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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers 230

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-on-non-human-rights-workers dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "The Guardian reports that according to Edward Snowden, the NSA has spied on the staff of prominent human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. 'The NSA has specifically targeted either leaders or staff members in a number of civil and non-governmental organizations including domestically within the borders of the United States.' Snowden, addressing the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, said he did not believe the NSA was engaged in 'nightmare scenarios,' such as the active compilation of a list of homosexuals 'to round them up and send them into camps.' But he did say that the infrastructure allowing this to happen had been built.

Snowden made clear that he believed in legitimate intelligence operations but said the NSA should abandon its electronic surveillance of entire civilian populations. Instead, Snowden said, it should go back to the traditional model of eavesdropping against specific targets, such as 'North Korea, terrorists, cyber-actors, or anyone else.' Snowden also urged members of the Council of Europe to encrypt their personal communications and said that encryption, used properly, could still withstand 'brute force attacks' from powerful spy agencies and others. 'Properly implemented algorithms backed up by truly random keys of significant length all require more energy to decrypt than exists in the universe.'"
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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

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  • Outrage fatigue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Harry8 (664596) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @05:45PM (#46699695)
    Do you think that the reason barricades have not been stormed and every congressperson is not running scared from all responsibility, knowledge etc is because it's another thing with a computer in it so the brain has dropped out of the ear? Same thing as public service spending billions on a solution that boils down to a 286 with a whole lot of workarounds. People stop thinking as soon as "with a computer" is in the sentence? I don't know, I can't fathom it I'm wildly advancing theories to explain how the USA achieved the USSR's wet dream of surveillance and it has less impact on policy than if a pop star got naked on prime time television.
    • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @05:54PM (#46699785)

      No, it's because ordinary people in this country want to make sure the people in charge of protecting us are keeping track of our enemies, like these "human rights" groups. You may think I'm trolling, but this really is the way ordinary people think. Ask your parents.

      • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Livius (318358) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @06:02PM (#46699875)

        ...this really is the way ordinary people think.

        Ordinary people are very mistaken but sadly, yes, this is the way they think.

        • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:5, Insightful)

          by amiga3D (567632) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @06:10PM (#46699941)

          Actually the main problem I see with this is how ineffective it makes the NSA. If you spy on every damn thing then there is no way you can adequately cover the important things. This wide area net makes for an incredible amount of holes which is why they suck so badly at real intelligence. We need them on point, not spying on 7 billion people.

          • by mmell (832646)
            It's like making hashish - start with a coarse filter, run it through a medium-mesh filter, then finally through a fine filter. The stuff caught in the fine filter is what you're after.

            A friend of mine in the Army once told me that we shared a capacity for emitting voluminous streams of fine-filtered bullshit, and that he felt sorry for the bulk of humanity who did not have fine filters like ours. NSA certainly has fine filters, which they use to watch guys like me. :)

          • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:5, Interesting)

            by blahplusplus (757119) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:11PM (#46701137)

            "Actually the main problem I see with this is how ineffective it makes the NSA."

            You assume that the NSA's real job is to "deal with enemies" and not enhance the profits of those who benefit from the NSA's existence.

          • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:5, Interesting)

            by AlanObject (3603453) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:14PM (#46701161)

            If you spy on every damn thing then there is no way you can adequately cover the important things.

            I don't agree with this -- they are taking the same approach that I would have taken given their mission statement. They want to collect everything then go through it later when a need arises. This is sound engineering and it can be effective law enforcement. Anyone can think of many scenarios where it would be desirable if not vital to track back what an identified person has been doing for the last 30 days.

            The flaw is their assumption that nobody should mind having everything about them recorded as long as nothing but a computer program looks at it. After all I have to show my ID to police on request and the requirement on their side is that they don't do it arbitrarily. The NSA officials see what they are doing is the exact same thing. The flaw with that is of course I have no idea what NSA is doing or has done with the data they have already taken with me. Nor do you. Nor anyone. Their "internal procedures" to prevent abuse have been shown to be not trustworthy.

