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NSA Surveillance May Have Dealt Major Blow To Global Internet Freedom Efforts

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the one-giant-bad-apple dept.

The Internet 327

An anonymous reader writes "Simply put, the US government has failed in its role as the 'caretaker' of the internet. Although this was never an official designation, America controls much of the infrastructure, and many of the most popular services online are provided by a handful of American companies. The world is starting to sober up to the fact that much of what they've done online in the last decade is now cataloged in a top-secret facility somewhere in the United States. The goal has been to promote internet freedom around the world, but we may have also potentially created a blueprint for how authoritarian governments can store, track, and mine their citizens' digital lives."

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They need a better PR firm. (5, Funny)

blackicye (760472) | about a year ago | (#44004571)

Is it too late for the NSA to spin this as just a huge misunderstanding?

I mean PRISM was obviously intended to be a redundant backup of the entire Internet.

Re:They need a better PR firm. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004605)

Is it too late for the NSA to spin this as just a huge misunderstanding?

Actually taking this into consideration, no, it's not too late.

Too many Americans are too fucking stupid to give enough of a shit for these revelations to cause real change.

Sustained change will largely depend on how the rest of the world reacts, and that's not looking promising either.

Human are stupid everywhere (-1, Flamebait)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#44005063)

Is it too late for the NSA to spin this as just a huge misunderstanding?

Actually taking this into consideration, no, it's not too late.

Too many Americans are too fucking stupid to give enough of a shit for these revelations to cause real change.

Actually too many humans staying OUTSIDE of the United States of America are as fucking stupid as those who stay inside.

There ought to be a great opportunity for creative advertising agencies to formulate new worldwide massive round of spin campaign for the very cash-rich No Such Agency

Re:They need a better PR firm. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004657)

Is it too late for the NSA to spin this as just a huge misunderstanding?

I mean PRISM was obviously intended to be a redundant backup of the entire Internet.

Oh boy you wouldn't want that. Imagine all the mp3s, films and e-books floating in that digital archive. 3-2-1 MPAA, RIAA and their fellow criminal origanizations will sue the US government for copyright infringement.

They need to open up to the American people (4, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44004709)

Is it too late for the NSA to spin this as just a huge misunderstanding?

I mean PRISM was obviously intended to be a redundant backup of the entire Internet.

It is obvious, but it's also something most of us suspected they were doing all along. The real question is why didn't they just admit to it from the start? Why keep it a secret from us if it's to protect us?

If you work for a corporation and its telling you they never back anything up and anything you delete is deleted forever and then you find out that they lied and everything any employee every did was secretly backed up for all eternity, this would change how you view that corporation. This would also change how the customers view that corporation which lies to it's own employees about it's practices.

This is similar to what the NSA has done. It has got caught lying to the American people. It tells the American people it exits to spy on foreigners, but applie deception tactics to the American people as if the American people themselves are the foreigners.

It's catch 22. They could have a valid reason to have kept this stuff secret but it's up to the NSA to explain their reasoning. The NSA also has to find a way to communicate better with the American people in such a way that the American people cannot disclose those secrets to the enemy. This might mean greater portions of the American people should be given enough of a clearance to know why the NSA does what it does and to make informed decisions in the voting booth.

How can the NSA expect the uninformed voter to make an informed decision if it keeps the voter in the dark? How can the congress make informed decisions if they are kept in the dark as well? The NSA needs to shed light on this. While I don't necessarily think leaking is the best way to shed light and promote discussion, if the NSA wasn't willing to have this discussion without it having to be leaked to the whole world then that is a problem with the NSA because this is a discussion we need to have.

Re:They need to open up to the American people (5, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year ago | (#44004763)

Because informed voters are extremely dangerous, keeping people uninformed is a top priority for any pseudo-democratic government.

Think again ! (4, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#44005087)

Because informed voters are extremely dangerous

Think again !!

Voters, whether they are of the "informed" group, or otherwise, most of them can not comprehend that much anyway

I was listening to BBC's world service just yesterday and they had a BRITISH PROFESSOR spinning his yarn for NSA

If a PROFESSOR can say things like that, you think Joe Six Pack can think otherwise ?

Re:Think again ! (2)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a year ago | (#44005121)

Professors too have the right to be scaremongered into an unrealistic fear of terrorism.

Re:They need to open up to the American people (5, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about a year ago | (#44005027)

If you work for a corporation and its telling you they never back anything up and anything you delete is deleted forever and then you find out that they lied and everything any employee every did was secretly backed up for all eternity, this would change how you view that corporation. This would also change how the customers view that corporation which lies to it's own employees about it's practices.

I know it's just an analogy, but here's where your analogy is so fundamentally different that it is completely inapplicable: In the case of the corporation, the corporation is backing up data they own on systems they own. The NSA, on the other hand, is not just backing up data on its own systems. If you visit the NSA's website, and they log that activity, sure, that meets your analogy. But we're talking about the NSA collecting and storing data from systems that do not belong to them. Add to that the fact that they're a government entity and that whole pesky constitution document....

It's catch 22

No, it's not. They didn't simply lie about their activities. They lied about breaking the law and violating the constitution. You're focused entirely on the fact that they lied, not the fact that they broke the law. A more appropriate analogy would be if you lied about committing a murder, then were later found out to be the murderer. Which is the sentencing judge going to focus more on, the fact that you lied, or that fact that you committed a murder?

How can the NSA expect the uninformed voter to make an informed decision if it keeps the voter in the dark?

Now you're getting it!

Re:They need to open up to the American people (4, Interesting)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year ago | (#44005147)

Why keep it a secret from us if it's to protect us?

The problem is that when you use "us" you appear to mean "US Americans", who only constitute a fraction of worldwide Internet users. Even if US voters agreed, the majority of the world does not agree to being spied on. The NSA has an (unproven, but well-known) track record of conducting industrial espionage against befriended countries, and spying on any foreigners is apparently considered perfectly legal and constitutional in the US.

