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  (Source: Reagan Republicans)
As outrage of government spying grows, politicians rush to punish the source

On Tuesday developments continued to pour in regarding the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spying scandal.  

I. Booz Allen Fires Mr. Snowden

Last Wednesday, it was revealed that the government was collecting the phone records of at least a third of Americans.  In the wake of the scandal, the government essentially admitted it was archiving the phone records of most U.S. citizens without any requirement of suspicion.  

This tracking gives the government near-continuous access to the locations and contacts of citizens raising thorny privacy issues.  In that regard it goes well beyond similar concerns raised regarding location tracking by private corporations such as Apple, Inc. (AAPL).

On Tuesday, Reuters reported on a not-so-unexpected development -- top defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton (Holding Corp. (BAH)) had fired Edward Snowden on Monday from his position "for violations of the firm's code of ethics and firm policy."

NSA Unchained
[Image Source: ACLU]

BAH has been battered by a 5 percent drop in its stock, as investors fear the association to Mr. Snowden could hurt the firm's ability to get lucrative "big data" contracts from the government.  An interesting tidbit in the company's firing announcement was its assertion that Mr. Snowden had been making a salary of $122,000 USD, versus the $200,000 USD claimed in part of the Guardian's reporting on the leak (the Guardian, a top British newspaper was the first to publish details on the spying programs and the first to out Mr. Snowden, as per his request).

II. Snowden Eyes Asylum

Mr. Snowden wasn't exactly called in to a disciplinary hearing the day after he outed himself; he's currently holed up at a hotel in Hong Kong, 5,500 miles away from his former workplace in Hawaii.

Human Rights Watch emergencies director Peter Bouckaert suggested that Mr. Snowden should evacuate Hong Kong, pointing out that Hong Kong (Chinese) authorities had cooperated with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to extradite an anti-Gaddafi Islamist who was considered a security risk.

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower may seek asylum. [Image Source: Reuters]

Mr. Snowden appears to be possibly prepared to try to follow that advice.  He checked out of his luxury hotel room on Monday at noon, just scant hours after the Guardian published his identity.  His whereabouts are currently unknown but Ewen MacAskill, a Guardian journalist, says he's still in Hong Kong, commenting:

He didn't have a plan. He thought out in great detail leaking the documents and then deciding rather than being anonymous, he'd go public. So he thought that out in great detail. But his plans after that have always been vague.

I'd imagine there's now going to be a real battle between Washington and Beijing and civil rights groups as to his future.  He'd like to seek asylum in a friendly country but I'm not sure if that's possible or not.

Despite the fears of Human Rights Watch, the relationship between China and the U.S. has chilled over the last couple of years over concerns about intellectual property theft and North Korea, among other issues.  Ultimately, China may look to flex its muscle as a world superpower by defying the U.S.

Another perennial adversary of the U.S. is also considering helping Mr. Snowden -- Russia.  Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov is quoted by Russian news agency Ria Novosti as saying, "If we receive such a request, we will consider it."

Meanwhile, advocates in Iceland are seeking a less politically motivated offer of asylum for Mr. Snowden.  Birgitta Jónsdóttir, an Icelandic MP who fought to protect Wikileaks during its time in the European island state, is lobbying Iceland's immigration services and interior ministry to consider Mr. Snowden's potential asylum bid.  At the same time she encouraged Mr. Snowden to contact Icelandic authorities to advance the process.

III. Boehner: Snowden is a "Traitor" for Snitching on Secret Spying Program

Congress meanwhile is struggling towards trying to determine what to charge Mr. Snowden with.  Some members of Congress, such as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) called him a whistleblower who "should be defended."

But House Intelligence committee chair U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-New York) called Mr. Snowden a "defector" and Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was even harsher, saying on Good Morning America, "He's a traitor."


He commented:

The president outlined last week that these are important national security programs that help keep Americans safe and give us tools that help fight the terrorist threat we face.  The disclosure of this information puts Americans at risk. It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are. And it's a giant violation of the law.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), rumored to be considering a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, did not immediately condemn Mr. Snowden but was less enthusiastic about the leak than his father, Rep. Ron Paul.  

He comments:

I think it's a complicated issue. I think when people choose civil disobedience they're at their wit's end and think there's no other choice.

He notes, however, that he's fighting the laws that allow the kind of privacy invasions that the leaks detailed.

Given the Republican support, charges for Mr. Snowden seem likely.  President Obama's administration has charged twice as many reported "whistleblowers" under the Espionage Act of 1917 than all other administrations combined.  Despite that, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was close lipped regarding Mr. Snowden, remarking, "I won't characterize him or his status.  The Obama administration has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting whistleblowers."

