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U.N. Realizes Internet Surveillance Chills Free Speech

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the last-horse-finally-crosses-the-finish-line dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 90

An anonymous reader writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that the United Nations has finally come to the realization that there is a direct relationship between government surveillance online and citizens' freedom of expression. The report (PDF) says, 'The right to privacy is often understood as an essential requirement for the realization of the right to freedom of expression. Undue interference with individuals' privacy can both directly and indirectly limit the free development and exchange of ideas. An infringement upon one right can be both the cause and consequence of an infringement upon the other.' The EFF adds, 'La Rue's landmark report could not come at a better time. The explosion of online expression we've seen in the past decade is now being followed by an explosion of communications surveillance. For many, the Internet and mobile telephony are no longer platforms where private communication is shielded from governments knowing when, where, and with whom a communication has occurred.'"

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Ah, a sternly worded letter! (-1, Offtopic)

Dripdry (1062282) | about a year ago | (#43909189)

And first post no less!

Re:Ah, a sternly worded letter! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909305)

A first post means more than a sternly worded letter. At least the first post gets read and replied to.

noh8rz to UN: no shi (2)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#43909545)

t sherlock

Re:Ah, a sternly worded letter! (0)

AndyKron (937105) | about a year ago | (#43910073)

Damn! No moderator points today!!!

Shaving Claims (1, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#43909205)

Claiming to shave ya,
They decapitate.
Liberty will save ya,
When wonks defenestrate.
Burma Shave

Re:Shaving Claims (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909449)

Roses are red,
grass is greener.

When I read Slashdot,
I play with my weiner.

Re:Shaving Claims (2)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#43909587)

But can your weiner win a mayoral seat in NYC? That's the question, Anthony.

Re:Shaving Claims (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#43915237)

It's wiener, not weiner. From Wiener Wurst (german: sausage from Vienna).

Captain OBVIOUS (4, Insightful)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year ago | (#43909213)

So they realized it, but the problem is that pretty much all the people in power want it that way, so nothing will change, no matter how many sternly worded letters and resolutions get introduced.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909475)

They need to watch their step. A wise man doesn't fuck with Medusa. They'll learn of their folly in just enough time to regret it forever.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43909687)

Yeah they realized it. Now, it took how many people how many years and how much money to realize what everyone already knows? Ahh, you have to love bureaucracy. But just wait, they'll come up with a solution that makes everything more expensive and actually makes the problem worse instead of better.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43910273)

Its the UN, have they EVER been anything but worthless, expensive, and ineffective? Its not like any of the west which has been marching towards fascism for decades is gonna listen to them anyway, so they might as well just put out a petition calling for world peace for all the good their little resolution is gonna do.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (2)

Clsid (564627) | about a year ago | (#43910725)

It worked wonders for the US in Yugoslavia and Iraq. It works for other countries like Russia by avoiding the Libyan scenario in Syria. China effectively has to be more open and invest overseas to gain friends since they want to regain control of Taiwan (Chinese investments in Costa Rica), which means UN members has to withdraw their support on Taiwan.

The UN is a lot of things though, not just the security council. It is a great opportunity for world governments to consolidate policies, especially with things like the Millenium Development Goals. Like every form of government, it's not all bad or good, but just what we have.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (2)

readin (838620) | about a year ago | (#43911361)

Like every form of government, it's not all bad or good, but just what we have.

The U.N. isn't a form of government, it is a club of governments. The behavior of a club is largely determined by what kind of members it has. Most members of the U.N. are autocratic oppressive government and U.N. behavior reflects that.

Please check your history. (2)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#43914247)

The UN is absolutely not a government. The UN was established as a way of resolving disputes without wars. The UN is a set of agreements between governments on how to resolve disputes. Soldiers working for the UN are provided by member governments, and act in the voted interest of all of the government members of the UN. Aid from the UN is provided by the member governments and distributed by the voted interests of the member governments.

In concept, the UN is a good thing. In practice however, larger governments are able to abuse the platform as an excuse to do bad things just like they abuse their own powers in their home governments.

Today, we must be very cautious of the UN. Sovereign nations must remain sovereign for the UN to work, yet there is a tremendous amount of rhetoric attempting to convince people that all countries are subjects of the UN. We have seen the UN used as a shield for certain member governments to destroy sovereign governments.

To my last paragraph, you should remember that you only hear what your governments want you to hear in regards to Libya, Syria, Egypt, etc... There is another side of the story (at least one, but often more) that you don't hear. The established media, even in countries like the US, rarely presents reality. Thankfully the Internet allows you to search for information which breaks the illusion, and anyone trying to get out of the cave still can.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (2)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year ago | (#43911299)

The UN vs World Wars, hmm, let's stick with the UN. As for the privacy issue, the rich and greedy have finally realised they can not steal our privacy without giving away theirs.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (1)

readin (838620) | about a year ago | (#43911369)

The UN vs World Wars, hmm, let's stick with the UN.

