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View Diary: How the NSA has secretly made the internet less secure (176 comments)

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  •  that's nice in spy movies (0+ / 0-)

    got any evidence of that actually happening?

    •  No, we lack evidence of classified activity (10+ / 0-)

      Because it's classified.

      You act as if the government would never do that sort of thing even though we know for a fact that it has in the past.

      •  and you act as if the government does it all the (0+ / 0-)

        time which I think is at best absurd.

        I've argued before that the biggest reform the NSA needs is greater transparency because while I doubt there is anything 'there' to see other then an organization preforming it's duties the secrecy breeds CT like nothing else.

        •  If They've Done It At All (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StrayCat, stevemb

          Then I have no faith that once do-able it would be put up on the shelf never to be touched again. I don't have that kind of belief in the kindness of strangers.

          The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

          by The Lone Apple on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:25:31 AM PDT

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        •  the NSA has done little to deserve our trust (4+ / 0-)
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          stevemb, StrayCat, boophus, rlochow

          They have repeatedly claimed to not be doing things which they've later been revealed to have done.  Domestic surveillance, cyberstalking, tapping domestic phone calls, tampering with private sector software...

        •  Two ifs (1+ / 0-)
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          If the government did it all the time, we'd all know it, and we'd not be having this discussion (or any other discussion).

          If the government never did it, we'd have utopia.

          The reality is, I suspect, somewhere between these two ifs.

          And we need controls in place to prevent the random abuse from becoming the SOP.

          Bruce in Louisville
          Visit me at,, or
          Follow me on Twitter @brucewriter or @ThreePols

          by bmaples on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:02:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Martin Luther King, Jr. (13+ / 0-)

      Investigated seven ways to sunday and blackmailed by the US government, not theory,not speculation....history.
      Also check out ex quest CEO Nacchio, one of a very very small number of fortune 500 CEOs to go to jail for insider trading...ever.  After he rebuffed the NSA.

      Those are two off the top of my head,  but one could make the case for Barrett Brown and Eliot Spitzer.  

      But if you think about it, the amount of data that is being gathered is impossible to analyze,  to prevent attacks or to find out anything in real time.  So the natural use of the data is to have a dossier on everyone, and the natural use of a dossier on everyone is the power of control.

      "Searches with nonspecific warrants were ‘the single immediate cause of the American Revolution.’” Justice Wm. Brennan, referring to the 4th Amendment

      by Nailbanger on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 05:57:09 PM PDT

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      •  gods what is it with people living in the past? (0+ / 0-)

        That was 60 years ago under entirely different adminstration both in the WH and FBI.

        Your argument would make as much rational sense if you tried to use the Trial of Tears.

        The 'dirty hands' argument only works if you can show relevance.

        •  What exactly would satisfy you (8+ / 0-)

          A civil trial victory against the NSA, including appeals through the SCOTUS, of a person being harmed by the government via blackmail, that would have occurred in the Obama administration?  Or would you say that was the 502 program, we are talking about the 573 program, or some such nonsense.
          The scope of the information gathering only makes sense as a method of civil control, not of true national security.

          "Searches with nonspecific warrants were ‘the single immediate cause of the American Revolution.’” Justice Wm. Brennan, referring to the 4th Amendment

          by Nailbanger on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 06:51:41 PM PDT

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          •  hhmmm (0+ / 0-)

            I think a start would be more transparency along with reforms to FISA especially changing how the judges are chosen.

            I think also the NSA should open up it's activities from 2000 to 2008  (at least) so long as it doesn't threaten current ops and methods.

            •  They Dare Not Open Up On This One (0+ / 0-)

              Even having been caught red-handed, to admit to having systematically weakened the defenses underlying the global financial infrastructure (to say nothing of everything else that could go down if the "cyber Pearl Harbor" threat materializes) would be game over for them.

              On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

              by stevemb on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:35:40 AM PDT

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        •  :rolleyes: (6+ / 0-)
          what is it with people living in the past?
          What do you suggest? That each bit of evidence from the past be accompanied by an equal amount of evidence from the future?

          On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

          by stevemb on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:46:42 AM PDT

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        •  They give the data to the DEA and IRS (5+ / 0-)

          in real time now ... so they are gathering information which should be inadmissible in a pretty open and shut way.  And there is nothing the accused can do.  

          People in power finger dissidents - doesn't matter the party.  The NYPD spies on Muslims in their city, right now.  JFK was the one who spied on King, as well as LBJ (and clearly via Hoover).  

          The "it was a long time ago" argument is the sort of thing that strains reason.  We know that Occupy protestors were fingered by the appratus:

          We know analysts spied on lovers

          Give people the tools and they will use them.  In the present.  If there is one thing Obama has been more maniacal about than anything in his presidency it has been protecting these tools.

          •  But the Murdoch owned... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            WSJ is just trying to hurt Obama.  They never report the truth.  /sarcasm

            "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

            by cardboardurinal on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:17:14 AM PDT

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          •  yes analysts are humans (0+ / 0-)

            and like any human can abuse their power. However what you are missing is they were caught.

            Good gods by your argument we can't even use rocks and sticks never mind all the modern inventions.

            •  Fun strawman here ... (0+ / 0-)

              Nobody is advocating turning away from the modern inventions - it is turning away from giving people caught the right to face accusers, or to have the grievances heard in a meaningful way.  If NSA results get you falsely imprisoned you are screwed - period.  We know mistakes happen - the apparatus collects data so indiscriminately without any focus, how can anybody comb through all of that garbage data?  Old fashioned police work sort of stuff got Osama, the WTC bomber - the marginal value of just collecting data willy nilly is uncertain to say the least.

              And abuse of power is not about analysts - it is about something much more systemic ... the invalid collection of evidence by the DEA, the city of New York using the tools to profile Muslims, including those who don't even live in the city.  Back many years ago when the Democrats were fingering heroes like MLK, that was a natural extension of the tools being available.  That is a feature, not a bug.  After all "enemies" is defined by the state, no?  

              But the most important thing which you miss here is that one of the underlying premises of the entire surveillance apparatus is that it is by definition infallible.  It cannot make mistakes - and does not admit them.  If someone is a victim of a mistake - an incorrect name, whatever ... there is essentially no easy recourse to face your accuser (Big Brother in this case).  There is not way to exercise habeas rights.  Indeed, Obama advocates that this basic infallibility is enough to kill American citizens. (it's happened - we have the datapoint)  The government wants to destroy any chance of a vibrant adversarial system of adjudication here.  

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