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The CIA Does Las Vegas

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the join-the-darker-side dept.

Security 124

Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes Despite the long line of covert operations that Ed Snowden's documents have exposed, public outcry hasn't come anywhere near the level of social unrest that characterized the 1960s. Journalists like Conor Friedersdorf have suggested that one explanation for this is that the public is "informed by a press that treats officials who get caught lying and misleading (e.g., James Clapper and Keith Alexander) as if they're credible."

Certainly there are a number of well-known popular venues which offer a stage for spies to broadcast their messages from while simultaneously claiming to "cultivate conversations among all members of the security community, both public and private." This year, for instance, Black Hat USA will host Dan Greer (the CISO of In-Q-Tel) as a keynote speaker.

But after all of the lies and subterfuge is it even constructive to give voice to the talking points of intelligence officials? Or are they just muddying the water? As one observer put it, "high-profile members of the intelligence community like Cofer Black, Shawn Henry, Keith Alexander, and Dan Greer are positioned front and center in keynote slots, as if they were glamorous Hollywood celebrities. While those who value their civil liberties might opine that they should more aptly be treated like pariahs."

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Ridiculous (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47580601)

Journalists like Conor Friedersdorf have suggested that one explanation for this is that the public is "informed by a press

Balderdash. There is not a press. What is this, communism, comrade? We have many presses. The problem is that the public follows the sensational ones instead of the informative. We The People have the government, and thus the press, which we deserve.

We need a better "press" 4 collective sensemaking (4, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 2 months ago | (#47580729)

As I suggested here: http://pcast.ideascale.com/a/d... [ideascale.com]
"Now, there are many people out there (including computer scientists) who may raise legitimate concerns about privacy or other important issues in regards to any system that can support the intelligence community (as well as civilian needs). As I see it, there is a race going on. The race is between two trends. On the one hand, the internet can be used to profile and round up dissenters to the scarcity-based economic status quo (thus legitimate worries about privacy and something like TIA). On the other hand, the internet can be used to change the status quo in various ways (better designs, better science, stronger social networks advocating for some healthy mix of a basic income, a gift economy, democratic resource-based planning, improved local subsistence, etc., all supported by better structured arguments like with the Genoa II approach) to the point where there is abundance for all and rounding up dissenters to mainstream economics is a non-issue because material abundance is everywhere. So, as Bucky Fuller said, whether is will be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race to the very end. While I can't guarantee success at the second option of using the internet for abundance for all, I can guarantee that if we do nothing, the first option of using the internet to round up dissenters (or really, anybody who is different, like was done using IBM computers in WWII Germany) will probably prevail. So, I feel the global public really needs access to these sorts of sensemaking tools in an open source way, and the way to use them is not so much to "fight back" as to "transform and/or transcend the system". As Bucky Fuller said, you never change thing by fighting the old paradigm directly; you change things by inventing a new way that makes the old paradigm obsolete."

Or here: http://www.phibetaiota.net/201... [phibetaiota.net]
"The greatest threat facing the USA is the irony inherent in our current defense posture, like for example planning to use nuclear energy embodied in missiles to fight over oil fields that nuclear energy could replace. This irony arises in part because the USA's current security logic is still based on essentially 19th century and earlier (second millennium) thinking that becomes inappropriate applied to 21st century (third millennium) technological threats and opportunities. That situation represents a systematic intelligence failure of the highest magnitude. There remains time to correct this failure, but time grows short as various exponential trends continue.
    To address that pervasive threat from unrecognized irony, it would help to re-envision the CIA as a non-ironic post-scarcity institution. Then the CIA could help others (including in the White House) make more informed decisions to move past this irony as well.
    A first step towards that could be for IARPA to support better free software tools for "crowdsourced" public intelligence work involving using a social semantic desktop for sensemaking about open source data and building related open public action plans from that data to make local communities healthier, happier, more intrinsically secure, and also more mutually secure. Secure, healthy, prosperous, and happy local (and virtual) communities then can form together a secure, healthy, prosperous, and happy nation and planet in a non-ironic way. Details on that idea are publicly posted by me here in the form of a Proposal Abstract to the IARPA Incisive Analysis solicitation: "Social Semantic Desktop for Sensemaking on Threats and Opportunities"
http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]
"

Or various other places...

Lately I've been thinking about such a system for collective sensemaking and public intelligence as a series of JavaScript-heavy WordPress plugins, given WordPress powers about 20% of the sites on the internet...

Re:We need a better "press" 4 collective sensemaki (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580919)

Wow, pass the crack pipe... Abundance for all. While that is a nice sounding thing (who wouldn't want it), it is absolutely impossible without free energy and practically unlimited resources. You'll likely find both of those impossible. In reality, the redistribution of wealth would be possible - but that way lies the failures of communism that have already been seen due to the lack of competition and rewards stopping the drive to actually do anything. Most people don't posit abundance for all anymore. They tend to put forth other things like, "hovels for all" - although they don't say it that way, it tends to be what they mean. Since the earth's resources won't allow everyone to have mansions, everyone should instead have a tiny little room in a gigantic housing tower. Like anyone wants that. Anyway, have fun with that crack pipe dreaming up abundance for all without the energy or resources to do it...

Re:We need a better "press" 4 collective sensemaki (4, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47581197)

I don't agree that the only way to fix the issue is by the communist path. You don't need a complete re-distribution to fix things, you only need to dismantle a very small number of monopolies (including financial monopolies).

Start with media, and break up the monopoly. Having 90% of all media owned by 4 people is why we lack rational discussion of issues and have a public that knows more about a celebrity than a political decision that could impact their lives for the rest of their lives. Deregulation broke this.

Financially, our woes are not due to the 1% but rather the .01%. Lock this down and redistribute their wealth and every poor person in the country would be set for life. Bill Gates (easy yet deserving target) does not need 50 billion dollars. Simply knocking him down to 1 billion would return enough money to purchase 490,000 people houses valued at 100,000, and Mr. Gates would still be rich. Now imagine how many people could own a home and be out of poverty if you corrected all of the .01% (There are at least a few with way more wealth than him). Deregulation broke this.

Banks need to be broken up and regulations put back in place to ensure that a bank can not operate in more than one state. Too big to fail should not exist, and deregulation broke this.

Notice that deregulation broke each of these things, all starting around the 1970s. As more and more deregulation occurred, more and more corruption has happened.

