Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Department of Homeland Security Needs Its Own Edward Snowden

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the any-volunteers? dept.

Government 190

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

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

i bet (4, Insightful)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 3 months ago | (#47516993)

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

Re:i bet (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 3 months ago | (#47517033)

Hundreds is a small number, I am sure there are hundreds willing and capable of doing this. Hundreds work for the DHS, probably not, but you only one of them working and having access in the DHS

Re:i bet (3, Funny)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 3 months ago | (#47517037)

Why do they need to dig through all those people? I hear Edward Snowden himself has concluded his most recent assignment at the NSA, and has government experience and a security clearance to boot. My information may be a little out of date, though.

Re:i bet (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517123)

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

Re:i bet (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517281)

My gramps told me about that, wasn't it associated with some weird diary-keeping movement called "journalism", or something?

Re:i bet (3)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517307)

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

Let me make this perfectly clear. There is not a single fucking thing about that proposition that is funny whatsoever.

Those who died for our freedoms we're losing aren't laughing.

Re:i bet (1)

rockabilly (468561) | about 3 months ago | (#47517439)

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

Let me make this perfectly clear. There is not a single fucking thing about that proposition that is funny whatsoever.

Those who died for our freedoms we're losing aren't laughing.

I think he said it rhetorically.

Re:i bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517459)

Yes, they are laughing.

Haven't you ever read the letters that our Founding Fathers exchanged with their families and colleagues? Humor and satire are at the heart of Amercian politics. It's depots who can't take a joke, colleagues in the trenches laugh like hell when they get a chance. Their humor is often *rude*, that goes with the turf.

Re:i bet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517565)

Those who died for our freedoms we're losing aren't laughing.

Well, yes, because they are dead. Meanwhile there are several very large groups of people that have sworn an oath to stop these bad things from happening and are failing miserably. Nobody expects congresscritters not to lie, but all those people in the armed forces and law enforcement being called heroes while breaking their oaths is quite disappointing but not unexpected.

Re:i bet (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47517729)

They are not failing.

Failing would imply they're trying.

Re:i bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517677)

Those who died for our freedom also passed sedition laws and used them copiously. I doubt many of them would have had a problem with the current situation.

Re:i bet (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 3 months ago | (#47517799)

I wasn't ware that Vietnam Soldiers (for example) passed sedition laws.

Re:i bet (2, Interesting)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 3 months ago | (#47517437)

Frank Herbert wrote in a few of his sf novels about a Bureau of Sabotage that did essentially that, gumming up the efforts of other government agencies

Re:i bet (2)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 3 months ago | (#47517635)

Frank Herbert wrote in a few of his sf novels about a Bureau of Sabotage that did essentially that, gumming up the efforts of other government agencies

Hold it, don't we have that ? I am fairly certain is congress's job to gum up the entire society.

Re:i bet (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 months ago | (#47517675)

Pretty sure they give billions to trillions of dollars to make sure some government agencies work well.

Re:i bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517613)

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

Everything the citizenry can do, an agent of a foreign government can, so... at least temper the enthusiasm a little, it's not that simple.

Re:i bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517149)

I hereby volunteer my annoying little sister to fulfill this role.

Re:i bet (1)

Sowelu (713889) | about 3 months ago | (#47517513)

I guess she could run to Abu Dhabi instead.

Re:i bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517183)

How has Snowden not been given due process?

Re:i bet (2)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#47517293)

UN Investigator: We heard this man wasn't given due process.

Warlord: Nonsense! He was duly tried by me and sentenced to death.

Re:i bet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517413)

When was Snowden sentenced to anything?

Re:i bet (0)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 3 months ago | (#47517509)

What makes you think they'd ever need to formally charge, try, and convict him? He'd be locked away in a gitmo-like place during an infinitely long period for 'discovery'. =/

And if they *did* try him, it would be under similar conditions to FISA, and we'd never know about it other than the inevitable verdict of:

"He was given multiple life sentences without the possibility for parole; but we can't tell you anything about the case because it's classified. Terrorism."