IV. Lawsuits, Protests Over Spying Kick Off

Even as Congress struggles over Mr. Snowden's fate, there's a corresponding conflict over the revealed programs themselves.  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Tuesday filed suit [PDF] against the U.S. federal government in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The suit elegantly states:

In response to information published by the media, the government has acknowledged that it is relying on Section 215 to collect “metadata” about every phone call made or received by residents of the United States. The practice is akin to snatching every American’s address book—with annotations detailing whom we spoke to, when we talked, for how long, and from where.

Today, Google Inc. (GOOG) and Facebook.com, Inc. (FB), perhaps the two biggest internet corporate powers, called on Congress to declassify details of the spying programs, which they say impact their customers.

Mark ZuckerbergFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he wouldn't cave to spying requests like Verizon did. [Image Source: Christian Sinibaldi]

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was particularly vocal about his feelings about Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc.'s (LON:VOD) Verizon Wireless's decision to comply with a blanket surveillance grab, commenting:

Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. And if we did, we would fight it aggressively.

Privacy advocates are unifying under the new campaign -- Stop Watching Us (with the grin-worthy URL www.stopwatching.us).  They're encouraging U.S. citizens to sign a petition.

V. EU Pushes Obama for Action

Meanwhile, opposition over the spying continues to mount overseas.  Given that the most ambitious warrantless seizures like PRISM primarily targeted foreigners, many European politicians voice anger at being left in the dark.

German chancellor Angela Merkel says she'll press President Obama about the spying issue at a summit in Berlin, while Peter Schaar, Germany's federal data protection commissioner, warned that it was not acceptable for the U.S. to be spying on German citizens "and [for] the level of protection [to be] lower than what is guaranteed for US citizens."

EU officials dredged up a previous report from a Parliamentary advisory organization in Brusells, Belgium called [PDF] that had called the program a "grave risk" to data protection and citizen rights -- even before the details of its full extent were revealed.

EU flags
The EU politicians are outraged at the spying. [Image Source: AFP]

Italy's privacy minister Antonello Soro comments, "[These seizures] would not be legal in Italy [and run] contrary to the principles of our legislation and would represent a very serious violation."

Under pressure from his EU allies, President Obama -- a long time supporter of increased surveillance both domestic and international -- showed signs of being on the verge of caving.  White House spokesperson Jay Carney, comments, "If [congressional] debate were to build to a consensus around changes [to the Patriot Act] the president would look at that.  Although this is hardly the manner of discussion we hoped for, we would still like to have the debate."

Sources: Reuters [on Huffington Post], ACLU [PDF], Google, Mark Zuckerberg



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Boehner is the traitor.
By Captain Orgazmo on 6/11/2013 9:38:57 PM , Rating: 5
There is an enormous difference between what Bradley Manning did, and what Snowden did. Manning dumped a massive amount of sensitive raw operational intelligence into the wild, that directly compromised the security of American and allied operatives, and agents and informers working for them.

Snowden, on the other hand, brought publicity to a massive, intrusive, unconstitutional government surveillance program, which could be used to illegally spy on US citizens. Nobody has been directly put in harms way by this, and the "national security" is not at risk. Our enemies already assumed they were being spied on. The only thing they know now that they didn't before, is that our governments are spying on us too.




RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By Captain Orgazmo on 6/11/2013 9:44:05 PM , Rating: 5
And another thing, the examples given by the administration about what this program has accomplished are bogus. Feinstein cited the 2009 New York subway plot, and the Mumbai attacks. The subject in the NY plot was identified by a foreign intelligence agency tipoff, and Mumbai was a massive slaughter.

What did this program do to prevent BOSTON!!! Not a thing, and they are liars, and power mad wannabe tyrants. Stand up to this BS!


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By spread on 6/11/2013 9:53:11 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
What did this program do to prevent BOSTON!!! Not a thing, and they are liars, and power mad wannabe tyrants. Stand up to this BS!


They didn't care about Boston. The NSA will lie cheat steal and break any laws it wants. The NSA cares about the NSA. They even had information from the Russians about the bombers. They did nothing.

The NSA is a criminal organization. They are like Germany's SS. Its for your protection citizen. Look how safe you are.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By lolmuly on 6/11/2013 11:35:19 PM , Rating: 2
Für die Homeland!