These three things are not the only things that need to be done, but each is a valid starting point. It should also be obvious that since deregulation caused failures, it does not require communism to "fix" things. Enforced regulation is all that's required.

Re:We need a better "press" 4 collective sensemaki (3, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | about 2 months ago | (#47582161)

I don't agree that the only way to fix the issue is by the communist path. You don't need a complete re-distribution to fix things, you only need to dismantle a very small number of monopolies (including financial monopolies).

But you do need to accept, once and for all, that economy can't be left to itself. Otherwise you'll get the same push to deregulate, followed by new monopolies and economic ruin. And that means that "communism" and "socialism" need to stop being boogeymen and become social and economic options that can be mixed with other options as needed, without this being a slippery slope to Stalinism and gulags.

Re:We need a better "press" 4 collective sensemaki (1, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47582657)

False claim much?

But you do need to accept, once and for all, that economy can't be left to itself.

Where exactly do I state or even imply that the economy can be left to itself? The fact that I state "Enforced regulation is all that's required." should make it abundantly clear that the economy can not be left to itself.

Any claim you make that socialism and communism are required to fix issues are pure rubbish.

Go read and comprehend what Socrates stated in the allegory of the artisan 2,500 years ago. Go read what Adam Smith stated repeatedly in his works defining "Capitalism". Read Milton Friedman's works and comprehend what he wrote. All three of those people were for a "FREE" Democratic Republic style of Government, not socialism or communism. All three tell you that the primary role of Government in an economy is to enforce regulations to stop monopolization.

To claim that you need a particular form of government to achieve this ignores history, period.

Re:We need a better "press" 4 collective sensemaki (2)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 2 months ago | (#47583335)

At its root, I think the problem is the definition of socialism:

a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

Your notion of the government regulating capitalism is socialism. Socialism isn't some anticapitalism that will explode on contact with capitalism, and it's not a form of government, though it does sort of imply a couple things about that government that are not at all at odds with capitalism (but are kind of at odds with universally unregulated capitalism).

To claim that you need a particular form of government to achieve this ignores history, period.

The history of three cherry-picked men talking about economics?

Re:We need a better "press" 4 collective sensemaki (2, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | about a month ago | (#47583623)

The problem is not mine, the problem is yours. You are attempting to conflate an economic system into a form of government, or trying to conflate a government into a form of economics. Either way is wrong!

I'll go further and state that you know you are wrong, as evidenced by your overblown use of adjective in your second paragraph. No, it does not present the appearance of knowledge.

There are countless others who wrote about economics and government, but to claim it is "cherry picked" is laughable. Why is it laughable? Simple, the United States of America, which we are discussing, was intended to have Capitalism as it's form of economics. Capitalism is derived from the works of one of those authors. The form of Government we have was defined by Socrates in "The Republic". Should I really assume a 3rd party interpretation (and possible corruption) of the original thoughts and writings over the original thoughts and writings? The answer to that is NO!

You may be fair if you only claimed that the last member of the list as "cherry picked". I'd counter any such argument by stating that Milton Friedman was ignored by our politicians who carried on with Keynesian policies regardless of who was pointing out it's failures. Friedman's principles were never implemented or tried, even by the so called "great conservative" Reagan who dismantled numerous protections against monopoly during his two terms in office and started the massive shift of wealth in the hands of very few with "Trickle Down Economics".

Re:We need a better "press" 4 collective sensemaki (5, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 2 months ago | (#47581333)

"Abundance for all" is unlikely. However, "guaranteed subsistence for all" is easily doable. We have more empty, foreclosed on homes than we have homeless people. We're paying farmers not to grow food while people go hungry. We insist everyone have a job in order to have access to food and shelter, yet there are not enough jobs for everyone to do, and a large portion of the jobs we do have are make-work. There is enough for everyone's basic needs to be met but resources are poorly distributed.

Over the last 40 years per capita GDP in the US doubled but real median income has fallen. The American worker is the most productive motherfucker on the planet. They're generating twice as much wealth as they were 40 years ago, and yet they are keeping less of it. Where did that wealth go? If it didn't go to the workers, the only other place it can go is to the owners. The system is designed to concentrate wealth at the top and it's done a very good job of that.

I'm not advocating for a forced redistribution of wealth. I don't know what the answer is. But the problem is pretty easy to spot.

Re:We need a better "press" 4 collective sensemaki (1)

fightermagethief (3645291) | about 2 months ago | (#47583071)

I wish there was a meta-mod-up so people beyond the site could see this. I find myself avoiding using words like 'socialism' just to not incite the fervor of the talk radio masses. I think crime would also be pretty negligible if people's basic needs were met. Of all the people I see on the street and sleeping under bridges, it is VERY rare to find someone outright willing to commit a crime when they have a pack of smokes and a full belly. The only crimes I see with any regularity are crimes of desperation and maybe opportunity. Where someone is so hungry that they say 'damn the consequences' and just run into some store and grab stuff, basically on their last thread of humanity.

Re:Ridiculous (4, Informative)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 2 months ago | (#47580905)

Journalists like Conor Friedersdorf have suggested that one explanation for this is that the public is "informed by a press

Balderdash. There is not a press. What is this, communism, comrade? We have many presses. The problem is that the public follows the sensational ones instead of the informative. We The People have the government, and thus the press, which we deserve.

But when they're owned by 5 media companies, all of which are in turn owned by rich media barons, they tend to walk the party line. Remember when Phil Donohue was fired for being against the Iraq war, and couldn't get a job anywhere else? That wouldn't happen if the various media were really independent.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47581217)

But when they're owned by 5 media companies, all of which are in turn owned by rich media barons, they tend to walk the party line.

We got there because of decades of people systematically giving their money to the most sensational press, which enabled them to become more powerful. It's not something that just happened.

I think that there probably oughta be a law that you can't knowingly tell an outright lie and call it news, but even that seems to be a minority view, which is just another symptom of the same damned need for entertainment.

Secondary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47582631)

People today accept that governments are evil. They are quite content to let people like Snowden fight the good fight for them, and hope the problems work themselves out.

They won't of course. Widespread sloth ensures that the evil will continue.

Re:Ridiculous (1, Informative)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47581285)

There is not a press. What is this, communism, comrade?

