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This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: Edward Snowden NSA Snow Job - POLITICO Magazine. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

Edward Snowden NSA Snow Job - POLITICO Magazine
by Decius at 5:33 pm EST, Jan 31, 2014

I'm really getting sick of the rationalizations of the surveillance state.

In judging the action of whistle-blowers, three criteria apply. They must have clear and convincing evidence of abuse. Publishing the information must not pose a disproportionate threat to public safety. And the leak must be as limited in scope and scale as possible. Snowden failed all three of these tests.

The documents published thus far do not depict a rogue agency. They indicate—with partial, out-of-date and ambiguous evidence, mostly consisting of out-of-context presentation slides—that the NSA has plenty of flaws. How could it not? Like other government agencies and bureaucracies, it pushes the limits of its regulatory, political and judicial constraints. That is not surprising. Like people everywhere, NSA officials brag. They make mistakes (and get disciplined for them). Again, not too surprising.

To justify even a limited breach of secrecy, Snowden would need to prove something far more: evidence of systematic, gross wrongdoing, based on wilful contempt for judicial, legislative and political oversight. In such circumstances, the actions of a Daniel Ellsberg can be justified.

But nothing published by Snowden shows that. The NSA revealed in these documents looks nothing like J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. And Barack Obama, for all his faults, is not Richard Nixon, using the power of the state to go after his domestic enemies. On the contrary: The United States has put the most elusive and lawless part of government—intelligence—into the strongest system of legislative and judicial control anywhere in the world. Some want it still stronger (I think it’s too cumbersome and intrusive). But such questions are for the political process to settle. They do not justify catastrophic and destructive leaking.

The Snowdenistas’ second line of defense is that they have at least sparked a debate. But a public discussion, and limited reforms, on issues such as the use of National Security Letters (secret FBI orders to force people and businesses to cooperate with law enforcement), the privacy risks of warehousing metadata and whether “zero-day” exploits (vulnerabilities in computer hardware and software) should be instantly patched or exploited for espionage—are limited benefits, not overwhelming ones. They do not justify catastrophic damage either. The question of whether we house telephone metadata at the NSA or house it at tech companies is not exactly the difference between tyranny and freedom.

Edward Lucas tells us that a public discussion about this totally unprecedented mass domestic electronic surveillance program is of "limited benefit." Well, he is entitled to his own opinion, but as this country is supposedly a democracy, most Americans also feel entitled to their opinions about major domestic public policy issues, and that would be impossible if not for the fact of... [ Read More (0.3k in body) ]

RE: Edward Snowden NSA Snow Job - POLITICO Magazine
by Hijexx at 12:13 pm EST, Feb 1, 2014

Decius wrote:
I'm really getting sick of the rationalizations of the surveillance state.


The people who do need to take responsibility for the fact that a public discussion of these issues didn't come about through a proper process in the first place. The attempt to focus attention on Snowden's flaws is an attempt to divert attention away from that fact.

And on the other hand you have "the people" willingly using shit like this:

Why is the Facebook app requesting permission to access features on my Android?

Read your text messages (SMS or MMS) - If you add a phone number to your account, this allows us to confirm your phone number automatically by finding the confirmation code that we send via text message.

Download files without notification - This allows us to improve the app experience by pre-loading News Feed content.

Read/write your contacts - These permissions allow you to import your phone’s contacts to Facebook and sync your Facebook contacts to your phone.

Add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without owners’ knowledge - This allows you to see your Facebook events in your phone’s calendar.

Read calendar events plus confidential information - This allows the app to show your calendar availability (based on your phone’s calendar) when you’re viewing an event on Facebook.

Most of the self absorbed glowing gadget fondling generation could not care less about real privacy, arm flailing criticism of NSA spying not withstanding. If they did, they wouldn't be handing their phone over to Facebook in exchange for the dribbling stream of Pavlovian hits of electronic social interaction.

I'm all for complete domestic spying by the NSA, CIA, FBI, and whatever other stupid scary three letter acronym they can come up with if they would do this one simple thing: Run signals intelligence and tracking of people using their goddamn cell phones they can't put down for 5 minutes while they are piloting a 2000+ pound steel projectile at 80 mph, veering into my lane and causing me to have to turn every day's commute into a real life video game of "dodge the encroaching Range Rover." Use that data to kill the phones of people who are within 100 yards of me while I'm driving. I don't want to play an ADD fueled game of chicken with my life, thanks.

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