            So NSA is on a track where they are sound technically, but way off legally and ethically.

            • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:5, Interesting)

              by flaming error (1041742) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:41PM (#46701347) Journal
              AlanObject says:

              the same approach that I would have taken given their mission statement

              What "mission statement"? This? [nsa.gov]

              Collect (including through clandestine means), process, analyze, produce, and disseminate signals intelligence information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes to support national and departmental missions;

              GP is right. They can't process and analyze as much data as they collect, so they don't produce useful intelligence.

              They want to collect everything then go through it later when a need arises

              That's forensics, not intelligence.

              So NSA is on a track where they are sound technically, but way off legally and ethically.

              Just curious - if they are way off ethically and morally, why would you take that same approach?

              • by jma05 (897351)

                > Just curious - if they are way off ethically and morally, why would you take that same approach?

                Three words: Stanford Prison Experiment.

                People, all of us, you and I included, suck at morality, when not given critical feedback from time to time. When tossed into a bubble of stress, where critical peer review is absent, we all try to be efficient towards perceived goals, while losing our moral compasses as peripheral concerns. There is a reason we have Institutional Review Boards for research. Well-meani

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              The flaw is their assumption that nobody should mind having everything about them recorded as long as nothing but a computer program looks at it.

              This is touches an interesting subject I have seen reoccurring in articles occurring on Slashdot.
              It appears as if people think that actions should be legally different when automated instead of manually done.
              When Facebook served ads encouraging a minor to take up nude modelling it was not considered a criminal act because it was automated and unverified.
              When Sony claimed the copyright on Sintel and shut down the original version from Blender it was not looked upon as a copyright infringement because it was

          • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Trailer Trash (60756) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:19PM (#46701201) Homepage

            Actually the main problem I see with this is how ineffective it makes the NSA. If you spy on every damn thing then there is no way you can adequately cover the important things. This wide area net makes for an incredible amount of holes which is why they suck so badly at real intelligence. We need them on point, not spying on 7 billion people.

            This. It's amazing - fucking amazing - that while the NSA was busy spying on Americans Putin was able to invade the Ukraine and surprise us. Like, gee, maybe listening to grandma's phone calls doesn't make us safer. Who'd a thunk it?

            I don't mind us having a spy operation. Really. But we didn't catch the Boston bomber, didn't know Putin was going to invade Crimea until he was there. What, exactly, are we paying for here?

            • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:4, Interesting)

              by camperdave (969942) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @11:21PM (#46701815) Journal

              It's amazing - fucking amazing - that while the NSA was busy spying on Americans Putin was able to invade the Ukraine and surprise us.

              You may have been surprised, but who says the invaion of Ukraine was a surprise to the joint chiefs?

              • by amiga3D (567632)

                If they weren't surprised then they sure looked like it. A good job at pretending to be caught off guard, inept and bumbling.

                • It's comments like this that remind me that all the people who think they're so much smarter then everyone else, are exactly as pliable as the "masses" they think they're smarter than.

            • by dbIII (701233)
              They either didn't see the Arab spring thing coming or didn't pass it on as well, despite the large number of people involved and some press items.
          • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:4, Informative)

            by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @11:28PM (#46701881)
            A shining example from another agency is when a lot of Farsi speakers were fired just as more interest was being taken in Iran and automatic translation was relied on to a greater extent.
            This of course was seen as a very stupid idea even back in the 1960s - a Desmond Bagley spy novel had an example of "hydraulic ram" coming back from translation as "water sheep" as a reason for human intelligence instead of signal processing intelligence.
      • by jythie (914043)
        Or at minimal, enough ordinary people. Plenty on slashdot for that matter, lots of people in the middle class dislike human rights groups, well, lots of middle class white males hate them at least.
      • I'm not taking a side on the greater question, but it is **typical** for successful criminal operations to use non-profits as front organizations

