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Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

Soulskill posted 1 year,9 days | from the american-attention-span-exceeded dept.

Privacy 610

Nerval's Lobster writes "This morning we discussed news that the National Security Agency (NSA) has siphoned up millions of online address books and contact lists. The Post drew its information from top-secret documents provided by government whistleblower Edward Snowden, who spent the summer feeding information about the NSA to a variety of news outlets. Snowden's documents (as outlined in The Guardian, Spiegel Online and other venues) have detailed a massive NSA program that's siphoning all sorts of personal information from a variety of sources — and yet the public seems to have greeted each new revelation with weakening outrage. Whereas the initial news reports about NSA splying in June kicked off a firestorm of controversy and discussion (aggravated by the drama of Snowden seeking asylum in pretty much any country that would have him), the unveiling of the NSA's Great Contact-List Caper has ranked below the news stories such as the government shutdown, negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, and invites for Apple's upcoming iPad event on aggregators such as Google News; it also didn't make much of a blip on Twitter and other online forums. There's the very real possibility that Americans, despite the assurances of government officials, are being monitored in a way that potentially violates their privacy. Surely that's an issue that concerns a great many individuals; and yet, as time goes by, it seems as if people are choosing to focus on other things. Are we suffering from 'surveillance fatigue?'"

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Deep down.. (5, Insightful)

Daemonik (171801) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138175)

..we've all suspected it was true a long time ago. Honestly I think the bigger surprise was that the surveillance wasn't worse. There have been people who've sworn for years that every time you lick a stamp the Post Office sequences your DNA....

Re:Deep down.. (5, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138293)

That's kind of it. We've known about secret closets in AT&T offices for ages, and we have known about NSA- microsoft cooperation for a long time. We've know since what, the 1990 that they were one of the biggest buyers of supercomputing tech etc.

The only thing snowden has really meaningfully (meaningful to the public anyway) revealed is who exactly is in on it, and you could reasonably figure that out with the minimum of brain power before.

Besides that, what does anyone think all this money going to agencies is for if not for spying? Particularly the NSA as a sigint organization, electronic eavesdropping is their whole reason d'etre. You may not like what they're doing, but for the amount of money they're getting I'd expect them to be trying to build the tools to wiretap everything. You may think they shouldn't be doing that - and fair enough, they probably shouldn't, but at least 10 billion dollars a year is a lot of money for an organization that specializes in spying on electronic communications and doesn't run its own submarines or human intelligence.

Re:Deep down.. (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138431)

The real revelation was how much of it was going on domestically, before 9/11 the NSA was basically barred from operating domestically, with the interpretation of a few provisions in the Patriot Act they went from almost no domestic footprint to dragneting most domestic communications.

Re:Deep down.. (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138453)

Which again, isn't really a shock - they were always allowed to look for spies, but after Al Qaeda showed everyone how infiltration can really be done, you'd pretty much expect them to be looking at everyone to figure out if they are an 'agent a foreign power'.

Re:Deep down.. (2)

Are You Kidding (1734126) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138313)

Just read a newspaper sometime... we are not suffering from "surveillance fatigue." The correct term would be "Outrage Fatigue."

Re:Deep down.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138379)

We're outraged about things that aren't true or don't matter. People are still believe, and are outraged by, the idea of Obama being a Muslim or from Kenya. They don't have time to be outraged over what's actually happening.

Re:Deep down.. (1)

Cryacin (657549) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138407)

The correct term would be "Outrage Fatigue."

This man has overgasped!

Re:Deep down.. (3, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138361)

There doesn't seem to be great outrage at the possiblity of default, which could have catastrophic effects on the US economy if it resulted in the US Dollar's reserve currency status being downgraded -- if a significant proportion of those dollars currently held by other countries were sold, it would be dire. Any impact on the economy from the ACA would pale into insignificance in comparison to compromise of reserve currency status.

So where is the outrage at the small number of Republicans who are threatening this?

Re:Deep down.. (0, Troll)

kick6 (1081615) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138559)

There doesn't seem to be great outrage at the possiblity of default, which could have catastrophic effects on the US economy if it resulted in the US Dollar's reserve currency status being downgraded -- if a significant proportion of those dollars currently held by other countries were sold, it would be dire. Any impact on the economy from the ACA would pale into insignificance in comparison to compromise of reserve currency status. So where is the outrage at the small number of Republicans who are threatening this?

So we should all more shit to get piled on our collective plates of shit because of the possibility of an even larger pile of shit being dumped on us if we don't.

THAT'S your play?

How about fuck you, I'll take my ball and go home, instead?

Re: Deep down.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138553)

Big brother is listening... Can you hear freedom fading? Silence, of course, is not an absence of outrage!
Big brother, and more importantly, unregulated wire-fraud by big-data will only lead to disaster of biblical proportions! Eventually we will outsmart our selves... I still have expectation of privacy, DAMIT!

Re:Deep down.. (3, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138597)

On this site a substantial number of readers use a phone whose OS is produced by a company that gets 95% of its revenue and profit from recording everything about you that it can, finding your weaknesses, and selling access to them to the highest bidder with zero oversight. Compared to that, what is the outrage over a Government agency sifting through metadata looking for people who want to hurt us and trying to stop them?

