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NSA Wants To Reveal Its Secrets To Prevent Snowden From Revealing Them First

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the coming-clean dept.

Privacy 216

binarstu writes "According to a recent report by Tom Gjelten of NPR, 'NSA officials are bracing for more surveillance disclosures from the documents taken by former contractor Edward Snowden — and they want to get out in front of the story. ... With respect to other information held by Snowden and his allies but not yet publicized, the NSA is now considering a proactive release of some of the less sensitive material, to better manage the debate over its surveillance program.'"

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Psyops at its finest. (5, Insightful)

starworks5 (139327) | about 10 months ago | (#45430121)

When you get to frame the issue the way you want, you can try to convince the people that it was for their own good. Snowden may likely say show that it was used abused in practice, and the NSA likely wants to say that they prevented a suspected domestic terrorist.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (4, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45430175)

Yup, this is exactly it. Unfortunately a whole lot of people don't think much about what we already know. The few that know and care won't be easily pacified by what the NSA starts releasing. We already know they lie, and anyone that trusts a liar is a fool.

Personally, I think the damage control is not really needed. I guess it may be trying to push some people back down into slumber. The Obamacare fiasco shows just how far out of reality countless Americans really are. Don't get me wrong, people are waking up. I'm just not confident enough will be awake in time to prevent some very very bad things from happening in a very short time.

Americans: NSA needs more oversight (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430407)

That's not true you know, only 17% of Americans think the NSA oversight is OK, with the majority wanting reform.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/02/surveillance-poll_n_4195379.html

They may be misinformed about the depth of the problems, but even the problems they can see are enough to demand better oversight.

In the UK, the press is very pro-surveillance nanny state, but even there that's swinging now against the spooks mass surveillance programs. They're trying to rein it back in with "speculation helps terrorists", and threats to the press, trying to shut down the debate they know they would lose.

Really we're past that now, enough people are concerned enough to effect change and the spooks are accusing them of being terrorists that need to be watched.

Cameron is deleting former speeches, so he's compromised. He's was against the police state and now he's trying to re-write history by deleting his speeches on it. The spooks are trying to drive the agenda with scare-mongering and arrests under anti-terror laws of journalists.

It's tipping point stuff.

Re:Americans: NSA needs more oversight (4, Interesting)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 10 months ago | (#45430795)

Funny thing about "oversight". On the one hand it means some mechanism to keep tabs on some process making sure it doesn't run amok. On the other hand it also means to neglect something.

Seems to me the NSA oversight is more like the latter, except not by accident.

Re:Americans: NSA needs more oversight (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 10 months ago | (#45430839)

I would say they have the former covered as well, which is what we are all currently fighting against.

Re:Americans: NSA needs more oversight (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431487)

That's not true you know, only 17% of Americans think the NSA oversight is OK, with the majority wanting reform.

Polls are nonsense a grand majority of the time. Fact is, most people asked for this after 9/11; they traded freedom for 'security,' and they got exactly what they deserved: an even more tyrannical government. Sadly, the rest of us who didn't want that to happen are also stuck with this garbage.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45430449)

. I'm just not confident enough will be awake in time to prevent some very very bad things from happening in a very short time.

Too late [volokh.com] , and it wasn't symmetric. [nationalreview.com] . Just label it excerpts from the road towards a one party state.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430925)

Whats this? Cold Fjord dressing up as a sheep? I guess their Karma must be shot to hell defending in indefensible lately (NSA et al)...

Go back to posting pro NSA stories for your Karma buddy, I hear they are looking to spin their darker side first...

Re:Psyops at its finest. (1)

TheP4st (1164315) | about 10 months ago | (#45431539)

Whats this? Cold Fjord dressing up as a sheep?

Not at all, it is cold fjord trying to divert the topic from NSA to IRS.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 10 months ago | (#45430863)

I'm just not confident enough will be awake in time to prevent some very very bad things from happening in a very short time.

And in the unlikely event that enough do, there'll be plenty of autonomous bots to put them back to sleep (*cough* dirt nap *cough*)...