        Investigating a non-profit **could** be justified, given a proper warrant with evidence of course.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          More realistically, as a results of political appointees, government agencies were targeted all groups that opposed the current political parties administration propaganda, this under the excuse of political party mandate, a blatant lie. Politicians are elected to represent the public, not a mandate to rule. This idea of mandate to rule is to allow the stretch of opposing the current administration political party policy to become treason against the rulers of the country. In turn this extends to the corpo

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @05:54PM (#46699789) Homepage Journal

      I was going to read all of this post, but someone mentioned Game of Thrones and I was temporarily distracted.

    • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @06:10PM (#46699945)

      Do you think that the reason barricades have not been stormed and every congressperson is not running scared from all responsibility, knowledge etc is because it's another thing with a computer in it so the brain has dropped out of the ear? Same thing as public service spending billions on a solution that boils down to a 286 with a whole lot of workarounds. People stop thinking as soon as "with a computer" is in the sentence? I don't know, I can't fathom it I'm wildly advancing theories to explain how the USA achieved the USSR's wet dream of surveillance and it has less impact on policy than if a pop star got naked on prime time television.

      The reason is--and I know most people here don't want to hear this which is why I am posting anonymously--is because the Slashdot opinion on this is the minority opinion in the country. The vast majority of Americans are either okay with this, ambivalent about it, or are not angry enough to do anything about it. There have been repeated polls that have shown this--I would link to some but I am still at work and my break is almost over.

      Also, in this particular article he provides no evidence of his claim. Past Snowden stories were based on leaked documents while this is just a simple claim. I am skeptical of this particular claim. Given the huge volume of documents, it's hard to believe he doesn't have a single one that supports this claim.

      • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:4, Interesting)

        by znrt (2424692) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @06:37PM (#46700181)

        it actually smells like veiled propaganda. the naive, 'ordinary people oriented' enfasis on encryption seems to seek regaining trust in commonly used crypto we know might very well be compromised. 'North Korea, terrorists, cyber-actors' are just classical bait words. 'or anyone else' is just scary because whilst apparently warning against nsa, it automatically entitles them to decide that anyone is targetable. and the reference to "the members of the council of europe' is plain hilarous.

        did this bs really come from snowden?

      • The vast majority of Americans are either okay with this, ambivalent about it, or are not angry enough to do anything about it.

        I would have to say I pretty near fall into that category. I'm not angry enough to do much about it. I'll vote for a different candidate next time, but at the moment it doesn't bother me enough to go into the streets or do anything but complain on the internet. And that's because I like complaining.

        Maybe I should be worried enough to go out and protest, but I'm not.

    • by NoKaOi (1415755)

      Two primary reasons:
      1. Most people don't care because they don't think it affects them, you know the whole "first they came for..." thing. If they think it doesn't affect them, then they're more interested in Justin Bieber than things that confuse them.
      2. For most of the people who do care, they feel there's nothing more they can do but write comments on /. Did other protests affect change? How about the Occupy thing? If a million people gathered in front of the capital building to protest, do you think

    • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @07:41PM (#46700629) Homepage Journal

      Do you think that the reason barricades have not been stormed and every congressperson is not running scared from all responsibility, knowledge etc is because it's another thing with a computer in it so the brain has dropped out of the ear?

      No. It's because people are so busy just trying to survive that they're too worn out to storm any barricades.

      This is by design. The elite know very well that you can only exploit people so long before they start breaking the china, so loss in real income and the decline in standard of living for most people is absolutely being done on purpose.

      Also note the ramping up of a ubiquitous surveillance state and the militarization of local police forces. They're really worried that people are a lot closer to revolt than anyone cares to admit.

      The reason the NSA story is such a scandal is because of the domestic aspects. Few people care if the US is spying on foreigners, but when they find out that some grimy bureaucrat is upskirting their personal information and communications, it makes them crazy.

