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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the also-on-non-human-rights-workers dept.

Encryption 230

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "The Guardian reports that according to Edward Snowden, the NSA has spied on the staff of prominent human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. 'The NSA has specifically targeted either leaders or staff members in a number of civil and non-governmental organizations including domestically within the borders of the United States.' Snowden, addressing the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, said he did not believe the NSA was engaged in 'nightmare scenarios,' such as the active compilation of a list of homosexuals 'to round them up and send them into camps.' But he did say that the infrastructure allowing this to happen had been built.

Snowden made clear that he believed in legitimate intelligence operations but said the NSA should abandon its electronic surveillance of entire civilian populations. Instead, Snowden said, it should go back to the traditional model of eavesdropping against specific targets, such as 'North Korea, terrorists, cyber-actors, or anyone else.' Snowden also urged members of the Council of Europe to encrypt their personal communications and said that encryption, used properly, could still withstand 'brute force attacks' from powerful spy agencies and others. 'Properly implemented algorithms backed up by truly random keys of significant length all require more energy to decrypt than exists in the universe.'"

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LOL (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46699677)

Snowden also urged members of the Council of Europe to encrypt their personal communications and said that encryption, used properly, could still withstand 'brute force attacks' from powerful spy agencies and others. 'Properly implemented algorithms backed up by truly random keys of significant length all require more energy to decrypt than exists in the universe.'

Just don't use OpenSSL or GnuTLS.

Outrage fatigue (4, Interesting)

Harry8 (664596) | about 8 months ago | (#46699695)

Do you think that the reason barricades have not been stormed and every congressperson is not running scared from all responsibility, knowledge etc is because it's another thing with a computer in it so the brain has dropped out of the ear? Same thing as public service spending billions on a solution that boils down to a 286 with a whole lot of workarounds. People stop thinking as soon as "with a computer" is in the sentence? I don't know, I can't fathom it I'm wildly advancing theories to explain how the USA achieved the USSR's wet dream of surveillance and it has less impact on policy than if a pop star got naked on prime time television.

Re:Outrage fatigue (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46699785)

No, it's because ordinary people in this country want to make sure the people in charge of protecting us are keeping track of our enemies, like these "human rights" groups. You may think I'm trolling, but this really is the way ordinary people think. Ask your parents.

Re:Outrage fatigue (4, Insightful)

Livius (318358) | about 8 months ago | (#46699875)

...this really is the way ordinary people think.

Ordinary people are very mistaken but sadly, yes, this is the way they think.

Re:Outrage fatigue (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#46699941)

Actually the main problem I see with this is how ineffective it makes the NSA. If you spy on every damn thing then there is no way you can adequately cover the important things. This wide area net makes for an incredible amount of holes which is why they suck so badly at real intelligence. We need them on point, not spying on 7 billion people.

Re:Outrage fatigue (1)

mmell (832646) | about 8 months ago | (#46700185)

It's like making hashish - start with a coarse filter, run it through a medium-mesh filter, then finally through a fine filter. The stuff caught in the fine filter is what you're after.

A friend of mine in the Army once told me that we shared a capacity for emitting voluminous streams of fine-filtered bullshit, and that he felt sorry for the bulk of humanity who did not have fine filters like ours. NSA certainly has fine filters, which they use to watch guys like me. :)

Re:Outrage fatigue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46701065)

It's like making hashish - start with a coarse filter, run it through a medium-mesh filter, then finally through a fine filter. The stuff caught in the fine filter is what you're after.

A friend of mine in the Army once told me that we shared a capacity for emitting voluminous streams of fine-filtered bullshit, and that he felt sorry for the bulk of humanity who did not have fine filters like ours. NSA certainly has fine filters, which they use to watch guys like me. :)

Filters are more like how business operates with bean counters. If they can't count it, it doesn't exist. If they can count it, it becomes excessively important.

Then when it hits the fan, people get all excited and demand more filters. Because the filters they'd been using didn't see it coming.

Re:Outrage fatigue (4, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 8 months ago | (#46701137)

"Actually the main problem I see with this is how ineffective it makes the NSA."

You assume that the NSA's real job is to "deal with enemies" and not enhance the profits of those who benefit from the NSA's existence.

Re:Outrage fatigue (5, Interesting)

AlanObject (3603453) | about 8 months ago | (#46701161)

If you spy on every damn thing then there is no way you can adequately cover the important things.

I don't agree with this -- they are taking the same approach that I would have taken given their mission statement. They want to collect everything then go through it later when a need arises. This is sound engineering and it can be effective law enforcement. Anyone can think of many scenarios where it would be desirable if not vital to track back what an identified person has been doing for the last 30 days.

The flaw is their assumption that nobody should mind having everything about them recorded as long as nothing but a computer program looks at it. After all I have to show my ID to police on request and the requirement on their side is that they don't do it arbitrarily. The NSA officials see what they are doing is the exact same thing. The flaw with that is of course I have no idea what NSA is doing or has done with the data they have already taken with me. Nor do you. Nor anyone. Their "internal procedures" to prevent abuse have been shown to be not trustworthy.

So NSA is on a track where they are sound technically, but way off legally and ethically.

Re:Outrage fatigue (5, Interesting)

flaming error (1041742) | about 8 months ago | (#46701347)

AlanObject says:

the same approach that I would have taken given their mission statement

What "mission statement"? This? [nsa.gov]

Collect (including through clandestine means), process, analyze, produce, and disseminate signals intelligence information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes to support national and departmental missions;

GP is right. They can't process and analyze as much data as they collect, so they don't produce useful intelligence.

