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Why Snowden Did Right 348

Bruce66423 writes: "Ebon Moglen Gives a comprehensive explanation of how the NSA's surveillance operations are a threat to a functioning democracy, and why there is a need for real change. There are interesting parallels to the Roman Empires: 'The power of that Roman empire rested in its leaders' control of communications. ... The emperors invented the posts to move couriers and messages at the fastest possible speed. Using that infrastructure, with respect to everything that involved the administration of power, the emperor made himself the best-informed person in the history of the world. That power eradicated human freedom. "Remember," said Cicero to Marcellus in exile, "wherever you are, you are equally within the power of the conqueror.'

Nowadays, 'Our military listeners have invaded the centre of an evolving net, where conscriptable digital superbrains gather intelligence on the human race for purposes of bagatelle and capitalism. In the US, the telecommunications companies have legal immunity for their complicity, thus easing the way further. The invasion of our net was secret, and we did not know that we should resist. But resistance developed as a fifth column among the listeners themselves. Because of Snowden, we now know that the listeners undertook to do what they repeatedly promised respectable expert opinion they would never do. They always said they would not attempt to break the crypto that secures the global financial system. That was false.'"
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Why Snowden Did Right

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  • Hah hah hah (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @01:55PM (#47100989)

    Apparently the NSA and CIA don't want us to read that - the link points to how / when to write a kernel module.

  • One more blowout (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @01:57PM (#47101021) Journal

    Greenwald's Finale: Naming Victims of Surveillance []

    The source article [] is paywalled

  • Not rocket science (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @02:17PM (#47101209)

    If you trust coercive authority, then snowden did wrong. If you do not trust coercive authority, then snowden did right.

    Unfortunately, the vast majority of human beings (regardless of where they live in the world) DO trust coercive authority, and this of course makes life a hell of a lot easier for the elite the top of the power pyramid.

  • One chance (Score:4, Interesting)

    by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @02:39PM (#47101411) Journal

    The author makes good points, that the only way such surveillance could be allowed to occur is with informed consent, and that's what Snowden gave us the opportunity to do.

    I think the upcoming two elections in the US, 2014 and 2016, will be the most important votes cast in the history of the world. The US Government with the actions of the NSA has essentially imprisoned the entire world with invisible bars. When everything you say is recorded and monitored and the military/LEO might exists to punish you immediately and thoroughly, you are not free. You can't see the bars, but you're still a prisoner.

    The rest of the world has no ability to dismantle the prison. They do not get a say in the working of the US Government. Force is not an option as the US military outstrips every other force on earth combined.

    Domestically, protest is worthless. Those in power do not listen, do not care, and target those who protest with their surveillance state, as evidenced by the reaction to Occupy Wall Street.

    The one and only way to dismantle the prison is for the voters of the United States to vote only for candidates who promise to dismantle it, and then hold them accountable for doing so. That's it. It's the only way to dismantle the system. Force won't work, protests won't work, only voting will.

    So this is it. If the American voters reject the surveillance state in 2014 and 2016, there's hope. But if they don't, if they don't care, if they vote for establishment candidates who will keep the system in place, then that's it. The surveillance state will exist with the informed consent of the US voters, the mandate is set, and the doors to the world prison will clink shut, with little to no chance of ever opening again. To the rest of the world, your only hope is the United States voting public.

  • Re:Cowards (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NotSanguine ( 1917456 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @03:20PM (#47101753) Journal

    The sad truth is the majority of Americans, at least the stereotype I apply to them, are fundamentally cowards. That, combined with the human tendency to grossly over estimate the risks from rare events with severe consequences creates this problem.

    There. FTFY.

    Americans aren't any different from other humans. There are smart ones, dumb ones, good ones and bad ones. Over the past century, geography and good luck (much more so than good planning), gave the American middle class a historic run. Now that's changing again, and Americans are struggling to keep what they have. Most feel they don't have time to focus on government shenanigans, which is a shame, because those who own the government are taking away the security and liberty Americans used to have.

    This makes some Americans paranoid, others complacent, and still others cling more tightly to the idea of American exceptionalism. All of this seems to push folks to act against their own self-interest. Well, except for those who think that the world is theirs to exploit and that if anyone is harmed by their plundering, it's their own damn fault for not getting there first. I call it "survival of the sociopath-iest" and it turns my stomach.

    tl;dr. Americans aren't any more or less cowardly or better or worse than anyone else. Stop painting people with a broad brush. It's counterproductive and leaves your bigotry showing. We're all Homo Sapiens. Full stop.

  • by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @03:24PM (#47101777)

    ... this (mass surveillance) is just more part and parcel of state suppression of dissent against corporate interests. They're worried that the more people are going to wake up and corporate centers like the US and canada may be among those who also awaken. See this vid with Zbigniew Brzezinski, former United States National Security Advisor. []

    Look at the following graphs: [] [] []

    And then...

    WIKILEAKS: U.S. Fought To Lower Minimum Wage In Haiti So Hanes And Levis Would Stay Cheap [] []

    Free markets? [] []

    "We now live in two Americas. One—now the minority—functions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other—the majority—is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majority—which crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affected—presidential debate and political rhetoric is pitched at a sixth-grade reading level. In this “other America,” serious film and theater, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of society.

    In the tradition of Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism and Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges navigates this culture—attending WWF contests, the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, and Ivy League graduation ceremonies—to expose an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion."

  • Re:The Roman Empire? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @04:02PM (#47102099) Homepage Journal

    Snowden would be a hero in my mind if he'd stopped at just revealing the illegal spying the NSA was doing on US citizens, but he went farther than that. He revealed a lot of the things the NSA does to spy on foreign powers. That is their job and I expect them to do it, and I do not expect a citizen of the US to reveal our sources and methods of intelligence gathering. I don't think he's an evil person but I do think he went too far.

  • Re:thank you Snowden (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digsbo ( 1292334 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @04:09PM (#47102141)
    I'd liken this to the difference between the immune system and a cancer.

    There are legitimate activities undertaken by the FBI daily. Such examples as child porn, kidnapping, and other Federal law enforcement duties. I think of these as being more like the immune system.

    There are other activities the FBI engages in like entrapment of mentally deficient individuals into terror "plots" where they convince some nearly retarded guy that he's got a truck full of explosives, and to drive them into a sensitive target. This is more like cancer.

    Now where there are good and bad aspects to what the FBI does, it's tough to understand in what way the NSA or CIA are doing anything that's healthy for the nation. Seems mostly like stuff to justify their own existence (CIA creates enemies by interfering in other countries' government, NSA makes enemies by violating other countries' citizens' privacy, both groups then use blowback to justify their budget/unconstitutional actions).

  • Lie to the boss (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AndyCanfield ( 700565 ) <> on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @09:31PM (#47104145) Homepage

    The NSA is part of the U.S. Federal Government. The boss of that government is the People of the United States of America. It's in the constitution; read it. The NSA will get their asses nailed to the wall because they lied to the boss. If I'm your boss, and you lie to me, you're fired.

    Edward Snowden is my hero; he can sleep on my floor any time.

APL hackers do it in the quad.