      This is also why you're seeing a massive movement in many states to suppress voter turnout, to gerrymander congressional districts and even to repeal the direct election of the US Senate, giving it back to state legislatures.

      There is a real fear of democracy in any form, and a greater fear that people have just about had it. 11-15% real inflation while incomes are shrinking is a recipe for beheadings.

      • No. It's because people are so busy just trying to survive that they're too worn out to storm any barricades.

        Yeah right, are you out storming a barricade? I didn't think so. And it's not because you're 'worn out,' your post is full of energy.

      • It is far easier to consider it a giant conspiracy of the elites, than to think that a significant enough part of the population agrees or at least doesn't mind?

        How do you explain the middle class and upper middle class? Preferably without deflecting by pointing to the war on the middle class, because there are a lot of people not too busy just surviving.

        And do all the elites think this is good and necessary? They all agree, and none are contributing to ACLU, eff, etc?

        Does it really make people crazy that

        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          It is far easier to consider it a giant conspiracy of the elites, than to think that a significant enough part of the population agrees or at least doesn't mind?

          It doesn't have to be a conspiracy, it only has to be a trend.

          If you judge people on their behavior, rather than their words, you start to see a different story emerge than just "people don't mind".

      • by lonOtter (3587393)

        No. It's because people are so busy just trying to survive that they're too worn out to storm any barricades.

        Some people are, but remember that many people actively support this sort of thing and believe that the government (and all people who will ever be in the government) is made up of people who are basically perfectly angels who will never make mistakes or abuse their powers. They ignore history, ignore that we're supposed to be "the land of the free and the home of the brave," and ignore anything that questions their idiotic logic.

      • So. It has come to this. John Titior was right!
    • Re:Outrage fatigue (Score:5, Interesting)

      by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:57PM (#46701453)

      While this is partially true, there is an issue with information starvation in US media. CNN for example has turned into "Missing Airplane News" for nearly a month. Which of NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, or any of their affiliates have covered any of the Snowden leaks beyond a brief mention? Compare their coverage of what an intellectual would call news to their coverage of celebrities and sports, and of course people are ignorant. They are starved for real information and are bombarded with what I would consider garbage.

      That's not to say that there are no other sources of "news", but more pointing out that if you want to be informed you really have to dig for information. The amount of research you have to do is incredible. This is what some people still believe that "News" agencies are doing. The last poll I saw had trust of "News" at about 17% so that base is dwindled drastically.

      For those that wish to believe "it's all about money" consider that 17% for a moment. Any "News" agency that offered an alternative opinion instead of fluff and celebrity news would make a mint in viewership, yet all of these "News" agencies operate exactly the same way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by cold fjord (826450)

      I don't know, I can't fathom it I'm wildly advancing theories to explain how the USA achieved the USSR's wet dream of surveillance and it has less impact on policy than if a pop star got naked on prime time television.

      You don't suppose it could be because the USSR used surveillance information to send people interested in democratic reform to be drugged up in psychiatric units, and people that made jokes about the Chairman of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to 10 years of hard labor in a prison camp above the artic circle while the US warehouses partial phone bills for 5 years in case it needs to do an investigation of someone discovered to be part of an Al Qaida bomb plot or a spy and doesn't send people to pris

  • Snowden says NSA spied on everyone.

    Even if he doesn't say it, assume so.

    • The NSA has a whole department occupied with the investigation of the existence of God.

      Because if He does exist, they want to spy on him.

      • by russotto (537200)

        Because if He does exist, they want to spy on him.

        And also they've heard he notes the fall of every sparrow, and they'd really like to learn his methods.

    • X has spied on Y illegally

      X = any government agency with spy operations

      Y = any entity or group that uses technology to communicate

      I'm not trying to start discussions on all aspects of Snowden...but I do definitely see a streeeetching of this story for maximum clicks by the likes of The Guardian.

