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NSA Considers Linux Journal Readers, Tor (And Linux?) Users "Extremists" 361

New submitter marxmarv writes If you search the web for communications security information, or read online tech publications like Linux Journal or BoingBoing, you might be a terrorist. The German publication Das Erste disclosed a crumb of alleged XKeyScore configuration, with the vague suggestion of more source code to come, showing that Tor directory servers and their users, and as usual the interested and their neighbor's dogs due to overcapture, were flagged for closer monitoring. Linux Journal, whose domain is part of a listed selector, has a few choice words on their coveted award. Would it be irresponsible not to speculate further?
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NSA Considers Linux Journal Readers, Tor (And Linux?) Users "Extremists"

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  • FreeBSD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by approachingZero ( 1365381 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @02:51PM (#47378715) Homepage
    One more reason to use FreeBSD.
  • Yeah, right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @02:51PM (#47378717) Homepage Journal

    There's this story about an off-duty bridge officer aboard a large US military ship who, groggy after having to get up rather early, called the bridge and requested that the vehicle, some quarter of a million tons of steel, personnel and equipment, be rotated 15 degrees, all so he didn't have to move an inch to get the sun out of his eyes while he drank his coffee.

    Maybe whoever wrote that list merely wants to read the Linux Journal forums. Surely we're not pretending as if SELinux doesn't exist and that the NSA hasn't historically contributed to Linux. That would be a foolish thing to do. Of foolishness.

  • by BlueTemplar ( 992862 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:19PM (#47378915)

    At this point, I think I'm not going to be too far away from the mark by saying that if you're not part of the USA' "Military-Industrial Complex", then you're a terrorist.

  • Underlying cause? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by no-body ( 127863 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:20PM (#47378929)

    Are they in any way successful in catching "terrorists"?

    Hardly - maybe they caught one guy in - was it San Diego - to give money to some far away organization labeled as well, offensive/dangerous in some way (don't recall all details).

    There was also a hearing and a lied number of 20-isch? was admitted but later debunked.

    So - all in all, the tremendous snooping effort is not showing much result and essentially being a flop.

    Remedy: Increase effort in more and more complex systems.

    Otherwise, maybe it's just inner need for control, power and conditioned thinking which motivates and attracts humans to participate in this nonsense (religions come to mind following the same principle).
    Actually a very dangerous route this is taking - thought control (if you THINK that, you are...) and modeled prediction of events based on secret procedures

  • Well, of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:21PM (#47378939)

    If you dare to not follow the herd, think for yourself, make up your mind by yourself without the aid of government "guided" media, of course you must be an extremist.

    It's frightening how close the US already got to the USSR of old.

  • It is time to (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Twelfth Harmonic ( 3464759 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:27PM (#47378987)
    liberate our OSes !! In all seriousness; it pains me to see the country that created the Bell Labs to fall into the hands of these lunatics.
  • by lister king of smeg ( 2481612 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:31PM (#47379017)

    With people like Richard Stallman at forefront, who can blame them?

    You mean the guy screamed about the government spying on us and that we can't trust closed source anything for decades. Guess what he turned out to be right.

  • Enjoy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:37PM (#47379075)

    The feds have been tagging talk radio listeners, gun enthusiasts and others as "extremists" in training material and other non-public documents for years now.

    How's it feel?

    The precedent is long set, but you didn't care when it started because you agreed with it at the time; "teabaggers herp derp."

    Too late now, fuckers. Keep your head down.

  • Re:Well, of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c6gunner ( 950153 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:53PM (#47379213)

    If you dare to not follow the herd, think for yourself, make up your mind by yourself without the aid of government "guided" media, of course you must be an extremist.

    It's frightening how close the US already got to the USSR of old.

    Oh, irony.

    See, a rational person would have looked at what's going and concluded that the NSA's position is "of course you're more likely to be an extremist" rather than "of course you must be an extremist". But self-styled "free-thinkers" such as yourself always seem to tend toward these extreme, paranoid views that barely resemble the actual situation. It's almost as if you tended towards extremism or something.

