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Most Consumers Support Government Cyber-Spying

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the touch-of-espionage-with-every-install dept.

Government 247

scurtis writes "Nearly two thirds of computer users globally believe that it is acceptable for their country to spy on other nations by hacking or installing malware, according to Sophos's mid-year 2010 Security Threat Report. And 23 percent claimed to support this action even during peacetime. Perhaps more surprisingly, 32 percent of respondents said that countries should also be allowed to plant malware and hack into private foreign companies in order to spy for economic advantage."

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Nearly two thirds... (2, Funny)

ls671 (1122017) | about 4 years ago | (#33146348)

Nearly two thirds of people agree with whatever their government do. Right ?

Otherwise, how would they get elected in the first place, at least where elections do take place ?

Government exists for warfare. (2, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | about 4 years ago | (#33146360)

So why not take the best hackers of the United States and train them to hack China, Iran, Iraq or whereever the foreign networks are? It's not like the foreign networks aren't hacking the US networks.

Also it creates jobs. Since most people on Slashdot work in these industries imagine the amount of jobs the billions of dollars of funding will create for all of us? High paying jobs for American citizens.

Re:Government exists for warfare. (2, Insightful)

ls671 (1122017) | about 4 years ago | (#33146408)

Maybe they already are but are just more professional at it. Secure your homeland network better and you will sure have a better reputation on this matter. Maybe China just has a bad reputation because more bot-nets and hijacked machines run on computers back there, not because there is a higher percentage of professional hackers at work there.

I often get reply and explanation from US sysadmins when I complain while I get typical bot-net or hijacked machines port-scanning traffic, rarely do I get replies from China. Is it because China sysadmins are all hackers or because their organization is less professional and that are just less competent and get overflodded with complain reports ?

Just wondering... ;-)

Re:Government exists for warfare. (2, Funny)

Lord Byron II (671689) | about 4 years ago | (#33146566)

If 2/3 of the global population supports it, then that means that a little over 2 BILLION PEOPLE are against it.

Yeah, but what lies under the data? (2, Insightful)

thej1nx (763573) | about 4 years ago | (#33146662)

2/3rd is meaningless in itself, unless they gave us the breakup country-wise.

For example, I wouldn't be surprised that this 2/3rd advocating government spying, constituted mostly of Chinese computer users, that have been brainwashed by the Chinese government propaganda. China is the most populated country in the world after all.

And considering that even in USA, the other country with highest number of computer users, over half of the population voted in Bush for a second term and what with the war on terror propaganda. It implies that at least half the Americans will willingly and happily live in 1984, if they are told that it is necessary to "keep them terrorists away".

Re:Government exists for warfare. (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 years ago | (#33147040)

It's called escalation idiot. Once it starts where does it stop. Why hack networks, why not cripple the hardware, it stays down longer. Main cable trunks, main network junctions, one hole, some battery acid and your down for days.

Then why stop at network infrastructure, why not start bringing down all the other infrastructure, power, water and sewerage. Once your there why not start in on food supply, too easy, box of matches and your done.

Escalation, escalation, escalation, that is the consequence of idiot thinking, we can do this and get away with it and they will just have to suck it up stupid brown, yellow, olive, pink, black people. You want to uphold justice then you pursue justice not unjust criminal behaviour.

Peace brings more peace, violence propagates more violence, a willingness to break laws in other countries 'WILL' result in identical or worse, likely worse behaviour in turn. The global internet is a shared global resources, anybody absolutely anybody that attempts to corrupt and destroy parts of are committing a crime against humanity, it is a crime against humanity because of the opportunity for global communication and understanding that the internet provides. The internet is the single most important tool for global justice and peace.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 4 years ago | (#33146368)

I think that it has less to do with governments and more to do with the paranoid, tribalist mentality that the so-called "civillized" world is regressing into.

H.O.A.'s, for example. Vigilante partols. "Concerned Citizens". Gang-stalking. Surges in the popularity of MMA.

The role of the government in this case is to turn half the population against the other half to distract them from the fact that they are robbing the population blind.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (2, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | about 4 years ago | (#33146388)

I think that it has less to do with governments and more to do with the paranoid, tribalist mentality that the so-called "civillized" world is regressing into.

H.O.A.'s, for example. Vigilante partols. "Concerned Citizens". Gang-stalking. Surges in the popularity of MMA.

The role of the government in this case is to turn half the population against the other half to distract them from the fact that they are robbing the population blind.

How the heck do you connect gangstalking with the surging popularity of MMA, and vigilantism? Do you have a theory? Maybe you should explain in more detail in your post because you didn't make any effing sense.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (2, Funny)

Peach Rings (1782482) | about 4 years ago | (#33146404)

If HOA means Homeowners Association, then I see his point.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 4 years ago | (#33146460)

Gangstalking and vigilantism are one and the same (or opposite sides of the same coin). MMA is how they satisfy their anticipation and prepare for inter-tribal violence. H.O.A.'s are the tribes. Example:

[ Brutish, steroid-addled fuckface walks up to me as I read a book and walk down the sidewalk ]
Hey, how are you doing?
- Um, good, you?

What are you doing here?
- I'm walking to the bus-stop down the street.
Where are you from?
- University dormitories.
Where are you going?
- A humanist meeting at the local coffee shop.
Is that one of those terrorist religions? I don't like your haircut, you lowerin' my property values, you ain't welcome any more. You're a kook. Look at you, with your glasses and your lit-er-a-ture. We'll be watchin' you!

Re:Nearly two thirds... (3, Insightful)

logjon (1411219) | about 4 years ago | (#33146590)

What a crock of shit. You do realize that at one point in human history people were slaughtered for religion, thrown into an arena to fight to the death, and tortured for being gay/the wrong religion/funny looking? And that this was government-backed activity in the same civilized world that is now somehow 'regressing?' When was humanity ever any less violent than it is now? I'll give you a hint: never.

Just because shit kinda sucks now doesn't mean there was any point in history that sticks out as some beacon of truth, justice, and love. Because it never happened.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (1)

seidojohn (870852) | about 4 years ago | (#33146834)

Great point. Also, as Martin Luther King and Gandhi both said: An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.If 2/3s of the people are spying on and hacking the other 2/3s of the world, who's not getting spied on? :-/

Re:Nearly two thirds... (1)

Derosian (943622) | about 4 years ago | (#33146602)

Maybe its because people mistake me for a "[ Brutish, steroid-addled fuckface ]" but I have never had this problem. Generally when I'm walking somewhere people avoid me and go about their business. Honestly the biggest reason I responded to this post is because I support limited vigilantism. I don't exactly have a posse or anything but if I'm out walking around and I see a someone mugging someone else I'm going to step in.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 4 years ago | (#33147038)

Home Owners Associations are the tribes?

No, HOAs are petty little bureaucracies made up of rules lawyers. HOAs don't gang up on one another.

MMA is just the modern professional boxing since the professional boxing promoters and associations became so corrupt.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (3, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 4 years ago | (#33146510)

I guess MMA is Mixed Martial Arts, I've never heard of that term or acronym before.

Humans have been into aggression for since before the dawn of the earliest civilizations, do you really think it's going to go away any time soon? Maybe you need to brush up on your history a little bit, "civilized" societies can and do go from their pinnacle to their worst in short time spans, shockingly short if there is a lot of pent-up tension. In some ways, I think it might be argued that civilized societies pretend they are free of humanity's worst aspects, when it's just denial or turning a blind eye.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 4 years ago | (#33146596)

"civilized" societies can and do go from their pinnacle to their worst in short time spans, shockingly short if there is a lot of pent-up tension.

Yes! What I said. []

Re:Nearly two thirds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33147188)

Let me get this straight. You believe the MMA/UFC uptrend correlates to rising frustrations? I mean, it couldn't have anything to do with the entire sport being new/rebranded in the US, now could it? And what do you think of boxing over the last 100 years? Do you honestly believe that UFC is more violent than boxing? The ignorance displayed towards the true brutality of boxing is constantly amusing, and also depressing - it's the main reason why boxing has survived intact with relatively little criticism.

And before you accuse me of bias... no, I don't watch either sport. Both of them are disgusting and should be outlawed in their current forms IMO.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (0)

jkxx (739331) | about 4 years ago | (#33146902)

Good point. See Outer Limits season 4 episode 3: "Hearts and Minds". Extreme Orwellian example but not impossible.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (4, Insightful)

tuxgeek (872962) | about 4 years ago | (#33146940)

The role of the government in this case is to turn half the population against the other half to distract them from the fact that they are robbing the population blind.

All too true.
The cable news media is also a tool of some political misleaders to put the nation at odds with itself.
Anymore, I see slanted ignorant political garbage polluting public debate, which is really stupid, pathetic and counter productive.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (5, Insightful)

victorhooi (830021) | about 4 years ago | (#33147138)


Maybe it's just me, and the fact that I live in Australia and not the US, but your post sounds like some ignorant, crazy little rant.

HOA - Home Owner's Association? I'm guessing that's like, what, our Neighbourhood Watch here in Australia? Last time I checked, that was a bunch of cute little old ladies, and retired schoolteachers, who provide help to lost schoolkids, and keep an eye out for people vandalising cars or trying to break into your house....hardly menancing, and the worst they can do to you is call the police on you...

Vigilante patrols? We don't really have that here, sorry. Maybe it's an American thing?

MMA? Ok, now you've just gone off the deep end. I happen to do MMA, and it's just a martial arts sport, like any other. I'm actually sort of insulted that you would lump it in to your weird, paranoid fantasy.

In fact, the people at my gym happen to be quite friendly, there's several mums/dads who bring their kids there to compete in comps. I can't think of anybody there who would fit into your weird crazy fantasy of people roving the streets a la Clockwork Orange.

And in case you were wondering, I go to here: []

The instructors is Elvis Sinosic and Anthony Perosh, both ex-UFC fighters. So they're definitely serious. They just happen to actually be quite nice people. I mean, I don't know Anthony, but last time I checked, Elvis is a family guy, I think, and he rescues animals on his weekends (volunteers at some wildlife rescue thing).

You sound like maybe you've watched Hot Fuzz one too many times, and thought it was a documentary instead of a

Look, there's no weird government conspiracy. Last time I checked, government departments were more interested in infighting, and navigating bureacratic jungles, then trying to brainwash the popluation, like you said. They can't even cooperate with each other, let alone pull off the sort of strange fantasy you've made up in your head.

A lot of these screwups are probably due to bureaucrats with too much time on their hands, a bit of a power-trip copmlex, and not thinking things through. Sure, sounds good on paper, we'll spy on other countries to protect our citizens, but when you try to implement it in real life, it never works out that well. And like somebody else said, there's always the danger of escalation.

Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence.


Re:Nearly two thirds... (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 4 years ago | (#33146372)

They don't agree with "whatever the government does." They agree with their government spying on other governments. This is not new. This has always been the case. It's on computers now. So what? Same old thing.

Your government can either believe another government's public statements or they can attempt to verify those statements with espionage. You will have far better data by doing both, which is why we've been doing it for so long.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (4, Insightful)

Peach Rings (1782482) | about 4 years ago | (#33146410)

It's pretty funny how everyone was outraged when that russian spy was caught, and calling for his imprisonment or execution or whatever, but the same people give you a blank puzzled look when you point out that they strongly support espionage when it's the US doing the spying...

Re:Nearly two thirds... (3, Informative)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 4 years ago | (#33146492)

That's neither funny nor hypocritical at all. At least during war, it's accepted that spying is a legitimate strategy for gaining an advantage. It makes perfect sense to want your government to gain an advantage over your enemy and to be angry when the enemy is gaining an advantage over you.

I'm not saying that spying is justified, all I'm saying is that there's no contradiction in supporting your government spying on other countries but being angry at other governments spying on you.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (4, Informative)

casings (257363) | about 4 years ago | (#33146520)

At least during war, it's accepted that spying is a legitimate strategy for gaining an advantage

I'm not saying that spying is justified

I'm saying is that there's no contradiction in supporting...

Uhh, yea it's just you contradicting yourself.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33147128)

You just took everything he said out of context. You're not clever. You just learned HTML.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about 4 years ago | (#33146766)

all I'm saying is that there's no contradiction in supporting your government spying on other countries but being angry at other governments spying on you.

But there is. Either spying is an acceptable thing for governments to do, or it isn't. I can understand being angry about successful spying by another nation. I can understand the necessity in severely punishing foreign spies while still supporting your own. But anger or outrage that another nation would try to spy on us while being okay with us spying on others isn't logically consistent. It's sort of like invading another country and then being offended that they shoot back.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 4 years ago | (#33147154)

You saw what happened with Iraq and Afghanistan, right?

We invaded and then got offended that people shot back.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (2, Insightful)

ushering05401 (1086795) | about 4 years ago | (#33146526)

Maybe it is beyond their fathoming that American spies might be less than uncatchable superhuman archons of divine justice.

Execution makes sense for those Russian mortals that dared dabble in arts only perfectable in the name of White Baby Jesus of America.

On the other hand, the blank stare could be a sign that you just got through to the person. Thinking new thoughts, especially ones that invalidate previously held beliefs can take time.

It is also perfectly reasonable that the person may not have wanted to give you the satisfaction of knowing you were right after whatever conversation you had just shared.

Anyhow, keep on trucking.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 4 years ago | (#33146608)

Everyone was outraged? Which "everyone" are you referring to? People thought it was a cool story because it reminded them of Bond films and she was hot (with topless pics).

Re:Nearly two thirds... (1)

david_bandel (909002) | about 4 years ago | (#33146708)

What is so funny about that? I'm for execution of a foreign spy on American soil.. and I'm also for the US executing espionage on other nations. I guess.. hmm.. maybe I live in America and am looking out for its best interests?

Re:Nearly two thirds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146764)

calling for his imprisonment or execution or

The "everyone" you claim called for "imprisonment or execution" is a figment of your fevered imagination. I honestly do not recall anyone, anywhere "calling" for either.

Don't surround yourself with imaginary self-affirming straw-men. Actual people are more subtle.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 years ago | (#33146600)

nah, just shows how sophos can make a misleading study.

Re:Nearly two thirds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146620)

Otherwise, how would they get elected in the first place, at least where elections do take place ?

Since when do politicians actually do what they say they're going to do during elections once they have the office?

Re:Nearly two thirds... (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | about 4 years ago | (#33146720)

I wonder what the answer would have been if the question was "Would you want foreign countries spying on your computer habits?"

I was surprised and disheartened by the support for doing such things during peacetime and for economic advantages. :|

Re:Nearly two thirds... (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | about 4 years ago | (#33146904)

Funny, my government has never asked me if I approve of anything they do
What I fear about the scums cyber spying is that they will do it to me as well

deh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146350)

And 90% of all american users are ok with this only if no one else spy on them. Talk about a morons country.

Re:deh (1)

elucido (870205) | about 4 years ago | (#33146374)

They don't seem to care if the government spies on them either. Anyone who complains about government spying on Americans is labeled a Tin Foil hat wearing Alex Jones loving right wing Militia terrorist.

