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USA Today Names Edward Snowden Tech Person of the Year

Unknown Lamer posted about 8 months ago | from the things-to-do-before-you're-thirty dept.

Privacy 228

An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from the USA Today tech column: "...But until a lone information-technology contractor named Edward Snowden leaked a trove of National Security Agency documents to the media this summer, we didn't know just how much we'd surrendered. Now that we do, our nation can have a healthy debate — out in the open, as a democracy should debate — about how good a bargain we got in that exchange. For facilitating that debate, at great risk to his own personal liberty, Snowden is this column's technology person of the year for 2013."

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USA Today (5, Informative)

egr (932620) | about 8 months ago | (#45824349)

And yet by the government he is named as traitor and fugitive.

Re:USA Today (5, Insightful)

easyTree (1042254) | about 8 months ago | (#45824387)

What are the corrupt power-mongering double-talking ghouls gonna do? "Oh yeah, we're the bad guy. Sue us" ?

We all know that already (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 8 months ago | (#45824621)

What are the corrupt power-mongering double-talking ghouls gonna do? "Oh yeah, we're the bad guy. Sue us" ?

They do not need to tell us.

We already know.

Re:USA Today (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 8 months ago | (#45824687)

They tend to do that...

Hell, he should thankful he got out alive and without being tortured.

OOOOoooo say can you seeeEEEEEE.....etc

Re:USA Today (5, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 8 months ago | (#45824967)

. . . meanwhile, all USA Today employees can be sure that their emails are being read and their phones tapped.

. . . you have the right of speech in America . . . and now the NSA and the FBI have the right of free listen.

Oh, and USA Today can expect a tough audit from the IRS next year.

I'm guessing that 2014 will be the year of "The War On Surveillance" . . . but like all other "The War On" wars . . . it is doomed to be lost.

Re:USA Today (4, Informative)

EdIII (1114411) | about 8 months ago | (#45825849)

it is doomed to be lost

Which side?

The only way we could possibly lose is with continued apathy and stupidity. If we lacked those attributes we could defeat them in six months. People act like encryption is impossible or something. Push open source hardware, aggressively replace firmware with custom builds, mitigate as many possible threats as you can, and use the strongest encryption wherever possible.

Goooood news. With TAO being out in the open, and the US losing billions upon billions to its economy in the coming 12 months because hardware and software can't be trusted, you can bet your ass that the major players will be taking drastic action. Not as a PR job to the public citizen, no no no. It will be drastic action to convince me the person in charge of equipment purchasing that Cisco is still a good bet.

Why should Cisco care? Why should I choose to utilize them for public infrastructure, secure MPLS between financial institutions, etc. when I know they have been backdoored by the NSA? Especially, when the NSA is actually the least of my worries, but other governments and entities that would do harm to my network?

Kiss a huge amount of contracts goodbye. The worldwide consumers will most certainly be at least looking for other options right now.

Remember, the name of the game is NOT to deny them access to your networks from a full frontal assault from the NSA, but only to do just enough to raise the costs associated with mass surveillance several orders. The NSA can't get the financial resources to be approved for several orders more than what their budget has.

We can most certainly win.

The problem is that we will not even try.

Re:USA Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825885)

A lot of people seem to be misunderstanding the TAO story. TAO/ANT is exploiting and hacking independently of the vendors, at least in these specific stories about firmware being backdoored and such. You would not be any safer from their activities by choosing a non-American vendor.

Re:USA Today (4, Informative)

Dutchmaan (442553) | about 8 months ago | (#45825013)

Maybe you're confusing "person of the year" as something that means good guy or bad guy.. It doesn't. It just means someone that causes change or brings things to light or causes a big splash etc... someone who greatly impacts us.

USA Today reported on NSA's spying in *2006* (2, Interesting)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#45825087)

Ironic, then that it was USA Today who first broke the story about NSA warrantless wiretapping and phone metadata collection ***in 2006***

NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls [usatoday.com]

From that article, again, this was REPORTED BY USATODAY IN 2006:

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.
The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime

Snowden is a dupe at best...he's probably being blackmailed...but assuming the best, any way you look at the situation, he was duped by high-level criminals or foreign governments, or both, into doing this.

He's probably being blackmailed. He's not a free man in Russia. All the reports indicate he's essentially in jail when not being paraded in front of reporters.

Again...this info was reported by USA Today itself...in 2006...Snowden just gave operational details.

The "national conversation" about privacy could have happened w/o Snowden releasing that info. We US citizens could have demanded more transparency w/o Snowden releasing this info...

Because...we already knew it was happening. Snowden told us it was called 'Prism'

Even Senator Ron Wyden was sounding alarms on the Senate floor, before Snowden's document release....this from 2011: Senators Say Patriot Act Is Being Misinterpreted [nytimes.com] . Remember the PATRIOT ACT people?

