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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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  • by tyggna ( 1405643 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @02:54PM (#47378733)
    They're looking for potential hires. What better pool to pull from than technical terrorists?
  • Magazine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:15PM (#47378899)
    That sounds like a good name for a magazine: "Linux Extremist"
  • by Joe Gillian ( 3683399 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:28PM (#47378991)

    I just finished reading the article, and here's something I don't get. They mention that for certain "fingerprints", the NSA would automatically exclude users believed to be in one of the "Five Eyes" countries. Yet, for other fingerprints (such as searching for Tails) it would gather data regardless of where the user is located or believed to be located. Why would they apply the "Five Eyes" exemption some but not all of the time?

  • To a coward... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:36PM (#47379061)

    They say to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a frightened small-minded cop, everyone looks like a crook. To an agency charged with protecting a nation against people who keep secrets, everyone looks shifty, and like he has something to hide.

    To the hanging judge, every man looks guilty, and to a coward, every man is a terrorist.

    Their attitude reflects their mindset: they're a bunch of frightened, small-minded cowards. The sad thing is...

    We. All. Collectively. Hired. Them. To. Protect. Us.

    What does that say about us? Sure, it was by proxy, we hired the useless, corrupt, bought-out politicians who hired them, but it is still the fault of the person who voted these clowns into office. Don't blame the NSA for doing their job, blame the lazy, stupid, good-for-nothing assholes who hired them and gave them permission or negligently allowed them to do what they do, and then blame the people who elected THEM.

    There is an old saying: in a democracy, people deserve the government they get. To be honest though, it's not just democracies where this happens. In general, people deserve the government they get. Period.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:38PM (#47379085) Homepage
    First i was an extremist because I visited, and posted, to slashdot. then i was an extremist because I used tor, then again because I used crypto on my laptop, and again for reading wikipedia...and once more im an extremist for reading the linux journal?

    At what point in my extremety should I start endorsing things like sports drinks and shoes? Am i still allowed to drink tea in the morning or does this mean i need to switch to energy drinks and techno music. Does this work like GTA? can i take up knitting and become less extreme instead? Do the kids know im extreme? I mean the only un-extreme thing i seem to have been able to do last year was buy this Model M keybo0@0#69t@[NO CARRIER]
  • They give you the Five Eyes exemption until you do something really dangerous like read a Linux magazine or look up encryption tools. Then you've shown that you are a potential threat like all those shady characters who live in every other country on the planet.

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

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @03:48PM (#47379179) Homepage

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

    I don't know.

    I think the in days of the USSR, the citizens didn't believe the propaganda. Whereas a lot of Americans seem to think "why, we have to do this to stop the terrorists".

    Convincing people to buy into it is quite a feat.

    Basically the NSA has decreed anybody who disagrees with their methods and scope must be an extremist.

    I predict in less than 10 years any form of dissent, or privacy will be completely gone in the West. And then we're all harmless sheep, which is exactly what they want.

  • Re:Know your history (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @04:22PM (#47379433) Homepage Journal

    The Stasi (East Germany Secret Police) used to be one of the most powerful intelligence service in the world. It is estimated they had hundreds of thousands of informants and it maintained files on millions of citizens of East Germany.

    But the Berlin wall eventually fell, despite all its efforts and all its agents. I believe the same thing will happen in the US. When the times comes, the whole rotten house of cards will crash down to earth.

    Oh, and, NSA? Please go f**** yourself.

  • Re:Yeah, right. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by geniice ( 1336589 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @06:20PM (#47380185)

    Eh its got more to do with nerds tending towards white and middle class and thus generaly being left alone by the system.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas