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Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be Abolished

timothy posted 1 year,2 days | from the well-if-you'd-like-my-opinion-gentleman dept.

Security 297

First time accepted submitter MetalliQaZ writes "Last week, Dr. Joseph Bonneau learned that he had won the NSA's first annual "Science of Security (SoS) Competition." The competition, which aims to honor the best 'scientific papers about national security' as a way to strengthen NSA collaboration with researchers in academia, honored Bonneau for his paper on the nature of passwords. And how did Bonneau respond to being honored by the NSA? By expressing, in an honest and bittersweet blog post, his revulsion at what the NSA has become: 'Simply put, I don't think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form.'"

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297 comments

Don't forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405467)

On slashdot Google engineers are evil, thus NSA must be good.

Re:Don't forget (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405495)

Overridden by the NSA being the bad guys on Stargate.

Re:Don't forget (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405497)

My bare butthole is open to your rancid cock tadpoles. Why not take this opportunity to plunge your rotting cock right into my disgusting Bayer aspirin hole and party down with my feces? What say you?

Re:Don't forget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405611)

My bare butthole is open to your rancid cock tadpoles. Why not take this opportunity to plunge your rotting cock right into my disgusting Bayer aspirin hole and party down with my feces? What say you?

LOL. You just make it sound so nice.

Re:Don't forget (4, Funny)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405501)

The engineers are mere henchmen for the Brin. All hail the Brin and his manly spy glasses!

Re:Don't forget (0)

alen (225700) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405599)

no, its just that this guy thinks that its OK for Google to spy on everyone without their consent and collect more data than the NSA can dream of having, but yet the NSA is evile

Re:Don't forget (5, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405665)

Without their consent? That's new.

Re:Don't forget (4, Informative)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405671)

You have no clue the difference do you?

1.Google first is not spying on you. Partly because you actually know what they are doing, and spying requires secrecy, and google will tell you what they are doing.

2. Google cannot ruin your life like the NSA can.

3. You have no idea who collects more data.

Re: Don't forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405875)

Really? Google tells me every time they get my location with the processes running in the background when I have 2G/3G enabled in the device?

Re: Don't forget (1)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405931)

I did not state google will tell you every time they do something, but that they will tell you what they are doing. Nice strawman.

Re: Don't forget (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405681)

You can opt out of Google, but you can't opt out of NSA

Re: Don't forget (4, Insightful)

Mark Reynolds (2999477) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405683)

You can opt out of Google, but you can't opt out of NSA

Re: Don't forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405857)

Really? How many webpages these days dont use Google Analytics, Google Adwords, DoubleClick, jQuery or have a G+ button?

Re: Don't forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405917)

Block them. It's easy.

Re: Don't forget (1)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405941)

You still have a choice. You can either make your own version of those sites, or dont use those specific services. With the NSA your only choice is to be a hermit to use them.

Re: Don't forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44406051)

He didn't say web pages don't use google. He said you can opt out. It's your computer(*), so you can decide whether to run google's scripts or load their G+ buttons.

(*) Apple devices excepted, but you knew that up front before buying, so presumably you're OK with that.

Re:Don't forget (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405835)

The NSA and CIA are not allowed, by law, to spy on American citizens. I don't see why this is so difficult for people to get through their fucking heads.

Google sucking up as much customer information as they can may be sleezy (maybe) and can be questionable, depending on how they are using, selling, whatever that data . . . but it is a far fucking cry from the nature of the NSA/CIA doing it to our own citizens (except when Google and other companies then hand it over to the NSA/CIA, in which case it is just as fucking vile again).

Re:Don't forget (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405929)

The NSA and CIA are not allowed, by law, to spy on American citizens. I don't see why this is so difficult for people to get through their fucking heads.

Hear, hear. The whole debate would be so much more rational if the NSA and CIA would get it "through their fucking heads" that they are not allowed, by law, to spy on American citizens.

Re:Don't forget (3, Informative)

segin (883667) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405953)

It's not difficult; The concern is that these government organizations are blantantly, deliberately, and willing violating said law(s), and going ahead with mass spying on the public.