Re:Deep down.. (2)

master5o1 (1068594) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138625)

Jokes on them, I use a stamp moistener. All they'll sequence is the DNA of a bunch of bacteria stuck in the roller.

What Do You Mean, "We"? (4, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138177)

ICANN and ARIN are kicking the US off. []

That's not fatigue.

Re:What Do You Mean, "We"? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138223)

That transition has been going on for a long time. The net effect, so to speak, will be close to zero.

Re:What Do You Mean, "We"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138323)

Nice article that you submitted, but after checking, it is mainly saber rattling because the US got its hand caught in the cookie jar. China, Russia, and a number of other countries are also involved in eavesdropping as well. At least with the NSA, you won't wind up "waking up in pieces", Larry Niven style because you bitched about the government.

Want to be really scared? If ICANN loses control of the Internet to the UN. That means a Bhuddist site in the US can get shut down because it isn't up to Saudi moral standards, or a site mentioning government abuses gets shut down by said government for "seditious speech". At least the US is held accountable for actions when it comes to Internet site shutdowns. Think there is a way to get back your site if shut down through the UN? Good luck.

As for why US citizens don't care about the NSA, it is the simple reason that they don't know any better, and the press never covers anything of value, other than partisan politics and a new twerker. Want news, you have to go to Al Jazeera who will give it to you straight (well they have their biases, but different from Fox News).

PS: Which government pays you for your anti-US posts? I'm guessing China because you have a good grasp of English, or perhaps Russia since you have a low UID and actually have intelligent (though extreme) responses.

Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138179)

Barack Obama is President. George Bush once was President. That is all the explanation you need.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138189)

I can't speak for Boomers or Millenials, but for Gen Xers it's because even in the rare circumstance where we care, we can't be bothered to do more than gripe about it.

My guess for Millenials is that their attitude toward authority is to simply ignore authority. So why get worked up about it?

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138411)

My generation can spell "millennial". We're not so great on clothing, music, eyesight or... what was I talking about?

cold caloob (4, Interesting)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138195)

There's the very real possibility that Americans, despite the assurances of government officials, are being monitored in a way that potentially violates their privacy.

What? Possibility? Potentially? Without a single doubt, the mere collection of this information does that.

we would care but... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138197)

People would care but... hey! Did you hear what Miley did?

Seriously, it's too abstract and invisible. Being online and virtual, you don't SEE that your mail was steamed open and re-sealed. You don't SEE that someone watches where you go. You don't SEE that someone is standing there listening to your phone call to your wife.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Americans are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138199)

Because Americans are stupid and only care about movie stars, pop culture, facion, and their stupid overpiced cell phones.

Re:Americans are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138257)

This. It's fucking obvious. I don't get why people don't get it.

Outrage doesn't do shit (3, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138211)

Slashdot is packed with mentally unstable conspiracy theorists who insist that the US is worse than Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, and North Korea all rolled into one. Compared to that level of white hot hatred, most Americans will seem pretty passive over the NSA thing.

That doesn't mean they don't care though. Wait for the next campaign season, and I'll bet privacy will be a big issue. Not as big as the economy, but up there with abortion and gay marriage. A bill restraining the NSA failed by a pretty slim margin in the wake of the revelations this year. If just a dozen or so seats flip on the privacy issue, we can solve this problem.

Or we can sit around screaming for bloody, nation-destroying revolution. I know that seems to be the popular choice on this site.

Re:Outrage doesn't do shit (2)

lesincompetent (2836253) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138243)

Yes, it's better to leave the nation-destroying to the neoliberals.

Re:Outrage doesn't do shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138443)

Or neoconservatives, if the nation in question is Iraq.

Re:Outrage doesn't do shit (1)

Bartles (1198017) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138503)

How is Iraq doing these days? Afghanistan?

Re:Outrage doesn't do shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138583)

How is Iraq doing these days?

Better than under Saddam. Learning how to run their own country, it takes some time. It took the U.S.A. over a decade of fumbling around before America v3.0 was implemented with the current Constitution. v1.0 being British colony, v2.0 being the Articles of Confederation.


Better than under the Taliban.

Re:Outrage doesn't do shit (2)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138245)

Compared to that level of white hot hatred, most Americans will seem pretty passive over the NSA thing.

Because most Americans (and people) are imbeciles.

Not as big as the economy, but up there with abortion and gay marriage.

Now that's simply pathetic.

Re:Outrage doesn't do shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138599)

Because most on Slashdot are imbeciles.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Outrage doesn't do shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138399)

Slashdot is packed with mentally unstable conspiracy theorists who insist that the US is worse than Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, and North Korea all rolled into one.

A fringe contingent of loud idiots does not constitute "packed". You're hypocritically engaging in worse hyperbole and strawmanning than the people you're referring to.

Re:Outrage doesn't do shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138471)

Excuse me, but how many people does the US have in prison compared to Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, or North Korea?

The nation is already destroyed, Jack. Now we are just deciding what the next step is.

Re:Outrage doesn't do shit (1, Insightful)

http (589131) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138499)

Your nation already looks destroyed. Despite rampant criminality and indiscipline in the administration, the DoJ is deliberately remaining toothless on the matter, the judiciary is issuing no orders to rectify its oversight being ignored, and the legislators are largely following sponsor^Wparty lines instead of constituent wishes when drafting and voting on legislation. A revolution at this point could only create a nation.

