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Word Games: What the NSA Means by “Targeted” Surveillance Under Section 702


Word Games: What the NSA Means by “Targeted” Surveillance Under Section 702

Cindy Cohn

We all know that the NSA uses word games to hide and downplay its activities. Words like "collect," "conversations," "communications," and even "surveillance" have suffered tortured definitions that create confusion rather than clarity.

There’s another one to watch: "targeted" v. "mass" surveillance.


And then what. After being targeted and then what. I am not too worried about what it's called, Cindy. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.The message seems to fall short. After being targeted, then what happens to you. We need to talk about that.


It's no secret that Hollywood has worked with the CIA and MIC to promote themes that make torture palatable and prepare the public for the next Necessary Enemy. (Without that Necessary Enemy, the War Machine would come to a halt.)

Oftentimes a premise introduced through film as drama or sci-fi is used as "predictive programming." At essence, by infusing a certain event or image into mass consciousness the public's collective understanding is being shaped.

Thus far, as depicted in the film "Minority Report," we don't yet see "pre-emptive arrests," but the so-called Targeted Surveillance apparatus comes close.


If the TPP and TIPP end up passed and "Law and Order" types manage to equate principled dissent with "domestic terrorism," then they could easily roll back anyone's communication stream and find some statement (perhaps taken out of context, or even adulterated) to PROVE guilt where there is none.

Today's testimony by Brian Terrell, Kathy Kelly's fellow Witness to Crimes of State provides a powerful example of how things work when it's those who advocate for war and state crimes who get to determine the guilt or innocence of those who oppose those horrors.

The criminals are already in charge of the American Asylum.


No one should HAVE to talk about that.

The Inside Job of 911 did many things, including (but not limited to):

  1. Setting up an engineered pretext for War of Aggression (The Supreme Crime against Humanity according to The Geneva Conventions)

  2. Eviscerated Constitutional protections and Civil Liberties... including the RIGHT to privacy.

  3. Channeled vast sums to the MIC, war profiteers, weapons' designers, and the rendering of much of the world INTO the very Terrorist Status it alleged to quell.

My point is that NONE of this is legal or legitimate.

Therefore, to ask what will happen AFTER is, in fact a way of excusing the crime.

I feel the same way about the banks.

Should banks--which collapsed the global economy--be in any position to determine the credit-worthiness of honest working people?

And should a health care system now Captured by Big Pharma. and Big Chemical be given the right to determine what constitutes public health and how to theoretically meet that target?

CRIMINALS have gamed EVERY system ranging from what you can eat (Monsanto refusing to label its Cancer-causing franken faux foods) to what you are told about the world (corporate news), to how much you will be paid for work (now competing with 3rd world labor), to who you can vote for, to whether or not you will be granted medical treatment and what it will consist of.

Just about every facet of life is FRAMED as some kind of war and the casualties (largely due to this insane mindset) are everywhere.


The words are fine. But how?

They are about as operational as abolishing poverty, obesity, mental illness, income inequality, sexism, racism, and war, itself.

If only it were THAT easy.

This Hydra buried itself like a cancer and grew exponentially.

It's part of the Deep State--an unaccountable (to The People) entity.

What is not seen and remains hidden is very difficult to neutralize.


It's precisely this type of commentary that explains why I view you as complicit in government surveillance.

Why would anyone who gave a SHIT about human rights--including the right to privacy which is a staple to the formation of any group seeking to gather persons who dispute government/corporate/military policy---attack this author and on such specious grounds?

I see through you. Naturally I can't prove the status of those who work under cover... however, following the "Know them by their fruits" axiom, it definitely should speak to those who read these threads (and are not compromised) that you would attack the writer who is working to protect the public's interests.

She is not confused in the least!

The covert language used by covert organizations is by nature opaque. And you know that.

As Michael Ratner the late Human Rights Attorney often said, "You either side with the victim or with the executioner."

The PUBLIC is the victim here and Ms. Cohn is OUR advocate. Thus for you and Helen to look for grounds to chip away at her credibility shows that you, indeed, are protecting State Power.

(Did you formerly post as Two Americas?)


Big Brother Oligarchy, the greatest purveyor of violence the world has ever known, is watching.


When you are targeted, dirt is gathered for the purpose of blackmail or other forms of leverage. If you are a politician, it will be blackmail. Obama is the best example of what can happen. Cheney and Hayden began using the NSA to tap his phones in 2004, and by the time he began bombing Libya, Bill "Cheney is the best Republican" Kristol was calling him "a born again neocon." That didn't happen without blackmail.


Already in play. Presidential Commission on the Study of Bioethics, Meeting 4, Session 10.


Here, Cindy Cohn writes quite brilliantly, especially considering the nature of the topic's complexity and controversy, as well as the intended readership of the article. Given such important factors—as well as constraints relating to desired length and scope of the article, this is indeed most rare and refreshing.

In particular, she provides a compelling argument whose logical, analytical and critical reasoning simply cannot be perfunctorily dismissed. Note how the introduction deftly and succinctly provides the point-of-view and then immediately follows up with parameters for the relevant, in-a-nutshell background information to facilitate readers comprehension of the subject matter.

Next, the body of the article carefully and judiciously proceeds to layout the major and minor factors in support of her contentions in a logical and orderly flow. (She nailed it.)

And, I just loved the thoughtful consideration of the inclusion of footnotes. (Nice touch.)

Oh, she just happens to be an attorney who chose to enlighten us with noteworthy information regarding such an important, contemporary issue... (Thank you much!)


No SR,

He signed one post as Tom Johnson. He copies my screen name and style verbatim. He even used to sign his posts TJ just to confuse everybody.

Hell, he's even stolen my material! I've never been so popular!

Oh Well. Our tax dollars being squandered. (Of course, it's just possible he's been converted. But he still has to punch the clock!)

It's raining buckets here every day for months. How's your weather? Did it ever cool off?