The fact that other countries might attempt to do the same is no excuse. The real problem is that all the data that is collected is already used to undermine constitutional rights. There are quite persistent and credible rumors that when e.g. the BND wants some data on a German they may not obtain legally (according to German law), they'll just ask a US agency. I'm pretty sure this also works the other way around.

Things might look different if the people in power would really endorse democratic principles and human rights, which they don't.

Re:They need to open up to the American people (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year ago | (#44005219)

The real question is why didn't they just admit to it from the start?

That's a pretty trivial question. It's asking: Why don't you share everything, including your deepest secrets, with the government?

Knowledge is power, they say. Certainly, knowledge about you is power over you. Power to blackmail, obviously - but that's only the crudest tool in the box.

Re:They need a better PR firm. (1)

dragisha (788) | about a year ago | (#44004881)

Is it too late for the NSA to spin this as just a huge misunderstanding?

I mean PRISM was obviously intended to be a redundant backup of the entire Internet.

Exactly! http://archive.org/index.php [archive.org] is not personal (or social, or whatever, you know what I mean) at all. With only partial backup of public Internet, it does not provide services at personal level, and we need it, surely!

Re:They need a better PR firm. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004913)

I mean PRISM was obviously intended to be a redundant backup of the entire Internet.

Funny that you should say this. An accused bank robber asked his cell phone provider to disclose phone data that he claims would have shown it wasn't him. They don't have the data. Now he is asking the NSA for it [mainjustice.com] .

Re:They need a better PR firm. (5, Interesting)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#44004923)

Is it too late for the NSA to spin this as just a huge misunderstanding?

A misunderstanding? No. It was all for your safety, citizen! As we all know, America is the home of the brave, so we have to give away all of our rights in an effort to stop terrorism; that's just what brave people do.

Re:They need a better PR firm. (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#44005161)

Is it too late for the NSA to spin this as just a huge misunderstanding?

As we all know, America is the home of the brave, we ARE SO BRAVE THAT WE HAVE DECIDED TO FREELY give away all of our rights in an effort to stop terrorism

FTFY

Re:They need a better PR firm. (1)

tibbar (30026) | about a year ago | (#44005085)

I am sure the Ministry of Truth is working hard at it.
The memory hole will take care of the details.
after all, thought crime is against the American way
  The proles don't need to worry, go back watching the latest "idol", "reality tv" ...

It will be taken care of ...

Re:They need a better PR firm. (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44005099)

Indeed. Books by Goebbels are still used as teaching material in the PR field. With PRISM, there should be a lot of material for tried and true approaches available from similar sources.

Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004573)

The rest of the world doesn't care if your government spies on US citizens or not - at least not more than they care about themselves being spied on.

Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004583)

In other news grass is green, most people must pay taxes, everyone eventually dies. What other possible outcome was there. Only a fool would believe in a benovolent government that sought justice, equality and truth.

Just because YOUR government is corrupt (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004767)

Just because YOUR government is corrupt doesn't mean that all governments MUST be corrupt.

And what is your fix for this? Hand over to the corporations because power will be allotted by money? Did you know that most of your politicians are executives for these corporations? Therefore if they aren't employed in government, they're employed in those companies you're going to have collecting this.

Or is it OK if corruption is done for money by a private industry but not when it's done for money by a public one?

Re:Just because YOUR government is corrupt (2, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#44004937)

Just because YOUR government is corrupt doesn't mean that all governments MUST be corrupt.

Well, unless you think your government is composed entirely of perfect beings (and what constitutes as "perfect" I don't know), there's a very high probability that it is corrupt at some level.

Re:Just because YOUR government is corrupt (2, Insightful)

sgbett (739519) | about a year ago | (#44005141)

Trying to 'fix' the situation is unlikely to work.

A better strategy is accepting there will be failure, and building systems to cope.

A great example of this, quite fittingly, is the internet itself.

Accept that governments will work most of the time, understand they will fail some of the time. Keep your eyes open. Try and be cool. We are all in it together, despite the example set by some.

Re:Just because YOUR government is corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005207)

Yes, it does mean that. In some form or another. It should not, but its a fact of life. Humans in general are not altruistic, organisations formed from them are therefore not altruistic either.

Also, if you think it can happen to others but not to you than you're either delusional or trolling.

Trying to demand "the answer" from your percieved opponent is a good signal you do not even want to think about the problem itself. Fighting the messenger does not make the message go away you know ...

And is there maybe a possibility that there is another solution than handing it over to a coorporation ? Really none at all ?

Or is it OK if corruption is done for money by a private industry but not when it's done for money by a public one?

He did not even hint to anything in that direction. Are you trying to spin a story here ?

--

Oh by the way, the simple answer to your question is accountability. When you remove that you will always get a person or organisation which will cause ever bigger harm to others.

We will again set an example for the world (5, Informative)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#44004589)

This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.

- Senator Barack Obama, 2007

Re:We will again set an example for the world (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44004599)

All politicians lie.

No exceptions.

If they weren't willing to lie, they'd never get elected.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (5, Insightful)

blackicye (760472) | about a year ago | (#44004623)

All politicians lie.
No exceptions.
If they weren't willing to lie, they'd never get elected.

Agreed, and all politicians are not to be trusted, which is why freedom of press and transparency of government are of the utmost importance in any democratic republic.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004909)

"[...] freedom of press and transparency of government [...]"

Best laugh I've had in a coon's age. Seriously now, both of those are illusions of your deluded mind and if you tell me you're wrong then try and get your hands on material from any of the agencies such as the NSA, CIA, FBI, blablabla your chances are you'll get stonewalled till the end of time and even if they do grant you the information you sought after they'll have it painted all black for you just so you don't have to read that much.

They should just rename Democracy to Democrazy.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004675)

All politicians lie.

No exceptions.

If they weren't willing to lie, they'd never get elected.