They want to collect everything then go through it later when a need arises

That's forensics, not intelligence.

So NSA is on a track where they are sound technically, but way off legally and ethically.

Just curious - if they are way off ethically and morally, why would you take that same approach?

Re:Outrage fatigue (3, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 8 months ago | (#46701201)

Actually the main problem I see with this is how ineffective it makes the NSA. If you spy on every damn thing then there is no way you can adequately cover the important things. This wide area net makes for an incredible amount of holes which is why they suck so badly at real intelligence. We need them on point, not spying on 7 billion people.

This. It's amazing - fucking amazing - that while the NSA was busy spying on Americans Putin was able to invade the Ukraine and surprise us. Like, gee, maybe listening to grandma's phone calls doesn't make us safer. Who'd a thunk it?

I don't mind us having a spy operation. Really. But we didn't catch the Boston bomber, didn't know Putin was going to invade Crimea until he was there. What, exactly, are we paying for here?

Re:Outrage fatigue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46699953)

Ordinary person here. Contemporary NGOs are kleptocracy enablers and the statist-elite power brokers that run these outfits deserve the suspicion they've earned. Someone should keep a few eyes on them.

Re:Outrage fatigue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700193)

Please provide some credible references for this claim in regards to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Re:Outrage fatigue (0)

Uberbah (647458) | about 8 months ago | (#46700715)

Please provide some credible references for this claim in regards to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

I don't know about Amnesty, but HRW is run by a bunch of former media executives, so they are Fox News plus Pravada times Korean Central Television on the subject of Venezuela. Any honest organization with Human Rights in the name would focus their attention for that country on it's horrific prison system.

But HRW doesn't care about Venezuela's prisons, they whine about crap like TV stations not getting their licenses renewed after they supported a freaking coup against an elected president.

Re:Outrage fatigue (1)

jythie (914043) | about 8 months ago | (#46701053)

Or at minimal, enough ordinary people. Plenty on slashdot for that matter, lots of people in the middle class dislike human rights groups, well, lots of middle class white males hate them at least.

criminals using fronts (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#46701395)

I'm not taking a side on the greater question, but it is **typical** for successful criminal operations to use non-profits as front organizations

Investigating a non-profit **could** be justified, given a proper warrant with evidence of course.

Re:Outrage fatigue (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#46699789)

I was going to read all of this post, but someone mentioned Game of Thrones and I was temporarily distracted.

Re:Outrage fatigue (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#46699951)

Damn! I need check my DVR. I knew I forgot something!

Re:Outrage fatigue (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46699945)

Do you think that the reason barricades have not been stormed and every congressperson is not running scared from all responsibility, knowledge etc is because it's another thing with a computer in it so the brain has dropped out of the ear? Same thing as public service spending billions on a solution that boils down to a 286 with a whole lot of workarounds. People stop thinking as soon as "with a computer" is in the sentence? I don't know, I can't fathom it I'm wildly advancing theories to explain how the USA achieved the USSR's wet dream of surveillance and it has less impact on policy than if a pop star got naked on prime time television.

The reason is--and I know most people here don't want to hear this which is why I am posting anonymously--is because the Slashdot opinion on this is the minority opinion in the country. The vast majority of Americans are either okay with this, ambivalent about it, or are not angry enough to do anything about it. There have been repeated polls that have shown this--I would link to some but I am still at work and my break is almost over.

Also, in this particular article he provides no evidence of his claim. Past Snowden stories were based on leaked documents while this is just a simple claim. I am skeptical of this particular claim. Given the huge volume of documents, it's hard to believe he doesn't have a single one that supports this claim.

Re:Outrage fatigue (3, Interesting)

znrt (2424692) | about 8 months ago | (#46700181)

it actually smells like veiled propaganda. the naive, 'ordinary people oriented' enfasis on encryption seems to seek regaining trust in commonly used crypto we know might very well be compromised. 'North Korea, terrorists, cyber-actors' are just classical bait words. 'or anyone else' is just scary because whilst apparently warning against nsa, it automatically entitles them to decide that anyone is targetable. and the reference to "the members of the council of europe' is plain hilarous.

did this bs really come from snowden?

Re:Outrage fatigue (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 8 months ago | (#46700725)

enfasis

I'm hoping you mean "emphasis" here.

Otherwise I have no clue what you're trying to say....

Re:Outrage fatigue (0, Troll)

Bartles (1198017) | about 8 months ago | (#46700273)

No, it's because the people who marched in the streets against the perceived abuses of George Bush, have no principle and are sitting there preening themselves and basking in the warm glow of totalitarianism.

Re:Outrage fatigue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700285)

If average constituents can't look after their own privacy, its hardly surprising the government doesn't give a damn. (so much for the US constitution)

Expect nothing to change. At least for the foreseeable future the onus is on those that do care to protect their privacy through:

The number one way to privacy.... avoiding products from US tech companies like the plague.

Do not buy or use products from Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, Google etc... They all are in bed with the NSA.They can claim they're not but the the fact is they didn't expend much effort fighting this battle openly in courts and press until Snowden spilled the beans. Some US products can't be avoided (e.g. intel desktop cpus) but if we all boycott US tech as possible -- it adds up to billions of lost sales annually --- which leads to US tech companies applying pressure on the US government to stop vandalizing everyone's security and privacy for the sake of protecting security and privacy.