Re:i bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517599)

I think they would go through the process because they believe they have a solid case. Also, he's a high profile person so if he was detained people would take interest and provide public pressure.

What's your basis for why you think we would hear nothing about the case?

Re:i bet (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517487)

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

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

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

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

Re:i bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517669)

A patriot is an overused word devoid of modern meaning. What you're looking for is terrorist. A terrorist is someone that goes against the constituted authority. Doesn't matter if he does it violenty or peacefully. He's still a terrorist. Hence subject to imprisonment and execution.
Seriously, Americans live in a fantasy world. They think clinging to the second amendment will grant them freedom should the government ever go out of control. Well here is the news : the US government has effectively been out of control for the last 2 decades. out of control in and out of the US. Have we seen any Patriots in arms demanding back the freedoms they used to enjoy ? No. Americans, a country of cowards with arms. Hence doubly cowards.

Re:i bet (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47517749)

By that definition the US founding fathers would be terrorists, I get it?

Not judging, just trying to keep up with the lingo du jour.

Re:i bet (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47517711)

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

Where in the DHS would you find someone like that?

Sounds like Sci-Fi (1)

weilawei (897823) | about 3 months ago | (#47516999)

Just sayin' [sfbay-anarchists.org]

Re:Sounds like Sci-Fi (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517235)

"Better men than you have tried!" snarled Clinton Watt. "I quote paragraph four, section ninety-one of the Semantic Revision to the Constitution," said saboteur extraordinary Jorj X. McKie. "'The need for obstructive processes in government having been established as one of the chief safeguards for human rights, the question of immunities must be defined with extreme precision.'"

Or, and just hear me out... (1, Interesting)

mythosaz (572040) | about 3 months ago | (#47517003)

Or, they could become less obstinate in blocking FOIA requests.

The thermonuclear option isn't always a good idea.

Re:Or, and just hear me out... (5, Funny)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 3 months ago | (#47517067)

Or, they could become less obstinate in blocking FOIA requests.

Why not have a herd of magical pink unicorns travel to DC and explain the problem to them. That seems like a more likely solution.

Re:Or, and just hear me out... (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 3 months ago | (#47517115)

You think Snowden 2.0 is more likely than a judge forcing them to respond to FOIA requests?

To each their own, I suppose.

Re:Or, and just hear me out... (2, Interesting)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 3 months ago | (#47517205)

...Yes? Also, it's not like there's really oversight effective enough to ensure they even comply with a judge's ruling.

Re:Or, and just hear me out... (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 3 months ago | (#47517479)

> You think Snowden 2.0 is more likely than a judge forcing them to respond to FOIA requests?

Yes, I do. The NSA has been ignoring FOIA for decades, what would possibly make the top-heavy bureaucracy at the TSA more responsive?

Re:Or, and just hear me out... (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#47517569)

You think Snowden 2.0 is more likely than a judge forcing them to respond to FOIA requests?

Depends. Does the judge in question have an army on hand to enforce that ruling?

Re:Or, and just hear me out... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 months ago | (#47517689)

Will any judge be allowed to?

Or will it only go through the FISA courts, where there's even less transparency. And always ruled against.

To each their own, delusion has its grandeur.

Re:Or, and just hear me out... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47517765)

Well, that, or if that fails... what was that thermonuclear option again? It sounds like it could solve things. Or dissolve, at least.

Re:Or, and just hear me out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517279)

I don't think Newell Rubbermaid can make enough Sharpies for all the blacked-out text if they started doing that.

The government might want to just start printing out documents for the public on a special paper [amzn.com] instead.

Re:Or, and just hear me out... (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47517295)

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

Re:Or, and just hear me out... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#47517741)

I wish you were right, but suspect you are wrong. The 2nd amendment was essentially abandoned after the Whiskey rebellion highlighted the ineffectiveness of the militias, and the British burning DC to the ground finished it off. They never bothered to repeal it.

