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View Diary: NSA Lawsuits Because Snowden, Whistleblower (246 comments)

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  •  Because (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, JackND, Fogiv, FG, NoMoJoe

    he leaked specific IP addresses of computers hacked by the NSA in China and Hong Kong over 4 years, not because he had any evidence of NSA wrongdoing (Snowden: "I don't know what specific information they were looking for on these machines"), but to "ingratiate himself to the people of Hong Kong and China." Fucking moral giant, that Snowden.

    •  Ouch. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dmd76, JackND, Fogiv

      Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

      by Troubadour on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 10:17:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Right. (10+ / 0-)

      Conducting mass surveillance of the entire world is nothing, though.

      Security state zombies are everywhere. ☮ ♥ ☺
      Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue

      by Words In Action on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 10:28:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conducting mass surveillance of the entire world (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is wrong. Conducting targeted surveillance of specific computers in a country that has a storied history of hacking both government and corporate IT infrastructure in the US might not be. I don't know what they were looking for on those machines, but neither did Snowden. He released classified information for his personal benefit ("to ingratiate himself to the people of Hong Kong and China"). For all of the good he's done as a whistle blower, he screwed the pooch in this case and should be held to account for it.

        •  He released evidence of mass surveillance (11+ / 0-)

          domestically and internationally. You're focused on China because you would like to invalidate the whole conversation on that. Tough. They aren't equivalent. Not even close.

          Not let me hear you tear into the NSA and how you are going to go about exposing and stopping it.

          Security state zombies are everywhere. ☮ ♥ ☺
          Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue

          by Words In Action on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 11:02:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've never claimed (0+ / 0-)

            the China leak invalidates the conversation. I'm thankful Snowden has released most of the information about NSA surveillance that he has. As far as the value of the "whole conversation" is concerned, you are having an argument with the strawmen in your head.

            I, however, am not going to lionize an asshole who has revealed classified information to a foreign state for personal gain. You may choose to ignore it, but I don't. In the future, I'd greatly appreciate if you responded to the things I write, and not the beliefs you think I might hold.

        •  Congrats! You qualify! (10+ / 0-)

          Excellent fad meme usage has been detected in your comment:

          "If only Snowden hadn't done [x] I'd feel differently about [Y], therefore Snowden sucks."

          Great work.

          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 11:18:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Congrats! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund, Fogiv

            You can't read! As I clearly stated in my comment (and I'm going to use small words for you DeadHead, I know you've had trouble with my comments in the past), I like some of the things Snowden has done, but showing IP addresses (let me know if that confuses you) of computers the NSA had hacked in China and Hong Kong for no other reason than to get the Chinese to like him (more or less what "ingratiate" means; that can be your vocabulary word for today!) was bad. I know that the comic book world you live in doesn't allow for people who can do lots of good things but still deserve punishment when they do bad things, but here, in the actual world, that happens all the time. DeadHead, I think you've learned a lot today!

            •  What brilliant commentary (5+ / 0-)

              of yours did I have trouble with again, genius?

              I will concede that it may very well be my memory that's at fault for not remembering whatever pearls of wisdom you've previously bestowed upon me. Comments like yours tend to come a dime-a-dozen these days, especially the variety that intersperse smug put-downs amongst whateverthefuck points they try to make.

              Now, as for the above comment, if you could please restate it with even smaller words, I'd appreciate it.

              Also, what's an IP address? Doesn't that stand for Israel-Palestine? I can't seem to figure out what that has to do with the internet.

              And I don't appreciate you calling me an ingratiate.


              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 01:23:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You (0+ / 0-)

                didn't understand the comment to which you responded, "genius". Was I too subtle in making that point? Read my comments again, DeadHead (slowly!). Maybe on the second or third reading you'll understand them.

                p.s. That meme quip of yours was far too witty a retort to wait for an actually applicable comment. No worries, you have at least 4 people who applaud your non sequitur. How clever you all are!

          •  we gotta get a list going of those... (4+ / 0-)

            kinda like the bingo cards a couple years ago...

            "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." ~George Orwell "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

            by poligirl on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 02:03:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  those aren't mutually exclusive. sorry. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, Barton Funk

      "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." ~George Orwell "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

      by poligirl on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 01:40:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  interesting... (7+ / 0-)
      The detailed records - which cannot be independently verified - show specific dates and the IP addresses of computers in Hong Kong and on the mainland hacked by the National Security Agency over a four-year period.

      They also include information indicating whether an attack on a computer was ongoing or had been completed, along with an amount of additional operational information.

      The small sample data suggests secret and illegal NSA attacks on Hong Kong computers had a success rate of more than 75 per cent, according to the documents. The information only pertains to attacks on civilian computers with no reference to Chinese military operations, Snowden said.

      a couple of things come to mind.

      1) compromising civilian computers significantly increases the likelihood of attacking innocent people.

      2) is there a serious threat of terrorism from hong kong and chinese civilians?  how about from the offices of the eu?  how about the attendees of the g20? - it seems that these hacks may have very little to do with terrorism or military matters.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 01:45:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  At last, a response! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe shikspack

        To answer you points:
        1) We don't know what information was targeted on those computers, and neither did Snowden. I'll accept the characterization of those computers as civilian (how this was determined is not mentioned in the article); there are plenty of legitimate reasons for the NSA hacking them (for example, they might be computers used for corporate espionage, by Chinese civilians trying to access sensitive US government information, part of the privately owned networking infrastructure through which some Chinese govt cyberattack traffic was routed). The point is, without knowing why those computers were hacked by the NSA, Snowden chose to reveal that they were (to ingratiate himself with his hosts). That is not whistle blowing.

        2) The NSA is not tasked solely with gathering information about terrorists, so it doesn't really matter that HK and Chinese civilians aren't a terrorist threat. There are other legitimate threats to the US and its interests.  As for the other instances of surveillance you mention, they seem wrong to me. Without knowing more about them, I'll concede that they should not have happened, and am thankful that they have been revealed.  

        •  so it seems that your point is speculative... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action, dmd76, DeadHead, JesseCW

          at best.

          neither you nor i have any idea of why those particular machines were attacked by the nsa.

          however, it is quite possible that snowden knows that piece of information.  having access to the entirety of the nsa's system, one presumably could know quite a number of things.

          since snowden has not yet been found to be passing on false information, when he says that these were civilian machines, i have no reason to doubt that characterization.  similarly, i have no reason to doubt that his characterization of the nsa's attack on hong kong and chinese civilians was blanket surveillance.

          in the absence of information from the nsa, and no reason to doubt snowden's characterizations and extensive documentation, i am prepared to believe that the nsa was doing something that we might consider quite inappropriate were we to know the full details.

          i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

          by joe shikspack on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 04:33:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  THIS IS NEWS!!! (4+ / 0-)

      Because obviously China and Hong Kong would have had no idea that the NSA was trying to hack their computers.

      Oh, but I thought that what he revealed was all old news?

      So which is it?

      •  Have that argument with whomever (0+ / 0-)

        said that to you, not me. I am not an amalgamation of people you've talked to in the past about this.

        Revealing specific IP addresses of computers that the NSA had hacked is not the same thing as revealing the fact that the NSA spies on China and Hong Kong. He revealed new, specific, classified, previously unknown information about the NSA to a foreign state solely to curry favor with his hosts.  If this is true (and I'm taking Snowden and Greenwald at their word), he should be arrested and tried for revealing that information. It's really not that hard to understand; why are you trying to spin this as no big deal?

        •  Right. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action, JesseCW

          China presumably knows that the NSA tries to hack computers.  China therefore is either stupid or presumes that any computer is potentially hackable or hacked.

          Take your pick.

          Is it old news or is it new news?

          •  Again, (0+ / 0-)

            I've never claimed it was old news. That's someone else you're arguing with.  

          •  Also (0+ / 0-)

            There is a huge difference between China knowing that its computers are hackable and knowing which specific computers have actually been hacked. You understand that, right?

            •  I understand that you don't think that Snowden (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, Words In Action

              had any evidence of NSA wrongdoing.  Does that mean that you don't think that the NSA hacking into computers is wrongdoing?

              •  In this particular case, (0+ / 0-)

                Snowden has said he didn't know why those computers were hacked. That is not my belief, those are his words I quoted above. The NSA hacking a computer, in and of itself, is not necessarily wrongdoing. If your argument is that the NSA can't ever engage in legitimate signals intelligence gathering (including hacking into computers in other countries), then there is nothing left to discuss.

                •  So if you think that the NSA is (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DeadHead, JesseCW, Words In Action

                  "engage[d] in legitimate signals intelligence gathering," then presumably the computers that it hacked into for which Snowden provided the IP addresses were legitimate targets.  And if they're legitimate targets, that brings me back to my original point: Either the Chinese are going to assume that the NSA is hacking those computers or the Chinese are stupid.

                  And if those computers are not legitimate targets, then contrary to what you're saying, which was not just quoting Snowden's words but was also your own editorializing, then the act of hacking those computers itself is evidence of NSA wrongdoing.

