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The Internet Society is Unhappy with U.S. Govt's Internet Spying Tactics

Roblimo posted about a year ago | from the spy-spy-everywhere-a-spy dept.

The Internet 107

On September 9, The Internet Society issued a position paper in which it said the group "...is alarmed by continuing reports alleging systematic United States government efforts to circumvent Internet security mechanisms," and went on to say, "The Internet Society President and CEO, Lynn St. Amour, said, 'If true, these reports describe government programmes that undermine the technical foundations of the Internet and are a fundamental threat to the Internet’s economic, innovative, and social potential. Any systematic, state-level attack on Internet security and privacy is a rejection of the global, collaborative fabric that has enabled the Internet's growth to extend beyond the interests of any one country.'" Those are tough words from an international organization that usually spends its time bringing the Internet to people in out-of-the-way villages and sponsoring the Internet Engineering Task Force. You can join the Internet Society for as little as $0 per year, and possibly help beat back some of the U.S. government eavesdropping and encryption circumvention efforts. And if you can make it to San Francisco on October 2, you can attend a (free) Internet Society discussion. Meanwhile, today's Slashdot interviewee is Paul Brigner, the Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for North America, who talks about the Internet Society in general, as well as the group's reaction to the U.S. government's online surveillance.

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Only read the headline (4, Informative)

barlevg (2111272) | about a year ago | (#44940075)

But no shit, Sherlock.

Re:Only read the headline (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44940219)

We only unlocked your doors, snuck through your house, and examined all your belongings to make sure there wasn't anything dangerous there. You should be thankful.

Re:Only read the headline (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44940285)

Nice green dildo by the way.

Re:Only read the headline (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940441)

It used to be white, but that STD changed more than my life style....

Re:Only read the headline (1)

nucrash (549705) | about a year ago | (#44941075)

It was painted blue before that, but the paint wore off.

Re:Only read the headline (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44940541)

"We" is a lot of people, some that could be respectful, some that not [go.com] . Also forced the maker of your locks to be able to be opened with a clip to make things easier for us, knowing that no "proper" thief would never figure that. And planted a few hidden bombs [schneier.com] just in case we think that you are misbehaving.

Did we mention that we have to pay private prisons if we don't keep them nearly full [salon.com] ? Is not that you would have to worry about that [wsj.com]

Re:Only read the headline, 'thanks to your Teacher (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#44941113)

"...The Ends justify the Means...", and because of the Internet, you know the everything about those words. Could it be that since the penning of those words, Ignorence has always been the "corner stone" of success for any grinning show off?

Re:Only read the headline (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44942379)

To some extent, that thing people sometimes say about greyhats, does come into play, though. Someone just violated your house, and in so doing, they have shown the entire world (including you!) that it's easy to do that, and that therefore probably lots of assholes are doing that. How many other people have been walking through your house, unknown to you, because they don't have Snowdens to tell you about it?

The analogy starts to break here, because securing a house is actually kind of hard. In the end, you know that if someone really wants into your house, they'll manage to do it. On the flip side, they're probably going to leave a lot of evidence (e.g. broken windows or kicked-in doors) behind, or they'll take things away from you ("where is my green dildo?!").

With computers, things are taken, but not away (you still have your secrets; they're just not secrets anymore, though that fact happens to be a secret to you), so you don't notice the violation. And it's much easier to prevent.

It's that last part, about how easy it is to prevent, that people ought to think about. Maybe the greyhats at the NSA really did do us a favor.

Because one thing you can't deny, is that A LOT of people are totally acting like they didn't know this shit was going on. Sincere or not, people are showing shock and surprise. I think those people are lying sacks of shit, but if I'm wrong and people really did believe their comms were secure, then the NSA (through Snowden) really DID do them an unintentional favor.

Re:Only read the headline (1)

geek (5680) | about a year ago | (#44940935)

But no shit, Sherlock.

They even wrote a letter expressing their outrage. In strongly worded but politically correct terms. Surely the US spy agency will take heed!

Re:Only read the headline (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941045)

Meh. Go build your own Internet and cloud services. :-P

Re:Only read the headline (1)

nucrash (549705) | about a year ago | (#44941069)

In other news, water is wet and the sky is blue.

