Can we talk about this bullshit for a sec thanks.
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24-09-2016, 10:11 AM
RE: Can we talk about this bullshit for a sec thanks.
(24-09-2016 04:08 AM)morondog Wrote:  Why does terrorism work? Because it's asymmetric. The idea is to spread fear by making everyone, including non-combatants, feel that they are a target. In actual fact there are myriad other things that are way more of a threat to your life than terrorists, but terrorists and those who profit from terrorism, including Donald Trump and his ilk, want you to think about *them* and not other things. So it's all about doing *big* flashy things that kill lots of people in one go.

Sure security is important but buggered if I want to surrender my privacy in the cause. I am willing to accept a certain level of risk of terrorism as I am willing to accept a certain level of risk of malaria or being hit by a runaway truck. Surrendering privacy means that somewhere, someone - government - has the dirt on me. Not necessarily anything incriminating, but probably just enough to blackmail me with. You know. I slept with so and so's wife that time he was away and I'll be exposed if I don't do as they say - a word in his ear, an anonymous phone call. Mundane stuff, but stuff that I don't want known. Now imagine that *everyone* including opposition politicians, has that kind of dirt somewhere in the NSA archives.

Government having the dirt is worse than anyone else, because it means that they control me - if they want a chanting crowd of supporters for President Trump all they have to do is call me up. It's not 100% simple, but it gives them a great big lever they can pull. As long as the guy in charge of the lever is a Good Guy ™ I'm OK, but how the hell do you prevent it being a bad guy?

My answer is: by not creating the lever in the first place. My thoughts, my letters, my communications are *mine*. No one else's. By what right does anyone assert that they can look at them? People in government are people just like me. Not better than me. Not the schoolteacher in school and me the pipsqueak kid. They have no right to that kind of power.

I just want to second this (QFT!) and point out that your hypothetical isn't a hypothetical. We know that the American government uses information of that sort against anyone it wants to shut up.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began monitoring Martin Luther King, Jr., in December 1955, during his involvement with the Montgomery bus boycott, and engaged in covert operations against him throughout the 1960s. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover was personally hostile toward King, believing that the civil rights leader was influenced by Communists. This animosity increased after April 1964, when King called the FBI ‘‘completely ineffectual in resolving the continued mayhem and brutality inflicted upon the Negro in the deep South’’ (King, 23 April 1964). Under the FBI’s domestic counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) King was subjected to various kinds of FBI surveillance that produced alleged evidence of extramarital affairs, though no evidence of Communist influence.

The FBI was created in 1909 as the Justice Department’s unit to investigate federal crimes. Hoover became FBI director in 1924 and served until his death in 1972. Throughout the 1930s the FBI’s role expanded when President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the FBI to research ‘‘subversives’’ in the United States, and Congress passed a series of laws increasing the types of federal crimes falling under the FBI’s jurisdiction. During World War II, the FBI was further authorized to investigate threats to national security. This loosely defined mission formed the heading under which the FBI began to investigate the civil rights movement.


(Bold emphasis my own.)

Sound familiar? Think we've "learned our lesson"? Think your social and/or personal activities might someday go against what a government who is "authorized to investigate" your private files enough for them to target you? The FBI of Dr. King's day could only dream of the power the NSA now has (literally) at its fingertips.

http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/enc...ation_fbi/

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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24-09-2016, 10:56 AM
RE: Can we talk about this bullshit for a sec thanks.
Finally obtained CitizenFour DVD. It makes cheese out of Muff's complaint that Snowden did things "the wrong way". "Proper channels". Pshaw! There's no such animal when the adversary controls all the "proper" ones.

It's a frightening documentary.

Ask yourself right now what types of inquiries/statements do you already refrain from making electronically? Would it make you queasy to type "How to make a pipe bomb" into the google search engine? It does me. That wasn't true 20 years ago. Now it is. Makes my skin crawl.
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24-09-2016, 11:47 AM
RE: Can we talk about this bullshit for a sec thanks.
(22-09-2016 10:46 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(22-09-2016 10:38 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I'll take privacy, please.

Thank you.

Yes

Just curious, why? If all the government is doing is searching for bad people, why would you care if they're in your business?

the Framers Wrote:The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Pretty important stuff, if'n you ask me.
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24-09-2016, 02:05 PM
RE: Can we talk about this bullshit for a sec thanks.
Well it seems I'm in the minority, LOL. People have strong opinions and that includes me. One point that hasn't been brought up is that the NSA is the target of this discussion, but shutting down their snooping won't accomplish much. In the first place, I doubt that's even possible. Snooping is going to happen condoned or not. But people need to understand that we live in an age where maintaining privacy is difficult. Everything you email, search on the internet, text message, tweet, post, etc. may as well be considered public. Because all that stuff exists somewhere on the servers of the companies that make those services available. You can't prevent the bad apples in every company.

I personally work for a company where I see doctors' personal information every day, including names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, law suits, sanctions, where they got their education, what boards they are certified in, etc.. If I was a bad apple, I have literally millions of people whose identity I could steal. For the ones that have sanctions, it could be used for blackmail depending on the reason for the sanction. Everything we do is being maintained in databases that ordinary people have access to. The chances of a bad apple somewhere is huge. Then, of course, there are also hackers and other government agencies besides the NSA. There is really little that can be done.

