Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

    This is the man who gave it all up for our freedom.

    Last edited by FRED; 06-09-13, 11:49 PM.
    Ed.

  • #2
    Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

    Did he actually "give(sic) it all up for our freedom"?

    I'm hopeful, but even in his own words he describes his behavior as:

    "because what I'm doing is self-interested..."

    Isn't it a BIT premature to fully understand Edward Snowden's motivations?

    I'm keen to see a few heroes and martyrs, but I wonder if the jury is still out on this one.

    Much like the very seriously flawed Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.

    I'm far more hopeful of Snowden and his motivations(unlike Assange's willingness to throw others under his megalomania bus and Manning's deeper personal demons), but I think I will wait and see until I agree he "gave it all up for my freedom".

    Not trying to intentionally sound snarky, but with a world that is often too quick to hero worship(Jessica Lynch et al), I prefer a bit more time to pass to see what else pops out.

    Just because Edward Snowden says it, doesn't mean it's true.

    And it's entirely possible, again depending on his motivations, that he could possess information that is genuinely and sincerely detrimental to US national security that he could be holding to improve the chances of his continued freedom, especially since he's in China and would likely need to travel through Russia to get to his hoped for destination of Iceland.

    China and Russia will both benefit from the US Administration being distracted from having to react to [INSERT NAME]-Gate, as well as the possibility of gaining from any intentional/unintentional disclosures by Snowden.

    I'm ALL for the elimination of Stasi 2.0, but there's a lot more potentially going on here isn't there?

    It all reminds me a bit of Zhou Enlai's reported(and disputed) quote about the impact of the French Revolution:

    "Too early to tell."

    Just my 0.02c

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

        there was one section of the interview that i found particularly chilling. he said that restraint in the use of all that data was simply a policy choice. they collected everything because that was the easiest and most effective choice, but that all it would take was a change in policy to use that information in oppressive ways. all it would take is a new leader announcing that because of some crisis or danger, he was changing policy in the use of the surveillance data. the phrase snowden used to describe what the u.s. has constructed was "turn-key tyranny."

        i also found it interesting that the only politician whose remarks i read and agreed with was rand paul, not someone with whom i usually share a lot of views. but his libertarianism is attractive.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

          Originally posted by jk View Post
          there was one section of the interview that i found particularly chilling. he said that restraint in the use of all that data was simply a policy choice. they collected everything because that was the easiest and most effective choice, but that all it would take was a change in policy to use that information in oppressive ways. all it would take is a new leader announcing that because of some crisis or danger, he was changing policy in the use of the surveillance data. the phrase snowden used to describe what the u.s. has constructed was "turn-key tyranny."

          i also found it interesting that the only politician whose remarks i read and agreed with was rand paul, not someone with whom i usually share a lot of views. but his libertarianism is attractive.
          I've taken the unpopular view among my capital "L" Libertarian friends here that the U.S. is not a police state, that journalists critical of the administration are not being intimidated or detained by the police nor are political prisoners being put in jail. So far the security apparatus, such as I understood it at the time, has been used but not abused.

          But now, with this revelation of the extent of the government's data mining and storage program I'll modify my position to say that the U.S. is not a police state today but that the surveillance apparatus exists to allow the U.S. to become a police state tomorrow and by tomorrow I mean in a single day.

          Perhaps with the best of intentions our intelligence services have built, as Snowden calls it, a system for "turnkey tyranny."

          In the hands of men of good will the system can be used to protect citizens but under the control of men of ill will can be used to oppress and control them. The shift can occur virtually in an instant then cannot be undone; the men of ill will then have the power to prevent any person or group from dismantling it and taking their new power away.

          I don't know anything about Snowden, who he really is and what his true motives are, and I doubt we will ever know because from here on out it's battle over public perception between the forces of control and the forces of freedom. I do think the Guardian and Post took care to validate their source before publishing his story, and I think Snowden was wise to go public and shape his reputation in the public eye before being discovered, jailed, and likely black-balled by the intelligence community.

          Coming out of the high tech industry I can say that every assertion he makes is 100% credible. Every communication of every email, facebook, or other Internet service user can be stored forever and analyzed. For a crude, underfunded version of this concept see The Archive. Imagine a system a million times more comprehensive, the best that tax funded management consulting fees can buy.

          Should men of ill will take over to use the system for oppression that was ostensibly built to protect us there will be no going back. In fact the mere existence of such a system of surveillance attracts men of ill will because they can see the power they can get for themselves through its use.

          Snowden's motives aside, he, The Guardian and the Washington Post deserve credit for bringing this system of surveillance to public debate while there's still time.

          Here on iTulip we'll frame the debate with these questions:

          1. Is the security we gain from a system of covert collection, analysis, and storage of our online communications worth the risk of 100 years of totalitarian rule if it falls into the wrong hands?
          2. Why not debate the program in public? Are enemies of the U.S. if they know about he system going to use other means of digital communications besides social media and email? Such as what?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

            I am glad Snowden came forward, but what's new about this? Isn't this just a confirmation of this year old Wired article about the NSA building the fortress to store, analyze and use all of the data Snowden discussed? Snowden's claims, even the phrase turn-key totalitarian" system is right in the Wired article. My question is: why now?

            We just had articles come out about China scooping the US with SIGINT right before our president visited them, and now a courageous (seriously) defense contractor is revealing secrets and decides to go to Hong Kong which is subject to different extradition treaty rules and part of China.

            We just had the media deal with a weird government snooping situation where the AP chief called the actions of Holder-Obama unconstitutional, and now the media is running with this story, which once again, just confirms what Wired already reported.

            Obama just gave a meandering, cofnusing speech about winding down the GWoT, while agitating for more intervention elsewhere and droning anyone on the kill list, and this story breaks which could set up the government limited what the program can do and codifying it for international use only.

            There's alots of whys to be answered. The what confirmed what a lot of people already suspected.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

              Originally posted by jk
              there was one section of the interview that i found particularly chilling. he said that restraint in the use of all that data was simply a policy choice. they collected everything because that was the easiest and most effective choice, but that all it would take was a change in policy to use that information in oppressive ways. all it would take is a new leader announcing that because of some crisis or danger, he was changing policy in the use of the surveillance data. the phrase snowden used to describe what the u.s. has constructed was "turn-key tyranny."
              Originally posted by EJ
              But now, with this revelation of the extent of the government's data mining and storage program I'll modify my position to say that the U.S. is not a police state today but that the surveillance apparatus exists to allow the U.S. to become a police state tomorrow and by tomorrow I mean in a single day.
              That's precisely what I've been pointing out. The capabilities of such a system are definitely achievable, but the assumption that said system will never be used for improper purposes is, at best, naive. And at worst, an outright lie.

              This type of abuse can only exist with the benefits of bureaucracy, as the East Germans showed with the Stasi files. Bureaucracy coupled with the productivity advances of technology - not good.

              Originally posted by EJ
              Should men of ill will take over to use the system for oppression that was ostensibly built to protect us there will be no going back. In fact the mere existence of such a system of surveillance attracts men of ill will because they can see the power they can get for themselves through its use.
              Indeed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

                as i remarked elsewhere, the obama administration seems to be using its intelligence and subpoena powers to go after leakers, and it has managed to bulldoze google, microsoft, apple, facebook, etc into supplying a ton of DOMESTIC intelligence. diane fienstein says she will hold hearings of the senate intelligence committee, but all the diverted and broken terrorist attacks and all the defeated intelligence probes that the system has produced will remain secret. how do we know that any such exist? we're supposed to trust her and her colleagues on that. otoh we have people like udall and wyden on their respective intelligence committees [udall in the house, wyden in the senate] implying that there are no such successes, and that we've just constructed a machine to subvert democracy.

                i think this scheme violates the 4th amendment in spirit if not in letter. russ douthat in the times, someone else with whom i usually disagree, wrote an interesting column in which he argues that you can't use the internet and maintain any privacy; they are incompatible. so amazon knows a lot about me, i know, because i buy a lot of stuff from them. but the real threat is in the ability to aggregate amazon's data with my credit card usage with my ez-pass travel with my texts and emails and tax returns and my smart phone's constantly available location. as snowden says in his interview [worth watching if you haven't], if you become an object of suspicion, or are determined to be a threat to the regime, they will pull and run all your data backwards until they find something that can be used against you. it won't matter if it's irrelevant to the matter at hand, it won't matter if it's exactly accurate as long as it can be twisted to fit the need: to discredit and punish any threat.

                unfortunately, i think the most likely outcome is the one that snowden said he most feared: that people will essentially ignore this threat, go back to business as usual, and allow the machinery for turn-key tyranny to be built and perfected. to quote benjamin franklin: "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither. People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

                  Originally posted by jk
                  i think this scheme violates the 4th amendment in spirit if not in letter. russ douthat in the times, someone else with whom i usually disagree, wrote an interesting column in which he argues that you can't use the internet and maintain any privacy; they are incompatible.
                  I have to disagree with Mr Douthat, who is essentially saying "I, for one, welcome our surveillance overlords".

                  If you so choose, you are perfectly able to access the Internet in such a way as to be anonymous. If this weren't so, then the FBI wouldn't have to use informants and 'old school' laddering techniques to break up Anonymous.

                  In my view, the main reason the Internet is increasingly less anonymous isn't because of its inherent features - Amazon's knowledge of you is no different than Wal-Mart's. The only real difference between Amazon purchases and Wal-Mart's is that you can choose to use cash with Wal-Mart, whereas you pretty much have to insert some identity link in any payment transaction with Amazon. Most people, however, don't emphasize using cash and buying things in person for safety and/or privacy reasons.

                  The main reason the Internet is increasingly less anonymous is because of social media - both in terms of the online social media persona becoming equally 'real' as an adjunct to the flesh and blood, as well as the increasing amount of linkage reducing the inherent fear of the unknown.

                  Neither of these trends are irreversible. If people start to see that Internet lack of safety is a negative, they will be more cautious. The parallel I draw is with the telephone: in the beginning, the telemarketers had a field day. Everyone would always answer their phone, because there was not a perceived need for 'telephone safety'.

                  The same can be said for canvassers on street corners - there was a time where the response rates were far higher. Internet pop up ads, infomercials, other examples abound.
                  Last edited by c1ue; 06-10-13, 01:46 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

                    Originally posted by ej View Post
                    ... The extent of the government's data mining and storage program i'll modify my position to say that the u.s. Is not a police state today but that the surveillance apparatus exists to allow the u.s. To become a police state tomorrow and by tomorrow i mean in a single day. ...

                    should men of ill will take over to use the system for oppression that was ostensibly built to protect us there will be no going back. In fact the mere existence of such a system of surveillance attracts men of ill will because they can see the power they can get for themselves through its use.

                    snowden's motives aside, he, the guardian and the washington post deserve credit for bringing this system of surveillance to public debate while there's still time.

                    Here on itulip we'll frame the debate with these questions:

                    1. Is the security we gain from a system of covert collection, analysis, and storage of our online communications worth the risk of 100 years of totalitarian rule if it falls into the wrong hands?
                    2. Why not debate the program in public? Are enemies of the u.s. If they know about he system going to use other means of digital communications besides social media and email? Such as what?
                    +1. ;_tu

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

                      Related links that may be of interest:

                      http://topics.nytimes.com/top/refere...ncy/index.html
                      http://topics.nytimes.com/top/refere...ncy/index.html
                      http://www.economist.com/blogs/democ...newe|6-10-2013
                      --ST (aka steveaustin2006)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

                        Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                        I have to disagree with Mr Douthat, who is essentially saying "I, for one, welcome our surveillance overlords".

                        If you so choose, you are perfectly able to access the Internet in such a way as to be anonymous. If this weren't so, then the FBI wouldn't have to use informants and 'old school' laddering techniques to break up Anonymous.

                        In my view, the main reason the Internet is increasingly less anonymous isn't because of its inherent features - Amazon's knowledge of you is no different than Wal-Mart's. The only real difference between Amazon purchases and Wal-Mart's is that you can choose to use cash with Wal-Mart, whereas you pretty much have to insert some identity link in any payment transaction with Amazon. Most people, however, don't emphasize using cash and buying things in person for safety and/or privacy reasons.

                        The main reason the Internet is increasingly less anonymous is because of social media - both in terms of the online social media persona becoming equally 'real' as an adjunct to the flesh and blood, as well as the increasing amount of linkage reducing the inherent fear of the unknown.

                        Neither of these trends are irreversible. If people start to see that Internet lack of safety is a negative, they will be more cautious. The parallel I draw is with the telephone: in the beginning, the telemarketers had a field day. Everyone would always answer their phone, because there was not a perceived need for 'telephone safety'.

                        The same can be said for canvassers on street corners - there was a time where the response rates were far higher. Internet pop up ads, infomercials, other examples abound.
                        i know you can use vpn's, tor, etc- but the capacity for anonymity is for most of us, most of the time, not worth the bother. and so it goes. in fact, where was the nsa and its "breakthrough" [quoted the wired article] in deciphering even encrypted communication when the tsarnaev's were putting together their bombs? my sense is that this tool will be far more effective for targeted oppression than for its purported purpose.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

                          Originally posted by jk View Post
                          otoh we have people like udall and wyden on their respective intelligence committees [udall in the house, wyden in the senate] implying that there are no such successes, and that we've just constructed a machine to subvert democracy.
                          If my reading was correct, I believe Wyden's comment stating that there was not a single terrorist plot foiled by NSA program was confined to the meta data from Verizon (and presumably from the other telcos as well) and his protest about the administration's abuse of the law related to their over-broad interpretation of Section 215 of FISA.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

                            Originally Posted by jk there was one section of the interview that i found particularly chilling. he said that restraint in the use of all that data was simply a policy choice. they collected everything because that was the easiest and most effective choice, but that all it would take was a change in policy to use that information in oppressive ways. all it would take is a new leader announcing that because of some crisis or danger, he was changing policy in the use of the surveillance data. the phrase snowden used to describe what the u.s. has constructed was "turn-key tyranny.
                            Originally posted by EJ View Post
                            I've taken the unpopular view among my capital "L" Libertarian friends here that the U.S. is not a police state, that journalists critical of the administration are not being intimidated or detained by the police nor are political prisoners being put in jail. So far the security apparatus, such as I understood it at the time, has been used but not abused.