One last time, as my first link shows, the USA Today reported on the NSA phone meta-data program with significant details **in 2006**

Re:USA Today reported on NSA's spying in *2006* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825269)

Snowden is a dupe at best...he's probably being blackmailed...but assuming the best, any way you look at the situation, he was duped by high-level criminals or foreign governments, or both, into doing this.

lolwhat? Never mind. I really don't care where you came up with this particular fantasy.

Re:USA Today reported on NSA's spying in *2006* (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 8 months ago | (#45825405)

Is this a scenario for a movie The Falcon And The Snowden?
If not, you have a thumb big enough. We'll call you. -- Hollywood

Re:USA Today reported on NSA's spying in *2006* (3, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 8 months ago | (#45825579)

Ironic, then that it was USA Today who first broke the story about NSA warrantless wiretapping and phone metadata collection ***in 2006***

And they had... what evidence, exactly? "Inside anonymous sources" is not the same as thousands of pages of documentation. That old article had very few details, no proof, no names, and nothing that actually proved anything whatsoever. Snowden showed what was actually going one, that it was illegal, and exactly how far it went.

Re:USA Today reported on NSA's spying in *2006* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825619)

This is far from the first time that the NSA has done something like this. Anyone who didn't know it was going on was a fool. Even though the article didn't present details or names, all that is unnecessary; it is not hard to imagine governments doing something like this, and especially so if you give them the (illegitimate) authority to do so through laws like the Patriot Act!

Read moar (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825687)

It's called documentary evidence: Hersch is "certain that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden "changed the whole nature of the debate" about surveillance. Hersh says he and other journalists had written about surveillance, but Snowden was significant because he provided documentary evidence. "Editors love documents. Chicken-shit editors who wouldn't touch stories like that, they love documents, so he changed the whole ball game,"" http://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2013/sep/27/seymour-hersh-obama-nsa-american-media [theguardian.com]

Re: USA Today reported on NSA's spying in *2006* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825703)

So parent... How long did you work in psy-ops before being promoted to social media propagandist?

Re:USA Today (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 8 months ago | (#45825179)

Which aptly shows what the government actually is.

Re:USA Today (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#45825223)

And yet by the government he is named as traitor and fugitive.

And thus he rode off into the files of History.

History is full of people authority called scoundrels, but the people have loved them.

If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 8 months ago | (#45824383)

Edward Snowden is a shoe in.

Of the untold numbers of spooks working in / for NSA, Ed Snowden is the only one who has the conscience and the courage to reveal the dastardly unconstitutional secrets of the NSA.

Thanks, Mr. Snowden, for what you have done for the country !

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 8 months ago | (#45824455)

Did you see his appearance on Channel 4 [channel4.com] ? He seems to have dropped a little weight - I guess being targeted by those the run the 'land of the free' amusement ride takes its toll :S

Sad that humanity hasn't evolved wholeness yet :'|

Not that I'm a particular believer in things religious but if we were to think for a moment about the line "The meek shall inherit the earth", these fucks have got to be running from the inevitable. Oh yeah, Happy New Year!

This could be avoided (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45824707)

Yeah, if only he turn himself in. I hear they serve McDee's at Guantanamo now!

Re:This could be avoided (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45824757)

Do they still serve those cockmeat sandwiches?

Re:This could be avoided (3, Informative)

easyTree (1042254) | about 8 months ago | (#45825031)

I understand you can get those on the outside, if you're missing them :P

Re:This could be avoided (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825099)

The ketchup dispensers are serving lube and salt'n'pepper bags have been replaced with condoms.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 8 months ago | (#45824739)

I had an epiphany recently about what that "prophecy" actually meant.

"The meek shall inherit the earth"

Ever wondered, especially considering our current trajectory, if what might be meant is that the world will only have the meek left, people having completely butt sexed themselves as a species?

It would be one of those awesome "twilight zone" style reveals at the end of the show, wouldn't it?

I am soooo hoping that is what was meant...

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (0)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 8 months ago | (#45824931)

The food in Russia sucks.

You mean "shoo in", of course (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45824727)

Mr Snowden is not being given shoes.

Re:You mean "shoo in", of course (1)

some old guy (674482) | about 8 months ago | (#45825571)

In Russia?

Shoes for Industry!

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (-1, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#45824995)

Thanks, Mr. Snowden, for what you have done for the country !

I'm sure the country appreciates what he has done. In time he may even be honored with a parade [youtube.com] .

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825543)

Thanks, Mr. Snowden, for what you have done for the country !

I'm sure the country appreciates what he has done. In time he may even be honored with a parade [youtube.com] .