However, when it comes to electronic communications, if you don't want the whole public to know about it, then find another way to communicate it. This is the reality that we are living in even without the NSA. That's another reason I'm not particularly concerned about potential abuses from the NSA. If people there are going to abuse the information, they will still do so even if the operations are formally stopped. Meanwhile, the potential gains will also be lost and really for nothing because you still have no privacy regardless, if you are communicating private information electronically.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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24-09-2016, 02:18 PM
RE: Can we talk about this bullshit for a sec thanks.
I agree, Impulse. Irrespective of whether anyone looks at the information we put on the internet, the fact of divulging information, as Snowden has done, is treason. He signed papers agreeing that he would never divulge any information that he had access to. Then leaked it and pranced around the planet acting noble. Dodgy
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24-09-2016, 02:39 PM
RE: Can we talk about this bullshit for a sec thanks.
(24-09-2016 02:05 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Well it seems I'm in the minority, LOL. People have strong opinions and that includes me. One point that hasn't been brought up is that the NSA is the target of this discussion, but shutting down their snooping won't accomplish much. In the first place, I doubt that's even possible. Snooping is going to happen condoned or not. But people need to understand that we live in an age where maintaining privacy is difficult. Everything you email, search on the internet, text message, tweet, post, etc. may as well be considered public. Because all that stuff exists somewhere on the servers of the companies that make those services available. You can't prevent the bad apples in every company.
You can do what WhatsApp does and offer "end to end" encryption where not even they can decode your messages. Although I'm not sure how much of that is hoopla.

Quote:I personally work for a company where I see doctors' personal information every day, including names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, law suits, sanctions, where they got their education, what boards they are certified in, etc.. If I was a bad apple, I have literally millions of people whose identity I could steal. For the ones that have sanctions, it could be used for blackmail depending on the reason for the sanction. Everything we do is being maintained in databases that ordinary people have access to. The chances of a bad apple somewhere is huge. Then, of course, there are also hackers and other government agencies besides the NSA. There is really little that can be done.
Well let's throw up our hands and do nothing. After all that's how law enforcement works. People are going to commit crimes so what's the use of having a police force? And since you operate in this environment and are ethical, would you be surprised if one of your colleagues was *not*? Can you guarantee that every single one of them has *never* played silly buggers even a little bit. Maybe not nicked someone's identity but used the info that they do see to get up to something a little bit naughty. Oh come on, it's just a bit of fun.

Quote:However, when it comes to electronic communications, if you don't want the whole public to know about it, then find another way to communicate it. This is the reality that we are living in even without the NSA. That's another reason I'm not particularly concerned about potential abuses from the NSA. If people there are going to abuse the information, they will still do so even if the operations are formally stopped. Meanwhile, the potential gains will also be lost and really for nothing because you still have no privacy regardless, if you are communicating private information electronically.

Here's another thought experiment for ya. Suppose it's widely known that the NSA legally taps everyone's private info and you just so happen to be the one citizen of the USA who leads a blameless life, and they have zero stuff to blackmail you with. Suppose further that Donald Trump decides that he wants to railroad through an anti-abortion bill and you are the sole politician with the guts and the clout to stand up to him.

All the NSA has to do is "find" evidence that you're collaborating with Iran. There's no recourse. You're fucked.

You seem to trust your government and I find that endearing, but seriously dude. Have a little cynicism.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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24-09-2016, 02:40 PM
RE: Can we talk about this bullshit for a sec thanks.
(24-09-2016 02:18 PM)Fireball Wrote:  I agree, Impulse. Irrespective of whether anyone looks at the information we put on the internet, the fact of divulging information, as Snowden has done, is treason. He signed papers agreeing that he would never divulge any information that he had access to. Then leaked it and pranced around the planet acting noble. Dodgy

Dear God he did the T word? Well that's it. String him up.

One mans ethics is another man's treason.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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24-09-2016, 02:43 PM
RE: Can we talk about this bullshit for a sec thanks.
(22-09-2016 09:28 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  
Quote:Was there another way to do it?

It's called proper channels.

Proper channels? What does that mean? Who did you think he was going to tell that was not aware of this? His supervisor? His supervisor knew. His supervisor's boss? He knew too. You can take it all the way up the chain of command, right to President Obama and what you would find is that they all fucking knew this was what happening. This wasn't the result of some rogue people in the NSA doing their own thing. This was an official policy of the US. It was a feature, not a bug. "Proper channels" only works when you are reporting something that the people in charge a) don't know about and b) will be inclined to stop.

If Snowden went to "proper channels", the result would be that everyone knew they had someone in the fold who was not on-board with what was going on. I have no idea how they would have handled it, but, at minimum, he would have been out of a job pretty damn quickly and his proof would have been beyond his ability to grab on his way out. That's best case. He had 2 very binary choices: shut up and take the pay check or grab the data and go to the press. There was no "proper channels" to be had here.

