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Unintended Consequences: How NSA Revelations May Lead To Even More Surveillance 207

Posted by timothy
from the can't-beat-this-horse-deader-without-more-whips dept.
Lauren Weinstein writes with a slightly depressing end-of-year prediction. An excerpt: "This then may be the ultimate irony in this surveillance saga. Despite the current flood of protests, recriminations, and embarrassments — and even a bit of legal jeopardy — intelligence services around the world (including especially NSA) may come to find that Edward Snowden's actions, by pushing into the sunlight the programs whose very existence had long been dim, dark, or denied — may turn out over time to be the greatest boost to domestic surveillance since the invention of the transistor."
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Unintended Consequences: How NSA Revelations May Lead To Even More Surveillance

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  • Does it matter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:18AM (#45817151)

    Nobody will want to have anything to do with USA. Have fun on your own. Just stay where you are and don't come here, ok?

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:28AM (#45817197) Journal

    Nobody will want to have anything to do with USA

    It's not about USA per se.

    The entire thing is actually a reflection of the arrogance of those so-called "UNTOUCHABLES"

    They do not need to face the voters once every x-number of years, nor they need to answer to anyone.

    They are the bureaucrats, the non-elected bureaucrats that have grabbed hold of power through the back door method.

    Even the TFA itself is full of shit.

    If the net-surveillance scheme that has been exposed by Snowden is like giving the NSA (or any other spook organization) a blank check on what they do, we might as well stop catching murderers/rapers, and let them go on raping / murdering even more people, at will.

  • Re:Truism (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:29AM (#45817203)

    Everybody is beginning to care about privacy, not only the few who were awake before.

    Everybody is too busy drinking beer and watching TV to care about what you think everybody should care about.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:32AM (#45817223) Journal

    Snowden's job was to incite outrage, soon after which the public would grow tired of outrage, settle down, and learn to get used to business as usual.

    If you want to bend over and getting the shaft, hey, please do it privately.

    I'd wager that there won't be too many people like you, happy to be "shagged" by NSA (or any other spooks)

  • Re:Does it matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ranulf (182665) on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:37AM (#45817239)

    Nonsense. People in general don't care about in privacy, right up to the point where it suddenly works against them. It's just the laziness and apatheticness of human nature. It'll take a lot more than these leaks before people are really enraged, because at the moment everyone is still happy that "it's catching terrorists".

    It's just another example of "First they came..." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_ [wikipedia.org]...

  • I'm up next (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paiute (550198) on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:41AM (#45817265)
    Coming up on Slashdot, a link to my poorly-written ramblings on my obscure blog of someone you have never heard of.
  • Re:Does it matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:54AM (#45817313)

    First they came for the terrorists, and I didn't care because I wasn't a terrorist. Then they called me a terrorist, and nobody cared because I was a terrorist. I hear rumors that some people might consider becoming enraged someday, but enraged people are terrorists and nobody listens to terrorists.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 30, 2013 @07:54AM (#45817319)

    I'd wager that the NSA are happy with Snowden's activities, as they've found out that the majority of people don't give a fuck, and of the minority who do, hardly any are actually taking action.

    The primary outcome of Snowden is a carte blanche to the state, and the particular businesses on behalf of which it works, to do whatever the fuck it wants.

  • Re:Does it matter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by flyneye (84093) on Monday December 30, 2013 @08:09AM (#45817369) Homepage

    Bullshit. People do care about privacy, Im one of them.
    What do you want, revolution?
    This administration wont last forever, whether its just a couple years, impeachment, or stroke.
    A big issue next election will be privacy. Dont count on the Dem side of the Repubmocrat party to hold the throne, though.
    People have had enough of Omama, just like they had enough of Nixon. Hes just running on momentum and imagination, as it is.
    Im going to make a prediction, he will be the first president to move out of the U.S.

  • Re:Does it matter (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 30, 2013 @08:24AM (#45817407)

    A big issue next election will be privacy.

    By the time of the next election, no one will remember who Snowden was, and the big issue will be whether to elect a woman or a homosexual.

  • In your dreams (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 30, 2013 @08:38AM (#45817457)

    A big issue next election will be privacy.

    No it won't.

    The next election is going to be the same old bullshit issues: gay marriage, abortion, "when life begins", taxes, guns, Israel and a couple of other distraction issues that Rush and Fox News create.

    The nutty conservative fringe - I'm not talking about rational conservatives who want to put checks on government power and spending - I'm talking mostly about social conservatives who want government to regulate what one does behind closed doors. They seem to be driving the talking points in elections because they are the most shrill and irrational.

    Acid test: if a minister (Warren or whoever) gets quoted about an issue, then it's a distraction issue.

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:06AM (#45817577)

    Let me tell you how this may really backfire on the US.

    All those greedy leaders of multi-national companies that have spent hundreds of millions on armies of lobbyists to manipulate Congress and lawmakers to make hundreds of billions in revenue are now going to start feeling the sting as they start losing business.

    You think this has to do with the average citizen dealing with privacy issues as the NSA snoops in? Like Boeing could give a shit right now about you as they've lost a multi-billion dollar contract. This has to do with greed. Always has. And to ensure those greedy leaders maintain their revenue streams, they WILL start putting pressure on Congress and lawmakers to stop the bleeding and contain this as best as possible. If that means re-gaining the trust of other countries by dismantling surveillance programs, then that may be what happens. If it means impeaching a President, then that may be what happens.