And in time, your pathetic treasonous bootlicking ass will be utterly
forgotten by the entire human race.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#45825803)

Rather like Snowden and you then.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825041)

I think Snowden was a traitor who helped America's enemies and geopolitical adversaries (the latter group includes China and Russia), but I don't write a major media tech column. Even if I did, an anti-Snowden column wouldn't be PC with techies, especially not here, so it would either be ignored or lampooned.

To me, none of Snowden's revelations were particularly surprising. The NSA is a spy agency by charter. Spies can and do go beyond the letter of the law in order to fulfill their mission of protecting their country from its enemies... it would be shocking if they didn't. If you don't think so, maybe you can argue that point. Congress is deputized with providing oversight over the spy agencies, and so far they seem concerned but not alarmed (at the content of the revelations, as opposed to the diplomatic damage).

And the spectacle of the CEOs of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft protesting on behalf of the privacy of Americans, that's right out of Casablanca. "Your winnings, sir."

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825121)

Spot on the money, and very unpopular with the crowd here. Distorted thinking is the rule here.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825611)

Spot on the money, and very unpopular with the crowd here. Distorted thinking is the rule here.

If you open your mouth one more time I am going to
shove a shit covered cock into it.

Of course that's what you want, so I'll be waiting.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (5, Insightful)

maugle (1369813) | about 8 months ago | (#45825255)

The NSA is a spy agency by charter. Spies can and do go beyond the letter of the law in order to fulfill their mission of protecting their country from its enemies... it would be shocking if they didn't.

This is America. Nobody is supposed to be above the law, especially the government.

Congress may not be concerned with the NSA's actions, but they've already proven themselves willing to trade away our freedoms wholesale so that they can claim to be "tough on terror" during the next election cycle. We need to hold their feet to the fire and make them reign in the NSA.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825329)

This is America. Nobody is supposed to be above the law

Then I take it that you agree with the government's prosecution of Aaron Swartz.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825339)

The government isn't, Per NBC news (http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/27/22072205-new-york-federal-judge-rules-nsa-phone-surveillance-is-legal?lite) The NSA was acting within its constitutional bounds. Everyone here is happy to throw blame at the government, but no one is even willing to consider that what Snowden did was not even slightly heroic. If Snowden wanted to be a hero, and thought what the government was doing is wrong, he could have gone to a congressman and would be safe under the Whistleblower Protection Act. Any Tea Party congressman would have been happy to ride the "peoples rights" wagon to re-election on that ticket. Snowden would have been the hero people make of him. Snowden is a sellout who took what he had and likely ran to the highest bidder with the info.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (3)

YumoolaJohn (3478173) | about 8 months ago | (#45825645)

The NSA was acting within its constitutional bounds.

Only if you ignore the constitution completely and instead choose to appeal to authority figures and believe government propaganda.

he could have gone to a congressman

Would that have resulted in the American people becoming aware of their government's crimes? The answer is, without a doubt, "no." I applaud the fact that Snowden let the American people in on the specifics.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about 8 months ago | (#45825855)

I applaud the fact that Snowden let the American people in on the specifics.

Can you identify the specifics that weren't known before? (excluding revelations concerning spying on other countries).

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825285)

I think Snowden was a traitor who helped America's enemies and geopolitical adversaries (the latter group includes China and Russia)...

And I think you're a flaming idiot and apologist.

Take a look at Article Three, Section 3 [wikipedia.org] of the United States Constitution. Now answer this for me: When and where has Edward Snowden levied war against the United States? When and where has he adhered to its enemies or provided them with aid/comfort?

I assure you China, Russia, etc ALREADY knew what the NSA was up to, because they do the same thing. All Snowden has done is bring the NSA's unconstitutional actions to the forefront of public thought; shining some daylight on their activities in the hopes these vampires burn. Snowden's only "crime" has been to piss off the political elite, and then manage to escape their retribution (for now).

So no, Edward Snowden is not a traitor by any definition that matters in this country. He has been very careful to release information in a way that, as much as possible, avoids collateral damage. This is in stark contrast to, say, grabbing whatever "secret" data you can, putting it on a flash drive, and emailing it to Julian Assange, damn the consequences.

Let me drive that final point home. I am explicitly saying that if Edward Snowden's actions are treason, then by your same definition, Bradley Manning is a traitor as well. Think about that for a second...

Snowden should have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825559)

released the unredacted documents and remained anonymous. To ensure public exposure for the actions of the NSA all that was required was to widely distribute the materials to media in multiple countries.

Re:Snowden should have (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825895)

released the unredacted documents and remained anonymous. To ensure public exposure for the actions of the NSA all that was required was to widely distribute the materials to media in multiple countries.