Re:Psyops at its finest. (1)

Xest (935314) | about 10 months ago | (#45430913)

Right but there's still a risk to the NSA's strategy, that being that if Snowden feels the NSA has hijacked the agenda, he just dumps the whole lot and let's the press have a field day.

The press loves scandal, scandals are going to get far more press time than wishy-washy nonsense statements direct from the NSA.

So if the NSA is going to do this they're going to have to be careful they don't piss Snowden off too much by completely and utterly lying about their activities else it may backfire completely and they may see a release that was more unrestrained than it otherwise would have been.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (1)

hairyfish (1653411) | about 10 months ago | (#45431311)

Or not. Based on my experience with fear mongering, I'm willing to bet my house that it will be not very bad after all.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45430179)

Exactly.

I've been posting this prediction all along.

They will own it in public statements, (or at least they will own part of it), and they will tell you to get over it. They will then go on to even bigger excesses and violations. They will attempt to have laws passed making encryption a crime (again).

You haven't seen anything yet.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430581)

And what kind of sycophantic crap will you spout about Apple's claim that bounce-back and double-tap-to-zoom are worth $100/phone...

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/11/apple-hopes-to-win-back-380m-in-damages-re-trial-against-samsung/ [arstechnica.com] [arstechnica.com]

Of course Slashdot'll never report it, cause they're in Apple's pocket.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (5, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about 10 months ago | (#45430195)

Snowden may likely say show that it was used abused in practice, and the NSA likely wants to say that they prevented a suspected domestic terrorist.

NSA will also probably claim that they were going to release/review this material anyway, and Snowden just forced them to do it too early (thus jeopardizing security, etc, etc.)

I found it fascinating when Obama made these claims -- that he was going to review and fix the entire NSA program any day now and that Snowden just forced him to do it in a rush instead of carefully.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (2, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about 10 months ago | (#45431175)

I found it fascinating when Obama made these claims -- that he was going to review and fix the entire NSA program any day now and that Snowden just forced him to do it in a rush instead of carefully.

I think it's become clear that you can't believe anything Obama says. That's not "fascinating", it's deeply disturbing in the top executive of our government. The president is supposed to be boring, honest, and careful; instead, we got an activist and a liar.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430223)

Way too late,

If you want to fix the NSA you need to shut it down and its predecessor needs to be completely transparent, As its for the american good should the american public will be fine with all its choices, national security has been abused for years and needs to stop the hate from other country's wont even lessen until this happen's.

G'luck with your civil war.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (2)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 10 months ago | (#45430437)

You mean successor, not predecessor.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 10 months ago | (#45431187)

I agree on shutting down the NSA.

But the "hate from other countries" will never stop. European intellectuals have hated America pretty much since America was founded. Nothing the US does will ever change that.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431227)

As an European intellectual, I am pretty sure your are wrong. Bad sampling, I know -- so take it FWIW.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431281)

Its not just the European union who hate the US. It's alot worse than that, The US has compromised data security for the entire world, they have been caught stealing trade secrets from overseas company's and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Even in little old NZ we feel the affects of Helping the USA to break its own laws and spy of citizens it cannot spy on itself. (See Five Eyes pact)

The US has alot of fences to mend, but they can do it. its just going to take more than a few mea culpa.

Oh, and not withstanding is the war crimes committed by american forces. (See White phosphorus use in Iraq) Until they take responsibility for the actions of thier government no forgiveness is possible.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431405)

Re:Psyops at its finest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431559)

Actually soon after the 9/11 attacks on the USA, the USA did get quite a lot of support and sympathy.

