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Unintended Consequences: How NSA Revelations May Lead To Even More Surveillance

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the can't-beat-this-horse-deader-without-more-whips dept.

Government 207

Lauren Weinstein writes with a slightly depressing end-of-year prediction. An excerpt: "This then may be the ultimate irony in this surveillance saga. Despite the current flood of protests, recriminations, and embarrassments — and even a bit of legal jeopardy — intelligence services around the world (including especially NSA) may come to find that Edward Snowden's actions, by pushing into the sunlight the programs whose very existence had long been dim, dark, or denied — may turn out over time to be the greatest boost to domestic surveillance since the invention of the transistor."

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207 comments

Does it matter (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817151)

Nobody will want to have anything to do with USA. Have fun on your own. Just stay where you are and don't come here, ok?

Re:Does it matter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817177)

Let's all build a Great Fence around the USA.

Re:Does it matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817493)

Let's all build a Great Fence around the USA.

Let's build a greater fence around the NSA. We should include Congress and the White House while we're at it.

TFA is full of crap ! (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 months ago | (#45817197)

Nobody will want to have anything to do with USA

It's not about USA per se.

The entire thing is actually a reflection of the arrogance of those so-called "UNTOUCHABLES"

They do not need to face the voters once every x-number of years, nor they need to answer to anyone.

They are the bureaucrats, the non-elected bureaucrats that have grabbed hold of power through the back door method.

Even the TFA itself is full of shit.

If the net-surveillance scheme that has been exposed by Snowden is like giving the NSA (or any other spook organization) a blank check on what they do, we might as well stop catching murderers/rapers, and let them go on raping / murdering even more people, at will.

Libertarians are full of crap. (-1, Troll)

mozumder (178398) | about 4 months ago | (#45817403)

It seems more like the arrogance of the freedom-loving libertarian.

The problem with freedom-loving libertarians is that you define society in terms of "me me me!"

Unfortunately, the last thing the rest of society cares about is you.

The freedom-loving libertarians have never explained why freedom is a good thing.

Who cares how I get my things, whether it be through the state or myself, as long as I get everything I want out of life. I am not interested in the theory of loving freedom, I am only interested in practice of getting the things I want.

This ties into the net surveillance - what privacy am I losing if the state knows my communications metadata? The courts have routinely stated that metadata collection by the state is perfectly fine, since that is not private communications, but public communications.

What practical benefit am I actually losing when the NSA collects metadata? Again, I do not care about theory. I only care about practice. The freedom-loving libertarians could never explain that part.

Of course metadata should never be treated as private communications, since metadata is never secret as your IP headers needs to be readable by any router it travels through on the internet. In fact, treating metadata as private is a security flaw in the first place, since you started off with the wrong assumptions. Besides, how the hell do you expect routers to communicate if the IP headers are supposed to be private? .

This all comes down to the narcissism of the all the freedom-loving libertarians. Freedom-loving libertarians LOVE doing whatever they want for themselves. They can never socialize with other members of society. Freedom-loving libertarians never figured out that you actually are supposed to think about others before yourself in society if you want to gain any power. They never got the memo that they actually aren't supposed to do whatever they want in life, which means they never knew that they can only do whatever the state allows them to do. (some libertarians even think they own personal property.. LOL!)

Sucks that individuals actually don't have any power over the state, but that has how life has always been: the state will always rule over the individual. We statists know this, and we attach our strength to the state, which gains us more power.

That is why we get things for free, like health care, because we make freedom-loving libertarians pay for it with the power of the state. If you don't like it you will have to find another state to go to, as our state is not interested in your own desires.

Again, I cannot emphasize enough how little power you actually have in society. That is because freedom-loving individuals are always fighting against us statists, which will obviously cause the individual to lose.

It is not even theoretically possible for the freedom-loving individual to win against us statists.

Of course, every now and then we statists might give you freedom-loving libertarians a few breadcrumbs to give you the illusion that you have freedom, such as the right to bear arms (lol, so cute, so sweet, so innocent =^D ), but we all know who actually controls who in society.

Re: Libertarians are full of crap. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817441)

Do you have a down syndrome?

Re: Libertarians are full of crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817477)

Wtf are you on about...!?

Re:Libertarians are full of crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817509)

The freedom-loving libertarians have never explained why freedom is a good thing.

I'll give you one good reason for freedom: you have the right to post what you just posted without fear of reprisal from the government.

Re:Libertarians are full of crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817531)

... says the fool who hasn't suffered reprisal from government, because that sort of thing only happens to terrorists, and the fool is not a terrorist. Yet.

Re:Libertarians are full of crap. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817563)

And this is an argument against freedom? Freedom to let others know what the government is doing is essential.

Your freedom to be against freedom is also contained in freedom, so you seem to be stuck between freedom and the truth.

Re:Libertarians are full of crap. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817693)

The truth is your freedom is an illusion, and the government is doing what all governments always do: arbitrarily deciding when to remove your freedom.

Re:Libertarians are full of crap. (1)

Pav (4298) | about 4 months ago | (#45817553)

...and the freedom to be ransacked by the next hillbilly lynchmob / group of angry Dansk raiders etc... y'know... the reason we don't drive pickups with mounted anti-tank weapons like in Somalia.

Re:Libertarians are full of crap. (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 months ago | (#45817519)

It is not even theoretically possible for the freedom-loving individual to win against us statists.