Unfortunately, if he had remained anonymous, we'd never hear about it. Going public and taking ownership was (in my opinion) done for his own personal safety. By loudly proclaiming "yes, it was me!" it becomes impossible for him to be disappeared without a lot of people asking questions. Had he remained anonymous, they would have found him eventually, "taken care of him", and then discredited the evidence.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (5, Informative)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 8 months ago | (#45825127)

Of the untold numbers of spooks working in / for NSA, Ed Snowden is the only one who has the conscience and the courage to reveal the dastardly unconstitutional secrets of the NSA.

Actually, two other guys did; William Binney [wikipedia.org] and Thomas Drake [wikipedia.org] . Unfortunately, they went through official channels, so they got harrassed and prosecuted by the government, and without the massive trove of documents Snowden exfiltrated, they were ignored and marginalized by the major media. Their experience is what convinced Snowden that he had no choice but to go outside.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (4, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | about 8 months ago | (#45825215)

Indeed. But these two can now take some comfort in the fact that they allowed Snowden to see that official channels do not work. There never is only a lonely hero, there is always a need for some people to prepare the way. And humanity has never been kind or thankful to its heroes either. But I think Snowden understands that.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 8 months ago | (#45825781)

But these two can now take some comfort in the fact that they allowed Snowden to see that official channels do not work

They were beta-testers of whistle-blowing, performing important Q&A testing on the process so that the final release could make it out to the public without any major bugs.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (4, Insightful)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 8 months ago | (#45825859)

That was beautiful. I only wonder if we'll see the day when Snowden, Manning and Assange are granted freedom. And when the inmates at GITMO are allowed to tell their stories in complete detail, and we are allowed to hear them.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (0)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 8 months ago | (#45825211)

What's he done for the country? If anything, he's pissed all other countries off, and America is hated even more now. The American people may be upset about their rights, but all that will happen, in the end, is that they learn more about how the law works, and that 3rd-party's aren't The People's private-keepers that everyone thought they should be.

Until I see all of the information that he has, I believe nothing other than what's above.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825367)

" dastardly unconstitutional secrets"

People keep saying this but I have yet to see any evidence of it. Everything revealed has been perfectly legal under the constitution, The judicial branch has hundreds of legal precedents interpreting what constitutes "reasonable" and "search and seizure". This is the same judicial process that is defined in the constitution. You might DISAGREE with it, but this is the process that the constitution has laid out for us regarding how law should be interpreted. So, to say that it is unconstitutional despite the judicial branch's clear rulings, you yourself are advocating violating the constitution. I know this isn't what Slashdot commenters want to hear, and I'm sure I will get modded down for this while someone posts a bold one-liner comment to this that gets modded +5 insightful, but this is the truth. I beseech everyone who values online privacy to rephrase the debate, because trying to argue that is unconstitutional is wasted effort for everyone who cares about privacy. You will be excluded not only by everyone who wants a serious, rational debate about this subject, but also by the people who have the power to change it (i.e. our elected representatives, for better or worse)>

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825695)

Everything revealed has been perfectly legal under the constitution

Nope. When you start appealing to authority figures, you've already lost something important: Independence.

The judicial branch has hundreds of legal precedents interpreting what constitutes "reasonable" and "search and seizure".

The judicial branch can rule that 1 + 1 = 3; I'm not going to believe them. In fact, the supreme court has even overruled itself in the past, so this "The Supreme Court is automatically right!" type of thinking is paradoxical at best.

you yourself are advocating violating the constitution.

You're an idiot. Having an opinion that differs from that of some judge's is not at all advocating that we violate the constitution. They are two completely separate things.

Saying your comment is the truth is just absurd, and does not make it so.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 8 months ago | (#45825913)

The color of law efforts to work around or in other ways use parallel construction have gone to an open US court.
http://www.freedomwatchusa.org/court-declares-nsa-spying-program-unconstitutional-and-grant [freedomwatchusa.org]
Other open US court rulings will follow as the issue moves up the US courts.
The problem is the US unconstitutional aspect is very clear - legal precedents, 'interpreting", "events" do not undo the Fourth Amendment.
The good part is the US legal system has to clear on what it will do. Will the Fourth Amendment protect freedom of speech, association, contact with the press, public expression of faith, political support, protest, charity work, travel, reading of books/web use... open courts, warrants under oath and cross examination of witnesses...?
Further work before US courts will really be defining - no protection or total protection?
No protection will subject any defendant to a closed conversation between a judge, their defence lawyer and the gov over discovered material.
No option to cross examine, call witnesses, have the material made public, no real oath on how or where or when the material was collected, the chain of custody would start with documents been presented in court on the trail day..
The legal US system would be reduced to a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Chamber [wikipedia.org] after a multimedia presentation for a select few cleared court officials.

Re:If ever there was a "Conscience Award" ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825545)

Lets kiss the ass of an idiot! What did he reveal? NOTHING!!