At least Google tell you up front that they're going to collect data on you in some form or another.. At no point do they ever state otherwise.

With the CIA and NSA, all we have is some dodged questions and weak promises that they're actually holding up to the letter of the law. We have no way to properly audit them to ensure that they're actually in compliance, and their [theblaze.com] congressional [huffingtonpost.com] admissions [foxnews.com] are rather concerning that they in all likelihood aren't.

Re:Don't forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405969)

One thing in this kind argument that always was strange is why it's somehow "vile" to spy on US citizens, but not vile to spy on the remaining 95% of people. Are they not people too? Does the same reasoning apply to torture?

Re:Don't forget (2)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44406027)

Because it is not enshrined in our laws that we dont spy on you, but it is enshrined in our laws and society that we dont spy on ourselves.

Re:Don't forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44406087)

OK, that makes it "illegal" (what is the punishment for it b.t.w.?), but not necessarily "vile". I'm sure it's illegal to spy in other countries too -- that doesn't stop anyone from doing it there, so I'm not sure why it would stop them from doing it in the US. Having double standards goes both ways, and is part of the reason why it got to this everyone spies on everyone situation.

Re:Don't forget (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405847)

You are a fucking idiot.

Don't want Google collecting your data? Don't use their services.

Don't want the NSA collecting your data? Too bad.

Re:Don't forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405911)

Any time you visit a webpage that uses any Google product or service they are tracking you. You are the fucking idiot.

Re:Don't forget (2)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405951)

Again you still have a choice to use that service or not. It is trivial to find out if a site you are using is using google services. If you chose not to figure it on it is your fault not google's.

Re:Don't forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44406045)

You don't have to use those web pages. I guess that thought never crossed your pea-sized brain.

Re:Don't forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44406101)

Any time you visit a webpage that uses any Google product or service they are tracking you.

No, they're not. You do not have to run their scripts. You can block packets to or from their address blocks. You can use browser extensions to avoid even making requests to their domains. You can carve google out of your internet world.

You own your computer. It obeys you. Grow a pair, and don't have it do things you don't want it to do. The internet is perfectly fine without using google or google services.

With the NSA, it is effectively impossible to avoid their metadata collection. You MIGHT be able to avoid most of their data collection by encrypting everything, but you certainly can't avoid their metadata collection unless you stop using the internet entirely.

You are the fucking idiot.

Ahem.

Google is part of the NSA... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405503)

So he wants Google to be abolished.

Re:Google is part of the NSA... (0)

wmac1 (2478314) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405647)

He has won the prize because of his collaboration with NSA, but he did not expect the unprofessional NSAs to reveal his identity?

Re:Google is part of the NSA... (2)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405675)

He wrote the paper for IEEE.

Re:Google is part of the NSA... (2)

joebagodonuts (561066) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405729)

No. Google is CIA, not NSA.

too much (underlying) left-wing bias for my taste! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405543)

"[...] America’s core problems are in Washington and not in Fort Meade [...]" a part of the (sort) blog post that i would prefered in the summary instead of the choosen, or at least also present...

Re:too much (underlying) left-wing bias for my tas (3, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405753)

This times eleventy billion. If congress, etc., didn't want the NSA they could change it. Besides, the ability to view private communication has been a core capability and even the purpose of national spy organizations forever.

The larger question is what government is allowed to do with it. Honestly it would be disappointing, even outrageous if the NSA didn't have the technical ability to collect this kind of data. Being on the cutting edges of information gathering and technology were crucial in the allies winning WW2, for instance. Certainly russia and china are champing at the bit to do it. This is the major reason why they keep pushing to "decentralize the internet" and wrest control from the US for their own purposes.

The hijacking of government for political purposes (e.g., the IRS scandal) is far more worrying simply because it's a clear indicator that those in power have no qualms about abusing it. Hence ultimately you could blame not congress but rather the electorate.