You have not paid any attention to what's been happening with media in the US have you? Broadcast and Print media is all primarily owned by the same people. If talking points are not followed journalists are fired. I have no idea how you missed the leaks about the New York Post, CNN, FOX, and *NBC, and hell even the AP. A few of these leaks were even mentioned in some places (though not covered as stories or discussed beyond the mention). Each outlet is controlling output and following administration provided talking points. Having to have stories approved by 3 letter government agencies before running them, and blacking out content that could harm the administration provided talking points.

It's not "communism", that's a false paradigm. Seems like you also missed the reports that the US has turned into a fascist oligarch by a couple large universities. Having a controlled media is surely a sign of a society that is not free, but communism is not the only form of government that is "not free".

Re:Ridiculous (1)

drfred79 (2936643) | about 2 months ago | (#47581665)

I agree. If the current media want trying so hard to be the political wing of the government then people would take their credibility more seriously. You have parts of the media actively censoring information that is "inconvenient" for the government.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47582787)

Journalists like Conor Friedersdorf have suggested that one explanation for this is that the public is "informed by a press

Balderdash. There is not a press. What is this, communism, comrade? We have many presses. The problem is that the public follows the sensational ones instead of the informative. We The People have the government, and thus the press, which we deserve.

Its funny and sad you mention communism because the US press pushed government lead propaganda onto citizens, civil rights leader and any and all movements that were only positives to move the country forward were all dubbed communists, by the FBI and other agencies, the media/press in turn pushed that same bullshit down peoples throats.

It continues to this day, with the media/press ignoring the obvious, thankfully because of the internet and creditable people/sites this stuff is being exposed, only the mainstream press doesn't give a shit, and despite the governments arrogance the citizens are all to aware of this sort of shit going on because it has been happening before communism, so those that are well informed are not surprised, and what the fuck is the public going to do to stop it? Politicians are nothing more then hand puppets, vote too your hearts content it is not going to do a damn thing to stop it.

I should also thank the idiots in government for allowing the FOIA, as well as their own agents who exposed previous schemes all in the name of controlling its citizens, and you know it has worked to some extent, but people can't be controlled so now we will use terrorist propaganda to monitor anyone before we deem them uncontrollable.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

mrex (25183) | about 2 months ago | (#47582811)

We have many presses.

Unfortunately, they're mostly anachronistic technology that no one uses anymore. Nowadays, people get their information primarily from television and the internet. And look at who owns that.

Giving people the freedom to light as many candles as they want isn't meaningful in the age of the LED.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 2 months ago | (#47583347)

Hm?

Following are just a few sources are located on "the internet." I'm not sure who owns them but I do know they do not toe the part line. Whether you think they are valid or not, they ARE out there.

http://www.motherjones.com/ [motherjones.com]
http://www.theguardian.com/us [theguardian.com]
http://www.kpfk.org/ [kpfk.org]

What's the confusion? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580621)

They even call the conference "Black Hat". Why would professional black hat hackers not be expected there?

It's better to hear people you might disagree with (4, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | about 2 months ago | (#47580641)

Closing one's ears to people one might disagree with is a sure way to rot as a community. It's not like the community that attends such conferences is unanimous in their views; it's not *all* technolibertarians. If you look at other presentations by such bodies at past conferences, you see that they're often quite good.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 months ago | (#47580687)

This isn't a matter of disagreement but rather than being lied to perpetually.

Should false propaganda have a voice? Their goal isn't to be unanimously believed, but to muddy the issue.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (4, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 months ago | (#47580739)

I'd expect that if I were to take a collection of the last 100 statements from most techno libertarians on matters of fact and 100 statements from the average CIA spokesperson on matters of fact and had a God's eye view of the situation the CIA would be more accurate. In the case of the CIA / NSA they are often deliberately misleading the public on a few facts they consider crucial while being accurate on a huge collections of information. In the case of the techno libertarians, like many semi-credible analysts they are making wild conjectures and exaggerating to "raise awareness".

A responsible professional press's job is to try and start crossing between them and try and build a better factual picture for their readership. So yes they have to have a voice.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 months ago | (#47581061)

I would like to compare the last 100 Snowden statements to the last 100 NSA/CIA statements, thank you very much.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 months ago | (#47581295)

That's actually pretty easy to do.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47583595)

Why would anyone listen to liars, criminals and torturers that work against their own people and then believe a single word ever again coming out of their mouth?

Insanity

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a month ago | (#47583735)

I understand your stated expectations. This is to be expected of one who blindly trusts authority. However it is worth noting that most of the statements by CIA/NSA/etc. spokesmen cannot be checked by anyone not a member of those organizations. (And this is why the "blindly".)

Just not being able to prove them wrong is not grounds for trusting them, when they (i.e. the organizations collectively) are the reason that those statements cannot be checked.

OTOH, statements from "techno libertarians" aren't always correct, but if they can't be checked, then it's clear that they can't check them either. This is a very significant difference.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a month ago | (#47583775)

True but techno libertarians often make claims that can be checked but are complicated. For example what XYZ said or how ABC acts when exploded or...

In general there have been some leaks, example the Wikileaks embassy stuff that gave us a pretty good statistical basis for where the State Department was lying and where it was telling the truth. That's extremely useful for estimating the likelihood of lies in other cases.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 months ago | (#47580793)

You know the news doesn't cover it when when the CIA tells the truth.

If you feeling completely outraged about something, you probably do not have enough information. When you have enough information you can be angry at a particular subset of an issue not just the entire thing.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580901)

If they ever do, we'll test your theory.

Re: It's better to hear people you might disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47582363)

Perhaps you could cite an example of the CIA telling the truth so we can test your claims?

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 months ago | (#47582701)

"You know the news doesn't cover it when when the CIA tells the truth."

What the hell are you talking about? There was a story about how CIA Director Brennan just got around to finally telling the truth for a change [slashdot.org] just yesterday.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47581123)

Should false propaganda have a voice?

Absolutely yes! Otherwise it would be so easy to silence legitimate voices without ever giving them a chance. Muddied issues demand either clarifications, or else demand understanding that there are inherent uncertainties and limits to knowledge, and that we need to take actions according to that, predict consequences of trust or distrust, or just plain old-fashioned go with whatever our gut feelings tell us.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 months ago | (#47582707)

"Should false propaganda have a voice?"