The media has had chance after chance to call out the US government and its spying agencies for years, now everybody acts as if this guy is Christ!

For those that live in a bubble this might be news worthy, but for most which would be a majority of Americans, this didn't come as a surprise, there was no "outrage" the outrage came for the brainless jack-offs in the press, who acted as if this type of spying not only on US citizens, but the world has never happened through out American history.

Look up your history, on US spying, domestically, and internationally, going back to WWII, up to today.

Did he reveal any of the other possible spying agencies in the US that are perhaps getting away with far worse? Has he disclosed the inner workings of the NSA? All I have read was about data collection... And stupid names for programs that group the underlining mission for the particular data there trying to collect.

Consequences more for World - USA (4, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about 8 months ago | (#45824591)

In my view; the revelations have far more impact for nations in the World other than the USA (you know; such nations do exist; and are home to 20 times more people than in the US). But when the Internet is controlled largely by the US; and these revelations indicate even more erosion of other nations' peoples' rights; the debate must include the entire World. One fears that just like the US Presidential debate; the implications for the rest of us will be ignored totally.

Re:Consequences more for World - USA (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 8 months ago | (#45824889)

Well, is the internet really controlled by the US? It certainly isn't in China. You can use the same methods they do.

Your rights are the job of you and your government to protect. There will always be people looking to abuse them. It isn't the duty of some other government to protect them. It's the job of YOUR government.

Trying to assert that it is the duty of the US to protect your rights - well there certainly is no precedent for that sort of thing in world history.

this is USA Today we're talking about (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 8 months ago | (#45824649)

free output at most motels.

Re:this is USA Today we're talking about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825585)

A McAward from McPaper [amazon.com] , and the quality of the column written to back it up reflects that. The only two points made by the columnist are self-contradictory (NSA spying is a deep existential threat to every American; NSA is so inept they can't connect the dots even when they are all lined up in front of them).

But hey, they love it here on Dice.

Soon to be forgotten. Very soon. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45824673)

Come Wednesday, Snowden will be last year's news, and nothing of consequence will change. Meet the new year, same as the old year.

Re:Soon to be forgotten. Very soon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825011)

Come Wednesday, Snowden will be last year's news, and nothing of consequence will change. Meet the new year, same as the old year.

Given how everything he says is taken as gospel, the massive confirmation bias going on, I sort of expect to find out that he has exaggerated or fabricated some things and he will quickly become yesterday's news like that army private who dumped data to wikileaks.

Re:Soon to be forgotten. Very soon. (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 8 months ago | (#45825209)

Come Wednesday, Snowden will be last year's news, and nothing of consequence will change. Meet the new year, same as the old year.

I've been wondering this too. Will Edward Snowden's revelations ever lead to a better system in USA? Usually I just hear Americans pointing fingers at other countries and saying "they are doing it too!". I don't know, maybe it's damn hard to start a revolution to change everything. But some day Snowden runs out of juicy documents to leak. Then things will cool down, people forget the whole issue in a few months and NSA gets to continue doing its same old job without interferences. Right?

Of course he's man of the year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45824709)

He wrote half their stupid info-graphic stories for them! Snowden was their most productive employee, so of course they should award him a prize.

Edward Snowden is a god damned TRAITOR (-1, Troll)

bazmail (764941) | about 8 months ago | (#45824713)

To all you idiots out there, if you've got nothing to hid then you have nothing to fear. Edward Snowden is a big a danger to the US today as the Soviet Union was 4 years ago. He should be executed without trial.

Re:Edward Snowden is a god damned TRAITOR (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 8 months ago | (#45824735)

Edward Snowden is a big a danger to the US today as the Soviet Union was 4 years ago.

No argument there...

Re:Edward Snowden is a god damned TRAITOR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825205)

whoosh....

Re:Edward Snowden is a god damned TRAITOR (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 8 months ago | (#45824795)

Bullshit, the traitors are those in government ignoring the constitution and illegally spying on the citizenry. It needs to stop now.

Re:Edward Snowden is a god damned TRAITOR (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45824825)

The illegal spying stopped when Obama was elected.

Vote Hillary!

Re:Edward Snowden is a god damned TRAITOR (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825459)

Then elect someone new or move. Until then, find some facts to support your outrage.

