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Author Topic: Is Richard Snowden a heroe or a criminal?  (Read 66894 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #60 on: July 06, 2013, 06:12:26 PM »
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I think Bernard, that you fell into Rob's trap. He successfully sidetracked the real debate from a government spying on its own citizens en masse, to governments spying on each other. I, for one, could not care less if they do it to each other. They've been doing it for ages, including "our staunchest allies" - just check the history of Israeli spies in the US.

The real debate should be about the Orwellian surveillance of citizens, about the boiling frog strategy, checks and balances, misuse of bogeyman issues (communism, terrorism) as a pretext for expansion of executive powers, erosion of constitutional and civil rights and privacy, etc.

Yep, I had assumed that, as a reasonnable old man, Rob agreed with us on this point. Wink

Now, if you let fear and anger govern your life, you are bound to become a victim of the dark side of the force. Star wars said it all! Wink

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 06:51:06 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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RSL
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« Reply #61 on: July 06, 2013, 08:10:57 PM »
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Sorry, Slobodan, but it's hard for me to believe you really think communications analysis is "surveillance of citizens." What do you think about Google and Amazon tracking your searches and purchases? In the case of the NSA, what they're looking at is who you call or email and, for phone calls, how long you're on the line. In the case of Google and Amazon they're looking at what you say. Now THAT's "Orwellian surveillance of citizens.

That's it! I'm out of here. I can't stand the unbelievable naivety in this thread.

Even the title of the thread shows ignorance.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #62 on: July 06, 2013, 08:18:31 PM »
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That's it! I'm out of here. I can't stand the unbelievable naivety in this thread.

Indeed, I also cannot believe the naivety of those thinking that democratic control mechanisms have been effective as far as prism goes.

But considering your avoidance of this discussion, I gather that you feel that citizens don't need to know. Somehow this reminds me of the movie "A few good men". Citizens can't handle the truth, can they?

They wouldn't be able to order a jet fighter pilot to shoot down a plane with 300 people on board to prevent the death of 20,000 in a city down below, would they?

Once you go there, what are the other things citizens also don't need to know?

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 08:29:08 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #63 on: July 06, 2013, 09:02:28 PM »
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... What do you think about Google and Amazon tracking your searches and purchases?...

I do not like it, and I am not alone. At least I can opt out, using various options on my browser.

As for "only" gathering and analyzing statistics by NSA... that's what you are speculating is happening, the "only" part. Once they have full access without any control, who's to say they are going to stop at "only"? Besides, there is huge amount of information about one's life in the "only" statistics (i.e., metadata).

Once again, Russ, you can't have it both ways. Either the information government is gathering is innocent, harmless, obvious, etc., in which case the guy did not reveal anything new or damaging, which would make him harmless as well, or the surveillance is not so harmless as you want us to believe. And remember, even the US government does not consider him a spy.

As a side note, it is hard to believe that a young subcontractor (i.e., outsider) would have clearance level necessary to access really secret and crucial data.

The whole thing brings back the "sweet" memories of the Soviet times (with a reference to "walls having ears"):
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Slobodan

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Ray
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« Reply #64 on: July 06, 2013, 09:12:27 PM »
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The real debate should be about the Orwellian surveillance of citizens, about the boiling frog strategy, checks and balances, misuse of bogeyman issues (communism, terrorism) as a pretext for expansion of executive powers, erosion of constitutional and civil rights and privacy, etc.

Exactly! This is the disturbing aspect of this increasingly wider surveillance of the citizens of any country. We accept that there should be CCTV cameras in public places for our own security, to record any thuggery or theft, and we accept that a citizen's private conversations should be secretly monitored if there is evidence that the citizen is engaged in illegal activities, as determind by a judge.

One could make a case that any citizen who is not engaged in any illegal activities, should not object to his private emails and phone calls being caught up in the net of surveillance, and if he/she is not doing anything wrong, that he/she should have nothing to fear.

Unfortunately, in order for such a case to be sound, it would have to be based upon an assumption that all employees of the security agency who have access to such surveillance information were fair-minded, unbiased and corruption-free in all respects. That would seem to me to be a very naive assumption.