Dismantle DHS (5, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about 3 months ago | (#47517007)

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

Re:Dismantle DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517081)

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

Enjoy your listing, sir.

Re:Dismantle DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517601)

We're all on "the list" now. There's no more point in hiding from lists.

Re:Dismantle DHS (2)

AndrewBuck (1120597) | about 3 months ago | (#47517753)

Quite the opposite in fact. In my opinion when your government starts making lists of "the bad people" then I think it is your moral duty to make sure you are one of the people on the list. From the recent NSA leaks (this one may not actually be from Snowden, which is interesting) the NSA considers anyone who uses or runs Tor to be an extremist, so apparently I make the list twice; just glad to be doing my part. I also installed PGP and use encryption whenever possible, although that is rare because I only know a few other people using it, and most of the communicating I do with them is on a mailing list anyway so encryption doesn't really work. Still I do what I can to throw up a bit of "chaff" to make their job just that little bit harder.

You posted your comment anonymously (or as anon as you can be on slashdot), but I won't post mine that way. My government knows who I am and what I think and I couldn't be happier. Fuck the motherfuckers.

-AndrewBuck

Re:Dismantle DHS (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517089)

That's the TSA, not the DHS.

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

That seems like some idea out of a fascist nationalism.

Couldn't they come up with a better name?

Re:Dismantle DHS (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 months ago | (#47517113)

The fact that they came up with that name and didn't see any irony in it tells you a lot. Remember, "they hate us for our freedom".

Re:Dismantle DHS (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 months ago | (#47517125)

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

Re:Dismantle DHS (2)

slashdice (3722985) | about 3 months ago | (#47517193)

The left only hated the ban on unionization.

Re:Dismantle DHS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517209)

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

Oh, go fuck yourself.
 
I'm on the left and I think the DHS is crap. The war on terror is crap. The secrecy is crap. The NSA spying incidents are crap. It's all a bunch of bullshit, and the elected officials slightly to the right of center (the "left") and those to the far right are all for this huge load of steaming shit.

Re: Dismantle DHS (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 3 months ago | (#47517247)

Principle is hypergolic with politics.

Re: Dismantle DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517497)

Did you steal that from somewhere or is it original? Because it's pretty damn awesome.

Re: Dismantle DHS (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 months ago | (#47517617)

Yeah, but then you have to explain what "hypergolic" means. You'd probably get more traction with non-geeks using a matter/antimatter analogy.

Re:Dismantle DHS (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517299)

The left still hates it. It's kind of nice that the right is finally getting on board with how bad an idea it was, even if it *does* often manifest as them blaming Obama for the department's creation.

Re:Dismantle DHS (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517451)

Why is the reality distortion field so strong that hating the tyrannical government, when a right-winger is in power, gets you branded a "leftist"? When a leftist is in power, you're branded a "right-winger"? I hated the DHS under Bush and I think his administration was an abomination. I hate the DHS under Obama and think his administration is an abomination. When I would say the former, 2002-2008, I was branded as partisan pinko commie leftist scum. When I say the latter 2008-present, I'm branded as a racist redneck partisan 1% loving corporatist scum.
 
It's really getting tiring. I can't vocalize that I disagree with anything this administration has done without hearing "Well, Bush started it! Where were you when Bush was running over our rights?" I was speaking out against it just like I am now, except back then, they called me you.

Re:Dismantle DHS (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 3 months ago | (#47517447)

A BHO is essentially the same thing as an extension, that is just what Microsoft calls it.

Re:Dismantle DHS (1)

alexo (9335) | about 3 months ago | (#47517717)

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

You don't have any Left to speak of, there's Right and Even-More-Right.

Re:Dismantle DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517139)

Blockwarts of America was too telling.

Re:Dismantle DHS (1)

Xenx (2211586) | about 3 months ago | (#47517207)

That, and the acronym BoA would of been too positive an influence on Bank of America's image.

