6/08/2013 5:27am, #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
Why there is no reason fo fear the Surveillance state
In the wake of the PRISM-scandal, Anonymus - those guys wearing Guy Fawkes masks (possibly because they want to ensure papal world-domination or something) - released some internal papers from the NSA concerning internet-surveillance.
or maybe they just like wearing silly hats.
After quickly reading one of those, all fears of having to live in an Orwell-like police-state of constant surveillance in the near future vanished faster than a useless metaphor at the end of a sentence.
Those internal documents seem to be written by interns who are too fond of powerpoint and lack any practical knowledge whatsoever.
This is the level of sophistication of the NSA:
The whole paper is written on such a level that it could have been part of a Dilbert-Comic. The greatest insights are that the "Global Information Grid" should be designed Goal-Oriented and that it might be a good idea if resources could be transferred from one of its departements to another.
So, there are only two possibilities here:
1. the NSAs human resources departement focuses on hiring idiots
2. this whole thing is a meta-conspiracy to lull us into a false sense of security. Anonymus is part of that conspiracy and is secretly funded by Goldman Sachs.
I think I might be onto something here; just now a black van parked at my front door.
Last edited by nils; 6/08/2013 5:31am at .
6/08/2013 12:36pm, #2
So yes, the expectation of privacy is terribly naive? We're all dirty masturbating oversharers, no one cares about our 3AM chats, and apathy comes as easy as breathing. I, too, have responded to tasteless jokes and sleazy internet stuff. Who cares, millions are doing it and I'm not building bombs or such. There are a lot of things to be outraged about, and didn't we all just freak out about SOPA (http://sopastrike.com/) or whatever? Hey, I'm not a terrorist, who cares. Fine.
But please consider:
This is the government we're talking about. Google may trawl our emails, and make some dough, but google can't send us to prison. Have y'all never heard of COINTELPRO? Or the House Un-American Activities Committee? How about the brutal repression of Black Rights organizations (it was murder most foul, dozens of murders)? The infiltration of the anti-war movement? The crackdown on Gay activists?
Imagine if the government had had this tool during the labor movement. If they had intimate knowledge of every American's communication when they were building government databases of known and suspected homosexuals, and using that information to blackmail political opponents. Or when the FBI was conducting mass arrests of completely innocent communists.
With this sort of omnipresent surveillance, would we have ever gotten desegregation? Or gay rights? Freedom of political affiliation? Legal interracial marriage (illegal in much of the US until 1967!)? ****, even the end of slavery or child labor? These are things that the government actively fought, that they rounded up people and threw them in jail for. The fourth amendment is one of the most important freedoms we have. It allows us to go about our civil and political lives in relative comfort. Without it, our democracy would literally not function. The threat of government action diminishes our freedom, and knowing every single thing you have ever said to anyone is incredibly threatening IF YOU"VE EVER DISAGREED WITH THE POWERS THAT BE.
Once we give up a right, it's hard as hell to get it back. Say in fifteen years we have an administration that decides that any known user of marijuana should be prohibited from working with children. Say you're running for office, and your opponent wants some dirt. Say you're an activist, fighting for immigrant's rights or environmeTal justice, and the Paul Ryan administration wants you to shut the **** up. How much of your private communication do you really want the government to have on file? All of it?
People have spent decades fighting for the rights you take for granted. Some of us are still fighting. And if the government had had this tool all along, a whole lot of us would be in prison, and a lot less progress would have been made.
So please, learn some fucking history.
Last edited by patfromlogan; 6/08/2013 12:41pm at ."Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
6/08/2013 12:47pm, #3
When things like the marathon bombing happen it seems like everyone clamors for evidence and asks why LE hasn't found any video yet. When there isn't a crisis going on it seems like many people complain about there being too many cameras.
The speed with which the Marathon Bombers were identified was obviously associated with camera footage.
When things like 911 happen people yap about why we...with all the data the CIA/NSA can get (there wasnt all that much resistance to the Patriot Act immediately after 911) were not able to catch the terrorists before they struck.
What is the solution? Im not saying Im FOR the latest intelligence grabs, but WE need to be more consistent with our expectations. Of course with our knowledge being based on television and popular media most of us are clueless as to what the reality truly is.
6/08/2013 1:25pm, #4
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
@patfromlogan - I wrote that to make fun of governmental bureaucracy and to point out that the higher executives of the NSA - for whom those papers were intended - seem to have not even a basic understanding of the technological issues at hand nor of the ethical and juristical ramifications of a surveillance of this magnitude.
Furthermore, I wanted people to read this stuff.
So please do not understand this as a legitimation of any kind, nor as an offense to people trying to protect civil rights - although Anonymus is a bit fucked up at times and those Guy Fawkes masks are silly, since they create the impression that this whole generation is more interested in comics than in history.
Still, I agree wholeheartedly with most of your post; especially since we have similar problems in Europe right now, with basic rights of privacy being marginalized to the lowest common denominator by way of the European Union.
Last edited by nils; 6/08/2013 1:36pm at . Reason: last paragraph added
6/10/2013 2:36am, #5
Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations
Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world's most secretive organisations – the NSA.
In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.""Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
6/10/2013 7:27am, #6
6/10/2013 7:43am, #7
Similar to DNA...there's an outrage over collecting DNA at arrest like fingerprints but there's also an outrage when we don't catch a murderer within a week like on TV by using DNA.
What I have always thought is that the gvt does a piss poor job of explaining exactly WHY they want what they want and WHAT the information will do to benefit the public. Which to me indicates that they don't have a good answer or that they don't think we deserve one.
6/10/2013 8:07am, #8
These people have absolutely no idea how important freedom of speech is, or privacy, or safety from an overly-intrusive government.
6/10/2013 9:49am, #9
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
Wow, I completely agree with Pat. That feels weird.
6/10/2013 10:39am, #10
"Its okay that they have this powerful tool, because the guys using it are idiots!"