Re:deh (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 4 years ago | (#33146444)

I'm okay with America spying on other countries, because I'm sure most every industrialized nation spies on us. Certainly China, India, Pakistan, Iran, etc etc etc

Re:deh (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33146482)

And 90% of all american users are ok with this only if no one else spy on them. Talk about a morons country.

The Security Threat Report also found that the US is still has the majority (42.29 percent) of malware-hosting websites.


Let the cyberwarfare begin. (3, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | about 4 years ago | (#33146352)

“It’s kind of curious, because these are the people that have got no time for hackers and the bad guys at all, but seem to think it’s all right for countries to do this,” said Cluley. “I think they need to remember that, one day, it might be a country attacking your company’s network, and trying to infiltrate it, and how are you going to feel about it then?”

Hire people like us thats what you do. Information security professionals know how to deal with malware attacks, just as nationalist cyber armies know how to attack and infiltrate. This creates jobs for both sides so it's not really a bad thing for most of us on Slashdot. Also how long did we really think we could go around being ignorant of security procedures and leaving networks open to infiltration? It's time that corporations spend the money necessary to defend from infiltration and it's time that the government create their elite army of hackers that they keep hyping up and talking about.

Let the cyberwarfare begin.

Re:Let the cyberwarfare begin. (2, Insightful)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 4 years ago | (#33146430)

Thats cool with me. That also means the government shouldn't turn around and get their knickers in a knot if some guy hacks into NASA; while they want to install Trojans in china.

Re:Let the cyberwarfare begin. (1)

Korin43 (881732) | about 4 years ago | (#33147048)

No no no, you don't understand patriotism at all. It's OK if we do it. If they do it, they're evil terrorist scum and should die (preferably after being tortured).

Re:Let the cyberwarfare begin. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146606)

All the GNU/Linux systems admits can't get there fucking knickers in a knot when I suggest the common man has to surrender to securer computing practices. That means things like starting to disable macros disabled by default when less than 1% of the word processing population actually uses them (and nothing says there can't be a warning and a message- so users can simply click a box that says "this document contains a macro program, macro programs may contain viruses, if you don't know where this came from don't run this macro") whenever a document opens which has a macro, not having auto-run enabled by default, PDFs that have so much multimedia and unnecessary executable content in them, and so on. People arguing with me that "phh, but we have to have this or I can't do X.Y.Z. Because the government demands blah." Well, no shit. I know that. Yes, so some things the government has to do differently. They need to adapt. They need to have you enter your information into a website and output a PDF instead. You say that is unacceptable because of privacy laws? Well, change the law. Security comes first and it's system administrators and the technical community who doesn't stand up to this behavior that allows these practices to get put into place when the guys in Washington make these decisions because of all the advertising Adobe does amongst other companies. If technical users would stand up and say NO instead of hindering those of us like myself who say otherwise we might not have these problems. If the guys in Adobe would stand up and say "hey guys wait a min, before we implement this cool feature, do our customers really need it? do they want it? can we maybe come up with some other cool neat feature that will make us money instead of it that will be more secure?" Or what about just mitigation strategies even! I mean really. For instance do we really need the ENTIRE JavaScript library or can we deal with just part of it? And maybe secure that part that we really need for the data checking?

Re:Let the cyberwarfare begin. (5, Insightful)

sedmonds (94908) | about 4 years ago | (#33146742)

This creates jobs for both sides

It may create jobs, but they do not create value. These jobs are an economic drain. As usual, people who act like douchebags ruin it for the rest of us.

Re:Let the cyberwarfare begin. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 years ago | (#33146864)

It may create jobs, but they do not create value. These jobs are an economic drain.

Every time there's a data breach and thousands or millions of credit card/social security/other records get jacked you and I lose.

Poor network security is just another way that companies privatize the profits and socialize the costs.
If companies were liable for the full cost of data breaches, they'd have their shit locked down tighter than the NSA.

And everyone benefits, because those best practices will filter down to the companies with only their own intellectual property at risk.

Re:Let the cyberwarfare begin. (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about 4 years ago | (#33147136)

Hire people like [me]... ... Let the cyberwarfare begin.

You don't seem to realize you're warmongering for profit.

You expect consultant fees to install a firewall for small and medium business. What's needed as not to build a new, bloated military industrial circus is someone who does your job for peanuts. (I know how to do that in scale. Hire me instead.)

"Consumers"? What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146366)

They're "idiots". Get it right, article.

Consumers or Citizens? (5, Interesting)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 4 years ago | (#33146376)

I like how we are merely consumers and no longer Citizens now.


Re:Consumers or Citizens? (2, Informative)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33146500)

I like how we are merely consumers and no longer Citizens now.


Corporatism, baby. Eventually, all countries will be governed the same way: for the corporation; by the corporation. The government will be to give us consumer/workers a legal framework.

Re:Consumers or Citizens? (3, Insightful)

ergrthjuyt (1856764) | about 4 years ago | (#33146562)

False dichotomy. I'm both a consumer and a citizen, aren't you?