After they started those recent wars they got a lot more hate. More so after the bullshit Iraq war over "WMD" that became a "regime change" war.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (5, Insightful)

boorack (1345877) | about 10 months ago | (#45430239)

Given their record of factuality in their official statements this whole bruhaha about "openess" it is more likely to be lie. Given number of transgressions and laws broken by NSA we've seen in Snowden documents, they just can't release such things, so it is lie for sure. They only thing they propably want to achieve by this manipulation is to make whistleblowers' life harder. After all, despite of all bullshit and propaganda in corporate media citizenry is now behind Snowden. What they want is propably to have some leverage to explain to public that future whistleblowers' revelations are 'redundant', so they'll have public consent to prosecute or exterminate future whistleblowers and also journalists. This corresponds pretty well with latest law pushed by Feinstein that legalizes all NSA transgressions we've seen in latest months and mandates harsh penalties for both whistleblowers leaking inconvenient materials and journalists publishing such revelations. In short, Obama regime is now busy reinforcing its grip on what public should and shouldn't know.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (3, Insightful)

ApplePy (2703131) | about 10 months ago | (#45430675)

Given their record of factuality in their official statements this whole bruhaha about "openess" it is more likely to be lie.

Congratulations! If there were a /. Achievement for Understatement of the Week, you'd have won it! :)

Re:Psyops at its finest. (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about 10 months ago | (#45430427)

We want to reveal the lie before Snowden reveals the truth.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (1)

arcite (661011) | about 10 months ago | (#45431143)

Truth is relative, the medium is the message, and the NSA controls the medium. ;)

Re:Psyops at its finest. (2)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about 10 months ago | (#45430471)

We were secretly giving Americans anal probes during their sleep. It was for your own good so that the terrorists wouldn't win.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (1)

thsths (31372) | about 10 months ago | (#45430529)

"Look, this rock protects against giant killer rabbits. "

Re:Psyops at its finest. (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 10 months ago | (#45430671)

True, but think about it. The truth is the truth; if your defined enemy has you by the balls (blackmail), why let him continue to apply pressure to your testicles? Just coming clean means you can relieve that pressure, and nail the other guy for attempted blackmail. This works, of course, only if you don't hide the truth or mitigate things, etc. once you are in that situation...so if the NSA is still trying to cover up or redact some things, it's still going to hurt with this strategy, unless it changes.

The truth only works so well as you let it. Try to hide something when you use it, and it works less successfully.

AKA a Limited Hangout properganda teqchnique (4, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 10 months ago | (#45430999)

Oh it can be pretty successful if done right. The NSA will little doubt start doing Limited Hangouts [wikipedia.org] of information.

A limited hangout, or partial hangout, is a public relations or propaganda technique that involves the release of previously hidden information in order to prevent a greater exposure of more important details.

[sarcasm] By lucky coincidence [/sarcasm] the NSA are now allowed to go direct to the public with their message (see "'Anti-Propaganda' Ban Repealed... Direct Broadcasting at American Citizens" [techdirt.com] ), not that private mass media was not on their side to begin with anyway.

When journalists get around later to releasing Snowdens whistleblower material as a "full hangout" truth, most mass media will then shout LALALA OLD NEWS nothing to see here as loud as they can to drown it out. You might even see it being marked as a dupe here on /.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (1)

Reaper9889 (602058) | about 10 months ago | (#45431063)

They actually do not need to do any framing or anything. They simply give up all the files Snowden got at one time, everybody gets angry at them and in a month the furor over all this will have died down. Currently people are getting annoyed at them whenever Snowden releases a new file and that can continue for a long time yet, which seemes way worse for them. Sort of the real version of the boiling frog. In reality it jumps out when it gets too hot, but it might not if it gets warm only for a short time.

Re:Psyops at its finest. (2)

flyneye (84093) | about 10 months ago | (#45431515)

Yeah, too little, too late. They're gonna have to look under every rock to dig up a few who would believe them. Maybe they should have a more trustworthy spokesman speak for them, like a used car dealer.

Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430125)

I've heard enough lies already thanks.

Round 1: Fight (4, Funny)

DrPBacon (3044515) | about 10 months ago | (#45430145)

Snowden Wins.

Re:Round 1: Fight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430185)

Round 2: NSA releases video of Snowden doing the Dean Scream.

Snowden Loses. Forever.

Re:Round 1: Fight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431423)

Have you done your homework? Drink your milk and go to bed.

Re:Round 1: Fight (5, Insightful)

Zemran (3101) | about 10 months ago | (#45430445)

Nah, they will do a Assange on him but with 10 year girls making the accusations this time and no one will ever be able to discuss what he said again. People will just talk about the accusation instead of the issue. If you look at the accusations they are so stupid but it whitewashed the whole Wikileaks issue. Same with Strauss Khan...

Re:Round 1: Fight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430463)

Snowden Wins.

Well, I would call it more of a tie for now.
Snowden did have to leave his job and family behind and hide in Russia (running out of money now, from recent news articles).

popularity contest (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430147)

"Snowden is a loser because he doesn't have anything new to tell you! Don't listen to losers! NSA are the popular dudes now! Hot NSA gossip over here! Snowden loses celebrity status!"

should be hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430151)

i doubt the NSA could ever come up with a truthful statement. no matter what they try and say, snowden will pick it apart.

either way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430155)

Information will be released, than it will be compared with Snowden's release. And it will be different, because Snowden's information will be factual and probably opinion-less. So what's the point?

Blind No More (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430157)

"The monster is out of the bottle."

The monster was never in the bottle, but above, below, and around us. Do you think this is really just a struggle between human beings? There is much more at work here.

Outcome #3: Your friends are here.
Aaron Cross: Yeah. Don't you think that strange? Wolves, they don't do that. They don't track people.
Outcome #3: Yeah, maybe they don't think you're human.

- Bourne Legacy

===

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

- Ephesians 6:12, The Bible

===

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

- William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting, 1981)

Credibility? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430159)

Would anyone actually believe anything the NSA has to say at this point?

Re:Credibility? (2)

TheP4st (1164315) | about 10 months ago | (#45430725)

Would anyone except cold fjord actually believe anything the NSA has to say at this point?

TFTFY

Re:Credibility? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431005)

Unlikely, it should be pretty clear by now that cold fjord is a shill. That means that he probably is very aware that everything NSA says publicly is a lie.
He just chooses to take the side that doesn't represent the people.

I'm amazed it's taken them this long (1)

crioca (1394491) | about 10 months ago | (#45430173)

Though this is probably a sign they've been able to determine the extent of some of the data leakage, otherwise it's unlikely they'd release anything on the off-chance it was something that hadn't already been leaked to Glenn Greenwald. I wonder how much of the information they release will be disinformation? One way the NSA can turn this to their advantage is using it for obfuscation and misdirection.

Openness (5, Insightful)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | about 10 months ago | (#45430183)

Whether government openness happens because of a leaker, or it happens because of fear of leakers, or because it believes it's the right thing to do...the more open the government is about its activities, the better.

true, even spun, more is better, unless misinforma (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 10 months ago | (#45430349)

Indeed. It'll be spun, they are trying to frame the narrative, but it's awesome that they are being forced to try that. Info will come out. Some truth will come out accidentally. For example, when a leading democrat senator was asked about restoring funding for children's cancer treatment during the government shutdown he said "why would I want to do that?" - accidentally revealing that getting one over on the republicans is far more important to him than saving kids suffering from cancer. I'm sure NSA will have a few things like that.

However, as crioca points out, some of what NSA releases will be disinformation. We need to guard against not just the spin they put on it, but probably complete fabrications as well.

Re:Openness (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about 10 months ago | (#45430353)

.the more open the government is about its activities, the better.

Openness is good, yes. But what the NSA will release will be misdirection, dissembling, disingenuousness and lies.

Warning: Only claims to openness (2)

rsborg (111459) | about 10 months ago | (#45430369)

Whether government openness happens because of a leaker, or it happens because of fear of leakers, or because it believes it's the right thing to do...the more open the government is about its activities, the better.

You think they're actually going to tell the whole truth? Or even a meaningfully valid part? It may be openness, but if it is just an attempt to expose a small thing to hide a bigger ugly truth (or crime), then it's deceptive nonetheless.

I await the openness. I don't have a strong expectation it will be worthwhile.

This is an agency that is rooted in deception. Why do you think Snowden's uncomfortable facts are going to change their nature?

What a joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430191)

Nobody is interested in their "less sensitive" documents. They know Snowden has the good stuff. This is total PR at its finest and will probably work as they expected to calm the nerves of your average american citizen (unfortunately). Maybe they plan to gain peoples trust than discredit Snowden?