Re:Outrage fatigue (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#46700689)

Ah, yes... Let's buy from Huawei, Sony, Samsung, and Baidu. Then US profits will fall, and those lobbying companies will magically realize that it's their stance on security that has been the reason for the change. It's not that their latest product's focus group was wrong, or that big quality-control scandal six months earlier, or even just the long-term echoes of a recent economic downturn... The obvious reason is a customer boycott because of vague security concerns.

Of course, once they realize that Asia is taking the lead, they'll pressure the government to be less intrusive. After all, we know that companies love to recognize their own failings, so they'll immediately want to improve product quality rather than just raise H-1B caps to snipe those miraculously-profitable Asian engineers. That's fortunate, too, because if they brought in more imported employees, the government would probably want to spy on them more...

Re:Outrage fatigue (2)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 8 months ago | (#46700435)

Two primary reasons:
1. Most people don't care because they don't think it affects them, you know the whole "first they came for..." thing. If they think it doesn't affect them, then they're more interested in Justin Bieber than things that confuse them.
2. For most of the people who do care, they feel there's nothing more they can do but write comments on /. Did other protests affect change? How about the Occupy thing? If a million people gathered in front of the capital building to protest, do you think it would affect change? And how would you get enough people for a violent coup to take on the US military, even if they didn't know you were coming?

Re:Outrage fatigue (5, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 8 months ago | (#46700629)

Do you think that the reason barricades have not been stormed and every congressperson is not running scared from all responsibility, knowledge etc is because it's another thing with a computer in it so the brain has dropped out of the ear?

No. It's because people are so busy just trying to survive that they're too worn out to storm any barricades.

This is by design. The elite know very well that you can only exploit people so long before they start breaking the china, so loss in real income and the decline in standard of living for most people is absolutely being done on purpose.

Also note the ramping up of a ubiquitous surveillance state and the militarization of local police forces. They're really worried that people are a lot closer to revolt than anyone cares to admit.

The reason the NSA story is such a scandal is because of the domestic aspects. Few people care if the US is spying on foreigners, but when they find out that some grimy bureaucrat is upskirting their personal information and communications, it makes them crazy.

This is also why you're seeing a massive movement in many states to suppress voter turnout, to gerrymander congressional districts and even to repeal the direct election of the US Senate, giving it back to state legislatures.

There is a real fear of democracy in any form, and a greater fear that people have just about had it. 11-15% real inflation while incomes are shrinking is a recipe for beheadings.

Re:Outrage fatigue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46701139)

There has been enormous real inflation over the last decade caused by increased petroleum costs. Because entitlements are linked to inflation, the CPI basket has been continuously rejiggered to exclude items with a large component linked to petroleum.

CPI reporting was fairly honest until the late 90's.

No ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700997)

It's the NSA's fucking job to spy on those people. Let me give you a hint; "human rights workers" are all there for a specific reason, and it's generally regime change. Ours, theirs, everyone's. It's the NSA's fucking job to spy on them.

Re:Outrage fatigue (4, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | about 8 months ago | (#46701453)

While this is partially true, there is an issue with information starvation in US media. CNN for example has turned into "Missing Airplane News" for nearly a month. Which of NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, or any of their affiliates have covered any of the Snowden leaks beyond a brief mention? Compare their coverage of what an intellectual would call news to their coverage of celebrities and sports, and of course people are ignorant. They are starved for real information and are bombarded with what I would consider garbage.

That's not to say that there are no other sources of "news", but more pointing out that if you want to be informed you really have to dig for information. The amount of research you have to do is incredible. This is what some people still believe that "News" agencies are doing. The last poll I saw had trust of "News" at about 17% so that base is dwindled drastically.

For those that wish to believe "it's all about money" consider that 17% for a moment. Any "News" agency that offered an alternative opinion instead of fluff and celebrity news would make a mint in viewership, yet all of these "News" agencies operate exactly the same way.

Let's just say.... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#46699777)

Snowden says NSA spied on everyone.

Even if he doesn't say it, assume so.

Well that's not very headline worthy (-1, Troll)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 8 months ago | (#46699919)

Imagine being able to spread out headlines for the next decade:

"NSA keeps a list of KKK members"
"NSA following the actions of NRA members and directors"
"NSA spied on the NAACP leaders"
"NSA monitored phone records of the Republican leadership of the House"
"NSA monitored phone records of the Democratic leadership of the Senate"
"NSA has database on transactions related to CEO offshore accounts"
"NSA is actively invovled in cataloging grandmothers knitting groups - was your grandma targetted?"

We all *know* the NSA does this - they've been doing it since inception. But Ed Snowden needs a way to make a living outside of being an IT admin, so it pays for him to string this out as long as the tinfoil-hat* money keeps flowing.

*it's not paranoia if they really are watching you, but most people really don't give a shit, and the only people who do care are those with actual (or future) power who are justifiably afraid that someone will get in and use this info politically and the ones wearing tin foil hats who have a wildly inflated view of their importance.

Re:Well that's not very headline worthy (1)

mmell (832646) | about 8 months ago | (#46700203)

I fall into that category. In fact, I'm quite proud to be part of the white noise NSA has to filter out to get at the good stuff - as long as my only foibles are those which NSA doesn't really care about, that is...

Re:Well that's not very headline worthy (1)

causality (777677) | about 8 months ago | (#46701131)

I fall into that category. In fact, I'm quite proud to be part of the white noise NSA has to filter out to get at the good stuff - as long as my only foibles are those which NSA doesn't really care about, that is...

... and as long as that never changes in the future, and nothing you do today that is considered harmless enough is later perceived to be suspicious.

