2013 June 7
by drdog09

n. (prz-m) 1) A device to refract light 2) A program that inadvertently crashed the US high tech industry.

Congress obliged with the Protect America Act in 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with U.S. intelligence collection. PRISM recruited its first partner, Microsoft, and began six years of rapidly growing data collection beneath the surface of a roiling national debate on surveillance and privacy. Late last year, when critics in Congress sought changes in the FISA Amendments Act, the only lawmakers who knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

The court-approved program is focused on foreign communications traffic, which often flows through U.S. servers even when sent from one overseas location to another. Between 2004 and 2007, Bush administration lawyers persuaded federal FISA judges to issue surveillance orders in a fundamentally new form. Until then the government had to show probable cause that a particular “target” and “facility” were both connected to terrorism or espionage.

In four new orders, which remain classified, the court defined massive data sets as “facilities” and agreed to certify periodically that the government had reasonable procedures in place to minimize collection of “U.S. persons” data without a warrant.

In a statement issue late Thursday, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said “information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats. The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”


Tech companies listed in the slide deck are denying involvement up and down the chain.

The political ramifications are bad enough but I wish to go fishing elsewhere.

If you were the Chinese would you consider a software or hardware product from any of these firms listed on the slide? What if you are Indian Oil Corporation Ltd? Or Andrade Gutierrez of Brazil one of the largest construction firms. Or Eterna, a Nigerian oil concern. I would hazard come contract time these as well as many others will cast their nets to find replacement products not infected by this NSA revelation. I mean seriously, at this point I would not even trust us.

This goes to the heart of US competitiveness around the world. One of the last vestiges of American superiority is in tech industries. These firms, right down to the garage shop by necessity compete in a global environment. Many garner more income overseas than in the US domestic market. Apple is a prime example boasting more retained earnings overseas than here in the US.

The problem is if the global spigot was turned off many of these firms would crash financially. Its not funny money. Here is Apple’s revenue breakdown by its more popular products. What would Apple be without the iPhone, iPad and iPod if these products were implicated as the basis for NSA intrusions? I would hazard they would be headed for irrelevancy.

The politics of this is the flash in the pan. But the pan up for grabs is US competitiveness in the high tech industries on a global basis.

32 Responses leave one →
  1. 2013 June 7 9:04 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Can you imagine what it is going to be like should any of these companies bid for business for the time being?

    [Yahoo] We have some of the most secure products and services on the market!
    [Customer, laying down the NSA slide in front of the rep] Prove it.
    [Yahoo] But, but,…..

  2. 2013 June 7 9:35 am
    justrand permalink

    in a perfect (or even acceptable world) the aide would have handed him this…which he would have read with nose the air…pointing dramatically, pausing for emphasis…and then at the end said: Although I think that’s pretty clear, I said I would answer one question…

    ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    He took his vorpal sword in hand;
    Long time the manxome foe he sought—
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree
    And stood awhile in thought.

    And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    “And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
    He chortled in his joy.

    ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

  3. 2013 June 7 9:46 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Would have been glorious.

    Guess my observation is that without the teleprompter, they did not have a tablet sitting on the dias? I mean he is the Information President, having a blackberry and heckled McCain for not using a laptop back in ’08. Sheesh.

  4. 2013 June 7 10:52 am
    drdog09 permalink

    The reality of `austerity` in greece — — and Obama wonders if he can import it here….

  5. 2013 June 7 11:15 am

    The cradle of democracy has come full circle to become the cradle of despair. Sad, but a useful harbinger.

  6. 2013 June 7 11:48 am
    PRNmeds permalink

    I know nothing has really changed by PRISM becoming public, but I can’t help feeling so defeated. With it just being so apparent that not enough people care. What are my options? Become a sheep and march along, or permanently leave the country that was once the home of the free? With the Information Age upon us, I just feel there is no getting away from a government that oversteps its bounds. Anything short of getting rid of a cell phone and other forms of communication will just not work. Such sadness in thinking that every word will have to be watched while communicating. Heavy heart today.

  7. 2013 June 7 11:48 am
    JustMary permalink

    [tin hat] It seems to me, that if we were ever going to be taken over by a country that we owe a whole mess of money to (like, yanno…they own us and stuff *twirls hair*), it might be a condition (for the elite to be spared) prior to taking us over that we (the little people) are just as unfree as they are. [/hat]

  8. 2013 June 7 12:22 pm


    16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    17 and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

  9. 2013 June 7 1:25 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Victory —

    15 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

    2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

    3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

    4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

  10. 2013 June 7 1:35 pm
    MI Conservative permalink

    I pity the poor fool listening to my phone calls or reading my emails. He better have a lot of f…ing no-Doze!