You think the U.N. has prevented world wars or could prevent world wars? How so?

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43911493)

Its the UN, have they EVER been anything but worthless, expensive, and ineffective?

Depends on your point of view. You could view it as a "convenient" place to bash Israel, or an institution with an enormous time wasting obsession with Israel.

From: Middle East Quarterly - Winter 2004
The Case for Israel [meforum.org]

... The Case For Israel ... Dershowitz points out that a full 27 percent of the U.N.'s country-specific resolutions critical of a state have been directed against it. In contrast, no resolution in the history of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights has condemned Syria, China, Saudi Arabia, or Zimbabwe, all of which are self-evidently far worse violators of human rights. Israel, asserts Dershowitz, has a "far better record on human rights than any other nation in the Middle East and most other nations in the world." As evidence, he notes that "Israel is the only nation in the world whose judiciary actively enforces the rule of law against its military during wartime" and that "Israel has killed fewer innocent civilians in proportion to the number of its own civilians killed than any country engaged in a comparable war."... The Case for Israel [meforum.org]

I think that anti-Israel resolutions as a percentage of the cumulative total number of resolutions has actually fallen quite a bit over the last couple of decades. It might in fact be major progress getting it down to only 27%. On the other hand, what would the UN be if it didn't have Israel to bash? Would the 57 OIC - Organisation of Islamic Cooperation [wikipedia.org] members still bother to show up?

Somehow it seems oddly important for its size [masada2000.org] : Israel is only 1/6 of 1% of the landmass of the Middle East [catholic-convert.com]

I can see how the UN might appear to be largely worthless.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43911837)

Israel is an asshole surrounded by other assholes, the best thing the USA could do is wash our hands of the whole damned thing. The sad part is we waste billions of our tax dollars because of a bunch of right wing loony tunes and a single line written by goatherders about Jews in Zion...ya know what? if their God is so damned weak that it can't keep a handful of people in one place without the US military? Then you have a shitty God and should really go elsewhere.

As for the UN? Waste of time, that is ALL it is. Every single example the other poster gave as a positive? Was just rubber stamping shit that the west was gonna do anyway! I mean if the UN told Dubya he couldn't take over Iraq and Afghanistan does anybody HONESTLY think he would have given a fuck? Does anybody HONESTLY think that if the UN told Nobama he couldn't be using drone strikes he would give a shit?

Its an impotent org that makes its little resolutions nobody follows or cares about, occasionally sending "peacekeepers" to be nice targets, that's about it. Its nothing but the league of nations in a different skin and just as worthless. As for the other poster saying "they prevented world wars"? I'm throwing a flag, bullshit on the field. What stopped world wars was THE BOMB, which is why every tinpot dictator wants one now that they can't play one side off against the other like they did during the cold war. The UN didn't have a damned thing to do with it, it was fear of starting WWIII that kept everyone just slaughtering third world countries in "proxy wars", NOT the worthless UN.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43913597)

... a bunch of right wing loony tunes

You're writing some comedy gold there. Israel is a left leaning liberal democracy of about 5 million people surrounded by more than 100 million that would do them in if they could, not because of what they've done, but because of who they are - Jews. But the double minded thinking about Israel reaches astonishing heights. Just think about the question of gay rights. Don't you live somewhere in the Bay area? Maybe you've seen these guys:

Queers for Palestine [zombietime.com]
 

No single group better exemplifies the cognitive dissonance on display at these rallies than Queers for Palestine, also known as QUIT -- Queers Undermining Israeli Terror. What is left to say about the fundamental self-contradicting nature of such a group?

In Israel, gays live openly and happily in a free and liberal society. There is a thriving gay scene, just as there is in the United States and many other Western democracies.

But in Palestine -- as in most Islamic countries -- being gay is not only frowned upon, it is a crime often punishable by death. Tales of what life is like for gays in Palestinian society are horrifying in the extreme. In fact, gay youth in Palestine frequently flee to Israel if they can get a chance.

So why in the world would gay activists in the most gay-friendly city on Earth protest against one of the other centers of gay liberation (Israel) and for one of the planet's most violently oppressive homophobic societies?

This is the essence of cognitive dissonance -- the condition of holding two differing beliefs that are so incompatible and contradictory that the only way to internally reconcile them is to, well, go insane (to use the layman's term). Because, try as I might, I can't comprehend any other justification for being a member of QUIT other than insanity. ...more [zombietime.com]

Socialism, in the form of the Kibbutz [wikipedia.org] - collective farms - was a strong early influence and institution in Israel before the country even existed, and they survive to this day.

