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Schneier: The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the it's-mine-now dept.

United States 413

Nerdfest writes "Bruce Schneier writes in The Atlantic: 'Bluntly: The government has commandeered the Internet. Most of the largest Internet companies provide information to the NSA, betraying their users. Some, as we've learned, fight and lose. Others cooperate, either out of patriotism or because they believe it's easier that way. I have one message to the executives of those companies: fight.'"

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413 comments

The Atlantic (-1, Flamebait)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#44545443)

Consider the source, take with grain of salt, etc.

It sure isn't the magazine it once was.

Bruce Schneier (5, Insightful)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 8 months ago | (#44545545)

This isn't "The Atlantic" reporting; it's an article by Bruce Schneier. This guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Schneier [wikipedia.org]

Feel free to dismiss his concerns if you like, but don't dismiss them just because you don't like the mag they happen to be printed in.

Re:Bruce Schneier (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545691)

Bruce might not be easily dismissed, but he seems to ignore the basic fact that the Internet belonged to the alphabet soup agencies (as ARPANET) long before it came to be used by the general public

Re:Bruce Schneier (5, Insightful)

flayzernax (1060680) | about 8 months ago | (#44545775)

It did long ago, but it got subsidized by corporate and private interests. Universities, and nerds. AND OUR TAX MONEY. FOR US. FOR THE GREATER COMMON GOOD... sorry for all the caps. They have every right to produce and roll out their own hardware and bug it. But not on the networks we connect to the backbone. Let them monitor their backbones and sell it as a service. But really ATnT should care. But they don't they serve the same interests as the alphabet soup agencies, just under a different guise.

Not so they could catch terrorists "easier". We are defeating the very purpose for which the internet was "funded".

We **** Own **** our society and its works. Equally.

Re:Bruce Schneier (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about 8 months ago | (#44545799)

By that token we are also responsible for voicing our opinions on how the internet should be managed both politically and economically. And academically. Or however it is you participate in your democracy.

Re:Bruce Schneier (4, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | about 8 months ago | (#44545849)

While historically true, just like pieces of land over the centuries the internet has changed hands several times. Who originally built it is a footnote but not of all that much importance at this point, esp since after the alphabet soup it went through decades of primarily being shaped by academics and researchers, then decades of being shaped by private enterprise. Even if they had a historical claim to the 'internet' it could be argued they lost it a long time ago and what exists today is only abstractly connected to 'their' internet.

Re:Bruce Schneier (5, Insightful)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 8 months ago | (#44545881)

Yes, and Manhattan Island belonged to the Lenape tribe long before Europeans came to America. That doesn't give the tribe's surviving members the undisputed right to barricade the Holland Tunnel.* Times change.

* Although that would be kind of cool.

Re:Bruce Schneier (0)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#44545769)

This isn't "The Atlantic" reporting; it's an article by Bruce Schneier. This guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Schneier [wikipedia.org]

Feel free to dismiss his concerns if you like, but don't dismiss them just because you don't like the mag they happen to be printed in.

The magazine giving print space to one of his articles is symptomatic of the turn of the publication. It had its good days, but they're long over.

Who is better publishing about security concerns? (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 8 months ago | (#44545873)

Bruce Schneier is sell-promoting at times, but he is the best we have for publishing about security concerns.

Question: Is what was learned about the NSA is the only thing that isn't legal?

Re:Bruce Schneier (-1, Flamebait)

bool2 (1782642) | about 8 months ago | (#44545883)

Your logical fallacy is: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/appeal-to-authority [yourlogicalfallacyis.com]

Re:Bruce Schneier (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545969)

You probably should actually read what you linked to. He did not say the article is right simply because it was written by Bruce Schneier; he responded to the ignoramus above who claimed that nothing from The Atlantic should be believed.

Re:The Atlantic (5, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 8 months ago | (#44545617)

More seriously, Bruce is relatively respected, certainly more than any 3 letter agency at the moment. And moreover, having actually read the article, he's right. That's exactly what's happening. No foreign or multinational will use US based servers and services from here on out, or very very few naive ones will. People in the US are looking to use non US servers. That alone is a telling statement.

