Coorespondance with my Congression Representitive regarding his no vote on the Amash Amendment to stop NSA Spying

Here is the letter I wrote to Congressman Bilirakis regarding his “No” Vote to the Amash Amendment: Feel free to do the same to your Florida Reps:

Philip Cabibi - Letter to Congress

Congressman Bilirakis,

Thank you for the recent update you provided via email. I completely agree with your stance on those issues.

However; I am baffled as to how you can articulate the exact reasons as to why placing that kind of power in the hands of this administration is a terrible idea; yet, still vote no on the Amash Amendment.

In fact, Most reps in Florida voted No.

I am confounded as to how anyone could shoot down this amendment as it clearly violates the 4th amendment of the constitution. .

Maybe it’s because you were sold on the “It’s only Metadata” argument? Please understand that the analogy of Metadata being akin to addresses on an envelope is unequivocally inaccurate as it applies towards modern technology.

Or, Maybe it’s because you don’t respect the US Constitution?

I don’t think it’s the latter reason, so please, as someone who works for a major silicone valley tech company, whose been working with Metadata for over 10 years, and who currently works with Web analytics for the Omniture BU of Adobe systems…allow me explain to you what Metadata is as it relates to today’s technology, and how it conflicts with the 4th amendment.

I sincerely hope you take the time to read this and share this information with your colleagues in the house.

Most Americans may overlook this: but it’s not just Metadata the NSA is collecting.. It’s MY Data.

As defined by the dictionary, Metadata is a set of data that describes other data. For example, in my company, when you upload a file to a system, you know who uploaded it, when it was uploaded, what type of document it is, who last modified it, what time it was modified, who last accessed the file, when it was last accessed, etc…

So when we look at this program with that in mind; they’re saying they’re just collecting Metadata… let’s take an honest look at the facts: First of all; they’re collecting your phone number. That’s your Unique Identifier or (UID) which is akin to a Primary key in a database. They’re collecting the phone number your calling, the location of where you’re calling, and the duration of the call.

Some people may say; what’s the big deal about that? Well, lets look at me for example. If you collected my data, what would you learn about me? If you look at my phone number, you would know that it’s a 727 area code and that I’ve made most of my calls from a specific spot in Utah until October when that location changed to Palm Harbor Florida. You would also know that I call a specific phone number often that was a 727 area code also in the same location of Utah until October when that other number’s location changed to Palm Harbor Florida. So, you can safely assume that the person at the other number either lives with me or is my wife or girlfriend.

You also know that this other person creates metadata on her phone from 12pm to 2am, where as I create metadata on my phone from 9am to 6pm. So right there you know our work schedules.

Also, like alot of other people, I talk on the phone while I’m driving (through blue tooth of course so I can concentrate on the road). So at 8:30 am every morning, I drive to Starbucks… You can tell because I’m on the phone when I’m driving there. Every 15th and 30th of every Month at 4pm, I go to the Bank. You can tell because I’m on the phone when I’m driving there. On the 2nd of Each month, I drive 60 miles to a doctor. The NSA also knows that Doctor calls me the day before to confirm my appointment. And now that the NSA has the doctors phone number, you can tell what type of doctor he is, and what type of medicine he practices.

So, we’re being asked to believe: “This is just metadata, don’t worry about it, your name isn’t attached to it and we’re not recording content.”

Let me ask you this Congressman: What’s more intimate?
Knowing my name, or knowing where I bank?
Knowing my name, or knowing my personal medical history?
Knowing my name, or knowing what time my girlfriend goes to bed?

For all of the reasons you’re against the IRS targeting and the Invasion of privacy that would go along with Obama Care, The NSA is already doing that because of this previously secret program.

Now that they have this information, They can build a profile on all innocent Americans. How is that NOT a violation of the 4th amendment? If they are placing our profile in a computer system that monitors for any deviation in our patterns, or for any risky behavior…. That means that all Innocent Americans are now under computer surveillance 24 hours a day, 7days a week, and you know the rest.

Another thing to keep in mind. As your profile continues to grow, as more and more and more metadata is collected, combined with the unlimited storage space of the US government, combined with the new NSA Building being built right across from where I used to live and work, in Bluffdale Utah; these computer models will be be able to predict what every American is going to do next, even before we know what we’re going to do next. After all, we’re creatures of habit.

So, just because the NSA isn’t monitoring the Content of our phone conversations, doesn’t mean that they’re not violating our privacy.