Sure but then why didn't the US citizens throw out Obama after the 1st presidential term ? He didn't go to the White House for the second time of his own free will. Lazy, morally corrupt, couch potatoes american citizens voted this lier for a second term. So who the fuck is to blame eh ?
A 2 party system is no better than a 1 party system especially when the 2 sides agree on almost everything that has to do with fucking the american citizen.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (3, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44004851)

Sure but then why didn't the US citizens throw out Obama after the 1st presidential term ?

Because the alternative didn't look all that different and so people went with the known evil.

A 2 party system is no better than a 1 party system especially when the 2 sides agree on almost everything that has to do with fucking the american citizen.

There was a great diversity of primary candidates, but people ended up playing it safe. And our parties are pretty weak compared to parliamentary systems; just look at the wide range of votes on many issues.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#44004975)

Because the alternative didn't look all that different and so people went with the known evil.

Whenever someone claims to not believe that most people are unintelligent, one should probably inform them of things such as that. People who do this are part of the problem.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005203)

Whenever someone claims to not believe that most people are unintelligent,.

Personally, I think Obama and Romney were largely interchangeable and people made a rational choice. So you are saying that you think Romney would have been greatly superior to Obama?

one should probably inform them of things such as that. People who do this are part of the problem.

I suggested people pay more attention to the primaries. That's the most important thing to remember. You should remember it too.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004869)

Throw out this bum put in a dealth-cult bum.

Yeah, some choice there.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (5, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year ago | (#44004911)

Sure but then why didn't the US citizens throw out Obama after the 1st presidential term ? He didn't go to the White House for the second time of his own free will. Lazy, morally corrupt, couch potatoes american citizens voted this lier for a second term. So who the fuck is to blame eh ?
A 2 party system is no better than a 1 party system especially when the 2 sides agree on almost everything that has to do with fucking the american citizen.

You answered your own question... The only viable alternative was just as bad.
Although technically the people could vote for a third party, you could never get enough people sufficiently motivated or even aware of the third party without significant money and control over the mass media. Since the current system benefits those who have large amounts of money and/or own large media outlets that will never happen.

And a 2 party system is in many ways worse than a 1 party system. It gives the people a false sense that they have a choice which combined with control of the mass media is sufficient to keep a large majority of the population in the dark.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (2, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#44004999)

you could never get enough people sufficiently motivated or even aware of the third party without significant money and control over the mass media.

If you continue not voting for third parties because of this, then you're the problem. Voting for 'evil' is not the solution to our problems. I'd feel like an absolute imbecile if I voting for either of the two main parties, so I'm not sure how other people can even stand themselves.

Third parties need not win in order to bring about some amount of change, either. If the two main parties see that many people are voting for third parties, they might decide to adopt some of the policies of the third parties in an effort to claim back some votes.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (4, Interesting)

old man moss (863461) | about a year ago | (#44005153)

I agree. An example is the UK in the late 1980's. At the European Parliamentary elections 15% of the electorate voted Green. They didn't win a single seat, because of the system, but the "main" parties were so shocked at the swing that they immediately set about trying to "green" themselves.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#44005225)

Not just that: 3rd parties, even very small ones, may still manage to put issues ignored by the ruling party/parties on the agenda. The Dutch Partij voor de Dieren (Party for Animals, a bunch of nutters who won votes on the strength of astoundingly lavish campaign contributions) did just that, doing some good for animal rights despite having only 2 of 150 seats in parliament. Privacy, "digital" rights and civil liberties are similarly undervalued issues; all parties profess to be in favour of those, but proposals in this area are often half-hearted and poorly thought out if they even make it to the table. This is because most politicians do not really give a shit about them. I voted for the Pirate Party in the last elections, in hopes that these issues receive the attention they deserve.

Re:We will again set an example for the world (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#44005159)

Large majority of the population chooses to be kept in the dark, it's their ideal world, where they are kept in the dark [slashdot.org] as long as the gov't delivers on the promise to subsidise their daily routine nonsense.

Don't believe me? Look [slashdot.org] at the comments [slashdot.org] following [slashdot.org] mine [slashdot.org] and [slashdot.org] the moderation as well [slashdot.org] , isn't [slashdot.org] that [slashdot.org] a choice [slashdot.org] ?

Re:We will again set an example for the world (4, Informative)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | about a year ago | (#44004955)

Sure but then why didn't the US citizens throw out Obama or Bush after the 1st presidential term ? He didn't go to the White House for the second time of his own free will. Lazy, morally corrupt, couch potatoes american citizens voted this lier for a second term. So who the fuck is to blame eh ? A 2 party system is no better than a 1 party system especially when the 2 sides agree on almost everything that has to do with fucking the american citizen.

FTFY....

Re:We will again set an example for the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004877)

Indeed. Obama said many things before he became President. He even said that he opposed dumb wars. Right now he is getting ready to intervene in Syria. The lesson here is that there is no correlation between what Obama once said and what he does.

Not our fault (3, Interesting)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#44004609)

We had absolute power (or close to it) and we know what that does. Here's a disturbing thought: What if the Internet is just unworkable? What if it's just too tempting for *any* caretaker to avoid using as a giant eavesdropping machine? What if people start opting out en masse?

Somewhere, a postal worker's ears just pricked up.

Re:Not our fault (3, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#44004617)

What if the Internet is just unworkable?

What if big government is just unworkable?

The NSA should share more information (5, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44004775)

Here is my perspective as I view it:

The NSA expects us all to basically support their agenda.
The NSA wont tell us any detail on what that agenda is.
The NSA monitors our every behavior, but uses deception and basically lies to us telling us they aren't.
The NSA lies to congress, refusing to admit it even after the leak.

So the problem here is the NSA believes it requires secrecy to a greater degree than the US public can understand. If this is a case where the US public is simply uninformed, then the NSA should give out security clearances to journalists and to more people within the American public so that it can inform them.

I understand the NSA does not want to tip off the foreign enemy. The problem with what they are doing is when they apply deception, and act as they are acting, the uninformed American citizen feels like the foreign enemy. I understand that leaking to the media isn't necessarily the best way to handle it because the element of surprise is important in warfare. Enemies foreign and domestic did not need to be tipped off along with the American people. But enough American people have a security clearance, these surprises are going to seem directed against the American people as a whole.