Snowden is the basically the NSA's "Heisenberg" right now.

"manage the debate" (3, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 10 months ago | (#45430201)

Basically means "Framing the narrative" which is the foundation for successful newspeak. This is an attempt to control the base from which relative judgments are made by the public. No thanks.

Re:"manage the debate" (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 10 months ago | (#45430253)

An unfortunate many people don't know or care about the recent NSA stuff. The general populace is apathetic at best. If a news show mentions the content of the leaks at all, it's often just a quick intro leading to their primary story of the dramatic "hunt for Snowden". Lets face it, they've already framed the debate.

Re:"manage the debate" (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 10 months ago | (#45430405)

Yup. Sad. It's too bad most people don't realize the implication: It basically means the lives of this generation are going to end in misery, and subsequent generations will have to dig their way back out again.

Spin Doctors (1)

wrackspurt (3028771) | about 10 months ago | (#45430203)

It sounds like the spin doctors have taken over. The body blows have been landed and now they're just trying to bob and weave. No matter what they do I still can't help but see Dr. Strangelove in their corner calling the shots. Curiouser and curiouser.

Re:Spin Doctors (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 10 months ago | (#45430227)

its not the doctor, its the phone cops, man!

Re:Spin Doctors (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 10 months ago | (#45430411)

No matter what they do I still can't help but see Dr. Strangelove in their corner calling the shots.

More like Gen. Turgidson.

tennis for the grunts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430217)

do they have a robotic Monica chasing Bubba around in circles while eating a deep fried pterodactyl wing?

Re:tennis for the grunts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430243)

yes

NSA - She's gone from SUCK to BLOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430245)

Loooooooooooonestar!

So, they are acknowleging improper classification? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430247)

Either the information is too sensitive for the public to know, or it isn't. If it isn't, then it should have been public to begin with.

First trivial information request for NSA (4, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about 10 months ago | (#45430297)

Since they are releasing trivial information about themselves, how about this:
What role did the NSA have in the piece of shit hatchet job movie on wikileaks that came out recently?

If reality was anything like it people would have just told Assange to fuck off and wikileaks would never have happened. All the movie character has is dance moves and insomnia.

Re:First trivial information request for NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430519)

What role did the NSA have in the piece of shit hatchet job movie on wikileaks that came out recently?

NSA members bought tickets and popcorn, and had some good laughs. A few of them may have given it high marks on Rotten Tomatoes. Vindictive, sure, but understandable. Assange is a worthy target. Too bad it seems unlikely he will see the inside of a Swedish prison - they have the room, after all.

Imminent Catastrophe (3, Interesting)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 10 months ago | (#45430345)

Where's the great catastrophe for all the TRILLIONS of dollars we are wasting at the NSA?

This is unimaginable waste for negligible gain. And these people call themselves patriots . . ..

Re:Imminent Catastrophe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430487)

Where's the great catastrophe for all the TRILLIONS of dollars we are wasting at the NSA?

A picture of one of them is here [washingtontimes.com] . This article [washingtontimes.com] describes what that is. That is one of the things that NSA guards against. Don't worry if you don't live in the USA, there is a map like that for you too, it just may not be published.

Re:Imminent Catastrophe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431419)

No they are Good Americans, just following orders

Re:Imminent Catastrophe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431575)

Yeah you're paying them to spy on you and those who are supposed to control them (giving them too much power).

And they lie to Congress who are supposed to control them. They seem to be getting away with lying to Congress so who is controlling who?

It's not a good idea to let your spy org spy on everyone especially those who are supposed to regulate them. It gives them too much power.

What's really scary (4, Interesting)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 10 months ago | (#45430359)

What really scares me isn't that the Americans themselves don't seem to care a lot. Europe has been a prime target of all this and even there the reaction is "meh". How many USA ambassadors have been summoned to explain and apologize? The USA has treated their allies worse than most of Europe would treat their enemies and still nothing came of this. It turns out Europe isn't that different after all....

Re:What's really scary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430589)

The USA has treated their allies worse than most of Europe would treat their enemies and still nothing came of this.

