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NSA Stories Are Hurting Obama With ‘The Young’

From the Wall Street Journal:

New Details Show Broader NSA Surveillance Reach

By SIOBHAN GORMAN and JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES | August 20, 2013

WASHINGTON—The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say.

The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.

The NSA’s filtering, carried out with telecom companies, is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the U.S. But officials say the system’s broad reach makes it more likely that purely domestic communications will be incidentally intercepted and collected in the hunt for foreign ones.

We don’t understand why these NSA revelations is getting so much attention. This is what the NSA is supposed to do. But the news media are going out of their way now to try to make it sound as sinister as possible.

Actually, I take it back. I know exactly why the news media are doing this. They want to try to destroy our intelligence agencies. Which has always been a major goal of the left, and especially since the ‘War On Terror.’

The programs, code-named Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium and Stormbrew, among others, filter and gather information at major telecommunications companies. Blarney, for instance, was established with AT&T Inc., former officials say…

Our nation’s enemies are grateful to learn the top secret codeword names of these programs.

This filtering takes place at more than a dozen locations at major Internet junctions in the U.S., officials say. Previously, any NSA filtering of this kind was largely believed to be happening near points where undersea or other foreign cables enter the country…

Wow. That is quite a revelation. (Not.)

Details of these surveillance programs were gathered from interviews with current and former intelligence and government officials and people from companies that help build or operate the systems, or provide data. Most have direct knowledge of the work…

Isn’t it great that the Wall Street Journal is doing the work that usual foreign governments have to pay hard cash to accomplish?

[These] programs use complex algorithms that, in effect, operate like filters placed over a stream with holes designed to let certain pieces of information flow through. After the 2001 terrorist attacks, NSA widened the holes to capture more information when the government broadened its definition of what constitutes "reasonable" collection, according to a former top intelligence official…

So it’s Bush’s fault. Still, the hilarious thing here is that the left’s war on our intelligence agencies is hurting Obama, at least with ‘young voters.’

From The Hill:

NSA story cuts into Obama’s popularity with young voters

By Justin Sink | August 21, 2013

Controversy over the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs is eroding President Obama’s popularity — particularly among young voters.

Some polls show a double-digit drop in Obama’s approval rating since Edward Snowden revealed NSA secrets, weakening the president ahead of fall fights with congressional Republicans over the budget and immigration.

And we can’t have that.

Polling taken by the Economist and YouGov finds a 14-point swing in Obama’s approval and disapproval rating among voters aged 18-29 in surveys taken immediately before the NSA revelations and last week. Overall, the swing in Obama’s approval rating moves just four points.

A USA Today/Pew Research poll released in June found that young voters were significantly more likely to support Snowden’s decision to leak classified material. While 60 percent of 18- to 29- year olds said exposing the surveillance programs served the public good, just 36 percent of those over 65 said the same…

“Younger voters tend to believe the Internet should be an area of free speech and free communication, and the idea that the government is looking into what you’re doing is distasteful — and particularly distasteful if run by a president they voted for,” said Julian Zelizer, a political science professor at Princeton University.

“The narrative also goes against the fundamentals of President Obama, representing status quo politics and more of the same kind of policies that existed under President Bush, so Obama ceases to be an agent of change,” he added…

Of course, everyone would have been much happier if these revelations had come out under President Bush. But what a conundrum this must be for our one party news media. Do they do as much damage to the US intelligence agencies while they can, even if it hurts Obama’s polls numbers?

We suspect they will continue to try to destroy our intel agencies while the getting is good, especially since Obama doesn’t have to face re-election.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, August 21st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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