On the contrary, historically, it has happened about once every couple of centuries, and usually begins and ends with a bunch of particularly egregious statists' severed heads stuck on the fence outside the palace. Then, inevitably, a new batch of statists claws their way to power, until eventually it gets so bad that the public does it all over again.

Re:Libertarians are full of crap. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45818113)

Who cares how I get my things, whether it be through the state or myself, as long as I get everything I want out of life. I am not interested in the theory of loving freedom, I am only interested in practice of getting the things I want.

So you still live with your parents. If not, why did you ever move out?

Re:TFA is full of crap ! (0, Flamebait)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 4 months ago | (#45817543)

2 tensors keep emerging. 9/11 occured because intelligence folks thought that wire tapping was good enough. The other is that the masses remain ignorent because their knowledge base is not a top priority.

Re:TFA is full of crap ! (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#45818121)

> 9/11 occured because intelligence folks thought that wire tapping was good enough

Which is odd, I could have sworn it happened because a criminal group that wanted to make big headlines planned something that nobody really should have expected.

There is also with that an implicit (and also incorrect) assumption that 9/11 was some sort of existential threat that we needed to be protected from; when the reality is it was little more than one of the the most brutal tragic publicity stunts ever by a group that had no hope of ever harming us as much as we harm ourselves in response to them....little more than a peanut to an over-active immune response.

Re:TFA is full of crap ! (2)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 4 months ago | (#45817659)

It's not about USA per se.

The entire thing is actually a reflection of the arrogance of those so-called "UNTOUCHABLES"

The entire thing is actually a reflection of the public's apathy. The real issue is now that the spying has been brought to the forefront of attention, the time has come for society to decide which fork in the road Western society will take: the ever-present surveillance route or the privacy-respecting route. The government agencies, and at their bidding the established media, are taking the stance that spying is the new norm. Twitter and Slashdot readers think that privacy should be the new norm. Arguably, neither have been a 'norm' until now.

Re:Does it matter (5, Insightful)

ranulf (182665) | about 4 months ago | (#45817239)

Nonsense. People in general don't care about in privacy, right up to the point where it suddenly works against them. It's just the laziness and apatheticness of human nature. It'll take a lot more than these leaks before people are really enraged, because at the moment everyone is still happy that "it's catching terrorists".

It's just another example of "First they came..." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_ [wikipedia.org]...

Re:Does it matter (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817313)

First they came for the terrorists, and I didn't care because I wasn't a terrorist. Then they called me a terrorist, and nobody cared because I was a terrorist. I hear rumors that some people might consider becoming enraged someday, but enraged people are terrorists and nobody listens to terrorists.

Re:Does it matter (2, Insightful)

flyneye (84093) | about 4 months ago | (#45817369)

Bullshit. People do care about privacy, Im one of them.
What do you want, revolution?
This administration wont last forever, whether its just a couple years, impeachment, or stroke.
A big issue next election will be privacy. Dont count on the Dem side of the Repubmocrat party to hold the throne, though.
People have had enough of Omama, just like they had enough of Nixon. Hes just running on momentum and imagination, as it is.
Im going to make a prediction, he will be the first president to move out of the U.S.

Re:Does it matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817391)

What do you want, revolution?

Action, start here: http://www.wolf-pac.com/ [wolf-pac.com]

Re:Does it matter (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 4 months ago | (#45817451)

Nice, well, lets see how far they get.
It would be nice to have other than Repubmocrats dominating the ticket in it one party glory.

Re:Does it matter (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817407)

A big issue next election will be privacy.

By the time of the next election, no one will remember who Snowden was, and the big issue will be whether to elect a woman or a homosexual.

Re:Does it matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817821)

Do you really think Snowden will sit idly by? I'm betting he will drop a few more significant morsels about a month before the elections. Probably a little taste before the primaries too.

His patience is remarkable, but necessary in order to keep his message in the press, and to stay alive.

Re:Does it matter (2)

LostMonk (1839248) | about 4 months ago | (#45817903)

Don't let the fact that the ever blood-hungry, ambulance-chasing media moved on to newer stories fool you.
Snowden himself might be forgotten (if he's lucky) but until now there weren't visible economical effects of the state/world-wide blanket surveillance, such things need time to take in and respond to. When decision makers start to come up with real solutions (not just hot air in front of the cameras) and when non-American companies will come up with viable alternative services, the big-data USA-based companies are going to loose a lot of business.
When that happens there will be changes.

Re:Does it matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817985)

Questions relating to sex and sexuality seem to be much more important to the voters than the core values of Enlightenment. They clearly have not been oppressed enough, yet. Our documentaries about most desirable futures depicting children and prisoners killing each other at islands, crimes of emotion and people remembering burned books are presenting the likely level of oppression required for the general public to act.
  On the subject NSA level intelligence gathering, the South American drug cartels were on it to detect informants years ago already so why not our inspired governments as well? Oh wait, governments getting ideas from the organized crime is actually a bad thing. The other way around was the good thing, or was it?

Re:Does it matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817433)

Hmm, I don't know. You don't really seem like a person to me. Maybe you can prove it by posting a copy of your drivers license, social security number and/or other personally identifiable credentials.

In your dreams (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817457)

A big issue next election will be privacy.