Re:The Atlantic (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545793)

People in the US shouldn't be looking at non-US services. Traffic that crosses the border is the traffic that's most likely to be snapped up and actively analysed. Of course, that government-supplied incentive not to communicate with the outside world is horrifying in its own right.

Do you think that will make any difference? (4, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | about 8 months ago | (#44545945)

So they wont use US based servers and services? So where are they going to go? Any country they go to will have a government with a 3 letter agency spying on the servers and services and passing it to the NSA.

Not only that but the NSA could use other means to spy on multinationals and turn them into NSA friendly multinationals.

Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 8 months ago | (#44545697)

This subject of the article is not new, we have seen similar information for years. The same can be said with Snowden, he was just the most recent in a list of whistle blowers warning you of what's happening.

I agree with the articles point that you are not safe. I also agree that people fool themselves into thinking that if they play on the team they will be protected. Those points are not new, and not unique to TFA either. I have relatives that were young Germans in the 30s so hear from first hand accounts how "team" players were treated. In addition to personal experiences, I read history books which are full of examples of how there is no safety in being a "team" player and how much danger there is in a Government collecting this much data on citizens.

You dismiss the article because of the source, yet offer no counter to their position or opinion. The best you can do is toss out a Red Herring/Ad hominem fallacy to dismiss the thoughts in the article? Not that I would be surprised, this is /. after all.

Re:The Atlantic (4, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 8 months ago | (#44545825)

Does that bio mention anything about him offering to pay the legal bills of those companies who decide to "fight"? Or offering to visit the company execs in prison when the feds put them there for running their mouths to the press?

We can't win without eliminating FISA. (5, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about 8 months ago | (#44545461)

The only way to win this is to get FISA eliminated. Without first eliminating the gag orders and the Star Chamber...I mean FISA courts, we cannot succeed on the whole.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (3, Interesting)

Desler (1608317) | about 8 months ago | (#44545571)

FISA is way to entrenched to be simply eliminated after 35 years. Hell even when NSLs were initially created with the 1978 FISA act they were actually voluntary to respond to and there were no codified penalties for not complying. They were also extremely limited in scope for whom they could be used by and against. It wasn't until the 2001 FISA amendments as part of the Patriot Act that NSLs got especially heinous.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 8 months ago | (#44545851)

FISA is way to entrenched to be simply eliminated after 35 years.

That's a good illustration of our system being one that features positive feedback loops. It has to keep getting worse until it collapses under its own weight.

It wasn't intended to be that way, but empirical evidence shows it to be the case. Judging by how every new law seems to have its own set of unintended consequences, I'm skeptical of anybody who would claim to be able to design a system that would be resistant against such biases.

Sometimes the only winning move is not to play.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (1)

elucido (870205) | about 8 months ago | (#44545923)

Eliminate FISA and replace it with what? Tribunals? One guy deciding everyone?

Some form of court has to exist.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (2)

intermodal (534361) | about 8 months ago | (#44545985)

We've got plenty of courts. Constitutional ones. Ones that aren't exactly the reason we have a sixth amendment.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 8 months ago | (#44546081)

How is FISA unconstitutional? Congress was imbued with the Constitutional power to "constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court" in article 1, section 8. The FISA court is an inferior court and thus squarely falls under the powers of Congress to create.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 8 months ago | (#44545987)

Very true. What needs to happen is to scale things back and bring in some accountability. Simply eliminating it means you go back to the president using the intelligence services as his own personal army to spy on his political opponents. At least FISA requires some minimal bar of proof to approve something even if after-the-fact.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545957)

It amazes me how easily people in the U.S. accept corruption in their government.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 8 months ago | (#44546011)

Where did I accept anything? Acknowledging what is reality does not mean liking or accepting the status quo.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (3, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | about 8 months ago | (#44545965)

FISA is way to entrenched to be simply eliminated after 35 years. Hell even when NSLs were initially created with the 1978 FISA act they were actually voluntary to respond to and there were no codified penalties for not complying. They were also extremely limited in scope for whom they could be used by and against. It wasn't until the 2001 FISA amendments as part of the Patriot Act that NSLs got especially heinous.