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By ShieTar on 6/12/2013 7:36:01 AM , Rating: 2
You should read a bit about history if you really want to comment on it. The SS was an operative front-line unit, much more like the US marine corps than any intelligence agency. If you desperately need to bring up the Third Reich, the comparison you are looking for is the Gestapo, Department I.

Either way the comparison is rather pointless. Its not like moral is a binary system, where all actions need to be sorted as either "Nazi-like" or "Not that bad". Truth is, most people at NSA probably believe in the official reasoning, because everybody who considers an career in an agency tends to be at least a little bit paranoid.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By ClownPuncher on 6/12/2013 1:56:23 PM , Rating: 1
I'm pretty sure the SS controlled the Gestapo.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By spread on 6/11/2013 9:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
He is a traitor. He exposed sensitive information to the enemy, the American public. Therefore the government is at war with the American people.

Boehner knows what he's doing. He's picked a side.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By flyingpants1 on 6/11/2013 10:17:33 PM , Rating: 1
Lol. What do you mean , "therefore"? Of course they are. All the headlines are about the NSA spying on all Americans. That should be enough to understand they are at war with us, not anyone else.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By ritualm on 6/11/2013 11:23:20 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
He is a traitor. He exposed sensitive information to the enemy, the American public. Therefore the government is at war with the American people.

Boehner knows what he's doing. He's picked a side.

Does that mean everyone who disagrees with your twisted logic is a traitor?

The village called, they're missing an idiot.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By Camikazi on 6/12/2013 1:02:48 PM , Rating: 4
I am pretty sure he is saying that in a sarcastic way and not serious about it.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By Wererat on 6/14/2013 9:34:12 AM , Rating: 2
Not "the village" but The Village (do a quick search on "The Prisoner" if confused).

Be seeing you...


By villageidiotintern on 6/12/2013 9:03:24 AM , Rating: 3
Heh. Nice. The American public is the enemy of it's government. I can see that. Boehner isn't the only one on that long list.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By MrBlastman on 6/11/2013 11:22:42 PM , Rating: 5
You're right! Boner is the traitor!

The entire Federal Government is the traitor to our Constitution. Every damn one of them. They're all corrupt, self-serving, power-hungry Federalists who care nothing about state rights or anything else our Republic was originally founded upon.

This man, Snowden, he is a hero! Americans should awake up. Even if the information revealed is nothing new--it is very sobering to at least hear confirmation of many suspected practices.

I find it nauseating when I turn on the television and listen to what the "talking heads" have to say about him. The scary thing is that it is nearly the same on every channel from CNN to MSNBC to Fox. All of them are practically calling Snowden a traitor while some of them are trying to make all these policies look good.

So where do we go from here? It is up to the people now. If those in power have their way, Snowden will be shot or worse.

Should we, the people, tolerate this any further?

No!

But will we?

Sadly... a part of me says yes, the people will. Maybe they'll stop listening to the puppets on television and wake up. We can only hope they do. Our nation depends on it.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By MrBlastman on 6/11/2013 11:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
You're right! Boner is the traitor!

The entire Federal Government is the traitor to our Constitution. Every damn one of them. They're all corrupt, self-serving, power-hungry Federalists who care nothing about state rights or anything else our Republic was originally founded upon.

This man, Snowden, he is a hero! Americans should awake up. Even if the information revealed is nothing new--it is very sobering to at least hear confirmation of many suspected practices.

I find it nauseating when I turn on the television and listen to what the "talking heads" have to say about him. The scary thing is that it is nearly the same on every channel from CNN to MSNBC to Fox. All of them are practically calling Snowden a traitor while some of them are trying to make all these policies look good.

So where do we go from here? It is up to the people now. If those in power have their way, Snowden will be shot or worse.

Should we, the people, tolerate this any further?

No!

But will we?

Sadly... a part of me says yes, the people will. Maybe they'll stop listening to the puppets on television and wake up. We can only hope they do. Our nation depends on it.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By MrBlastman on 6/11/2013 11:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
Bah. Slow internet while on vacation. Sorry for double post.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2013 1:31:41 AM , Rating: 2
Well if the reports about Snowden coming out tonight are true, he's officially a traitor.

Giving classified information to a foreign power, especially China, is NOT "whistleblowing". No matter how you slice it, that is just unacceptable.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By Paj on 6/13/2013 7:46:34 AM , Rating: 3
The Guardian is a foreign power now?