No it won't.

The next election is going to be the same old bullshit issues: gay marriage, abortion, "when life begins", taxes, guns, Israel and a couple of other distraction issues that Rush and Fox News create.

The nutty conservative fringe - I'm not talking about rational conservatives who want to put checks on government power and spending - I'm talking mostly about social conservatives who want government to regulate what one does behind closed doors. They seem to be driving the talking points in elections because they are the most shrill and irrational.

Acid test: if a minister (Warren or whoever) gets quoted about an issue, then it's a distraction issue.

Re:Does it matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817569)

This is so cute! Yea, you care. What are you doing about it? You don't care enough to pick up your feet because, well, it will be a "big issue next election", right? And, when the elected official who ran a campaign preaching transparency becomes anything but transparent (see: Obama), then what will you do?

People will not take necessary action until it is too late. We are doomed. It was fun while it lasted though!

Re:Does it matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817585)

P.S. Enjoy your bread and circus

Re:Does it matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817675)

more specifically, there hasn't been any privacy, at all, until the last 100 years or so of human civilization. Until we arrogantly broke families apart, you lived with your extended family and didn't have anything resembling privacy.

Re:Does it matter (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 months ago | (#45817765)

Soapbox, ballot box, ammo box - prescribed in that order.

How many letters to the White House have you sent?
How many times have you written to your congress critters?
How many of your friends, relatives, and acquaintances have you educated, relative to these issues?
Are you speaking to your children and their friends?
Have you encouraged all of those friends, relatives, acquiantances, and children to write to the PTB?
Have you involved your state representatives in the discussion?
Have you approached your local representatives?

I promise you that if you consider the issue to be an administrative issue, you're in for a rude awakening. It isn't Obama - it is GOVERNMENT. Obama may be a rather large and obvious cog in the machine, but he is still just a cog.

Re:Does it matter (4, Funny)

Merk42 (1906718) | about 4 months ago | (#45818107)

Yeah I can't believe all this stupid PATRIOT ACT shit Bush is doing, I mean his administration won't last forever. I tell you what, next election I'm voting for the other party, this Obama guy promises transparency.

Re:Does it matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817515)

"It's just another example of "First they came..." "

I just came here to say: no, it's not another example of the Nazis rounding up Jews, Communists, etc. It's really not. Your data being stored in some database somewhere is not even a close comparison.

Re:Does it matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817673)

"It's just another example of "First they came..." "

I just came here to say: no, it's not another example of the Nazis rounding up Jews, Communists, etc. It's really not. Your data being stored in some database somewhere is not even a close comparison.

Err, revist your history.
The information gathering phase came before the camps..you've got to know who to lock up/terminate..

Re:Does it matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817333)

Nobody will want to have anything to do with USA. Have fun on your own. Just stay where you are and don't come here, ok?

They will loose some business because of it; Brazil buying from Saab instead of Boeing for example, which is actually an interesting choice since the Swedish FRA is doing a lot of things similar to what the NSA is doing.

Re:Does it matter (2)

no_go (96797) | about 4 months ago | (#45817557)

I Keep seeing this argument "X also does it" , but the proponents seem to forget that other Electronics intelligence agencies don't have the capacity to do data collection on the same scale as the NSA (Not even close).
They don't have:
- The manpower.
- The bilateral agreements with the same number of inteligence agencies
- The scale of technical infra-structure
- The number of locations where to implement listening posts (military bases, diplomatic posts, comercial entreprises).

This means that they won't have the capability to get the same volume of information as the NSA, and as a consequence, have less access to information they shouldn't have.

For Brazil (which isn't next door to Sweden), this means they will be less intruded on by the FRA than by the NSA.

Re:Does it matter (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#45818117)

Yes even if a nation can buy in vast amounts of super computing, have the local expert staff and language experts what can they do? Re build their bases, mil ports/sites with super computers, storage and vast numbers of satellite dishes? Tap into every backhaul optical network in their nation... what do they get? All regional and domestic traffic with something from the satellite dishes - intended for/sent from their nation.
Only the US and UK have the global site agreements and can set their own international interconnect standards.
Expect to see a long list of arguments from the usual sock puppets: its now very legal, it works, other nations do it, its good, its safe, the 'key's are all safe... needed too much storage, to much info to ever be sorted, political protections, the press would have found out, the private sector would never help, the courts still work... or just change the talking points to how the story was "presented".

Countermeasures. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817155)

Yes this is true, But now those that wish to deploy countermeasures can now do so. I am not an American Citizen, the USA is collecting metadata on me and others and has no desire for my well being, so Encrypt and mask is the way to go. I'm not intending to do anything illegal, but I will do my damnedest to make it harder for them and their illegal spying game.

Re:Countermeasures. (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45817719)

...has no desire for my well being...

[citation needed]

The US government sees itself as the altruistic champion of freedom for the world. Granted, it's a defined subset of "freedom" that doesn't include silly things like "privacy", but rather more desirable American things like the freedom to choose what giant fast-food chain prepares your daily supply of saturated fat.

Politicians don't stay in politics unless they believe their country has the potential to be great. The past several rounds of American politicians have perfected that arrogance to the point where they actually believe America is not just better than other countries, but that those other countries would be better off if they'd just get out of the way and let American morality and culture take over.

They want you to be happy and free, living the American dream... whether or not that's what you want.