Re:Consumers or Citizens? (2, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | about 4 years ago | (#33146760)

no, "a citizen and *producer*"

there are *consumer parasites*, they are the central bankers and megacorporate elite with our lawmakers in their pockets

Re:Consumers or Citizens? (2, Informative)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 4 years ago | (#33146790)

What is telling is the language used. When considering matters of cyber-spying, you should shut off your "consumer" brain and do your duty as a citizen.

Newspeak at work in the real world.

Re:Consumers or Citizens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33147006)

This needs to be modded up along with its parent, as the questions involved are important and relevant to the central topic.

The idea of "citizen" emerges from the nationalistic aspect of the survey, namely that it's subjectively okay for these respondents that espionage is undertaken against "foreign" entities even in an era of transnational enterprise, in which much of the work that would be spied upon likely transgresses national boundaries. IBM, Microsoft, Google, and other research-heavy targets, not to mention Dow, Monsanto, Boeing, Airbus, etc., while often centered in one nation, have tendrils that extend far beyond those borders. Further, that government entities undertake this espionage on behalf of transnational economic powers raises a lot of interesting questions of just whose interests are being served by government-sponsored industrial espionage. The biggest beneficiary of such a program would likely be a highly centralized power with nationalized or quasi-nationalized economic interests, like China. On the other hand, if American intelligence goes to, say, IBM, is there a conflict of interest in that this intelligence my end up on foreign shores benefitting other nations? What about cooperative intelligence undertakings like Echelon and the UK/NZ/Australia/US sharing arrangement? Who ends up benefitting there? Is handing over intelligence to the British in the interest of an American "citizen?" What about the EU?

The idea of "consumer" is also important, as there's a difference in interests between Joe SixPortRouter, a "consumer," and IBM, who would count as a "producer" more than a "consumer." It's probably not in IBM's interest to divulge information abroad, but it may well be in their interest to receive information. Further, IBM would be the one implementing some of this spying, so they incur an additional cost in terms of undertaking the program: is that cost justified by the competitive advantage they receive from the intelligence, or would those resources be better spent on an already successful research program that's ahead of the international competition?

From the latter perspective, it makes a great difference whether you say "citizen" or "consumer."

Patriotism (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 4 years ago | (#33146378)

Nobody's national anthem begins with "We're Number Two!" So naturally, they believe that they're most entitled to rule over everybody else. However, every country has this attitude. Therefore, nobody will have any privacy until they reject that patriotic sense of entitlement.

Re:Patriotism (3, Funny)

grcumb (781340) | about 4 years ago | (#33146438)

Nobody's national anthem begins with "We're Number Two!"

Obviously, you've never been to Canada.

Re:Patriotism (1)

Jeheto (1414993) | about 4 years ago | (#33146982)

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” -Mark Twain There you go. Celebrity vindication. : )

there will never be peace in this world (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#33146386)

as long as people identify themselves as french, or muslim, or black, or brazilian, or christian, or asian, or whatever

before they identify themselves as human

when you identify your nationality, or your religion, or your race, as your primary source of pride and your primary source of identity, you are what is wrong with this world, you have just committed the original sin, which allows all the wars and transgressions and crimes you see in this world to take place

pride in some arbitrary signifier, above your basic humanity, is the opening move in the game of dehumanizing all other nationalities, or religions, or races, and thereby accepting or rationalizing or acknowledging, even if simply by staying silent, atrocities against other, fellow, human beings

you can still be proud of your nationality, or your religion, or your race, of course

as long as you identify as a human being, first and foremost, above and beyond anything else, and you know that your pride in your nationality, religion, or race, is but a triviality, not a serious factor in your life

Re:there will never be peace in this world (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146416)

the true source of conflict in this world is: scarcity of resources

Re:there will never be peace in this world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146730)

You require more vespene gas.

Re:there will never be peace in this world (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 4 years ago | (#33147068)

The true source of conflict is abundance of resources. When the majority of the world's oil came from the Persian Gulf the region was nice and stable, because the British and then the Americans made it stable.

Then oil production developed in West Africa, Indonesia, Canada, Soviet oil opened up to the world, North Sea, Alaska, some regions remained stable and others became unstable, no country or bloc has the resources to secure all the areas so some slide into anarchy.

Gold, diamonds, exotic metals are all driving wars, not because of scarcity, but because of abundance.

If resources were truly scarce places like Pebble Mine wouldn't be up for debate, they'd be carving out the Bristol Bay region to get to those metals for US strategic security. As it is theres more than enough sources of metals right now to make Copper Mine a luxury []

Re:there will never be peace in this world (1)

TehZorroness (1104427) | about 4 years ago | (#33146420)

amen brother

Re:there will never be peace in this world (1)

quacking duck (607555) | about 4 years ago | (#33146838)

amen brother

You realize you just labelled the parent and probably yourself as male, and that gender, more than race or religion, is the single most obvious way to differentiate humans?

I was originally going for funny, but there's a serious note to this. Just as there's never-ending conflict between the two fundamental halves of humanity, male and female, we'll never eliminate the identities we give ourselves and others. An us-versus-them mentality is inherent to the species, from countries and race, left-versus-right wing politics, all the way down to family conflicts and even trivial school rivalries. Although this doesn't mean we can't come together for common cause, competitiveness by making yourself or your group more important than another is a basic survival trait and we won't be rid of it anytime soon.