      Maybe that's the reason for "outrage fatigue" mentioned by another poster above....the media has commercialized the information now

  • by theArtificial (613980) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @05:57PM (#46699837)
    Prior to this announcement Human Rights Workers weren't included as part of the world population.

    Snowden, addressing the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, said he did not believe the NSA was engaged in 'nightmare scenarios,' such as the active compilation of a list of homosexuals 'to round them up and send them into camps.

    They're not camps, they're called festivals.

    But he did say that the infrastructure allowing this to happen had been built

    By IBM! /insert ww2 corporate references

  • Future generations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @06:08PM (#46699921)

    Future generations will scarcely believe that we were here now, watching the footing for their prison be poured, and we did nothing.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You, you are doing nothing. Don't project on to the rest of us.

    • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @07:23PM (#46700519) Homepage

      First, future generations may find of historical interest all those NSA records. Just think of all the data historians in 100 years (if humanity still exists) will be able to use for PhDs! And I'm only half joking about that.

      The deeper issue relating to "prison" is more, is what we are doing effective? With a huge relative-to-population real prison and parole population in the USA, with vast numbers of people living in relative poverty, with thousands of nukes ready to destroy the world as we know it in a few minutes and related anxiety, with schools increasingly like prisons, and so on, one might argue the USA has already become its own anxiety-provoking prison for all too much of its population. Perhaps that's one reason for the US drug war -- while the Soviet Union had to guard its borders from escapees, the USA has to guard its medicine cabinets from escapees? (See also Wikpedia on "Rat Park".) There used to be a time when people in the USA aspired to more than that, and in that sense the USA is rapidly heading into a "Dark Age". From:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org]
      "Dark Age Ahead is a 2004 book by Jane Jacobs describing what she sees as the decay of five key "pillars" in North America: community and family, higher education, science and technology, taxes and government responsive to citizen's needs, and self-policing by the learned professions. She argues that this decay threatens to create a dark age unless the trends are reversed. Jacobs characterizes a dark age as a "mass amnesia" where even the memory of what was lost is lost."

      I agree that pervasive one-way surveillance in a society shifts the balance of power, which is the reasons for US constitutional protections relating to search and seizure of documents. One can contrast that with David Brin's two-way "Transparent Society" idea, or Marshall Brain's similar suggestions in "Manna". Historically humans living in tight-knit tribal villages may have not had much privacy from each other in many ways, so our very conception of privacy via anonymity and hidden transactions or hidden records may be a new thing. In any case, these are somewhat different times from 100,000 BC or 1776 AD given cheap storage, cheap sensing, and cheap search. There also the unreliability of cryptographic systems in practice (OpenSSL bugs, spear phishing, MITM, key loggers, evil upgrades, provider compromise, and so on), so depending on encryption seems problematical, assuming hiding information really had social value in general in social movements. I'm not saying privacy is evil; I'm just suggesting that depending on privacy in a social movement is probably foolish at the very least for practical reasons. Beyond practicalities, I feel the way forward has more to do with popularizing good ideas (like about the potential for abundance for all such as by a "basic income") rather than trying to hide plans of whatever sorts from prying eyes. In the USA and many other countries we have hard-won democratic freedoms like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. I feel it is best to use those freedoms to build something better, even knowing such efforts for change will be under constant public scrutiny. The problem is of course that building something better is hard work filled with a lot of uncertainty, including from resistance put up by those with a powerful position in the status quo or those who aspire to such a position. See also, on "Security: Crypto Imagination vs. Reality":
      http://xkcd.com/538/ [xkcd.com]

      There is a scene near the end of James P. Hogan's "Voyage From Yesteryear" where a soldier makes a silent plea for sanity with another soldier at a command post by how the soldier moves and carries his equipment, and that is something to think about. What signals do we send others when we focus on encryption as a way to security rather than focusing on broad social and material uplift? I'm not saying there is not conflict there, just that we can look to a parallel ar

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      Or, future generations will be even lazier than we are and won't think of privacy and true freedom as really desirable things, so they won't mind what we did(n't) do.