Re:Edward Snowden is a god damned TRAITOR (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825497)

People keep saying this but I have yet to see any evidence of it. Everything revealed has been perfectly legal under the constitution, The judicial branch has hundreds of legal precedents interpreting what constitutes "reasonable" and "search and seizure". This is the same judicial process that is defined in the constitution. You might DISAGREE with it, but this is the process that the constitution has laid out for us regarding how law should be interpreted. So, to say that it is unconstitutional despite the judicial branch's clear rulings, you yourself are advocating violating the constitution. I know this isn't what Slashdot commenters want to hear, and I'm sure I will get modded down for this while someone posts a bold one-liner comment to this that gets modded +5 insightful, but this is the truth. I beseech everyone who values online privacy to rephrase the debate, because trying to argue that is unconstitutional is wasted effort for everyone who cares about privacy. You will be excluded not only by everyone who wants a serious, rational debate about this subject, but also by the people who have the power to change it (i.e. our elected representatives, for better or worse)>
 

Re:Edward Snowden is a god damned TRAITOR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45824827)

To all you idiots out there, if you've got nothing to hid then you have nothing to fear. Edward Snowden is a big a danger to the US today as the Soviet Union was 4 years ago. He should be executed without trial.

Thank you for that brilliant insight into your psyche, Mr. Mussolini - by the way, your brown shirts are ready at the cleaners.

Re:Edward Snowden is a god damned TRAITOR (3, Interesting)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 8 months ago | (#45824837)

The internet being what it is I am rendered unable to decide whether this is sarcasm, irony and/or a troll.

So I decided to investigate what else you have written in an attempt to solve this mystery. I don't know as yet WHY I did this as I really don't give a flying fuck what your motivations are so that mystery will have to wait until I see my therapist next.

You have many posts listed as flamebait etc but also many listed positively.

So it appears you are very good at generating strong reactions from others. Unfortunately this does not really answer my original question.

However comments such as this: "lol Euro-weenies always finding an excuse to lick boot"

and this: "Conviction should be quashed and a full "royal" apology from the inbred German layabouts in Buckingham palace."

Lead me to finally decide that, based on a balance of probabilities, you are indeed a troll in this instance but, unlike other species of troll, actually possess the capability to write sensible and thought provoking comments. This does not make your trolling here better, but worse.

So shame on you.

Re:Edward Snowden is a god damned TRAITOR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45824865)

That's some excellent detective work, Mr Fancy Pants.

Re:Edward Snowden is a god damned TRAITOR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825419)

Troll or NSA Sock Puppet ??

"The smug mantra that there is no privacy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45824719)

Now that the USA Today columnist has brought it up, I'm much more worried about the invasion of individual privacy by big businesses, including the major Internet companies, banks, credit card issuers, and credit agencies, and phone/cable companies, than with surveillance of phone calls and web activity from the NSA/FBI/CIA. It is getting to the point where they can assemble comprehensive journals of daily activities (transactional or otherwise), combined and collated with data of record, on every person in the country (not to mention foreigners), and use them to model and predict our future actions.

Re:"The smug mantra that there is no privacy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825401)

Big business just wants your money. Wants to market to you better. Their motives are simple. Pure greed.

The NSA on the other hand has much more disturbing things in mind with the privacy invasion... They want control. All of it. From what you can do, where you can go, what you believe, to how you live. and also the totallity of what big business wants as well.

Pure greed is evil yes. But compared to the other? I'll take the greedy spys... You'll at least be getting a good deal on shoes.

Evil you can see and understand is simple to deal with.

I'm not saying it's acceptable. I'm saying we should focus our resistance to the greater danger for now. the nsa/fbi/cia/whoeverthefuck.

Then you weren't paying attention (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45824745)

we didn't know just how much we'd surrendered

Probably because you stopped listening to people telling you when Barak Obama got elected. Perhaps his Nobel Peace Prize got caught in your ear.

Well Hell (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#45824753)

That and a full pardon would get him back where he'd be if he'd never brought these things to light.

Yep, he's jumping around like a five year old on Christmas morning.

Next in news. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45824965)

"USA Today was raided by the Internal Revenue Service of the U.S.A. today."

The press and the people... (4, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 8 months ago | (#45825019)

...are divided as usual, but many seem to applaud what he did. I do.

The government however is not divided that I can see. They want his ass on a platter. Strung up, drawn and quartered with his parts sent to the four corners of Scotland as a message. This is telling in this day and age of 'partisan' bickering to keep the masses distracted with largely inconsequential issues. Patriotism is not serving in office. Or recording every bit of data you can weakening our country, technology and economy in the process, to supposedly protect us. It is not giving lip service to the constitution, while you wipe your arse with it by your actions.

It is about standing up. It is about saying wait, this is NOT what MY country is supposed to be. It is about being able to stand up to a Tory, or a Tea Partier, or a Donkey and saying "fuck you, give me my rights, give me my liberty, or give me death", to paraphrase Patrick Henry. It is not in cow towing to the powers that be, but resisting the ever reaching yoke of the powerful.

But we don't stand by and large. We listen to Fox news and MSNBC talking heads and nod. We scream at our football games or hope to see a blurred nipple slip on TMZ. We laugh at cat memes and snapchat sext our co-workers while the spouse is away. We wonder at the changes in the climate then get into our unneeded and wasteful SUV.

