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DoD Paper Proposes National Security Through a Culture of Restraint (and Stigma) 310

Posted by timothy
from the shhh-the-fatherland-is-listening dept.
decora writes "An SAIC analyst has written a paper [PDF] calling for the 'stigmatization' of the 'unattractive' types who tend to discuss government secrets in public. The plan, described in the Naval Postgraduate School Homeland Security Affairs journal, is to promote self-censorship as a 'civic duty'. Who needs to censor themselves? Amateur enthusiasts who describe satellite orbits, scientists who describe threats to the food supply, graduate students mapping the internet, the Government Accountability Office, which publishes failure reports on the TSA, the US Geologic Survey, which publishes surface water information, newspapers (the New York Times), TV shows, journalism websites, anti-secrecy websites, and even security author Bruce Schneier, to name a few."
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DoD Paper Proposes National Security Through a Culture of Restraint (and Stigma)

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  • by similar_name (1164087) on Friday May 27, 2011 @07:44PM (#36268896)

    self-censorship as a 'civic duty'

    I'm speechless.

    • by guibaby (192136) on Friday May 27, 2011 @07:52PM (#36268958)

      Yes,

      But do you feel a duty to remain speechless?

    • Not to mention that saying "Keep mum about things that are fairly easy for the common man to discover, lest it falls in the hands of the enemy", by definition means it's fairly easy for the enemy's common man to discover.

    • This is the sort of thing the Chinese do.
      • Keeping the secrets everyone knows is one of the common threads of totalitarian government (wannabees) from time immemorial.

        (It ain't just the Chinese. The guys who wrote the US Constitution saw it coming, the Greeks saw it a bit too late some two thousand years ago, the Egyptians, well, I'd get into controversies about historicality if I said anything specific, but it wasn't new then, either.)

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I'm speechless.

      That is the spirit comrade! Continue on your way.

      Joking aside, this is scary. Real scary.

    • On the one hand, I agree that with liberty comes responsibility, and consequently, we ought to be responsible enough to know when it is "patriotic" to speak* and when it is "patriotic" to keep silent* -- that is, to self-censor. Having said that, TFS makes it sound like the SAIC analyst is suggesting that we turn into a nation of yes-men and women. Historically, that's typically a Very Bad Thing.

      *and by this, I mean calling the government out when it is behaving illegally or irrespo
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's been done before.....

      LIPS SEALED! [plakaty.ru]

      The Soviet version translates roughly as "Be on the alert. In days like these, the walls listen. It's a fine line between chatter/gossip and betrayal. KEEP YOUR LIPS SEALED!"

  • Security through strong-armed obscurity, leading to security through censorship.

    What, it's obviously not secure? Sorry, can't talk about the fact that the door is actually open.

  • Seriously, is this some kind of joke? Why do we keep paying these people to suggest things like this - what value are they bringing to our lives?
    • Re:Is this for real? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Seumas (6865) on Friday May 27, 2011 @07:59PM (#36269044)

      What choice do you have? The machinery of aristocracy and control is well beyond the need for your support. They're self-sustaining and the level of corruption in all aspects of government and politics so unbelievably extensive and deep and convoluted that there is no way to simply excise the foreign tissue by itself.

      Naomi Wolf does a great job of describing the process that seems to be occurring right now (including this event) in her book "The End of America".

      I mean, we live in a country where our president's (last president) family did extensive business with the family of the man that killed thousands of Americans. We live in a country where government officials who are employees of Goldman Sachs take a trillion dollars from the tax payers to bail out Goldman Sachs. We live in a country where our president appoints Ken Lay as energy advisor to deregulate his own industry on his own terms. We live in a country where we allow our government to pass bills that allow the president to point at a citizen and make them disappear. Off to gitmo for torture, if he wants. Without representation or a trial. We live in a country where judges are paid off in millions of dollars by the private prison industry to fuel their business by unfairly punishing minor juvenile violators with many months in juvenile detention (google it - in Pennsylvania).

      It's probably not too late to force change, but by the time you could ever even remotely possibly convince enough of the population to give a flying fuck and get their heads out of their Bible and Twilight or their "durr durr abortion" and "durr durr immigration" and "durr durr religion" bullshit to actually do something about the real problems facing us, it'll definitely be too fucking late.