Re:too much (underlying) left-wing bias for my tas (1)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405769)

The ability to capture it is not the issue, it is who they are capturing it from that is the issue.

Re:too much (underlying) left-wing bias for my tas (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405923)

IRS scandal? Did you even read how that ended up?
http://www.wnd.com/2013/07/there-was-never-any-irs-scandal-after-all/

Re:too much (underlying) left-wing bias for my tas (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | 1 year,1 day | (#44406015)

Honestly it would be disappointing, even outrageous if the NSA didn't have the technical ability to collect this kind of data.

It really wouldn't; from my perspective, they're just a waste of tax dollars.

Hence ultimately you could blame not congress but rather the electorate.

Blame both.

Suicided in 10, 9, 8, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405549)

He did seem kind of down lately...

Public resignation? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405553)

Google is a huge part of the surveillance machine. If you oppose surveillance, aren't you morally bound to stop enriching a big part of the problem? Is this what you signed up for? To help them build the apparatus of tyranny?

Maybe a mass wave of resignations among the 9 would effect positive change? Maybe we are all responsible to do our part to stop this monstrosity?

I am afraid to post this comment. I am sure that I will get categorized as a dissident for it. I would say a lot more, but my freedom of speech is chilled.

Re:Public resignation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405605)

we consent to have our emails scanned by google to offer profile targetted advertising in exchange for a free service. it isn't implicit consent to anything else

Re:Public resignation? (5, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405855)

More accurately, the internet is part of the surveillance machine. Google is picked on regularly as they're the biggest collector of information, but they also have pretty much the best record for privacy.

Shill much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405925)

Google has the "best record for privacy?!?!?"

WTF? Their whole platform is a rape of privacy. They supported CISPA so they could share the fruits of their privacy rape legally with other corps and govs. And now we know that they willingly spread our cheeks for the NSA/FBI.

FUCK YOU SHILL.

Re:Shill much? (2)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44406061)

And so did MS, Yahoo, and virtually every other internet group out there who collects data. Personally I would suspect an AC of being a shill before a person who is not an AC.

Re:Public resignation? (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405999)

I am afraid to post this comment. I am sure that I will get categorized as a dissident for it.

You are the heart of the problem. The brave aren't easily terrorized. The government has acted criminally, and I voice my dissent publicly.

Not that it will do any good.

Politicians .... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405557)

From the Winner of the prize:

"And like many American citizens I’m ashamed we’ve let our politicians sneak the country down this path."

From some of the politicians:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) : "It’s called protecting America," Feinstein said at a Capitol Hill news conference.

"Protecting America!" - that's right up there with "Think of the Children!"

"Right now I think everyone should just calm down and understand this isn't anything that's brand new," Reid said.

Al Gore
In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in a statement:

"This type of secret bulk data collection is an outrageous breach of Americans’ privacy."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he was "glad" the NSA was collecting phone records.

"I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States," Graham said in an interview on "Fox and Friends."

The "Catbert" quote....

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) also claimed that reports of the NSA collecting phone records was "nothing particularly new."

"Every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this," Chambliss said. "And to my knowledge we have not had any citizen who has registered a complaint relative to the gathering of this information."

Bold mine. I think Saxby doesn't understand "secret surveillance" means.

Senator Ted Cruz
Disturbing pattern emerging. Govt wants your DNA, prayer content & now...phone records?

And lastly, Mike Lee:

Mike Lee
#NSA surveillance of #Verizon cell phone records illustrates why I voted against Patriot Act

I think everyone who said he was "UnAmerican" or UnPatriotic" should apologize.

He's 1 hell of a guy imo... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405597)

Who spoke his mind honestly & w/out hesitation or reservation in a "politically correct world" - It's the same reason I like Linus Torvald's style too... @ least you KNOW where you stand, without question, with folks who do that (rather than smile @ you while lying to your face & sending knives into your back).

* I respect him - not just for his accomplishments, but his candor! It takes courage to do that nowadays, it really does... for fear of "retribution" mainly.