Re:Only read the headline (1)

wmac1 (2478314) | about a year ago | (#44943761)

What a kind title. How about apologizing (and kissing) each other and finishing things kindly!

Not that it isn't bad, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940115)

They're spying, they're not censoring/disallowing you access to the internet.
To say that they "undermine the technical foundations of the Internet" is going a bit far.

Re:Not that it isn't bad, but... (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#44940171)

The move away from robust peer-to-peer to centralisation - esp. more points of failure at which all traffic passes/arrives - is absolutely undermining technical foundations.

The Internet could easily have become about all computers acting as peers, caching data for one massive net of networked data storage ("the network is the computer" taken quite literally). Instead, thanks to the desire of capitalists and governments (but I repeat myself) to control, it's very firmly split itself between producers and consumers - just the way the boys at the top like it.

Re:Not that it isn't bad, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940513)

it's very firmly split itself between producers and consumers - just the way the boys at the top like it.

That's why I pirate the hell out of ebooks, music, and movies. Because the boys at the top DON'T like it. When they want to get more reasonable then so will I, but that's up to them because they struck first.

Re:Not that it isn't bad, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941645)

Wow, that might be the most retarded justification of piracy i've ever read. congratulations! you made it to the top of a very long list.

Re: Not that it isn't bad, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44945177)

Not so sure. They break their social contract by ensuring things *never* enter the public domain, so I do not need to keep my part of the social contract either.

Re:Not that it isn't bad, but... (1, Interesting)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about a year ago | (#44941207)

The majority of internet traffic is P2P filesharing (bittorrent).

Re:Not that it isn't bad, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941933)

Nope, it's video streaming. Also, 2008 called and wants its statistics back.

Re:Not that it isn't bad, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941355)

The move away from robust peer-to-peer to centralisation - esp. more points of failure at which all traffic passes/arrives - is absolutely undermining technical foundations.

Despite the Insightful rating, this is a pile of crap (as usual from this guy).
Just for starters, a move to centralization would create FEWER points of failure, not more.

The Internet could easily have become about all computers acting as peer

No, not "easily". You've obviously got no understanding of how networks work, just because a bunch of idiots keep rating you up for posting a bunch of anti US bullshit doesn't actually make you "Insightful".

Re:Not that it isn't bad, but... (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#44944757)

... (as usual from this guy) ... keep rating you up for posting....

Pathetic.

Your answer, sir. (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#44943183)

The move away from robust peer-to-peer to centralisation - esp. more points of failure at which all traffic passes/arrives - is absolutely undermining technical foundations.

The Internet could easily have become about all computers acting as peers, caching data for one massive net of networked data storage ("the network is the computer" taken quite literally). Instead, thanks to the desire of capitalists and governments (but I repeat myself) to control, it's very firmly split itself between producers and consumers - just the way the boys at the top like it.

http://geti2p.net/ [geti2p.net]

Everyone is both a peer and a load-bearing router for the network. This has the side effect of providing better protection from traffic analysis than Tor. And their new email system is based on decentralized DHT.

Re:Your answer, sir. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44945319)

a load-bearing router

We had a couple of old racks like that once - servers had dodgy railkits, router ended up taking the strain.

Re: Not that it isn't bad, but... (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#44942031)

There are many reports that the NSA weakened encryption to aid their spying efforts. Even putting aside the NSA's spying, weakened encryption means greater likelihood of a hacker cracking your encryption which weakens the security of the Internet. Even if I were crazy enough to support the NSA spying, I'd still see weakened encryption as a threat to everyone.

Re:Not that it isn't bad, but... (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#44943869)

"Oh, I'm only raping your daughter, not killing her". Stop making excuses, what they are doing is reprehensible.

Re:Not that it isn't bad, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44946177)

Ignoring the basic premise that centralising all of the links increases the number of significant points-of-failure....

once they can scan/copy every piece of information that flows through the internet, it is only one SMALL step to being able to limit what traffic flows on a real-time basis.
And if, technically, they are still unable to block what they do not want 'out there', they will use the information they've stolen to ruin the lives of those people they have deemed 'against the public good'.
And when THAT fails, they will sneak in something that would ruin that person's life.

Reading the description, I would have expected the article to be about China, or North Korea, or Iran. only the headline warned me it was about "The Land Of The Free".