Just because no penalties are codified on the document it doesn't mean unwritten penalties don't exist. Any time you piss a bunch of powerful people off there is a penalty whether it is written into the law or not.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 8 months ago | (#44546043)

Entrenchment is no excuse for giving up. If it were, we'd still be British subjects.

Eliminating FISA isn't the only way to win. (2)

davidwr (791652) | about 8 months ago | (#44545611)

The other way to "win" is to move your company offshore - or start it offshore - and not sell your products or services to Americans, and hope the Americans get fed up enough to demand change.

Of course, that may just be trading one nosy government for another.

For governments, one way to "win" is to have a policy of creating direct bulk-data communications channels with other countries when possible, and use encrypted tunnels for all other communications so there is a "direct virtual connection" between the source and destination countries.* This will cost money and will have a performance penalty but it's worth it in both privacy and public relations terms.

*This is not a substitute for end-to-end encryption, but it will make country-in-the-middle snooping of otherwise-unencrypted or weakly-encrypted data that much harder, making wholesale snooping or keyword-triggered snooping by a country "in the middle" impractical.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (4, Interesting)

RobertM1968 (951074) | about 8 months ago | (#44545781)

The only way to win this is to get FISA eliminated. Without first eliminating the gag orders and the Star Chamber...I mean FISA courts, we cannot succeed on the whole.

Sadly, I think it will take a lot more than getting FISA (and the Patriot Act, and the rest) eliminated. I for one don't believe that they will simply stop their secret spying if those get eliminated.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 8 months ago | (#44546033)

Of course it won't stop them. FISA came about because of Nixon being caught using the intelligence sevices to do spying against his political opponents.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (1)

elucido (870205) | about 8 months ago | (#44545917)

The only way to win this is to get FISA eliminated. Without first eliminating the gag orders and the Star Chamber...I mean FISA courts, we cannot succeed on the whole.

How is it better to not have a FISA court at all? We need a top secret surveillance court. I think FISA just needs to be empowered and more focused on defending civil liberties.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44546017)

How is it better to not have a FISA court at all?

Because freedom is astronomically more important than safety, so even if we lost a bit of your beloved security theater, we'd be better off simply because less of this sort of nonsense would be happening.

We need a top secret surveillance court.

Government thugs can rot in hell for all I care.

Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (2)

intermodal (534361) | about 8 months ago | (#44546089)

I'm not sure you understand that the FISA courts are incompatible with civil liberties AND with our safety. There is much more to safety than just whether we might be at the minuscule risk of a terrorist attack. Terrorists are the least of our worries, ranking way below automotive collisions, falling in the shower, and getting poor service at our favourite restaurant.

Coming up next (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545467)

Schneier: Water is wet.

so now its the..... (4, Insightful)

OutOnARock (935713) | about 8 months ago | (#44545473)

NSAnet?

So we were right in the 90s when we thought Facebook was a CIA front?

Trash cans tracking MACs.....FBI turning on my mic......1984 is only going to be 30 odd years late......

Re:so now its the..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545547)

Facebook was an INQTEL project.

Re: so now its the..... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545657)

Facebook existed in the 90s?? Goodness, I'm soooo late on everything. -.-

Re: so now its the..... (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#44545773)

Effectively yes. It was called AOL.

Fair disclosure: Facebook is just a place where all the attention whore, idiots hang out. AOL was that once.

Re: so now its the..... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 8 months ago | (#44545893)

AOL was an Internet service provider and portal to the WWW. That is nothing like Facebook.

Re:so now its the..... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 8 months ago | (#44545765)

Facebook was started in 2004, brah. You didn't know anything about it in the 90s unless you have a working time machine.