I know. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517111)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re:I know. (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 months ago | (#47517759)

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

It's actually a little bit worse than that. We could all be spoon-fed "facts" saying the DHS is terrible, and we could all agree it should be dismantled. And then the DHS will politely go about its way while the rest of us do nothing. While we very much enjoy judgmentally shaking our heads at the terrible things that go on in this world, very few people are willing to do anything about it.

Re:Dismantle DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517303)

dismantle america for long term solution

Re:Dismantle DHS (0)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47517797)

Because the unemployable get more and more and there's little you can do against it save putting them in some sort of government busywork job.

I mean, seriously, what's the requirement for becoming a DHS goon? Being able to walk on two legs without dragging your knuckles too much on the floor, as far as I can tell.

Just shut it down (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517019)

That would fix a lot of problems.

Just to clarify (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517035)

You mean someone willing to publish virtually every aspect of how we protect ourselves from terrorism without any independent review, oversight or responsibility? Just some 20-something who thinks he knows everything about the world and is willing to put innocent peoples lives and our national security on the line just to prove he's right and everyone else is wrong? Sounds like a plan.

Re:Just to clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517079)

Yes.

Re:Just to clarify (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517147)

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

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

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

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

That is the secrecy you protect so vigorously.

Re:Just to clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517425)

+1 Uncomfortably Insightful

Re:Just to clarify (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 3 months ago | (#47517287)

You mean someone willing to publish virtually every aspect of how we protect ourselves from terrorism without any independent review, oversight or responsibility?

Hopefully the great mass of irony in your statement squished your brain as it rolled out of your mouth.

Re:Just to clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517667)

I'm going to assume that you're trying to say that DHS has no oversight. Here's the congressional committee charged with oversight of DHS: homeland.house.gov [slashdot.org]

An Illegal Agency Needs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517047)

Treason Charges, Swift Trials, and a Well Deserved Death at the end of a rope...

Yes, but more (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517055)

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

They already do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517537)

The people are the oversight committee.

If you establish another government office to do the overseeing, it will immediately be infected by the corruption of that which it oversees. It is impossible to keep such a committee independent, since the people sitting on the committee ultimately face the same incentives as the people they oversee.

If we are unwilling to stand up and protect our whistle blowers, then we won't get whistle blowers.

you fa1l it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517063)

their hand...shke Something that you series of internal People's faces is Also dead, its she 4ad no fear with any sort BSD culminated in

Most transparent administration ever! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517065)

Hope and change!

Likely to make them less transparent (5, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | about 3 months ago | (#47517087)

The problem has become so severe that nothing short of an Edward Snowden-style leak may be needed to increase transparency at the DHS.

Such a leak is just as likely to have exactly the opposite effect. The Snowden leak hasn't exactly made the NSA any more forthcoming regarding their activities. No, the ONLY thing that is going to force DHS to be more transparent in the long run is a motivated Congress. Oversight of the executive branch is after all their job. But since the Dems and Reps are so busy trying to grab power they can't be bothered. The judiciary is no help since they have their head stuck in the sand over standing [wikipedia.org] that they are worse than useless. So the executive branch can do whatever the hell they like without consequence until at least one of the other branches of government starts doing their damn job. All a leak is likely to do is show them what they need to do the be even less transparent than they already are.

People unclear on the concept (5, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 months ago | (#47517095)

The whole point of being the secret police is that they're the SECRET fucking police. We've allowed literally half of the government agencies to be consolidated under one uber-agency whose charter is some nebulous bullshit about "keeping the fatherland safe". And then people are SURPRISED when it follows the example of the Gestapo and the KGB.

Bob: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch. (5, Interesting)

ScooterComputer (10306) | about 3 months ago | (#47517107)

The simple way to fix this is just shut the DHS down. It was a bureaucracy conceived in panic: poorly engineered and even more poorly implemented. Just shut it down. Turn all the records over to Congress and start over.

Simple reboot. Fix the glitch. Just like Milton's payroll issue.

Re:Bob: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 3 months ago | (#47517141)

Fix the glitch. Just like Milton's payroll issue.