      • Oh, you're one of those people.

        I've heard about people like you -- there was some sort of un-American stigma attached to those of your ilk, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is...

      • by jo42 (227475)

        You forgot to mention that the Bushtards then promoted and implemented a war that has resulted in the killing of tens (hundreds?) of thousands of brown people, thousands of its own people (more than 9/11 did) and cost Amerika The Great billions upon billions (trillions?) of dollars. Cluster fucked doesn't even begin to describe it...

    • by Surt (22457)

      Were you asked to speak up about this citizen?
      If not, please remain silent.

  • Shorter solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mbone (558574) on Friday May 27, 2011 @07:49PM (#36268936)

    Let's stigmatize SAIC analysts who have internalized the mind-set of the Soviet Union.

    It will save lots of time in the long run.

    • Whether we are talking about the mafia with omerta, or a terrorist cell, or a full fledged government, they all rely on secrecy to maintain power.

      And they all hate snitches, traitors, leakers, informers or whatever they choose to call the person who tells the secrets.

      So it's nothing new. On the other hand opposing groups see the snitches, traitors, leakers, informers as heroes. Why? Because by revealing secrets and leaking, it protects lives on the opposing side, but keeping secrets protects lives on your g

      • Not even the whistleblower, I mean, snitch, I mean, leaker who leaks the secrets of the enemy.

        No one likes a snitch.

        Use the snitch, sure. Then make sure you either corrupt him to keep him under control, or get rid of him before he snitches on you.

        Not that this is a new thing.

        Of course, the only way to lose to this kind of government is to give up and fail to do your civic duty. So I disagree with you there, too.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by elucido (870205) *

          Not even the whistleblower, I mean, snitch, I mean, leaker who leaks the secrets of the enemy.

          No one likes a snitch.

          Use the snitch, sure. Then make sure you either corrupt him to keep him under control, or get rid of him before he snitches on you.

          Not that this is a new thing.

          Of course, the only way to lose to this kind of government is to give up and fail to do your civic duty. So I disagree with you there, too.

          First there are differences between leaker, snitch, whistleblower. The difference is subjective not objective, and it's determined by who is affected by the leak. If the leak benefits me, thats not a snitch, that's a hero. If the leak hurts me, thats a snitch and nobody likes a snitch. If the leak benefits my group, thats still not a snitch.

          So basically in order for someone to be a snitch they have to be within your group, and they have to sell out the group. According to the US Military Bradley Manning is

    • by k8to (9046)

      How about we stigmatize, culturally, independent thought, investigation, and critical anlysis.

      Hmm. seems like some other folks were 60 years ahead of me.

  • In Other Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bky1701 (979071) on Friday May 27, 2011 @07:50PM (#36268944) Homepage
    The United States government is so corrupt that the only way they see it surviving is to use 1984 as a howto manual.

    As an American (hopefully not for that much longer), this is shameful. Every so-called patriot should be fighting against censorship and spying, in every form, yet both the "small government" republicans and "progressive" democrats are for this kind of crap.

    Welcome to the road to a third-world banana republic, America.
  • by bdsesq (515351) on Friday May 27, 2011 @07:51PM (#36268950)

    How about a culture where attempting to stigmatize people for your own gain is looked on as bad?
    Or one where openness and freedom of speech is looked upon as helpful?

    Does anyone with more than a room temperature IQ think the "bad guys" don't know the satellite orbits?

  • by 10am-bedtime (11106) on Friday May 27, 2011 @07:55PM (#36268984)

    Kind of opposite of "anonymous coward" is the "authenticated coward", which is what this "culture of restraint" will encourage. You are someone only if you don't say anything. Anyone who says something (not officially condoned) is a persona non grata.

    Yuck! Someone tag this Do Not Want, please.

  • You neglected to mention the most important 'government secret' that henceforth should not be allowed to be discussed in the open...

    A list of 'government secrets' that shouldn't be discussed in public.

    It is vital that we discourage people from mentioning these items, primarily so that we can attack anyone for anything at all.