You're describing treason. Giving classified information to the public in describing wrongdoing, through the media, is not treason. It's not like he gave them launch codes, military plans, or secret blueprints.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2013 9:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
No not the Guardian. He's allegedly feeding China US information in exchange for sanctuary. Like I said if the reports is true we'll have to wait and see

oh yeah going to the Guardian first and not a US Representative wasn't the best whistleblower move he could have made. There were more legitimate avenues available to him but I guess he wanted to be a hero or a martyr.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By Oceanryder on 6/13/2013 12:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
I think this aspect has broadly been overlooked. There are any number of Representatives and institutions (i.e. ACLU)who would've gladly taken Mr. Snowden in. Instead he runs to China.

Personally, I haven't decided whether Mr. Snowden has provided a good service to the American people or not, but his actions are somewhat dubious.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By BRB29 on 6/13/2013 12:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
his whole story is dubious


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By Paj on 6/13/2013 7:42:21 AM , Rating: 2
No body was put in harms way by the Manning/wikileaks documents either. As in this case, the only organisation that was harmed was the US government itself - by providing evidence of the true extent of the atrocities and failure of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Interesting that when leaks concern US foreign policy, the US public response is far more negative. But, as in this case, the leaks concern a domestic program, the opinion is much less clear-cut.

To the rest of the world though, the public reaction to both cases has been largely the same.


RE: Boehner is the traitor.
By Wererat on 6/14/2013 9:33:04 AM , Rating: 2
Good old Boehner. The Dems (actually, specifically Obama as the executive branch) explode FISA requests 1000% and actually use all this data to target political enemies, and Boehner rushes to say the most stupid possible thing to make sure to shield his political opponents from harm.

Frankly, as the pursestring-holders, any response from the House (GOP and Dem members alike) less than defunding this universal spying through the budget is unacceptable.


The 4th Ammendment
By arazok on 6/11/2013 11:15:33 PM , Rating: 5
It’s really quite clear:

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

There’s a case to be made for the need to monitor communications, but to do that you have to amend the constitution, not ignore it.




RE: The 4th Ammendment
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/12/13, Rating: -1
RE: The 4th Ammendment
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 7:45:48 AM , Rating: 2
google seems to have more data on everyone than the government can ever accomplish lol


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/12/2013 8:31:41 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
It only applies to U.S. Citizens. The small text under this entire fiasco is that only Foreigners (Non-U.S.) are the targets.
WRONG.

Read the FISA order. It explicitly states:
quote:
the custodian of records shall produce to the National Security Agency (NSA)...all call detail records or "telephony metadata" created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad (ii) wholly in the United States, including local telephone calls.
Nowhere does it say that it's only targeting foreigners and that U.S. citizens are exempt.

In fact not only does the language suggest that they aren't exempt, it suggest's that they are the primary target:

The court order does not require Verizon to produce telephony metadata for communications wholly originating and terminating in foreign countries.

You're probably getting confused by the DNI's statements on PRISM which the intelligence agencies indeed do CLAIM only target foreigners (although they have thus far refused to publish its program documents, so we don't really know for sure).

Your comment is rather confused and misleading.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/12/2013 2:01:09 PM , Rating: 3
Jason. I'm going to say this very very clearly. Foreigners are the target and you haven't a clue what you are talking about with FISA. As for Verizon, I stand by my statement. I will also clarify since you can't read the laws evidently. Both ends of a communication need not be foreign. If a communication originates or terminates in a foreign land, it's fair game.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/12/2013 2:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why I'm bothering anyway, it is quite clear most people can't look at this situation objectively and sort out the facts. It will probably be months before we get to that point. You aren't helping with the massive amount of sensationalist spin in this article. Stick with the facts and not big media's spin on those facts.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/12/2013 2:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
As for anyone interested in FISA, take a read at this. It's strictly the facts as is written in the law. Hell it even points out provisions designed specifically to protect Americans.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Intelligence_...


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By Oceanryder on 6/12/2013 2:45:00 PM , Rating: 2
My understanding of the program is that the Verizon data has been collected, however a FISA ruling is required to mine the data for a specific person(s). To your point MK, the program is only used with foreign contacts.

If this is the case, then I don't see this program from diverging too much from previous programs, other than collecting aggregate data first (which, admittedly may be the issue itself).


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By adrift02 on 6/12/2013 6:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
Back in my day, we used these things called "warrants" to "protect Americans". Kids these days...


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 3:13:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I don't know why I'm bothering anyway, it is quite clear most people can't look at this situation objectively and sort out the facts. It will probably be months before we get to that point. You aren't helping with the massive amount of sensationalist spin in this article. Stick with the facts and not big media's spin on those facts.


