what the law says and what the senators call a classified interpretation of the law by the Justice Department.

Udall said his constituents “would be alarmed if they knew” how the Patriot Act was being carried out.

Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon complained that “the government won’t even tell the American people how it interprets these provisions, or whether it sees any limits on its authority at all.” Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said almost 10 years after the Patriot Act’s passage, “we still haven’t had the debate that we need to have on this piece of legislation.”

Do you really think the Obama administration is going to listen to citizens? Their NSA has already been caught lying to Congress:


Last month, in an interview with NBC News after revelations about the program, Clapper said: “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner” – because the program was classified.

It was wrong when Bush did it, and it is doubly so when Obama continues, after promising to stop it.


Limestone, ME
·Pioneer Wireless

4 recommendations


Do we get to hear about NSA spying actually paying off?

Preventing an attack. Stopping Crimes. Maybe turning in Corrupt politicians?

To me a citizen here's what The NSA looks like:

It's a giant money hole where I'm paying to have my privacy violated, the integrity of communication ruined, the quality of the internet in question, and a waste of natural and human resources.