    No, I am not being serious. This is a bad idea and should be fought against, fortunately it violates the first amendment, lets hope that means something still. Yeah Obama and transpar

  • Welcome to the Dystopian Future. Welcome and enjoy the fear. And if it all gets just wee little bit too much to handle, why we can just take a vacation in Brazil [wikipedia.org]. Just one thing: stay away from the libraries. They are full of subversive literature and free thinking. Can't have that now, can we? Anyway, once again, welcome. I have to run now, I'm off to the Animal Farm [wikipedia.org]. Cheers.
  • Better solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Friday May 27, 2011 @07:59PM (#36269038)
    How about we get a culture where things don't have to be leaked? Almost everyone who leaks something is doing so to attract public attention to a problem those responsible refuse to solve. If you institute a culture of "if someone brings a serious problem to your attention, you fix it, regardless of what it does to your bottom line or to your dignity", then leaking never needs to happen.

    PS: Yes, I saw some of the bizarrely paranoid things they suggest self-censorship for. That's just their culture of paranoia kicking in.
  • It makes no sense to me. You have by far the strongest military in the world. The USSR is gone. Ok, so there's China, but so far they have not made any seriously threatening moves. Who is left that is any threat?

    I know 9/11 left some big scars on the collective psyche but seriously, it's been 10 years, you invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, killed Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Surely there's been enough restitution?

    I worry that one day the rest of the world is going to have to unite against the US as

    • by gman003 (1693318)
      The military, at least, has reasons. Current US military training emphasizes the importance of battlefield information - terms like "information-centric warfare" are often bandied about. Essentially, they believe that the side with the better information and ability to exploit it will be victorious. (You see the same in business, now, with all sorts of customer information and statistics being used). Thus they also emphasize denying that information to your enemies. Thus, they have a "corporate culture" of
    • It makes no sense to me. You have by far the strongest military in the world. The USSR is gone. Ok, so there's China, but so far they have not made any seriously threatening moves. Who is left that is any threat?

      People who don't vote the same way you do.

    • by Mysteray (713473) on Friday May 27, 2011 @09:01PM (#36269566) Homepage

      It makes no sense to me. You have by far the strongest military in the world. The USSR is gone. Ok, so there's China, but so far they have not made any seriously threatening moves. Who is left that is any threat?

      The problem isn't so much the degree to which the threat is or isn't real. If they wanted to fabricate unreal threats, they could certainly do a better

      The problem is that there exists a truly massive security-industrial complex. For example, a huge percentage of the population within commuting distance of Washington DC have some kind of security clearance, and their employment depends on it, it's part of their social group, etc. Often these people have lived a relatively sheltered "whitebread" life, except for commonly military service in some place like Iraq. Their biggest worry is that they'll accidentally be friends with someone who'll be busted for pot and that will complicate up their security paperwork for the rest of their life. Sadly, these people are hard-pressed to understand America's freedoms, having renounced much of it for themselves.

      Large, highly profitable industries have arisen to service this part of the Federal budget. So they hire people and more people to fill more and more funded positions with names like "Analyst". They write papers which sometimes come out like this.

      Personally, I think this is one of the stupidest, most short-sighted, bits of analysis I've ever read. But it's important to contemplate how these things emerge from a process in which most or all of the people involved consider themselves to be doing the right thing for their country, career, employer, social circuit, etc..

    • by element-o.p. (939033) on Friday May 27, 2011 @09:03PM (#36269586) Homepage

      It makes no sense to me. You have by far the strongest military in the world. The USSR is gone. Ok, so there's China, but so far they have not made any seriously threatening moves. Who is left that is any threat?

      I know 9/11 left some big scars on the collective psyche but seriously, it's been 10 years, you invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, killed Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Surely there's been enough restitution?

      I worry that one day the rest of the world is going to have to unite against the US as you decide to pacify or nuke us all since we are deemed a threat to national security.