Re:there will never be peace in this world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33147070)

amen brother

You realize you just labelled the parent and probably yourself as male

Well down captain obvious
The rest of us got the joke

Do you also realise that you have nominated your likely country of origin?

Re:there will never be peace in this world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146456)

Who said I want to be human?, Certain things are more important than some bullshit specie identification, certain things like Ideologies for example. What's wrong with this world is you and your kind you damn tree hugging hippie. Go learn some biology, and evolutionary psychology you tard.

Re:there will never be peace in this world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146542)

You're in competition with other tribes for resources. When it comes down to you starving, your tribe starving, or a different tribe starving, guess who loses?

Re:there will never be peace in this world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146782)

That's also my opinion, when I'm asked what I am I like to say human.
The only thing I disagree on is still being proud of those other meaningless things..... especially the joke that is religion.
We're all stuck on this planet together...... you'd think one day we could all work together. It makes me sick.
Hmmmm...... come to think of it, I'm kind of ashamed to be a human. I wish I was a robot.

You ignore human nature (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33146960)

there will never be peace in this world as long as people identify themselves as french, or muslim, or black, or brazilian, or christian, or asian, or whatever can still be proud of your nationality, or your religion, or your race, of course

How can you be proud of something without identifying with it?

Sorry, but your wish is an impossible pipe dream. Humans are not wired that way, they will quickly group and self-identify at the drop of a hat. Just look at highschool! This is not learned behavior, it is ingrained.

If we were all emotionless drones your plan might work, but I wouldn't want to live in that world of peace and harmony and.... pointlessness.

Re:there will never be peace in this world (1)

ItzRobZ (1761366) | about 4 years ago | (#33146974)

To be more general, there will never be peace in this world if there is any labeling of any kind. Any labeling will differentiate one group from another and will raise issues such as pride. In a way, being an organism naturally eliminates the possibility in this world. All organisms compete for the same resources, which are limited. Even bacteria, that which has no brain to think, competes for resources. Different strains of the same bacteria will infect as much cells as possible. Usually one strain infects more than another, causing the other strain to diminish in population. It may not be intentional, but a conflict arises none the less. I suppose if there were unlimited resources... and... no emotions. I suppose the root of all evil can be pointed at emotions. Without those, the 7 sins would not exist. With unlimited resources, natural "survival of the fittest" would also not exist. I could be wrong though... just rambling!

Re:there will never be peace in this world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33147112)

Yes, but most people are really just lemmings

Re:there will never be peace in this world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33147142)

Hmm, nice sentiment, as long as you actually ARE recognizably human. But see, that's part of the problem, isn't it? You neglect to include inhuman sentience, and so, by promoting humanity above all else, you shortchange the rest of the universe. Doubt that there is nonhuman intelligent life? First, define intelligence, then define life. On some descriptors, bonobos may qualify as intelligent life, whereas humans hardly rate. A.I. crafted by human hands probably doesn't qualify.....yet.

    But maybe you're one of those that thinks that Earth is the only world with intelligent life on it. Fine, but then,for it to be true, you'd also need to be an atheist, wouldn't you? Because if not, then you've just left out the Almighty, and that's probably not such a good move to make. Or you have the belief that God is an idiot (arguable, perhaps, but I don't personally believe THAT, I prefer to think He/She/They/It may be temporarily insane).

    Or, quite possibly, you have the belief that there simply is no such thing as intelligent life, ANYWHERE. If this describes you, congratulations! You are clearly meant for a career in Marketing, Politics, or Legal representation of either the MPAA, or the RIAA. Or even scarier, you may even be CORRECT!........or NOT!

At the very least, you may even qualify as a poster on /. In which case, intelligence results may vary. Humanity may be optional.

Governments vs. People (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146400)

The lovely thing about that justification is that they will turn around and share it with your own government. Just like they do now...

So the UK spies on US citizens and the US spies on UK citizens, then they share, thus spying on their own citizens by proxy.

In short, you don't believe in civil liberties unless you believe that they apply to foreigners and people you hate.

In other news... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146418)

Most consumers are raging idiots.

I love these types of polls and articles (5, Interesting)

adosch (1397357) | about 4 years ago | (#33146422)

The mocked up stats ITFA almost seem pretty skewed. I love how the central polling audience are called 'computer users', then went on to ask them their opinions VERY in-depth topic that only someone who loathes in technology for pleasure, employment or both would understand (e.g. DDoS). Since my wife is a 'computer user', I'll make sure to ask her what a her stance on using DDoS attacks against foreign banking institutions and after being drawn in by her blank stare, have her call me a 'nerd' after the fact. Whole article sounds superficial to me.

Re:I love these types of polls and articles (2, Interesting)

cosm (1072588) | about 4 years ago | (#33146502)

Honestly, I agree call bullshit on this one as well. Do a random sampling of 10 people. Ask this "Do you fell alright knowing the government is listening to your phone conversations and has the ability to tap all of your wire-traffic, unwarranted?" I imagine you will get resounding NOs. Then ask 10 other people "Would you sacrifice some digital privacy in light of the terrorist threats after 9-11?" The results will be much different I assume. Now I did not read the full article (or any of it, who has time?), but the former is the fancy rhetoric that gets draconian bills like the Patriot act passed. Its amazing how much people will sign away when it is dressed up in legalese.