Re:Well that's not very headline worthy (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 8 months ago | (#46700499)

it pays for him to string this out as long as the tinfoil-hat* money keeps flowing.

He handed over all he had in one swoop, a long time ago: It's been out of his hands last summer, you ignorant motherfucker.

Also, while you're imagining, also imagine how much work it is to sift through all that material, and that even if it wasn't, publishing everything at once means most of it would get next to no importance. Also notice how there is much more money in apathy/compliance than tinfoil hats, and that NOT reporting on this stuff, or misrepresenting it, is often enough also agenda driven. You act as if the infrastructure for mass surveillance on civilians didn't buy a private jet or ten? Hah.

the only people who do care are those with actual (or future) power who are justifiably afraid that someone will get in and use this info politically

It's not just people who want power who would care: it's also anyone interested in resisting power instead of being an accomplice. Ever heard of The White Rose? Sure they didn't last long, but it was still better than being arrested by their own typewriters. And that you personally cannot imagine that money is not the single most important factor to anyone says a lot more about you than about the state of the world, or the people in it. Stop projecting, and stop trolling a discussion you don't know the first fucking thing about.

Re:Let's just say.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700361)

Far more interesting in what he said at PACE was that the NSA gathered “explicit sexual material regarding religious conservatives whose political views it disfavored and considered radical for the purpose of exposing it to damage their reputations and discredit them within their communities”.
And you American's wonder why you don't get honest politicians.... but then spying doesn't affect you now, does it?

Re:Let's just say.... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 8 months ago | (#46701035)

The NSA has a whole department occupied with the investigation of the existence of God.

Because if He does exist, they want to spy on him.

Re:Let's just say.... (1)

russotto (537200) | about 8 months ago | (#46701429)

Because if He does exist, they want to spy on him.

And also they've heard he notes the fall of every sparrow, and they'd really like to learn his methods.

Snowden release algorythm (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#46701417)

X has spied on Y illegally

X = any government agency with spy operations

Y = any entity or group that uses technology to communicate

I'm not trying to start discussions on all aspects of Snowden...but I do definitely see a streeeetching of this story for maximum clicks by the likes of The Guardian.

Maybe that's the reason for "outrage fatigue" mentioned by another poster above....the media has commercialized the information now

Hang Him High (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46699783)

Does that dickhead talk as if he is forgiven for being a spy himself and the worst kind of spy at that? The kind that turns in his comrades and runs like hell to America's enemies for asylum..

Re:Hang Him High (5, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 8 months ago | (#46699905)

Does that dickhead talk as if he is forgiven for being a spy himself and the worst kind of spy at that? The kind that turns in his comrades and runs like hell to America's enemies for asylum..

You mean the "enemies" that are our greatest allies in space? Look, the Nations are not the People anymore, haven't been for a long time. All that USA vs Russia shit is just rhetoric for manufacturing consent to wind up the very expensive military industrial complexes yet again. Those things don't help anyone. Talk to people from all around the world and you'll figure out that no one really wants to kill each other, we all just want to be safe and live our lives. The corporations that own the countries that use the laws of governments and religions against us are not the people of the world. All the nations are against the everyman. Snowden is an ally to the people of the world. Save all that statist "traitor" talk for the gulag.

Re:Hang Him High (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46699959)

Snowden didn't run to the People with his juicy intelligence; he took it to Putin.

Re:Hang Him High (4, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#46700179)

Snowden didn't run to the People with his juicy intelligence; he took it to Putin.

He didn't take it there.
Our Glorious Government and Dear Leaders trapped him there.

Re:Hang Him High (1)

Sique (173459) | about 8 months ago | (#46699973)

As the NSA is the enemy, I welcome everyone betraying them.

Edward is a bit naive (-1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 8 months ago | (#46699791)

We were doing this kind of thing back during Reagan.

The fact that it's coming out now doesn't change that basic fact.

We're serfs, not citizens.

Re:Edward is a bit naive (-1, Troll)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 8 months ago | (#46699923)

Ed isn't the naive one - he's playing the naive ones for all the cash in their pockets.

Re:Edward is a bit naive (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46699927)

Scientists are a bit naive

Physics has been doing that kind of thing back during the big bang.

The fact that it's coming out now doesn't change that basic fact.

We're humans, not gods.

Re:Edward is a bit naive (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 8 months ago | (#46699929)

We were doing this kind of thing back during Reagan.

Actually, long before Reagan. [wikipedia.org]

We're serfs, not citizens.

Couldn't have said it better myself. [theguardian.com]

Re:Edward is a bit naive (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 8 months ago | (#46699977)

I can't really speak to the period before Reagan, I'm only aware of the stuff during Reagan myself.

My point, though, is that we've never actually abided by the US Constitution, but that we should.

And if that involves jail terms for those in charge, so be it.

Re:Edward is a bit naive (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46700033)

"We're serfs, not citizens."
said byt people who have no clue what a serf was, or it's class order.

Re:Edward is a bit naive (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#46700311)

They're the guys on the beaches, right? With those boards?

**you** can be a serf (2)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#46701437)

The fact that it's coming out now doesn't change that basic fact.

and we, us who vote, can change it

we can vote for politicians who favor accountability and if none are running we can organize and lobby to make it an issue

you use the same faulty logic as the "privacy is dead" people use and it kills our industry.

you're abdicating your power, agency, and responsibilty then claiming that **your** choices represent "how things are"

i'm not a serf...and neither is anyone reading this...at least we can **choose** to work to change

In other news (3, Funny)

theArtificial (613980) | about 8 months ago | (#46699837)

Prior to this announcement Human Rights Workers weren't included as part of the world population.