Al Gore wants the Internet back (3, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 8 months ago | (#44545487)

>> The government has commandeered the Internet

Somewhere, I'm sure Al Gore is pissed.

Re:Al Gore wants the Internet back (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545629)

Hmm, Al Gore's actions showed government can be beneficial for the internet. Barack Obama's actions show government can be harmful for the internet.

Re:Al Gore wants the Internet back (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 8 months ago | (#44545715)

>> Al Gore's actions showed government can be beneficial for the internet

OK, I'll bite. What DID Gore do for the Internet?

Re:Al Gore wants the Internet back (5, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | about 8 months ago | (#44545839)

Introduced a number of bills that provided funding to the development of the Internet. And as said by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn:

as far back as the 1970s, Congressman Gore promoted the idea of high speed telecommunications as an engine for both economic growth and the improvement of our educational system. He was the first elected official to grasp the potential of computer communications to have a broader impact than just improving the conduct of science and scholarship [...] the Internet, as we know it today, was not deployed until 1983. When the Internet was still in the early stages of its deployment, Congressman Gore provided intellectual leadership by helping create the vision of the potential benefits of high speed computing and communication.

The very pioneers of the Internet have acknowledged his contributions despite all the maligment he gets from the neckbeard crowd.

Cod Bless America (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545499)

Something needs to be done about all this spying!

Memo to Schneier: So has big business (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545501)

And not just Google and Amazon. There's a big long list.

Scott McNealy had it right back in '98 or so when he said "You have zero privacy now. Get over it."

We don't need transparency (3, Informative)

msobkow (48369) | about 8 months ago | (#44545503)

We need the illegal surveillance of the world to STOP.

Now!

Re:We don't need transparency (2)

Tim12s (209786) | about 8 months ago | (#44545771)

Well *thats* going to work. Say that to the rest of the world. While I agree with the sentiment, this is done by every good government and every bad government. People are getting upset at one or two countries that are effectively now the focal point for the mob.

I'd rather lobby for better oversight.

Its like arguing that Iran/NK should give up their nukes. Hehe.... *thats* successful.

Fact, that tech isnt going anywhere and its already in use by the side stealing IP from your endorsed pyramid scheme... er pension fund.

The only point that can be influenced is oversight to ensure that the middle class doesnt get undermined by corporate interests. Hell, that has the republicans scared (and they seem to be the advocate of small government). Even if it were to be shut down, it'd start up sometime in the future but under some other guise of a different technology (someone somewhere will lose the plot - damn fanatics).

Unfortunately this type of tech has been put to use by far more calculated governments (china, etc).

Re:We don't need transparency (1)

elucido (870205) | about 8 months ago | (#44545999)

Well *thats* going to work. Say that to the rest of the world. While I agree with the sentiment, this is done by every good government and every bad government. People are getting upset at one or two countries that are effectively now the focal point for the mob.

I'd rather lobby for better oversight.

Its like arguing that Iran/NK should give up their nukes. Hehe.... *thats* successful.

Fact, that tech isnt going anywhere and its already in use by the side stealing IP from your endorsed pyramid scheme... er pension fund.

The only point that can be influenced is oversight to ensure that the middle class doesnt get undermined by corporate interests. Hell, that has the republicans scared (and they seem to be the advocate of small government). Even if it were to be shut down, it'd start up sometime in the future but under some other guise of a different technology (someone somewhere will lose the plot - damn fanatics).

Unfortunately this type of tech has been put to use by far more calculated governments (china, etc).

I actually agree we need more oversight and should be lobbying for that. But most people don't understand that every government will spy on them and that its not about good and bad. You get a choice as to which government gets to spy on you but they all share information with each other anyway.

Re:We don't need transparency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545895)

We need the illegal surveillance of the world to STOP.

Now!

Right, like that's gonna happen...

In other news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545519)

Bruce Scheier has been found to have committed suicide in a public park in DC in the middle of the night.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545669)

... hanging from a noose with two shotgun slugs in the back.