So the question is why do so few Americans have security clearances? Are we supposed to believe that all those American people without a security clearance are "enemies"? If they aren't then why can't they be given enough of a security clearance so that at least the basic agenda of the NSA is known. When journalists don't even known, and when congress doesn't even known, well then who does know? If only the cleared individuals know then why not expand it?

In 2011 4.2 million people had access to the governments classified information. 4.2 million people is not a lot of people out of 300-400 million Americans. As a result you have a lot of propaganda and misinformation confusing the uninformed American citizen into believing conspiracy theories while the 4.2 million who have access get to know the truth but can't say anything. Until more people know the truth, the only access American citizens get to the truth is through these leaks. The problem with these leaks is the enemy gains access at the same time.

Re:The NSA should share more information (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44004947)

I'd say the "enemy" or anyone that is interested and has a military intelligence budget bigger than that of Samoa has already found one of those 4.2 million people has a gambling problem and they get a lot more than the "leaks". I don't see that there really is a problem with the leaks, in fact I think it's the opposite and the leaks are revealing things that these agencies should not be doing.

Re:The NSA should share more information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005111)

the 4.2 million who have access get to know the truth but can't say anything. the 4.2 million who have access get to know the truth but can't say anything.

You don't get an all-access pass. At least... you shouldn't. Now in the interest of inter-agency cooperation post 9-11, they loosened up on that. That's probably what made Bradley Manning leaks possible. The idea that one man would have access to that much information flies in the face of everything I was told about "clearance and the need to know". WhereTF does a PFC get the need to know everything Manning had access to?

Re:Not our fault (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44004967)

It's entirely technically possible for you to have multiple "caretakers" for the internet, setting standards, providing DNS etc. who negotiate with each other to ensure interoperability without a central point of failure. Unfortunately such a suggestion has always been politically defeated because, hey, the US has been a good caretaker so far, with laws protecting basic freedoms, so what could they possibly to do screw this up?

Yes but it's to prevent terrorism. (5, Insightful)

VinylRecords (1292374) | about a year ago | (#44004627)

You can erode freedoms gradually or even outright remove them overnight in the name of 'fighting terrorism'. People are driven paranoid by the media and the government. Terrorism, school shootings, global warming, the boogeyman, something is around the corner waiting to kill you and your children. Want to be safe from that? Then get ready to lose a lot of your rights and get ready to pay a lot more in taxes as well to finance the loss of your rights.

We all know that airport security and border security failed before 9/11. Letting multiple armed men most of whom had passport and visa violations into airplanes was a colossal intelligence failure. After the attacks security at our airports was supposedly beefed up and billions of dollars were invested in physical security. Did that prevent the shoe bomber or underwear bomber from getting bombs onto their airplanes? No. But it gave everyone the illusion of security and the government made a killing from forcing taxpayers to pay for all sorts of wasteful security theater.

The NSA is the cyber equivalent of the TSA. Instead of groping everyone and inspecting your person they inspect your internet usage and your phone records. They go after everything you do in your personal life that they can get a hold of and use. And did that prevent the Times Square bomber? Or the Ft. Hood shooter? Or the Boston Marathon bombers? No. But everyone felt secure on the days that there wasn't terrorism. And the government made a killing. And the government got to use the NSA (and IRS, FBI, etc.) to go after political enemies as well.

You question any of this? And you're siding with the terrorists. You blow the whistle on any of this? It's treason. Get ready to flee to a foreign country or risk being murdered, jailed, rendered, or worse.

We spy on our own people indiscriminately. Ruin the rights of the people with the destruction of privacy. Intercept and record and document everything. Yet the Boston Marathon bombers were looking at radical Islam videos for months. The older brother had been thrown out of a mosque for preaching violent Jihad. The brothers names had been tipped off at the CIA by both the Russian and Saudi governments that they were linked to Al Qaeda. The Ft. Hood shooter was viewing radical Islam videos online and even told his supervisors about his Jihadist sympathy. But the government somehow in their total surveillance missed all of those things.

The fact is that most people don't care or understand. George Carlin said "think of how dumb the average American is...and realize that half of the people are even dumber". The average American doesn't care about rights or privacy. They won't defend the Constitution or Bill of Rights. The American empire is crumbling from within. Demographics rapidly changing, politicians and leaders being openly hostile to the Bill of Rights, rapidly escalating bipartisanship in politics and society, increasing loss of rights resulting from alarmist paranoia.

At this point all we can do is try to stop the bleeding. But eventually the freedoms of America. Its lifeblood. Will be gone.

Re:Yes but it's to prevent terrorism. (5, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#44004707)

Well, you are American. And you write "We spy on our own people indiscriminately". Which is, of course, a major problem, but still internal to the USA. The USA, however, also spied on other people, many of whom live in allied states, indiscriminately. This undermines the allies' trust. History may deal with the USA as it has dealt with Athens: one more major blunder ( in the case of Athens, the expedition against Sicily ) involving more and more unwilling allies, and the great power sinks. For ever.

Re:Yes but it's to prevent terrorism. (4, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | about a year ago | (#44004833)

The USA, however, also spied on other people, many of whom live in allied states, indiscriminately. This undermines the allies' trust.

Absolutely this. Many of those allies supported the US in the latest round of efforts to wrest overall control of the Internet from US government appointed organizations and place it into the hands of bodies under the auspicies of the UN or the ITU. When the next attempt starts, and I'm pretty sure it's going to happen really soon to take advantage of the furure over the Snowden and Prism "revelations" (seriously, is anyone surprised this was going on?), I expect at least some of those allies are going to be more reluctant to maintain that support.

It's probably just a matter of time now, so it's time to pick a side... the UN, or the ITU? Not a good choice.

Re:Yes but it's to prevent terrorism. (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44004965)

That won't change much as the World Bank as Wolfowitz's plaything showed.

Re:Yes but it's to prevent terrorism. (3, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#44005023)

They won't defend the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

Unless it's the second amendment, or politicians failed to frame their constitutional violations in a way that suggests they did it to keep us all safe from the bogeymen.

NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (5, Interesting)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about a year ago | (#44004629)

The NSA is a pack of dimwitted fuckers for pulling this, because the blow back when this was discovered (not if) would clearly far exceed any benefit they could possibly gain. Now, I think this might not be an entirely bad thing that they pulled this shit.

I suspect that as a result, the rest of the world is going to be deeply suspicious of the US in the future, and it is going to be much more difficult to maintain control of the Internet's key systems and keep them inside US borders as much as is possible. I also think this might kick off a new round of encryption and paranoia, which really is a good thing for consumers of tech resources in the long run. Bad for the spy types, because RSA1024 on everything will really put a damper on their ELINT gathering capabilities. They might have to go out and do some honest on the ground trade craft for a change.

Who ever is running the NSA should be sacked on the spot. Not for engaging in massive illegal wire tapping, but for being such a shallow idiot and not considering the fall out of being caught. You have to suppose that there are analysts writing papers about what will likely happen when they get caught, so the Director isn't paying attention to their own intel papers and projections. Fire him for being a fucking inept moron.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (5, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | about a year ago | (#44004681)

The NSA is a pack of dimwitted fuckers for pulling this, because the blow back when this was discovered (not if) would clearly far exceed any benefit they could possibly gain. Now, I think this might not be an entirely bad thing that they pulled this shit.

I suspect that as a result, the rest of the world is going to be deeply suspicious of the US in the future, and it is going to be much more difficult to maintain control of the Internet's key systems and keep them inside US borders as much as is possible. I also think this might kick off a new round of encryption and paranoia, which really is a good thing for consumers of tech resources in the long run. Bad for the spy types, because RSA1024 on everything will really put a damper on their ELINT gathering capabilities. They might have to go out and do some honest on the ground trade craft for a change.

Who ever is running the NSA should be sacked on the spot. Not for engaging in massive illegal wire tapping, but for being such a shallow idiot and not considering the fall out of being caught. You have to suppose that there are analysts writing papers about what will likely happen when they get caught, so the Director isn't paying attention to their own intel papers and projections. Fire him for being a fucking inept moron.

The rest of the world is barely surprised, and everyday Americans aren't educated enough to be outraged.

The recent Pew poll indicating a majority of Americans are okay with warrantless data aggregation is merely a sign of the times to come.

The supposed blowback from this revelation is barely a collective sigh, and front-page news-coverage already moved on to supposed chemical weapons in Syria and Iran's presidential election.

In other words, we're pretty much fucked.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (4, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44004821)

In other words more people will be aware of
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_CHAOS [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MERRIMAC [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_RESISTANCE [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Core [wikipedia.org]
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/18/patriot_games [foreignpolicy.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_SHAMROCK [wikipedia.org] (just an exercise ;) )
later http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MINARET [wikipedia.org]
A nice chilling effect on any protesting, politics.
The problem with RSA1024 on everything is the US gov will still have the tame US based OS makers, cell phone hardware as you enter your message before it hits any encryption efforts.
Also recall Total Information Awareness, Room 641A, Romas/COIN later Odyssey where also pointers to a public private partnership.
What the State cant get, they will buy in wholesale.
Its like been given a cheap rebadged Enigma unit in 1946 by the UK....safe for any diplomacy and commerce

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (2)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#44004961)

In other words, we're pretty much fucked.

Amen. You are. We are. In worse and more somber way than you and I may even be willing to envisage, according to this Gallup poll [gallup.com]

. Obviously, the institution that Americans trust the most, and by far, is the military. How many years are the USA away from a military coup ?

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004973)

The recent Pew poll indicating a majority of Americans are okay with warrantless data aggregation is merely a sign of the times to come.

Of course the Pew poll indicates this, do you really believe this poll reflects reality? Poll's are the easiest things to manipulate.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (5, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44004991)

The majority of Americans would be okay with forced re-education camps provided they were told they'd never be put into them.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (4, Insightful)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | about a year ago | (#44004997)

2nd amendment - sacred
4th amendment - meh...

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44004743)

The fact that they thought they could get away with it indefinitely makes you wonder what else they have been getting away with indefinitely.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#44004805)

To be honest, I feel all this will amount to some huffing and puffing at first, but in the end nothing will really change and the Average Jane and Joe will just live happily knowing their government is doing all this to stop those evil terrorists. They simply have no reason to believe anything to the contrary.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004825)

The NSA is a pack of dimwitted fuckers for pulling this, because the blow back when this was discovered (not if) would clearly far exceed any benefit they could possibly gain. Now, I think this might not be an entirely bad thing that they pulled this shit.

I suspect that as a result, the rest of the world is going to be deeply suspicious of the US in the future, and it is going to be much more difficult to maintain control of the Internet's key systems and keep them inside US borders as much as is possible. I also think this might kick off a new round of encryption and paranoia, which really is a good thing for consumers of tech resources in the long run. Bad for the spy types, because RSA1024 on everything will really put a damper on their ELINT gathering capabilities. They might have to go out and do some honest on the ground trade craft for a change.

Who ever is running the NSA should be sacked on the spot. Not for engaging in massive illegal wire tapping, but for being such a shallow idiot and not considering the fall out of being caught. You have to suppose that there are analysts writing papers about what will likely happen when they get caught, so the Director isn't paying attention to their own intel papers and projections. Fire him for being a fucking inept moron.

Already people in europe are moving away from US suppliers of mail, search engines and social networks. just check various forums, people are asking where to move. The next step will be the new EU data protection act, that until Snowden was leaning heavily towards the wishes of Google, Apple and the like thanks to heavy lobbying. Now comes the backlash. After that, who knows? Maybe an EU lockdown of some sorts, like government-market-joint effort for european mail, demands of https on all traffic leaving EU, all national and .eu-domains to follow certain legislations regadring privacy and security, mandated encryption for service providers...

Will it end in regulating internet connections to the US? possibly...

