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View Diary: Choose: Freedom or NSA Total Information Awareness Surveillance. It's Either One, or The Other (111 comments)

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  •  I am afraid that if the solution is one or the (6+ / 0-)

    other, then it will of necessity, not misjudgment or apathy, have to be a full surveillance system.

    I say this not because I'm in favor of the potential for omnipresent spying, but because to actually switch away from the majority of the system we have now, we would have to re-convert to a total cash economy. Checks would still be a possibility, but they would have to revert to hand carried or postal carried exchange.

    This would, in turn, bring down the majority of the internet - that which is not necessary for government use - because any ability to virtually finance any internet offering would immediately be lost. Along with this would go most banking institutions which service more than a single geographically constrained community, all electronic credit no matter how exchanged, and on and on.

    The end result might be a kinder, simpler world, but it it likely to be one that destroys tens of millions of people and hundreds of billions of dollars of investments in the process.

    Like it or not, and I like (and dislike) some things about it tremendously, our current system is intrinsic to the current culture. That it provides a venue for more and more intrusive government information collection does not offer enough justification for wrecking a huge part of our current society.

    I don't know what the answer is. My hope - and it's incredibly tenuous at this point - is that there are ways to re-imagine the concept of unconstrained information so that it is not seen as conflicting with basic rights and needs, but as supporting them.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 12:38:47 AM PDT

    •  We don't have to destroy this medium we now (7+ / 0-)

      use to communicate with each other in ways never before possible in human history to be safeguarded against criminal actions initiated by our own government.

      The solution is very simple, follow the Constitution, as written:

      Amendment IV

      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

      Show probable cause to a judge where we can be present to defend against said claims, simply get a court order for each and everything you want to "seize". The problem isn't the internet, the problem is what our government is doing with it.  The secret orders, the secret courts, the secret "legal" interpretations, the secret court decisions.  The lies to hide their crimes and the prosecution of those whom tell us the truth.

      We granted our creation limited authorities.  

      Any and all information coming into this nation, electronically wouldn't have to have such stringent standards, until said information is identified as an American citizen's, anyone else, they don't have those same constitutional protections.  

      Besides, we now know that all these unconstitutional actions haven't stopped one terrorist attack.




      "The senior intelligence official said that the "about the target" surveillance had been valuable, but said it was difficult to point to any particular terrorist plot that would have been carried out if the surveillance had not taken place."
      In other words, it did nothing to keep us safe.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 01:01:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I was actually replying to Ray's statement (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea, undercovercalico, erratic

        that we need to dismantle the surveillance system, not to whether it would be simple to reinforce the Fourth Amendment.

        To dismantle the system itself, to make it impossible to do the type of surveillance Ray is talking about, it would be necessary to take down the entire virtual system. If you assume corruption at the top of the pyramid, then as long as the system exists someone will take advantage of it to snoop, and use the information gained for their own purposes.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 01:17:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ops....in the classic words of one of my hero's (4+ / 0-)




          ;)

          I don't know that the entire electronic system needs to be dismantled, I thought he was talking about dismantling our government spying programs and institutions, not the hardware/infrastructure itself.

          Wait, let me review the diary....

          ....

          ...

          Okay, I'm back, nope I didn't get that from the diary at all.

          Don't you love the internet, no time passed for you at all ;0)

          "As individuals, as communities, and as a society, we must dismantle the surveillance system if we are to protect and advance the basic conditions required to live our lives in real freedom,"  as pointed out by Ms. Boghosian.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 01:29:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  there seems to be some talking-past here (3+ / 0-)

            How would you know whether the government had dismantled its "spying programs and institutions"?

            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

            by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 03:36:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We could fire everyone at the NSA, CIA (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador

              and FBI then bulldoze their offices.

              Then we could put the ones that committed, ordered and supported these criminal acts in jail.

              It would be very ugly for a time but we'd send a clear message to any future employees, we find out you're doing something you shouldn't be, we will prosecute you.

              -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

              by gerrilea on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 06:43:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't see how that would work (6+ / 0-)

                You'd be firing lots of people who had absolutely nothing to do with the actions you disapprove of -- wiping out our intelligence operations -- and you still wouldn't have any assurance that there wasn't a secret program going on somewhere else.

                I'm not saying that we have to let the NSA or other agencies run amok. Obviously there are many ways to crack down on them without obliterating them. But in general I'm skeptical of libertarian efforts to prevent government abuses by wiping out large parts of government.

                "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 08:47:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Libertarian efforts"??? "wouldn't have any (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ray Pensador

                  assurances that there wasn't a secret program...somewhere else"??

                  Defeatist mentality and labeling the reaction "libertarian" is disingenuous.   How many people do we need to spying on the American people 24/7/365?  Zero.  And yes, "intelligence" has taken billions of our tax dollars each year, not including the black budgets we aren't allowed to know about.  Funny you should say "wiping out large parts of our government", that's exactly the problem.  It's gotten so big, we can't control it, as it stands.

                  How did we guarantee the Soviets kept to the Start Treaty Agreements? And them with us?

                  Verification.

                  See, that wasn't so hard, really.  My suggestion might be a bit overboard, but what this rogue government is doing must be stopped.  Those violating the law, should be prosecuted.  If your job is to break the law, then we really don't need you.

                  -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                  by gerrilea on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 11:44:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  it isn't disingenous in the slightest (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    serendipityisabitch

                    Reducing the government's capacity to do harm by reducing its capacity to do anything is quintessentially a libertarian approach. Of course that doesn't mean that advocating the obliteration of the NSA, FBI, and CIA makes you a consistent libertarian.

                    I have no idea what you're trying to say about "defeatist mentality," but since Ray stopped by to recommend your comment, maybe he'll explain why that isn't an ad hominem. :)

                    If your job is to break the law, then we really don't need you.
                    I think we agree on that, at least. (I'm sure we agree on other things as well.)

                    "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                    by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 04:14:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Apologies, your argument is defeatist. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ray Pensador, HudsonValleyMark

                      I really don't know if you see the glass half empty or half full.

                      I think we need to do something constructive and hashing out the details is very important.  My historical reviews of the crimes of the FBI, The CIA and now the NSA could be addressed by just shutting them down and starting over.  

                      The culture of corruption in these agencies would never be addressed by "restructuring".  The career employees that have spent their entire lives living and believing they are above the law could never be corrected.

                      While to you it may appear that I want to shut down our government, nope, it can be a force for good, if we get the right people in there, it once actually did things for "We The People" once, not against us.

                      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                      by gerrilea on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 06:20:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  OK (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        gerrilea
                        I think we need to do something constructive and hashing out the details is very important.
                        I agree.
                        The culture of corruption in these agencies would never be addressed by "restructuring".  The career employees that have spent their entire lives living and believing they are above the law could never be corrected.
                        I am unconvinced that many career employees in these agencies have spent their entire careers "believing they are above the law." It is logically possible that everyone should be fired regardless, but I am really skeptical. And I think we should be wary of broad-brush derogations of government employees, even in agencies that we regard as intrinsically suspect.
                        While to you it may appear that I want to shut down our government....
                        Nope, I wasn't trying to pin that on you. My intended point was much narrower.

                        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                        by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 05:51:58 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  This is a prime example of false choice, or (3+ / 0-)

      logical fallacy, mixed in with maligning, i.e., "Ray ideas and prescriptions are extremely dangerous; if follow, they would be catastrophic to the economy, and hence to you individually."

      Now, after having point that obvious thing out, this one is an easy one.

      The illegal, unconstitutional and wanton collection of data about citizens by the NSA must stop immediately.  All data residing in security agen databases should be destroyed/erased, and the process should be monitored.

      Anybody involved with this criminal enterprise should be investigated and prosecuted if there is probable cause.

      The rest, technology, business, cell phones, Yahoo, Google,  Facebook, advances in sales, advertising, marketing... The precious free market economy can go on unmolested without a fascist government boot on their necks.