APK

P.S.=> If only we had political leaders like that, you know? apk

Shortsighted techie ... (0, Troll)

golodh (893453) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405601)

There we go again.

A techie who never had any responsibility for whatever part of national security (and never will have) feels 'Simply put, I don't think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form.'

A very "American" sentiment, approximately equivalent to the "thinking" that led to the US marked inferiority in decryption and signals intelligence in the 1930's which in turn allowed Pear Harbour to happen.

Yes, there are good reasons to reign in the NSA when it comes to reading every email sent within, to, from, or through the US. Even though all electronic communications must be "tappable" unless you want to provide absolutely everyone with a safe channel for communication about their criminal, terrorist, or otherwise hostile business.

But those reasons don't abolish the need to have a functional NSA (and not some crippled shadow of it).

There is a difficulty of course: cripple the NSA, and you give free and secure communication to all sorts of undesirables. Allow the NSA unchecked, and make people transparent to the Government, (and worse expose them to typically stupid Government dragnet trawling). I'm not sure myself which way we ought to go, but I'm pretty sure that abolishing the NSA isn't one of the sane ones.

False dichotomy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405641)

So fucking what if we give criminals and "terrorists" a "safe channel for communication?"
Communication alone is not a danger. Boo hoo - the law enforcers have to do some good old hard work.

Communication is sometimes the only trace (-1, Troll)

golodh (893453) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405841)

Safe communication means safe means for propaganda, avenues for radicalisation and recruitment, and for coordination and planning. And that's plenty harmful.

If you really want to know how important secure communication is considered, ask the military, the diplomatic service, and most companies.

I'm all for good old detective work, given a suspect. But the trick is to get a suspect in the first place. Monitoring communication helps enormously in becoming aware of suspects.

Re:Communication is sometimes the only trace (4, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405861)

Even if doing so is in violation of your oath to defend the constitution? Isnt this how the corrupt cops think?

Re:Communication is sometimes the only trace (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | 1 year,1 day | (#44406029)

It's okay as long as we catch the bogeymen.

Re:Shortsighted techie ... (5, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405699)

Fallacy. Just because you feel the NSA is overboard, and not conducive to a free society, does not mean you dont work on crytography and the such. The problem US citizens have with the NSA is not that they have the capability to capture data, but who they are capturing it on violates their oath.

Re:Shortsighted techie ... (0)

golodh (893453) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405877)

@thaylin

So in essence you agree that we need an NSA of sorts (and I agree), but that it should work differently when it comes to tapping US internal emails (which is fine with me).

It's one thing to disapprove of internal communications being put filtered a dragnet, but what do you propose instead? Nothing? And if not, who is to carry it out? The FBI?

Chances are that the FBI lacks the technical means to do this, and funding them do build up such capabilities will be very expensive as my guess is that you can't cut the NSA's capabilities without compromising their ability to monitor foreign traffic.

Re:Shortsighted techie ... (3, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405975)

Neither. There should be no warrentless spying of American citizens. Putting forth the forth the question who should do it tries to put me into a choice between people who can do it at varying levels of efficiency.

I call NSA slashtroturfing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405713)

As per the congressional investigations into what we knew before Pearl Harbor -- and as per records in any public library before the 2001 reclassification act, AND testified to by the fact that some of the volumes and some of the pages are new, AND also to be confirmed by librarians that the substitutions did occur, followed by a failed lawsuit...

the US government, including the president, KNEW when, what, and where on Pearl Harbor ahead of time, but the president of the United States wanted to pressure Americans into accepting the war.

I call BS on your post, and further I call NSA slashtroturfing.

As of this point, NSA reclassification is being used against US citizens, for the benefit of the NSA.

You're "short-sighted" - how/why? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405751)

"Absolute Power Corrupting Absolutely" in the long-haul. There is a reason that old adage exists you know... it usually comes true, and history's FULL of examples of it & if you keep reading? You'll see WHERE I got that idea, and from whom (an expert in the field, without a doubt).