That didn't end well, iirc.

Re:Bob: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#47517169)

Fix the glitch. Just like Milton's payroll issue.

That didn't end well, iirc.

He got his stapler back in the end.

Re:Bob: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch (1)

biek (1946790) | about 3 months ago | (#47517423)

Fix the glitch. Just like Milton's payroll issue.

That didn't end well, iirc.

He got salt with his margarita.

Re:Bob: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch (1)

stevez67 (2374822) | about 3 months ago | (#47517143)

Turn the it over to Congress? Yes, let's swap DHS for a bunch of do-nothing industry and wealthy donor shills. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Bob: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517529)

What could possibly go wrong?

The status quo.

Institution of FUD (1)

nickmalthus (972450) | about 3 months ago | (#47517475)

Homeland Security is an institution based in FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The more they panic the populace the more Congress will capitulate and grant them ever increasing power and funding. Secrecy grants them a shield to deflect all criticism: in the event of an attack they can simply state they were underfunded or were not granted the powers they needed to protect the people regardless of whatever the truth may be and no one except initiated would be the wiser. Instead of confronting terrorism using our well accepted and established system of Justice we all get thrown into a state of complete panic when someone attacks us for political motivations. Last year 1.6 million American's died of cancer. Why don't we spend trillions of dollars combating a real threat instead of something that may kill 1 in 20 million Americans?

Ironically the point of terrorism is to effect political change based on the psychological impact of an attack. Congress seems to pay no heed to this as they accelerate the decline of America into a police state, perhaps to the desire of the terrorist boogieman. Certainly anyone who has read a history book knows what happens when a people grant their government extraordinary powers to combat a perceived threat: a dictator arises and they lose all their liberties. I speak for no one besides myself but I would rather take my chances with being killed by a malcontent than risk losing everything precious in my life to totalitarian government.

Re:Bob: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch (1)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 3 months ago | (#47517483)

And Milton could set the building on fire before he leaves.

Ha Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517187)

That fucking bunch of bottom-feeding dolts wouldn't dare jeopardize their gravy train.

Is this due to the rise in the Tea Party? (0)

VikingNation (1946892) | about 3 months ago | (#47517219)

Makes me wonder if the increase in FOIA requests corresponds to the rise of the Tea Party? These folks are anti-government regardless of the agency.

Are you fucking kidding? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517221)

Who the fuck in the right mind would whistleblow against the US Government again? So what if what Snowden did was in Americans' best interest, the Powers that Be told us that he was wrong, he was nothing but a hacker, a traitor, a spy for Russia, and the American Public bought it hook, line, and sinker. Good fucking luck getting someone as courageous as Snowden to make a difference again.

Re:Are you fucking kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517305)

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Re:Are you fucking kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517503)

Curiously, a poll taken last year found that 54% approved of what he did. Does that really fit with your comment that the American public bought it hook, line and sinker?

Fat chance (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 months ago | (#47517245)

Snowden was able to do what he did at the NSA because he had the wealth to be able to afford to run away. Most people who work in government jobs don't have that luxury.

The Department of Homeland Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517261)

should be shuttered forever.

Amend FOIA (5, Interesting)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 3 months ago | (#47517263)

The problem here is that we need Congress to amend the Freedom of Information Act. DHS can hide the way they do because they can claim a "national security" exemption to FOIA - one of the very few things (apart from ongoing criminal investigations and ongoing collective bargaining, among a handful of others) that can be used to block a FOIA request. The national security exemption also tends to be the most often abused, especially by police departments and other law enforcement agencies. A lot of the time, the agencies know they won't win when the people requesting the records appeal, but it's a handy way to stonewall records requests right out of the gate.