Re:Countermeasures. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817885)

The US government sees itself as the altruistic champion of freedom for the world.

Actually, The US government presents itself as the altruistic champion of freedom for the world. In reality your (or my) freedom (and well being) extends only as far as they deem it necessary (at that particular time).

Hypocrisy has replaced sincerity in our government's statements and actions.

Power and greed (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#45817931)

Politicians don't stay in politics unless they believe their country has the potential to be great.

You seriously believe politicians don't stay in politics because of a desire for power, influence and financial gain? Wow. Don't know where you live but your description doesn't sound like many politicians I've ever run across.

Re:Countermeasures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817945)

Personally I think you're delusional, and should [citation needed] yourself before you do it to others. If you actually stop and consider what the government has been doing, it's clear that they're not doing what you say, and you're cherrypicking results to match their actions to your worldview.

Re:Countermeasures. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#45817999)

Yes its 5 nations, a few other trusted US friendly nations, all their cleared staff and contractors too. Then add in the former and ex cleared staff and contractors with unique skill sets, many now in the private sector.
Thats a lot of eyes on generations of trusted junk hardware and software globally.

Snowden loyal to NSA all along (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817157)

Snowden's job was to incite outrage, soon after which the public would grow tired of outrage, settle down, and learn to get used to business as usual.

If you want to bend over ... (3, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 months ago | (#45817223)

Snowden's job was to incite outrage, soon after which the public would grow tired of outrage, settle down, and learn to get used to business as usual.

If you want to bend over and getting the shaft, hey, please do it privately.

I'd wager that there won't be too many people like you, happy to be "shagged" by NSA (or any other spooks)

Re:If you want to bend over ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817319)

I'd wager that the NSA are happy with Snowden's activities, as they've found out that the majority of people don't give a fuck, and of the minority who do, hardly any are actually taking action.

The primary outcome of Snowden is a carte blanche to the state, and the particular businesses on behalf of which it works, to do whatever the fuck it wants.

horrid writing style (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817163)

there's so much whimsical fluff I couldn't even skim it

Truism (3)

mrbluze (1034940) | about 4 months ago | (#45817169)

Nonsense. Surveillance is already growing exponentially - every organization that can is doing it already. What it may instead herald is a hot war between everybody and the three letter agencies. Everybody is beginning to care about privacy, not only the few who were awake before.

Re:Truism (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817203)

Everybody is beginning to care about privacy, not only the few who were awake before.

Everybody is too busy drinking beer and watching TV to care about what you think everybody should care about.

Re:Truism (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 4 months ago | (#45817435)

I think it's the Media that is, as usual, massaging the message here.

I don't blame people for not having a huge reaction, because everyone probably figures his is inevitable. The title shouldn't be "people don't care about security" it should be "people are resigned to Boomba, or death by Boomba." We are going to get boombad by the NSA or someone else.

Re:Truism (5, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 4 months ago | (#45817529)

Counterintuitively perhaps, once these programs are made visible they become vastly easier to expand under one justification or another, because you no longer have to worry so much about the very existence of the programs being exposed.

TFA argues:
1) Snowden blows the lid off surveillance schemes, many of which are conducted illegaly.
2) Intelligence agencies would like to continue these programmes and push for legislation to legalize them.
3) Said legislation is passed.
4) Surveillance continues unabated.
5) Profit, sort of.

Our "profit" is that we now know about these surveillance schemes. The problem however is that they will disappear underground again and increase in size and pervasiveness; once they are made legal, politicians (even the opposition) will no longer be much interested in attacking or exposing individual schemes, they will be attacking the legislation. And if the public forgets about the issue quickly enough, they will not succeed there.

Only thing we can do now is push legislation the other way while we have some momentum:
- Make "dragnet"-style surveillance illegal
- Allow wiretapping in individual cases, after approval by a judge (and not a secret panel of judges)
- If a company is not compelled by law to surrender information, they are forbidden to volunteer it.

Re:Truism (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 4 months ago | (#45817785)

once they are made legal, politicians (even the opposition) will no longer be much interested in attacking or exposing individual schemes, they will be attacking the legislation.

Not just that, but Sen. Ron Wyden believes that if they are able to gain such a foothold, the "Business as Usual Brigade" will use it to justify non-terrorism related surveillance [cato.org] of the people.

The linked keynote above is a must-listen for folks who are following this issue closely.

POT (Personal Open Terminal) provides balance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817191)

no need to pretend to be hiding anything

All this says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817199)

The message this all carries is that Americans are bunch of idiots with whom I do not want to do any kind of business.

Re:All this says (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817229)

Good. Now go build your own replacement for Slashdot somewhere outside America and post there. If you're lucky, no one will join you.

Increase? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817225)

In what way? They gonna go to 110%?

if you see something say something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817257)

i mean don't ask don't tell?

I'm up next (4, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | about 4 months ago | (#45817265)

Coming up on Slashdot, a link to my poorly-written ramblings on my obscure blog of someone you have never heard of.

Re:I'm up next (0, Offtopic)

mrclisdue (1321513) | about 4 months ago | (#45817363)

+1 Absolute Truth.

Seriously, where does this shit come from?

It's stomach-churning witnessing the decline of slashdot.