Re:Not that it isn't bad, but... (1)

mellon (7048) | about a year ago | (#44947121)

No, actually it isn't going too far. Cryptography is fundamental to the success of the Internet. Every time you log in to a web site, every time you buy something, you are using encryption to avoid revealing your password and your credit card to anybody who happens to be sniffing any wire between you and the web site you are accessing.

When you use "the cloud" to do business, you are relying on the security of a system that is not under your control. If the security of that system can be routinely compromised by the NSA, it might be better not to use it. This in fact does undermine trust in the Internet, and damages businesses that would like you to be able to trust them.

Some of the undermining of trust is actually good. It's good that we are now more realistic about what it means to share our private information with Facebook and Google. But since there is no alternative, it does little good. A few people stop using Facebook, but most people rely on it too much to stop using it.

In the long run, I think this reality check is a good thing, as long as the NSA doesn't now start pushing ideas like the Clipper Chip. The fact that Brazil and Germany are making a big stink about this on the international scene is good. But it is in fact clearly true that what the NSA has done has undermined the technical foundations of the internet, and I worry that the fallout from this fiasco will be a divided internet that is less useful for community, but more lucrative for industry. The ISOC is right to be bringing up this issue, and I hope that some good comes of it.

Pay per view is another threat (4, Informative)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about a year ago | (#44940157)

... and pay per view just might succeed...

.
What if Verizon succeeds in killing the Internet? [infoworld.com]

I've posted countless essays over the years on the importance of Net neutrality and how big ISPs are trying to turn the Internet into a pay-per-view system, rather than the open-access system it was always intended to be. I've written open letters to federal legislators; remarked on the various games being played by AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and the like; and cheered Google Fiber for demonstrating that the big ISPs are full of nonsense when they claim their backs are against the wall in terms of broadband speeds and reach.

And now, Verizon is claiming it has free speech rights to limit and block content flowing from the Internet to its customers....

Re:Pay per view is another threat (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940279)

OK fine, if Verizon wants anything that goes over their network to be their speech, then let them be held liable for all the kiddie porn on their network.

Either you're a common carrier or you're not. You can't have it both ways until you build a quantum network.

Re:Pay per view is another threat (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | about a year ago | (#44941041)

Either you're a common carrier or you're not. You can't have it both ways until you build a quantum network.

And even then you can only have it both ways until the wave function collapses.

Riiiight (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940165)

and possibly help beat back some of the U.S. government eavesdropping and encryption circumvention efforts.
 
And I got a bridge to sell you.
 
People are more up in arms about Milli Vanilli Cyrus than they are about the who NSA reading your emails thing. The government knows that it's as safe as can be. The two party system will go on as planned, duping the Americans into thinking that it's a problem with what party is in power... 90+% of the morons ate that up hook, line and sinker.
 
Nothing will change as long as people have TP, TV and SUVs.

Re:Riiiight (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940579)

Nothing will change as long as people have TP, TV and SUVs.

TV just makes my brain hurt with all the stupid. TP is a convenience. SUVs are idiot fucking magnets. I guess idiots say "herp derp i never drive offroad, rarely or never haul lots of cargo, rarely or never carry more than 3-4 passengers but everybody else bought an SUV so I just have to have one!" Then they complain about gas prices. Hah hah that's the sheeple tax you morons. I'll keep enjoying my sedan that gets good mileage.

Oh yeah and these are the same people who end up financially upside-down on the loan for that SUV because they just can't comprehend, if you need 5+ years to pay it off, it's becaue you are buying more vehicle than you can really afford. Course they JUST GOTTA HAVE that SUV so maybe it wouldn't matter if they did know that.

Does anything intelligent that makes sense ever become a trend? Seems like the more stupid and unnecessary something is, the more it'll catch on.

Internet Party (4, Interesting)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#44940241)

Internet Society + EFF + ACLU + FSF + Wikipedia + Reddit + Slashdot + every place else that gives a shit = Internet Party candidates on the ballot in 2014-2020 in every single local, state and national election.

Republicans? Democrats? A pox on both their houses.

Re:Couch Potatoe Party (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940423)

Good luck prying them away from their privileged, unsustainable lifestyles and getting them into the voting booths.

Seriously, if it can be done, that's great, prove me wrong, go do it. The world would be a better place. But it can't be done, because the people you are referencing are all talk and no action.