Snowden, addressing the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, said he did not believe the NSA was engaged in 'nightmare scenarios,' such as the active compilation of a list of homosexuals 'to round them up and send them into camps.

They're not camps, they're called festivals.

But he did say that the infrastructure allowing this to happen had been built

By IBM! /insert ww2 corporate references

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700837)

Congratulations, you've managed to present an almost entirely content-free post.

Re:In other news (1)

theArtificial (613980) | about 8 months ago | (#46701007)

Nice, we can be post brothers now!

Re:In other news (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 8 months ago | (#46701011)

But he did say that the infrastructure allowing this to happen had been built

By IBM! /insert ww2 corporate references

So you mean we'll be forced to play Jeopardy to death in these camps . . . ?

Re:In other news (1)

WeeBit (961530) | about 8 months ago | (#46701121)

FEMA camps?

Future generations (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#46699921)

Future generations will scarcely believe that we were here now, watching the footing for their prison be poured, and we did nothing.

Re:Future generations (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46700063)

You, you are doing nothing. Don't project on to the rest of us.

Re:Future generations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700461)

You, you are doing nothing. Don't project on to the rest of us.

And what are you doing?

Re:Future generations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700861)

He's complaining that others are complaining that he's doing nothing.

Re:Future generations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700233)

So said the , back in the

Re:Future generations (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#46700267)

Future generations will scarcely believe that we were here now, watching the footing for their prison be poured, and we did nothing.

I've got news for you, the problem isn't a future "prison," but rather the chains [usdebtclock.org] being forged. Those chains grow longer, heavier, the warnings continue, and nothing useful is being done about it. Demographics are against the US. This is not likely to end well.

Re:Future generations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700421)

We've already demonstrated how ineffective our voting system is and since they have all the guns / money / armies, well, I guess the only thing we can do is bitch and complain and turn ourselves into cynical psychos.

Re:Future generations (1)

Arker (91948) | about 8 months ago | (#46700547)

OK, this is an NSA article and I just agreed with you.

Is that really you? Someone hijack your account?

Our government is spending borrowed money like there is no tomorrow backed only by their promise to work us and our descendents forever to pay the interest. It cannot end well.

Re:Future generations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46701017)

You just fell for a typical CF misdirection. This one can be summarized thusly: "No no no! The problem is not the NSA, the problem is the national debt and demographics."

Please try not to let CF distract you from the topic at hand.

Re:Future generations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46701329)

Typical troll misdirection. I'll bet you've got some links to all the latest stories on those "FEMA concentration camps," right?

A way forward through openness? (5, Informative)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 8 months ago | (#46700519)

First, future generations may find of historical interest all those NSA records. Just think of all the data historians in 100 years (if humanity still exists) will be able to use for PhDs! And I'm only half joking about that.

The deeper issue relating to "prison" is more, is what we are doing effective? With a huge relative-to-population real prison and parole population in the USA, with vast numbers of people living in relative poverty, with thousands of nukes ready to destroy the world as we know it in a few minutes and related anxiety, with schools increasingly like prisons, and so on, one might argue the USA has already become its own anxiety-provoking prison for all too much of its population. Perhaps that's one reason for the US drug war -- while the Soviet Union had to guard its borders from escapees, the USA has to guard its medicine cabinets from escapees? (See also Wikpedia on "Rat Park".) There used to be a time when people in the USA aspired to more than that, and in that sense the USA is rapidly heading into a "Dark Age". From:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org]
"Dark Age Ahead is a 2004 book by Jane Jacobs describing what she sees as the decay of five key "pillars" in North America: community and family, higher education, science and technology, taxes and government responsive to citizen's needs, and self-policing by the learned professions. She argues that this decay threatens to create a dark age unless the trends are reversed. Jacobs characterizes a dark age as a "mass amnesia" where even the memory of what was lost is lost."

I agree that pervasive one-way surveillance in a society shifts the balance of power, which is the reasons for US constitutional protections relating to search and seizure of documents. One can contrast that with David Brin's two-way "Transparent Society" idea, or Marshall Brain's similar suggestions in "Manna". Historically humans living in tight-knit tribal villages may have not had much privacy from each other in many ways, so our very conception of privacy via anonymity and hidden transactions or hidden records may be a new thing. In any case, these are somewhat different times from 100,000 BC or 1776 AD given cheap storage, cheap sensing, and cheap search. There also the unreliability of cryptographic systems in practice (OpenSSL bugs, spear phishing, MITM, key loggers, evil upgrades, provider compromise, and so on), so depending on encryption seems problematical, assuming hiding information really had social value in general in social movements. I'm not saying privacy is evil; I'm just suggesting that depending on privacy in a social movement is probably foolish at the very least for practical reasons. Beyond practicalities, I feel the way forward has more to do with popularizing good ideas (like about the potential for abundance for all such as by a "basic income") rather than trying to hide plans of whatever sorts from prying eyes. In the USA and many other countries we have hard-won democratic freedoms like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. I feel it is best to use those freedoms to build something better, even knowing such efforts for change will be under constant public scrutiny. The problem is of course that building something better is hard work filled with a lot of uncertainty, including from resistance put up by those with a powerful position in the status quo or those who aspire to such a position. See also, on "Security: Crypto Imagination vs. Reality":
http://xkcd.com/538/ [xkcd.com]