Despite all that, many on the left still have a problem with Israel.

The European Left and Its Trouble With Jews [nytimes.com]

Some people confuse the unwillingness of Israelis to be exterminated with being "right wing."

and a single line written by goatherders about Jews in Zion...

You might be a few lines short. As a minimum, 66 books [wikipedia.org] minus one line short.

ya know what? if their God is so damned weak that it can't keep a handful of people in one place without the US military?

I don't believe that the US military has ever fought alongside Israelis in any war other than putting a Patriot antiaircraft missile battery in Israel during the 1991 Gulf War as a concession to keep Israel from attacking Iraq when Saddam inevitably attacked them. So all of the major wars that Israel has fought for its existence have been by their effort, not American effort, Israeli blood, not American.

Then you have a shitty God and should really go elsewhere.

Not really an option. The Jewish people are tied to Jerusalem as the only place where they can build their temple. Christians are tied to it as well as an offshoot of Judaism, and the place where Jesus lived and was crucified. The truly sticky part is that Muslims consider it their third most holy site as well.

As a counterpoint to your statement, Blaise Pascal thought the continued existence of the Jews was a proof of the existence of miracles.

The Miracle of Jewish History [hnn.us]

Over three hundred years ago King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher of his day, to give him proof of the existence of miracles. Without a moment's hesitation, Pascal answered,"Why, the Jews, your Majesty-the Jews." ...more [hnn.us]

--------

I mean if the UN told Dubya he couldn't take over Iraq and Afghanistan does anybody HONESTLY think he would have given a fuck? Does anybody HONESTLY think that if the UN told Nobama he couldn't be using drone strikes he would give a shit?

It would, at the least, be a political problem that could make it more difficult for allies to participate, assuming the US plans didn't change. It would certainly be likely to create at least some domestic difficulties. It is unlikely that the UN would have blocked US actions in those cases. Afghanistan was a direct, easy case of self-defense. I believe it was the only time that Article 51 of the NATO treaty has been invoked in an actual shooting war. In the last months of 2001, NATO aircrews were flying patrol missions [state.gov] over the United States as a protective measure. By the same token, although more contentious to be sure, the 2003 Iraq was was in essence a follow-on to the collective self-defense endorsed by the UN in the 1991 Gulf War. If the UN told President Obama that drone strikes were illegal, I think it would be a huge problem for him as he tends to be more internationalist in outlook than most presidents.

Its an impotent org that makes its little resolutions nobody follows or cares about, occasionally sending "peacekeepers" to be nice targets, that's about it.

The Koreans might beg to differ there. The military force that fought to contain North Korean aggression is a UN combat force in which many nations have played a part.

As easy as it is to cast aspersions on UN peacekeeping forces, and I have at times, they can still play a useful role in separating antagonists and helping to maintain the peace. That isn't to deny the many problems over the years. There have been more than a few instances in which various participants in those peacekeeping missions have engaged in various sorts of criminal action. They also aren't always even handed in the way the two sides are treated.

it was fear of starting WWIII that kept everyone just slaughtering third world countries in "proxy wars", NOT the worthless UN.

Neither WW1 nor WW2 started with major powers directly attacking each other. Those conflicts began with smaller wars and incidents fed on each other until the major powers attacked one another.

The UN is often worthless, sometimes worse than useless, and sometimes helpful. As noted in my previous post, the fact that 27% of all resolutions have been directed against Israel points to a deep problem with the institution. Collectively the UN often does no better than the sum of its membership, which can be pretty bad.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43914539)

I don't give a flying fuck what those Jim Crow loving motherfuckers call themselves, i was talking about the USA which keeps having to hand billions over to their sorry asses thanks to our right wing who think "If thar ain't no jew in Zion Jebus won't come back, praise Jebus!" and because of that single fucking line we get to hand billions to those assholes. When you have roads that are Jews only, when the leaders start shit to grab land (read Dayan's writings on the subject) and treat the locals like shit? Sorry but I have zero fucks to give about those assholes.

And before you start that "The jews returned to their homeland" bullshit? FUCKING LIE, the jews there have as much to do with ancient Israel as i do the fucking Roman empire, they did DNA testing and found that MORE THAN 99.4% OF THE POPULATION does NOT come from the ME, they ALL come from a tribe in Eastern EU that converted less than 300 years ago! That would be like me coming into Italy and demanding the Italians move into these ghettos because a God they don't believe named me an ancient Roman ruler!

so the whole area is nothing but bullshit and the best thing the USA could do is wipe their hands of the whole damned mess. Its not like Israel needs the USA to be their damned pitbull anyway, they have more advanced military hardware than we do in a lot of cases! But we keep the shit stirred over there, make all of the ME our enemies by knee jerk supporting Israel no matter what they do, and it all comes down to a single line written by fricking goatherders. if it wasn't so pathetic it would be laughable.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43910671)