What happened to our spine? The one that beat the brits? The one that helped show Germany and Japan where they could put it when they wanted to remake the world into their bleak image? Why are we more interested in goatse, and goth chicks and godzilla than righting our government? Why can 10 random people not discuss issues without at least 1 to 2 people completely derailing any progress? Why do we continually bend over while those in power plum our innermost depths to their own ends?

I wish I knew the answers. I though many of these thoughts as a teen 20 years ago. Then I had the optimism to think that we were on the brink. That we would stand, that a revolution was imminent. That the way things were would be changed and we had the power to do it. I was cynical then, but had hope. Now I think I am a defeatist. I would like more than just a few people to prove me wrong. The Snowdens of the world are currently the exception that proves the rule. Why is this?

Re:The press and the people... (-1, Troll)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 8 months ago | (#45825135)

As rants go, this one is unusually lame. I'm just sayin' ...

Highlights:

"What happened to our spine?" [groan ...]
"I wish I knew the answers." ... oh please ...
" Now I think I am a defeatist." Congrats DUDE!!!!!
"I was cynical then, but had hope."
"Then I had the optimism to think that we were on the brink." --- [groan x 2]

On the plus side, I see no spelling errors or grammatical errors --- so I bet you get high grades in English.

Re:The press and the people... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825175)

On the plus side, I see no spelling errors or grammatical errors --- so I bet you get high grades in English.

Cow towing?

Re:The press and the people... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825231)

Here's another:

"We listen to Fox news and MSNBC talking heads and nod."

TIP: One thing I've noticed is that rants that include a "pox on both parties" bit are almost invariably modded up.

(Moderator thought processs) He's definitely on the right side so that makes him eligible to be modded up, he's plenty pissed off but then he shows that he's not biased. Whoa. This is GOOD STUFF!

Re:The press and the people... (1)

lakeland (218447) | about 8 months ago | (#45825599)

Ok, so it had a few cliches in it.

But it seems to me that the GP has a point. I'm not old enough to know what it was like during say McCarthy's witch hunts and how many people stood up for what is right. Was it a very small minority while most people just went about their lives, or was there wide public dissension? I do remember in the early 80s that there was fairly active opposition to Apartheid rather than the current defeatist apathy. That was a bit different though because most countries had abandoned it and it was more a matter of imposing our views on an unwilling minority than changing a more powerful group. The largest protest I can remember from recent history is the 99% movement and even that seemed to largely die out after a few weeks.

More succinctly: "Is the general populace's apathy to the issues of the day unique to our generation, or is this normal?"

PS: Cow towing rather than Kowtowing, though since it's from Cantonese I am not sure you could call anything a misspelling.

Re:The press and the people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825479)

"Why can 10 random people not discuss issues without at least 1 to 2 people completely derailing any progress?"

Probably FBI COINTELPRO plants?

Re:The press and the people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825807)

agreed you resumed my angst, my teenaged hope and my mid-age disillusions in a succinct post, thank you for wording what I was feeling

Huh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825107)

"we didn't know just how much we'd surrendered."

I find this insulting. Read FISA, read the Patriot act and related bills. If you interpret the language liberally(meaning as open ended as possible) then you will realize all that Snowden leaked was already known. And if you think they'd never do that, then you're putting your head in the sand, they don't pass laws for no reason.

Re:Huh (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 8 months ago | (#45825227)

Knowing something is different from having the facts available for most people. There needs to be a catalyst that makes it clear to them. Snowden did just that.

It doesn't work that way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825125)

If your 'debate' is out in the open so your advisories know exactly where you are watching or what you can track, then what is the point of debating? The 'civil libertarians' (who lost the last election), get their way. And then Snowden/Glenwald are in control until the NSA comes up with new ways to monitor the bad guys and keeps their secrets locked up a lot better.

Re:It doesn't work that way (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 8 months ago | (#45825259)

Well, maybe. But "locking the secrets up better" comes with a price in efficiency. Of course, the NSA can eventually bankrupt the US if it gets all funding it wants to have and needs to keep secrecy intact (hence huge overheads in getting anything done). Maybe that would be the best outcome and maybe even the one with the least casualties. If, on the other hand, they manage to establish a totalitarian regime in the US, that would be hugely more costly.

OMG (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825229)

Yes, we did! We've known all along how far down the rabbit hole we've gone. All Snowden has done is allow us to step back and react in faux-shock over things we've all known about for years. The fucking cognitive dissonance on display in articles like this is shameful. We all knew what was going on, and it was fine so long as nobody pointed it out... now we're all racing each other to see who can be the most outraged about it the quickest. It's damned disgusting, people. Own up to it, already.