  • Know your history (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:57PM (#47379239)

    Time to remind everyone of the last time this happened.

    Except it was J Edgar Hoover, the FBI, their programs like COINTELPRO [wikipedia.org], and those crazy radicals like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Albert Einstein as well as people on the list for being part of the women's right movement, civil rights movement, "the new left", criticizing the Vietnam war, and the typical boogy-man organizations of socialists and communists.

    Or hey, how about MINARET? [wikipedia.org] or SHAMROCK? [wikipedia.org]. Both of which had no warrents, but when people got a whiff of them, congress came down hard and the projects were discontinued.

    What's so different about this time? Why are the power that be not doing their job?

    Here's a great quote by meta-monkey, from A YEAR AGO:

    Re:"Congressional hearings" (Score:5, Insightful)
    by meta-monkey (321000) Friend of a Friend on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @12:39PM (#44437417) ...
    Scarier part: why aren't they blaming each other for this "serious overreach?" That they will then investigate, have some hearings, and then go right back to biz as usual? That's all politicians do. Make vague, meaningless statements and take no responsibility, blame everyone else, then do nothing. Instead they're making firm, direct statements. "Legal!" "Constitutional!" "Full oversight!"

    Why are they so far off script? Here's how the script is supposed to go:

    Snowden: "They doin' teh snoops!"
    Democrats: "Bush started it!"
    Republicans: "Saint Bush never would have authorized this! This must be part of a secret communist Muslim plan to install sharia law!"
    Obama: "No, really it was just the Cincinnati branch of the NSA!"
    Senate committee: "Thank you for your service, Mr. Snowden for bringing this overreach to our attention. We've got top men working to correct it. Top. Men."
    Snowden: "No prob, I'll go rot in obscurity now."
    Clapper: "Ow. My wrist. From the slapping. Wheeeeeelp, back to the shadows for biz as usual."

    The mask isn't just slipping. It's on the floor. The man behind the curtain is doing a tap dance. Just what the fuck is going on?

    One YEAR. The exact same trend is continuing. No one of power is fighting this. No one is backing down. Just what the fuck is going on?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2014 @04:07PM (#47379321)

    You are missing the point.

    Threat has to be created for the apparatus to be funded.

    Repeat the above until it sinks in. People would lose jobs if they said "hey, well, we don't really have a serious threat.... so yeah, we are doing nothing at this time". So they make shit up to keep busy.

    Wars are fought for the idea "keep population distracted".

    If people were actually rational beings, not "retarded emos", we would not need more than half (more like 90%) of the so called security apparatus. And FBI would not be having a war on drugs, they would be having a war on DUIs (driving under influence), speeding and we would require yearly vehicle safety checks. Also, most people would not be speeding anyway, because hey, would be rational creatures. We would not need to even debate US's outdated second amendment.

    But no, we live in a world of phycohistory. Masses are not governed by rationality, but by emotion. The world is "fuck you, got mine". So that's what we have and deserve. We have thousands of nukes still ready to kill off our civilization *today*. We have War on Drugs and War on Everything. We have people protesting nuclear power, because hey, AGW is not real and somehow they think coal is better.

    So, it's back to square one. "Fuck you, got mine". That's why we are where we are. /RANT

  • Re:Well, of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @04:14PM (#47379371) Homepage

    Soon will come the time when they will not need to convince anyone anymore.

    Yes, because they'll have arrested anybody who disagrees with them, and all that is left will be people too scared to say anything or who agree.

    The NSA is the enemy of freedom and liberty, they just act like they're defending it.

    And, yeah, some desk weenie has probably flipped a switch that says I'm an extremist -- what they don't realize is the more they do this shit, the more they'll create extremists.

    What's really pathetic is how many Americans are buying into this, when not 20 years there would have been outrage.

    Really, and truly, on 9/11 the terrorists got exactly what they wanted -- the destruction of Western societies as we knew it, and the rise of Americans saying "we don't give a crap about the rest of the world, we're scared". Sadly, that will create a backlash of people saying "we don't give a crap about the US, now piss off".

    There's no going back from this kind of thing.

  • Re:Yeah, right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by davydagger ( 2566757 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @04:43PM (#47379585)
    you don't understand how these people work, and how they think.

    The concept of a scientific investigation as seen on CSI is a work of creative fiction, nothing more. The capablities of the US government to deter threats including profiling the target with the largest brush feasibly possible, then trying to fuck with the people who fall under whatever target they made up enough that they point fingers at someone else, and whoever has the most fingers in their dirrection looses.

    Hypocrisy and the fact that they might be targeting their best chances to do what most people think they do is not relivant.

    After they label people as "extremists", they then use excedingly long jail sentances, other threats, and attempts to ruin their social lives, and a split from mainstream society as leverage to get these people to work for the NSA or other government or capitalist agencies.

    They can then denounce everyone not explicitly helping them as terrorists.

    The fact that most nerds, anyways still say "fuck the system" is a tribute to moral character, more absolute ideas of freedom, and knowledge of history that isn't dependant on the 2 year TV news election cycle, is a tribute to the moral fiber of the computer enthusiast, something that mainstream society lacks.
  • Re:Well, of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by purpledinoz ( 573045 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @04:44PM (#47379591)
    And what is the actual situation? The searching for terrorists is probably not the only thing the data is used for. I'm sure the data is used for various nefarious purposes, such as industrial espionage, political espionage, blackmail. Maybe figuring out the sentiment of the population and their likelihood to breakout into mass protest. I'm sure they're doing some non-evil research too. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a database identifying people who are against the status quo of the Democrat/Republican duopoly, and feeding that data to the media outlets so they run stories smearing any third party candidates. That's a bit farfetched, but everything the NSA was confirmed to be doing was also farfetched before Snowden leaked those documents.
  • Re:Silver Lining (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2014 @05:00PM (#47379717)

    NSA - proof your government does listen to you.

  • by Zordak ( 123132 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @05:30PM (#47379865) Homepage Journal

    So - all in all, the tremendous snooping effort is not showing much result and essentially being a flop.

    I don't know about that. I'm sure it's been about as successful as J. Edgar Hoover's mid-century communism witch hunts, which had more to do with propping up Hoover's own personal empire than with catching communists.

  • Re:Well, of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @05:43PM (#47379945)

    I used to think that way, but more and more I think it's going the other way.

    Governments seldom get anything right. Look at the NSA. It's big, it's grabbing data so fast that it has 1.) Nowhere to put it and 2.) Nothing to analyze it with.

    Meanwhile, the general population is growing data at exponential rates AND is increasing its own awareness of government's interest AND is taking steps to muck things up for the NSA.

    In my view, the people are smarter than their government.

  • by TheReaperD ( 937405 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @06:27PM (#47380229)

    There are few greater crimes in the US than being right when the right answer isn't popular. Ask any Vietnam war protester or George Carlin about airport security.

  • Re:Yeah, right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davydagger ( 2566757 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @08:25PM (#47380793)
    oh yeah, your right. I mean no nerd ever killed them selves facing 35 to life for technical infractions related to accessing publicly available scientific files.

    No nerd ever lost their job, and is on the run from US law enforcement for exposing unethical mass survialence and harrassment by the US Government.

    No nerd was ever arrested for trying to do the right thing and exposing unethical or dangerous computer behavior.

    No nerd was ever arrested for modifying his own video game system, that he bought, and then blabbing about it on the internet.

    No nerd was ever targeted for being either a terrorist or a school shooter by rampant paranoia from authorities.

    but yeah, your right, nerds are left alone by the system.
  • by jeIlomizer ( 3670951 ) on Friday July 04, 2014 @03:46AM (#47382033)

    It was well documented after the fall of the Soviet Union that there was a powerful network of communist infiltrators within the US government, and that Sen. McCarthy was right, though he had a horrible clumsy way of acting in reaction to it.

    Clumsy? People's fundamental liberties were violated. No matter how 'safe' that makes us, that's more criminal than clumsy.

    The Rosenbergs deserved to die, they were guilty.

    I don't see how the former follows from the latter, because I don't believe in government thugs executing people to begin with.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer