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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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  • 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.

  • 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 elucido (870205) * on Friday May 27, 2011 @07:52PM (#36268960)

    Snitching = bad. Right?

    It's not hard to stigmatize snitching. It's already universally recognized as bad by everybody who doesn't work for government and who isn't a cop. And the cops only think it's good when the snitches are working for them. So basically governments don't like being snitched on, but so what? Governments are the ones funding the informants and snitching by offering prizes in cash to the biggest leaker/informant/snitch.

    And governments don't have a problem trying to use morality to convince people it's right to leak when it's to them. Suddenly it's your civic duty to help the FBI solve it's crimes, or to turn on your friend to help law enforcement, but if it's the other way around and someone within the FBI reports crimes going on to the media, suddenly it's snitching again.

    It's the blue code of silence. So we have to decide whether or not leaking = snitching.
    If leaking != snitching, then why would leaking be wrong? Why should any of us care about government agendas if we don't work for them?

    Why should Bruce or Bob or Alice care about the governments private agenda? We don't know about it, so we don't have any responsibility. Also we haven't taken an oath. And finally, it's a matter of does the government care about the agenda of individuals when they are out to make arrests or conduct whatever operations? I highly doubt they would.

    So lets have the debate. How much leaking is too much? When does leaking become snitching? And what are the effects of a leak or snitch culture vs a culture of secrecy? It's not like these questions have been fully discussed. So lets ask them.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • by drsparkly (65767) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:01PM (#36269052) 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.

  • Re:tags (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:05PM (#36269098) Homepage Journal

    Well, I guess Matt Blaze [crypto.com] won't fit into this brave, new world, Mr. and Mrs. AmeriKKKa.

    This is a proposal for better security through psychological denial and cognitive dissonance.

    As such, it fulfils the "Ignorance is Strength" part of the equation, which already has it's "War is Peace" and "Freedom is Slavery" components well under way. So begins the formalisation of thoughtcrime - through state promotion of doublethink.

    The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. Doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

    -- Part II, Chapter IX - The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism

  • by elucido (870205) * on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:06PM (#36269102)

    It's not just the US government. All governments act the same way and promote secrecy among their employees but don't want citizens to have any secrets and promote informing and transparency among civilians. So basically this is a matter of the military and
    other law enforcement factions wanting to keep secrets, which they can use, but they don't want any of us to be able to keep secrets from them because they have to enforce the law and protect themselves from us (the terrorist civilians).

    So why would we want to help keep their secrets? Whats in it for you or me to not discuss something when we don't work for them?
    To put it more basic, whats in it for you or me to work with the government if the government isn't paying us to do it?

    And if the government is willing to pay people then they can just pay for a clearance and do it properly. This looks like they want to have the
    benefits of a security clearance without actually paying for it. So for example government employees cannot discuss wikileaks, or government secrets, but we aren't government employees. We didn't take an oath, and we don't have a security clearance to protect, so what right does the government have to censor our speech?

    It's like if Microsoft or Sony were to try to enforce an NDA on users of the software rather than on developers. the user shouldn't be subjected
    to an NDA but the developers are getting paid by Microsoft and Sony and signed the NDA, they can be subjected to it.

    Basically this is like Microsoft and Sony deciding they don't want to bother with making people sign NDA's, people are just supposed to culturally embrace the NDA like some sort of mafia omerta. Honestly it's a fatuous idea but I suspect they will try to implement it.

     

  • 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!

  • Re:tags (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:18PM (#36269222) Homepage Journal

    We can avoid the possibility of terrorists trying to destroy a free and open society, by eliminating the free and open element - therefore removing attractiveness as a target.

  • by elucido (870205) * on Friday May 27, 2011 @09:02PM (#36269582)

    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 a snitch because he leaked in a way which made fellow soldiers look bad. But to civilians Bradley Manning is not going to be a snitch, but a leaker, or whistleblower. And to Bradley Mannings group that he is loyal to, if he has one, he is a hero.