I.E.-> You put that much power in anyone's hands, sooner or later, it goes to their heads, & they abuse it (not sure I'd be "above it" either myself - 1 'bad day' & poof - you've got Caligula!).

I figure it this way: When the ONLY guy foreign dignitaries often will talk to since he has honor and is trustworthy says this http://now.msn.com/jimmy-carter-says-the-nsa-has-eliminated-a-functioning-democracy [msn.com] it's spot-on.

Lastly - this fellow? I'd put his intelligence FAR above politicians, and I will go with the insights of intelligent folks every time vs. the less intelligent. How about you?

No - I suspect that YOU are 1 of those getting "fat & happy" off of this somehow, hence your statement. Defunding the NSA would "upset your applecart" - the powers that be WANT to keep the status quo.

Why?

Heck - transparently simple: They're ALL wealthy men (including our politicians the puppets of the REAL controllers) getting wealthier is why & at OUR expense as taxpayers. Are they doing a good job? Please, lol... HELL NO! Look @ the economy, the US credit rating, etc./et al!

I can think of MANY WAYS to spend that money more wisely, to greater efficacy/ROI & for the greater good & I am no "genius" or economist either (then neither is our "rule of law" (secret law/secret courts, wtf - they're civil servants NOT masters, nothing more)!

It doesn't take one to fix our main problem: The economy. Instead of building war machines, build jobs. Be "good government" for real, & do "laissez faire" but, as good government say "Ok, fine - but we're going to tax your profit gains on offshoring, hit you with a fine too - you'll stop: It will defeat your 'raison d'etre' as business: Profit". Do right by the MAJORITY of your constituents instead of only yourselves & those that TRULY control "the best politicians money can REALLY buy", for real.

Plus - Who the hell made us the "policeman (gestapo) of the planet anyhow? Why are we sticking our noses into others' lives overseas when we have issues @ home to fix?? Oh, we KNOW who (the real puppeteers/war profiteers is who that REALLY run things - the infamous 1% is who!).

APK

P.S.=> Nobody in their RIGHT MIND likes this stuff going on, period. Nobody That is, unless they too are part of the "good ole' boy" network getting fat, rich & happy from it on NO BID CONTRACTS (halliburton) - they won't bitch @ all, while the rest of us get unions busted, jobs offshored, and seeing these "brainiacs" (not) fuck the economy up spending on bullshit like this used against us, and spent on NO WMDs FOUND WARS (false pretense to go after someone who had something you want, or crossed the "powers that be").

---

1.) Clapper & Alexander outright LIED to congress (twisting words using DIRECTLY! Well, might as well be, using directed multigraph discrete math work & NARUS devices set @ the "choke point" nexus of communique.

2.) Just like how they CLAIM there is no easy CENTRAL way to query their own mail but they do it to everyone else - I found that hilarious & disgusting, since mail is really DBMail and to select/insert/update/delete into those, you NEED to have abilities for that... What they told us, unless someone can show me otherwise, is total bullshit. Hypocritical bullshit). I.E.-> We can do it to you, but nobody can to us @ the NSA... that's bullshit.

3.) Screwing with protesters was from the FEEBS http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/29/fbi-coordinated-crackdown-occupy [guardian.co.uk]

4.) The IRS used against political opponents of the current regime in office http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_IRS_scandal [wikipedia.org] & got caught - nobody lost their job.

Same with Clapper & Alexander... WTF!

Heck, they lied to Congress, nothing was done. The head of the IRS didn't lose her job either. I suspect that Clapper, Alexander, & the IRS head told Obama "Pal, you fire me? I will let the dogs out on the FACT you gave ME THE 'GO-AHEAD' to do these things and I will take you down with me. Try it!". That's how "politicians" operate. Thuggery, bribery, etc.!

---

I started looking at all of this madness & lunacy and just was utterly disgusted. Most folks, are. This is insane. Truly insane.

So - Why does this concern me and it should you all as well?

