NSA surveillance whistleblower interviewed Page 2

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  • sirtacos 11 Jun 2013 00:19:18 7,205 posts
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    Benno wrote:

    I liked this comment (warning: its from reddit)

    http://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/1fv4r6/i_believe_the_government_should_be_allowed_to/caeb3pl?context=3
    Good read. (I assume we're meant to read the yellow post?)
    I've never lived through a police state but my parents have and if you (colloquial you) were to trot out that asinine "nothing to hide" argument I'm pretty sure they'd call you an idiot.
  • neilka 11 Jun 2013 01:09:05 14,942 posts
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    Aaand he's disappeared
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22850901
  • Khanivor 11 Jun 2013 01:11:41 39,893 posts
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    Of all the places to run to he picks fucking China. Maybe he's realised he din't think his cunning plan all the way through and is trying to get somewhere with a better human rights and freedom of expression record.

    Maybe Burma?
  • Articulate-Troll 11 Jun 2013 03:59:01 3,104 posts
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    Hong Kong is not the same as main land China. They have a fairly good record on free speech and human rights. Of course they're still under the umbrella of the main land but there's not really much they can do about that.
  • Dirtbox 11 Jun 2013 05:00:30 76,341 posts
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    Khanivor wrote:
    Of all the places to run to he picks fucking China. Maybe he's realised he din't think his cunning plan all the way through and is trying to get somewhere with a better human rights and freedom of expression record.

    Maybe Burma?
    He picked a country with no extradition treaty and easy connection with the rest of the world. Probably the best place on the planet to sound off from if you're hiding from the West.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • Khanivor 11 Jun 2013 05:17:23 39,893 posts
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    The US and Hong Kong have an extradition treaty.
  • sirtacos 11 Jun 2013 05:19:21 7,205 posts
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    You'd think he'd be well-informed about this sort of thing.
  • Articulate-Troll 11 Jun 2013 05:51:35 3,104 posts
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    Hong Kong has an extradition treaty but there exceptions for political refugees. Plus, Beijing can overrule any decision made by the government in Hong Kong. The US has often granted people political asylum from China, so there's no reason China wouldn't do the same.

    The only reason China may give him the boot is because it doesn't want to encourage dissidents with a history of defying their governments to settle in Chinese territory and stir up trouble.
  • TarickStonefire 11 Jun 2013 10:00:23 2,665 posts
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    Alipan wrote:
    If you havent got anything to hide whats to worry about?

    Nothing I do online would be of any interest to anyone.
    Oh yeah, *that* argument.

    Sigh.

    Any Netflix library in the world for a couple of quid a month? Gimme!

  • TarickStonefire 11 Jun 2013 10:02:18 2,665 posts
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    Aargh. wrote:
    TarickStonefire wrote:
    Part of me thinks he's a plant, sent to 'leak' this stuff to draw attention away from far, far worse things happening.

    Not really. Well... maybe. Where's that ninja chap when you need him, isn't he into all that conspiracy stuff?
    I'm not sure it gets much worse than secretly spying on innocent civilians within your own country.
    To be honest I don't think it's *that* bad. And if you can't think of anything worse you're really not using your imagination.

    Any Netflix library in the world for a couple of quid a month? Gimme!

  • TheSaint 11 Jun 2013 10:03:33 13,630 posts
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    The guy sounds like a total nutter. I wouldn't be surprised if he choose Hong Kong because he figures China would be more interested in what he knows than sending him back.
  • TarickStonefire 11 Jun 2013 10:06:17 2,665 posts
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    ModishNouns wrote:
    I wonder what difference, if any, it would make if the US had an Official Secrets Act. Or if we didn't.

    Had he been in this country, what he did would be quite clearly illegal and he would have signed a declaration that he understood that when he was hired. He would still have been free to blow the whistle, of course, with a known "cost" of prosecution, but to say that he wouldn't be a criminal would be wrong.
    Well the law says a lot of things about who is a criminal and who isn't, and oddly enough it doesn't say anything about criminalising and imprisoning bankers who brought our country to its knees.

    So you'll have to just take The Law with a pinch of salt here. Not sure why you brought it up really.

    Any Netflix library in the world for a couple of quid a month? Gimme!

  • TarickStonefire 11 Jun 2013 10:07:06 2,665 posts
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    TheSaint wrote:
    The guy sounds like a total nutter. I wouldn't be surprised if he choose Hong Kong because he figures China would be more interested in what he knows than sending him back.
    What exactly about him sounds like a "total nutter"? Have you actually watched his interview?

    Any Netflix library in the world for a couple of quid a month? Gimme!

  • TheSaint 11 Jun 2013 10:09:45 13,630 posts
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    I've only heard it but not seen it. He just sounded a bit unhinged to me.

    For example why would someone who wanted to end up in Iceland spend three weeks of anonymity in Hong Kong and then break the story? Surely you would make sure you were where you wanted to end up before you become public enemy number one.
  • Deleted user 11 June 2013 10:17:14
    I dont think its that bad.

    They may be gathering information but very unlikely anyone is looking at it and even if they did so what?

    The Woolwich murderer was already on a watch list. People complained he wasnt stopped and the police retorted that there were 2000 people on that list and they couldnt possibly keep track of them all.

    There are 60 million people in the UK. People will only be looked at if they are supected of something.

    Im not worried. Vague notions of if leading to some Orwellian dictatorship I dont believe. The dicatorship comes first not the surveillance.

    In the here and now it can help gather info on paedos, crims and terrorists.
  • Chopsen 11 Jun 2013 10:26:36 15,178 posts
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    You've contradicted yourself there.
  • Load_2.0 11 Jun 2013 10:54:12 18,201 posts
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    Alipan wrote:
    I dont think its that bad.

    They may be gathering information but very unlikely anyone is looking at it and even if they did so what?

    The Woolwich murderer was already on a watch list. People complained he wasnt stopped and the police retorted that there were 2000 people on that list and they couldnt possibly keep track of them all.

    There are 60 million people in the UK. People will only be looked at if they are supected of something.

    Im not worried. Vague notions of if leading to some Orwellian dictatorship I dont believe. The dicatorship comes first not the surveillance.

    In the here and now it can help gather info on paedos, crims and terrorists.
    You sound like you would be happy in by the Soviet Union or East German in 50s, 60s and 70s.

    Guilty until proven innocent.
  • Deleted user 11 June 2013 11:01:36
    Not at all. I would rather live in a democracy that is basically monitored all the time via CCTV (Britain today) than a brutal dictatorship with no technology but intent on oppressing me.

    If you are innocent of a crime today you have a better chance of proving it than ever. CCTV shows where you were, DNA etc..

    You only have something to worry about if the regime itself is corrupt. I dont fear the technology itself.

    Edited by Alipan at 11:01:54 11-06-2013

    Edited by Alipan at 11:02:27 11-06-2013
  • disusedgenius 11 Jun 2013 11:03:59 5,142 posts
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    Not at all. I would rather live in a democracy that is basically monitored all the time via CCTV (Britain today) than a brutal dictatorship with no technology but intent on oppressing me.
    Thank God these things remain constant.

    Edited by disusedgenius at 11:04:15 11-06-2013
  • Load_2.0 11 Jun 2013 11:07:20 18,201 posts
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    A civilisation that is under constant surveillance is acceptable to you?

    Searches, browsing history, downloads, emails, SMS, mobile data, social media, credit card data, debit transactions, surveillance cameras, computer records, GPS, and medical information all being stored?

    You really have not given this much thought. Your idea that CCTV or DNA is somehow foolproof is ridiculous. Try googling "DNA errors New York Medical Examiner"
  • Benno 11 Jun 2013 11:09:15 9,392 posts
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    Alipan wrote:
    Would like to read it but unfortunately work block that website..
    Here:

    I live in a country generally assumed to be a dictatorship. One of the Arab spring countries. I have lived through curfews and have seen the outcomes of the sort of surveillance now being revealed in the US. People here talking about curfews aren't realizing what that actually FEELS like. It isn't about having to go inside, and the practicality of that. It's about creating the feeling that everyone, everything is watching. A few points:
    1) the purpose of this surveillance from the governments point of view is to control enemies of the state. Not terrorists. People who are coalescing around ideas that would destabilize the status quo. These could be religious ideas. These could be groups like anon who are too good with tech for the governments liking. It makes it very easy to know who these people are. It also makes it very simple to control these people.
    Lets say you are a college student and you get in with some people who want to stop farming practices that hurt animals. So you make a plan and go to protest these practices. You get there, and wow, the protest is huge. You never expected this, you were just goofing off. Well now everyone who was there is suspect. Even though you technically had the right to protest, you're now considered a dangerous person.
    With this tech in place, the government doesn't have to put you in jail. They can do something more sinister. They can just email you a sexy picture you took with a girlfriend. Or they can email you a note saying that they can prove your dad is cheating on his taxes. Or they can threaten to get your dad fired. All you have to do, the email says, is help them catch your friends in the group. You have to report back every week, or you dad might lose his job. So you do. You turn in your friends and even though they try to keep meetings off grid, you're reporting on them to protect your dad.
    2) Let's say number one goes on. The country is a weird place now. Really weird. Pretty soon, a movement springs up like occupy, except its bigger this time. People are really serious, and they are saying they want a government without this power. I guess people are realizing that it is a serious deal. You see on the news that tear gas was fired. Your friend calls you, frantic. They're shooting people. Oh my god. you never signed up for this. You say, fuck it. My dad might lose his job but I won't be responsible for anyone dying. That's going too far. You refuse to report anymore. You just stop going to meetings. You stay at home, and try not to watch the news. Three days later, police come to your door and arrest you. They confiscate your computer and phones, and they beat you up a bit. No one can help you so they all just sit quietly. They know if they say anything they're next. This happened in the country I live in. It is not a joke.
    3) Its hard to say how long you were in there. What you saw was horrible. Most of the time, you only heard screams. People begging to be killed. Noises you've never heard before. You, you were lucky. You got kicked every day when they threw your moldy food at you, but no one shocked you. No one used sexual violence on you, at least that you remember. There were some times they gave you pills, and you can't say for sure what happened then. To be honest, sometimes the pills were the best part of your day, because at least then you didn't feel anything. You have scars on you from the way you were treated. You learn in prison that torture is now common. But everyone who uploads videos or pictures of this torture is labeled a leaker. Its considered a threat to national security. Pretty soon, a cut you got on your leg is looking really bad. You think it's infected. There were no doctors in prison, and it was so overcrowded, who knows what got in the cut. You go to the doctor, but he refuses to see you. He knows if he does the government can see the records that he treated you. Even you calling his office prompts a visit from the local police.
    You decide to go home and see your parents. Maybe they can help. This leg is getting really bad. You get to their house. They aren't home. You can't reach them no matter how hard you try. A neighbor pulls you aside, and he quickly tells you they were arrested three weeks ago and haven't been seen since. You vaguely remember mentioning to them on the phone you were going to that protest. Even your little brother isn't there.
    4) Is this even really happening? You look at the news. Sports scores. Celebrity news. It's like nothing is wrong. What the hell is going on? A stranger smirks at you reading the paper. You lose it. You shout at him "fuck you dude what are you laughing at can't you see I've got a fucking wound on my leg?"
    "Sorry," he says. "I just didn't know anyone read the news anymore." There haven't been any real journalists for months. They're all in jail.
    Everyone walking around is scared. They can't talk to anyone else because they don't know who is reporting for the government. Hell, at one time YOU were reporting for the government. Maybe they just want their kid to get through school. Maybe they want to keep their job. Maybe they're sick and want to be able to visit the doctor. It's always a simple reason. Good people always do bad things for simple reasons.
    You want to protest. You want your family back. You need help for your leg. This is way beyond anything you ever wanted. It started because you just wanted to see fair treatment in farms. Now you're basically considered a terrorist, and everyone around you might be reporting on you. You definitely can't use a phone or email. You can't get a job. You can't even trust people face to face anymore. On every corner, there are people with guns. They are as scared as you are. They just don't want to lose their jobs. They don't want to be labeled as traitors.
    This all happened in the country where I live.
    You want to know why revolutions happen? Because little by little by little things get worse and worse. But this thing that is happening now is big. This is the key ingredient. This allows them to know everything they need to know to accomplish the above. The fact that they are doing it is proof that they are the sort of people who might use it in the way I described. In the country I live in, they also claimed it was for the safety of the people. Same in Soviet Russia. Same in East Germany. In fact, that is always the excuse that is used to surveil everyone. But it has never ONCE proven to be the reality.
    Maybe Obama won't do it. Maybe the next guy won't, or the one after him. Maybe this story isn't about you. Maybe it happens 10 or 20 years from now, when a big war is happening, or after another big attack. Maybe it's about your daughter or your son. We just don't know yet. But what we do know is that right now, in this moment we have a choice. Are we okay with this, or not? Do we want this power to exist, or not?
    You know for me, the reason I'm upset is that I grew up in school saying the pledge of allegiance. I was taught that the United States meant "liberty and justice for all." You get older, you learn that in this country we define that phrase based on the constitution. That's what tells us what liberty is and what justice is. Well, the government just violated that ideal. So if they aren't standing for liberty and justice anymore, what are they standing for? Safety?
    Ask yourself a question. In the story I told above, does anyone sound safe?
    I didn't make anything up. These things happened to people I know. We used to think it couldn't happen in America. But guess what? It's starting to happen.
    I actually get really upset when people say "I don't have anything to hide. Let them read everything." People saying that have no idea what they are bringing down on their own heads. They are naive, and we need to listen to people in other countries who are clearly telling us that this is a horrible horrible sign and it is time to stand up and say no.
  • Deleted user 11 June 2013 11:11:32
    There will always be errors, always has been always will be - but yeah if I was innocent of a crime I would feel more confident than in any time in history that I could prove it.