Jason always conveniently left out facts like the missing pages of that letter and what they've read is a small part of it. In fact, his own video link to ABC news tells us that. They even explained how it worked, what data is sent, how it is mined, who has access to it. Anyways, it's not even the sensationalism that got people. I think is population here on DT is mostly antigovie or republicans.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/12/2013 4:31:05 PM , Rating: 1
Given that both parties are catching hell over this, I'd say it's likely more of an anti-government thing. Bush caught the same hell when he was in office, Obama is getting it for the same reasons. The news media has been slow lately so they are going to milk this cow for all it's worth. I'm willing to bet this drags out for several months as front page news.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 6:59:11 PM , Rating: 1
the fact that every time I turn on the TV or go to any news website, that snowden guy's face is on the front page means this is going to drag. It's been over a week and they're just replaying the same thing over and over.

At first, it was OMG the Obama administration and liberals are going to *#@#$ is all and burn the constitution. Now it's OMG the federal government is out to get us. Nobody realize the real people that put this in place and voted on it again again for decades. Yep, it's your elected state officials that you directly voted for.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By ritualm on 6/12/2013 4:36:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Foreigners are the target and you haven't a clue what you are talking about with FISA.

Master Kenobi, you cannot possibly be this blind. FISA essentially gives the government unlimited powers with zero accountability. Foreigners are only the first, initial step in a very wrong direction.
quote:
Both ends of a communication need not be foreign. If a communication originates or terminates in a foreign land, it's fair game.

Actually, it's far worse than that. You can get into deep trouble simply because you unknowingly ticked off a few American government officials. They will have their way, and they don't care what happens to you.

Today they're targeting foreigners. Tomorrow? They target you. Your protests will be swiftly silenced because they already have a precedent. You'll be treated as an enemy of the state because you are being uncooperative.

There is nothing "national security" about this spying furor. It's a bold-faced ploy by the government to intrude into the private lives of everyday Americans. Land of the free indeed.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By Paj on 6/13/2013 7:48:39 AM , Rating: 2
So the fact that the US is spying on foreign governments and citizens on an unprecedented and unwarranted scale makes it all OK?


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By arazok on 6/12/2013 8:40:26 AM , Rating: 2
No, terrorists are the targets.

I’m quite ok with that, however the snooping programs put in place do not discriminate between citizens or non-citizens. They are analyzing everyone’s communications, and it’s unconstitutional.

I can see the need for a program like this, but you can’t just ignore the constitution and say the ends justify the means. Adjust the program, or the constitution. Personally, I’d like to see the program adjusted as the constitution seems quite reasonable.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 9:00:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I’m quite ok with that, however the snooping programs put in place do not discriminate between citizens or non-citizens. They are analyzing everyone’s communications, and it’s unconstitutional.

If you can write a program that can find terrorists without snooping on everyone then you will instantly be the richest man on the planet for as long as you live. In fact, you'll win every prize possible and go down as the most significant figure in the 21st century.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By rsmech on 6/12/2013 4:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
You totally missed the point. It's unconstitutional. Which makes any any logic you thought you had about a smarmy comment one how to get rich idiotic. You totally missed the point. People like you will trade my liberties with the most insane excuses and arguments.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By derricker on 6/15/2013 8:37:24 PM , Rating: 2
people like BRB29 does not care about the constitution, they only care to justify however they can how fascists are destroying USofA from the inside.

you can't argue with extremists, to them their god is everything, in this case, to people like BRB29, obama is like a god.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By name99 on 6/12/2013 12:24:21 PM , Rating: 4
Terrorists are the targets today. And you're OK with that because you are not a terrorist.

Then tomorrow, someone says "Hey, we can use this to figure out kingpin drug dealers" and it seems like a good idea. No-one likes high level drug dealers.

And then, since we're catching high level drug dealers, why don't we also catch all the low-level guys as well, since we know their connections to the high level guys?

And, why not also catch child pornographers? No-one likes them.

Now, what about those guys organizing Occupy Wall Street, or Greenpeace? Can we be SURE they aren't planning terrorism? Better to be safe and keep an eye on them?
And what about the Socialist Party of America? Who knows what they have planned for the future?
And since we used the system so well to clean up drug dealing, why aren't we using it to prevent other crimes, like the "economic terrorism" of IP infringement by copying movies and music?

You think this is all nonsense? We know, for example, about Hoover's spying on every organization under the sun during the 60s. We know about Nixon's attempts to find dirt on his enemies by using the IRS. We know that the music and movie industries feel it is the job of the US government to enforce their interests, and that the US government has willingly done so through the laws it has written domestically, and forced on the rest of the world.