I was told decades ago by a history professor of mine in collegiate academia this: "Totalitarian regimes start with 'little laws' they pass, getting an inch, & reaching for a mile: Before you know it, you are Nazi Germany/Soviet Russia USA: DO NOT THINK IT CANNOT HAPPEN HERE"

I used to think HISTORY was a waste of my time then as a young man - no practical application to job pursuits I had in mnid.

That was until I figured out that the "powers that be" use it as a guidebook for scamming the populace. Polishing up the mistakes those that set the pattern for what they're doing messed up on, & just trying it again, often a generation or two later. These guys have to be reined in. No questions asked.

Their constituency in the USA isn't happy either http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/23/19644154-nbcwsj-poll-faith-in-dc-hits-a-low-83-percent-disapprove-of-congress?lite [nbcnews.com] and I certainly didn't see their machinations stop the Boston Bomber either.

The trade off/cost-benefit ratio of effectiveness vs. actual crmiinals with their bogus programs is far outweighed by the potentials for misuse.

As far as misuse of powers? See just SOME of the examples above that make folks have that all-time low faith in government http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/23/19644154-nbcwsj-poll-faith-in-dc-hits-a-low-83-percent-disapprove-of-congress?lite [nbcnews.com]

What they're doing is dangerous to us all, no questions asked, & fits the pattern described to me by my former history Prof. (smart man, he left a real impression on me back in 1985 with that statement quoted above in fact. I never forgot it, but felt then as a young man it was bullshit... funny how his words are coming to pass now, nearly 30 yrs. later)...

... apk

Re: Shortsighted techie ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405811)

Very well put.

Re:Shortsighted techie ... (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405907)

On the contrary. We all have responsibility for national security. And what is being done today by our government in the name of national security threatens national security.

Re:Shortsighted techie ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405939)

The way you write Government with a capital "G" says it all.

Re:Shortsighted techie ... (4, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405965)

There are no LEGAL reasons to surveil the people of the United States en mass. It doesnt matter how safe you want to feel, what you ask for is illegal and has been for a very long time. The word Papers in the 4th covers not just paper, but all communications from now until the heat death of the universe. Time or technology does not change these ideals

Re:Shortsighted techie ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405989)

How do your master's boots taste?

I guess as long as you have your Big Mac and Dancing with the Stars, you're perfectly content with the way the US is run.

Re:Shortsighted techie ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44406031)

Yes, there are good reasons to reign in the NSA when it comes to reading every email sent within, to, from, or through the US. Even though all electronic communications must be "tappable" unless you want to provide absolutely everyone with a safe channel for communication about their business.

FTFY

Re:Shortsighted techie ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44406047)

A techie who never had any responsibility for whatever part of national security (and never will have) feels 'Simply put, I don't think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form.'

Not everyone feels we should sacrifice our freedoms for security, you know. Not everyone is a coward (or a government cheerleader) like you.

Bonneau's paper (4, Informative)

hobarrera (2008506) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405607)

The paper in question is available here [jbonneau.com] in case anybody is interested why the NSA granted him the award.

Re:Bonneau's paper (3, Interesting)

wmac1 (2478314) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405655)

Very good work of destroying the whole point of privacy. And who the fuck allowed him access to 70 million passwords? Google? Shame on google then.

Re:Bonneau's paper (2)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405705)

As someone I assume is in the tech industry, you should know that some people in companies have access to the passwords the company stores, right?

Re:Bonneau's paper (3, Informative)

BSDstef (263739) | 1 year,1 day | (#44406075)

First line of the Abstract:

We report on the largest corpus of user-chosen passwords ever studied, consisting of anonymized password histograms representing almost 70 million Yahoo! users, [...]

Maybe relative to pure cringing... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405615)

That post struck me as pretty abjectly apologetic for the NSA. Sure "I don’t think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form."; but then, same paragraph no less, a bunch of fuzz about how visiting the NSA was pretty neat, and the engineers there seemed like a smart, likeable bunch, who asked good questions, and the problem is clearly with Politicians, not with the NSA (lets just not talk about the...somewhat creative...approach to informing anyone outside the NSA what the NSA does, right?)