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004841)

I already switched mail accounts and corporate hosting to another country because of this. This is going to be bad for cloud services and hosting in general I think. The good thing is that it was so much easier to make everybody agree to finally use OpenPGP.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a year ago | (#44004963)

Yes I'm sure encrypting all your messages in such a way as they can now be proven mathematically to come from the same set of encryption keys (which is what OpenPGP does) will guarantee your anonymity.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (1, Informative)

rapiddescent (572442) | about a year ago | (#44004857)

I suspect that as a result, the rest of the world is going to be deeply suspicious of the US in the future, and it is going to be much more difficult to maintain control of the Internet's key systems and keep them inside US borders as much as is possible. I

That's definitely true. A UK political programme [bbc.co.uk] on TV last night that was focussed on the thorny issue of Scottish independence ended up talking about the US and their spying intentions. Even the politically mixed audience, who had been arguing from different positions all through the programme, joined in condemnation of the US for unwarranted spying on personal communications.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005003)

I can only hope they go into no one else' borders. Decentralise everything possible so this can never happen.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44005007)

It's been discovered before (eschalon, carnivore) and they managed to talk their way out of it, and it's too early to say if there are any consequences that will hit the NSA directly. I don't think they care if a few Senators lose their positions next election, and due to the strange US system a second term President is untouchable after a year or so into the term no matter how much of a lame duck they are (Watergate broke into the news almost immediately after an election). I'd say for exactly the same reasons J. Edgar Hoover was safe in his position the director of the NSA won't be touched.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (3, Informative)

aralin (107264) | about a year ago | (#44005115)

The guy running NSA should in the first place go to jail for perjuring himself at a congress hearing, when he denied the NSA is doing any of that couple months back. We are way past the, dumb and right into the territory of criminal. Despite the program potentially even being legal (really? are you kidding me?), he still lied to congress under oath. It's just like with Martha Stewart... to the jail he goes.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005123)

"Who ever is running the NSA should be sacked on the spot."

Pretty sure the NSA works under, and gets its money from, a higher authority. It could not do this without those higher authorities being aware, and was likely directed to do so.

Not to defend the NSA or anything, but at the same time, we've heard rumours of Echelon for years, and knew the capability existed. Anyone that didn't think this was happening is deluded.

Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about a year ago | (#44005215)

"According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: 'Everybody&rsquo;s a target; everybody with communication is a target.'" from <a href="http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/13/the-nsa-and-the-infrastructure-of-the-surveillance-state/">here</a>.

That could be FUD, but I'd not trust a key size that small for RSA anyway.

Internet Protection Act (A.8688/S.6779) will fix (4, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44004659)

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_162-57440895-501465/new-york-lawmakers-propose-ban-on-anonymous-online-comments/ [cbsnews.com]
This will ensure only comments that support that the USA promotes internet freedom will stay up on some US forums.
i.e. a proper balance between security and privacy.
"A web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate."

Re:Internet Protection Act (A.8688/S.6779) will fi (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44005043)

Fair enough.
My full name is DBASE III, and my home address is 127.0.0.0

Re:Internet Protection Act (A.8688/S.6779) will fi (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005073)

You'll never take me alive!

Major corollary of this text (5, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#44004663)

The US government IS an authoritarian government. Period.

Re:Major corollary of this text (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44005067)

That's when you get when you have someone like lazy baby Bush who just wants "results" - authoritarian is easy on the rulers and not so easy on the ruled. It's the new normal and someone as conservative as a constitutional lawyer doesn't make a lot of changes no matter what they think.
If all goes well it's still going to take decades to climb out of the hole caused by taking such shortcuts.

Re:Major corollary of this text (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005109)

Well, you're not the first to say this (Noam Chomsky's Failed States, anyone? I'm sure there's plenty others).

The thing relevant here is that the USoA recently affirmed itself as the just and rightful keeper of the internet, as the only one trustworthy enough to safeguard liberty and freedoms for all. So this is what they do with the trust they demand, eh?

What do you think other states are going to say about controlling the internet now? By thinking, nay, believing, the USoA people is the only one that matters, they're fucking it up for everybody, the world over. By the same token, it's up to the USoA people to clean up their act, or at least stop bothering the 200-odd other states on the planet so much.

Re:Major corollary of this text (2)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#44005135)

The US government IS an authoritarian government. Period.

True. Can you provide a list of goverments which are not?

Re:Major corollary of this text (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#44005209)

Yes. Norway, for example, an example of an "incorporative" state, which is a state that delegates activities typically monopolized by states ( in other countries ) to citizens' groups and initiatives.

Who is "we"? (2)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44004667)

I don't think "we" consented to this. The NSA did it on it's own and then lied to congress about it. Is it even legal?

Re:Who is "we"? (2)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#44004729)

Yes, there is a "we", for Americans. All citizens are engaged in a vast collective effort called the State. The NSA is an offspring of that state. Hence and therefore, yes there is a "we".

Second corollory of TFA and of the NSA scandal (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#44004679)

A South-African singer sang, already some years ago : "The sun is going down over America". How true.

Freedom? what freedom? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004687)

The goal has been to promote internet freedom around the world

Whose goal was that? The U.S. of A's? Really? That would be news. Mind you, I live in a country that has suffered 40 years of tyranny and dictatorship while the US was "promoting freedom" around. Yeah, right.

To me, what they really tried to promote (behind closed doors) is to convert the free Intenet into a golden cage. The "freedom" thing is just a red herring. Don't mind the little man behind the curtain.

Digital Disappointment (2)

some old guy (674482) | about a year ago | (#44004691)

The whole sordid wiretapping & internet monitoring mess comes as no shock to some (those who care about the associated issues and have keep abreast of the situation), and as no big deal to the vast majority (those who don't). In a trans-national globalized world, the quintessential paradox of government v. freedom now knows no flag or borders.

As the sound-bite value of the initial shock fades and the lowing herd is calmed by condescending platitudes, we sink back into business as usual, as it has since the first paleolithic tribal chief.