  • by geekoid (135745)

    " Instead, Snowden said, it should go back to the traditional model of eavesdropping against specific targets"
    They never just did that. sheesh.
    SIGINT.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @06:25PM (#46700093) Homepage

    And French intelligence bombed the Rainbow Warrior. Precisely what is so surprising about the NSA spying on political radicals? It's not like every nation state with even a half-baked intelligence apparatus hasn't been doing that for at least 60 years now. God help Snowden if this is the best dirt he has left on the NSA because it's only a matter of time before US intelligence loses all fear of killing him or the Russians grow bored with him and classify him as a loose end.

    • Why would they kill him?

      Seriously. The number of "oh this person will be totally 'disappeared'" statements that never come to pass is ridiculous.

      The reality here is no one cares what Edward Snowden does. He's a PR pain-in-the-ass and little else. He may have claimed to have "gotten everything" but the only things which would actually justify killing him would be if he had intel on ongoing operations and could actually put people's lives directly in danger - but every intelligence agency treats that type of

      • by Uberbah (647458) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @08:24PM (#46700885)

        Why did Obama personally intervene to keep a Yemeni journalist brutalized and imprisoned [thenation.com] for daring to report on U.S. bombings that kill innocent people? Why was an Al Jazeera office bombed [aljazeera.com] by Bush? Why does anyone think that the U.S. would hesitate to take out Snowden if it's willing to murder [wikipedia.org] 16 year olds based on who the kids father was?

        • In every single case you just cited, the allegations are "bearing arms against the united states" and all the grey area that involves (except the last one, which was collateral damage and not targeted). I mean you don't mention that 9 other people were killed in the same strike.

          Setting aside everything about those cases that is a grey area, the central issue was still "may be bearing arms, or conspiring to bear arms, against the United States".

          Snowden hasn't done that. He's committed a bunch of espionage, b

          • by Uberbah (647458)

            In every single case you just cited, the allegations are "bearing arms against the united states" and all the grey area that involves

            Whatever it is you're smoking, did you bring enough for everyone? Because in none of the cases I just cited could be described that way. Not. One.

            Reporter showing it was a U.S. and not Yemeni bomb dropped on innocents? Nope.
            Al Jazeera office in Iraq? Nope.
            Abdulrahman al-Awlaki? Nope.

            That, or you're sucking the kneejerck authoritarian Kool Aid if you think that sitting in [wikipedia.org]

            • If you want to simply outrage theatre yourself, the internet has plenty of echo chambers to choose from. Otherwise you might want to engage with what's actually said, because in case you hadn't noticed, your "side" isn't really in charge of much of anything at the moment.

    • by grcumb (781340) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @07:04PM (#46700385) Homepage Journal

      And French intelligence bombed the Rainbow Warrior.

      To their detriment. It's telling that the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior was the event that triggered so much outrage among Pacific island nations that the practice of atmospheric testing was finally stopped. It also wounded relations between New Zealand and France for over a decade, and resulted in a long period of Labour (i.e. left wing) rule. The Tahitian independence movement also made hay from the event.

      It was, in short, a complete fiasco for the French intelligence service, and for the government of France, an unmitigated failure.

      If for no other reason than realpolitik, governments need to learn to tread more lightly when it comes to abrogating the freedoms that make their societies as peaceful and prosperous as they are.

      Precisely what is so surprising about the NSA spying on political radicals?

      When you call Amnesty International politically radical, you debase the discussion. Amnesty uses non-violent tactics - mostly media relations - to shame governments into releasing political prisoners. If agitating against the imprisonment of your political opponents is radical to you, then perhaps you should revise your opinion on freedom and human rights.