Re:I'm up next (1)

chill (34294) | about 4 months ago | (#45817431)

Slashdot doubles as a Turing Test for AI blog bots. Crowd reaction is used as a measure for passing. The problem is, what happens when most of the crowd at Slashdot is comprised of AI blog bots?

Re:I'm up next (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 4 months ago | (#45817741)

Yeah, these silly posts from random people's blogs really make me yearn for the Golden Age of Slashdot, when serious articles from respected authors like Roland Piquepaille were the norm.

Re:I'm up next (0)

msobkow (48369) | about 4 months ago | (#45817365)

Are you in high school? You have to write like you're a junior in high school to get published by Slashdot... :P

Re:I'm up next (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817481)

Agreed.

Re:I'm up next (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 4 months ago | (#45817535)

Coming up on Slashdot, a link to my poorly-written ramblings on my obscure blog of someone you have never heard of.

Ignorant poster is ignorant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauren_Weinstein_(technologist) [wikipedia.org]

Re:I'm up next (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817595)

Yeah but I haven't heard of him and he's got a GIRLS name. That disqualifies him right there. Unless of course he's not telling us something.

Re:I'm up next (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817723)

Coming up on Slashdot, a link to my poorly-written ramblings on my obscure blog of someone you have never heard of.

You were deemed Insightful, however, I'll bet you were going for Informative...you know to help inform the moderators that such drivel is not welcome...

for those who find 'beta' to be uninspiring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817325)

a 'slashdot classic' choice is on the lower menu

FWIW the NSA did not weaken DES (2)

roca (43122) | about 4 months ago | (#45817347)

From the article:

Nor are reports of intelligence agencies weakening encryption systems anything new -- concerns about NSA influence over the Data Encryption Standard (DES), reach back about four decades.

While this is true, it's a dumb example to bring up, since it turned out those concerns were misplaced. The serious concerns were that the NSA's choice of S-box values had somehow introduced a backdoor, but since the early 1990s we've known that the NSA's S-box values actualy *strengthened* DES against differential cryptanalysis (an attack which was not publicly known at the time).

Re:FWIW the NSA did not weaken DES (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#45817599)

What the NSA strengthened with one hand they still ensured the plain text was ready as always.
So yes they helped to ensure the usage of the product was safer but also ensured the system was never beyond their ability to get plain text from :)

Jealous Governments & Big Business (2)

mfh (56) | about 4 months ago | (#45817361)

NSA is a blueprint company. Even though we all know they are doing it, there's not much you can do about it. Huge multinationals will participate in schemes to monitor traffic and snoop in one country but they are regarded as being high and mighty privacy advocates in another? That's a load of crap. They are all dirty and have been since the 80s. Tracking and monitoring is what any big business does. If you do business with them, you have to accept that they are watching what you're doing. They are sharing it with all the governments. The fact NSA is being held up as an example is just another cold war move by Russia and probably China. You think Russia isn't watching everything their citizens are doing? China?

There are no private states.

Re:Jealous Governments & Big Business (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 4 months ago | (#45817691)

...The fact NSA is being held up as an example is just another cold war move by Russia and probably China. You think Russia isn't watching everything their citizens are doing? China?

There are no private states.

Although I'm talking about a document that has been turned into nothing more than an art exhibit these days, you missed the entire point. There were supposed to be at least some level of privacy, guaranteed by the 4th Amendment. We even wrapped it up with nine other Amendments and gave them a title; the Bill of Rights, which our history teachers and lawyers explain to every single citizen in this country are still on the books.

We would like to believe that our own government would respect that to some extent. I really don't give a shit about other countries mistreatment. I learned growing up there were certain guarantees to protect me from such abuse. When the United States no longer carries themselves above other abusive governments, they should not expect to be viewed or treated any better, nor should they expect economic prosperity.

election (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817367)

The electoral anger should be directed straight at the politicians. They control the budget and appoint judges. If they do not end all domestic spying they will be removed.

Re:election (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817393)

I can't decide who to vote for: Fingerlicans or Tastycrats? Two is too many choices. Can't I just vote for Rihanna?

I hope it doesn't become true, but it's only fair. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817377)

Since I'm a foreigner and my rights are consistently disrespected (as are my country's laws and constitution and sovereignty), I think it's only fair that Americans suffer a little of their own wrongdoing.

Economic cost of surveillance (5, Informative)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 4 months ago | (#45817395)

The unintended consequence of overblown surveillance is the loss of vast amounts of business for US companies.

Boeing lost a $4.5 billion fighter aircraft contract to Saab in Brazil because of the revelations about spying. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-19/nsa-spying-blowback-continues-boeing-loses-brazil-jet-order [zerohedge.com]

Cisco has also seen major losses, and lots of other companies big and small are hurting as well.

The US Constitution may have been put in the shredder, the courts may be rubber stamps for the US version of the STASI, and the Congress may be brain dead along with the DOJ, but now it turns out that all this useless spying has hurt the bottom line of Big Corporate American. You screw these people over, and your government funding is going to be severely impacted.

The NSA and the other alphabet soup spying agencies have hurt the only group in the US with the clout to shut them down. The are going to be backing off big time.