A lot of us saw the dawn of the information age as the potential for a second Enlightenment, when a universally free flow of ideas and wisdom would lift mankind as a whole into an era of freedom and prosperity. Universal education and information was going to save humanity. Silly us. All we really did was give the despots more tools.

What comes next? We'll probably have to wait for http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izQB2-Kmiic [youtube.com]

said so (4, Interesting)

Tom (822) | about a year ago | (#44004693)

I've been posting for years every time discussions about ICANN, DNS and other US-centric Internet systems came up that the party line "but only US control guarantees that it remains free and open" is bullshit at best.

Frankly, putting everything under UN control is probably the best thing we could do. Not because the UN were any less power-hungry or insane than any individual government, but because they have more trouble ever agreeing on anything, and less resources to do crap in secret.

Cue the USA-USA-USA answers...

Efficiency of scale! (2)

some old guy (674482) | about a year ago | (#44004885)

This is obvious to a diligent engineer. One central lot of despots and bureaucrats to bribe and cajole instead of lots of little national ones.

We can combine the efficiency of the EU with the scale of the UN. Brilliant!

Dark days, months and year ahead (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004697)

If you haven't connected the dots yet, it's simple.

They hoover down all the internet data, most of which crosses US Fibre and can be freely read. That's email, texts, VOIP, GPS, Maps, your photos, your videos. As US companies switched to https, that wasn't so useful. So they started an agenda of 'going dark', demanding CALEA II/UK 'Snoopers Charter' laws and using the secret courts to grant them direct access to Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple servers, 3 months at a time, using a power granted to the FBI, but used by the FBI on behalf of the NSA.

Sweden's FRA spying law, nobody could quite figure out why Sweden did that in 2008, but now we know the NSA started its program in 2007, a year before, its now clear:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FRA_law

All that data together with all government data on you, goes into a central database, where it can be data mined and searched at whim of the US military, without a warrant. There are no limits and no checks on the access to that database. Reporters, politicians, competing generals, all had leaks on them recently. In Europe politicians seem to face leaks regularly.

The excuse given is terrorism, and the military man testifies how he won't sacrifice "one American life". As if someone put him in charge and he can decide to throw away the constitutional balance and replace it with this "one American life" test. Obama has so far killed 4 Americans in drone strikes, 3 Americans were killed at Boston. 3 is less than 4, so much for terrorism as the excuse.

Lots of new databases are springing up and NSA is working hard with leaks and lobbying to get hold of them. e.g. Europe is to switch to its own banking system next year, SEPA, watch the PR and smear battle unfold, which will ultimately lead to the EU signing over our SEPA bank data to the NSA, 'for our safety'.

And the Canadian military leader has confirmed a Canadian surveillance program, nobodies quite sure whether their spying agency is loyal to their own country, or to the USA military.

There's dark days ahead.

It has already begun. (4, Interesting)

Camael (1048726) | about a year ago | (#44004749)

Countries such as Saudi Arabia and India have successfully demanded for access to blackberry mail.

Countries such as Syria and Turkey have demonstrated that they can cut off the internet from their country at will.

Iran is actively trying to promote their own intranet over the Internet at large.

The disclosure of the PRISM programme will only accelerate this trend and I forsee three major consequences arising from it :-

1) Now governments all over the world will demand that internet companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc disclose data that they want including the data of parties who are not their citizens. If the US will assert extra-territorial jurisdiction over the data of foreigners, so will they. And I don't see any excuse that these internet companies can use to refuse to disclose without being seen as hypocrites and as tools of the US government.

2) Governments all over the world, especially those who have not been historically friendly with the US will restrict or hinder the use of internet communication tools such as Facebook, Twitter, GMail and the like and accelerate the development of their own internal versions. To a certain extent this has already been taking place, for example VKontacte has largely supplanted Facebook in Russia, and in China Tencent, Sina, Baidu and its legions of smaller competitors rule.

3) PRISM will be a large or even fatal blow to internet freedom. Authoritarian governments will argue that they are justified in monitoring their citizens because the US does the same through PRISM.

Re:It has already begun. (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44005093)

Which sucks immensely if you've got stuff hosted on a server these spooks have access to, you're someone like Airbus and an intelligence connected company such as Boeing wants your stuff. I know that the Boeing example didn't happen on the internet but it's an example of US taxpayers footing the bill for private industrial espionage that was proven in court around a decade ago. Don't think that being a US company will make you immune from a rival that has intelligence connections.

Re:It has already begun. (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a year ago | (#44005155)

Which sucks immensely if you've got stuff hosted on a server these spooks have access to, you're someone like Airbus and an intelligence connected company such as Boeing wants your stuff. I know that the Boeing example didn't happen on the internet but it's an example of US taxpayers footing the bill for private industrial espionage that was proven in court around a decade ago. Don't think that being a US company will make you immune from a rival that has intelligence connections.

Well the Airbus affair has been public knowledge for years. Hopefully Airbus only made that mistake once. Prism is nothing more than a logical evolution of the ECHELON system and anybody who was surprised by finding out about it should reexamine their world view. That being said, nobody has the kind of access to the Internet backbone that the USA has and few have the economic resources to build the kind of surveillance systems the Americans have even if they did have access to the key points that 90% of all internet traffic flows through like the US does. So I'd say the USA's intelligence services have a very distinct advantage over other the intelligence services of other nations. Still, look on the bright side, perhaps this will lead to the decline of the Google and Facebook monopolies as consumers demand alternatives and finally bring about Linux's long awaited year on the desktop as governments around the world are finally forced to realise that 'Microsoft patch tuesday' actually seems to be 'NSA vulnerabilities-we-no-longer-need update tuesday'. Perhaps the rest of the world should organise a boycott of all US based online service providers and businesses that rely on the Internet? I wonder what reactions that would trigger?

You missed it ENTIRELY (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44005259)

Hopefully Airbus only made that mistake once.

There was no "mistake", they were targeted, and now anyone with "cloud" storage on a machine that the NSA or similar can get to can also be targeted.