      The answer to your question is explained in a book I am currently reading called Jesus Wants to Save Christians [amazon.com] by Rob Bell. It's geared towards a religious audience, so if you aren't interested in that sort of thing, then you'll have to wade through a lot of writing that's off-topic for you. The gist of the answer is this: 1) America has more than enough. 2) When you have more than enough, you start building ways to protect what you have, lest someone else take it from you. 3) When you start fearing that others might take away what you have, you begin to divide the world into an "Us" and "Them." 4) You then begin to fear all of the "Thems" and begin oppressing them. FWIW, I think Bell is right, and it deeply disturbs me. I just don't know how much I can do to stop it. And, you are exactly on target about the fear we have in this nation, and how illogical it is. I wish I could get the rest of the U.S. to understand that.

      • The enemy within is the last enemy, but most people would rather invent enemies without than face the fact that they are their own worst enemy.

    • by jo42 (227475)

      "There is no profit in peace". Follow the money - who's getting filthy, stinking rich off of this faux 'at war' stance?

  • Obviously, that phrase has led us into the 10th circle of hell known as Amerikkka! (Yeah, that was sarcasm. But it was so hard not to parody everyone else on this thread.)
    • by Microlith (54737)

      We are not at war. Just remember that.

  • We are a nation of loudmouth dissenters. Especially the younger generations. Looks like the baby boomers might have trained us well after all. Well, then again, they also trained the authoritarian idiots in control.

  • Don't tell me that I'm the only one who was reminded of the classic posters during World War II: Loose lips sink ships!

  • Troll Article (Score:4, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:12PM (#36269172)

    A single analyst at a private company writes a paper, and now everyone pretends that it is the official policy of the US Government, 'cause by golly, we haven't had our two minutes hate yet today, and we need something to be outraged over!

    • by s-whs (959229)

      A single analyst at a private company writes a paper, and now everyone pretends that it is the official policy of the US Government, 'cause by golly, we haven't had our two minutes hate yet today, and we need something to be outraged over!

      Not at all, from the synopsis:

      The plan, described in the Naval Postgraduate School Homeland Security Affairs journal

      So, that means this nutter is given space for his perverted ideas in a journal for people working for the US military, and influencing them. This is bad unless there is a good commentary in the journal showing what an ass that guy is and how perverted his ideas are. But if they do that (sorry, can't be bothered to check: I'm betting they don't do it!) then they shouldn't really mention him

    • Re:Troll Article (Score:4, Informative)

      by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:40PM (#36269394) Homepage Journal

      SAIC is not exactly your typical private company. Like many such contracting companies, it's essentially a quasi-private arm of the US government, and it's deeply tied in with (among other things) the intelligence community. We should take this paper just as seriously as if, say, a CIA analyst had written it.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        But we don't take anything a CIA analyst writes seriously either. Or at least the US government doesn't. Otherwise we'd have known something was up before 9/11.

      • by artor3 (1344997)

        We should take this paper just as seriously as if, say, a CIA analyst had written it.

        I wouldn't take a paper by a single CIA analyst seriously either. Hell, even a proposal by a single congresscritter shouldn't be taken as the stance of the government. The only individuals important enough that their word should be taken as official policy are the President, the heads of various departments (Sec'y of State, Defense, etc., CIA Chief, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and so on) and maybe the Senate/House majority leaders.

        If Leon Panetta comes out tomorrow and endorses this paper, then we can grab the

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      A single analyst at a private company writes a paper, and now everyone pretends that it is the official policy of the US Government,

      No offense, but this is how things start.
      The PATRIOT Act is a collection of policy ideas and model legislation that were once considered fringe.
      And yet here we are re-re-passing that collection of intrusions without amendments or serious debate.

      A lot of bad ideas come out of think tanks and lobbying organizations, before being appropriated by politicians or government agencies.
      The best thing the public can do is express as much outrage as early as possible so that if anyone ever tries to bring crap like thi

      • by artor3 (1344997)

        The Patriot Act is the exception. Most papers written by desk jockeys never go anywhere.

        The best thing the public can do is express as much outrage as early as possible so that if anyone ever tries to bring crap like this up again, they'll remember the furor it caused the first time around.

        No, the best thing the public can do is actually be smart about who you vote for, instead of being a single issue voter, or voting for party over person. If you elect a fascist bastard, it won't matter if you later express outrage at his actions. Ask the folks in Wisconsin. (Yes, that law got cancelled, but only on a technicality.)