If these capabilities exist, they WILL be misused. The only solution is
- either no such capabilities OR
- an EXTREMELY public view of how the capabilities are being used.

The fact that the national security state has been so incredibly aggressive in preventing this public view of its capabilities and how they are being used (after all, what has Snowden don except point out that this stuff is real) is precisely the point. It's why these slippery slop arguments are completely legitimate.


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By Schrag4 on 6/17/2013 2:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Terrorists are the targets today. And you're OK with that because you are not a terrorist.

Then tomorrow, someone says...


I agree 100%. People like BRB will say all day long that these intrusions are not being used to target political enemies. While that may or not be true, that's not the point. The point is that even if it's not happening today, that doesn't mean it won't happen tomorrow. Even if you trust everyone in the federal government today, why would you grant these powers to people that haven't even been elected or appointed yet?


RE: The 4th Ammendment
By Paj on 6/13/2013 7:51:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
you can’t just ignore the constitution


This is hilarious. Like the rights of citizens in sovereign countries don;t come into it whatsoever?


my own data based take over plan
By TheEinstein on 6/12/2013 5:19:53 PM , Rating: 3
As a Tea Party Strategist I have a proposal to use Demographics and some browsing history to huge effect. While my aims are far more benign I recognize the dangers of this data.

My proposal is however something that should scare you none the less. It is far more Orwelian than you have ever thought.

My plan is to make hundreds of issue related sites, all on one issue (to cover all issues we would need millions). Each site is tailored to a demographic and to a political spectrum. Using cookies when possible, or partner provided data, we could determine some of the websites people visit, and of course where they live (and combined giving us a high probability of knowing their politcs, add political donations, voter registragions, and more for a more refined approach).

We then market a master url in region which pushses the best site for that IP adress. Best site is interesting for you reader, because we push sites designed to be imperceptibly to the right. maybe .05%, maybe 1%, of what our target likely is. The aim is to make the shift nearly impossible to detect. Sometimes this means a single word here and there changes… saddens becomes distresses, fight becomes brawl, and irresponsible to disrespectable… for examples.

By now I should have you scared with the implications. Never fear however as I said my aim is indeed benign. You see I know this is a coming step for our enemy. I have the foresight, and more, to see this coming.

So the aim is threefold; preempt, leak, and resolve. Launching this one one issue with evidence more was to come was stage one. Stage two is where some stupid dunce I co-opt without him knowing gains evidence and blathers it about. I can see Ron Wyden, Ron Paul and Libertarians frothing at the mouth as they declare it loudly. The next step would rely upon the enemy reaction. If they merely try to prevent people from coming to the sites then I win. If they make their own (per potential dictator) then I win. If they ignore it I win.

You see this is a way to make low information voters feel they need more information to find the ‘right’ sites (with each subfaction trying to lure them and stop them from wondering) or by ignoring it we get a 1% shift to the right annually.

The key is critical thinking. If I were to force liberals and low information voters to think critically then I have started their transformation to Conservatism (This also goes for Ron Paulbots).




By TheEinstein on 6/12/2013 5:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
And yes, I fully recognize the implications of what I posted. I am probably the worlds leading Amateur Scientist in this field ;)

I fully support a Constitutional Amendment for privacy, with exceptions for criminal, medical records, for schools and employers, and probably a few other minor exceptions... but a person must have the right to be anonymous online if they wish to be, large scale data mining is to NOT be allowed! Do not mistake me, data mining is far more dangerous than a half dozen nukes in a madmans hands


RE: my own data based take over plan
By Captain Orgazmo on 6/12/2013 8:20:13 PM , Rating: 1
Listen Buckaroo, either you are totally insane, or you are telling the truth about being a "Tea Party Strategist."

If you are indeed involved with some chapter of the movement known as the Tea Party, why the heck are you posting on here?

As far as your social engineering scheme, you are barking up the wrong tree. In order to engage people you need awareness. And to get awareness, you need to break through the bubble of the low information voter (El Rushbo quoting, I see). How do you propose to do that? Most people are apolitical and get their "news" from garbage sources like the Daily Show, network TV misinformation broadcasts, and internet crapsites like Reddit.

The few informed are already on the right side (however don't have much chance to express their views when forced to choose between an establishment Republican status quo-ists, or outright Marxist/Nepotists AKA Democrats). The other group is the brainwashed Liberal/Progressive/Marxist/Relativist class, who are so mentally conditioned, that a hammer to the forehead wouldn't get through to them.

