Unexplained Quincy booms, mystery plane tied to today's news?

Last year, Liz Feitelberg reports, she got a visit from the FBI over three mystery explosions she heard in West Quincy in March and April. And then there's the single-engine plane that started buzzing the town after the Marathon.

Connected, or just paranoia? For what it's worth, the guy arrested today was not charged with any violent acts himself, and the Globe reports the indictment says he didn't know the Tsarnaevs might be involved in the Marathon bombing until their photos were made public.

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    My first thought (before

    My first thought (before clicking through to the rest of the post) was that the guy who got arrested today lived in Quincy....

    ETA: the FBI must have known pretty early on that this guy was lying about the contact he had with the Tsarnaev brothers. Perhaps to determine whether or not the guy knew even more, the surveillance flights were a way to eavesdrop on him to see if he contacted any "associates" and if so, about what.

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    So they couldn't bug his house, phone, and cab?

    Apparently the NSA knows what I am typing before I finish this sentence, but the FBI needed to Day of Ray Liotta's Bust In Goodfellas Quincy for a few days trying to see if some 23 year old cab driver was communicating with his masters?

    The Hoover Boys should call the Fort Meade Boys. They seem to know how to do this better.

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    Ah yes

    I recently was interviewed as friend of someone who is being considered for a security clearance. Given what we know about the NSA it seemed like a foolish exercise to talk to me or anyone else about the guy. Just look up his whole communications (NSA) and travel history (TSA) and you'd know far more about the person then I do. How many public corruption cases could be opened in days if you had an easy to sort list of every person a public official talked to, every email they sent, every website they visited.

    But the NSA won't share and neither will anyone else. So we as the public spend billions on redundant police efforts, most of them doing things that clearly are against the constitution to begin with and we don't even get anything socially positive from it.

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    If there is no sharing, then where's the problem?

    By on

    Let's presume that everything you said about NSA and TSA knowing everything is true.

    If, as you say, neither is sharing the information with anyone, then why should we care about collection? It's not like the information could be used to arrest you because they are (according to this theory) not sharing information with local, state or federal law enforcement.

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    They don't share, they command

    The local police can't use the NSA data but the NSA can tell the FBI or other agencies to do something and they will. Its not sharing, its one sided and manipulate. I don't want any agency to have so much information about people irrespective of who they do or don't share with.

    I love how people complain

    By on

    I love how people complain about the NSA spying on Americans but also expect them to know everything about everyone at all times.

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    I don't exspect

    I don't expect them to know, they clearly do know. This is what the Snowden documents have shown.

    I'm very opposed to this sort of bulk surveillance. But if they are going to record every phone call and website they might as well use it to go after the bad guys. (Corrupted politicians and such.) Right now some agency could put me on a list and make my life hell but I wouldn't have access to the data to show how it could also prove my innocence. So we get all the bad things that come with constant and complete surveillance but none of the good things. We pay dearly both in terms of wasted money and stolen liberties.

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    "Record"

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    I just want to make sure of this. You know the NSA doesn't "record" phone conversations of everyone? The big issue was/is that they have records of phone calls, logs instead of transcripts.

    Just bringing it up. Yes, they might track use of phones and find patterns, but the actual topics of conversations is another story.

    EDIT- I said "can track", which might imply legality. Changed it to "might track." In any event, what they have been doing, if I'm correct, is tracking who calls whom.

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    You should read "The Shadow

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    You should read "The Shadow Factory" by James Bamford and his other books on the topic of the N.S.A. They explain, conceptually if not technically, how the agency is able to record any phone call and do quite a bit with the information, i.e.: make transcripts and use those transcripts to build a database of call contents which can be searched and cross-referenced. It's not just phone numbers and times.

    Or I could trust the Washington Post

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    Who have done a lot of reporting on the subject.

    Should data collection of domestic subjects' telephone use be done? I don't know, but I do know that it is different than recording whole conversations. And yes, this is different from what the NSA does with non-U.S. citizens, which is exactly what people think it is.

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    And a thick cloak

    ..of utter insignificance works wonders to get yourself ignored.

    If there is one thing I'm confident about in this life, it is my hardened shell of weapons grade insignificance. It works wonders and woe betide the hapless case officer who has to track my readily strewn drivel trail.

    He/She will end up catatonic from the gawdawful nonsense that wafts from my being like a mutt fart in a jammed elevator.

    Yep and yep

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    However, at least one of the mystery booms turned out to be a large fireworks explosion on Fallon Field, so wouldn't surprise me if that explained the rest, while the plane was doing some sort of surveying work.