Clearly the answer is to route all internet traffic through the UN so they can monitor it for government monitoring.

common sense is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43911601)

There is a reason why we need study : to make sure common sense is not wrong. Sure when Physicist/doctor/biologist/ecnomist/bureaucrate verify common sense is correct, people suddenly says "yeah useless people we knew that all along", but the problem folk is when common sense is wrong. If nobody verify it then we are going in dead ends. Look : ulcer common sense was that it was not bacteria. And now ? Or in economy bureaucraty sociology : there are paradox which were verified. Common sense was that you could ask people and they would tell you what they need , or what they prefer. Well it turns out that there is a social display aspect : instead of saying 100% what they prefer when asked, instead people answered what they thought would make them look better. And there are many common sense which are wrong like that.

Which is WHY we need everybody from economist to biologist to bureaucrate to verify common sense being right or wrong at least once before we accept it.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43910571)

Don't know how much importance can be placed on the above comment. Certainly not enough as it's absolutely key to the whole situation. The whole point behind all the surveillance is exactly that; the crushing of freedom of expression and so the crushing of any resistance to the status quo. Once it's determined for certain that this effect is real, the surveillance will be increased and continue to increase until we're living in a complete tyranny with no hope of ever escaping.

Of course, this will last for some period of time and then someone will start a movement and throw down the tyranny and setup a new democracy. Won't be the old system, the old countries, the old values but something completely new. It's on;y too bad that we'll have to pass through such a dark time to reach it.

Re:Captain OBVIOUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43912953)

End to end encryption. You want to talk just to me? You use it. End of story.

There. See? I already changed something?

Disagree? Well, keep being alone then.

At last he has been umasked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909231)

Frank La Ru is Captain Obvious.

Captain Obvious strikes again! Too bad... (3, Insightful)

CmdrEdem (2229572) | about a year ago | (#43909265)

.. that UN can`t really do anything unless countries support it. Countries where governments are more and more interested in speech restriction so they can keep the shiny power!

Re:Captain Obvious strikes again! Too bad... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43909415)

By shiny power, you mean the nukes?

Re:Captain Obvious strikes again! Too bad... (2)

superwiz (655733) | about a year ago | (#43909585)

Italy has nukes. I don't remember the last time Italy's opinion on anything counted for anything. Germany doesn't have nukes. And the keeps wondering if the German's will keep EU alive if they have to lend money to Italy. Power to build is the power to sustain life. Power to build increases whenever it is used because it increases sustainability of life. Power to kill ends as soon as it is used.

Re:Captain Obvious strikes again! Too bad... (1)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | about a year ago | (#43909647)

I didn't know Italy had nukes. Citation, please? I'm lazy.

Re:Captain Obvious strikes again! Too bad... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909731)

I actually don't even feel like reading GP's comment. Can you ready it to me? I'm lazy.

Re:Captain Obvious strikes again! Too bad... (2)

tragedy (27079) | about a year ago | (#43909843)

Italy doesn't, technically, have its own nukes. It's a nuclear weapons "sharing" arrangement under NATO. I think pretty much the way it works is that another NATO country (OK, the US) with nukes keeps some on one of its own bases in Italy or otherwise under some sort of lock and key. In the event of something requiring their use, they get released or unlocked somehow and Italian soldiers take over. Of course, Germany is another country that participates in the nuclear sharing program so the comparison the GP made between them based on one having nukes and the other not having nukes is a little baffling.

Re:Captain Obvious strikes again! Too bad... (1)

Clsid (564627) | about a year ago | (#43910745)

So much for non-proliferation. This kind of thing is why I believe everybody should pull out from the Nuclear NPT and actually aim for a nuclear weapons free world.

Re:Captain Obvious strikes again! Too bad... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43911513)

Those weapons would only fall under local nation control in the event of war and the authorization for nuclear release with US consent. Not really a proliferation problem per se.

As odd as it may seem, having nuclear weapons in alliance hands probably prevents a conventional arms race. Without the NPT, more countries would be willing to go nuclear.

Re:Captain Obvious strikes again! Too bad... (1)

CmdrEdem (2229572) | about a year ago | (#43909853)

By shiny I meant the fantasy trope where sentient beings are attracted to anything that shines, that grabs their attention for the face value. Yeah, I just said politics are simple-minded as the simplest humanoids.

Re:Captain Obvious strikes again! Too bad... (3, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43909527)

that UN can`t really do anything unless countries support it.