That is why the US has had to help rescue Europe from its enemies. Western Europe is damn lucky it didn't end up in Soviet hands after falling into Nazi hands. There is another problem brewing in Europe - many European nations are being colonized by people hostile to European values. Europe invites them in due to the plunging birth rates of native Europeans. This is going to start being a problem within 30-50 years unless trends change. It is unclear if the US will either be interested to able to help Eurabia [nytimes.com] at that point.

Re:What's really scary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430713)

Western Europe is damn lucky it didn't end up in Soviet hands after falling into Nazi hands.

Damned commies! STOP THE COMMIES! They'll get you! They'll get all of you! COMMIES!!!! ....COMMIES!!!!

Also, what's that under your bed? IT'S A RED! DAMNED COMMIES!

Re:What's really scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431445)

Communist governments still rule over a billion people on the planet, and once they ruled half of Europe, and a significant percentage of all countries on the planet.

Communists killed 100,000,000 people in the last century, and the revolutionary communists in the US (such as the Weatherman) planned to join them in the slaughter (up to 10% of the population). So yes, stop the communists - your life depended on it, even if you were a communist. Communist governments often eat their own.

Re:What's really scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430815)

That article is a racist piece of shit.

Sad indeed (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430783)

This is probably mostly because those european contries where actively working with the NSA. So they (the governments) pretty much knew what was going on and they are scared of their own criminal activities being revealed.

Where I live (The Netherlands) the government is trying to pretty much start doing the same as the NSA is doing, just more in public. Very scary indeed. I really hope the sensible people here will be able to stop them.

Re:What's really scary (4, Interesting)

ImOuttaHere (2996813) | about 10 months ago | (#45430971)

What really scares me isn't that the Americans themselves don't seem to care a lot.

"Freedom" and "liberty" are abstract concepts to most Americans. The only thing "real" in their lives are their TV, cellphones, and the perception that "We're number ONE!" . They don't call it "programming" for nothing.

Europe has been a prime target of all this and even there the reaction is "meh".

Er... no. There are many responses to the NSA revelations. European business are actively moving away from using Goggle's and other US corporate services because they have confirmation that their data is not secure. European governments are dealing from a much stronger position on trade talks currently taking place. The citizens of Europe (well, at least the ones I've spoken with, and you really should listen to Radio France Info) are well aware of the issues of privacy and they are demanding their governments take action to secure their liberties and freedoms against US spying.

How many USA ambassadors have been summoned to explain and apologize?

US ambassadors have been called by France, Germany, Spain... um, should I continue? Or should I add the British ambassadors that have also been called?

The USA has treated their allies worse than most of Europe would treat their enemies and still nothing came of this. It turns out Europe isn't that different after all....

Huh? Really? Um... just to start... how about explaining how Europe's spy apparatus is structured and deployed and compare it against how the US, Israel, and China deploy theirs? It could make for an interesting study in contrasts and motivations. Then we could move onto how coordination between European and US spy agencies is pretty much on the rocks right now.

Re:What's really scary (2, Informative)

tstur (38065) | about 10 months ago | (#45431097)

You don't suppose US allies are doing the exact same thing or would if they could? Information is power. Naturally, they must feign outrage and disdain, and meanwhile put their own similar programs on lock down. NSA is probably the envy of the international intelligence community.

"Information Operation" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430387)

Read what Richard Tomlinson (Ex Security Service) has to say about these liars. They labelled Tomlinson a "Terrorist" for writing a book. So that French Police would rough him up on the "Terrorist" claim from Security Service.

Lowlife.

It's like Xmas for conspiratoraphiles (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 10 months ago | (#45430479)

NSA: "Hoffa's under the St. Louis Macy's parking lot, 14E. Roswell saucernaut body turned into goop, melted the jar, and evaporated."

They can't! It's illegal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430481)

They can't! It's illegal, because it's *classified*. You know, the whole reason it wasn't being released in the first place.

This is the problem with prohibiting disclosure - the government happily leaks just the bits it wants, when it wants, and faces *no penalty* for doing so. Laws that apply to some (i.e. not the government) and not others.