      •  Ray, I assumed that by offering up a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unfangus, erratic

        choice you actually meant to ask for debate on it. Whether that was true or not, my answer still stands, without implying anything about you, or maligning you in any way. Pointing out that your diary can be interpreted in different ways does not say anything about you, your character, your morals, or anything else, except that you can write things that I can disagree with.

        There is no way to prevent data collection from occurring clandestinely in a system such as we have currently. Especially if one assumes, as you have, that the entities at the top of the data pyramid are corrupt.

        Kill the NSA, make sure every bit of data is destroyed (How do you tell? Multiple backups in separate locations are de regueur.) Within months, perhaps weeks, someone will devise a less detectable method for doing the same thing. It may be available already, but with no particular reason to implement it. Leave the NSA in place, and eventually other systems will still be implemented anyway, if they have not been already, but the process will be slower. If we're lucky, much slower. The NSA is at least a system we know about, and one we have at least a chance in hell of making more transparent.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 10:35:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I stand by my initial observation. Now, regarding (2+ / 0-)

          the inevitability of a surveillance state, that's a function of "conditioning" and "normalization" of things that may have been considered extreme in the past.

          The system is designed to spread this conditioning so the citizenry views these challenges as insurmountable.  That's actually one of the objectives of propaganda.

          The truth is that if people are made to believe these things, they have basically become enslaved by accepting them:

          From the diary:

          Normalization is the process by which we accept and take for granted ideas and actions that previously may have been considered shocking or taboo. Michel Foucault wrote that modern control over society may be accomplished by watching its members, and maintaining routine information about them. Foucault emphasized that Jeremy Bentham’s eighteenth-century panopticon, a continuous surveillance model for prisoners who could not tell if they were being watched, exemplified an institution capable of producing what he called “docile bodies.”
          One of the big focuses of totalitarian regimes is to convert the population into "docile bodies."

          Likewise, one of the biggest threats to the domination imposed by totalitarian regimes is people refusing to accept the "impotence" narrative, because that's when their power over the population ends.

          •  If you read the last paragraph in my original post (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            erratic, undercovercalico

            I am not talking about the inevitability of a survelliance state. I am looking for a new paradigm which will make it an obsolete concept.

            If unfettered access to information can become a basis for a new, more rational society, that's the condition I want to see. Surveillance societies, and many other inequitable practices, work to a large extent because information flow is selectively impeded, which is to say that "the government (my employer/my coworker/my doctor/my insurance company, etc.) has information that I don't have and can't get".

            Healthcare becomes more equitable if and when there is open access to data on how costs are set and how variable they are across different providers. Pay scales become more equitable when companies are required to divulge salary information, rather than making it a firing offense to talk about it. I won't even try to go into how financial institutions attempt to limit data access to all but a few employees. I suspect you can come up with more examples than I ever could in this area.

            In almost every instance I can think of, having more data publicly available has been a positive factor in helping people solve problems. In almost every case that I can think of, the initial reaction to the possibility of having that data available has been an extreme negative on the part of the person or entity that was trying to limit access to that data.

            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

            by serendipityisabitch on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 11:26:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are leaving one extremely important point (2+ / 0-)

              out of your analysis: malevolent intent vs. benevolent intent.

              The argument I present (and I pack up with the reference information) is that profit-seeking corporations have taken control the surveillance state and are using their influence to build dossiers on social justice activists and will eventually use that information to suppress dissent, and as the fascist infrastructure takes hold, the system will transition into a brutal fascistic state enabled by an almost omniscient spying infrastructure.

              As such, the system is malevolent, IMO.

              The argument you make about the usefulness of information technology, especially in the marketplace, is not germane to my argument.  Two separate issues are being conflated there.

              Another important point is adherence to the Constitution.

              •  So, you're saying that the survelliance (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                erratic

                state is not only inevitable, but already here? I thought you were just decrying my words, saying that they were promoting that outcome.

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 11:55:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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