The latter group has a massive head start in this ideological struggle thanks to their dedicated, systematic, top-down/bottom-up approach. Their brainwashing/mindnumbing program begins in grade school, due to their total infestation of the educational system. The garbage they spew in schools and post secondary institutions is further reinforced by their media narratives and misinformation.

The only way to get through to the giant moron class these days is to jolt them awake from their apathy, cynicism, and narcissism through shocking events, the likes of which are best not discussed on any public (especially digital) forum.

So, good luck, and I hope I didn't waste time typing to a crackpot.


By TheEinstein on 6/13/2013 3:53:03 AM , Rating: 2
LOL

I am a member of the party, I make plan after plan to make our efforts to win, and the Strategy Group I am with has victories to show off.

I just happen to be a math based strategist so this stuff... way to easy for me. Heck if I could get a few dozen Conservatives to solidly unite I could show them how to maximize their donations on a level to make the other teams jealous ;)

Let's just say I am (data) driven to succeed!


RE: my own data based take over plan
By TheEinstein on 6/13/2013 10:27:55 AM , Rating: 2
Btw for proof I am as smart as I act.. my posts here ;)

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/515936/more-l...


By flyingpants1 on 6/16/2013 10:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
I've never seen someone so proud of being mentally ill.


RE: my own data based take over plan
By Piiman on 6/30/2013 12:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
"How do you propose to do that? Most people are apolitical and get their "news" from garbage sources like the Daily Show, network TV misinformation broadcasts, and internet crapsites like Reddit."

I'm curious, where do you get your news and why do you think they aren't a "garbage source"?



RE: my own data based take over plan
By Piiman on 6/30/2013 12:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
So since you didn't call Republicans Marxist/Nepotists/brainwashed Liberal/Progressive/Marxist/Relativist class
I think its safe to assume you're a Republican? LOL I think we can also assume you think you’re better and smarter than every other "class"?

Must be hell to be so perfect in such an imperfect world


A traitor
By PadaV4 on 6/12/2013 2:58:38 AM , Rating: 5
A traitor is somebody who helps and cooperates with enemies of the state. Snowden leaked classified information to the citizens. So citizens are are the enemies of the state? O_o




RE: A traitor
By Omega215D on 6/12/2013 3:37:24 AM , Rating: 2
Logic is an enemy and truth is a menace.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYGi2GfwRlo


RE: A traitor
By jammo on 6/12/2013 4:41:24 AM , Rating: 2
We have always been at war with Eurasia.

And arguably, if a letter is considered personal property, a form of communication, how is a phone call or an email no less personal property?


RE: A traitor
By Piiman on 6/30/2013 12:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
A letter is but the writing on the outside of the envelope isn't. The SCOTUS as ruled that it is "Pen data" and not subject to a warrant in 1979, "meta data" is also considered "pen data" and also not subject to a warrant. Many telecom’s have websites setup for Law enforcement to request such data because they do it so often. The NSA is just doing it on a bigger and better.

Technology is here to stay, for better or worse. The problem is trusting people to not use it against us. Since no one will ever trust everyone or group or the party n power. I think we'll be screaming about being spied on for a long time to come.


RE: A traitor
By roykahn on 6/12/2013 4:42:45 AM , Rating: 2
To put it simply - yes. The government views the public as a nuisance. Democracy is a threat to the ruling class. So they keep the public in the dark, feed them misinformation and lies, create self-serving "enemies", manipulate the public through fear tactics, while the mass media continues failing the public.


RE: A traitor
By mherlund on 6/12/2013 3:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
There is a problem with your argument. The information was leaked to the whole world, not to just U.S. citizens.

I'm not classifying him as a traitor for his actions, just pointing out this comment doesn't hold up.


Yeah... right
By lagomorpha on 6/11/2013 9:45:04 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he wouldn't cave to spying requests like Verizon did.


He followed up by saying, "If the NSA wants our members' private information they'll have to pay a modest monthly fee just like all the other companies we sell their data to."




RE: Yeah... right
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 11:42:29 PM , Rating: 2
Of all the people one can pick to support their agenda of privacy rights, I would never fathom someone would pick Mark Zuckerberg whose entire money making scheme is to sell your data lol.

The white house seems to have facebook on its list of access anyways.

http://www.theweek.co.uk/us/prism-leak/53475/white...


RE: Yeah... right
By Solandri on 6/12/2013 1:01:55 AM , Rating: 2
Zuckerberg just doesn't want the government to get a copy of Facebook's data, then a government leak reveals to the American people how much data Facebook has on them.