Re:Outrage doesn't do shit (0)

DerekLyons (302214) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138507)

Slashdot is packed with mentally unstable conspiracy theorists who insist that the US is worse than Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, and North Korea all rolled into one. Compared to that level of white hot hatred, most Americans will seem pretty passive over the NSA thing.

That and privacy activists have been screaming bloody murder over every little thing so loudly and for so long now... that everyone who isn't a borderline mental case/conspiracy theorist classifies them right beside Chicken Little and The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Re:Outrage doesn't do shit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138543)

Ah yes.... wait for the next election to have the same voting body that has voted in shithead after shithead to pick another bunch of shitheads and a shithead-in-cheif.
What a great idea.... and people wonder why the serious problems We The People agree on just get kicked further down the road.... On to the next election, the next administration...
Let's be honest, most Slashdotters put more time and thought into debating products that they claim they'll never buy (XBox, iPad and Windows 8 come to mind) than who they'll elect next time 'round. Just follow the little R and little D after the names, that's how to choose them!
Slashdotters are lazy, myself included, but I'm simply someone who's not dumb enough into agreeing to the lesser of two evils bullshit that most people make up as an excuse. At least I'm not voting for the same old shitheads.

What else needs to be said. (1)

Known Nutter (988758) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138213)

The US Government / NSA spies on its citizens. They collect a tremendous amount of data and use it in ways which could easily be described as "nefarious." The NSA also spies on foreign officials and citizens, too -- surprise! They collect this data and use it to...what...sell girl scout cookies?!??

People who don't already this are in a serious state of denial or simply aren't paying attention.

Perhaps, collectively, we may be in a state of burn-out on the issue though. With news aggregators posting NSA stories once or twice a day in an obvious attempt for page views, it's tough to discern who the real whore is here...

Re:What else needs to be said. (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138425)

The NSA also spies on foreign officials and citizens, too -- surprise!

The only "surprise" in the above is the word "too". The NSA is SUPPOSED to spy on foreigners. That's what it was created for, and that's what its legal mandate both requires and allows...

Alas, the "too" is a bit of a problem, since the NSA is (theoretically) forbidden to spy on US citizens on US soil....

Surveillance fatigue? (5, Insightful)

fhic (214533) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138219)

Not at all. I think we've just all come to the realization that there's not a damn thing we can do about it. The people who are supposed to be looking out for us are acting like petulant teenagers. The "hope and change" guy hasn't done anything but make the problem worse. The guys in charge of the whole thing just lie about it and nothing is done. What's the answer, other than ignore the new revelations?

Re:Surveillance fatigue? (1)

tranquilidad (1994300) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138455)

I think it's more that we have an expectation that someone is "supposed to be looking out for us."

When we have an expectation that the government should take the role of parent and have been conditioned that said government gives us our rights then we end up with a feeling that we have no control over what they do or want to do.

The charges of what has happened are outrageous enough even absent an actual conspiracy.

We are lost. We, collectively, believe we serve the government in exchange for some level of security and diminishment of personal responsibility.

It took us a while to get here and it will take multiple generations before we can get back to government as the subservient and enough outrage about loss of personal liberty to prevent these types of abuses.

It is unfortunate that those who are the most outraged and most willing to do something about it are labeled as the fringe of the fringe.

Re:Surveillance fatigue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138585)

I, for one, do not really care all that much if my government is reading my emails or listening to my phone calls. I think its illegal, as well as wrong, but it just doesn't bother me that much. As much as some would like us to believe, the US Government has not and will not devolve into East Berlin and a Stasi kind of surveillance state.

I do care if my neighbor is reading my emails or listening to my phone calls or even wondering what I'm up to with all that racket I make. I want my neighbors to mind their own business and respect my privacy as I respect theirs.

I also do care that corporations I have never done business with are tracking my online activities. This annoys me to no end that I receive unsolicited advertising for really embarassingly personal shit. I'd prefer that these corporations go out of business rather than continue these kinds of practices.

The US Government is not "out to get us." For the most part, the government is not very efficient nor effective... to think that they, who really are just normal citizens working normal jobs, are orchestrating some massive conspiracy to enslave US citizens through surveillance is absolutely absurd. Granted, I would be happy if they stopped their dragnet of information gathering, but ultimately, I know for a fact they simply are incapable of causing me any trouble.

I am a patriot and I love my country, even as imperfect as it is, and even though it is the worst most oppressive country that has ever existed... except for all the others.

I wonder if some americans are just too exhausted (5, Insightful)

KimiDalamori (579444) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138231)

Speaking as one person at a full time job that regularly requires in excess of 60 hours a week, and as a friend to others who work 2 crappy minimum wage jobs at similar hours, it seems like a lot of people these days work themselves to the point where they're just too tired to rabble-rouse politically.

Most people do not know (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138237)

I was wondering about the lack of concern and so I started asking friends and family about their views on the NSA scandal. None of my non-techie friends/family had heard of it. The local news doesn't carry it, many main stream outlets don't pay it more than a passing mention and they don't visit tech websites, so they were all in the dark about the issue. The fact of the matter is that unless you're a tech-minded person you probably either do not know about the NSA controversy or you don't understand the implications.