  11. 2013 June 7 3:20 pm
    justrand permalink

    PRNmeds “Heavy heart today.”

    all of us

    our options are quickly dwindling down to the two options you mentioned:
    (1)Become a sheep and march along
    (2) permanently leave the country that was once the home of the free

    and option #3:
    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” – Thomas Jefferson

    I wish it were not so…truly

  12. 2013 June 7 4:06 pm

    So many scandals, so little time. 🙄


    In the midst of revelations that the government has conducted extensive top-secret surveillance operations to collect domestic phone records and internet communications, the Justice Department was due to file a court motion Friday in its effort to keep secret an 86-page court opinion that determined that the government had violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in unconstitutional spying.

    yeah I know it’s MJ.. but it’s actually one of the better pieces about that particular case\issue put out today.

    back off topic…

    Today’s edition of Forward:
    Fed study: Tax hikes, not spending cuts, are slowing the recovery

    IRS Workers: It was Washington

    IRS Washington knew in 2010:

    Soldier punished for reading conservatives:

  13. 2013 June 7 4:11 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    It seems IP and I are guaranteed to be in hut 1369 just for posting Revelations from the bible.

    By the way, I heard on the radio, ala Levin that a Marine Corps band member had a complaint placed in his file for merely reading `Ameritopa` while at a break. Someone said they were offended by the presence of the book.

    [KH, thanks for finding the Levin story. Was looking for it and could not find it before I posted. Pretty sucky isn’t?]

  14. 2013 June 7 4:13 pm

    Nicaragua Canal… yes you read that correctly to be built and managed by Chicoms

    “Nicaragua has awarded a Chinese company a 100-year concession to build an alternative to the Panama Canal, in a step that looks set to have profound geopolitical ramifications. …”

  15. 2013 June 7 4:20 pm

    I wish stuff like this happen at my high school 🙂 , all we got was a stabbing incident, I’d much prefer a cheap prostitution ring. 🙂

  16. 2013 June 7 4:43 pm
    MI Conservative permalink

    Sheeple, sheeple, sheeple (bah)

  17. 2013 June 7 4:53 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    Hmmm. Were I to apply the same thought process of the drug war to sex education what would we get?

    “Cucumber demonstrations are a gateway incident to prostitution!”

    Pick your fruit, but you know I am right. Its all the liberal mind needs to reach that conclusion.

  18. 2013 June 7 5:19 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #11 I wonder how many of them take sexting pictures home with them at night after work! That’s a funnier thing to think about than wondering their thoughts on Grandma’s 3 hour phone call with you telling you about the magic of prunes.

  19. 2013 June 7 5:20 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #12 Leaving the country is a nice thought, until tax time.

  20. 2013 June 7 5:21 pm
    JustMary permalink

    I wonder if Israel helps Americans with the tax issue when they are making their Aliyah.

  21. 2013 June 7 5:34 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    In a semi-sane, semi-rational universe wouldn’t this idea be called “fair” and “just” not “unthinkable”?

    “Simply put, Mill reasoned that this creates an inescapable conflict of interest, in the ability of some to vote for the very government funds that are taxed away from others for their own benefit. Or as Mill expresses it:

    “It is important, that the assembly which votes the taxes, either general or local, should be elected exclusively by those who pay something towards the taxes imposed. Those who pay no taxes, disposing by their votes of other people’s money, have every motive to be lavish and none to economize.””

    With all credit to folks on here, many of you in fact have been saying this same thing for a very long time……

    Once you become a government employee or get any kind of government check you should lose your voting rights……or perhaps have them “pro-rated” or reduced based on any outside income you actually produce (such as retirees who generate income from investment or part-time work)

  22. 2013 June 7 5:45 pm

    Indeed it would WEC, too bad we don’t live in such a world.

  23. 2013 June 7 5:48 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #23 We don’t, indeed. I would settle for the ink-dipped finger at this point.

  24. 2013 June 7 6:16 pm

    Random –
    So I just wasted some time going though these 83 photos of porns stars with and without makeup. Found it interesting that in about 40% of the cases I thought they looked better without all the makeup. :shrug: That said the other half do look much better, if not like entirely different people.

  25. 2013 June 7 6:18 pm

    When you’ve lost Bob Beckel…. hahaha don’t worry I’m sure he’ll have his talking point straight come Monday.

    Bob Beckel: Let’s face it, this NSA snooping is getting awfully close to fascism

  26. 2013 June 7 6:21 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #25 Well I was going to watch that porno, but her eyeliner was all wrong, and don’t even get me started on that crazy faux tan! Said no man ever. 😆

  27. 2013 June 7 6:21 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Yep that is an old concept that held sway in this country in the period of and just after the colonies — FreeHolder. An updated version might go something like — other than SS if you received public assistance from any other source (WIC, EIC, Medicaid, etc) you forefit your ballot. Under that scheme even if you paid no taxes many would still be eligible to vote its just that they were not required to pay any tax on income or your exemptions excluded you but took no public assistance.

  28. 2013 June 7 6:23 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Somehow I don’t think the tan is the attraction here. 🙂

  29. 2013 June 7 7:05 pm

    27 – *Giggles* 🙂
    30 – Nice…haha I forgot to check his site the last couple days!

  30. 2013 June 7 7:22 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #30 Pretty good! Ramirez is my favorite these days.

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