Category Archives: Privacy

FISA System Flawed

Consider a hypothetical case in a criminal court where only the prosecutor is allowed to present evidence against the accused. Commonsense tells me that such a system would be inherently unfair. But that is precisely the system authorized by the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA) to obtain a warrant to spy on an American citizen.  To work fairly, the FISA system depends entirely on the absolute integrity of intelligence officials seeking FISA warrants to present all known relevant evidence, pro and con, to the FISA court.

Political  opposition research paid for by the Clinton presidential campaign, commonly known as the Trump-Russia Dossier, was used by the Obama administration to obtain a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance of Carter Page,  a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump. The Trump-Russia Dossier turned out to be  fake. The source of the Trump-Russia Dossier was not disclosed to the FISA court, according to the  FISA memorandum prepared by the Republican majority of the  House Intelligence Committee.

How significant a role the Trump-Russia Dossier played in the FBI  application to the FISA court for the Page  surveillance warrant and whether FBI officials knew then that the Trump Dossier was fake are presently unknown.  Commonsense tells me that a complete investigation by an independent counsel is urgently needed to answer these and many other questions about the Carter Page FISA application.

Commonsense also tells me that FISA needs to be amended to provide for the establishment of an office of independent counsel to intervene in FISA court proceedings before warrants are issued in order to adequately protect American citizens who are the subject of an application for a FISA surveillance warrant. Regrettably,  the Carter Page case demonstrates that Americans can no longer rely solely on the integrity of the intelligence officials seeking FISA warrants to present all the known facts to the FISA court. What a shame!

Good Day. Better Days are ahead!

The Farkus Fracas

When Evelyn Farkus  voluntarily acknowledged on MSNBC incidental surveillance of  the Trump campaign and transition teams,  a media fracas ensued despite the best efforts of the so-called mainstream media to suppress the story. Now Susan Rice of Benghazi notoriety has been implicated in the unmasking phase of the incidental surveillance operation. Whether any of this incidental surveillance was illegal remains to be seen, but commonsense suggests that the Farkus fracus is eerily reminiscent of the abuses of power uncovered in the Watergate scandal  … drip … drip … drip.

Commonsense also suggests that all surveillance operations by the Obama Administration of political opponents, legal or illegal,  will eventually be unmasked and if illegal the person(s) responsible will be held accountable.

Good Day!

Lefty or Righty ?

          A good friend of mine, Jimmy K_________,  lost his left arm….it matters not how or why. We all call him Lefty. I wonder why we call JImmy K Lefty.  Why not call him Righty?  Commonsense tells me that Righty is as good a moniker as Lefty! So why do we call Jimmy K Lefty? Think about it…is there no answer to this imponderable?

          Just one more imponderable in this crazy world in which we live in 2016….but stay tuned, things are about to get better on another Day soon to arrive, I hope and trust!

The Right to Privacy

The Constitution of the United States of America does not explicitly mention a right to privacy, but the right to privacy  is implicit in other explicit rights as  frequently pronounced by the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

In an appearance on Money with Melissa Francis aired on Fox Business channel today,  John McAfee, the security software developer,  warned that business methods employed by Google, and other online businesses of the same ilk, limits us to the least common denominator of human behavior. In the process, these businesses are invading the privacy of American citizens in an insidious way that  makes NSA’s surreptitious surveillance pale in comparison.

If you own a cell phone, or surf or shop on the internet, the Googles of the world know what you buy , where you shop,  your hobbies and interests, as well as the physical location of your cell phone (and  thus probably your person) 24/7.  And if you participate in the social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) the Googles of the world and the government know pretty much all there is to know about you and yours. Stop and think about that… and then wake up Americans before your freedom is completely lost.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the same technology that permits invasion of our privacy now  may very well be the long term answer for protecting our privacy and freedom. Check out the Blackphone for starters. In the meantime, commonsense tells me that Americans should demand appropriate restraints on the Googles of the world and government agencies, starting with the NSA right here in the USA.

Have a nice Day, leave a comment and stay tuned for more to come on another Day.