I can't help associating this situation with the concept of the Christian God as an all-knowing, all-seeing being or entity, who perceives our every action and thought. One cannot hide from Him. We may be heading towards a future Orwellian society where the concept of the ways of God have been completely taken over by the Government.
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Rob C
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« Reply #65 on: July 07, 2013, 03:53:49 AM »
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I think Bernard, that you fell into Rob's trap. He successfully sidetracked the real debate from a government spying on its own citizens en masse, to governments spying on each other. I, for one, could not care less if they do it to each other. They've been doing it for ages, including "our staunchest allies" - just check the history of Israeli spies in the US.

The real debate should be about the Orwellian surveillance of citizens, about the boiling frog strategy, checks and balances, misuse of bogeyman issues (communism, terrorism) as a pretext for expansion of executive powers, erosion of constitutional and civil rights and privacy, etc.


1. You flatter me, Slobodan!

2. Commies/bogeymen/terrrorists: so, they don't exist. Guess the Germans built the Wall themselves in order to sell more cars; Cuba didn't really sit there, awaiting the arrival of the rocket-carrying Russian ships... it was all Hollywood, just like the Moon landing which we all know is impossible because, being constructed of green cheese, the Moon would have melted from the heat of a retro-rocket. And of course, no US citizen can buy tons of explosive and demolish an entire building -  no way, Timmy McVeigh!

Slobodan, I'm sure you argue this simply to pass the time.

And Bernard, old men are to be congratulated for having become that, not silently mocked for losing some/all their hair and having gained a few lines of character around their faces. Just look at the two lead Stones, if you will! Gone the callow youths and lo the majestic old men of means!

;-)

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #66 on: July 07, 2013, 04:02:37 AM »
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I can't help associating this situation with the concept of the Christian God as an all-knowing, all-seeing being or entity, who perceives our every action and thought. One cannot hide from Him. We may be heading towards a future Orwellian society where the concept of the ways of God have been completely taken over by the Government.


Isn't that why young girls get shot for encouraging other young girls to go to school?

Oh - is that perhaps why we have a presence in Afghanistan, or is it to protect the poppies so as to counter the cross-border trade from Mexico? Do we they have oil in Afghanistan?

I get confused sometimes - it all looks like concentric circles. Thank goodness it all gets explained to me, clearly, here in Lula!

Rob C
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #67 on: July 07, 2013, 04:06:42 AM »
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no US citizen can buy tons of explosive and demolish an entire building -  no way, Timmy...

He acted alone. He didn't call anyone nor sent any emails. Prism would not have helped.

It will take Prism 2.0 when they will systematically hack every single computer to search for forbiden words. Wink

Cheers,
Bernard
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stamper
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« Reply #68 on: July 07, 2013, 05:32:20 AM »
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Isn't that why young girls get shot for encouraging other young girls to go to school?

Oh - is that perhaps why we have a presence in Afghanistan, or is it to protect the poppies so as to counter the cross-border trade from Mexico? Do we they have oil in Afghanistan?

I get confused sometimes - it all looks like concentric circles. Thank goodness it all gets explained to me, clearly, here in Lula!

Rob C

Time for another holiday Rob? Sad
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Rob C
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« Reply #69 on: July 07, 2013, 09:02:10 AM »
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Time for another holiday Rob? Sad


Amen! At last: a sensible suggestion from left field!

Rob C
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ripgriffith
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« Reply #70 on: July 07, 2013, 09:08:01 AM »
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2. Commies/bogeymen/terrrorists: so, they don't exist. Guess the Germans built the Wall themselves in order to sell more cars; Cuba didn't really sit there, awaiting the arrival of the rocket-carrying Russian ships... it was all Hollywood, just like the Moon landing which we all know is impossible because, being constructed of green cheese, the Moon would have melted from the heat of a retro-rocket. And of course, no US citizen can buy tons of explosive and demolish an entire building -  no way, Timmy McVeigh!
Rob C
You and Russ are true footsoldiers in the National Socialist American army, loyal, obedient and unquestioning of the  truths imparted to you by the Masters of the Universe, Bush and now Obama.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #71 on: July 07, 2013, 09:15:33 AM »
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http://publicintelligence.net/un-state-surveillance-privacy-expression/

It's a Human rights issue and it clashes with the legal system, which is slow to react to the new technological capabilities to violate the internationally agreed human right to privacy and freedom of expression.