Please tell me you aren't a US citizen who made it past the sixth grade. Please.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#47580697)

Agree or disagree is one thing. Trust is orthoganal to that. Whatever these people have to say, their word is worthless to me.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 months ago | (#47580699)

Closing one's ears to people one might disagree with is a sure way to rot as a community.

[Citation needed]

There is a time for listening, and a time for no longer listening. All great communities have systems for penalizing trolls and idiotic opinions which have been debunked many times before. Slashdot is a good example of such a community: lots of "comments" end up at -1, which is an excellent form of censorship.

The point of the article is that, once some members of the community have been shown to be untrustworthy and plain liars, they should not be listened to anymore. Or at least, they should not be invited to high profile venues where they can spread their "side". The slashdot equivalent would be that such people should not be getting +5, but rather -1.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 2 months ago | (#47580813)

The slashdot equivalent would be that such people should not be getting +5, but rather -1.

I'd add to that the karma system that keeps them from getting mod points and silencing others is also an important aspect. If we're going to allow for some light censorship (modding down to -1) we must also ensure that those doing the censoring are doing so responsibly and for legitimate reasons. (E.g. troll comments vs. I simply disagree with you)

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (2)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 2 months ago | (#47580873)

Never post anything over at HackerNews which can be remotely construed as criticism of the modern hip whistleblower crowd, lest you be downvoted into oblivion. Slashdots more limited moderation horizon is a boon in that regard - much more diversity and value of comments.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

blackiner (2787381) | about 2 months ago | (#47580755)

They certainly sponsor some really neat research from time to time. I particularly liked this one: https://lwn.net/Articles/56894... [lwn.net] Then again... that was an IBM researcher who did the actual research and gave the talk, not a government official.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 months ago | (#47580825)

Yeah, I'm a minority here in that I don't think Snowden revealed anything illegal at all. So this whole story is basically a group of people with an opinion getting upset that other people don't share their opinion. Of course, it *must* be a conspiracy against them... Couldn't possibly be free will or anything.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580891)

Good for you, you don't matter. You know why? Cause Snowden has already been charged with espionage, therefore you're wrong.

It doesn't matter what you (the minority) think if another group (the CIA) drowns out your voice.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (3, Interesting)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 months ago | (#47581139)

No, you completely misunderstood my post. Maybe it wasn't clear. I'm not saying that Snowden didn't do anything illegal. I'm saying that I don't think that the NSA did anything illegal. The whole point of my post is that people have different opinions on the legality of the NSA's operations, while this story assumed that they didn't.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47581419)

Facts>opinions

Especially stupid opinions.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

callmetheraven (711291) | about 2 months ago | (#47581843)

People who use the word "facts" in their posts = morons.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 months ago | (#47582739)

So we can agree that you are a moron then. Fair enough.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (0)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 months ago | (#47582715)

Facts, Truth ( with a capital T) are indeed greater than opinions. However, that doesn't really mean much in our current discussion. The question at hand is: Why aren't people more outraged about what the NSA/CIA do? The correct answer is: Because they don't think that what the NSA/CIA did is wrong. Now those people ( myself included), could be dead wrong, but that still answers the question. That's what my post is doing: answering the question of why people aren't outraged. Maybe you feel they should be. Great. Have fun converting everyone over to that (opinion or Truth ). Then people will be outraged and then change will come.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

aralin (107264) | about 2 months ago | (#47581771)

I think you misunderstand us here. We don't care if what the NSA did was legal. We are outraged by what they are doing and even more so if in fact it is legal. Legality cannot replace morality, because laws are far too easy to change.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 months ago | (#47582439)

Great post. I completely agree that morality should not be confused with legality. Shame on me for implying they were the same. I do disagree that what they did/are continuing to do is immoral. However, I would welcome additional oversight to their activities. While, there is nothing heinous I currently see in their activities, if they are left unchecked they could wander off into areas that I would consider to be immoral.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

JonnyCalcutta (524825) | about 2 months ago | (#47582681)

I'd mod you up if I had the points. Legality in certain cases just means the clowns at the top had enough foresight to change the laws.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a month ago | (#47583797)

Excuse me, but many of us, or at least myself, do believe that they broke actual laws as well as being blatantly immoral. IANAL, so I can't be certain, but I believe that they did.

OTOH, I don't normally condemn people for breaking the laws if I feel the laws are unjust. I'm much more upset that they acted immorally than that they acted illegaly.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580833)

Better analogy would be buying American automobile for it's 8 cup holders while compromising on reliability and economy.

Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47581489)

Closing one's ears to people one might disagree with is a sure way to rot as a community. It's not like the community that attends such conferences is unanimous in their views; it's not *all* technolibertarians. If you look at other presentations by such bodies at past conferences, you see that they're often quite good.

Closing your ears to those that have shown contempt for the truth and a desire to deceive you however is entirely appropriate. I'd have no problem if it were an open debate and I just disagreed with their point, but that's not what it is. They are bold faced lieing. You're just giving people proven to be bold faced liars a chance to lie some more.

Does anyone still believe anything they say (3, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47580671)

If a CIA or NSA official told me it was daytime outside and my watch said 12 noon, I would still have to walk outside to believe it.

Re:Does anyone still believe anything they say (1)

Proudrooster (580120) | about 2 months ago | (#47580767)

Exactly, let them come and speak. They more they say the more they lie. They (the CIA) just admitted lying to the US Senate and hacking Senate computers. The NSA/CIA should pull back and be quiet while they still can. Unfortunately the PsyOPs guys in the NSA/CIA are trying to be clever and divide the black hat community into thinking that the NSA/CIA is somewhat cool and necessary. Tons of cash, lot's of computers, hack any network, and no accountability, lie and spy on power without any legal consequences, it's great, come work for us. Don't be like that principled loser Aaron Schwartz who tried to set academic papers free and got slapped with a $1million fine and 35 years in federal prison, come work for us where we are immune to everything and no one can stop us from hacking anything... WHA HA HA!

From my PsyOPs perspective, the only way to end this is to make it incredibly personal and publish phone records of the Press, Senate, Congress, Mayors, Supreme Court Justices, and military officials. Publish phone logs and full text transcripts. This will bring down the house. Snowden was supposed to name names and promised to publish information like this but it never happened. He may have lost control of his data trove.

