So, R. and I have some questions.
(1) Should we ever believe anything when one of the reporters on the Guardian side is Greenwald and one of the reporters on the WaPo side is O'Harrow? I made the mistake of buying _No Place to Hide_. I tried to read it. It was a very bad, clearly unintentional joke.
(2) Are we sure the NSA is allowed to use PowerPoint to produce slides about a Top Secret program? Seems unlikely. And wow are those slides ugly. Fugly, even.
(3) Accessing it via a web portal. A bunch of paragraphs about what Wyden and Udall knew, when and why they didn't tell us. Etc. Just all the other questionable stuff in the articles here, because I cannot be bothered to enumerate them.
(4) Finally, and this really is my favorite part, all for the LOW LOW PRICE of about $20 million a year.
No fucking way. I'm not sure what happened. Either the whole thing was hatched by some sociopathic redditor for a joke at our expense, or by some Anonymous hacktivist to make the Guv'mint look bad, or, just possibly, someone somewhere had a Brilliant Idea about how to catch a suspected leaker and then it went horribly wrong. But if the government is actually running a program that involves digging around in all the IT farms run by That List of Companies, it costs a shitload more than $20 million to staff and oversee.
I just don't understand the credulity. It's like bad art fraud. Should be obvious; rarely is.
ETA: Also, I may need an explanation for why they keep coming up with subpoenas and so forth for all those companies, if they've got this other way of getting what they need. I'm sure it's obvious; I just can't think what it is.
ETAYA: NYTimes has weighed in with a piece mostly about the phone side of things, but with remarks about the email and so forth side. I'm not questioning whether the government is getting this stuff out of Big Email Providers; I'm questioning whether they are doing it through some kind of direct access. And the coverage is leaning towards ... not in the way you might think. More in the way we've known about all along. Which is not nearly as exciting, altho certainly still subject to abuse.