Tests have been devised to determine the acceptability of certain types of investigation by governments. It's all summarized nicely in the above linked UN Human Rights Council report.

Cheers,
Bart
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Rob C
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« Reply #72 on: July 07, 2013, 12:58:55 PM »
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You and Russ are true footsoldiers in the National Socialist American army, loyal, obedient and unquestioning of the  truths imparted to you by the Masters of the Universe, Bush and now Obama.



Ummmm... but I'm Scottish?

But don't let being wrong yet again bug you: look the other way and you'll never notice. But you knew that already.

However, you do present an interesting case: from whence cometh your correct information? The tabloids? Television? Comics? Let us into your secret of perfect information that we may all benefit from the shining path you obviously tread. I already know where stamper gets his cues - but you are something new for me, so do share!

;-)

Rob C
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #73 on: July 07, 2013, 02:28:46 PM »
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1. You flatter me, Slobodan!

2. Commies/bogeymen/terrrorists: so, they don't exist....

Always happy to pay you a compliment, Rob Wink

I respect your eloquence and erudition too much to let occasional slips, well, slip.

As already noted, you picked a non-issue (government on government spying) and turned it into a giant straw man. You are doing it with a certain bombastic (pardon the terrorist pun) simplicity, non-sequiturs, false dichotomies, as if the only choice is between no spying at all and total, unrestricted one.

Or, take for example your view of bogeyman issues: no one suggested that communism/terrorism do not exist. That is simply a non-sequitur from what I said, and a gigantic oversimplification. I clearly said "misuse of those issues as a pretext..."

As for the bogeyman concept, I thing it is pretty much my own view of the things, so I can't cite a higher authority or academic work. Most countries/societies/religions resort to it at some point. Nothing works better to unify (and control) a nation as the existence of a powerful enemy. Most religions, especially organized ones, see the other religion as such a bogeyman. And yes, before you jump in with another oversimplification, sometimes the threat is real too. Nazi Germany had Jews as bogeyman. The US had milked communism as bogeyman for a number of years. You see, once you frame something as bogeyman, you can justify just about anything with it. It is one of those things that are taken for granted by the masses and not questioned. "Ah, we are doing it because of communism? But of course, go ahead." No need to explain or justify, just label it communism and you are free to do whatever you want.

But then, communism fell, and all of a sudden, there was a vacuum. No more bogeyman. Nothing to justify further power grab and keep the masses docile.

Enter terrorism. Once again, all it takes is to label something as such, and off you go! Create the biggest war budget known to mankind, bigger than all the rest of the world combined (and line the pockets of friendly private military contractors in the process)? No problem, we are fighting terrorism. Argue for a smaller government, yet preside over the biggest enlargement of the federal government? No problem, we are fighting terrorism. Arrest people, keep them indefinitely (!) without charging them (the most blatant power grab since Magna Carta Libertatum)? No problem, we are fighting terrorism. You want to torture? But of course, we are fighting terrorism. You want to pass Patriot Act? No problem, we are fighting terrorism. You want to arrest someone, render them to outsourced torture centers, without the right to a lawyer, without even letting their families know they are arrested (and if they do, make it a crime to even talk about it), keep them indefinitely? No problem, we are fighting terrorism.

Do I have to explain the boiling frog concept in so many words as well?
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Slobodan

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RSL
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« Reply #74 on: July 07, 2013, 03:12:47 PM »
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Once again, Russ, you can't have it both ways. Either the information government is gathering is innocent, harmless, obvious, etc., in which case the guy did not reveal anything new or damaging, which would make him harmless as well, or the surveillance is not so harmless as you want us to believe. And remember, even the US government does not consider him a spy.

As a side note, it is hard to believe that a young subcontractor (i.e., outsider) would have clearance level necessary to access really secret and crucial data.

Slobodan, you need to learn to read more carefully. That's not what I said at all. Try a re-read. What I said is that there are two parts to the information Snowden stole and released:

He told us all about the NSA's communications analysis. That's the first and least significant part even though it's the "revelation" our "media" are pissing their pants over. As I said a couple times before, every intelligence agency in the world has known about this for a long, long time.

