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The Department of Homeland Security Needs Its Own Edward Snowden 190

blottsie writes: Out of all the U.S. government agencies, the Department of Homeland Security is one of the least transparent. As such, the number of Freedom of Information Act requests it receives have doubled since 2008. But the DHS has only become more adamant about blocking FOIA requests over the years. The problem has become so severe that nothing short of an Edward Snowden-style leak may be needed to increase transparency at the DHS.
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The Department of Homeland Security Needs Its Own Edward Snowden

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  • i bet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hypergreatthing ( 254983 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:09PM (#47516993)

    I'm sure there are hundreds of people who are dying to be criminalized without due process and live in Russia just to be an American patriot.

  • Dismantle DHS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chas ( 5144 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:12PM (#47517007) Homepage Journal

    I still don't get why we still have this elaborate subsidy for a bunch of glorified mall cops.

  • Yes, but more (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:19PM (#47517055)

    Every single government department that has power over other people needs a watchdog or oversight committee.

  • Re:Dismantle DHS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:23PM (#47517089)

    That's the TSA, not the DHS.

    That said, I don't know why the DHS exists either, who the fuck thinks of America as the "Homeland" ?

    That seems like some idea out of a fascist nationalism.

    Couldn't they come up with a better name?

  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:24PM (#47517095)
    The whole point of being the secret police is that they're the SECRET fucking police. We've allowed literally half of the government agencies to be consolidated under one uber-agency whose charter is some nebulous bullshit about "keeping the fatherland safe". And then people are SURPRISED when it follows the example of the Gestapo and the KGB.
  • I know. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:27PM (#47517111)

    I still don't get why we still have this elaborate subsidy for a bunch of glorified mall cops.

    Because the American public is ill informed and they do not want to be better informed.

    They watch the news and have "facts" spoon fed to them by people with their own agenda.

    When a politician actually says, "Hold on here! We need to think about this police state crap!" they are labeled as being "soft on terror" and the public being incapable of having a thought that isn't planted there by the media, goes along. And people are totally afraid because of the irresponsible and incompetent media.

    In the article, an AMERICAN of Libyan decent was held without cause by the border thugs. I assure you that many Americans have no problem with that because she is an Arab - who cares what the ramifications are on our society and freedoms. See, we the stupid people only want freedom for people like us. The others can rot in jail.

    So, mix in unwarranted fear, bigotry and stupidity and we have the DHS.

  • Re:i bet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:27PM (#47517123)

    There's just something funny about the idea that our civilian population needs to create an informal spy agency to help it spy on its own government - that's essentially what we're proposing here.

  • Re:Dismantle DHS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:28PM (#47517125) Journal

    Created under GWB, and the left hated it, extended under BHO, and the left goes silent. I'm trying to figure out at what point does principle gets put aside for politics?

  • Re:Just to clarify (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:31PM (#47517147)

    Sounds like you think that secrecy which is used to commit outright crimes in your name, is needed.

    Here's an idea. I'm going to punch you square in the face. Then I'm going to make it illegal to tell anyone about it, because it would harm my reputation and my professional job is to be the head of a big governmental agency.

    But if that agency knew I punched you square in the face, I'd get publicly in trouble, which would make my agency look bad, which would cut their funding, which would mean they cannot protect people as well, thus my punching you in the face will be kept secret in the name of national security.

    Forget the fact I'm not supposed to be punching you in the first place...... what matters is now that I *have* punched you in the face, we need to all keep super secret about it or else my agency would look bad.

    That is the secrecy you protect so vigorously.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:49PM (#47517295)

    Righteous anger isn't always as Righteous or helpful as you'd originally thought. That's why we have a constitution, bill of rights, etc... To protect us from the whims of an angry fickle public when short term popular opinion may not be in the best interest of the long term health of the country. Amending the constitution takes a long time for a reason. DHS and other 3 letter agencies can only use 9/11 to subjugate us for so long... eventually the fear will fade, and get replaced outrage. History will not be kind to those that built, supported and continued agencies like the DHS and the NSA.

  • Re:i bet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @03:16PM (#47517487)

    Snowden, if he just stayed in America, would in all likelihood not have received a fair and impartial trial. Though this is ultimately hypothetical (since he has not submitted himself for arrest), let's set all political bullshitting aside and take an honest assessment of the truth.

    His revelations were extremely embarrassing to the most powerful institutions, and the most powerful people, in the American government. He has turned popular American sentiment hostile to the greater part of governance. What he has revealed could, in a fair and impartial legal system, land some of our own leaders in jail. And it is precisely these leaders who have already shown that they are corrupt.

    There is nothing in America that would protect him from their wrath. The American people, whom he benefited, will not return the favor and risk themselves to defend him if the government decides to retaliate.

    That is the reality currently faced by any would-be whistle blower. The legal protections promised to whistle blowers are, currently, nothing but hot air.

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @03:16PM (#47517491) Homepage Journal

    Let me get this straight; because this article is making my mind blow..... When Mr Snowden did what he did, the comments here on Slashdot both hailed him as hero and decried him as a traitor. This is still unresolved.

    And now we're saying that we NEED to have a Snowden-style event to have any kind of transparency at DHS? So, Americans need to give up their Hawaiian gymnast girlfriends, go on the lam, be hunted by every three-letter agency, have to move to Russia, have a price put on their heads, and still be hated by 50% of America who'd want to thrown them in a deep dark hole for the rest of their lives without a trial..... All so *you* can have some nice "transparency" at the DHS?????

    Sorry, but if that's what's required, PLEASE NOW ADMIT THAT AMERICA IS A FASCIST POLICE STATE, and that if the price of freedom is so high that most people aren't willing to give up everything for that freedom, we have become land of the sheep.

    Also, if you feel that's what's required; do it yourself; or start a revolution to take your country back from the oligarchs that have made into a greedy-self-serving-piece-of-shit-excuse for a nation. Mr Snowdens are few and far between and you're lucky to have the ones you have.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @03:28PM (#47517573)

    simple as that

    yes the cancer may open your eyes that maybe some of your habits are not that great, but at which price...?

  • Re:i bet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @03:48PM (#47517711)

    To "pull a Snowden" someone would first of all have to have some guts, conscience and a deep love for the values the United States of America once stood for.

    Where in the DHS would you find someone like that?

  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @04:42PM (#47518155)

    Needs about 350 million edward snowdens. Time to vote these criminals out people! Democrats and republicans both.

  • by Rashdot ( 845549 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @07:49PM (#47519363)

    Years ago I asked my uncle, who was a teenager during WW2, if he knew of people in our village that had hidden refugees during the war. As you mentioned, this was a very dangerous thing to do. He had to think long and hard, but managed to remember two or three families. Next I asked him if he knew about young men who had gone to fight on the German side. He immediately named about a dozen, but added that most did so because the pay was good and some simply went because they would get enough decent food to eat. At that moment I had the sad realization that those who would oppress us if they could, are living quietly among us. They live in every street, everywhere. As soon as an opportunity like WW2 arises, they will jump in and become the oppressors. But heroes are a lot harder to find.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.