There is a scene near the end of James P. Hogan's "Voyage From Yesteryear" where a soldier makes a silent plea for sanity with another soldier at a command post by how the soldier moves and carries his equipment, and that is something to think about. What signals do we send others when we focus on encryption as a way to security rather than focusing on broad social and material uplift? I'm not saying there is not conflict there, just that we can look to a parallel argument of violent vs. non-violent social action. While it is true that some small percent of violent social actions have achieved some results, studies show non-violent movements (e.g. Gandhi, Martin Luther King) are much more often successful. Given that, the violent actions become more immoral, even ignoring how they invite and then justify more state violence in practice. Granted, privacy is not the same as violence (even as they both in some sense focus on the negative). Still, we can ask whether there is a way forward through openness. See also:
"Social Movements and Strategic Nonviolence" by G. William Domhoff
http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesa... [ucsc.edu]

Previous comments by me on the general topic:
http://pcast.ideascale.com/a/d... [ideascale.com]
"As with that notion of "mutual security", the US intelligence community needs to look beyond seeing an intelligence tool as just something proprietary that gives a "friendly" analyst some advantage over an "unfriendly" analyst. Instead, the intelligence community could begin to see the potential for a free and open source intelligence tool as a way to promote "friendship" across the planet by dispelling some of the gloom of "want and ignorance" (see the scene in "A Christmas Carol" with Scrooge and a Christmas Spirit) that we still have all too much of around the planet. So, beyond supporting legitimate US intelligence needs (useful with their own closed sources of data), supporting a free and open source intelligence tool (and related open datasets) could become a strategic part of US (or other nation's) "diplomacy" and constructive outreach.
    Now, there are many people out there (including computer scientists) who may raise legitimate concerns about privacy or other important issues in regards to any system that can support the intelligence community (as well as civilian needs). As I see it, there is a race going on. The race is between two trends. On the one hand, the internet can be used to profile and round up dissenters to the scarcity-based economic status quo (thus legitimate worries about privacy and something like TIA). On the other hand, the internet can be used to change the status quo in various ways (better designs, better science, stronger social networks advocating for some healthy mix of a basic income, a gift economy, democratic resource-based planning, improved local subsistence, etc., all supported by better structured arguments like with the Genoa II approach) to the point where there is abundance for all and rounding up dissenters to mainstream economics is a non-issue because material abundance is everywhere. So, as Bucky Fuller said, whether is will be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race to the very end. While I can't guarantee success at the second option of using the internet for abundance for all, I can guarantee that if we do nothing, the first option of using the internet to round up dissenters (or really, anybody who is different, like was done using IBM [tabulating equipment] in WWII Germany) will probably prevail. So, I feel the global public really needs access to these sorts of sensemaking tools in an open source way, and the way to use them is not so much to "fight back" as to "transform and/or transcend the system". As Bucky Fuller said, you never change thing by fighting the old paradigm directly; you change things by inventing a new way that makes the old paradigm obsolete."

Or at even greater length:
http://www.pdfernhout.net/on-d... [pdfernhout.net]
"This approximately 60 page document is a ramble about ways to ensure the CIA (as well as other big organizations) remains (or becomes) accountable to human needs and the needs of healthy, prosperous, joyful, secure, educated communities. The primarily suggestion is to encourage a paradigm shift away from scarcity thinking & competition thinking towards abundance thinking & cooperation thinking within the CIA and other organizations. I suggest that shift could be encouraged in part by providing publicly accessible free "intelligence" tools and other publicly accessible free information that all people (including in the CIA and elsewhere) can, if they want, use to better connect the dots about global issues and see those issues from multiple perspectives, to provide a better context for providing broad policy advice. It links that effort to bigger efforts to transform our global society into a place that works well for (almost) everyone that millions of people are engaged in. A central Haudenosaunee story-related theme is the transformation of Tadodaho through the efforts of the Peacemaker from someone who was evil and hurtful to someone who was good and helpful."

Sadly, as much as I repeat these ideas, I obviously must be expressing them poorly as so many technically-minded young people still seem to focus more on the negative of information hiding (like via encryption) than the positive of creating information (and ideas and movements) worth promulgating. Hiding stuff in general does not build stronger and more capable social networks -- otherwise everyone here on Slashdot would be arguing for more proprietary software rather than (generally) arguing for more good free and open source software. The same techniques a teenager might use for evading overly-restrictive parents (hiding stuff) are probably not what we need for building inclusive social movements (sharing stuff). And in a world of cheap computing, you probably can't expect in general to be sharing stuff without everyone knowing about it sooner or later. Which means our protections need to come from things like laws backed by social consensus. Which is all easier said then done of course. And it is a *lot* harder than encrypting some files or messages.

All that said, people raised in contemporary culture may well need some privacy for mental health reasons. And one could argue it should be one of a democratic government's core roles to ensure privacy (rather than violate it) -- even if that means spending a lot of money to make an infrastructure that would be more resilient in the face of vandalism or organized crime or "terrorism". (Stopping doing things abroad that invite "blowback" might also be a good idea, even if a bit late.) See also the 1950s story by Theodore Sturgeon called "The Skills of Xanadu" for insights about privacy in an age of pervasive mobile computing. But how to get there from here given the current balance of power may be a different issue. And in that sense, a focus on encryption (whatever the short-term benefits to some human rights activists in repressive regimes etc.) avoids thinking about the deep issues and doing the related hard thankless work required to move us to a healthier place as a global society.

what? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46699995)

" Instead, Snowden said, it should go back to the traditional model of eavesdropping against specific targets"
They never just did that. sheesh.
SIGINT.