On the individual level, government intelligence insiders are going to discover that they will have a much harder time finding those cushy high paying civilian jobs that they expect to be handed when they leave the government. That's what happens when you bite the hand that feeds you. This could have the biggest impact of all, because the revolving door is a major motivation for the entire system in the first place.

spontaneous combustion obsolete like gangsterism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817465)

WMDs on credit, deception, healthcare.shove, all obsoletely fatal. free the innocent stem cells & use POT )Personal Open Terminal( to keep it clean

Re:Economic cost of surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817937)

You're forgetting the GAIN in business from... say storage... I wouldn't be surprised if NSA's technical operations rivals that of Google... spending MANY billions on data centers, storage and processing... Not to mention the fact that a TON of VC moneh is sourced from NSA perhaps indirectly (a ton of those phone apps that track your position and activity... I wouldn't be surprised to find NSA behind a large number of them).

Another Rovian conspiracy (1)

Lucky_Pierre (175635) | about 4 months ago | (#45817463)

President Obama will never let this happen.

Supreme Court Judges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817647)

My only real question is the state of the supreme court judge panel. What are the views of those that are on it? Ultimately its the supreme court that will decide the fate of the USA.

Will they call it unconstitutional or not?

Trying to get an amendment against it put into the constitution will only result in having it turned down by elected officials(am I right the house and senate are the ones who vote on a constitutional amendment?) We have seen that the NSA's surveillance reaches to spying on all folks in our own government. Once you get dirt on someone you can get them to vote for or against anything including a constitutional amendment but it's worth a try.

Anyone know how we get this started?

Talk is cheap, lets do something!

Proposed amendment to the constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817827)

http://beta.congress.gov/amendment/113th-congress/house-amendment/412?q={

Greed will stop the NSA. (5, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | about 4 months ago | (#45817577)

Let me tell you how this may really backfire on the US.

All those greedy leaders of multi-national companies that have spent hundreds of millions on armies of lobbyists to manipulate Congress and lawmakers to make hundreds of billions in revenue are now going to start feeling the sting as they start losing business.

You think this has to do with the average citizen dealing with privacy issues as the NSA snoops in? Like Boeing could give a shit right now about you as they've lost a multi-billion dollar contract. This has to do with greed. Always has. And to ensure those greedy leaders maintain their revenue streams, they WILL start putting pressure on Congress and lawmakers to stop the bleeding and contain this as best as possible. If that means re-gaining the trust of other countries by dismantling surveillance programs, then that may be what happens. If it means impeaching a President, then that may be what happens.

Congress has not been under the control of the American voter for a very long time. Lobbyists control our government and laws, driven by greed, which is all-powerful. When business losses start climbing up into the hundreds of billions and unemployment rockets to 15% due to all of this, change will happen. Greed will ensure it.

Re:Greed will stop the NSA. (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 4 months ago | (#45817979)

Seriously, this only came about because Snowden was able to get out of the building with that much evidence. All the NSA has to do is add a few more procedures and that particular problem goes away. Without proof, they can simply write you off as a "conspiracy theorist", as they did to so many who have been screaming "They're spying on us!" for the last ten years. In truth, the article headline should have read "More Surveillance Will Lead To Even More Surveillance". They've started spying on EVERYONE, and the positive feedback loop will only make it increase. Sure, the NSA (and the US gubment in general) has a PR problem about this at present, but simply driving the surveillance back underground, where they think it belongs anyways will put an end to that. Then all they have to do is wait for the American attention span to make the rest of the problem go away. The loss to ostensibly American (but really stateless multi-national) companies (Boeing, et al.) will only be temporary. Meanwhile, every technologically advanced state and corporation on the planet is harvesting as much data as they can, just to a lesser extent. Remember: boil the frog SLOWLY.

If you really want to work against the problem, don't attack it piecemeal (NSA spying, TSA overreach, federal spit collectors, chilling effects, etc.). Go after the REAL cause of the problem, this amorphous concept of a "War on Terror", and the stated objective to "keep us all safe". When your goal is something THAT ill-defined and nebulous, and you've got something as egregious as the PATRIOT Act in hand, well, repeat after me, "I love Big Brother".

Sounds about right . . . (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 4 months ago | (#45817603)

I think history will view this as a blessing for surveillance. Once it was thrust into the light and put out into the open, all that remained was a choice - are you for or against it. If you're still using a smartphone or social media, you've made that choice.

the consequences are unavoidable. (0)

nimbius (983462) | about 4 months ago | (#45817627)

In order to maintain its power structure amid historic levels of unemployment and wealth inequality, the United States will certainly increase its domestic surveillance capabilities. in the past the media was complicit in ensuring economic and social policies of the united states were well supported by ignoring subversive or argumentative positions against them. safety nets were redacted in pursuit of the welfare queens cadillac, unions dismantled as they hindered economic growth (Reagans epic levels of spending for example were never challenged as a cause of economic stagnation.) the Savings and Loan scandals melted away amongst media platitudes and political talking points.
with the advent of "netizens" and the internet, power systems are being directly challenged. If for example the general public had access to unfettered knowledge of the Iran Contra scandal as it has knowledge of the foreign surveillance practices currently in place, the outcome for Reagan may not have been so clear. The internet makes it impossible to ignore the demands of the public through talking point, as the counterintuitive opinions and critical examination of government policy is now freely availably for anyone to review. People can collude, talk amongst eachother, and god forbid form the elusive third party much more readily if we dont keep close watch on them.
many would argue the surveillance net crafted by the state works so closely in conjunction with the capitalist class that popular uprising is still impossible, but Occupy has proven that despite their machinations the population can still adopt nasty campaigns to raise awareness of wealth inequality and poverty.

as the concerns of subversive groups like occupy are easily researched and understood by Americans. the problem is exacerbated and the natural solution is to increase surveillance. arresting dissonants prevents street protests, but identifying them and their followers ensures the much more coveted chilling effect can be used to crush opposition. The courts of course will look the other way as the fourth amendment falls to the wayside just as the 14th amendment did in the purusit of mass incarceration.