A large group is "ok" with ambiguity, but when you make it personal, the ambiguity fades to a laser focus.

Re:Does anyone still believe anything they say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580993)

They are a necessary evil. Humans are greedy bastards, leading to war (or cold war, as the case tends to be) making good intelligence important as you can head off some of the larger problems before they happen. I can't believe IT people of all people don't understand that selling 'no news is good news' is difficult. As for the slippery-slope turning into Mt. Everest, refer back to "Humans are greedy bastards". The endless circle-jerk of cynicism isn't a solution either. We need a moral movement, religious or otherwise, that actually rewards those things we claim to be our virtues (honesty, charity, whatever), or at the very least, protects those who do the right thing. There has to be a few of those 1%'ers with a yen to do the right thing, step up!

Re:Does anyone still believe anything they say (1)

Proudrooster (580120) | about a month ago | (#47583739)

I agree with you, I had a Zen moment the other night. A young child was watching the news with me and the war came on where people died and the child looked up scared and said, "people died." Then asked, "Why is there a war?" I replied with the only answer I could, "That's because, sharing is hard."

When kids are little, it is hard to share and it doesn't get any easier as we get bigger. Instead of clocking somebody with your fist you hit them with a bomb.

At some point we will have to turn away from war. I am not sure what will force us to this possibly a plague, virus, disease, aliens, the planet running out of something, a Solar CME taking out the global power grid, or Putin nuking the world.

Re:Does anyone still believe anything they say (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a month ago | (#47583863)

No. Some agency is necessary. The CIA and the NSA as currently constituted are not.

To claim that they are needed is as silly as claiming that because a limited copyright is good, one that extends forever it needed. It's as silly as claiming that because some patents are needed, a patent on something that everyone has been doing for decades is justifiable, and that allowing it is mandatory.

Scale the NSA back to what it was in the 1950's, and the CIA back to what it was back in 1944, when it had a different name. Those agencies were probably necessary, but that's not at all the same as saying the current agencies are necessary, or even desireable. They are currently SO bad, that we'd be better off just totally abolishing them, even though that's clearly a bad idea except as one stage of a "redo from scratch" operation.

Re:Does anyone still believe anything they say (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 2 months ago | (#47581401)

He's named some names. Those five innocent American muslims who were spied on, at least one of them illegally. And according to Greenwald there's "more to come."

The general pattern the Snowden leaks have taken is to put something out, let people be outraged, then wait for the PTB to lie "Well, we might have done bad thing X, but we haven't done terrible worse thing Y!" And then release the evidence that they also did terrible thing Y. So my guess is they release evidence that the NSA was illegally spying on innocent Americans, but people will say "Oh, well that's all right because TEH MOOSLEMS!" And then they'll drop the next story, which is that in addition to mulsims, they spied on...I wonder. My guess is Occupy leaders. And then people will say, "Well, they're dissident troublemakers!" And then it'll turn out they were listening to phone calls from congressmen, too.

Just wait. There's more to come...

I don't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580779)

If a CIA or NSA official told me it was daytime outside and my watch said 12 noon, I would still have to walk outside to believe it.

And it's the same with businesses, too.

We need to stop this attitude that government, businesses, and anyone in authority considers our interests and automatically assume they are telling the truth. The opposite should be the case.

As far as I am concerned, I feel completely justified calling them liars until proven - independent proof - that they are not. I assume the worst because that is usually the case. Whether it is the refiners saying lead in gasoline is safe, or the cigarette companies or the fracking companies saying their products or techniques are safe, I do not beleive them until proven otherwise. Profit rules and bureacrats protecting themselves rules; the people drools in our country.

If they don't like it? Tough shit.

And the person who moded the parent "Troll" must be quite gullible or a shill mod from the NSA/CIA or some corporate master.

Re:Does anyone still believe anything they say (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 2 months ago | (#47581639)

If a CIA or NSA official told me it was daytime outside and my watch said 12 noon, I would still have to walk outside to believe it.

You might also want to take a walk down the block or toss a rock to make sure it wasn't just a painted backdrop.

Re:Does anyone still believe anything they say (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a month ago | (#47583877)

If I were depending on the word of the CIA that the world wasn't a painted backdrop, then I would consider that excellent advice.

They're still of interest in the field (4, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | about 2 months ago | (#47580683)

If you hosted a well known "true black hat" hacker at the conference they would still command everybody's respect purely for their abilities, and everybody would want to hear what they had to say. You take for granted that much of it is going to be a lie, but it's still more interesting and on topic than (say) inviting a politician to speak.

Re:They're still of interest in the field (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580747)

^^^ this, I mean come on. This isn't a Harry Potter conference.

those who value their civil liberties might opine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580685)

Hang'em high.

or credibility of the government (1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 months ago | (#47580703)

In 1950 Joe McCarthy claimed to have a list of communists in government and started a process that destroyed the lives of common US citizens without due process or ability to appeal. In the mid 1960's most young people were against the government because they were being forced to serve their country in the military, which generated a great deal of anti-government sentiment because they did not want to. If we look what is happening today, most of the government overreach does not effect such average of high profile private citizens. For the most part this overreach is seen as only targeting foreigners or terrorists. Susan Sarandon is not being hauled in front of congress and being prevented from working because of what she says. In effect, the government has gotten much more sophisticated at managing the perception of the public. Of course not everyone is governement is so sophisticated. Some are still playing 'there are 400 communists in the Obama white house' card or claiming so other such nonsense and trying to use it to limit rights. But for the most part, the days of stupid seem to be at a lull.

Re:or credibility of the government (1)

judoguy (534886) | about 2 months ago | (#47580929)

But for the most part, the days of stupid seem to be at a lull.

Citation needed

Re:or credibility of the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580937)

Some are still playing 'there are 400 communists in the Obama white house' card or claiming so other such nonsense and trying to use it to limit rights.

There *are* soviet style communists in the Obama White House, and they're using their positions of power to limit rights.

Re:or credibility of the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580977)

Some are still playing 'there are 400 communists in the Obama white house' card or claiming so other such nonsense and trying to use it to limit rights.