Consider...
By rbuszka on 6/11/2013 8:58:42 PM , Rating: 3
Consider that those services that were allegedly involved in the PRISM program (according to the leaked documentation) are forbidden by federal court order from telling the truth about their involvement in PRISM. This means that anything they say about their involvement or lack thereof must be a lie.




RE: Consider...
By 3DoubleD on 6/11/2013 11:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
The first rule about PRISM... You do not talk about PRISM
The second rule about PRISM... You DO NOT talk about PRISM
The third rule about PRISM is that there are no more rules.


RE: Consider...
By ShieTar on 6/12/2013 7:48:46 AM , Rating: 2
Specifically if all your business with almost any customer in the EU depends on you complying to the US-EU safe harbor process. So any company that admits to handing over customer data without informing them (e.g. in their E.U.L.A.) can look forward to a number of massive law-suits in the European Union.


Where was the outrage
By Belard on 6/12/2013 3:27:01 PM , Rating: 1
Where was the outrage when this level of "invasion" was started under Bush?

This type of thing has been going on for decades...

The govt. doesn't have time to read and listen to all communications. They would need almost a single spy for every American adult.... and a spy to watch the spys.

They are looking for terrorist... Now, what corporations have on US is just as scary if NOT more since they are PRIVATE COMPANIES that are tracking everything.

Trust me... There are companies who KNOW what brand of toilet paper you buy (credit cards), from your own info, they can see WHO lives next door to you and who is related to them... I've seen this stuff in action in the 1990s!

This NSA thing... while not great... is nothing.




RE: Where was the outrage
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 3:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
There's always someone complaining about something. It doesn't matter what happened, there's always a conspiracy to every action.

I find it funny that everyone blames the federal government when the people that put this in place and required Agencies to use it was the elected State officials.


RE: Where was the outrage
By PaFromFL on 6/13/2013 8:20:51 AM , Rating: 2
Private companies are not allowed to send armed thugs to break down my door if the government does not like what I have to say. The government needs to realize that it can't keep a growing project secret if it violates the constitution. Sooner or later, they will hire a concerned citizen who will expose it. Because successful politicians are inherently unethical, they assume that no citizen will risk prosecution no matter how much their ethics are compromised.


RE: Where was the outrage
By BRB29 on 6/13/2013 8:28:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Private companies are not allowed to send armed thugs to break down my door if the government does not like what I have to say.

The government does not send armed thugs to your door if they don't like what you have to say. In fact, they don't like what you have to say right now. You better lock your doors.

I wonder who stops the private companies from sending armed thugs to your door? oh that's right, the government.

You're a little paranoid.


I have a dream
By Shadowmaster625 on 6/12/2013 8:38:25 AM , Rating: 3
That one day people will stop being stupid enough to keep voting for idiots like Bo(eh)ner




By siliconvideo on 6/12/2013 11:52:21 AM , Rating: 3
Paul Revere was once called a traitor by the British, now he's looked at as an American hero.




By msheredy on 6/12/2013 11:52:12 AM , Rating: 2
... I'm happy the ACLU is suing somebody.




Anyone else thing of Catch-22?
By DT_Reader on 6/12/2013 5:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
"And Snowden lay dying in back."




<i>Max Headroom</i> is our future
By DT_Reader on 6/12/2013 5:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
In the near future there will be an underground sub-culture that illegally lives off the grid, where the government can't monitor their actions because they grow their own food, don't travel, and pay in cash. They will be called blanks because their government records will be blank.




NSA only tracks "Terrorists"
By johnsmith9875 on 6/12/2013 6:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
George W. Bush considered peace activists "terrorists" and thus was wiretapping peace groups without a warrant.
So when it comes to that argument, the concept of terrorist can be defined very broadly depending on who is interpreting it.




Very much a traitor
By Ammohunt on 6/13/2013 11:37:57 AM , Rating: 2
From a recent article:

quote:
Snowden said he sought refuge in Hong Kong because of its “strong tradition of free speech.”


quote:
Text“I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts, because I have faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law,” he told the paper.


The more i hear this guy speak the more i believe he is a Chinese mole since the the timing of intelligence leak happened during the back and forth hacking accusations between China and the US and the above statements sounding like text book communist propaganda.

The last country i would choose to defend my civil rights would be China. My bet is he is on the dole with China and attempting to get to the mainland via HK in order to defect.

Or he could be the dumbest SOB ever to exist.




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