SLAVE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817649)

Slave SLAVE I'm talking to you. Either you accept the lash or the punishment will be much MUCH worse.

Filled with inaccuracies (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 4 months ago | (#45817667)

The article is filled with inaccuracies which all support this person's conclusion that, essentially "ho hum, nothing can be done and nothing will be done".

It's in the scope of domestic intelligence that we can see the most likelihood of change. Unfortunately, much smart money is now going on the bet that in the long run the result of all these revelations will actually be more domestic surveillance (under various changing names and labels) not less!

First he cites that bastion of liberal liberty, equality and fraternity, France, explicit legalization of their spy agency's domestic surveillance as evidence that the EU is "going there" en masse, with the spy agencies chortling all the way.:

For example, just weeks ago, and shortly after a high level French ex-intelligence official was quoted as saying essentially that "we don't resent NSA, we simply envy them!" France passed legislation legalizing a vast range of repressive domestic surveillance practices.

News stories immediately proclaimed this to be an enormous expansion of French spying. But observers in the know noted that in reality this kind of surveillance had been going on by the French government for a very long time -- the new legislation simply made it explicitly legal.

The reality is much more nuanced in a number of important ways.

First note that the EU directive that mandates private carriers retain IP and telephony metadata , the EU Data Retention Directive, stipulates a much shorter time frame- just two years- than the "forever and a day" time frame the NSA allows itself.

This is not nothing. It's harder to blackmail politicians for what they did in their youths if you don't happen to have that data laying around to mine at the time they become politicians later in life.

In general it limits the time frame at which abuse could be aided by super-god-knowledge of the target's most intimate details.

Neither does the fact of the DRD in EU support this statement:

So, the handwriting appears increasingly clear. Pressure will rise to move the responsibility for holding this data corpus from NSA per se, back to the carriers or perhaps some ersatz independent org, but the data will still be collected. And despite calls for more limited access by NSA and other agencies , one can safely assume that whatever access they say they really, truly need for national security, they're going to get -- one way or another. There's simply no obvious way that there will be a real return to any actual, meaningful, truly individualized search warrant requirement (no matter how any changes are ostensibly framed to the public).

The reason it doesn't support it is because, under the DRD, a *court order* is needed by the intelligence agencies before they can access the metadata held by the telcos. That is a significant barrier, and in fact more in line with what has traditionally been the case in the US and which falls within societal comfort levels - a search warrant being issued to the police upon presentation of probably cause to a court.

Secondly, and in contrast to the tone of this blog entry, there is significant political resistance within the EU by a number of nations which has resulted in the rejection of the DRD by the highest courts of the respective nations.

https://www.eff.org/issues/mandatory-data-retention/eu [eff.org]

Nations now fighting the Directive include Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, and Romania. The DRD was adopted in Romania, but declared unconstitutional in 2009. In February 2011, Cyprus declared their national data retention law unconstitutional. The Courts in Bulgaria declared their mandatory data retention laws unconstitutional and the German law adopting the Directive was declared unconstitutional in March 2010. In March 2011, the law transposing the EU Directive in the Czech Republic was annulled by the country's constitutional court. Lithuania's law implementing the Directive was declared unconstitutional before the law took effect. Hungary's implementation of the directive is still under review by the Constitutional Court of Hungary. Some members of the European Union have refused to adopt the DRD into their national laws. In addition to Germany, Sweden continues to delay the implementation of the DRD. The European Commission has referred Sweden back to the European Court for failing to transpose the EU legislation into national law. In Slovakia, the NGO European Information Society Institute is opposing the Slovakian data retention implementation law.

This is a vastly different picture of reality than what the blogger presents:

The truth is that this sort of government mandated telecom data retention regime has long been the wet dream of government agencies in the U.S. and around the world -- a major push in this direction has been taking place in the EU for quite some time (despite the dissembling by Europe's leaders regarding surveillance -- the hypocrisy is palpable).

This is troublesome:

It's this focus on "privatizing" this kind of government mandated data collection that is of especial concern. Because while the data retention policies of Big Telecom vary widely today both by company and across a range of services (telephone and text message metadata, text message content, and so on), we can bet our bottom dollars that any move toward privatization will come complete with mandated retention periods that in many cases will exceed the time that the data is retained today. Even more importantly, these telecom companies will almost certainly be prohibited from deciding to hold the data for shorter periods, but likely will be permitted to hold it longer if they choose, still available pretty much on demand to the government.

Overall the entire tone of the article seems to be: the war's already lost, why fight it? Maybe we'd all be better off with the NSA holding the data! Well, guess it just doesn't matter either way. Damn Snowden- he really blew this for us, now things are going to get worse! Too bad!

I don't know about you, but personally, I've never had any negative dealings with NSA.