Change the topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138251)

Instead of saying NSA , say China, or Russia, then watch the yelling start

Oh and it seems as long as you can keep your gun to shoot people everything else can be ignored

Yes, we're suffering from news overload (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138253)

It is widely accepted that the people of the US are unable to consume more than two or three news stories at a time. At the moment, at least one or two of those slots are actively occupied by celebrity fluff crap. And what we have in attention limits is completely overshadowed by the lack of comprehension of what is going on in any of these issues and what they actually mean. Issues such as religious and racial tensions not only in the US, but around the world are tuned out while we keep chanting to ourselves "I'm not racist! I'm good! I have a black friend!! See?" And we're being swallowed up by our own debt -- debt largely caused by excessive defense spending... worse, untraceable defense spending as stories of missing millions, billiions and maybe even trillions have been told and few people acknowledge as relevant. And we're seriously nearing the end of the US's relevance in the world as China and other nations are very interested in forcing the US out of the center of the world's influence. We've burned every bridge possible with the NSA unbelievably huge global surveillance and the US government's even larger hubris.

We're on the edge of something extremely bad.

And did you catch the latest celebrity twerk video?! OMG!

Outrage Fatigue: (5, Funny)

Hartree (191324) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138255)

With the internet to remind me of everything else I should be violently outraged about (global warming, abortion, Kony, Miley Cyrus twerking), it's hard to fit time in to be outraged about this.

I think maybe I can pencil it in for Thursday at 3am. Does that work for you?

Re:Outrage Fatigue: (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138473)

With the internet to remind me of everything else I should be violently outraged about (global warming, abortion, Kony, Miley Cyrus twerking), it's hard to fit time in to be outraged about this.

I think maybe I can pencil it in for Thursday at 3am. Does that work for you?

Come on, you're a Slashdot denizen of long standing by your UID. People who come here live for mindless outrage and wouldn't know what to do with themselves if they didn't have at least one dose a day.

We've been groomed for years ... (3, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138259)

I suspect that the real reason why people aren't outraged is because we've been groomed to accept a lack of privacy for years. We have companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter to thank for that.

Re:We've been groomed for years ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138601)

I really don't consider someone having a list of numbers I called a "lack of privacy". Put cameras and microphones all over your house and broadcast it on TV and then you'll see what a lack of privacy is.

I'm more concerned with oversight to ensure select individuals with access to this information doesn't abuse it for personal gain, extortion, political persecution, etc.

has anyone innocent been harmed ? really ? (1)

vpness (921181) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138263)

I personally am ambivalent. I'm 'spy'd on' by my employer here in the US. I had to submit to a background checks that went back to high school to get a job. And in general, the leaks haven't revealed anyone "harmed" (yes, I'll be modded to negative 1000 for saying that but ...). For 'why' my sense is that there're a lot of 'me's ' around who say: - I have nothing to hide - warfare has changed - the rules that the genius Jefferson wrote 250 years ago didn't consider asymmetrical terrorism or email - spying on us citizens to date has been a conceptual issue - the spying hasn't led to some other wrong

Re:has anyone innocent been harmed ? really ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138635)

You point out how this is framed in entirely the wrong way
I also do not really care about individual privacy, but mass surveillance is completely incompatible with democracy, especially when the methods rules, and results are all kept secret.

It is very easy to look back in American history and see plenty of important groups that would have been crushed by "law enforcement" had these tools been available (the labor movement, women's suffrage, and the civil rights movement just to name a few)

Even if no active action is taken, there is nothing that presents a stronger "chilling effect" on free speech as secret monitoring of conversations by the national law enforcement establishment

I dunno, maybe the debt default... (3, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138265)

...has got us a wee bit distracted? I mean, the good news is that after our currency tanks, the NSA won't be able to afford their spy center in Utah and their $60 billion budget, but the bad news is that we'll all be eating grass. So it's a bit hard to get exercised over something as trivial as whether somebody in Utah is reading our email.

They do worse to themselves (3, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138271)

Seriously. Look at Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. People are freely sharing information about themselves than the NSA is collecting. People like you are running around getting upset over some phone numbers while most people are posting pictures of themselves stupid drunk, committing crimes, and telling offensive jokes in public forums, not to mention publicly demonstrating how stupid they actually are.

Why aren't people upset? Because what the NSA is doing doesn't even begin to compare to what people are doing on their own.

The parties are to busy with shut. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138279)

To tell everyone what to think yet.

Entertainment (2)

watermark (913726) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138287)

I have TV and Video games that need watching/playing. Stop bumming me out.

Because it's overblown (3, Interesting)

Kethinov (636034) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138295)

People aren't outraged because all the rhetoric criticizing the surveillance programs was overblown. There are certainly plenty of things to be concerned about, sure. But just go read some news coverage from the time of the leaks and have a look at all the hyperbole and fear mongering. It was ridiculous.

If we want people to have a serious discussion about surveillance, then we need less fear mongering and more actionable activism. We need to get more organized and make specific proposals detailing what laws we would change and why it's so important to do so.