As for the commentary about the American media, he didn't go to the big monolithic media corporations. He went to two specific investigative journalists who work for newspapers that are not beholden to larger corporate entities. And, based on things he's said, that was by design. He was not interested in feeding an agenda, just getting the truth out.

You make an interesting point on the Washington Post and I don't have a strong opinion either way, but I think you're being incredibly naive (something I rarely think you are) to think there was another real option here.

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24-09-2016, 03:49 PM
RE: Can we talk about this bullshit for a sec thanks.
(24-09-2016 02:39 PM)morondog Wrote:  You can do what WhatsApp does and offer "end to end" encryption where not even they can decode your messages. Although I'm not sure how much of that is hoopla.
Encryption helps, but there are always people who can get around it. No security is perfect.

(24-09-2016 02:39 PM)morondog Wrote:  Well let's throw up our hands and do nothing. After all that's how law enforcement works. People are going to commit crimes so what's the use of having a police force? And since you operate in this environment and are ethical, would you be surprised if one of your colleagues was *not*? Can you guarantee that every single one of them has *never* played silly buggers even a little bit. Maybe not nicked someone's identity but used the info that they do see to get up to something a little bit naughty. Oh come on, it's just a bit of fun.
Not a correct analogy. There is no potential public benefit to crime and its primary and sole purpose is crime. As for my colleagues, there is no guarantee. That's exactly the point.

(24-09-2016 02:39 PM)morondog Wrote:  Here's another thought experiment for ya. Suppose it's widely known that the NSA legally taps everyone's private info and you just so happen to be the one citizen of the USA who leads a blameless life, and they have zero stuff to blackmail you with. Suppose further that Donald Trump decides that he wants to railroad through an anti-abortion bill and you are the sole politician with the guts and the clout to stand up to him.

All the NSA has to do is "find" evidence that you're collaborating with Iran. There's no recourse. You're fucked.
True, but beside the point. "Finding" evidence can be done with or without the NSA activity.

(24-09-2016 02:39 PM)morondog Wrote:  You seem to trust your government and I find that endearing, but seriously dude. Have a little cynicism.
That's a pretty broad-sweeping statement. I certainly do not trust my government, but we're talking about one specific area. I recognize the sense of urgency in this country when comes to issues related to terrorism. The people working at the NSA would find it just as personally important as anyone else to uncover terrorist activity and, for that reason, I believe they would focus on what they are supposed to do there. It's an overwhelming task that will never be complete enough let alone leaving time for messing around in other crap. I never claimed there couldn't be an exception person, but I'm just not that worried about it. It's like taking guns away from everyone so that criminals won't have them - it simply won't stop the criminals. Meanwhile, I'm not willing to lose the potential benefit of finding terrorist activity.

And there are other reasons to keep it as well. Do you honestly think the NSA is the only agency in the world doing this? If we stop, it gives other countries an advantage. Also, you alluded to terrorism not be as big an issue as some would think, but maybe that's because we are being vigilant. What would happen if terrorists thought we were no longer being so vigilant? Chances are terrorist attacks would suddenly rise.

(24-09-2016 02:40 PM)morondog Wrote:  Dear God he did the T word? Well that's it. String him up.

One mans ethics is another man's treason.
Well it is. He put the entire country at risk by exposing this to the entire world. It could affect international relations, tip off terrorists, etc. If that's not turning against your country, what is? There were better ways that he could have handled this.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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24-09-2016, 04:17 PM
RE: Can we talk about this bullshit for a sec thanks.
(24-09-2016 02:43 PM)BnW Wrote:  
(22-09-2016 09:28 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  It's called proper channels.

Proper channels? What does that mean? Who did you think he was going to tell that was not aware of this? His supervisor? His supervisor knew. His supervisor's boss? He knew too. You can take it all the way up the chain of command, right to President Obama and what you would find is that they all fucking knew this was what happening. This wasn't the result of some rogue people in the NSA doing their own thing. This was an official policy of the US. It was a feature, not a bug. "Proper channels" only works when you are reporting something that the people in charge a) don't know about and b) will be inclined to stop.

If Snowden went to "proper channels", the result would be that everyone knew they had someone in the fold who was not on-board with what was going on. I have no idea how they would have handled it, but, at minimum, he would have been out of a job pretty damn quickly and his proof would have been beyond his ability to grab on his way out. That's best case. He had 2 very binary choices: shut up and take the pay check or grab the data and go to the press. There was no "proper channels" to be had here.

As for the commentary about the American media, he didn't go to the big monolithic media corporations. He went to two specific investigative journalists who work for newspapers that are not beholden to larger corporate entities. And, based on things he's said, that was by design. He was not interested in feeding an agenda, just getting the truth out.

You make an interesting point on the Washington Post and I don't have a strong opinion either way, but I think you're being incredibly naive (something I rarely think you are) to think there was another real option here.

You guys do have proper whistleblowing channels your government workers (like people that work at the fbi or cia or nsa in this case or wherever) can go through.
Whistleblower Protection act or some shit.

I remember an interview with him and the reporter asked him why he didn't do it that way and he said something like he decided the public should be the ones to decide not congress.

I think it was wrong to not give congress a chance to "do the right thing".

Only when they fail should you go to the media.
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