The UN WON'T do anything, and acting like the UN is some kind of savior is foolish, I'm really surprised at the number of supposedly intelligent people who always want to run to the UN to solve world problems. Shall I chant the number of wars and atrocities the UN has seen fit to turn its back on over the last 40 years yet again? Maybe I'm a fool but it seems like the UN's FIRST responsibility as I read their charter is to either prevent or interceed in such matters, and your running to them to write up some kind of rules on international censorship? ~cough~

Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matters (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43909271)

It doesn't matter how much or who monitors you.

What matters is what actions are taken from the monitoring - if any.

Given that monitoring is impossible to prevent or really limit, all efforts should be made in shaming those taking bad ACTIONS based upon collected data.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (4, Insightful)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about a year ago | (#43909317)

all efforts should be made in shaming those taking bad ACTIONS based upon collected data.

To heck with *shaming* people who take bad actions with collected data need to be *punished*. And pretty severely at that.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909941)

The US is the only country I know of with complete "freedom of speech" and over the last couple of years we have seen that even here it is suppresed to cheers (talking about people here cheering the IRS suppressing conservatives). I don't see any way of punishing other than the people outright fighting those in charge, and using the ballot box no longer works because they made sure to suppress support of opposition.

Unless by "punishment" you mean promoted or hired by Apple to top level positions.

So, let me know how that works out for you.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (1)

readin (838620) | about a year ago | (#43911473)

The US is the only country I know of with complete "freedom of speech" and over the last couple of years we have seen that even here it is suppresed to cheers (talking about people here cheering the IRS suppressing conservatives). I don't see any way of punishing other than the people outright fighting those in charge, and using the ballot box no longer works because they made sure to suppress support of opposition.

Unless by "punishment" you mean promoted or hired by Apple to top level positions.

So, let me know how that works out for you.

Don't forget the big push for campaign finance laws that put the government in the business of deciding what is and is not political speech in the first place.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43912571)

heh, I read it as *slaming*...like WWe style, UN reps in the ring being slammed everytime they mess up...

past my bedtime obviously

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (4, Interesting)

CmdrEdem (2229572) | about a year ago | (#43909319)

"Information is power." This is not strictly true, but information multiplies actions` effectiveness. The more information someone has about anyone makes easier to manipulate the victim without anyone`s knowledge. Always keep that in mind.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43909575)

"Information is power." This is not strictly true, but information multiplies actions` effectiveness

That's exactly right, but since we cannot stop the information gathering all we can work on is the other end of the lever, and to make there be some serious repercussions to others using that information as a multiplier.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909819)

since we cannot stop the information gathering all we can work on is the other end of the lever, and to make there be some serious repercussions to others using that information as a multiplier

Good luck with that. Our bread-and-circus country has long since passed the point of people being able to hold onto this end of the lever.

Without anyone`s knowledge? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909911)

Private or public, the effect works. It can be done right in front of everyone and nobody dare speak out, or perhaps they don't see the big picture until its too late.

You don't like a politicians, you dig through their lives, find something on them or their family and leak it. The opposition party make political capital of the leak for their own gain. The press has a story to exaggerate, and the effect has worked. The politician is out of power, and the friendly politician is in power.

The recent SWIFT data leaks showed that, selective leaking, a fake angry mob to stir stuff up, and the opposition to your data grab magically disappears. Key ministers are removed in scandals, the ones opposing the US view.

I think the leak of SWIFT data came from the USA, I think its timed to coincide with the switch from SWIFT to SEPA, the European transfer system that will replace SWIFT, and I can see no country who got the leak is investigating the source as bank data theft, so its clear it was a known friendly black channel, i.e. US diplomatic leak, since these were US centric countries.

I suspect the US wants the European SEPA bank data, and wants to remove any political opposition to them getting it. So now nobody is asking why SWIFT data given to the US under strict secrecy with strict privacy rules now seems to be selectively leaked to the press, and handed on bulk to friendly governments. The agenda is 'watching money flows for suspicious ones', with the US being the watcher.

I could be seeing an agenda that isn't there and that bank data just magic'd its way onto their computers, but I doubt it.

I'm guessing that later in the year they'll be an agenda on money laundering that hands all European SEPA data to the US, with some 'privacy' protection [yeh like SWIFT had?] and the US gets to see who gets paid what for what, who bought what from whom, who donated how much to which party..... all the gruesome details of peoples lives.

And effectively we won't be a democracy anymore, because whoever has that data can always fabricate a scandal or find a lever to control who we elect.

And effectively we won't have free speech, because who knows what they can dig up.

Good points (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#43914555)

Agent provocateurs do exist, though people tend to not want to see them. We have public information today which was recently unclassified, showing how the FBI and CIA planted agents in MLK's and KKK's camps not just "watching" them but causing trouble including murder. While the next two examples are not admitted provocations, their nature is clear. 1) The riots in Oakland's OWS camp had arrests of over 100 people, in which over 80% were not even from CA but bussed in by "someone". 2) We have drug users in NYC's OWS movement being given drugs by police officers and being dropped off at the camps. A very recent example is Adam Kokesh's arrest in Philly (search youtube for the video showing the cops trying to plant drugs on him).