Instead of doing that, we just went on rants about how right we were the whole time and how evil it all is. We vomited vague, nonspecific emotion over the issue instead of proposing tangible solutions people could actually act on.

So yeah, no wonder everyone's suffering from "surveillance fatigue." I am too. And I actually care about the issue.

Re:Because it's overblown (4, Insightful)

Bartles (1198017) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138521)

Was it overblown when Bush was President?

GOP Shutdown confusing response (1, Insightful)

leftie (667677) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138297)

The media is full of GOP shutdown coverage. How people break on GOP shutdown issue is almost completely different than how people break on NSA spying. The people mad about GOP shutdown don't seem to be talking about the NSA while expressing shutdown anger.

DNC Shutdown confusing response (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138623)

I think you have it wrong, the GOP has proposed many alternatives to the shutdown. Only one person is refusing to talk about ending the shutdown and thats Obama. He is not the president of the country, he believes only people who voted for him deserve representation and the rest of us deserve to be called names instead.

The sheep (2)

Carnivore24 (467239) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138301)

are asleep.

Re:The sheep (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138345)

Or at least afraid to speak

Re:The sheep (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138387)

Wouldn't speaking out against your cuntry be called treason? Even if they are horribly wrong?

Let's turn that around (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138305)

Why isn't there more outrage over revelations about Google and Facebook (among others) gathering petabytes of information tracking users *by name* (not just aggregates) across a bewildering variety of electronic platforms (including sensor networks that most of us have never heard of) and using that information for commercial advantage? Isn't that a bit creepy?

Mostly silence here.

Because of racism. (-1, Redundant)

VinylRecords (1292374) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138309)

Not even joking. You dare criticize anything about President Obama and you will be accused by some establishment 'journalist', pundit, or talking head of being racist. Or being labelled with something else that is one or two words. Moron. Islamaphobic. Tea-tard. Republitard. Pro-terror. Anarchist. Conspiracy Lunatic.

Why risk getting involved politically with anyone? Why talk politics at work or in your social sphere? Politics are so partisan and cutthroat that it is best to keep to yourself. You say something out of turn and you might lose your job or be run in by the mainstream media. Actors, singers, writers, secretaries, teachers, and so on. They've all been fired for expressing even moderate criticism against whoever is running things.

When it was President Bush you would get slandered and hammered for being against the wars. You'd be a pussy liberal faggot. Pro-terrorism. Against the troops. Disrespecting the 9/11 victims. And so on.

Now it's the same game. Disagree with Obama on gun control? Then you're a gun nut. An asshole. Anti-children. Pro-school shooting. Think Obamacare is bad? You're a racist. Probably homophobic as well.

When Imus got fired for jokingly saying "nappy headed ho" it was over. Ted Kennedy can drown a woman because he's part of the establishment. Cheney can rake in millions in war contracts with the blood of our soldiers and lots of innocent civilians. Pelosi and Al Gore can rake in millions with backroom deals and insider trading. When you're the establishment you can start wars that kill thousands of people. Manipulate the stock market or use business inside information to net yourself millions.

But try to operate within the mainstream at all while criticizing the people who run this country (into the ground). Anyone count how many journalists have joined the Obama administration? Anyone see how Fast and Furious and Benghazi are treated as "right wing fantasies" by the mainstream press? Or how sites like Slashdot have new accounts signing up to spam pro-establishment talking points on political articles?

Criticize any of Obama's policies and you're entire argument will be reduced to one or two words and repeated ad nauseum by the media. You're entire argument no matter how eloquent or well formed will suddenly be reported by the NYTimes, Politico, CNN, and ABC News as "right wing gun nut goes crazy" or "fringe thinking" or "opinion fueled by racism".

Re:Because of racism. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138463)

When it was President Bush you would get slandered and hammered for being against the wars. You'd be a pussy liberal faggot. Pro-terrorism. Against the troops. Disrespecting the 9/11 victims. And so on.... Now it's the same game. Disagree with Obama on gun control? Then you're a gun nut. An asshole. Anti-children.

I know that posts that slam both sides of the political spectrum equally tend to be looked on favorable by the mods here, but I'll say this...

If you're a guy, you need to grow a pair. Politics is not "nice", and never has been.

Re:Because of racism. (1)

Bartles (1198017) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138465)

When it was President Bush you would get slandered and hammered for being against the wars. You'd be a pussy liberal faggot. Pro-terrorism. Against the troops. Disrespecting the 9/11 victims. And so on.

Remember Cindy Sheehan? Did the media hammer her for being against the wars? Warrantless wiretapping? Whistleblower's daily revelations to the NYTimes? What world are you remembering? The reason people are ambivalent about the NSA is because our independent media, is just a wing of the Democrat party. It has done everything possible to minimize the effects of all the numerous scandals of this administration. If a Republican were president you idiots would be marching in the streets.

Re:Because of racism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138493)

Your right its now a mental disease to disagree with your authoritarian overlords. And people know it. And they have lives to live even in this shithole we now live in.

Calling it a shithole has 2 net effects. It makes everyone unhappy and gets you slandered and belittled and makes our lives harder.

No one is going to be saying we live in a shithole ruled over by shitlords. That we need to flush down the shitpipes.