And so, the government can spam half-truths and, as a result, deceive everyone, which is an injustice all its own.

Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430509)

That really would be wonderful, if they had the tiniest shred of credibility or integrity.

They don't. They are quite clearly entirely incapable of telling the bare honest truth, even before Congress.

Since they've proven consistently to be pathological liars, we'd need to second-source everything they said to find out if any parts have even the tiniest shred of truthiness, as opposed to just being stated in the most misleading possible manner.

How about they get Snowden pardoned instead?

Is Snowden any less than a patriot? (5, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 10 months ago | (#45430513)

After all the material that's been leaked by Snowden, is there any question that the man is a patriot?

So what does that make our government?

Re:Is Snowden any less than a patriot? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431267)

He is a hero to all of mankind, not just the USA (which would make him a patriot). It means the US government are criminals.

fight the darkness! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430533)

"The monster is out of the bottle."

The monster was never in the bottle, but above, below, and around us. Do you think this is really just a struggle between human beings? There is much more at work here!!!!!!!!!

Outcome #3: Your friends are here.
Aaron Cross: Yeah. Don't you think that strange? Wolves, they don't do that. They don't track people.
Outcome #3: Yeah, maybe they don't think you're human.

- Bourne Legacy

===

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

- Ephesians 6:12, The Bible

===

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

- William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting, 1981)

never spoon a lobster (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430537)

"The monster is out of the bottle."

The monster was never in the bottle, but above, below, and around us. Do you think this is really just a struggle between human beings? There is much more at work here.

Outcome #3: Your friends are here.
Aaron Cross: Yeah. Don't you think that strange? Wolves, they don't do that. They don't track people.
Outcome #3: Yeah, maybe they don't think you're human.

- Bourne Legacy

===

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

- Ephesians 6:12, The Bible!!!!!!

===

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

- William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting, 1981)

that's that and that's that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430541)

"The monster is out of the bottle."

The monster was never in the bottle, but above, below, and around us. Do you think this is really just a struggle between human beings? There is much more at work here.

Outcome #3: Your friends are here.
Aaron Cross: Yeah. Don't you think that strange? Wolves, they don't do that. They don't track people.
Outcome #3: Yeah, maybe they don't think you're human.

- Bourne Legacy

===

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

- Ephesians 6:12, The Bible

===

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

- William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting, 1981)!!!!!

Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430559)

And for all the wrong reasons. They know they're toasted already.

Re:Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430587)

Yep, this time the little guys won. It's becoming harder and harder as time passes. It may very well be the last time.

Stored data to vet future employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430597)

How can the NSA collect all this data and not peek into it when hiring new employees? After all, they'll want to avoid having another Snowden.

If the NSA starts using its stored data to vet future employees, soon the CIA will, then the rest of government, then the military, then biotechnology companies, etc.

Gradually, over the span of many years, no one with the wrong profile will be able to get a good job.

Those working in sensitive positions will probably be watched over permanently by the NSA.

Re:Stored data to vet future employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430703)

I forgot to add that if the NSA, or CIA, or the government in general, wants to harm a citizen, it can look into its database and possibly find some interesting info that it could find a way to *leak* to the citizen's employer. For example, whether the person took part in a protest of some sort.

That's a nice soft way of using stored data. Even the employer might not understand the source of the data. It's not necessarily about busting down doors.

Several ways to classify documents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430607)

1. In terms of public reaction: good, bad, indifferent.

2. In terms of damage to the ability of US intelligence to function: none, little, much.

3. In terms of Constitutionality: legal, illegal.

When you look at it this way, it seems likely that the NSA will release documents that conform to a pattern of 1. Good public reaction, 2. none or little damage to intelligence function and 3. legal.

However, we can expect some portion of their releases to be damaging to intelligence function. These will be coupled with an emphasis that Snowden gave the same information to the enemy, so they can lay that on him.

They will also scatter a few mea culpas in there, so expect some of their releases to involve illegal activities. Everybody loves a good confession. Picture Jim Baker crying. Makes him look almost human. They can further refine those to involve illegal activities of people whose politics are troublesome for the agency. Security people tend to be Republican, so if there's any dirt coming from Hilary's State Department, that might get released. If Hilary was reading Chris Christie's email, that'd be perfect for them.