If low level agent provocateurs exist, why would anyone in their right mind claim that they don't exist at different/higher levels? Outside of saving themselves from cognitive dissonance, there is no reason.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (2)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43909629)

It doesn't matter how much or who monitors you. What matters is what actions are taken from the monitoring - if any.

What matters is what actions could be taken from the monitoring, because eventually some government somewhere will try to step over the line and take those actions.

Missing the point (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43909665)

What matters is what actions could be taken from the monitoring, because eventually some government somewhere will try to step over the line and take those actions.

Absolutely they will.

And just as absolutely you will not be able to prevent the monitoring.

So you have to figure out what do to based on the absolute and unalterable fact the information will be collected.

Re:Missing the point (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909785)

And just as absolutely you will not be able to prevent the monitoring.

Not necessarily. The entire government doesn't have to be corrupt from top to bottom in order for abuses to happen, and mistakes (like the government overreacting to bomb jokes and infringing upon people's freedoms) will inevitably occur no matter how corrupt the government is.

It's difficult to prevent the government from secretly monitoring its citizens, but maybe not impossible.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (2)

Jockle (2934767) | about a year ago | (#43909755)

People with unchecked power almost always abuse it; history has taught us that. So yes, it is extremely foolish not to be wary of the government, and it is even more foolish to let it spy on the people.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43910083)

People WILL abuse power. Bank on it. Must I invoke the most empirically provable and thus most controversial religious dogma (i.e. personal depravity)?

The Fucking Psychopath® is back!

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (1)

readin (838620) | about a year ago | (#43911487)

It doesn't matter how much or who monitors you. What matters is what actions are taken from the monitoring - if any.

What matters is what actions could be taken from the monitoring, because eventually some government somewhere will try to step over the line and take those actions.

The actions that they could take also matter because behavior is affected anyway just by knowing about the monitoring. The implied threat is always there.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909753)

lol what idiots modded this up?

ALL odds become 100% given enough time.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43909959)

Actions like this [theblaze.com] ? Or like this [wikipedia.org] ? There are a lot of kinds of monitoring, some more intrusive than others, but the abuse of it is always ready to happen.

Re:Not the monitoring, it's the ACTION that matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43912257)

No. In a perfect world you'd be right, but it doesn't work out that way.

Lets say hypothetically I'm a police officer and I randomly tap Joe's phone without a warrant and find out he's a drug dealer. Sure I'm not allowed to act on that, but now that I know that, I can go and try to get the evidence through some other means. I'm sure you can poke holes in the metaphor but you get the point. You can't just say "yeah feel free to monitor everything, just don't act on it or I'll shame you!"

The young do not know enough to be prudent.... (1)

MeanderingCode (1191183) | about a year ago | (#43915851)

“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible -- and achieve it, generation after generation.” -- Pearl S. Buck

Given that monitoring is impossible to prevent or really limit, all efforts should be made in shaming those taking bad ACTIONS based upon collected data.

It is not impossible to prevent or limit.

There are many projects working on software and technologies to do just that. Some are:

What you're saying
RedPhone and TextSecure: https://whispersystems.org/ [whispersystems.org]
Wickr: https://www.mywickr.com/en/index.php/ [mywickr.com]
Parley.co: http://parley.co/ [parley.co]
Silent Circle: https://silentcircle.com/ [silentcircle.com]
Seecrypt: https://www.seecrypt.com/ [seecrypt.com]

Who you're saying it to / who or where you are
Tor: https://www.torproject.org/ [torproject.org]

Both (for the most part)
LEAP: https://leap.se/ [leap.se] (Full disclosure: I am a developer on this project)

to name a few :)

Admission: I am not completely familiar with the details of many of these projects

Spying... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#43909367)

Is the world's third oldest profession.

Re:Spying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909555)

I thought it was the first. Young Ogg sees Oggette bathing in the moonlight and runs back to show everyone how big Oggettes wheels are! And then all spawns from that. Especially after the wars over possession of Oggette.

Though I got to give woman credit. They are not the root of all evil. The above example is oversimplified and not relevant to current history.

Re:Spying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909667)

I thought it was the first. Young Ogg sees Oggette bathing in the moonlight and runs back to show everyone how big Oggettes wheels are! And then all spawns from that. Especially after the wars over possession of Oggette. Though I got to give woman credit. They are not the root of all evil.

No, according to your example, Oggette wearing clothing was the root of the evil; without clothes, everyone would have already known how big here wheels were. The Ferengi were on to something...