Re:Couch Potatoe Party (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#44940587)

You don't. They campaign from the couches. Everything is online these days. You can even vote by absentee ballot.

Re:Couch Potatoe Party (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940875)

PLEASE LIKE DIS if u think whats happenin in Syria is bad and shud b stoped

Re:Couch Potatoe Party (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941789)

Here are some additional planks for this hypothetical Slashdot-Reddit-plus-plus party:

1. All pizza places must stay open for deliveries after 2 a.m.

2. FPS games should be an Olympic sport.

3. Homeowners to be fined for each instance of asking their adult live-in dependents anything along the lines of 'When are you going to find a real job so you can move out of here?'

4. Immigration reform for manual labor and factory jobs, but strict quotas for anything having to do with I.T.

5. 'All information wants to be free' when it comes to music, movies, textbooks, games. However, email and phone communications, personal data, clickstreams and other transactional data definitely DO NOT WANT to be free. That's because all of 'our stuff' wants to remain private and keep the government's mitts far away, thank you.

Re:Internet Party (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940429)

"Internet Party candidates on the ballot in 2014-2020 in every single local, state and national election."

They'll just be another bunch of schlubs getting 1% of the vote. Complete waste of time.

Re:Internet Party (2, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#44940455)

So the only possible action is complacency or surrender? Please shut the fuck up you shill!!

Re:Internet Party (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#44942107)

So the only possible action is complacency or surrender? Please shut the fuck up you shill!!

No, that's not the ONLY possible action. However, it IS one of the totally pointless actions.

Re:Internet Party (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#44942237)

We agree. :)

Re:Internet Party (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940449)

Internet Society + EFF + ACLU + FSF + Wikipedia + Reddit + Slashdot + every place else that gives a shit = Internet Party candidates on the ballot in 2014-2020 in every single local, state and national election.

Republicans? Democrats? A pox on both their houses.

Don't make me laugh. From just what you named, you'd have at least eight different tiny parties, each of which has their own petty arguments against the other at least seven, up against two parties that demand lockstep conformity from their members backed by a culture of trivially-available severe political punishment for any deviations from the party line, all up for election by a public that has neither the ability nor desire to understand the incessant bickering of at least eight sub-sub-subcultures that nobody they know is a part of and which seem to obsessed with the internet of the perpetually-in-the-future when there's real-world issues in the real-world present they'd rather have fixed.

Re:Internet Party (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940559)

Wikipedia? Are you really trying to make people believe that those who use Wikipedia are of some monolithic ideology? What?
 
Not to mention that just about anything that gets any real attention within the Slashdot community is normally from one of the same 300 or so users. There may be a larger user base here but most of it goes unheard and the inner circle of mods and posters is established to the point that if you're not in it you won't be taken seriously no matter how factual or insightful you really are.

Re:Internet Party (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44940641)

Wikipedia? Are you really trying to make people believe that those who use Wikipedia are of some monolithic ideology? What?

Not to mention that just about anything that gets any real attention within the Slashdot community is normally from one of the same 300 or so users. There may be a larger user base here but most of it goes unheard and the inner circle of mods and posters is established to the point that if you're not in it you won't be taken seriously no matter how factual or insightful you really are.

Try logging in. Then we'll talk.

Re:Internet Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44942289)

If you had anything to say you would have said it. Nice attempt at misdirection though, fucktard.

Re:Internet Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44946101)

You sure are butthurt.

Re:Internet Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941349)

I never felt this way about slashdot, not from day one. Fair enough, I mostly do read commentary on here, instead of articles, as I read articles elsewhere. But I always perceived the "insight" that was referred to for what it is/was. Either of quality or not. I'm using slashdot to the extent that I've never even gotten into the mod system, nor the inner circle of posters. To me this site is about Rob Malda, and it always has been. That's a quite trite approach and it doesn't even give credit to most other contributers, which are present in large numbers, without a doubt. Yet, that's the way I use it for myself. I don't even have an account on here and I must have browsed that site presumably 15 times a day, for the past 15? years.... and I was served mostly quality and had goods starting points for further browsing from here on that led to a decent amount of information. Thanks for that, btw., later

Re:Internet Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941383)

s/goods/good/

Re:Internet Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940671)

I will vote against any party who wants the US to stop spying on other countries.

