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Extent of E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress
by noteworthy at 11:31 pm EDT, Jun 16, 2009

James Risen:

The National Security Agency is facing renewed scrutiny over the extent of its domestic surveillance program, with critics in Congress saying its recent intercepts of the private telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans are broader than previously acknowledged, current and former officials said.

Thomas Powers, in May 2005:

Is more what we really need?

In my opinion not.

But running spies is not the NSA's job. Listening is, and more listening is what the NSA knows how to organize, more is what Congress is ready to support and fund, more is what the President wants, and more is what we are going to get.

George Bush, in February 2008:

First of all, we have said that whatever we do ... will be legal.

We're having a debate in America on whether or not we ought to be listening to terrorists making phone calls in the United States. And the answer is darn right we ought to be.

Decius, in February 2007:

It is our failure to avoid embracing fear and sensationalism that will be our undoing. We're still our own greatest threat.

Decius, in February 2009:

The ship has already sailed on the question of whether or not it's reasonable for the government to collect evidence about everyone all the time so that it can be used against them in court if someone accuses them of a crime or civil tort.

Noam Cohen's friend, in February 2009:

Privacy is serious. It is serious the moment the data gets collected, not the moment it is released.

Decius, in March 2009:

We are very close to the point where the 4th amendment will be an anachronism - a technicality that has very little impact on everyday life - and a radical reconsideration will be necessary in order to re-establish it.

Decius, in August 2008:

Don't worry about privacy ... privacy is dead ... there's no privacy ... just more databases ... No consequences, no whammies, money. Money for me ... Money for me, databases for you.

Jello, in June 2009:

The cloud and big data analytics. That is where the boom will come from.

Decius, in March 2009:

What you tell Google you've told the government.

Rivest, Schneier, Bellovin, Applebaum, Cranor, Cheswick, Soghoian, Spafford, Lynn (!), Moss, Neumann, et al:

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

The signatories of this letter are researchers and academics in the fields of computer science, information security and privacy law. We write to you today to express our concern that many users of Google's cloud-based services are needlessly exposed to an array of privacy and security risks. We ask you to increase users' security and privacy protection by enabling by default transport-level encryption (HTTPS) for Google Mail, Docs and Calendar, a technology already enabled by default for Google Voice, Health, AdWords and AdSense.

As a market leader in providing cloud services, Google has an opportunity to engage in genuine privacy and security leadership, and to set a standard for the industry.

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