No one cares. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138321)

Let's face it, almost no one in the US cares about it. Personally, I've been out of work since feb '13, came home to a $23,900 BS bill from the ex GF, and was assaulted by my ignorant neighbor... now he's in jail. I really don't have time in my shit hole of a life to even think about the NSA. We all know they are the enemy, we all know they are spying on everything (even this), and that personal freedom and privacy doesn't, and hasn't existed in the USA for a long time. And we all know that with technology, it just gets worse.

This country is horrible, it sucks, and the only people who live here are either rich pricks, poor ignorant folk, or fence jumpers from the south.

All-in-all, I really REALLY miss the freedoms and privacy I had in Germany, the US just sucks! -Thats why. And no, not trolling.

Re:No one cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138377)

what's the bill for?

Re:No one cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138565)

Her supposed belongings, even though I have a receipt when I payed for everything at Auction to get her belongings back from a storage place, GREAT DAY!

Anyways, back on topic, no one cares, or better yet, has time to care.

Outrage will be monitored (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138325)

And your records will haunt you.

"My life is not that interesting" syndrome... (3, Informative)

nblender (741424) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138333)

My in-laws are in the camp that their lives aren't interesting so if some guy in the US wants to read my sis-in-law's text messages, who cares... Or find out what brand of tampons she buys... She figures it's better to be safe from "terrists" and lose a bit of insignificant privacy than the alternative... I'm a tinfoil hat wearing paranoid freak, to them, because I refuse to have a passport...

There is and was, though not much action. (1)

buttfuckinpimpnugget (662332) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138335)

And now the world is mostly distracted by the shutdown.

Because it's hopeless (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138337)

I don't think it's because people don't care as such. Maybe some don't see it as a problem because they think such widespread spying is actually beneficial for the country. I would bet though the majority of people are just apathetic at this point. People have seen what happens when you fight the system - your life is destroyed. This idea of David vs Goliath is a great Bible story but doesn't have much basis in real life. In real life the bad guys win far, far too often.

Most people see challenging the system as a hopeless endevour because they don't have any power, and there's not enough capability to get others to agree with them en mass in such a way as to be a genuine threat to the powers that be. Even then, running spying programs in secret is still quite possible, and since it's blessed by the Government, who's capable of stopping them? So apathy runs the game and people just accept that this is how it is?

People have enough daily stresses on their mind to worry and be concerned about something that they are unable to stop. I've read glib statements from people suggesting that other countries are probably doing the same in their own countries, so bashing the US for doing it is hypocritical. Maybe, although just because it's pervasive doesn't make it immune from criticism. But it does seem to make it accepted.

Honestly, this is a topic that's garnered some of the most feverant talk on Internet forums and tech sites for a very long time. But at this point unless the people at the top feel that there's a genuine threat to their own lives or power, they'll never change.

Because the average american... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138349)

is an authoritarian piece of shit who gets off on the idea of people abusing power as long as it doesn't affect them personally?

The options... (2)

Esther And Gretel (3398837) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138363)

A new new deal would require massive demonstrations and/or riots at the local, state and federal levels. Writing to your congressman or voting is a farce. Has a rising tide lifted all boats? What about that peace dividend we were promised? Besides addressing income inequality, employment, education, social svs, taxes, prisons, electoral college, gerrymandering, lobbying, central banking and the military industrial complex we need a break on the two party system. A third party won't have success unless all the rascals are thrown out of office. All have betrayed our trust. We need a fairer system and a govt that's actually representative of the people. Creators need to start being rewarded...not the parasites. We also need a review of ALL laws on the books...if it hasn't made life better roll it back. Making pot, nunchakus and 1m other items criminal is a joke.

Apathy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138365)

Withdrawing in disgust is easily confused with apathy. It's been beaten into the American public's head that nothing they say or do will change anything - no amount of outrage changes anything. I don't know many people who thought bailing out the crooks that ruined the economy was a good idea, lots of people tried to stop it - yet it went through nonetheless. When we do speak up - such as Occupy - we get tazed, maced and worse... and still, nothing changes. Does anyone honestly think there is anything at all that will stop the NSA from doing what they're doing? Even if them doing so is akin to a big sick bird, they'll still do it - and just go back to lying to everyone who asks if they've stopped.

It seems like it will take a total and complete collapse before we can rebuild on the ruins of this once great republic. Until that happens, I'm withdrawing in disgust and painting racing stripes on my hand-basket. Hopefully it will make the ride to hell go faster.

Short attention spans (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138375)

Compare the outrage after the Newtown incident. It got a TON of press, lots of people saying we should do something, and then like lots of "hey look there's a problem that requires some serious discussion" issues, the media got bored dropped it.

Contrast that with how quickly the missing death benefits for solders who gave their life for the country got fixed after it was reported. Same deal, it's something that requires lots of discussion and debate that people just stop caring about.

Sadly there's wayyyyy to many other things to occupy most of our minds these days so we stop caring. and once the media stops talking about it, very very few people will think about it again let alone care/try to do something.

Is youse ignerent? (1, Informative)

XB-70 (812342) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138381)

They's a bunch of commies across the Pacific whore hackin our computers n such and youse is worried 'cause da Gov't is lookin at yer emails? Wese have gotta keep 'em commies in check. Da FBI 'n CIA 'n such r ther to protect r intrests an we gotta let 'em do ther job. Dats why we have 'em - 't pertect us, ya dummies!