                            But now, with this revelation of the extent of the government's data mining and storage program I'll modify my position to say that the U.S. is not a police state today but that the surveillance apparatus exists to allow the U.S. to become a police state tomorrow and by tomorrow I mean in a single day.

                            Perhaps with the best of intentions our intelligence services have built, as Snowden calls it, a system for "turnkey tyranny."

                            In the hands of men of good will the system can be used to protect citizens but under the control of men of ill will can be used to oppress and control them. The shift can occur virtually in an instant then cannot be undone; the men of ill will then have the power to prevent any person or group from dismantling it and taking their new power away.
                            ...

                            Here on iTulip we'll frame the debate with these questions:

                            1. Is the security we gain from a system of covert collection, analysis, and storage of our online communications worth the risk of 100 years of totalitarian rule if it falls into the wrong hands?
                            2. Why not debate the program in public? Are enemies of the U.S. if they know about he system going to use other means of digital communications besides social media and email? Such as what?
                            EJ, this is one of the most important posts you've ever made. Thank you!

                            What we have is the noose of a police state draped around our collective and individual necks, but it hasn't been perceived as such only because men of ill will haven't yet yanked it tight.

                            But when in history has a government ever amassed power that it hasn't used? Never. IMO the men of ill are already at work, testing how far they can go not only without arousing resistance, but with the actual support of the public: Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Patriot Act, NDAA, TSA. The 'Shelter in Place' of Boston recently was just a euphamism for martial law.

                            Human nature being what it is, there is no way these men will relinquish their power. This technology is not going away, and their programs will not be shut down. It will simply go by a different name or go underground.

                            As you have said, an economic crisis is a process, not an event. While most people are waiting for "it" to happen, waiting for a day they can mark on their calendars which they can point to and say, "this is when the economy crashed", the crisis is already upon us. It's one of those historical events that's too big for most people to see when they're in the middle of it.

                            Similarly, we don't need to wait for a specific day when we will officially be in a police state. We are already in it. The laws and technology for total oppression are already in place. People who have tried to raise alarms have been ridiculed by the MSM as 'gun nuts', 'tea partiers', 'Libertarians', and most humiliating of all, 'conspiracy theorists'.

                            The BATF, FBI, DHS NSA and IRS have already acted against citizens. The police state is already happening.

                            So I would add a third question to your list:

                            At what point do we decide whether what we need is further debate over the question of "can this country be saved?", or instead turn our thoughts to the question of "how can we save ourselves?"

                            I ask this in the historical context of the Jews in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich. All were perturbed as their rights gradually diminished, but their normalcy bias prevented them from comprehending how bad it would become. The minority who saw the signs, took their money and left the country encountered resistance and disbelief from their friends and families who thought they were unduly alarmist. By the time the police state tightened that noose around those who remained, it was too late to save themselves.

                            Personally, given the laws and technology already amassed against us, I think we're at that point. I just don't know what to do about it.

                            Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

                              Originally posted by EJ View Post
                              In the hands of men of good will the system can be used to protect citizens but under the control of men of ill will can be used to oppress and control them. The shift can occur virtually in an instant then cannot be undone; the men of ill will then have the power to prevent any person or group from dismantling it and taking their new power away.

                              ...
                              Should men of ill will take over to use the system for oppression that was ostensibly built to protect us there will be no going back. In fact the mere existence of such a system of surveillance attracts men of ill will because they can see the power they can get for themselves through its use.
                              This is precisely why the bill of rights and original constitution was designed to severely limit the size and power of the Federal government. Tyranny can arise easily and as you say overnight b/c of the current status and therefore that is reason in itself to prevent/roll back the gov and its intrusions into our open and pluralistic society. No one is innocent and no person is beyond being corrupted - recall what Lord Acton said on the matter. I fear though it is too late - power is taken; it is never given - and a decade or more of massive secret budgets and activities w/o oversight have led us here.
                              Perhaps in addition to good/ill will, good/bad faith is also a key issue here - how many of these folks, most of whom I have no doubt are decent individuals, examine their consciences like Snowden, and those that do, how many do nothing "because of their careers" - serving power and privilege can be much more financially rewarding than serving truth, freedom and justice - especially when those paying the bills can create fiat capital.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X