Snowden has jumped the shark (3, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | about 8 months ago | (#46700093)

And French intelligence bombed the Rainbow Warrior. Precisely what is so surprising about the NSA spying on political radicals? It's not like every nation state with even a half-baked intelligence apparatus hasn't been doing that for at least 60 years now. God help Snowden if this is the best dirt he has left on the NSA because it's only a matter of time before US intelligence loses all fear of killing him or the Russians grow bored with him and classify him as a loose end.

Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700169)

That's the whole point here. The NSA isn't just spying on radicals. Its spying on everyone -- including you.

Now if your privacy doesn't matter to you, put your money where you mouth is and publish all your personal details here (including any skeletons you might have). If you annoy us we will review it for any dirt and publish the findings in the press anonymously to make sure you can't hold office or find a decent job.

Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700335)

name: John Doe
address: 123 any street, anywhere, USA 12345
married to: Jane Doe
phone number: 867-5309

Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 8 months ago | (#46700383)

Why would they kill him?

Seriously. The number of "oh this person will be totally 'disappeared'" statements that never come to pass is ridiculous.

The reality here is no one cares what Edward Snowden does. He's a PR pain-in-the-ass and little else. He may have claimed to have "gotten everything" but the only things which would actually justify killing him would be if he had intel on ongoing operations and could actually put people's lives directly in danger - but every intelligence agency treats that type of information as a whole extra level of different to just "China is doing this". And even then - it's easier to cancel operations then it is to try and kill someone, since unless you get them right away, you still have to assume all your operations are compromised.

Governments just don't act like conspiracy theorists think they do, but Edward Snowden has the problematic future ahead of him of getting to live his days out not being trusted to work IT in Russia.

Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (5, Insightful)

Uberbah (647458) | about 8 months ago | (#46700885)

Why did Obama personally intervene to keep a Yemeni journalist brutalized and imprisoned [thenation.com] for daring to report on U.S. bombings that kill innocent people? Why was an Al Jazeera office bombed [aljazeera.com] by Bush? Why does anyone think that the U.S. would hesitate to take out Snowden if it's willing to murder [wikipedia.org] 16 year olds based on who the kids father was?

Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 8 months ago | (#46701295)

In every single case you just cited, the allegations are "bearing arms against the united states" and all the grey area that involves (except the last one, which was collateral damage and not targeted). I mean you don't mention that 9 other people were killed in the same strike.

Setting aside everything about those cases that is a grey area, the central issue was still "may be bearing arms, or conspiring to bear arms, against the United States".

Snowden hasn't done that. He's committed a bunch of espionage, but he's also well out of the way of areas which have active hostilities in them. People forget Yemen is hardly a particularly peaceful place at the best of times.

Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (5, Interesting)

grcumb (781340) | about 8 months ago | (#46700385)

And French intelligence bombed the Rainbow Warrior.

To their detriment. It's telling that the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior was the event that triggered so much outrage among Pacific island nations that the practice of atmospheric testing was finally stopped. It also wounded relations between New Zealand and France for over a decade, and resulted in a long period of Labour (i.e. left wing) rule. The Tahitian independence movement also made hay from the event.

It was, in short, a complete fiasco for the French intelligence service, and for the government of France, an unmitigated failure.

If for no other reason than realpolitik, governments need to learn to tread more lightly when it comes to abrogating the freedoms that make their societies as peaceful and prosperous as they are.

Precisely what is so surprising about the NSA spying on political radicals?

When you call Amnesty International politically radical, you debase the discussion. Amnesty uses non-violent tactics - mostly media relations - to shame governments into releasing political prisoners. If agitating against the imprisonment of your political opponents is radical to you, then perhaps you should revise your opinion on freedom and human rights.

Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700839)

Amnesty uses non-violent tactics - mostly media relations - to shame governments into releasing political prisoners.

If they were just supporting political prisoners, I could respect that.
They've redefined the term to mean "those persons imprisoned or prevented from expressing any opinion other than violence."
AI supports violent offenders, but they blame the violence on the repressive government.

Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700897)

...and resulted in a long period of Labour (i.e. left wing) rule.

I'm pretty sure there were other factors involved, and it wasn't that long a period since National ruled during the 90s, effectively ruining the economy in that time.

Big Brother fanboys have jumped the shark (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about 8 months ago | (#46700855)

Precisely what is so surprising about the NSA spying on political radicals?

By "radical", you mean "anyone to the left of Dick Cheney", right? Were you an FBI sniper all hot and bothered that he didn't get to go around shooting [firedoglake.com] OWS protestors in the head, or something?

More to the point, if anyone had said that the NSA had a "full take" surveillance dragnet on every network on the planet it had access to BEFORE Snowden came along, you would have been sneering at them to sit next to the 911 Truthers.

Re:Big Brother fanboys have jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46701451)

Precisely what is so surprising about the NSA spying on political radicals?

By "radical", you mean "anyone to the left of Dick Cheney", right? Were you an FBI sniper all hot and bothered that he didn't get to go around shooting [firedoglake.com] OWS protestors in the head, or something?

More to the point, if anyone had said that the NSA had a "full take" surveillance dragnet on every network on the planet it had access to BEFORE Snowden came along, you would have been sneering at them to sit next to the 911 Truthers.

Sure if you had said the NSA had James Bond movie level surveillance, people would think you were crazy.
On the other hand if you didn't think that's an imaginary bar they would aim for and fall short of, then what... exactly did you figure intelligence agencies DO?