                  Which is it?

                  •  That's not how cybersecurity works. (0+ / 0-)

                    The Chinese are not omniscient, they don't have infinite resources, and before Snowden's leak, might have assumed some of those machines were sufficiently protected. It is not enough to assume that a computer will be hacked (when that can even be known) to protect it from an attack or to know when it is hacked. So your first point sets up a false dichotomy: the Chinese are not stupid and they may or may not have assumed the NSA was hacking some of those computers, but even if they did, they may not have been aware that those computers had been hacked.  The Chinese government is also not going to be aware of everything the US believes is a legitimate target. If it were as easy as you seem to think, we could put a stop to cyber-attacks by China, Russia, etc. today. All we'd have to do is secure the computers that we know are legitimate targets in the US and then constantly monitor them for intrusions.

                    These are Snowden's words, not mine: "I don't know what specific information they were looking for on these machines".  How exactly am I editorializing? (at most, I'll cop to paraphrasing him)

                    •  First of all, you did engage in editorializing: (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DeadHead, JesseCW, Words In Action
                      Because (5+ / 0-)

                      he leaked specific IP addresses of computers hacked by the NSA in China and Hong Kong over 4 years, not because he had any evidence of NSA wrongdoing (Snowden: "I don't know what specific information they were looking for on these machines"),

                      As for the rest of what you wrote, it's all speculative--e.g., "might have assumed," "may not have been aware," etc.--and, as with your editorializing comment re Snowden, predicated on the notion that if the NSA does it, it must be legitimate.
    •  Because........ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, Words In Action
      “He was not trying to harm the U.S. government; he was trying to shine light on it.”

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 03:13:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Whoops! An Obama Apologist has fallen off.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, Words In Action

      ....of his High Horse.

      (well, sort of)

      After dmd76 spent years talking down to those of us who objected to the fundamentally flawed results of the so-called Obama PragmatismTM:

      It is the insipid (13+ / 0-)

      reduction of reality to a comic book world of Good and Evil that make people write things like "You cannot refute the truth that voting for Evil causes Evil." "The lesser of two evils" is a cliche, not a profound font of Truth. In the actual world, we are always presented with imperfect choices. That some recognize this and want to navigate those choices while doing the least harm and most good is not a moral failure.

      by dmd76 on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 11:11:17 AM EST

      It raises the question: in dmd76's "actual world", which whistleblower is the "ideal imperfect choice"? Clearly, Edward Snowden is too imperfect of a whistleblower for dmd76's "actual world".

      Perhaps PFC Bradley Manning is the "ideal imperfect whistleblower" for dmd76? Let's check one of his comments from Jesselyn Radack's diary: Why Don't We Give a Scheiße About Bradley Manning?

      What kind of defense is this? (4+ / 0-)

      In your estimation, the fact that "only" ~125,000 of the ~250,000 cables he leaked were classified, it means he wasn't indiscriminate.

      Your honor, I admit my client robbed the bank, but he only took half of the money in the vault, and, though he could have, he did not touch the contents of any of the safe deposit boxes.

      by dmd76 on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:14:09 PM EST

      Well, it looks like Bradley Manning is too imperfect a whistleblower for dmd76. How about Thomas Drake, who said:
      I remain the only one prosecuted and indicted to date for having revealed as a whistleblower the illegal NSA warrantless wiretapping ... disclosing that there were legal alternatives ...rejected by NSA, precisely because they wanted accountability ....
      Does the above quote live up to (down to?) dmd76's  "ideal imperfect whistleblower" for the "actual world"? Sadly, No. According to dmd76, Thomas Drake is morally equivalent to Dick Cheney:
       So (2+ / 0-)

      when the Bush admin leaked that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent to Bob Novak, that was a good thing?

      by dmd76 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:03:43 PM EDT

      In dmd76's "actual world", all the whistleblowers during the Obama Administration are too imperfect for him to support; so he's holding out for a unicorn that blows whistles out of its horn.

      In the Fox News Christian Nation, public schools won't teach sex education and evolution; instead they'll have an NRA sponsored Shots for Tots: Gunz in Schoolz program.

      by xynz on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 06:09:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Apparently, (0+ / 0-)

        you've found a lesser evil you can wholeheartedly get behind (one who divulges classified information to ingratiate himself to the people of Hong Kong and China, no less). What a wonderful little pragmatist you've become!

        I do appreciate you making this all about me. This unfortunate episode in Snowden's truth telling crusade really has no justification, so a comment accusing me of consistency (that is what you find so distasteful, right?) is a nice distraction from the topic at hand.  

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