The suspected suicide weapon, a colt revolver, was recovered from a waste basket at the other end of the park.

Meanwhile... (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 8 months ago | (#44545737)

Bruce Scheier has been found to have committed suicide in a public park in DC in the middle of the night.

Or so they say.

Meanwhile, Mr. Schneier remains alive and well living under a secret, undisclosed false identity.

Newsflash... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545523)

Um, TFA seems to labor under the delusion that someone other than the US GOVERNMENT created the Internet. Much of the work done was at the agency formerly known at ARPA back in the '70s, not some failed Presidential candidate from Tennessee. Just saying.

Re:Newsflash... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545659)

What does that have to do with anything? Who created the Internet is utterly irrelevant to whether or not these actions are moral.

Re:Newsflash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545935)

They may have been referring to the World Wide Web Created by CERN. and not the Internet created on the back of the ARPAnet. WWW runs on top of the Internet, but most people use both interchangeably, though it is wrong to do this.

Re:Newsflash... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545679)

Newsflash, that story is bullshit. Cern, MIT and Cologne had more to do with the Internet than Arpa. In fact I can't seem to find a single protocol developed by Arpa that is still in use today. I guess you just had to be there to understand that the whole Arpa thing is bullshit propaganda that started getting tossed around in the mid to late 90s. Fucking noobs.

Re:Newsflash... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 8 months ago | (#44545939)

In fact I can't seem to find a single protocol developed by Arpa that is still in use today.

TCP/IP? :p

Re:Newsflash... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 8 months ago | (#44545813)

And somehow you are just your genes/body, a body grown from your cells with an empty brain worths the same as you. Internet is not just an empty building (that anyway, the US government didn't create alone, a lot of what makes it work was created elsewhere), most what makes it worth is the content on it. And we all created it.

It's much worse than that. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545531)

Drop this idea of the "government" as some evil alien entity with unknown motives. The issue here is that the NSA is being a bunch of assbags to internet companies.. At the behest of other companies. In this case, security services contractors. Why does everyone forget the warnings about the Military Industrial Complex? This is the Security Industrial Complex and we're throwing away our freedoms so some slimy fucks can make a buck. There is a reason most of our "generals" are desk jockeys whose' primary job is shuffling papers and securing funding.

Some say never attribute to malice what could be explained by incompetence. I say never attribute to incompetence what can be explained by greed.

Re:It's much worse than that. (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 8 months ago | (#44545829)

The issue here is that the NSA is being a bunch of assbags to internet companies..

Oh please. The absurdity of Schneier (and your) position is the idea that the companies are on a different side of the issue than the NSA in the first place. Obviously there is quite a bit of value in huge databases of everything. It is companies, not the government, who led the charge in constructing and exploiting the databases. Now that they exist, government is simply horning in on them.

Re:It's much worse than that. (5, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | about 8 months ago | (#44545887)

Drop this idea of the "government" as some evil alien entity with unknown motives. The issue here is that the NSA is being a bunch of assbags to internet companies.. At the behest of other companies. In this case, security services contractors. Why does everyone forget the warnings about the Military Industrial Complex? This is the Security Industrial Complex and we're throwing away our freedoms so some slimy fucks can make a buck. There is a reason most of our "generals" are desk jockeys whose' primary job is shuffling papers and securing funding.

Some say never attribute to malice what could be explained by incompetence. I say never attribute to incompetence what can be explained by greed.

The point is there is still no way to defend yourself against a pissed off or curious NSA. if the NSA is pissed off you're done. If they are curious they'll learn everything about everything, including all about your life, your friends and family. There is nothing you can do to defend yourself against an agency that knows everything you do. What are you supposed to do? Tell them no and hope they play nice?