I'm sure the rest of you can concoct other rationales for their selections. Bottom line: They'll be doing this as strategically as possible, given time, ability and manpower constraints.

And of course, to be talking about this wrt to my own government... well... surreal.

JOSHUA (1)

eyenot (102141) | about 10 months ago | (#45430639)

It's LEARNING!

By ... GOD!

It's really, actually, learning!

DON'T PULL THE PLUG!

[[GREET1NGZ PR0F3ZZ0R FALK1N.]]

[[WOULD YOU LIKE. TO TROLL. A NICE IRC CHANNEL. DEVOTED TO. PHILOSOPHY.]]

Y (clickity clack) es, Jo (clickity clack) shu (clickity clack) ahhh. I woou (clickity clack) ld really (clickity clickity clickity clikity clickity clack) like (clickity clack) ... THAT. (click. CLICK.) ... ... "come on" ... ... "COME ON... Show evidence that you have learned something, god damnit! Recite, damn you! RECITE!" ... [[ GR33T1NGZ PR0F3ZZ0R FALK1N.]]

"Oh, no, not this again." ... [[ H4. H4. JUST TR0LL1N6. WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY A NICE GAME OF BUDGET?]]

Reminds me of an EVE online saga a few years ago (1)

aneroid (856995) | about 10 months ago | (#45430659)

One faction "A" who were allies with a smaller faction "B", got one of their accounts hacked (or forums) by A's rival "C". One of those was A bitching about how small and insignificant B was to some other allies.

So in the forums, C posted an excerpt of that conversation. Leaders of A panicked and decided that to come out ahead, they should just post their own logs of that conversation, which was apparently worse as it went on. Of course, things didn't look good and other groups got pissed off with A.
Turns out that "C" didn't have much more than just the excerpt but "A" ended up looking worse because of their own full disclosure of the convi.

I'm guessing that with the info that Snowden has, this isn't the case for the NSA and they can confirm he has much more, so they want to dump the info first. (But if they didn't know for sure, it would be a funny likeness.)

Mission fukcing accomplished! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430773)

The NSA might just become a little more open about their activities and we might just have a real debate about wether we are willing to lose our freedom in the name of (without actually improving it) public safety!

Good job Snowden

(plus one InformaTiive) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430833)

How much does Snowden know? (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | about 10 months ago | (#45431049)

How much does Snowden know? Will NSA reveal more than they really should? Do they in the mean time know what Snowden knows?

NSA ENDANGERING US SECURITY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431137)

By releasing this information, the NSA is helping the terrorists, enabling paedo rings to evade the law, helping criminal gangs hide their activities and are killing thousands of undercover agents around the world.

And making the USA's attempts to fix the world impossible!

The NSA must be put on trial for treason!

Snowden was a creation of the NSA all along (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431263)

Ever wonder why some IT contractor happened to have so many "sensitive" NSA documents, that continue to come out week after week, even though Snowden hasn't worked there in ages, and is supposedly hiding out in Russia?

Once in a while it pays to inject a little reality into the minds of the public. It's hard to maintain such a wall of lies, and a little transparency goes a long way in making life easier for those operating within the Patriot Act.

Spinning out of control? (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 months ago | (#45431367)

Is this what you would call "spin control"? People have gradually been more educated on the nature of spin and are no longer quite as affected. Ok, so people ARE affected still but fewer than ever before. And besides that, no matter what the NSA "reveals" it will be fact-checked against everything we know, leakers from insiders and, of course, from Snowden and his documents.

When I was younger, I once reflected that the nature of a government can be determined by which directions it points its guns. Fondly, I used China and the USSR as examples where the guns pointed inward. But now, in the USSA (not a typo) we've got an unprecedented amount of guns and ammo pointing inwardly at us. I just never thought I would use the gun pointing direction thing to describe what's wrong with the USSA.

Conditioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431517)

NSA will release benign or already public info, conditioning people to think NSA release = nothing to worry about, move along.

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