What was he expecting? The NSA to actually be running (probably) the world's most sophisticated electronic surveillance program with a skeleton crew of idiots and sadists? Were they supposed to sneer and wear evil henchman uniforms? Perhaps more importantly, why would the niceness-or-not of the NSA minions me met be relevant to much of anything? It's sort of a commonplace at this point that you can set an organization composed almost entirely of just decent regular folks on an arbitrarily unpleasant path, and that even the most beneficent of institutions can't avoid hiring a total asshole from time to time.

It's only evil unless Google does it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405627)

Only Google can be trusted with all our personal data!

Re: It's only evil unless Google does it (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405755)

You would be right to point that out once Google can imprison you indefinitely and torture you in Gitmo.

Or do hundreds of other life ruining things.

Is everybody scared of the NSA ? (3, Insightful)

tebee (1280900) | 1 year,2 days | (#44405629)

Interestingly, out of the first 13 posts on this topic, only 2 have been by named individuals, the rest by anonymous cowards.

Is everyone so scared of getting on the NSA's "of interest" list, no one want's to be identified? Maybe our new tyrannical overlords have won already.

Re:Is everybody scared of the NSA ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405691)

Yes. and yes, they have...

Re: Is everybody scared of the NSA ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405721)

Yes. No. Like the report who outed Petraeus, some are dead.

Re:Is everybody scared of the NSA ? (3, Insightful)

joebagodonuts (561066) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405825)

Why must it be fear? Why can't the motive simply be "What I post on Slashdot is nobody's business"?

Re:Is everybody scared of the NSA ? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,1 day | (#44406049)

Why can't the motive simply be "What I post on Slashdot is nobody's business"?

If it's nobody's business, why post it?

The height of irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,2 days | (#44405679)

... when somebody working for the evil mass-spying corporation Google complains about an evil government mass-spying corporation.

Re:The height of irony... (1)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405737)

you dont know Google is collecting data on you, or are you just incapable of operating a computer without the help of Google?

Re:The height of irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405801)

I'm actively avoiding most of Google's tentacles. Most people don't.

Re:The height of irony... (1)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405837)

Because there is no reason to.

Re:The height of irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405903)

Man, you are one brainwashed, ignorant luser.

Re:The height of irony... (1, Offtopic)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405991)

When you cant win, ad hominem. Right?

Re:The height of irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44406003)

Except I did win. You are a troll who doesn't know what he/she/it is talking about.

Re:The height of irony... (0)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44406071)

you lost because you had to resort to a logical fallacy to give yourself a belief that you "won".

Re:The height of irony... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | 1 year,1 day | (#44406063)

I see plenty of reasons. Whatever information corporations collect is typically given to the government without much of a fight.

Profiling fail (5, Funny)

gweihir (88907) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405703)

If the NSA cannot even accurately profile somebody they are about to give an award to and predict his response, what good are they? It seems all this massive surveillance is not only hugely immoral and dangerous, it also seems to be completely broken with regard to its stated mission. WTF are they collecting this data for?

Re:Profiling fail (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405773)

"WTF are they collecting this data for?"

To identify conservatives for "random" IRS audits.

Re:Profiling fail (3, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405985)

His statement isn't a troll, though it is pithy. Remember also when S&P downgraded the US' credit rating. This administration loudly and proudly announced an IRS investigation into them.

Displease the political masters, and they sic the 60,000+ laws on you. Certainly they must be violating something -- historically that's the purpose of myriad laws, so you can't move without violating something, which gives them an excuse to hall you in when you get uppity.

Seriously, this is how corrupt nations operate. Nobody can move without violating laws. Because people like to move so they can make food to shove down their gullet, they have to violate these laws. This allows local officials to demand kickbacks to look the other way. The higher you get, the more kickbacks you take.

Wrapping it in democracy just means politicians have to play games with public justifications and cover stories. Here's the kicker -- the laws can be perfectly valid, and still they get in the way such that the officials get paid to get back out of the way. All right out in the freaking open and legal.