As a result everyone cooperates with any government agency. If you're in China or Russia you're not going to fight the FSB or the Chinese communist party. If you're in the USA you're not going to fight the NSA. But at least in the USA you have some rights and the NSA cannot legally spy on you, if you're in a foreign country then the NSA can legally spy on you and not only can you not fight the NSA but the NSA can use everything you ever did to convince you to cooperate.

So how exactly is it realistic for anyone not to cooperate with agencies that have so much power? You can cooperate or be destroyed trying to fight. The destruction of your business, but possibly of your personal life as well, most people aren't going to risk it.

Re:It's much worse than that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44546073)

Of course they are. Because you, the people who elect the leadership, are giving them a shitload of money. Pull 99% of their funds and then let's see how easy it is to do this.

No WE must Fight (2)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 8 months ago | (#44545549)

No WE must Fight. Go to public meeting when the ELECTED Congressmen/women who write these laws. Question then send a clear message change it or be removed from office. The reason it has gotten so bad is not because big company's dont fight it its because we the electors choose to ignore it. I'm guilty as well but i do vote. Hound the bastards they dont want to get voted out of office the perks are great. Stop blaming others blame ourselves.

Re:No WE must Fight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545639)

What? Shouldn't everyone fight against it, then, and not just ordinary people with no access to large amounts of money? Why are the companies blameless? They need to fight it too.

Re:No WE must Fight (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 8 months ago | (#44545649)

You wouldn't be suggesting making a public protest within 1 mile of a secret service agent, would you?

Re:No WE must Fight (2)

Culture20 (968837) | about 8 months ago | (#44545661)

Go to public meeting when the ELECTED Congressmen/women who write these laws.

They don't hold public meetings as much as they used to, especially if they're entrenched.

Re:No WE must Fight (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 8 months ago | (#44545819)

>> Go to public meeting when the ELECTED Congressmen/women who write these laws. Question then send a clear message change it or be removed from office.

Recently, the Tea Party folks tried this and the Occupy folks tried this. Result? Universal derision from major media, and specific derision from the opposite party's political leaders. Almost no changes to the insulated agencies or policies that ticked off ordinary people in the first place.

Military Industrial Complex vs Android Robot (2)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 8 months ago | (#44545551)

Unless the green robot has a new age weapon I suspect the faction with the guns is going to win over the interests of the technology industry.

Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545563)

I'm sure with enough electricity running through a CEO, they will commit to helping with ANYTHING. Good concept in theory, but i'd probably roll over too.

Full Circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545581)

Was that the plan all along?

No point in fighting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545601)

Why spend the money to win a fight if none of your competition does?

Classic dragnetting problem (3, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 8 months ago | (#44545621)

When you're focused on sucking in everything, you're not focusing on analyzing anything. Somehow, we didn't have the resources available to keep the Boston bombers under surveillance, but we have the resources to keep 300+ million innocent citizens under watch.

Re:Classic dragnetting problem (4, Interesting)

Laxori666 (748529) | about 8 months ago | (#44545725)

Yes, but if they have a target they can analyze the data with respect to that target. If you get on their radar they can pull up & analyze everything they have on you. And it's cheap to store massive amounts of data. What it comes down to is the government will have supreme power over anybody they don't like... which is not a good thing.

Re:Classic dragnetting problem (1)

ajyasgar (2449448) | about 8 months ago | (#44545927)

Somehow, we didn't have the resources available

Unfortunately, this can only remain true for a short while.

The United States government has effectively unlimited money and they can continue throwing more hardware at the problem until they've effectively brute-forced surveillance. This occurs even if we ignore the advancement in capabilities of the hardware they'll be buying.

We've turned down a dark road and the powers that be seem poised over the accelerator.

Re:Classic dragnetting problem (1)

elucido (870205) | about 8 months ago | (#44546071)

When you're focused on sucking in everything, you're not focusing on analyzing anything. Somehow, we didn't have the resources available to keep the Boston bombers under surveillance, but we have the resources to keep 300+ million innocent citizens under watch.

Computers analyze everything. Artificial intelligence will handle that problem and already is.
The problem is the system must not be very effective if random people are being picked out.