To be frank, this fucking garbage is FUD spewing in order to make your average red-blooded obedient worker feel less, well, 'agitated' at the thought of the creeping privacy revocations, in-my-mother-fucking-opinion. Who knows. Perhaps the corporate spynet is reading this right now and I am getting put on a watch list as we speak.

Who am I kidding. Hollywood embellishes what these folks actually can do with technology (with many gaffs [] along the way). I bet the SSN database is maintained in a damp cubicle by a rank cigarette smoke covered ex-betty boom tapping away on Lotus 1-2-3.

And to play devils advocate, if these statistics are actually legitimate, it confirms one of two things (or both); Americans are fucking morons, or the standard cliche regarding statistics.

Re:I love these types of polls and articles (1)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | about 4 years ago | (#33146794)

Of course it's legitimate. Why would someone selling security software mislead you about foreign government cyber warfare against your business?

Newsflash: 86% of the general population.... (1, Flamebait)

cptdondo (59460) | about 4 years ago | (#33146434)

are clueless idiots.

Move on, nothing to see here.

Seriously, it drives me up the wall that most people don't care about their on-line privacy, or if their accounts get compromised, or if their personal data is sold to Russia somewhere.

So why would these clueless dolts not support this sort of crap "against other people?"

After all, they have nothing to hide....

Re:Newsflash: 86% of the general population.... (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33146494)

And 72% of news articles misrepresent the news. Seriously, the vast majority of the poll respondents (or shall I call them consumers?) were opposed to governments spying during peacetime. The majority were ok with it during war, but presumably dropping bombs on a country is significantly more serious than cyber-espionoge, and frankly I wonder why anyone would be opposed to spying if we are at war already. It might end the war earlier and save lives on both sides.

Re:Newsflash: 86% of the general population.... (1)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | about 4 years ago | (#33146792)

I actually don't care if any of those things happen to me. I maintain an open facebook with drinking pictures, use the same exact ultra-weak password from my photobucket to my bank account, and would laugh if someone actually WARNED me that my data was being sold to Russia (as opposed to just doing it anyway). It's just the times now, paranoia will get you nowhere.

Peacetime? (3, Insightful)

straponego (521991) | about 4 years ago | (#33146458)

What's that?

Re:Peacetime? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 4 years ago | (#33146612)

War is peace?

Where we are now... (1)

HPUXCowboy (735911) | about 4 years ago | (#33146472)

While I agree that both govt and business entities need to invest in PROPER network infrastructure safeguards to protect "their" data, unfortunately I see this as just another indicator of where man is now and where he is going.

Gone is the day where Integrity and Honor were worth more than gold or any other medium of wealth. Now it's all "what's in it for me". If you can't win the debate with facts and logic then smear, cheat, outright lie and "spy" on the other guy to try and dig up some dirt ... and then say "So there. I'm right".

It makes one wonder if civilization in general, not any specific country, republic or union, has reached it's zenith and is now on a steady decline back into barbarism and will eventually decay into a mass if "city states" as during the time of the ancient pre Greco-Roman era.

For me (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 years ago | (#33146478)

I fully support my government, and I oppose those who dare to criticize our government. BTW, my name is oldhack, and I approve this message.

Study funded by... (2, Funny)

AlienSexist (686923) | about 4 years ago | (#33146532)

Substantial funding was made possible by 1. DARPA 2. Government Worship Foundation 3. Taxpayers

In fairness (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | about 4 years ago | (#33146546)

Half the respondents were from China, where they figured "spy on our enemies" felt like the lower risk answer.

Most? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 4 years ago | (#33146568)

Err, when is 32 percent equal to most?

However 32 percent supporting government spying is terribly frightening.

Re:Most? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 4 years ago | (#33146644)

Well, if the questions are about spying on foreign countries, then I don't have a problem with it, really. What's the difference between the CIA paying for a file clerk to pass them a copy of an embassy document and the NSA hacking into a file server and pulling the copy themselves? Stuff like that has been going on since the dawn of time and always will. No news there, and its completely different from warrant-less wiretapping on fellow citizens.

However, I do have problems with being referred to as a consumer. That pisses me off more than anything. I hate that word. It's just a polite term for a useless eater.

Its over people... (1)

Eth1csGrad1ent (1175557) | about 4 years ago | (#33146570)

...evolution is dead. At least for us.

Just rot13 everything (1, Informative)

joelsanda (619660) | about 4 years ago | (#33146622)

Gur evtug bs gur crbcyr gb or frpher va gurve crefbaf, ubhfrf, cncref, naq rssrpgf, ntnvafg haernfbanoyr frnepurf naq frvmherf, funyy abg or ivbyngrq, naq ab Jneenagf funyy vffhr, ohg hcba cebonoyr pnhfr, fhccbegrq ol Bngu be nssvezngvba, naq cnegvphyneyl qrfpevovat gur cynpr gb or frnepurq, naq gur crefbaf be guvatf gb or frvmrq. (For our snooping friends :-)

the layouts of this poll... (0, Troll)

Rooked_One (591287) | about 4 years ago | (#33146640)

so right now, with america so divided, this is easy.

