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USA Today Names Edward Snowden Tech Person of the Year 228

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the things-to-do-before-you're-thirty dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from the USA Today tech column: "...But until a lone information-technology contractor named Edward Snowden leaked a trove of National Security Agency documents to the media this summer, we didn't know just how much we'd surrendered. Now that we do, our nation can have a healthy debate — out in the open, as a democracy should debate — about how good a bargain we got in that exchange. For facilitating that debate, at great risk to his own personal liberty, Snowden is this column's technology person of the year for 2013."
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USA Today Names Edward Snowden Tech Person of the Year

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  • by MrBigInThePants (624986) on Monday December 30, 2013 @09:59PM (#45824837)

    The internet being what it is I am rendered unable to decide whether this is sarcasm, irony and/or a troll.

    So I decided to investigate what else you have written in an attempt to solve this mystery. I don't know as yet WHY I did this as I really don't give a flying fuck what your motivations are so that mystery will have to wait until I see my therapist next.

    You have many posts listed as flamebait etc but also many listed positively.

    So it appears you are very good at generating strong reactions from others. Unfortunately this does not really answer my original question.

    However comments such as this: "lol Euro-weenies always finding an excuse to lick boot"

    and this: "Conviction should be quashed and a full "royal" apology from the inbred German layabouts in Buckingham palace."

    Lead me to finally decide that, based on a balance of probabilities, you are indeed a troll in this instance but, unlike other species of troll, actually possess the capability to write sensible and thought provoking comments. This does not make your trolling here better, but worse.

    So shame on you.

  • Ironic, then that it was USA Today who first broke the story about NSA warrantless wiretapping and phone metadata collection ***in 2006***

    NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls [usatoday.com]

    From that article, again, this was REPORTED BY USATODAY IN 2006:

    The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.
    The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime

    Snowden is a dupe at best...he's probably being blackmailed...but assuming the best, any way you look at the situation, he was duped by high-level criminals or foreign governments, or both, into doing this.

    He's probably being blackmailed. He's not a free man in Russia. All the reports indicate he's essentially in jail when not being paraded in front of reporters.

    Again...this info was reported by USA Today itself...in 2006...Snowden just gave operational details.

    The "national conversation" about privacy could have happened w/o Snowden releasing that info. We US citizens could have demanded more transparency w/o Snowden releasing this info...

    Because...we already knew it was happening. Snowden told us it was called 'Prism'

    Even Senator Ron Wyden was sounding alarms on the Senate floor, before Snowden's document release....this from 2011: Senators Say Patriot Act Is Being Misinterpreted [nytimes.com]. Remember the PATRIOT ACT people?

    One last time, as my first link shows, the USA Today reported on the NSA phone meta-data program with significant details **in 2006**

  • by gweihir (88907) on Monday December 30, 2013 @10:51PM (#45825215)

    Indeed. But these two can now take some comfort in the fact that they allowed Snowden to see that official channels do not work. There never is only a lonely hero, there is always a need for some people to prepare the way. And humanity has never been kind or thankful to its heroes either. But I think Snowden understands that.

  • Read moar (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 30, 2013 @11:59PM (#45825687)
    It's called documentary evidence: Hersch is "certain that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden "changed the whole nature of the debate" about surveillance. Hersh says he and other journalists had written about surveillance, but Snowden was significant because he provided documentary evidence. "Editors love documents. Chicken-shit editors who wouldn't touch stories like that, they love documents, so he changed the whole ball game,"" http://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2013/sep/27/seymour-hersh-obama-nsa-american-media [theguardian.com]
  • by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @12:31AM (#45825917)

    I don't think you or the OP of this particular thread gets it at *all*.

    It's not that we now know about the NSA and what they were doing. We most certainly did.

    It's that we have FUCKING PROOF.

    In 2006, I was saying much the same things. I had high hopes for Obama because I honestly thought he was going to give us justice over some of that telco bullshit. Of course not. I was naive.

    What Snowden has done, and deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for, is give me CREDIBILITY.

    Now when I have a calm, not so agitated, san tin-foil conversation with somebody now about security, I get taken seriously.

    I'm being asked right now what it would take to raise the level of security for several companies. What chat software could we use that is heavily encrypted? What should we be doing to vet hardware?

    Most of it is of course executives wanting their conversations to be discrete so it can't be used against them, but that is progress nonetheless...

    At the very least now when I talk about mass surveillance I don't see rolled eyes and skepticism. I have their attention.

    Thanks Snowden.

  • by deconfliction (3458895) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @04:20AM (#45826817)

    Gitmo is full of really dangerous and nasty people who were most likely plotting to murder innocents for the cause of religious zealotry.

    That is a load of complete and utter bullshit. If I wanted to spend 5 minutes netsearching mainstream sources I could easily refute that. GITMO is filled with political prisoners, that have long since paid for their crime. Even if every one of them had Osama Bin Laden's bloodlust to kill innocent U.S. citizens, freeing them all would still be an enhancement to the long term security and liberty of U.S. citizens. Holding the GITMO detainees as we have, and I might add 4 years beyond Obama's day 1 in office signed pledge to get them the hell away from GITMO, ... holding them there is an absolute stain on the nation of the United States of America the likes of which only the terrabytes of revelations of Snowden can compete with.

Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce

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