Part of the problem is that the media are more sympathetic to a leftist (by US standards) president because that is how they lean as well.
The bad stuff Obama does is still reported, but the angle is how tragic it is for Obama that he had to do this. That or stating that other presidents did the same and the only reason Obama is being called out is because he's black when in truth, the other presidents were criticized harshly for what they did

Re:or credibility of the government (2)

operagost (62405) | about 2 months ago | (#47581055)

Some are still playing 'there are 400 communists in the Obama white house' card or claiming so other such nonsense and trying to use it to limit rights

Who in government is saying that? These guys, Democrat and Republican, go out to have lunch and drinks with each other. Then they pretend their polite disagreements about how many freedoms to take from their subjects are actual drag-down fights in front of the mainstream media, to suggest there's any real difference between the parties. It would be nonsense to slander the president and his staff and use such deceit as an excuse to impose restrictions on the public.

Re:or credibility of the government (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47581521)

If we look what is happening today, most of the government overreach does not effect such average of high profile private citizens.

Yet... there was a time before the McCarthy hearings, before the Vietnam war, when those atrocities could have been stopped. That's where we are now. I'm not going to throw up my hands and say "This isn't a big deal!" We know what happens in the end, my Sons not getting sent to some BS war when he's 18 because we were cowards when he was 6.

Re:or credibility of the government (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47581533)

In 1950 Joe McCarthy claimed to have a list of communists in government and started a process that destroyed the lives of common US citizens without due process or ability to appeal.

You obviously have bought into the propaganda and don't have a clear understanding of what went on in the McCarthy era. For instance, Senator Joe McCarthy had nothing to do with the House Un-American Activities Committee, very few people were ever punished or suffered because of McCarthy or the HUAC (I think there were about 3 people who ever went to prison and the maximum sentence was only 3 years - not much for plotting to overthrow the govt.), there were and still are many people both in and out of government working diligently to overthrow the U.S. govt and establish a communist or Marxist govt in its place (lots of them are tenured professors, e.g. Bill Ayers, who poison the minds of American youths on a daily basis) and, despite all the belly aching, there really were writers in Hollywood bent on producing propaganda to help the Soviet Union's cause to the detriment of the U.S. and its citizens. The U.S. response to Marxist subversion was extremely tepid particularly when viewed wrt anti-communist purges in other countries that sometimes resulted in the deaths of millions of people.

In the mid 1960's most young people were against the government because they were being forced to serve their country in the military, which generated a great deal of anti-government sentiment because they did not want to.

Actually, Marxist agitators, supported by the USSR, were behind most of the civil unrest in the 1960s. Clear evidence was found when the Soviet Union imploded and KGB files were examined that the KGB was directing the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) and other left-wing student groups. Marxists are incompetent at almost everything they do, but one of the things they do really well is identify groups of people which they can exploit and then construct a psychological framework and political narrative that allows the exploited group to think of themselves as virtuous as they advance the Marxist cause even though they may not realize that they are doing so. In the 1960s, the KGB wanted to undermine the U.S. war effort in Vietnam and so they played on the reluctance of the spoiled youths of the 60s to fight a war in a foreign land by convincing the youths that the Vietnam civil war was a war of national liberation not a war to install a Marxist regime that would be a satellite of the USSR. This allowed the youths, in the face of accusations by their parents, who had fought in WWII and Korea, that they were irresponsible cowards, to smugly insist that WWII was a "good" war and the U.S. cause in it just, but that the U.S. cause was unjust in Vietnam and draft dodgers were enlightened and virtuous.

If we look what is happening today, most of the government overreach does not effect such average of high profile private citizens. For the most part this overreach is seen as only targeting foreigners or terrorists.

The difference today is that the leftist radicals of the 60s control the U.S. govt. and permeate most of its bureaucracies. The growing authoritarian state in the U.S. is being run by the left and so the political agitators of the left aren't stirring up trouble to oppose it. Notice the double standard in how "society" reacted to the Patriot Act when enacted under Bush and how "society" is reacting to the much more intrusive and abusive (the IRS scandal in particular) actions of the Obama admin.

Susan Sarandon is not being hauled in front of congress and being prevented from working because of what she says.

As I mentioned before, Hollywood treats the mild effort to prevent the film industry from being turned into a propaganda mill for the Soviet Union as if it were the greatest injustice in all of history. Marxists have murdered > 100 million people. There is nothing good or benign about Marxism. It is evil and "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". So a few writers and actors were prevented from doing their little part to overthrow the U.S. govt and lost their opportunity to work as script writers because of it. Boo-hoo. Cry me a river.

Some are still playing 'there are 400 communists in the Obama white house' card

I've never heard anyone make that claim although I have heard many people call Obama a communist - not completely unreasonable given his constant use of communist class warfare rhetoric and his constant use of and advocacy of redistributionism. I don't know which label for Obama is the most accurate, but what is undeniable is that Obama's actions are consistent with someone who is trying to make himself dictator for life. Obama has promoted civil unrest, undermined the rule of law, continually pushed the boundaries of executive authority, promoted street crime by releasing tens of thousands of convicted criminals from prison and by facilitating the invasion of America by very large numbers of criminals and gang members from Latin America. He has done everything he could to damage the U.S. economically by spending tax dollars at a preposterous rate, by strangling America's access to energy resources, by increasing taxes whenever he can, by creating uncertainty and confusion in the business climate, particularly as it regards healthcare and by getting as many people as possible dependent on govt handouts. Most of the time Obama uses the tools and tactics of fascists or run-of-the-mill authoritarians, such as stifling information flow and persecuting his opponents as much as he is able. On-the-other-hand, Obama is pushing full on with the Marxist tactics of cultural destruction. So, call him what you want, but don't dismiss the destructiveness and malevolence of his behavior.

or claiming so other such nonsense and trying to use it to limit rights.

And just who the fuck do you see as using accusations of the misbehavior of Obama to "limit rights"? Seriously, wtf are you talking about? Obama is using the IRS to stifle political speech, issuing gag orders to border control agents, cramming illegal immigrants onto airplanes, flying them all over the country and then dumping them into unsuspecting communities, using environmentalism as a pretext to undermine private property rights and unconstitutionally assuming legislative authority for himself. His justice department has an explicit policy of ignoring civil rights complaints by whites and has vigorously attacked states that have done nothing more than try to enforce existing immigration law or try to ensure the integrity of the U.S. electoral system. Obama is undermining the very concept of representative govt in numerous ways and yet you make vague and ridiculous claims that his opponents are trying to "limit rights"? You need to get your head right. Obama is wrecking the country and he is doing so deliberately and, sadly, without much opposition from the rest of the political class.