One question that is never asked: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545695)

Is it democratic?

Powers in charge, collecting information about their subjects, information that can and will be used against you?

Who tasked them with this? Or is it absolute power that corrupts, absolutely?

Re:One question that is never asked: (4, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about 8 months ago | (#44545973)

Considering that the main targets of this surveillance are countries like Germany, France, Brazil, Japan and others (that don't seem to be Al-Qaeda training countries) is clear that the target is not citizens protection, but probably intellectual property stealing (and this is proper stealing, as could end with a patent over that, not like people that just copy leaving you with the original). Wonder if countries will start to repeal IP treaties with US over this.

So its come to this...... (3, Informative)

ClassicASP (1791116) | about 8 months ago | (#44545721)

We might as well just throw in the towel and go back to using kite string with styrofoam cups to communicate (kidding). Seriously though, all the "fighting" in the world doesn't stand a chance against the almighty dollar. Anyone who fights can either be forced to cooperate or else probably be bought-off. Since clearly after all that CISPA protesting the govt just went ahead and did it anyway, that pretty much says loud and clear weather or not they have any interest in what the public has to say in the matter. So the only solution I can think of is that we gotta find an alternative; something decentralized that can't be easily bottlenecked and used as a point-of-origin to intercept and track what is supposed to be private. Global wireless mesh networking is the only alternative I can think of, but for as many times as I've brought it up, someone always shoots the idea down and insists its not possible (just like going to the moon used to be "not possible", right?).

distributed, peer to peer, anonymous communication (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545729)

the existing infrastructure is too closely controlled by the government and corporations

there needs to be peer to peer mesh networking which integrates with the current technology until we can wean ourselves off of the "controlled" infrastructure

large organizations are the enemy of individual freedom

Re:distributed, peer to peer, anonymous communicat (1)

elucido (870205) | about 8 months ago | (#44546037)

the existing infrastructure is too closely controlled by the government and corporations

there needs to be peer to peer mesh networking which integrates with the current technology until we can wean ourselves off of the "controlled" infrastructure

large organizations are the enemy of individual freedom

But we cannot do that for everything. For stuff which isn't important it can be anonymous. For just chatter and discussion it can be anonymous. But when you want to actually make decisions or actually do things then there has to be accountability.

You can be anonymous in what you read or say if it's not taken seriously. But if you want to be taken seriously then you cannot be anonymous. If you're reporting a crime you can be pseudo-anonymous but if you want to secure a conviction then you have to name names and if you do that then you have to name yourself.

Re:distributed, peer to peer, anonymous communicat (1)

elucido (870205) | about 8 months ago | (#44546061)

correction, you do not have to name yourself, but you need to be pseudo-anonymous enough that you have an identity even if its virtual and you need at least a digital signature. You cannot be completely anonymous and be taken seriously.

Anonymous sources is not considered journalism. That is just rumor mongering.

"out of patriotism" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545731)

That's a funny way of rephrasing "supporting the mass-murdering batshit insane globalist scum".

Fight with what? (1)

elucido (870205) | about 8 months ago | (#44545811)

It's not like there is equal power here and there is any way to put up much of a fight. Either they give the information to the NSA or the NSA takes the information. It's a lot easier to sell it than to deal with the hostile takeover or the underhanded means or the legal offensive. The average CEO is defenseless not only against the NSA but against any government agency.

Fighting is only a symbolic gesture. There is nothing anyone can do really to stop the NSA from getting what it wants.

"Fight" - Yeah, Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545815)

Big companies choosing to "fight". Right, much easier said than done. We like to imagine that this great coalition of people will rise up in the defense of these companies that choose to fight.

One, that coalition is much smaller than you can possibly imagine. Especially when you consider only those likely to make their voice heard. Plus, you have to discount all of the individuals that just assume the best of the political party they ascribe to when said party is in power. People will let things like this go if they are getting what they want in other areas, until a party power switch.