Countries spy on countries. Always have, always will.

Domestic spying is a whole other discussion.

Re:Internet Party (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#44941127)

And countries which detect other countries spying on them, consider it illegal and prosecute the spies they can get hold of.

Re:Internet Party (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941667)

That sounds better than what we have now, where countries spy on their citizens and cooperate with other countries to help each other better spy on their citizens.

The Russians had it right (1)

davecb (6526) | about a year ago | (#44943739)

The Soviet security service Ian Fleming's James Bond had to deal with was "Smert Spionam", or in English, "Death to Spies".

Let's bring back the 1940s and wage war against spies instead of terrorists (;-))

--dave

Re:Internet Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940909)

Republicans? Democrats? They are a pox on all our houses.

Fixed.

Re:Internet Party (2)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#44941617)

Would this be like or unlike a LAN party?

Re:Internet Party (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#44949481)

"World's biggest LAN party."

Only problem(?), if we decided wars that way, South Korea would rule the world.

Re:Internet Party? Pirate Part! (2)

davecb (6526) | about a year ago | (#44943703)

How about the Pirate Party? They have Members of the Euro Parliament, why shouldn't they have members of ours? --dave

Re:Internet Party? Pirate Part! (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#44949467)

I was thinking a less-scary sounding name so as not to frighten the masses, but that's the general idea.

The platform would be pretty simple. "Hi. We're all the people who made the internet, that thing you all love, and carry around connections to in your pocket 24/7. Sure, it's got its hiccups, but for the most part, it runs pretty well. Would you like your nation to run like that? If so, vote Internet Party."

Slogans are pretty easy too. "We're from the Internet, and we're here to help."

The SOPA protest worked. Just do that but for a specific slate of candidates.

When it comes down to it, the entire modern economy and government are run on computers and on the internet. We are the engineers and the developers who built the modern world and will turn it into a Star Trek techno-utopia if they'll let us and the fucking politicians are going to run it all into the ground for mere wealth and power. Why are we letting them? We're smarter.

The only thing they've got going for them is bottomless evil. And good will always triumph over evil because evil is short-sighted and very easy to predict: it just goes for anything shiny.

We would like to join, and maybe contribute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940267)

... to several aspects of the Internet infrastructure. We can provide facilities for meetings for free, and are prepared to second staff to work full-time on any project of interest to us.

Signed,

Head of NSA

Copy to: Head of GCHQ, all appropriate major industry bodies, selection of tame politicians....

Soon... (4, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44940307)

Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the socialist "Internet Society" party?

You think McCarthy era internment camps were bad? Imagine the horrific witch hunt + the victims also having data-overload withdrawals, being cut off from texting & social media updates.

The web will fracture. The cracks have already formed. National Networks are coming with every approved packet signed via digital user IDs.
I can hear it now: You want the Internet back?! Why? So you can connect to your Chinese and Russian Spys? Or even Terrorist websites?!

Reject national digital ID systems w/ PKI authentication. That is the key they need to enforce the fracture.

Long live the Sneakernet, the last bastion of information freedom. It's what took down the other oppressive regimes in years past, and I fear we'll soon need it again when the Internet society has failed.

Never under estimate the bandwidth of a condom full of micro SDs.

Re:Soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940835)

Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the socialist "Internet Society" party?

You think McCarthy era internment camps were bad? Imagine the horrific witch hunt + the victims also having data-overload withdrawals, being cut off from texting & social media updates.

The web will fracture. The cracks have already formed. National Networks are coming with every approved packet signed via digital user IDs.

I can hear it now: You want the Internet back?! Why? So you can connect to your Chinese and Russian Spys? Or even Terrorist websites?!

Reject national digital ID systems w/ PKI authentication. That is the key they need to enforce the fracture.

Long live the Sneakernet, the last bastion of information freedom. It's what took down the other oppressive regimes in years past, and I fear we'll soon need it again when the Internet society has failed.

Never under estimate the bandwidth of a condom full of micro SDs.

WTF is a McCarthy era internment camp? Our internment camps for ethnic Japanese were shut down before "McCarthyism", and the two are not directly related.

Re:Soon... (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#44941937)

Under McCarthy, the United States became an internment camp for many Americans.

Re:Soon... (4, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#44940867)

Uh, are we mis-remembering history? There were no "internment camps" during the McCarthy era.