Re:or credibility of the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47582741)

Marxists are incompetent at almost everything they do, but one of the things they do really well is identify groups of people which they can exploit and then construct a psychological framework and political narrative that allows the exploited group to think of themselves as virtuous as they advance the Marxist cause even though they may not realize that they are doing so.

In other words, these Marxists were like Karl Rove.

(Yes, KGB was behind some of the 60s movements. The rest of your commentary is pure partisan hackery.)

or credibility of the government (1)

callmetheraven (711291) | about 2 months ago | (#47581879)

But for the most part, the days of stupid seem to be at a lull.

If the days of stupid were at a "lull" (and they are about as far as they can get from it) your post alone would have fully restored their vigor.

Re:or credibility of the government (1)

Animats (122034) | about a month ago | (#47583851)

In 1950 Joe McCarthy claimed to have a list of communists in government...

Amusingly, we now know, from USSR files revealed in the 1990s, that there were a lot of communist sympathizers in the State Department passing info to the USSR. KGB Moscow Central found them useless. They wanted spies in the military and in the military contractors doing advanced R&D on aircraft, missiles, electronics, and nuclear weapons. What the State Department was doing mostly wasn't secret and wasn't militarily important.

In the mid 1960's most young people were against the government because they were being forced to serve their country in the military, which generated a great deal of anti-government sentiment because they did not want to.

That's correct. The whole "anti-war movement" was about not getting drafted. It was driven by self-interest.

Re:or credibility of the government (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a month ago | (#47583971)

That's oversimplifying, but it was certainly a big part of it. People are incredibly self-centered...so much so that they don't even notice it. If something isn't affecting them or people that they know directly, most people will just ignore it.

Please note: This is not a criticism of the anti-war movement in the Vietnam era. It was a totally stupid war for no reason that was ever explained ... or rather the explanations did not justify it, and were often lies. The ani-war movement was just, moral, and proper. It also woudn't have happened if people who had access to power weren't forced to face what the war might mean to them.

Please note, the current wars in the middle east are much more justifiable, though nobody in government dares to mention the real justification: oil. The wars are a blatant resource grab. (I'm not sure this extends to Afghanistan. I think that may be basically a war to test out the new military toys in a live exercise. But I'm not sure.)

Please also note that the "military toys" currently being developed and debugged are designed to allow a government to attack an armed civilian uprising. And note that simple verstions are being distributed to various police forces all over the US. This may explain what the real purpose of that "war" is.

Positioned front and center like a celebrity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580711)

That's a good description of how the tech press has treated Snowden.

Pariahs? Not the word I'd choose (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 2 months ago | (#47580725)

"Criminals" is the word I'd choose, given their actions.

Criminals? Not the word I'd choose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580869)

"Treasoners" is the word I'd choose, given their actions.

Re: Criminals? Not the word I'd choose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47582383)

I think "traitor" is the right word.

Re: Criminals? Not the word I'd choose (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a month ago | (#47583987)

Traitor doesn't fit the definition given in the Constitution. OTOH, they do appear to be guilty of multiple counts of malfeasance and conspiracy to commit malfeasance. So criminal would fit if they were prosecuted.

However, since they have not been formally accused by any prosecutorial authority, I think the best word may be "lying scum".

The difference between bullshit and wild honey ... (1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 2 months ago | (#47580735)

... can best be determined after examining both..

Re: The difference between bullshit and wild honey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47581375)

You examine. A cursory glance is all I need.

Re: The difference between bullshit and wild honey (1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 2 months ago | (#47581669)

Then you are not in the demographic, anyway.

For Most Offenses (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47580753)

In a fervor, The Press is normally to be found jostling in line for the first big interview after a scandal breaks, giving the Headliner his or her pick of a favorable interviewer.

Look at your "major" cable news organizations. They throw more fuel on the fire of partisan politics than the average citizen can keep up with, yet there is a safe harbor for debriefing available for the extremists in both parties.

The way they've gamed the system, there's a talking head somewhere who'll defend your accusations as a Partisan Attack.

Or maybe ... (3, Interesting)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 2 months ago | (#47580805)

... most people really don't give a shit about what Snowden revealed. Most people already suspected it and didn't give a shit. A few privacy-fanatics cared and screamed a lot. I wasn't surprised by it, and understand how it's being used and am not terribly upset.

It's funny .. 60 years ago, when people went to the store, people loved it when the store owner stocked their favorite things because he knew they bought them. Everyone in the neighborhood watched our kids, and if little Johnny did something wrong, they told his parents. We all knew everyone, and news spread through town like wildfire. We had party lines that people could listen into our conversations without us knowing it. It was considered rude, but people still did it.

Sixty years later, everyone demands privacy. Google is evil if they scan our emails and provide ads for what we want. Cameras on the street corner are evil because we don't want to be watched. License plate scanners are an invasion of privacy and are just evil incarnate.

I get it that it's because it's the government or a large businesses instead of our neighbors or the store down the street. And the ability to do bad things with all that data exists.

But let's look at other things. Because of the government keeping private information, we now have a huge database of people convicted of sex crimes available telling anyone where they live. It doesn't make any difference how small their crime was, it's available for the rest of their life. No one seems to mind that invasion of privacy. We can go online and see what major contributions Bill Gates makes, or anyone that makes contributions over a certain amount. I can see how many times that house across the street has been sold, what they pay for property taxes, and what it's worth. License plate scanners routinely catch people without car insurance, I have been one of them (actually .. I did have it, it was a clerical error.) Everyone has a camera phone now, and anyone can have their picture taken with a time stamp and GPS location at any time.

Oh wait .. that's all OK because it's for the 'common good'. And 'transparent government'. Or because people love to take selfies.

We let the privacy genie out of the bottle decades ago, we've just gotten much better at it since then. The people whining are only whining about the lack of privacy for things they are sensitive about, and I'm sure take advantage of other aspects of loss of privacy and don't think twice about it because it doesn't affect them.

Yawn .. nothing new to see here. Move along.

Re:Or maybe ... (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about 2 months ago | (#47581037)

you forget that it was all MUTUAL. that has a wonderful self-limiting effect.

"no one seems to mind" is just your way of saying you don't care and want to have company.