With all due respect Congressman Bilirakis, It’s not MetaData, it’s My Data.

As more and more people begin to understand this; your no vote on the Amash amendment will look poorly during your re-election campaign, and you may have some competition next cycle. I would urge you to please change your stance on this topic for the same reasons and good intentions as to why you oppose Obama care and the IRS targeting.

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3 thoughts on “Coorespondance with my Congression Representitive regarding his no vote on the Amash Amendment to stop NSA Spying

  1. pcabibi says:

    Congressman BIlirakis’s response:

    Gus Bilarakis - Philip Cabibi Response

    Dear Philip:

    Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts regarding certain provisions relating to the National Security Agency (NSA) and H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014. I appreciate hearing from you.

    I share your concerns with NSA surveillance programs. As one who also believes in a smaller and less-intrusive government, I am very concerned about potential privacy infringement. That is why I voted for House Amendment 412 to H.R. 2397, which states that none of the funds appropriated in H.R. 2397 may be used by the NSA to target a US person or acquire and store the content of a US person’s communications, including phone calls and e-mails.

    Balance is a crucial element when enacting policies involving security and the protection of civil liberties; both are vital to the health of this nation. House Amendment 413, introduced by Representative Amash, would have severely limited the scope of court-ordered foreign intelligence collection. H.Amdt.412 prevents the NSA from targeting the communications of an American citizen or from storing such communications, but leaves intact the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts ability to conduct foreign intelligence collection, which remains a vital aspect of intelligence gathering.

    As you know, intelligence gathering plays a major role in combating terrorism and keeping Americans safe. America has enemies, and as your federal Representative, I believe I have a duty to keep Americans safe while preserving the civil liberties that makes this country special. I believe that H.Amdt.412 represents the best balance between these two principles. I am happy to say that both this amendment and H.R. 2397 passed the House of Representatives with my support. It has now been referred to the Senate, where it awaits further legislative action. I recommend you contact your Senators, Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson. I am certain they would benefit from your views.

    As a resident of Florida’s Twelfth District, your comments and opinions are an important source of information to help me carry out my duties as your federal representative. In that regard, please do not hesitate to contact me in the future on any issue important to you. Also, if you would like to be informed more frequently about my work in Congress and in Florida’s Twelfth Congressional District, please visit my website at http://www.bilirakis.house.gov to sign up for regular email or to send me a message.

    Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

    Sincerely yours,

    Gus M. Bilirakis
    Member of Congress
    Congressman Gus Bilirakis
    http://www.bilirakis.house.gov
    Official Online Office of Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R – FL).

  2. pcabibi says:

    My response:

    Philip Cabibi - Letter to Congress

    Congressman,

    Thank you for your prompt reply and for your suggestions to contact my senators. My concern is that 412 didn’t go far enough because it simply reiterates the language that’s already in HR 2397. The NSA has been operating this program despite the language in both bills.

    As one of your many constituents; I agree that your duties are to Protect the American People and to preserve our Civil Liberties in a balanced manner. However, history has shown that the best way to protect the American people is by upholding your oath to protect the constitution. The protection of the American People is an organic result of protecting the constitution.

    Voting for amendment 412 and not 413, despite the revelations that were illegally leaked by snowden with respect to the violations of the restraints placed in HR 2397 (which are the exact same restraints in 412), is akin to telling a major drug dealer caught in a major deal, and who owns a Massive network of warehouses filled with illegal drugs, to “not do it again”. The only difference is, the drug dealer can be legally held accountable. The NSA had to have an illegal leak in order for the American people to obtain visibility. Telling them to “not do it again” when there is no oversight is an empty solution. We would literally have to wait for another illegal leak in order to see if they are complying with 412.

    While I appreciate, respect, and am grateful for your good intentions of protecting the safety, privacy and the civil liberties of the American People; the NSA has already upset the balance, and will continue to upset unless it either has more oversight, or the program is defunded all together.

    Oversight costs money, defunding the program saves money. Being a small government representative, I feel as if your no vote to the Amash amendment runs contradictory to your values and the values of your constituents.

    Thank you again for your public service and all of your efforts help shrink government to be smaller and less intrusive.

    Respectfully,
    Philip Cabibi

  3. pcabibi says:

    Still no response. I guess the congressman has pre-written form letters that his staff sends out related to certain topics. I’m not sure how you can represent your constituents when you can’t even address their concerns beyond a cookie cutter response?

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