    • Precisely what is so surprising about the NSA spying on political radicals?

      By "radical", you mean "anyone to the left of Dick Cheney", right? Were you an FBI sniper all hot and bothered that he didn't get to go around shooting [firedoglake.com] OWS protestors in the head, or something?

      More to the point, if anyone had said that the NSA had a "full take" surveillance dragnet on every network on the planet it had access to BEFORE Snowden came along, you would have been sneering at them to sit next to the 911 Truthers.

    • Who decides if you are a political radical or not? What about your loved ones?
    • by Swampash (1131503)

      Amnesty International are political radicals now?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Snowden has done his duty to make the world a better place. Nothing more. The world is better off knowing what the playing field is on privacy and surveillance. Where it was masked before in speculation and fear, it is now known and distrusted. You attack Snowden, because that's all you can do. You can't make any change to our problem any more than I can. You speak of what lay ahead for Snowden, because you're aware of the impotence that your role is in all of this. What's worse, is that this community thin

  • At this point it might be easier to find the few people/groups/companies/governments the NSA is not spying on.
  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @06:52PM (#46700295) Homepage

    Okay, Slashdot. Pop quiz time. Today's topic is... security! Three questions; no time limit.

    First question: If you are a party interested in having operatives harm another nation, what is the best way to travel between your countries? Your choices are a local grocer, a privately-owned yacht, or an airline flight that someone else has paid for?

    Second question: Once your operative arrives in your target country, how will you maintain control over them and support their mission? Will you have them set up a clandestine infrastructure, or use a pre-existing organization?

    Third question: What kind of association would arouse the least suspicion when traveling to and from your home country? A large corporation, a religious faction, or an international charity?

    And a bonus round, for extra credit: Of the associations in the third question, which would spur the most outrage if your target country's government were to investigate your activities?

  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @07:54PM (#46700703) Homepage

    And we now have a pretty good idea of who it believes its enemy to be.

    • The NSA *ONLY* spies on its enemies ... And we now have a pretty good idea of who it believes its enemy to be.

      Wrong. The NSA spies to get information requested by other parts of the US government. Apparently there are around 30,000 such information requests.

    • Almost. You've got that backwards, though.

      They spy on those who declare themselves enemies of the US government. A lot of "human rights" groups use their status as a shield. Fun fact: did you know that Amnesty International started life as a group whose mission in life was to give aid and comfort to the Soviet Union, and to cause trouble for America whenever possible? Totally true.

  • by js3 (319268) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @08:30PM (#46700913)

    It's an intelligence agency, it spies on people. The only thing to discuss is whether it is allowed to spy on American citizens. Everyone else is fair game AFAIC

    • by jma05 (897351) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @01:19AM (#46702309)

      > It's an intelligence agency, it spies on people. The only thing to discuss is whether it is allowed to spy on American citizens. Everyone else is fair game AFAIC

      OK. Apply that logic to China spying on US govt, corporations, citizens and the rest of the world as well. No need for POTUS to raise issue at all on unsophisticated Chinese attempts at US. Right? Just a spy agency doing its thing... what its' paid to do and all that. Huawei can be banned in US, and Cisco, MS and the rest of the silicon valley can be banned in the rest of the world. Right? And with attitude such as yours, who would trust their data within US juristriction? And if NSA can tap lines, out of US, without consent of foreign governments, can Chinese intel agencies do it to you too? and you would not protest at all for your rights? Its an intelligence agency, after all.

      AFAIK, NSA is quite unique in spying on wholesale foreign populations - all comms, all of the time, just in case - nothing "fair game" about it. Screw other countries, as long as I get my rights - is colonial era thought... quite indefensible in current international discourse.

  • Now we know where all the 'Dark Energy' in the universe went, the NSA is using it to break encryption.

  • They don't cherry pick, they vacuum up every bit of data they can find, on every single human being they can find. This is their job.

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