    Congress has not been under the control of the American voter for a very long time. Lobbyists control our government and laws, driven by greed, which is all-powerful. When business losses start climbing up into the hundreds of billions and unemployment rockets to 15% due to all of this, change will happen. Greed will ensure it.

  • Re:Does it matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:39AM (#45817765) Homepage Journal

    Soapbox, ballot box, ammo box - prescribed in that order.

    How many letters to the White House have you sent?
    How many times have you written to your congress critters?
    How many of your friends, relatives, and acquaintances have you educated, relative to these issues?
    Are you speaking to your children and their friends?
    Have you encouraged all of those friends, relatives, acquiantances, and children to write to the PTB?
    Have you involved your state representatives in the discussion?
    Have you approached your local representatives?

    I promise you that if you consider the issue to be an administrative issue, you're in for a rude awakening. It isn't Obama - it is GOVERNMENT. Obama may be a rather large and obvious cog in the machine, but he is still just a cog.

  • by TheCarp (96830) <[ten.tenaprac] [ta] [cjs]> on Monday December 30, 2013 @10:29AM (#45818121) Homepage

    > 9/11 occured because intelligence folks thought that wire tapping was good enough

    Which is odd, I could have sworn it happened because a criminal group that wanted to make big headlines planned something that nobody really should have expected.

    There is also with that an implicit (and also incorrect) assumption that 9/11 was some sort of existential threat that we needed to be protected from; when the reality is it was little more than one of the the most brutal tragic publicity stunts ever by a group that had no hope of ever harming us as much as we harm ourselves in response to them....little more than a peanut to an over-active immune response.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 30, 2013 @10:35AM (#45818185)

    9/11 occured because intelligence folks thought that wire tapping was good enough.

    It happened because of signal to noise ratio. The feds were aware of the guys who did it, the problem is that they were also aware of a thousand other potential threats. Every day they wake up with the task of finding a needle in a haystack, and their line of thought seems to be "search every haystack to increase the chances of finding a needle."

  • Re:Does it matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday December 30, 2013 @10:48AM (#45818285) Homepage Journal

    Not even a close comparison? Really?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_and_the_Holocaust [wikipedia.org]

    Adolph chose to tabulate data that was largely based on race and ethnic criteria. The US government is tabulating data based on other criteria. The US really isn't very "racist" anymore, so it may be safe to ASSume that they won't go after citizens based on ethnic and racial grounds. But - they do keep tabs on race, religion, ethnicity, age - EVERYTHING.

    The US government certainly won't round up tens or hundreds of thousands of people in each state based on race. Instead, they will round up TERRORISTS.

    Let us examine that term, "terrorist". http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005 [fbi.gov]
    Definitions

    There is no single, universally accepted, definition of terrorism. Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).

    The FBI further describes terrorism as either domestic or international, depending on the origin, base, and objectives of the terrorist organization. For the purpose of this report, the FBI will use the following definitions:

    Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.
    International terrorism involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any state. These acts appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping. International terrorist acts occur outside the United States or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to coerce or intimidate, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.

    I have heard a lot of people described as terrorists. Edward Snowden immediately comes to mind. Check up on the incident at Ruby Ridge. And, the one at Waco, Tx. Over the years, a lot of people with a political agenda have been described as "terrorists". Funny - an awful lot of those persons have never used a weapon against another human being.

    The US is most certainly engaged in some of the same activities that Hitler's Germany engaged in, in the 1930's.

    I can only extrapolate from the facts where the government MIGHT be headed with all this information.

    We also know for certain that the United States has an industry based on imprisoning people for profit. We already imprison more people than all the rest of the world. We imprison people for some awfully stupid reasons - like toking on a joint. Or growing plants. Or, "distributing" copyrighted material. For looking at pictures which other people disapprove of. For supporting movements deemed to be "terroristic" by the government. For possessing a firearm or other weapon.

    You go on and stick your head in the sand. Ignore what is happening around you. Some of the rest of us will continue to sound the alarm. For many of us, it is alarming that the government can intrude into our private communications, and cherry pick our words to build a case of terrorism against us. But, you need not be alarmed - all you need to do, is keep drinking that Kool-Aid. Keep your head down, and don't think any "treasonous" thoughts. Don't make any friends who might have "terroristic" ideas. You'll be perfectly fine - until you're not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 30, 2013 @11:58AM (#45818799)

    9/11 happened because our chickens came home to roost so to speak. Decades of raping,robbing, and pillaging the middle east caused 9/11. The destroying of families, cultures, livelihoods, etc.. in the name of power and greed caused 9/11. Our arrogance prevented us from stopping it before it happened. No amount of security or degradation of the US Constitution, to trample our rights, is going to stop it. What will stop it? I don't know, but I think ending unjust wars, putting politicians, and greedy executives in prison, holding leaders accountable, and standing united with our human brothers and sisters (whether black, white, brown, Muslim, Christian, American, Iranian, Palestinian, whatever) against tyrannical governments and greedy corporations and banks. Obviously this is an ideology that will never come to pass, and if history show us anything, is that when you remove corruption more if it just takes its place. Since the dawn of man, there has always been people seeking fortune and power and will stop at nothing to achieve it. The ones that succeed seem to be masters at keeping us divided.

    Wiretapping is not a cause of anything, just an unfortunate consequence of people in power needing to stay in power.

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