It's similar to how most people would probably watch Wolf of Wall Street and think "awe that's exaggerated a bit, the rich and powerful don't do THAT many drugs and hookers" but people are surprised when a mayor smokes crack.

I really don't get it. Why 90% of a grandiose story is perfectly believable, but confirmation of 1% is surprising.

"BUT we didn't KNOW until THEN." I really have to question the intelligence of people using that line. The interest I get, the surprise I do not.

Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (2)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 8 months ago | (#46700877)

Who decides if you are a political radical or not? What about your loved ones?

Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (1)

Swampash (1131503) | about 8 months ago | (#46700905)

Amnesty International are political radicals now?

Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46701399)

Snowden has done his duty to make the world a better place. Nothing more. The world is better off knowing what the playing field is on privacy and surveillance. Where it was masked before in speculation and fear, it is now known and distrusted. You attack Snowden, because that's all you can do. You can't make any change to our problem any more than I can. You speak of what lay ahead for Snowden, because you're aware of the impotence that your role is in all of this. What's worse, is that this community thinks that's a valid line of thinking, as your linger at +5, Insightful. Congratulations for being common on an issue that is at present, probably the most concerning for the technological 21st century: where do the boundaries between the freedoms of man and state, lie? The irony here, is that it's the same problem that's been occurring with societies for the past 5000 years. And like a good fable, you, and the collective behind you, are stuck on one man. Congratulations, I say! You're post is wholly what is expected here.

who does the NSA not spy on? (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 8 months ago | (#46700139)

At this point it might be easier to find the few people/groups/companies/governments the NSA is not spying on.

Elderly Amish (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700405)

never owned a phone, or used one for that matter. No electronic traces whatsoever, outside of geneology sites (even then, doubtful).

Meanwhile, in other news ... (1, Flamebait)

stevez67 (2374822) | about 8 months ago | (#46700157)

The sun rose in the east, the sun set in the west, and a whiny-pants fugitive hiding out in Putin-land continues to cry for attention. There will be no film at 11.

Re:Meanwhile, in other news ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700483)

You do know the NSA is spying on NRA members.

Re:Meanwhile, in other news ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700571)

feel free to update us all when *you* are addressing the Council of Europe about *real issues* instead of posting drivel in some slashdot comment,
and then we can resume the debate about who is 'crying for attention'...

Dark underbelly of reality (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#46700295)

Okay, Slashdot. Pop quiz time. Today's topic is... security! Three questions; no time limit.

First question: If you are a party interested in having operatives harm another nation, what is the best way to travel between your countries? Your choices are a local grocer, a privately-owned yacht, or an airline flight that someone else has paid for?

Second question: Once your operative arrives in your target country, how will you maintain control over them and support their mission? Will you have them set up a clandestine infrastructure, or use a pre-existing organization?

Third question: What kind of association would arouse the least suspicion when traveling to and from your home country? A large corporation, a religious faction, or an international charity?

And a bonus round, for extra credit: Of the associations in the third question, which would spur the most outrage if your target country's government were to investigate your activities?

Re:Dark underbelly of reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700665)

Hello, Amnesty International- hater!

Anything to back this up?

Sources please!

Re:Dark underbelly of reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46701411)

Sources please!

It doesn't need sources, because it's not a claim that Amnesty International (or anyone else) is ACTUALLY doing anything. Rather, it's a claim that, if something is being done, doing it covertly through an organization of their type is a good plan, which means it pays to watch out for someone executing said plan.

Snowden: The Traitor Who Keeps on Traitoring (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700453)

The chair for this guy when he's caught.

Re:Snowden: The Traitor Who Keeps on Traitoring (4, Informative)

tlambert (566799) | about 8 months ago | (#46700735)

The chair for this guy when he's caught.

We'd have to elect him to the Senate, and get him on the Intelligence Committee, afte which he'd need a few years of seniority before he could get the chair.

But yeah, I agree with you: he'd make an excellent Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The NSA *ONLY* spies on its enemies (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 8 months ago | (#46700703)

And we now have a pretty good idea of who it believes its enemy to be.

Re:The NSA *ONLY* spies on its enemies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46701169)

That would be anyone not in their club.

Re:The NSA *ONLY* spies on its enemies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46701215)

While your point is valid, to a degree, the facts seem to point to the NSA spying on anyone with even a remote potential for foreign contact. International aid agencies are a natural target, regardless of how distasteful that is.

Of course they spy on them (0)

Patent Lover (779809) | about 8 months ago | (#46700891)

They are for human rights. Duh.

What's the big deal? (3, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | about 8 months ago | (#46700913)

It's an intelligence agency, it spies on people. The only thing to discuss is whether it is allowed to spy on American citizens. Everyone else is fair game AFAIC

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46700965)

Where's the morons that are going to spout, "That's their job! They are supposed to spy on the enemies of the US! And clearly gays are terrorists!"

Has anyone pointed out... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46701271)

Snowden has been "saying" a lot of stuff lately, but I haven't seen many new reams of documents being posted. I find it hard to believe, even if such things have been discussed at a high governmental level, that there is any official documentation of the NSA planning to round up and imprison homosexuals. That's the kind of shit you just don't make record of.

Look, we know Snowden is a liar -- he publicly admitted that he falsified his employment data to get access to classified information, fully intending to release said information, the contents of which he could not have, at the time, known. He's since shopped that information amongst such bastions of freedom as Cuba, Venezuela, China, and Russia. His credibility is pretty much bunk to anyone with even an ounce of honesty and perspective... so, why are so many people still listening to him?

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