Tag Archives: privacy

Sen. Dianne Feinstein defends CIA spying, except against senators

12 Mar

WASHINGTON—Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D—CA), one of the staunchest defenders of CIA and NSA spying, strongly criticized the CIA for spying on the Senate yesterday.

“What am I, an ordinary American?” fumed Feinstein. “You want to go listen to Joe Average’s personal phone calls, go ahead. But the Senate should be totally out of bounds.”

The controversy arose when it turned out that the CIA had accessed Senate staff computers, much as it and other government agencies have accessed millions of computers for years.

“Everyone knows I don’t believe in the right to privacy for regular people,” said Feinstein. “If they want to keep their own information private, then they should go get themselves elected to the Senate. But the rules should be different for me.”

Stung by the criticism, CIA Director John Brennan announced that he was changing protocols around domestic surveillance. “Unfortunately the nature of those changes is classified, though,” said Brennan, shrugging. “Sure wish I could help you.”

NSA reveals it has backdoor access to iPhone, but still stuck on Level 372 of Candy Crush Saga

30 Dec

WASHINGTON–after a German news magazine leaked documents showing that the US government has backdoor access to every iOS device, the NSA revealed today that yes, it hacked access to iPhones on a massive scale, but that it still couldn’t finish Candy Crush Saga.

“We are appealing to members of the public who may have information on how to get rid of the frozen jelly in the corner to step forward,” said NSA spokesman Dean Arden. “Unfortunately our internal efforts to access this information have been unsuccessful.”

According to the article in Der Spiegel, the NSA has had the ability to remotely monitor iPhones for several years, and can even turn on the camera and microphone. The program was originally intended to track terrorism suspects, but was re-purposed when the head of the NSA, Gen. Keith Alexander, was unable to progress past level 211 of Candy Crush Saga.

“In addition, it turns out most of what terrorists say to each other is totally boring,” added Arden. “I mean, we love preventing attacks and all, but you just couldn’t pay me enough.”

In response to questions, Arden clarified that the program had successfully enabled Gen. Alexander to pass level 211 and several others, but that they were still stuck on 372.

Gen. Alexander did not respond to requests for comment, other than to briefly glance up from his phone and say “Mmm” a few times.

Obama pledges to consider, then reject, limits on domestic spying

20 Dec

WASHINGTON–in a far-reaching concession to critics of the NSA’s wide-ranging domestic surveillance program, President Obama today promised that he would “seriously scrutinize” options to limit such eavesdropping, and then decide not to.

“Law-abiding Americans should be able to feel confident that the government is not listening in on their private conversations,” said Obama at a press conference. “That’s why I’d like you guys to forget you ever learned any of this stuff.”

Obama then held up a small black cylinder and told he journalists to “look directly into the lens” before an aide whispered in his ear and he put it away.

Obama then went on to state that “no one takes your privacy more seriously than I do,” which is why “we keep all your passwords safely locked up on a hard drive under my bed.”

Shocker: NSA admits violating Americans’ privacy

17 Aug

WASHINGTON–Americans were stunned to learn today that the NSA had violated its own rules on privacy more than 3,000 times in recent years.

“I’m really disappointed,” said Miriam Canarsee of Dayton, Ohio. “A giant, secret spy program subject to no oversight–if you can’t trust that, who can you trust?”

Keith Alexander, head of the NSA, apologized for the breaches and promised that they would not happen again. “We’ve made unspecified changes to our classified protocols that we administer ourselves in secret,” he explained. “You can hold me to that.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer asked several skeptical questions about whether the NSA was only collecting information directly related to national security. He then promptly withdrew those questions after Alexander made some unrelated comments about the website http://www.naughtylibrarians.com, asking “I wonder what sort of person visits a site like that?”

Obama promises to create “additional meaningless hair-splitting” to address surveillance concerns

10 Aug

WASHINGTON–seeking to dampen criticism over the government’s vastly expanded surveillance program, President Obama today pledged that his administration will “add as much bureaucratic complexity” to the system as is necessary “to make you folks feel okay about letting us do whatever we want.”

Specifically, Obama promised “another layer of toothless review” before wiretapping requests are approved. Under the new system, any government entity seeking data will have to engage in a “fair, open, and transparent process that I can’t describe because it’s completely secret.”

Obama also promised that “we will never, ever look at the contents of emails that American citizens send to each other within the country, unless we have a court order, have reason to believe there is a connection to terrorism, or are just kind of bored.”

“I think it’s important for Americans to have this debate,” said the president. “That’s why my administration kept the very existence of this program secret for as long as we possibly could.”

Director testifies that surveillance prevented dozens of “potentially catastrophic” threats to NSA budget

20 Jun

WASHINGTON–testifying today before Congress, NSA Director Keith Alexander testified that without the Prism electronic eavesdropping program, the country could have seen “catastrophic” reductions in unaccountable intelligence spending.

“If not for Prism, we could very well be looking at a series of downsizings and potentially even senior-management pay cuts that would make the 1990s look like a walk in the park,” said Alexander. “I’d rather be debating privacy issues today than explaining to my wife what happened to our second driver.”

House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R–Michigan) asked whether perhaps the NSA had gone slightly too far. Alexander started to answer with a hypothetical, noting that “if you had, say, a prominent citizen who occasionally visited naughtylibrarians.com, you might think–“. He was unable to finish, as Rogers quickly withdrew the question.

Alexander also had good news for civil libertarians who had questioned the program’s constitutionality, citing a secret Obama administration legal finding that the government can do anything it wants.

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