Consistency is important (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 months ago | (#47580889)

The media doesn't bat an eye when the president's treasury secretary or attorney general are found guilty of tax evasion. Why would we expect that they conform to any other standard for other members of the administration?

Re:Consistency is important (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about 2 months ago | (#47581307)

need a citation for Holder being found guilty of tax evasion.

as for Geitner, that was amply reported, but few acknowledge that is was payroll taxes (Social Security/Medicare) that weren't paid, as distinct from harboring millions in numbered Swiss accounts.

Re:Consistency is important (1)

callmetheraven (711291) | about 2 months ago | (#47581907)

need a citation for Holder being found guilty of tax evasion.

Tax evasion would be this guy's high point. Contempt of congress anyone?

It's quite simple, really... (4, Insightful)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 months ago | (#47580913)

...informed by a press that treats officials... as if they're credible

More like informed by a press that's controlled by the CIA (look up "Operation Mockingbird").

FTFY, BTW.

Seriously, no secrets here, folks; just short memories, even shorter attention spans... and a fuck-ton of inexcusable ignorance (no wonder the elites have no qualms about treating us like cattle...)

Out a few people (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47580915)

Until a few "ordinary" people get outed, no one really thinks it'll happen to them. What I mean is, a leak needs to name an individual who is well liked and famous (a "household name"). The leak needs to entirely document their recent past in some detrimental manner, indicating that those random trips across town might be an affair, and that this morning they cracked one out looking at some elf porn or whatever. This needs to happen multiple times, to multiple unrelated people.

The problem of course is that initially at least, no one will believe it's a surveillance problem. They'll just shrug it off as another celebrity gone bad. However, once a good few people have had their lives ruined, the ordinary folk will start to think "hmm, maybe the same could happen to me, after all, I like elf porn too" and get upset about it. Only when "just anyone" thinks it could happen to them will the ordinary folk like you and I get off our collective arses and actually throw some eggs at the twats who are responsible for all this stuff.

Right now, I've got more to lose by speaking up than I have by staying quiet.

Names... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47581065)

s/Greer/Geer

Total Propaganda (2, Insightful)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 2 months ago | (#47581135)

I am beginning to think that we are being subjected to total propaganda. The US public may be almost in a state of mind control by continuous misinformation. You can get a glimpse of this by the way your local news is reported. You have your local Sally Sunshine who greats you with happy, friendly tones and the delivers the greatest pile of nonsense one can imagine. The audience is felt to be in need of comfort and confrontation or disturbing news is suppressed every day. You see a similar tactic with organisations that are subject to the good will of the community. For example a church may give a free meal to the poor one night a week. When this is done many of the poor or homeless will walk or bicycle quite a distance for the meal. But when you see what is served and the caloric intake of the meal vs. the energy needed to get to the church the actual effect may be to increase the level of starvation. The image of the church is enhanced and I do understand the money issues involved but in the end the food programs at the church may be negative. At a more drastic scale we see California in urgent emergency over lack of water and forest fires. Yet you will not see news reports on what can actually be done to stop the growing emergency. For example freezing building permits should lower the demand for water as growing populations demand more water. Building many new lakes and reservoirs could help with fire control and water supply issues as well. Yet we see no news about such topics at all. And on a nation wide basis we see no mention of the notion that population growth increases all of our negative trends such as lack of water, low paying jobs, poverty, addictions, crime and mental illness are all increased by swelling populations.

Re:Total Propaganda (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47581757)

I am beginning to think that we are being subjected to total propaganda.

You're a bit late on that one. Pretty much everything is propaganda, and what's more, virtually all of it is fear-based; the remainder focuses on allaying fears, often reasonable ones. My favorite example is automotive advertising. As much as half of it is designed not directly to sell cars, but to make customers feel better about their purchases to try to induce repeat business "down the road", pun intended.

At a more drastic scale we see California in urgent emergency over lack of water and forest fires. Yet you will not see news reports on what can actually be done to stop the growing emergency.

If it bleeds, it leads. Hope is not interesting to people who have more than they need.

A case of... (1)

Horus1664 (692411) | about 2 months ago | (#47581203)

...keep your friends close and your enemies closer, perhaps.

Who are you addressing? (1)

satuon (1822492) | about 2 months ago | (#47581241)

As one observer put it, "high-profile members of the intelligence community like Cofer Black, Shawn Henry, Keith Alexander, and Dan Greer are positioned front and center in keynote slots, as if they were glamorous Hollywood celebrities. While those who value their civil liberties might opine that they should more aptly be treated like pariahs

Do you imagine that you are addressing the organizers of those events? Who knows, some of them might even read Slashdot, but I doubt the general opinion of Slashdotters determines who gets to be given slots like a "glamorous Hollywood celebrity" and who doesn't. Ultimately, those things are decided by the people who organize those events, and it's their call.

I have no idea what you're talking about...so (1)

INT_QRK (1043164) | about 2 months ago | (#47581475)

..here's a bunny... Your message is weak and garbled unless it's really only to express gratuitous rage against the U. S. intelligence community, in which case, OK, at least that part is loud and clear. If, however, your point is to discourage participation of an informed and interested party in a useful forum that, independently, addresses a valid global concern, cyber security, then your message is both muddy and unsupported.

In-Q-Tel is fundamentally unethical (1)

laughingskeptic (1004414) | about 2 months ago | (#47581865)

In-Q-Tel is just a way for the CIA to get around laws limiting their purchasing powers. They are prohibited from buying services the way they want, so instead they 'invest' in the services they want. What they are supposed to do is define their needs and let people bid on providing those services, but then the CIA executives wouldn't get to hob-nob with VCs and drink champagne on yachts.

Bad suggestion (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | about 2 months ago | (#47583157)

Journalists like Conor Friedersdorf have suggested that one explanation for this is that the public is "informed by a press that treats officials who get caught lying and misleading (e.g., James Clapper and Keith Alexander) as if they're credible."

My explanation is that the public has ALWAYS suspected and we expect the CIA to do morally and legally questionable things, and now we don't really care that our suspicions have been confirmed.

One of these things is Not like the other (1)

rich_salz (612602) | about 2 months ago | (#47583421)

Those other folks don't deserve to be in the same room as Dan Geer. See his RSA talk http://geer.tinho.net/geer.rsa... [tinho.net] for example.
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