Re:Spying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43910031)

I dunno I've seen plenty modern outfits that enhance wheel geometry. But I have no need to war or spy to see them or enjoy them. THANKFULLY yet.

When did the Internet become less Free? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909381)

Based on my own observations the surveillance started on the Internet when commerce and financial transactions became more mainstream. Kids will never know how liberating and free the Internet was when you could surf anonymously without being tracked.

Surveillance is bad for business, too... (4, Interesting)

real-modo (1460457) | about a year ago | (#43909409)

Bruce Schneier points out one of the ways in this essay [schneier.com] .

And (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909429)

And they were oh so pleased.

A UN that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909451)

...allows Iran to head a human rights committee, condemns Israel over true human-rights abusers deserves to be ignored.

Even if they state something that is true from time to time, the UN is garbage.

But then an even greater force emerged.. the UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909499)

and the U.N. un-nazied the world - forever.

Next in news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909515)

UN decides to fund more Internet surveillance.

UN does realize it (1)

superwiz (655733) | about a year ago | (#43909521)

That's the point. It's a soap box for all of world's dictatorships. It's not in any sense a democracy by design or by mandate. It's designed to reduce necessity for war. And dictatorships, as they must by definition, try to use any political tool to suppress opposition.

Two quotes come to mind . . . (3, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43909591)

"We must plan for freedom, and not only for security, if for no other reason than only freedom can make security more secure." -- Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies

"To me, social media is the worst menace to society." -- Recep Tayyip Erdoan, Prime Minister of Turkey

. . . what interesting times we live in . . .

Re:Two quotes come to mind . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43910233)

"We must plan for freedom, and not only for security, if for no other reason than only freedom can make security more secure." -- Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies

How Freedom makes security more secure:

By busying the masses in having to run themselves into the ground to make ends meet in "freedom" of so-called free markets, the masses cannot afford to keep there eyes on those perfecting the "security" infrastructure. A middle class is that way of busying the masses in this "freedom" of money chasing until the "security" infrastructure is made "secure". Once "secured", the need for a middle class becomes obsolete. The middle class is then liquidated via "open and global" markets. If this does not work sufficiently quick, wars and engineered pestilence are summoned to assist to expedite the removal of the masses. What are left are huddled masses of serfs glad to be let to live and the gods in their palatial compounds. Behold the default order of Homo sapiens sapiens.

Prove the 66:75:63:6B otherwise!

Re:Two quotes come to mind . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43912977)

Interesting juxtaposition, but it is worth pointing out that Austrian culture in the 20th century is vastly different than Turkish culture in the 21st.

same as everything (0)

berashith (222128) | about a year ago | (#43909743)

blah blah blah blah on a computer, or blah blah blah on a computer network .

There is a direct relationship to government surveillance and citizens freedom of expression. The internet part is only one small piece of the action from either party.

Well.. (0)

GigaBurglar (2465952) | about a year ago | (#43909859)

Slashdot.. I am disappointed. Reading these comments is like reading comments on LiveLeak. I think I will stick to ycombinator.

Kids.

Of course they realize it, that is the point. (1)

LeifOfLiberty (2812101) | about a year ago | (#43909883)

lol. Of course they realize it, that is the point. The point is to control "the message" and the people.

too much centralization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909909)

When ever more communication is centralized on ever fewer services, it becomes ever easier to monitor and censor.

The more diverse it is, and the more encrypted, the better. We've gone the opposite way: less diverse, and less encrypted. The public seems to prefer it that way for some reason.

UN finally catches on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909965)

...only because it is too late to do anything that is effective in countering said surveillance.

Remember, with the closing of all frontiers of habitable land on this planet, effective social, political, economic, and/or| cultural change has been defined as terrorism EXCEPT the war on the Judaism, Christianity, non-crony capitalism, honest hard work, and penis control.

What is a politically correct terrorist? A freedom fighter. What is a politcally incorrect freedom fighter? A terrorist.

we the real anonymous will now speak (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43910023)

What you have had before was fun interesting and a start to show what kids can do if given freedom and with that freedom they WILL rise up....When you persecuted , infiltrated and incarcertated those kids ....you bring us into the light....we are not the script kiddies. We are not the dumb bearded kids living in basements and with moms....no we are YOU....look around , all walks of life , all brackets of age and wealth and of every religion or non religion ....( well except scientology but cults dont count )

We are as a associative group are of like mind and seek the freedom of all nations peoples ot live without fear of a police officer or army officer to harm them when they speak there mind....SOME speech , mostly that of hate should not be tolerated however for it is that which gives rise to the very people that have taken our civil rights and liberties. They like scientology or hitler used hate to bring you form being a individual into a hive mind so they could act for you often in ways you would abhore given more time to make your reasoning.