What should happen is that FOIA should be amended to make it clear when the national security exemption does and does not apply, so that it can't be used to hide behind anymore.

never happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517265)

the DHS has never hired anyone smart enough to have ethics.

the evil they do is always front and center (5, Informative)

nimbius (983462) | about 3 months ago | (#47517355)

this is the do everything forever department created after september 2001 and designed to be an intractable part of the amorphous war on terror. to date its various wings include
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: so bogged down by congress it can barely stock the staplers and ink the stamp pads
U.S. Customs and Border Protection: charged with manning our immigration checkpoints that exist, paradoxically, nearly 100 miles inside our borders as well as directly upon them. congress pumps money into these guys, who cant seem to go more than a week without accidentally killing someone across the border.
Federal Emergency Management Agency: home of "secret death camps" for rabid neo-conservatives, and for the rest of us a red flag which completely exposed the bumbling incompetence of the DHS after Hurricane Katrina. their latest campaign has been telling people through billboards about the need to make an emergency plan. As if to tacitly admit theyre just as inept and meaningless as they were 9 years ago
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: packs undocumented immigrants into shanty camps, and really thats about it. Completely neutered after NAFTA for its customs enforcement, and just as paralyzed by congress. Arizona mistakenly began shipping their "illegals" to ICE facilities only to find ICE released them, as it isnt a magic button to get the sheriff re-elected.
Transportation Security Administration home of the freedom grope, these guys are highschool drop outs and police academy rejects itching for a reason to ruin your summer.
U.S. Coast Guard there is no conceiveable reason this agency should not be under control of the pentagon, or something more relevant to its mission, but this is the seventh department its been reassigned to since its creation and like the fat kid in gym class, it probably wont be very permanent.
National Protection and Programs Directorate purportedly does something with "cybersecurity" but its amorphous enough to land firmly in the camp of cabinet level private toilets designed to pitch federal tax dollars into. mostly a 2.5 billion dollar per year dole for government contractors.
U.S. Secret Service they guard the president and for some mind boggling reason, investigate counterfeit currency.

TL;DR: the DHS was designed with no one particular in mind. the first thing our president told us after 9/11 was to "go shopping" and in order to bolster that order from the commander in chief, the consumer confidence index in 2001 got its own department into which lands of home would ostensibly become secure as if by magic. its scope is so broadly defined and its mission so incongruent that it cannot possibly function in any meaningful fashion. Its not off-the-map like the NSA, rather, its largesse makes it incapable of escaping scrutiny.

Re:the evil they do is always front and center (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517461)

U.S. Secret Service they guard the president and for some mind boggling reason, investigate counterfeit currency.

The Secret Service used to be under the IRS, which is why they're involved with counterfeit money.

the first thing our president told us after 9/11 was to "go shopping"

A few years later they even sent checks to everyone in an attempt to stimulate the economy.

So, America *needs* traitors? (5, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | about 3 months ago | (#47517491)

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

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

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

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

Re:So, America *needs* traitors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517557)

first part was refreshing
second part the same old tired self loathing tirades

i am European and i am scared as hell that America is getting bad reputation.
we are still living in a PAX AMERICANA
throw it away and re-live 1914 all over again

Re:So, America *needs* traitors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517707)

This is still unresolved.

It has been resolved, in the sense that anyone who thinks he's a traitor for doing more than their worthless selves ever would is simply a government cheerleader.

the USA needs Snowden like a lung needs cancer (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47517573)

simple as that

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

Homeland Security vs CDC (5, Interesting)

Dr. Tom (23206) | about 3 months ago | (#47517607)

You all remember the recent smallpox discovery at the NIH ... well it turns out they found quite a number of samples of various other things, and their disposition was somewhat odd: some of them went to the FDA, the CDC, or were destroyed, but a number of samples (they didn't say what) were sent to Homeland Security.

WTF?!

What possible business can H.S. have with vials of deadly diseases?

'The original smallpox samples, along with ten others that were unclearly labeled, were securely transferred to the CDC’s high-containment facility in Atlanta., the FDA said, and 32 other vials have already been destroyed. The remaining 279 were transferred to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Bioforensic Analysis Center “for safeguarding.”'

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/1... [salon.com]

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?