You have your GOP base, which, if polled will probably with 90% accuracy, say that "anything that supports our country is patriotic, and if my friends knew that I said "NO I DON'T THINK THAT'S RIGHT" that they would be ousted from their community.

And then you have your liberal base, of which I would say probably a 1/3 are the more conservative, gun toting liberals, who will say the same thing - and of course these people are no different than the same types on the GOP that just vote one way or another because that is what their friends vote.

So ... yah - there's your 2/3's.

And before you think i'm trying to troll, please look in the mirror. I don't vote... too scared of that new world order thing :P

What about here? (2)

quickgold192 (1014925) | about 4 years ago | (#33146656)

The bigger question is: how many people support domestic cyber-spying? I can see support for foreign espionage, since it's widely assumed that every country does that anyways, but in my little circle of acquaintances I have been seeing more and more people actually support and push domestic spying as not only acceptable but something to be praised.

Where's the methodology? (3, Insightful)

yuna49 (905461) | about 4 years ago | (#33146684)

I scanned the actual Sophos report and nowhere did I see a presentation of how the sample was drawn, how it's distributed across countries, of the level of sophistication of the respondents. At a minimum, I'd like to see the sample divided out by countries or regions. Talking about "computer users globally" requires some substantial documentation before I'll believe they've even come close to drawing a world-wide sample, much less one that is statistically representative of computer users worldwide. How many people did they interview in China, India, or Kenya? How was a "computer user" defined? Any study as bold as to claim that it represents the attitudes of "computer users globally" needs a lot more documentation than the article or the Sophos report provide.

The most telling statistic on the kinds of people who might be in the sample comes from responses to the question "Do you think you will quit Facebook over privacy concerns?" If you believe the data from Sophos, Facebook should be seeing a mass exodus. About 18% of the respondents say they've already left Facebook for this reason, and another 30% claim to be "highly likely" to quit. It's hard to take these figures seriously when Facebook just recently reporting having over half a billion accounts.

By the way, the section of the report entitled "No OS is Risk Free" talks only of Windows and OS/X. While I don't think Linux is "risk-free" either, I'm guessing Sophos writes reports for organizations on the platforms that generate its income. Sophos is hardly a distinterested party when it comes to evaluating operating systems and platforms.

On *Other* Nations (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 4 years ago | (#33146698)

I don't see why this is so surprising. Most people recognize that their own governments spy on other countries as part of legitimate defense of their country.

Of course, the question asked by the media is far too broad to be meaningful. They don't ask whether they support their government spying on other countries when it's not legitimate defense of their country. And they don't ask whether they support their government spying on their own country, whether it's "legitimate" defense of their country or not.

Or whether it's ever legitimate to spy on their own country, violating their fellow citizens' rights instead of protecting them, when there's no probable cause, warrant or other due process. No data on where people accept that line being drawn inside their own country.

So the results are really just another straw on the camel's back of innuendo that pushes headlines about "people support being spied on". Because the corporate mass media and its ecosystem of spook-infested think tanks are so corrupt, lazy and complicit in the globe's many and interlocking police states that all they can do is sell us lies to con us into allowing our own governments to spy on us.

Tribalism FTW, AGAIN (1)

macraig (621737) | about 4 years ago | (#33146756)

tribalism == groupthink == Weapons of Mass Delusion

Biggest threat to civilization, ever.

How to fix most of the world's problems, in one step:

1. Replace tribalism/groupthink with globalism/egalitarianism
2. Profit!

I won't live to see it. Roddenberry didn't.

Don't call me a consumer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146876)

Call me a person, citizen, customer, etc, but don't call me a consumer. A consumer is someone that does nothing but consume.

The word "consumer" doesn't even make sense in this case. In what sense am I "consuming" when I'm being spied on by a government?

asshats. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33146980)

cock punch.

that is all.

Maybe this is a double standard but, (1)

IgnitusBoyone (840214) | about 4 years ago | (#33147012)

When I read the headline I thought they were talking about spying on its own citizens and I was ready for arms. Then I read its on foreign governments and I am all like ok, what ever gets the info. I'll go speculate to myself if I should feel bad about that.

The Bond dream (0)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#33147116)

Its all fine when they think Bond is working for them and in their best interests.
All the devices are pointed at the Soviets or other evils.
Reality is corps, telcos and govs and friendly govs are all looking inward, buying and selling data about them.
They recall the Berlin tunnel(s), Vienna and Moscow phone tap efforts during the cold war and smile.
So cute, surgical and clean.
The KGB may know but the GRU did not and wow was it good times.
Now all that skill is facing them, the word searches and 24/7 taps. What was off the books in remote spy factories for Russian use might be very legal in a domestic setting soon.
Protest too much and that sci fi Windows ready malware could get very real.

Biased question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33147146)

Do the same study by telling them if they want foreign government to spy on their data and see the result.

What I want to know is (1)

OnePumpChump (1560417) | about 4 years ago | (#33147180)

Now how many of those people had any idea what any of those words meant?
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