Historical Perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138383)

Things the "general populace" cares about, from a record of history: Mass murder? Nope. Police state? Nyet. Dictatorship: Maybe eventually, kinda. Forced Conscription and military service: Nada. Pointless war with another country: Often supported to one degree or another. Not getting paid: Revolution time.

That's about it, most people are content to sit their and grumble a bit if they care at all, unless they're not getting paid, which is when people snap. So that's why.

I just don't see a point... (1)

umask077 (122989) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138385)

So they are spying, Its the NSA and probably several other acronyms. Nothing I do on the net is illegal. If they want to see what I ordered from Amazon more power to them. I'm not concerned with them having who I call. So I call my partner. my kids, my parents. my friends. Mostly we text, I'm sure they monitor text's too. Again, If they want to know I need to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home more power to them. There is just far to much data to be truly useful. I guess if your up to no good you have to worry but for the average person i suspect they just don't care.

5:43 (0)

mythosaz (572040) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138393)

That's how long it took between stories with NSA in the headlines today.

To answer your question... (5, Interesting)

Pollux (102520) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138397)

Two words: Government shutdown.

And while that -is- the answer, there's a deeper meaning here. NSA spying is yesterday's news. People only care about today's news, and they only care about it for as long as it remains news. As soon as the shutdown is yesterday's news, we'll get angry about something else. Our nation's vane hubris keeps our minds tied to the present, leading our general populace to share little concern for the past.

What the NSA is doing is terrible, but the raping of our nation's economy by private financial interests is still far worse. Even more atrocious was starting a war with a foreign nation on false pretenses. But that's all behind us now. Let's get out there and raise our Don't Tread on Me flags against ObamaCare; we live in a democracy, and dammit, if we don't raise up our voice for what's wrong, we're not doing our patriotic duty.

(And if you don't understand the irony of that last sentence, then please don't leave a comment.)

Re:To answer your question... (2)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138577)

> Two words: Government shutdown.

Well, we may get this. (What we have now is not a shutdown; it's a tantrum.)

Probably Because It Doesn't Really Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138409)

Flame away...but...
As much as the conspiracy theorists and paranoid schizos like to rant about how terrible this all supposedly is...there's been no examples of any of it being abused.
Even after all the ranting and raving, show me one example of someone being dragged off in a black van with a bag over their head or a single instance where all of this supposedly US persons collected information has been used to blackmail someone or some other abuse?
Hell, I'm sure there would be enough data to pretty much arrest everyone on some sort of illegal charge if things were being abused the way everyone seems to claim, but I haven't seen any examples of it yet...and neither has anyone else.
Which is why nobody cares.
Besides, we already give everything to Facebook and Google...who cares if the government has it as well.
At least we can vote on policy reform if they get to crazy with it.

Misdirection (-1)

Rydia (556444) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138441)

Because the prima donnas at the heart of the story (Snowden and Greenwald) made and continue to make the story about themselves, rather than the material. A story about a reporter and his whistleblowing buddy on the lam, both making crazy statements that greatly overshadow the series but drier material they are disclosing, always played better and therefore was covered better.

At this point, everyone's tired of them, and has forgotten what the whole fuss was about.

Re:Misdirection (5, Interesting)

SerenelyHotPest (2970223) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138513)

I think it's easy to show that Julian Assange is a prima donna, but I hesitate to describe Edward Snowden as one. He isn't crying for more attention or more political power; he just wants to make sure he's safe from targeting of political adversaries. He hasn't offered a lot of commentary besides explaining his reasons. Whether he is or not, though, I don't think it matters all that much. What can be shown--and does matter--is that the media interested in maintaining the status quo wants to make the revelations about Edward Snowden. Turn it into identity politics and relatively few people will care about the underlying issues, then you can destroy Edward Snowden's credibility and cast the issue as irrelevant.

Because it doesn't affect them (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138447)

The TV still works, the computer still works, McDonald's still serves swill, and the boss is still harping for more work to be done.

As long as day-to-day life isn't affected, the average consumer cares far more about Miley Cyrus twerking than they do about oppressive surveillance.

Hell, how long has the TSA been invasively harassing people for the sake of security, and they put up with that, so why not put up with something that has no obvious impact on life?

Implement a Police State w/out Really Trying (1)

SerenelyHotPest (2970223) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138459)

