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View Diary: Worse Than The Stasi: How The Corporate State is Turning Citizens Into Spies (300 comments)

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  •  Okay. (7+ / 0-)

    The Stasi, with much less robust technology, was able to imprison dissidents of any sort. With more technology, they arguably would have imprisoned more dissidents. Even the statement from the former Stasi office quoted by Ray makes this case. The Stasi would have loved to have this technology.

    But, of course, it didn't exist.

    So the advance of technology has made more information available to the government and corporations.

    But, as the quote from the former Stasi official makes clear, they would have used this technology to imprisonmore people.

    So, no, the existence of additional tracking technology does not mean that the situations is, as Ray claims, "worse than the Stasi."

    They have more tools than the Stasi, but that's a matter of time and technology.

    The fact that Ray makes that claim with a straight face as he posts this information publicly using the Internet shows just what a ridiculous claim it is.

    If the Stasi had this technology (had East Germany survived to this point) a guy like Ray in East Germany would disappear in the middle of the night.

    I bet Ray is here to post tomorrow.

    What do you think?

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:06:52 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  They gather more information about more people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, DeadHead

      than the Stasi did. That makes them worse in that respect. They know were virtually everyone is almost all of the time, as well as knowing what they say. "Oh, it's just new technology" doesn't really cover it. If you do more of something bad you're worse. Technology can help make something worse. Not to go all Godwin, but the Nazis wouldn't have been as bad if it weren't for the technology they had. That's part of the horror story of Nazi Germany, the use of industrial technology as a means of extermination.

      That's why the NSA is worse, it's the use of information technology as a means of surveillance. It's a qualitatively different thing than the surveillance of the Stasi and it's worse. We're literally using algorithms to decide what people to strike with drones. That's not the NSA, but it's indicative of the way that we've harnessed technology in a new and exceptionally horrible way.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:25:14 PM PST

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      •  No, it's not worse. (6+ / 0-)

        The Stasi was bugging people's phones, homes and offices. The Stasi was paying informants to turn in their friends and cowrokers. The Stasi was pulling people out of their homes in the middle of the night. They had loads of information on people. And they used it to remove dissidents from society.

        To continue to claim that because the NSA has more robust surveillance tools than the Stasi that it is, therefore, "worse than the Stasi" is simply untrue and a gross exaggeration. By any measure.

        It's inane.

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:55:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll say it again (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador, Bob Johnson, DeadHead

          Because what you said was that it was in no respect worse, I'll note that the NSA is literally recording every phone call, and it can transcribe them to text and store them. It's getting everything. And it can go through it with it's nice algorithms. It's an order of magnitude worse than anything the Stasi could do. Remember, they also have access to every bit of gossip people spread through the internet, and of everything that other law enforcement agencies have.

          You keep bringing up the rest of what the Stasi did, that's beside my point. This is about surveillance.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:01:42 PM PST

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          •  No, I keep bringing up the claim that the (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, Hey338Too, Diogenes2008, earicicle

            ... situation is "worse than the Stasi."

            Is the NSA bugging you home, your office and your phone? Is the NSA turning your family, friends and co-workers into paid informants?

            C'mon...

            And advance in technology doesn't mean it's "worse" than the Stasi. Not in any way, shape or form.

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:08:37 PM PST

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            •  The "Situation"? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DeadHead

              I mean, I really couldn't stand Jersey shore, but I'm not sure what that's got to do with it.

              No one said "the situation" was worse than the Stasi. I said that the surveillance, nee spying, is worse than the Stasi and gave specific reasons. And I don't know if they're doing some of those things, but they are certainly do others. You admit that they have an unprecedented level of technology but somehow it's still not worse.

              And advance in technology doesn't mean it's "worse" than the Stasi. Not in any way, shape or form.
              I made an argument as to why it did. I know you can do better than "is not". The use of this technology is worse for the various reasons I laid out. You really sound like you think that the Stasi was worse because it disapeared people. The NSA doesn't do that, it's a different agency that would do that. Although the NSA is sending info to the drug warriors. And they're arresting people. But everyone knows that black and brown people are being targeted, so it isn't fascism, just racism. Or something.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:31:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  That's the problem with the diary, frankly. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, earicicle, undercovercalico

            You and I agree on the NSA and the massive overreach.

            But the fact that you and I are arguing about whether or not it is "worse than the Stasi" is just inane. It's trivial. Just the sort of nonsense provoked by dairies like this.

            Have a good night, AoT.

            "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

            by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:17:01 PM PST

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            •  More a problem with the title, but yeah (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DeadHead

              it's a problem.

              You have a good night as well.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:32:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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