The media have made it sound as if the NSA is listening to everybody's phone calls and reading their emails. Fact is, nothing but a group of computer algorithms knows anything at all about who you're calling and for how long. Let me try to illustrate it this way. The computer knows that phone A calls phone B and phone C often and with fairly long calls. Phone B calls phone A and phone C often and with fairly long calls. At that point no human knows or cares about any of this. But finally, phone C starts making calls to Saudi Arabia and it turns out the calls are to a jihadi training camp. At that point the alarm sounds and people bring the facts before a FISA court and, we'll hope, get permission to listen in at least long enough to figure out what's going on, not only with C, but with A and B. Got that? Nobody's listening to your phone calls unless it becomes possible you're involved in a conspiracy connected to a terrorist operation. The media will never tell you this. It wouldn't sell newspapers or grab TV viewers.

What he didn't tell us about is part two: the stuff he gathered and released to both China and Russia about the extent of and methodology involved in penetrating communications systems outside the United States. Having had at least a glancing connection with communications intelligence during my twenty-six year military career I can assure you that's the revelation that's at least temporarily catastrophic for the United States.

That's not having it both ways, Slobodan.

But let's talk a bit about the consequences. Almost nobody on this thread seems to have even the foggiest clue about what it takes to prevent what happened on 9/11 happening regularly. The naivety being demonstrated is almost unbelievable. Most of the posters here seem to think this has something to do with politics. The fact that the composition of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is headed by a Democrat and, outside of that, evenly balanced between Republicans and Democrats should tell you at least something. It should, but evidently it's not telling you anything. I know, it's a really difficult concept to grasp. Requires actually taking into account evidence instead of your biases.

Let's hope that by the time Snowden's stolen material trickles down to the jihadists the NSA had been able to undo at least some of the damage. If you think statistical analysis of communications traffic is undermining liberty, wait until you see what happens after a terrorist manages, as a result at least partially of Snowden's variety of treason, to detonate a "small" nuke in downtown Chicago. Have any idea what that would mean? You folks can all worry about the "boiling frog strategy," but what would happen after that would be sudden, extreme, and demanded by a vast majority of citizens. Then, Slobodan, you'll be able to worry properly about "walls having ears."

And yes, Slobodan, I have a hard time believing the NSA wasn't more careful and thorough about access to highly classified information. I know that when I got my own advanced security clearances something like this would have been impossible. Background checks in those days were extremely thorough, extremely intrusive, and extremely expensive. A guy with Snowden's background wouldn't have been able even to get a clearance for "confidential," much less secret or top secret, or, as in this case, a category beyond top secret. His prospective employers wouldn't even have bothered to ask for the expensive background check. They'd have booted him right out of the employment office once they got his application form.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #75 on: July 07, 2013, 04:47:08 PM »
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... to detonate a "small" nuke in downtown Chicago...

Thanks for contributing a good example for my terrorism-as-bogeyman theory, Russ. Years ago it would be "Russians are coming!"

I guess your guys failed to hack into Bed, Bath & Beyond. Had they done so, they would have uncovered numerous pressure-cooker purchases, crossed-referenced it with calls to mother in a Moslem country, sift through all cooking recipes, and presto, another terrorist attack foiled.

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Slobodan

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« Reply #76 on: July 07, 2013, 04:52:37 PM »
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Well, this certainly refutes everything I said, above, Slobodan. Great job gathering the facts and constructing the arguments. Bravo!
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #77 on: July 07, 2013, 04:58:43 PM »
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From the department of What-Could-Possibly-Go-Wrong:

Edited to include a link to the whole Associated Press article.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 05:34:34 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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mezzoduomo
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« Reply #78 on: July 07, 2013, 05:03:34 PM »
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Well, this certainly refutes everything I said, above, Slobodan. Great job gathering the facts and constructing the arguments. Bravo!

Wait...this is sarcasm, right?  Grin
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RSL
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« Reply #79 on: July 07, 2013, 05:07:27 PM »
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Why would you think that?
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