    • Re:Troll Article (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Bob9113 (14996) on Saturday May 28, 2011 @12:49AM (#36270872) Homepage

      > A single analyst at a private company in the employ of the United States government

      There -- fixed that for you. It does not have to be policy for it to be an affront to the sovereign citizens of this nation. It is an affront for our government to use our money to finance research into social manipulation -- particularly when the targets of that social manipulation include dissent regarding the operation of government programs.

      > 'cause by golly, we haven't had our two minutes hate yet today, and we need something to be outraged over!

      I am not sure if you are being serious, as that is a sterling example of using social stigma to suppress dissent. But I will respond to your statement as though it is a genuine supposition and not a mere caricature of the very topic under debate:

      What should strike you as more despicable is that at least two minutes worth of such offenses against our nation happen every day. This nation was founded on dissent, by dissenters, with the express purpose of encouraging and facilitating dissent as expressed in great detail in the Declaration and Constitution. That those sworn to defend those principles are instead using taxpayer money to fund research into the suppression of dissent is anathema to This Grand Experiment.

  • the original publication of these scary ideas this sure does make a nice "management summary" for them along with links !

    On a more positive note, at least it advocates persuading people to do the right thing. It's not unreasonable for the government to issue a statement along the lines of "if you can think of an attack vector, call us first on 1-800-RUA-CRANK". At least then they could publish any funny ones

  • Since when did discussion of censorship of any kind in a republic become fashionable?

    I immediately identified myself as an undesirable.

    Thank god to, I always thought I was a terrorist and chixs dig it!

    Hack

  • So now someone is promoting that it no longer be "see something, say something"?

    "See something, put your hands over your eyes and shut up" just doesn't have the same "zing".

  • How many times have we heard from the cable news or politicians, completely new and original ideas about how to wreak havoc against people, airports or government infrastructure that describe in enough detail that a teenager could follow the instructions and research the rest on their own.

    I honestly think that the fear and insecurity reaped from those efforts is much more damaging than anything Bruce Schneier has to say.

  • ...who create goverment secrets?
  • Contact Us
    We encourage you to contact us via the online resources listed below for a quick response. Have a general question concerning SAIC, but down't know who to contact? Call us at 703 676 4300

    http://www.saic.com/contact/contact_community_relations.asp [saic.com]

    Ethics concerns: 1-800-435-4324
    Main business number: 1-800-430-7629

    Snail mail:

    SAIC
    1710 SAIC Drive
    McLean VA
    22102

    --------------
    They encourage you to contact them.

    Have fun.

    --
    BMO

    • by bmo (77928)

      Well, damn, I should have used the preview

      That's 800 435 4234, not 4324, for "Ethics Concerns"

      --
      BMO

  • by b4upoo (166390)

    This is dangerous. They act as if government and everyone else must be like a high school cheerleader.
    I do understand that the national economy and ultimately even national security are linked to the happiness of the general public. Business raises revenues and money and arms are both dependent upon people dashing about in a blissful state of ignorance.
    The problem is that at the end of the road we end

  • North Korea. China. Myanmar. Saudi Arabia. Singapore. Cuba. Russia. Zimbabwe. Syria. Iran.

    Now that you have the idea, you can add any other place where there are no effective civil rights.

    There are people in the US government to want to add the US to this list. You're known by the company you keep.

  • ... the SAIC is going to act like a bunch of stuck up valley girls.

    Whatever.

  • An SAIC analyst has written a paper [PDF] calling for the 'stigmatization' of the 'unattractive' types who tend to discuss government secrets in public.

    ... to "go fuck themselves and the horse on which they rode in". The things mentioned in TFS are not government secrets. The government might *wish* them to be secret, but that would be to the detriment of the people. Shining a light on such things only embarrasses the government - as they should.

  • I do security for a mid-sized university.

    You shouldn't trust my opinion any more than you should trust this guy's opinion. What good is security if you can't make up your own mind?

    That's the fundamental problem with secrecy. You can't have security if you can't do meaningful evaluations. Secrecy blinds evaluation. Secrecy isolates security from it's community.

    Is the US so dependent on secrecy that we must sacrifice security to have secrecy?

    Miles

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