Re:Profiling fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405793)

ooh or maybe they don't care about his completely uninformed response any more than they care about the millions of other uninformed responses. ever consider that?

Re:Profiling fail (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405823)

If the NSA cannot even accurately profile somebody they are about to give an award to and predict his response, what good are they?

Really? That is such bullshit. He wasn't being profiled in the first place, accurately or not. He was receiving an award for the work he did

Your argument assumes the NSA's goal is fascism, which if it were, we would have a lot more evidence of actual fascism - rather than just the potential for fascism.

Re:Profiling fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44406081)

rather than just the potential for fascism.

Only if you don't view the mere collection of the data as an abuse of power, which is how I see it. The NSA is corrupt and disgusting; it makes me vomit, like much of the government and corporations.

Re:Profiling fail (3, Interesting)

joebagodonuts (561066) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405859)

Are you kidding me? The NSA loved this blog post. Hell, they may have even wrote it.

In summary, it said NSA good, politicians in Washington bad. The same politicians who are now getting people riled up, all because they want to take the NSA down a notch or two.

Snowden's "leaks" and the controversy in their wake, are part of a carefully thought-out campaign to take power away from the NSA.

ITM!

Re:Profiling fail (1)

Livius (318358) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405943)

It's to have the information ready at hand when they start to profile him.

Which, of course, is just as evil, but, as you point out, less effective.

Re:Profiling fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405957)

Leverage

Kerry vows to put the screws to Venezuela over Snowden – report [rt.com]

Washington will also begin prosecuting prominent Venezuelan politicians on allegations of drug trafficking, money laundering and other criminal actions, Kerry allegedly said, and specifically mentioned some names in his conversation with the Venezuelan FM.

The real value of the NSA data collection is to be able to extort people into doing what the US gov wants. Putting pressure on foreign politicians, business leaders, etc. is not new, but now the US gov can dig up dirt illegally on practically anyone in world. This is why I thought the House vote on defunding the NSA was just a show. Basically, those candidates that needed protection on civil liberties issues in upcoming elections will get it by voting to defund, though I don't really think that there was really any doubt the amendment would be defeated.

Detriment to science (2)

erikkemperman (252014) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405707)

I was wondering about the relationship between NSA and academia, only the other way around. It's probable that they've got their eye on relevant courses (math, cs) and must by now employ a significant number of top-shelf scientists -- whose insights are not likely shared academically, certainly not in a timely fashion.

This seems to me quite detrimental to scientific progress in these areas.

Re:Detriment to science (2)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405745)

I know at the Uni I work for we have a couple labs dedicated to their projects. They give a great deal of funding to Unis and students specifically to work on projects. Just look up the NSF grants.

America . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405815)

like it leave it.

Can't do it (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405921)

because the USA has unsustainable government debt and trade deficits. People, products and services need to flow without interruption that would be expected of nations that have government and trade surpluses. By reason of the necessary flow, all that moves must be regarded as a potential enemy because everyone is free to convert to a religion that has demonstrated its potential for harm.

At certain times a society has to reevaluate (2)

korbulon (2792438) | 1 year,1 day | (#44405971)

Its priorities. The US has reached such an ethical crossroads: either strong state security or extensive individual liberty. Can't have both.

And yet he works for Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405981)

Do we need to list all the ways that Google has eroded privacy and personal liberty in the US and the rest of the world?

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,1 day | (#44405995)

This headline is not at all what he said. The title, much like the cake, is a lie.

Remember Wall Street (5, Insightful)

Livius (318358) | 1 year,1 day | (#44406005)

The NSA is just like a too big to fail bank. They believe they no longer need to hide their evil nature and criminal activity. They are, regrettably, correct in their belief.

The Wall Street banks, private sector entities with (in theory) strict oversight, gambled away other people's money, and then the victims were forced to hand over taxes to replace the money the banks lost. Expect the "punishment" that the NSA receives now that their bubble (secrecy) has collapsed to be equally punitive.

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