THE USA for all its wealth and pwer has one main problem....it has now a rank of 31 for avg math skills.its reading isn't far off. Who needs ot read or count when you have actors and musicans and army men with automatic rifles? WELL there comesa time on earth when all this violence will be seen for what it is....just old school riuch people trying to keep there status above you all like gods or kings. The USA will ahve at obama;s end of term 21 trillion in debts.

china will be getting close to passing it...have you seen the skies of its capital during the day....now think of L.A. during nixons time when enviromental movements began...

what has changed.....are you better off?
is there peacfe on earth.....ask your sleves this ....if by the odd chance some alien space craft came here and suveyed this world what would you htink if you were them?
NO really. of all the cultures on earth we hackers get this the most. WE know that race , religion and wealth mean nothing to us....we are all equal....
you cannot fight this....nor our curiosity to learn and know more.
YOUR laws of copyright and patents are going to destroy us one day....and i will cry...

Re:we the real anonymous will now speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43911719)

....you bring us into the light....we are not the script kiddies. We are not the dumb bearded kids living in basements and with moms....no we are YOU....look around

... a bunch of greasy neckbeards?

Re:we the real anonymous will now speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43911857)

If you're going to attempt making a point about the poor quality of public education, you might go one step further and at least try to be articulate about it; you know, instead of unwittingly being the proof to your own thesis.

-David

Re:we the real anonymous will now speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43912987)

"The real anonymous"... Kid you didn't understand the concept of Anonymous AT ALL!

PROTIP: Replace "Anonymous" by "Anger". Does it still make sense? If no, you're a moron and should STFU.

And this is NOT a judgment on your actual comment. Your reputation and hence chance to get me to read it already died with that misuse of the term "Anonymous".

Re:we the real anonymous will now speak (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43913977)

My sleeves tell me the aliens are coming!!! Prepare yourselves for the Armageddon!!!

UN mandate (the truth about it) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43910105)

To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war (that concludes with liberty vanquishing tyranny like the Second World War).

mmmm (1)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#43910443)

well, the core issue I believe is that your words could be misinterpreted as hostile when they are not. beside that, it's mostly about people who are in fact infringing some laws which, if it wasn't for the internet, would more than likely not be known.

Re:mmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43910613)

People at Fort Meade?

Headline... (1)

kuhnto (1904624) | about a year ago | (#43910465)

U.N. Realizes Fire On body Chills People catching on fire

That's a feature.... (1)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about a year ago | (#43910559)

For UN bureaucrats, suppressing dissent and feedback is a feature, not a bug.

Re:That's a feature.... (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#43915601)

The UN has exactly nothing from suppressing dissent and feedback. It is an organisation of states (and their respective governments). Governments can try to get more surveillance forced upon everyone via the UN, but they can also do it via bilateral contracts (as the U.S. does). It's not an UN problem at all.

What you are doing is moving responsibility as far as possible away from you, and the most far away organisatorial unit you can imagine is the UN.

Another Captain Obvious Thread (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#43911819)

But really, since it's the UN and Captain Obvious, I really can't resist. Ok, for those of you who grew up with the Justice League, you should read the following in the voice of the announcer who always said stuff like "Meanwhile, back at the Justice League..."

Meanwhile, back at the UN, Captain Obvious finally makes an appearance! He has a lot of work to catch up on! First, he needs to stop by the security council and tell them Mahmoud Ahmadinead and Kim Jong Il seem to be big jerks! He might also say something about Syria, but I'm not certain what! He might also swing by the Japanese and tell them that killing whales for food is bad! Thank you, Captain Obvious! After that, he'll make a speech and mention that monitoring the internet seems to chill free speech! His work done, he returns to the Justice League, where everyone thanks him!

Eeh. I feel like I could have done better, but I want to get to sleep sometime tonight.

Cognitive Dissonance (1)

msk (6205) | about a year ago | (#43913481)

The UN recognizes that surveillance chills speech and thought, but they pass an arms treaty that chills freedom to protect oneself.

Re:Cognitive Dissonance (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#43915699)

Given that the person most likely to kill you is yourself, keeping weapons away from you will actually protect you from a statistical point of view. And given that the possession of a gun increases the probability of killing yourself, there is another good reason not to have a gun in the home(*). And given that the probability of being killed by a foreigner is lower than the probability of being killed by a person (except you), who has access to your weapons (e.g. spouse, acquaintance, children, parents), it further will increase your chance of survival if yo don't own a gun.

(*) Yes, gun suicides don't replace other means of suicide from a statistical point of view. Statistically speaking, they are an additional risk of suicide. Gun owners commit suicide more often than non gun owners.

sites not helping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917833)

It's not just the government. All those "log in using your facebook account" buttons aren't helping either. We need to campaign for protection of anonymous internet, or your ability to comment freely will soon be gone!

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