    Storing my info? Fine. I really dont care. There is nothing of interest. Why should I be worried?
  • Deleted user 11 June 2013 11:14:31
    "Even though you technically had the right to protest, you're now considered a dangerous person.
    With this tech in place, the government doesn't have to put you in jail. They can do something more sinister. They can just email you a sexy picture you took with a girlfriend."

    I lol'd. Think I would prefer that to jail!
  • Deleted user 11 June 2013 11:31:20
    But seriously Benno - that person seems to live in an Arab dictatorship.

    The dictatorship wasnt a product of the surveillance - more likely the other way round.

    If you live somewhere like that which is intent on putting you down they will find a way! Those places have been doing it before the internets ever existed. Looking at your FB or whatever is just another string to their bow.
  • MikeP 11 Jun 2013 18:26:58 1,676 posts
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    One of many problems with mass surveillance is the rarity of the events that you're trying to catch, and the accuracy with which you can predict who is going to do them.

    As a simple example. You track all of a large population, and there's a 1 in 10,000 chance any one individual in the population will commit an act of terror in a given time period. You have a 95% accurate detection rate for terrorists within a given time period with all your lovely security software and people.

    Out of 10,000 people, the 95% accuracy rate gives you 500 false positives for every actual terrorist. That's an awful lot of crap to sift through before you get to the criminal.

    I know the real world is more nuanced than that, but given the information challenge are you really surprised surveillance seems to be best at documenting the aftermath of events?

    You're never going to stop people who don't care about being caught once they've done whatever they set out to do.

    Edited by MikeP at 18:28:19 11-06-2013
  • Deleted user 18 June 2013 10:39:21
    This article from 1999 might still be of interest today:

    How NSA access was built into Windows

    A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has revealed that special access codes prepared by the US National Security Agency have been secretly built into Windows. The NSA access system is built into every version of the Windows operating system now in use, except early releases of Windows 95 (and its predecessors). The discovery comes close on the heels of the revelations earlier this year that another US software giant, Lotus, had built an NSA "help information" trapdoor into its Notes system, and that security functions on other software systems had been deliberately crippled.
    Originally brought to my attention by globalresearch.ca
  • Fab4 18 Jun 2013 10:46:57 5,695 posts
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    Old news... :p

  • Tonka 18 Jun 2013 13:41:32 19,840 posts
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    No but seriously. This is old nws. Anyone who bothered to pass more than a cursory glance at the Patriot Act has know that US federal government can request this information from any US company
    if there's suspicion of terrorlolism.

    And since the definition of terrorism in the US is basically "We suspect you might have known someone who once retweeted a guy who has an image of a muslim on his facebookpage" that meant anyone.

    The only shocking thing to come out of this mess is how little anyone cared when there wasn't a sexy "guy deserts his cozy life to blow some whistle" narrative to attach to it.

    Im shocked and disgusted in equal measures.

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • Tom_Servo 24 Jun 2013 11:52:11 15,548 posts
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    A fleet of journalists thought Snowden was going to be on a 12 hour flight from Moscow to Havana and booked tickets and got aboard accordingly. Expect... Snowden isn't on the plane!

    If all that wasn't bad enough, they're not serving booze on the plane.
  • Deleted user 24 June 2013 13:16:24
    Maybe he's on the cloud...
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