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Snowden Publishes "A Manifesto For the Truth" 398

wjcofkc writes "In the turbulent wake of the international uproar spurred by his leaked documents, Mr. Snowden published a letter over the weekend in Der Spiegel titled, "A Manifesto for the Truth". In the letter, Mr. Snowden reflects on the consequences of the information released so far, and their effect on exposing the extent and obscenity of international and domestic surveillance, while continuing to call out the NSA and GCHQ as the worst offenders. He further discusses how the debate should move forward, the intimidation of journalists, and the criminalization of the truth saying, 'Citizens have to fight suppression of information on matters of vital public importance. To tell the truth is not a crime.'"
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Snowden Publishes "A Manifesto For the Truth"

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  • Capitalism. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Joining Yet Again ( 2992179 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @09:59AM (#45324689)

    Capitalism promotes selfishness.

    Selfishness promotes control.

    Control of information is a type of control.

    Control of the government is another type of control.

    So powerful people will control both.

    And so the modern role of signals intelligence: to watch you, to separate the majority who are of no consequence, from the minority who run a serious risk of making a difference.

    The solution is a scaling back of capitalism. And not a replacement with Soviet state capitalism, either, even though their surveillance had nothing on modern UKUSA.

  • by udachny ( 2454394 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:15AM (#45324883) Journal

    Hans Christian Andersen did not tell a fairy tale to little children, he told a political story about a system of lies and a whistle-blower but in his story the kid did not end up prosecuted. Guess what, Andersen wasn't familiar with the modern American Empire.

  • Re:Capitalism. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Joining Yet Again ( 2992179 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:29AM (#45325063)

    I would agree entirely. This is why the capitalism qua religion which has emerged since Reagan+Thatcher is so dangerous (and why China is laughing so so loudly).

  • Re:how long (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:33AM (#45325099) Homepage Journal

    How long? I want to know how long until Snowden is given a medal by congress. He deserves a Gold Medal, at least as much as a Walt Disney, or Roberto Clemente, or a Danny Thomas. Browse the list yourself - some of the people who have been awarded a Gold Medal may have sacrificed more, or done more than Snowden. But Edward stands head and shoulders over a mere sports figure, or a Hollywood icon. []

  • Re:Capitalism. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:34AM (#45325113) Homepage Journal

    Eventually you have a poor class that doesn't have the freedom to do anything at all and a rich class that can do anything.

    Actually that's the empirical result of the current fascist [] policies in the US. Of course, authoritarian socialists call this 'capitalism' to try to re-frame the debate as one between fascism and socialism, but since fascism is a flavor of socialism, socialism actually has the burden of proof vs. capitalism.

    Let's try doing away with corporations first, and then we can have the debate about which is working better. I suspect capitalism will win, but it will always fail if governments pick the winners and losers, because that destroys the basis of capitalism, which is information flow based on money. From an information theory perspective, socialism has several bottlenecks that will always result in a sub-optimal solution, but so does fascism.

    And that's just the utilitarian perspective, for those who wholly discount freedom and are indifferent to violence. Since the socialists/fascists have taken control of the money supply, minimum wage has fallen from an inflation-adjusted $22/hr to $7 per hour (in 2013 dollars), so they have quite a lot to answer for if they want to claim superiority on class distinctions.

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:39AM (#45325161) Homepage

    The surveillance causes some embarrassment and a loss of trust. Enemies being able to evade the surveillance can cause death.

    ...Not that the death is particularly likely, mind you, but aiding an enemy is considered by the law to be more heinous than breaches of privacy.

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:57AM (#45325369) Homepage Journal

    Well - we're back to the age-old complaint about government. Government is SUPPOSED to represent the people. Most Americans who care enough to have an opinion actually approve of Edward Snowden. The clueless and the apathetic just don't give a damn, and they'll go along with whatever government tells them.

  • by vikingpower ( 768921 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:12AM (#45325541) Homepage Journal

    As much as I may hold Edward Snowden in esteem - and that is a lot of esteem, actually - I tend to get all prickly and uncomfortable when the word "truth" is used in such a pontifical way as in the "manifesto". There is no such thing as absolute truth, although Mr. Snowden seems to tacitly imply and quietly assume so. There is your truth, your way of experiencing things - and there is mine. What we call "truth" is the sum vector of all these tiny vectors.

    Mr. Snowden had better used a word such as "information" or "openness". I am reminded of 2 Russian words, whose meaning lies in this direction, that became rather famous: glasnost and perestrojka.

    WDYT ?

  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul ( 629286 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:24AM (#45325685) Journal

    Well, it was a terrible piece of writing that will not convince anyone of anything. He completely ignored the justifications that the government is giving for the surveillance programs, didn't even seek to address the concerns of those that believe that some espionage is appropriate under some circumstances. He's done this amazing revelation of these programs, and he has a global audience for his message... and he has nothing noteworthy to say...

  • Re:Yes it is (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:42AM (#45325877)

    Erh... if any country on this planet thinks that there are no spies trying to sniff through their dirty laundry for some other country, they are either deluded or simply SO far out of the loop that the effort to spy on them is not warranted by the potential intelligence.

    Countries spy on each other, and they know it. Actually, I'd be very surprised if they didn't know what the NSA is doing and, instead of being outraged, tried to get in on the deal. SWIFT comes to mind, as well as a few other things that I don't want to discuss in public. The current outrage and outcry of various heads of state is mostly a smokescreen theater for the plebs.

    I'm actually quite sure that the US government is exactly pissed at Snowden BECAUSE the US population knows about it now. Until now the US spooks were the "good" guys, protecting the US from teh evilz abroad. Now they're unmasked as being the local version of the Stasi.

  • by cream wobbly ( 1102689 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @12:05PM (#45326187)

    And they're calling him a hero. Adding nothing to the conversation, other than praise.

  • Stupid question time (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xaedalus ( 1192463 ) <Xaedalys@[ ] ['yah' in gap]> on Monday November 04, 2013 @12:30PM (#45326477)
    I get why Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA and it's domestic spying programs. That needs to be addressed pronto. But can someone explain to me how revealing our normal espionage program against our allies and against rivals is supposed to convince our allies and rivals to open up about their own spying programs? How on earth is any of this going to convince the Russian and/or the Chinese electorate to demand transparency of their own governments' monitoring systems? Especially when said governments haven't even bothered to hide that they're doing so? Snowden keeps referring to spying and information control as a global problem, but how does he hope to convince the nations who always have engaged in blatant population control to stop doing so?
  • by qeveren ( 318805 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @04:10PM (#45329311)

    "As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he [sic] who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."

    - Commissioner Pravin Lal

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