Re:OMG (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825495)

Tell people the truth on /. and get downmodded. That's why I never bothered to sign up for an account all these years. On some topics, this place is as bad as Fox Noise. Go fuck yourselves... wallow in your self-righteous indignation, but deep down, you know that you were aware, and that's what really matters: you know that you let it happen.

Here Here ... Jolly Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825263)

I found this laughable:
"Now that we do, our nation can have a healthy debate — out in the open, as a democracy should debate — about how good a bargain we got in that exchange."

Really!

I'd say, "[Un]Civil War" against the Unelected Government of the U.S.A.

Let the "Blood Flow!"

Congratulations! Peace prize next! (5, Insightful)

Zibodiz (2160038) | about 8 months ago | (#45825271)

He deserves all the recognition we can give him. Whether he did things the right way or not, he did what he thought he should do for the good of Americans, even though he knew it would result in his becoming a refugee in another country, or possibly imprisoned and tortured here in the states. He didn't do it for money, and I doubt he did it for fame; he did it because his conscience told him he had to. He is a patriot who deserves to be treated as one. Here's to hoping he gets a Nobel Peace Prize.

Re:Congratulations! Peace prize next! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825379)

Here's to hoping he gets a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why? Does he plans to monitor everyone and kill brown people all over the world, blaming everything on Bush?

Re:Congratulations! Peace prize next! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825851)

He didn't do it for money, and I doubt he did it for fame; he did it because his conscience told him he had to.

Wow, you must really know the guy. Are you friends? Hang out a lot? Have lots of conversations with him? Or perhaps you stared deeply into his soul and liked what you saw? So why did he take all that foreign intelligence stuff first to China, then to Russia? Did his conscience compel him to dump all these secrets on the adversaries? Maybe they opened up to him and reciprocated in kind and he is planning on bringing that intelligence info back with him. He was so moved for the US populace that he dumped all that foreign intel to Russia and China.

With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Not a Tech "Thing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825311)

He is known for breaking a spy scandal. The subject there is intel. Tech had nothing to do with it (except that the files he stole were digital, for all I know, all of them were). Very little tech here. Very big intel. The theme does NOT apply to snowden.

USA Today (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | about 8 months ago | (#45825315)

Who gives a crap what "titles" USA Today bestows? They're the McDonalds of news media.

Re:USA Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825363)

Who gives a crap what "titles" USA Today bestows? They're the McDonalds of news media.

That's exactly why this is interesting.

Re:USA Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825487)

Any last shred of respect I had for USA Today shriveled and died today.

Surrendered Liberty? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825347)

If we "didn't know how much [liberty] we've surrendered", did we actually surrender any? How can you surrender liberty and not know it? (This is kindda like the old question about whether a tree that falls in the forest makes a sound if no one hears it.) I haven't heard of a single person who was prosecuted (or persecuted) as a result of information gathered by the NSA. Oh, except that Snowden himself got in a lot of trouble over it.

Although folks may not much like the activities of the NSA now that they're known, those activities seem to have been non-intrusive to the point of being unknown until they were revealed by Snowden. Evidently, Snowden did us the "favor" of making known - for the first time - our loss of liberty. Finally, we all can grieve.

In contrast, the activities of the literary Big Brother of "1984" fame were clearly announced to the populace in order to have maximum suppression of liberty. This ain't exactly Big Brother stuff, folks.

All records are being spied on, not just the phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825519)

Again and again we need to keep telling that all phone conversations, call logs and the contents, as well as all internet activities including (but not limited) to emails (and their contents), internet searches and any internet activity (including social networks), together with all other digitazeable records (healthcare, prescription, library, movie, gun ownership, hobbies, religious, tax, train and airline travel, banking, EZ pass, and automatic plate number readers, smartphone location, etc) as well as your analog records is a fair game now and can and will be searched by automated intelligence software and human analysts from cia, fbi, cia, dea, irs, ssa, tsa, dhs, and many other organizations within USA as well as multiple countries outside United States, who will know you better than you know yourself.

This does not, of course, does not include tailored operations and human intelligence.

While that famous judge who ruled that spying on americans is a fair game. Why his rulling was silent about other nations (israel, germany, sweden, uk, australia, canada, new zealand etc) who are recipients of NSA intelligence on US citizens, NSA provides raw data. I thought NSA is supposed to be guarding against spying agasint US persons, not provide their data to third parties and commercial entities.

I remember when... (5, Insightful)

ApplePy (2703131) | about 8 months ago | (#45825561)

Back in my day, the *Russian* spooks defected *to* the *USA*.

Now get off my lawn!

Except that's damnably creepy when you think about what a change that is.

There goes his credibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825757)

So much for any credibility he has.

Or perhaps its an NSA conspiracy to discredit him. Hmm.

Social engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45825879)

IMHO Snowden is more of a social engineer (with warped values and sensibilities) than a great techie.

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