Want some more unwanted knowledge? Turns out, the State Department really was full of Communist sympathizers. McCarthy was right. Historical fact, look it up.

Re:Soon... (2, Informative)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#44940983)

He was accidentally right - he was just pretending to have a list of CommieMutantTraitors, and the whole witch hunt did a poor job of discovering them. The problem was real, though.

McCarthy was still a criminal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941051)

Guess what?

Being a Communist sympathizer is covered by First Amendment. McCarthy should have been booted right out of office for abridging that.

There is also a huge difference between being a sympathizer and comitting espionage.

Re:Soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941225)

Heck, if all it took was one real spy or one real terrorist in the country, or one real communist in the State Department to justify a government doing anything to its citizens including to the innocent ones, then we are truly sunk. What McCarthy showed was how wrong it was to go overboard on these things: without putting the risks into a proper perspective, without distinguishing between unpopular political views and actual treasonable *actions*, and without proper accountability. That he was technically correct does not negate the gross abuses and innumerable innocent people wrongly accused on the flimsiest of evidence. It is not an excuse. It shows that even if you are right in principle there is a wrong way to do it, just like the NSA and other intelligence agencies are doing things the wrong way for the right reasons now. McCarthy's behavior is a textbook example of a witch hunt where a badly-constructed process is so poisonous to the overall goal that it becomes self-defeating.

Yes, there were no internment camps, but I'm sure it would have headed that way "for the protection of the nation" if he hadn't eventually been recognized for the fool that he was.

Re:Soon... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941591)

Turns out, the State Department really was full of Communist sympathizers.

Anyone with a college education at that time was a "Communist sympathizer", insofar as they had read literature written by Communists. Admitting reality was all it took to be accused.

Re:Soon... (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about a year ago | (#44943225)

Want some more unwanted knowledge? Turns out, the State Department really was full of Communist sympathizers. McCarthy was right. Historical fact, look it up.

So? He violated the US Constitution by having government agents harassing people for exercising their right to free speech. Doesn't matter if he was right or wrong or right about what but not who.

Re:Soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44944695)

Oh, please. What would be the point of being President if he had to obey some stupid paper?
One people, one nation, one leader.

Re:Soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44943773)

So fucking what if there were Commies? What right did McCarthy have in destroying people's lives?

Re:Soon... (1)

geek (5680) | about a year ago | (#44941009)

You think McCarthy era internment camps were bad?

I was going to leave this alone but I just can't. McCarthy had nothing to do with any fucking internment camps. He wasn't even elected until AFTER WW2. But of course, why let facts get in the way of your astounding edumacation.

Re:Soon... (1)

jon3k (691256) | about a year ago | (#44941931)

I agree with your comment, but your username and 4 digit UID sold me.

Re:Soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941093)

[...] a condom full of micro SDs.

You're doing it wrong.

Re:Soon... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941557)

Never underestimate a Coke bottle full of MicroSDs, buried at a secret place in the woods.

Good for

o Backup Storage
o Fed-safe Storage
o Massive Release of Information to (hopefully) trusted journalists
o Communication With Fellow Minutemen

Re:Soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44946539)

... national digital ID systems ...

Several countries have digital ID systems and we don't hear any horror stories. Actually every country has a national ID system but it's obvious how it fails: When private businesses hang their information on it. Such as the social security ID in the USA being misused by private business which permits tracking a person across health, financial, legal, communication services. What we need are multiple identities, just like now: A person has different numbers for health, taxation, immigration, etc. Maybe in a digital world it will be easier to track people across databases but that can be countered with data privacy laws that make the business receiving personal data responsible for breaches and preventing national ID numbers being stored outside the country.

There is some discussion about the need for end-to-end encryption. Having a single public key, by default, becomes an identifier. It could easily be anonymous, until it is used to transfer a credit card number or postal address. So there is a need for a public key server and a means of having multiple keys stored on it, just like owning multiple e-mail addresses. In fact, the two could be linked since a public key must be accessed via some pseudonym.

Why should I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940331)

Who/what is the "Internet Party" and why should anyone care what they have to say?

Wouldn't it be easier... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940345)

..to list who is happy with state sponsored spying?

Re:Wouldn't it be easier... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941485)

Money is usually a good motivater to anything and it might be in NSA best interest to give. Ron paul/libertieran types would not except money under any circumstance. Edward snowden was a Ron Paulie!

Are they really be surprised by the spying? (3, Insightful)

guanxi (216397) | about a year ago | (#44940361)

Are they really surprised by the spying, and if not why didn't they respond sooner? Their leadership is questionable if they wait until they are compelled to act.

The U.S. government's spying has been reported for years. I understand that the general public didn't necessarily understand, but the Internet Society? It also involved the cooperation of many people from many companies, and I assume many of those people are involved with the Internet Society. People talk, even about confidential things. There must have been some awareness of what was happening.

Re:Are they really be surprised by the spying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44942201)

There may have been suspicions but at the end of the day you can never be sure exactly how bad the problem is. I'm guessing most people underestimated it by a fair margin, including myself. As the saying goes: Out of sight, out of mind. A scandal like this is exactly what was needed to shine light in the darkness.

Now maybe we can get John and Jane Doe to realize the same things and maybe we can finally put these issues on the agenda and vote for some real, maybe actually significant change. That's quite a few of maybes though...

Re:Are they really be surprised by the spying? (1)

guanxi (216397) | about a year ago | (#44944577)

I'm guessing most people underestimated it by a fair margin ...

The Internet Society is not most people; they are supposed to have expert knowledge and exercise foresight and leadership far beyond what posters on Slashdot think of or know.

Re:Are they really be surprised by the spying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44942909)

I'm not sure that's the issue. Sure they might have known, but Snowdon et al. have made the topic:

1). Top of mind;
2). Respectable as a topic of general interest and a clear and present danger to free speech and democratic values. No tinfoil hats required, in other words;
3). Indisputably legal, even to the The Man at the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. As in, no one in government can claim that if you know something about the spying, that you must have done something illegal to have that knowledge.

Re:Are they really be surprised by the spying? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44943279)

The average .com users and legal staff would have some real issues:
US domestic law would have prevented it.
Stock in a US firm would be at risk if/when exposed - legal teams would have stopped any meeting/demands with a request for a very focused warrant from a real US court.
Tech staff would have seen the packets moving, informed the legal team and your back to needing a focused warrant from a real US court.
Political leaders would not allow domestic spying due to their own self interest in getting elected again and again and again if exposed.
The press and that "other" political party would expose the domestic spying and gain fame or return to office.
Law reform/computer/crypto experts would find out and tell the press.
Whistleblowers would write books, law reform experts would find out, tell the press and political leaders would hold hearings.
The fantasy was not about data sets sizes, cpu power, cooling, storage, optical loops/mirroring, brand names helping, indexing - the fantasy was the legal system.

Re:Are they really be surprised by the spying? (1)

guanxi (216397) | about a year ago | (#44944525)

The fantasy was not about data sets sizes, cpu power, cooling, storage, optical loops/mirroring, brand names helping, indexing - the fantasy was the legal system.

Very good point (though the fantasy was a bit about technical issues).

Re:Are they really be surprised by the spying? (2)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#44944247)

It has been suspected for years, but anyone reporting or inferring it has been written off as a tinfoil wearing conspiracy theorist by the deaf dumb and blind patriot idiots making up the majority of the population.

Even now, when the truth is starting to come out, you have people defending the practice.

Re:Are they really be surprised by the spying? (1)

guanxi (216397) | about a year ago | (#44944583)

It has been suspected for years, but anyone reporting or inferring it has been written off as a tinfoil wearing conspiracy theorist by the deaf dumb and blind patriot idiots making up the majority of the population.

Then the Internet Society should have worked to change those opinions. They are way behind on a very important issue, not ahead of it. For example, they could have worked to reduce some of the vulnerabilities.

Re:Are they really be surprised by the spying? (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#44946525)

What's to say they haven't been trying, but just get written off as tinfoil wearers? The vulnerabilities we're talking about here go far beyond what even most tinfoil types anticipated. It hasn't until Snowden released what he did that anyone mentioning stuff like echelon, carnivore, etc. gets taken seriously.

Newsletter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940403)

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter

Get over it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940731)

So the US got caught spying, move on already. You would have to be a moron to think that no other country with a internet presence doesn't also spy on it citizens and other countries it has relations with.

Double standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44940985)

I think the double-standard troubles me the most. If any of "We the People" do this kind of spying, reverse-engineering, cracking, etc., we go to prison for a long, long time. The USA was founded on the principle of government being OF, FOR, and BY "We the People". The Founders wanted a country where the government is part of society; partners, a team. It has become a 100% polarized adversarial system: "Get out of the way and let us officials handle the situation." They tried to build in checks and balances, but that part of the USA's government is broken. It's time for "We're the People, and we're here to help." We the People need more power to be able to remove bad government: anyone at any level. We need an easier impeachment and recall election process. I advocate voting at least 2 times a year, to include being able to remove anyone we don't like. No need for term limits- anyone doing a good job we keep; anyone not we remove. It may be chaotic at first but it will settle out and be much better.

Oh, and The People's Lobby is a Good Thing.

Agreed, but the damage has already been done (1)

dav1dc (2662425) | about a year ago | (#44941245)

I agree 100%: the greatest harm that could have possibly come about from this mess is not the truth that we have no privacy left, but the mistrust this generates in the spirit of keeping the Internet "Free" and "Open" as a world wide network of computers that enable the free exchange of information and ideas.

Things like the "The Great Firewall of China" will become more and more common - because this event completely validates the fears that these firewalls and countermeasures were designed to address.

Pretty soon getting your data in or out of a country is going to be even more encumbered that trying to clear airport security to get in and out of that country as a human being! :S

Unfortunately human nature & greed drive the need to control - I fear that all we can do now is prevent matters from getting any worse, but the damage has already been done IMHO...

Unhappy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44941885)

Then GTFO our ARPANET and make your own. You should be worshiping us that we were nice enough to share it with you, if you don't like it, make your own.

Re:Unhappy? (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#44944267)

Given that I guarantee that most of the traffic carriage on the internet FOR the DOD is carried by third party public companies, I'd say you have it the other way around. The people would be telling the NSA to GTFO off OUR internet (that we pay for) and set up their own carriage.

no commercials please (1)

AndyKron (937105) | about a year ago | (#44941893)

I'm not watching a fucking one minutes fucking commercial!

Crypto ?? Anyone... ANYONE? (4, Insightful)

dindi (78034) | about a year ago | (#44942687)

And still, people use gmail, hotmail, Facebook, mobile me ....

Even worse: no one uses crypto. PGP is there. TOR is there (OK, with some problems with the latter),. a 4096bit key is a tough cookie to crack. There are 2-3 click installers for almost every OS (linux, win, osx, ios and android).

There is also OTR chat for chatting.

Still, I cannot convince one single person to use it, even for business matters that shouldn't go through mail servers and chat servers in clear text form.

I am talking about programmers, technical managers and system administrators, who find these tools either unnecessary, or too bothersome to use..... So how will average Joe convince grandma, grandpa, and uncle Joe to install these tools and go through the incredibly long (5 minute tops) learning curve and start using the F@#$@#$ tools?

Let's use diaspora, go back to vote-in BBS systems with made up names and use crypto ... but no... people are upset about their privacy while posting borderline illegal videos with under their own name with location services stamping info into the media.

ARE WE STUPID or what ?

Re:Crypto ?? Anyone... ANYONE? (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#44945081)

ARE WE STUPID or what ?

Are we? Metadata is still accessible with PGP and OTR. Tor was recently revealed to have weak encryption and Tormail is now RIP.

There needs to be *one* general purpose crypto layer with *one* learning curve or else its not going to stick. I2P is the closest thing I've seen to that; You should check it out.

Spying Tactics? No, no, no... (2)

Eyeball97 (816684) | about a year ago | (#44943077)

We're not spying on you. Not at all. Only spying on select traffic in the interest of national security. Don't worry.

p.s. you're out of milk

How cute ... (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about a year ago | (#44945481)

tell you a big secret now: THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD is mad at the USA for their bullshit, not just some NGO.

I wonder how long... (1)

Raved Thrad (1864414) | about a year ago | (#44945905)

...before we hear of Ms. St. Amour being held for 9 hours as she enters some Murrica-patsy country or other. Anyone with any sense knows the Great American Bully is not going to take this lying down.

Why.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44949053)

Why are people so constantly appalled by these "revelations"... Anyone with a foot in the door on any of these subjects has known for years that this was possible...

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