    So basically if your informant gives you the secrets of your enemy, thats a spy not a snitch. If your informant however turns around and gives your secrets to the enemy, thats a snitch. It has to do with the social network and social relation between the individuals involved. Two criminals who commit a crime together or who both benefit from a crime, if one reports on the other, the defector is a snitch. This is not the same thing as if they are sworn enemies fighting each other and they spy on each other. The difference being that spies can have loyalty to their group or their side and be acting out of absolute loyalty, while the snitch does not have loyalty to any side.

    What the governments see us all as, is potential informants, snitches, terrorist, or something in between. Governments do not promote loyalty, and promote snitching to begin with, but when it finally starts to negatively affect them and their interests then they want to push civic duties onto us. It's real simple, the government wants useful idiots who they can manipulate into taking on responsibilities without being paid to do it. So now security researchers cannot release the details of their exploit to the media and take credit because they fear they could be labeled a snitch by the government?

    Only that is not snitching because they weren't told government secrets. They don't work for the government. They don't have to be loyal to an entity they never swore an oath to. This is not a complicated case such as with Bradley Manning where we don't know what he knew or didn't know so we cannot know who is right between him and the government. This is civilians, people like you and me, and it is clear I'm on the side of civilians.

    This means while I would not release information which would hurt civilians, I don't have some sort of civic duty to protect the feds who don't act like or consider themselves to be civilians. They are their own group, they act like their own group, and would certainly exploit me given the opportunity.

    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.

    This is common sense. But which group is the group making the most use of snitches? The government. And which group complains the most about leakers/snitches? The government. So why would I have sympathy if they are complaining about a culture they helped to create? And why should I believe in the concept of civic duty? My civic duty if I choose to believe in such a concept is to civilians, not drug warriors, not cops, not soldiers, but civilians, because I'm a civilian.

    This means when certain stuff gets leaked to the media that details about how governments are abusing civilians, I'm going to side with civil

  • Actually... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by denzacar (181829) on Friday May 27, 2011 @09:26PM (#36269744) Journal

    It is nothing as differentiated as that.

    "Snitch" is simply a pejorative term for someone who for whatever reason(s) breaks a social contract regarding secrecy, written or unwritten, that he/she had with other person(s), or that other person(s) thought that they had.
    Regardless of the nature of the secret one is disclosing, and to whom it is disclosed to, one is always seen as a "snitch" by the party whose secret(s) are being revealed.

    Others might label "the snitch" an informant, an insider, a whistle-blower, an inside source, a concerned citizen, a witness, a patriot, a man of honor and integrity...
    Or a hacker, a thief, a spy, a traitor, a criminal, a terrorist, a lowlife who would sell out his/her own mother...
    But he/she will always be a snitch to those whose secrets he/she is revealing to the third party.

    The term is SO precise and determined you may just as well use "asshole" instead. Or "cunt".
    It's simply a bad word for the people you don't like cause they tell on you.

  • Re:Actually... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elucido (870205) * on Friday May 27, 2011 @09:41PM (#36269850)

    It is nothing as differentiated as that.

    "Snitch" is simply a pejorative term for someone who for whatever reason(s) breaks a social contract regarding secrecy, written or unwritten, that he/she had with other person(s), or that other person(s) thought that they had.
    Regardless of the nature of the secret one is disclosing, and to whom it is disclosed to, one is always seen as a "snitch" by the party whose secret(s) are being revealed.

    Others might label "the snitch" an informant, an insider, a whistle-blower, an inside source, a concerned citizen, a witness, a patriot, a man of honor and integrity...
    Or a hacker, a thief, a spy, a traitor, a criminal, a terrorist, a lowlife who would sell out his/her own mother...
    But he/she will always be a snitch to those whose secrets he/she is revealing to the third party.

    The term is SO precise and determined you may just as well use "asshole" instead. Or "cunt".
    It's simply a bad word for the people you don't like cause they tell on you.

    There is a key difference. A snitch is a former member of one group who spills the group secrets (typically for personal gain).
    Another more accurate word for a snitch is a sellout. Nobody likes a sellout.

    On the other hand if you never were a member of the group you hacked, such as if you are a member of a rival group and you target the enemy group, thats not snitching and theres really no basis from which to make that person out to be a snitch. That could be spying, but its certainly not snitching because you were always the enemy and always loyal to your original group.

  • 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.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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