All governments know that the best way to roll out an oppressive measure is to talk about it endlessly as "purely hypothetical", purchase support (not necessarily with money, mind you; soft political is more than sufficient in many cases) for it in popular media to condition people to accept it. Eventually, you slowly implement it, outright denying the most egregious parts of it and amorphously implying that this is how things will be from now on--or at least in the near future; times have changed and eventually this will be the new normal. Ostracize anyone complaining about it or pointing it out by attacking their character, ridiculing them, or really any kind of ad hominem that doesn't address the underlying points being made. The human tribal identity heuristics will eventually cause most normal people to associate dissent with lunacy. If the system of oppression in question, or revelation of its true nature, is embarrassing, you can use this to mark people opposed to it as destructive or unpatriotic. If you have an economic system and entertainment complex that pressures people away from putting in the time to organizing politically, through a combination of longer hours and the looming threat of unemployment, say, they're then unlikely to actually demand changes (the Occupy Wall Street model, whether you agree with its goals or not, does not represent a serious demand for changes. Rather, it embodies a sink on political frustration. You just tweak the direction the oppositional movement takes until they degrade themselves in the eyes of the public or tire themselves out--so much better than political attrition because they match their own energy reserves dithering rather than sapping yours). The news media can be another Occupy Wall Street: Joe H. Typical can get frustrated and scream at his TV and feel like he's doing something before drinking himself into docility and deciding that there isn't really anything sane he could do to show just how unacceptable whatever-it-is is. That's the press's job, after all. This is assuming Joe H. Typical still watches the news; I wouldn't put it past him to be reading several news sources not owned by the friendly neighborhood media oligopoly. Now the best thing about this entire political structure is it actually demands relatively little management; all you need to do is tip things far enough in your favor that the system becomes self-reinforcing. The intervention needed is minute compared with the leverage it provides.

I think the NSA revelations are were outrageous enough at just the right time that there's serious potential for change, but notice how effective the campaign of psychological warfare has been. The thing about institutions is they have a ton of political momentum; changing them quickly is hard and often dangerous. This is what today's NSA's powerful apologists understand. Americans distrust their government, of course, but I don't think they appreciate how carefully tuned the net political force is, both in the US and in other countries. If they did, they might be scared and not simply uneasy in some vague, inarticulate sense.

It's not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138469)

We knew it all along. Why would we pretend to be outraged now?

Chilling effect. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138481)

Nobody is talking because they are afraid of being put on a list for later "bad luck."

Most People are Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138539)

First off most people are stupid, second, most people who are really up in arms about this issue in particular are also snooty douches. Nobody likes snooty douches, not even the snooty douche.

All Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138551)

The issue is that the citizenry have not really had their negative example yet. Not a big one.

Most of these laws and programs (the most objectionable ones) came into being post-911. The terrorists still exist and are active, so that's a tangible. The dangers of loss of privacy and omni-surveillance are still abstract and far-off to the average person. Therefore the apparent Risk/Reward tradeoff to curb the spying are still tilted towards the Risk of terrorism and the Reward of security.

Therefore it is easy to get caught up rationalizing the status quo. "I'm not the person the NSA is looking for", "I've got nothing to hide", "I'm sure the CIA has good screening programs for their staff", and so on. And, to tell the truth, there haven't been any foreign terror plots that were carried out on US soil post-911. Domestic yes, foreign no.

What the current generation have not had yet: J. Edgar Hoover. Richard Nixon. Joe McCarthy.

Which is to say, blatant abuse of power by insiders. Something so egregious and obvious that even their supporters cannot explain or justify. Yes it has happened but always as relatively small scale scandals. Easy to downplay or ignore by ordinary citizens.

Maybe because... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138569)

...we aren't surprised?

It's like saying, "Insider at Phillip Morris reveals that cigarettes are really bad for you and the company knew it all along!"
Had the headline been "Snowden reveals what button to push to make the NSA cease to exist" I would have gotten a lot more interested.

TINA (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138581)

There is a problem with USA's bipartisan political system. Since both democrats and republicans politicians seem fine with NSA behavior, There Is No Alternative offered through elections.

When democracy fails, the only choice remaining is getting tired or start a revolution to refound democracy. But since you always know what you loose and never know what you gain, revolution will not occur until people have much more serious problem than being monitored.

Cattle (2)

retech (1228598) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138593)

Cattle will stand idly by queued up waiting to be slaughtered. Even after the cow in front is killed, they barely react.

Brass Tacks 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138615)

1. People in the USA are too busy trying to make ends meet in a Darwinian economy to be properly concerned about gov't surveillance.
2. Everyone is free to become the enemy by exercising the First Amendment (i.e. convert to Islam) and that is why the NSA has to watch everyone.

Frost p1st... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138639)

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Greenwald leaves Guardian (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138641)

Slightly off-topic...

Glenn Greenwald, journalist who helped break NSA surveillance story, leaves Guardian

The journalist who helped Edward Snowden uncover the secret program is leaving the British newspaper for an undisclosed ‘momentous new venture.’

Glenn Greenwald, 46, said the details of this "once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity" with significant financial backing will be public soon. "My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling: I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved," Greenwald said.

Greenwald explained that choosing to leave was not easy but that he was offered an opportunity no journalist could turn down. Greenwald said he will build an "entire journalism unit from the ground up" by hiring writers and editors who share his journalistic values. []

For the obvious reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138651)

No one gives a shit.

because we already knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45138653)

fear is generated by unexpected scary events. Expected scary events we get used to. 9/11 was a surprise. More people dying every year from car accidents is not. Nobody was really surprised our government was spying on us. I.E. No fear. No outrage

Come again? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,9 days | (#45138661)

the unveiling of the NSA's Great Contact-List Caper has ranked below the news stories such as the government shutdown, negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, and invites for Apple's upcoming iPad event on aggregators such as Google News; it also didn't make much of a blip on Twitter and other online forums

Wait a minute... there's an upcoming iPad event?

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