So what do you think their "mistake" was? Competing with a US company?

I try to make things easy for people each time on this site with simple examples but even then I get people getting things backwards :( Please drink coffee or whatever gets your brain going before replying guys.

No shit, sherlock. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004753)

There's some bears over by those trees shitting like mad.

Even "better", you've now lost any reason to be believed when you prattle on about freedom and your leadership on it.

Ours to lose (4, Informative)

ebonum (830686) | about a year ago | (#44004771)

One area the US has dominated is all things internet. We don't focus on manufacturing things, so the internet is somewhat important to us. We provide a huge number of great services to the world. We might find that we have done billions in dollars in damage in the name of fighting terrorism. This is self inflicted. We may have already done more damage than any terrorist could ever dream of doing. Governments around the world may start to ban using internet companies based in the US or with US operations for their government workers. Public companies around the world have a duty to keep non-public data non-public. MS 360 is all about the cloud. This product might be DOA. Skype, Linked In, Facebook, etc. You don't want your banking data, business plans, unreleased financial data, etc. being accessed illegally. What is worse, is that this might have nothing to do with terrorism, and more to do with spying:
www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-14/u-s-agencies-said-to-swap-data-with-thousands-of-firms.html

What to do now? Invest as fast as you can in every little internet company outside the US that provides services that might compete against the US giants. Once they get a little momentum, they could take off and make huge profits.

It was for the US to lose. We chose this path. The traitors should be shot for treason (This is slashdot. Irony never seems to be understood. I'm not talking the guy in HK), but that will never happen.

Re:Ours to lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004813)

Oh please, other shoe hasn't dropped yet and you're screaming chicken little....

There's always another shoe....

Re:Ours to lose (3, Interesting)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year ago | (#44004931)

What is worse, is that this might have nothing to do with terrorism, and more to do with spying:

Or maybe it has more to do with this: http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/55749 [canadafreepress.com]

I sincerely hope that story is pure BS, but at the same time, the US government's behavior over the last few decades and particularly over the last decade or so makes it at least somewhat plausible. Particularly in light of all the recent large-scale military/police drills & rehearsals that have alarmed people across the US that the authorities are very reluctant to be forthcoming about, apparently by the type and nature of the forces and their tactics, preparing for large-scale domestic urban combat actions against large numbers of unarmed/lightly-armed civilians such as protesters and rioters.

Interesting times, indeed. Damn you unknown ancient Chinese writer of proverbs/curses!

Strat

Re:Ours to lose (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44005057)

Hmm. So the US has a bunch of (read: social, not electronic) network people who are using their connections and relative powerlessness to forge a common base, then Katamari Damacy everyone nearby, adding them to the ball before anyone notices. That'll happen.

Would actually fit the authoritarian personality type, though. Short on patience, respect 'mah authority,' very angry...the shoe does fit. And the more they are resisted, the angrier they get. You can't get more Beta in personality than this.

what makes you think it's different anywhere else? (3, Interesting)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44004839)

Do you seriously believe European or Asian governments aren't doing the same thing? They are actually closely collaborating with the US and exchanging spy data with each other on each others' population. The only differences are that (1) the NSA is technically better at it, and (2) in the US, people are actually making a fuss about it, and maybe it will change. The NSA spying is unconstitutional and we need to do something about it. Fortunately, we do have the legal means at our disposal in the US.

Re:what makes you think it's different anywhere el (2)

Pikewake (217555) | about a year ago | (#44005169)

I agree that other countries are doing the same thing. I don't think the main differences are the ones you listed, though.(1)NSA certainly have more resources than their counterparts in other countries, but I wouldn't automatically equal that to being "better at it". (2) People outside the US are making a fuss. The main difference from my POV is that most other democracies don't tout their spying as being "caretekers of the Internet" or "a bulwark against international terrorism". The spy and cheat and keep very quiet about it. When they get caught with their hands in someone else's cookie jar they do some low profile damage control and get back to business as usual.

Re:what makes you think it's different anywhere el (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44005241)

The main difference from my POV is that most other democracies don't tout their spying as being "caretekers of the Internet" or "a bulwark against international terrorism".

The US tried not to "tout" this at all, actually.

The spy and cheat and keep very quiet about it. When they get caught with their hands in someone else's cookie jar they do some low profile damage control and get back to business as usual.

So, when this happens in the US, it's a high profile scandal that immediately leads to congressional investigations and drafts of legislation. When it happens in Europe, it results in "low profile damage control" and "people going back to business as usual". Hence my conclusion that people outside the US aren't making a fuss about it; maybe some insignificant privacy groups, but neither politicians nor the public seem to care enough to make this a high profile issue.

People outside the US are making a fuss.

Yeah, they are making a holier-than-thou fuss about the NSA, while neglecting the privacy abuses in their own countries. I have been following Germany closely. This kind of spying has been going on since WWII and complies with Germany's laws. I know of no significant political efforts to change it.

It's simple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005015)

If it's the US government being authoritarian then it's ok. If it's another government then they need Democracy and therefore must be bombed.

Google Shareable:10 Projects to Help Liberate the (2)

chaosdivine69 (1456649) | about a year ago | (#44005053)

Web and start educating yourself. Download Project Byzantium Linux hybrid iso's and create your own mesh networks. Learn new technologies and use encryption. It CAN be done if you want it bad enough. In fact join their group, help them test and harden the technologies. Assist in translation and help them create documentation and instruction material (videos). Don't just take it sitting down, fight back!

here comes a chopper to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005175)

log your porn habits.

Simply Put (3, Insightful)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#44005211)

If you actually thought that no one was looking into what you did then you deserved it. I've said it a hundred times and I'll say it again, privacy is dead! If you want privacy then give up the internet, give you your cell phone, give up you credit cards and basically fall off the grid. The NSA didn't deal the blow, the blow was dealt long before the big whistle was blown, it was every person who thought they have privacy on the internet. So how about now people listen and believe me when I say, YOU DON'T HAVE PRIVACY ON THE INTERNET!!! SO deal with it.
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