Two, these companies would have to spend a ton of money on lawyers fighting the government, who have an infinitely better mouthpiece for voicing their side and completely destroying the company's reputation in the process. All for a group that will say thank you while they slowly disappear.

Three, I thought we hated the big bad corporations. Now we want them to fight our battles with the government we generally side with against them?

As others have stated, the people with the power to actually do something about this is, well, the people. In a democratic environment, we (at least are supposed to) have the power to drive change. But this takes us back to #1 ... the vast majority of the people out there, I think you'll find, are more than happy to suck it up and accept this invasion into their privacy under the pretences of greater security while the government pays them off in a multitude of other ways.

The fight needs to start within the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545835)

and soon! Lest the fight may be brought to the USA. the world will only tolerate so much of your shit for so long. this doesn't just affect americans.

I've said it before and i'll say it again, If a war started against the USA to liberate its citizens from the oppressive regime, I'd enlist to fight for your freedoms as you helped once with ours. You think it pisses you off that all your information is handed to YOUR government imagine how unacceptable that feels to non americans knowing that YOUR government tracks everything we do.

Deep Web (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 8 months ago | (#44545869)

Use the Deep Web and darknets. The internet as a medium is useful, you don't have to use one of a finite list of known gateways/providers.

Use subcompanies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545875)

Here's an idea, try fighting fire with fire. Like all of these conglomerates that create smaller subsidiaries to do there "dirty work" without getting caught, create a hosting company to push your website content. Whenever it is flagged by the NSA for not sharing, then create another and so on. Legally this can be done easily and will keep the NSA off your tail.

The US fell into the trap (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545879)

The Plan:
First you commit an unbelievably heinous and cowardly act.
Then you sit back and watch as they eat their own laws and freedoms...the very things you despise.
Then you win.

Why would terrorists waste the energy trying to change western culture when we'll happily do it for them?

Bruce Schneier's company is just as bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545919)

This is a great article, save for the fact that Bruce Schneier himself is the CTO of a company that has implemented spying on their customers. He works for BT, and they have had numerous cases of not only admitting to spying, but implementing Phorm to monitor their customers' activity. Where Bruce tells other companies to fight, he refuses to acknowledge this issue.

It's the JEWS, stupid. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545921)

When are you going to wake up? You're living in a giant concentration camp, run by Jews. They watch your every move, and censor any opposing views, and censor anybody telling the truth about the fact that JEWS are running your world, and using you as their slaves.

How can anybody NOT be aware of that fact, in this day and age?
Who runs your Congress?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asGvjbfIASA

To put it in some sort of perspective ... (1)

jc42 (318812) | about 8 months ago | (#44545961)

... we should probably also note that the US government (the NSA's sole sponsor) was the culprit responsible for the invention of the Internet (initially ARPAnet) in the first place. Private corporations would never have built anything like it, as can be seen by the way they have so consistently resisted or attempted to sabotage it all along the way.

Of course, one could also make a similar observation about things like the US Constitution. In both cases, we have had to fight an ongoing battle, political and legal, to maintain the freedom and openness built into the original. We haven't always had total success at this. The natural state is that our "rulers" constantly try to subvert such things that interfere with their power over us.

The NSA is just one of the more recent instances of this. Anyone at all familiar with US (and network) history should be able to rattle off a long list of similar actions on the part of those who want control over our lives.

Not that there is anything specifically "American" about this. It's hard to find any government (or corporation ;-) anywhere that doesn't behave similarly. It's just part of "the human condition", as the literary folks would express it.

Prediction: Legal measures to fix this situation will have no effect. The government will simply create a new secret agency with a new name, which will use different words to describe what they're doing, and it'll be just a continuation of the NSA's work. Does anyone have any accurate count of how many times this has already happened? (Likely not; some of them probably never became public. ;-)

One in 20 million (5, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 8 months ago | (#44545971)

Those are your chances of being a victim [reason.com] . 230 deaths a year is the justification for all the tax dollars, trampled rights and illegal activity.

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