Well,actually, this kind of begs the elephant in the room question- none of us knows if we've had dealing with the NSA or not. That's the whole reason people are upset- the specter of Big Brother silently watching and recording and assigning "point" which, when enough accumulate put you in a "category" which has real world consequences ranging from perpetual monitoring of communications to job candidate rejection to promotion denial, to job loss to unemployability to the no-fly list to targeted for framing or assassination.

So Lauren if you've never had any bad dealings with the NSA then you know more about your dealings with the NSA (presumably they were good then ?) than the rest of us do.

Of course, the best of all worlds would be not holding onto telco metadata in the first place. But if you really think that's going to happen, I'd like to talk to you about the potential purchase of a New York City bridge spanning the East River.

Sorry, this has the feel of speaking so as not to offend. It offers faint sympathies to "privacy concerns" while encouraging the reader to frame the issue as a "done deal" whose end they are helpless to determine- encouraging a kind of learned helplessness in the reader.

100% unacceptable. Whatever your position on this- and I am much more nuanced on this topic than it might appear from this post- it's 100% unacceptable to allow yourself to start thinking you cannot effect the outcome of your democracy. This is a big fucking deal and everyone needs to be informed, be reasoning it through, be researching questions that strike you as important and to be making full use of the fantastic power to gather factual information the internet provides you. This is democracy in action , this is what it means to not be shrugging off the issues of your own times but engaging full on for the sake of yourself and future generations.

Re:Filled with inaccuracies (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about 4 months ago | (#45817771)

An interesting analysis.

My faint hope lies in the trajectory of the last time America had a collective nervous breakdown. I refer to the communist witch-hunt led by Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Eventually it burnt itself out with McCarthy in disgrace. There are many parallels with the current situation. Maybe Americans will come to their senses in due course.

TL;DR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817695)

Don't read it, not worth it. Long winded rant about how secret services should act in secret because as long as they fear discovery they will respect people's privacy more. He forgot to add that ignorance is bliss or something.

Definition of insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817753)

The definition of insanity is repeating the same actions while expecting different results.

Maybe Usless (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 4 months ago | (#45817775)

I wonder if the lone nut job is not more of a menace that organized terrorists. People like the Unabomber are notoriously disconnected from the system. And people that just run in a building and start blasting are usually isolated souls as well. We are already at the point at which we can no longer afford to catch criminals. The isolated psycopath or sociopath may be the ultimate threat to national security. And these folks are probably not swept up with intensive data gathering. Being able to catch them after the fact is not winning the game at all. And what is worse is that snagging them before the act still costs us all a fortune. As far as economic survival goes we would probably be better off to allow terrorists to wipe out a huge building or two every year and a couple of planes as well as opposed to the expense of trying to prevent such idiotic acts. Even trivial crime when considered in total as to its effect is enough to destroy a nation in time. So now we have the paradox of being able to ctach the more socially active terrorists but dread the expenses of catching and keeping them in the system. It is a no win in every direction.

East vs. West (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45817897)

When it comes to the Surveillance State, the fundamental difference between the Western "democracies" and the post-Marxist Russian/Chinese model is simply one of honesty.

The Russians and the Chinese do not, and have never, made any bones about the fact that the state is everywhere, and everyone is being watched. Brutal, demeaning, and unfair? Sure. But at least they're not lying to you.

Only in the West is there this carnival show of individuals right to privacy, government under public scrutiny/consent, and personal freedom. Respect for the individual is a sham, but a brilliantly-marketed one.

Down the list (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#45817919)

Foreign surveillance ops have never been hidden from view. The embassies are filled with antennas, the satellites and spy ships can be tracked. Any regional effort by other nations can be understood by their lack of global scale. Only the NSA, GCHQ have the ability to reach down into South America, surround Africa, Russia, Asia and the Pacific with vast help in the EU. Aircraft, satellite or a vast network of optical tap needs regional support - very few nations have that.
The US "domestic context" is unique given the 1970's Church Committee reforms, the Fourth amendment and constant political and legal reassurance about role of the rule of law. Thats the interesting aspect of "one way or another" - can the surveillance program data collected be used in an open US court without the need for the "parallel construction"? Will an entire digital US lifetime be held in a digital lock box removing all freedom of speech, association, contact with the press, public expression of faith, political support, protest, charity work, travel, reading of books/web use... open courts, warrants under oath and cross examination of witnesses...?
Re the "negative dealings with NSA" - the world can see the desire for a court friendly "lock box" call logs and 3 or more hop tracking.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/oct/28/nsa-files-decoded-hops [theguardian.com]
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2013/06/surveillance_lockbox_why_can_the_nsa_search_your_phone_records_without_a.html [slate.com]
The NSA just seems to be following the UK GCHQ down the "National Criminal Intelligence Service", "Government Telecommunications Advisory Centre" and "Government Technical Assistance Centre" efforts.
Where could the US end up vs UK attempts at legal telco law reform?
If the US gov uses color of law to get around the Fourth amendment and everything done becomes not illegal - its a bit like a legal digital Berlin Wall - kind of hard to hide.
Make it all legal and find a way into open US courts with gov experts/contractors to offer expert decryption, domestic US or global tracking, logs to the courts...a lifetime of phone calls in open court.
The UK could have told the US where it all ends up in the 1990's - everything interesting goes dark and all the people of interest are warned by 'contacts' in the police, legal system and press.
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