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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:42 am 
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Good job Germans! I wish the US had equally widespread protests.

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:33 am 
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I'd been to scared to protest. It's going in their files.

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:33 am 
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and yes, this is spam, but an interesting topic nonetheless

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:25 am 
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I was actually just looking to see if we had a topic about Edward Snowden as I've suddenly become really fascinated with the whole affair (bit of a delayed reaction on my part.)

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:02 pm 
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Anyone who thinks that allies countries don't routinely spy on one another either hasn't been paying attention or lives in some kind of ridiculous denial bubble. This has been the case for basically as long as there have been spies. We spy on our allies, our allies spy on us, we exchange intelligence with our allies and sometimes with our enemies. This is how international relations work. The last big expose on surveillance of allies was in 1931 when Herbert Yardley, annoyed that the Black Chamber was defunded and shut down, wrote a book about it revealing the extent of our cryptographic surveillance of pretty much everyone everywhere.

It's nice that the Germans are upset about it, but the fact is that it is there and it won't stop just because you protest it. (And I'd guess that German intelligence is pretty happy that their people are annoyed at the US and are ignoring them for a while.) Surveillance will go a little deeper undercover for a while and somebody will notice sometime that it's happening again and the cycle will repeat. It's not new, it's not news, and it won't stop, ever, for longer than it takes for the protesting public to think they've made a difference and forget about it.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Chamber
http://books.google.com/books?id=Y2GI32 ... &q&f=false

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:18 pm 
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The only lesson I have learned from the Bradley Manning and Snowden fiascoes has been to never be a whistleblower. Pretty sure I'm not the only one. At this point, I could learn that the US is putting poison in vaccines to kill babies and I'd be unsurprised.

No one here really gives a crepe about Snowden as far as I can see, so it was just a giant waste of his life. And there isn't even as much coverage of the Bradley Manning sentencing as there should be.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... nning.html

Quote:
Since the court ruled that motive and actual damage (or “lack of damage") evidence was not relevant at trial, evidence of Manning's intent and the impact of the leaks will finally be heard by the court during the sentencing hearing, which began Wednesday. It remains to be seen, however, how much of the sentencing phase of this trial will be open to the public, since the government is expected to elicit testimony from 13 classified sentencing witnesses in closed sessions or in classified stipulations for their sentencing case. Three classified damage assessments would be used as evidence at sentencing.


Why are we able to have secret trials where the information on any actual damage (estimated to be negligible) is not released to the public? And why doesn't anyone care that Bradley Manning was pretty much tortured for months?

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:02 pm 
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Not that Canada is anywhere close to perfect, but as the months go by, I am more and more afraid of the US and everything it stands for now.

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:04 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
Not that Canada is anywhere close to perfect, but as the months go by, I am more and more afraid of the US and everything it stands for now.


Don't worry-- you don't have anything we want.

Oh wait, oil.

Some people will be up in an hour to occupy you. Say hi to the dudes in helicopters for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:17 am 
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Tofulish wrote:

No one here really gives a crepe about Snowden as far as I can see, so it was just a giant waste of his life. And there isn't even as much coverage of the Bradley Manning sentencing as there should be.


I don't know if I'd agree with that, personally what Snowden did makes me feel uplifted even though I'm not out to put him on a pedestal or turn him into some huge hero. It at least gives me some hope to see that polls showed that a lot of people do not think that the "war on terror" necessitates invasion of privacy to the extent it is going on.

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:20 am 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
Not that Canada is anywhere close to perfect, but as the months go by, I am more and more afraid of the US and everything it stands for now.

I'm not sure specifically what you're referring to, but in terms of government spying on its own citizens, I see that as a global problem and not just something that's happening in the US. It also came out that French intelligence was also intercepting most of the electronic communication there as well. I think we can assume that other countries are doing it as well, though I'm not sure about Canada.

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:16 am 
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solipsistnation wrote:
Anyone who thinks that allies countries don't routinely spy on one another either hasn't been paying attention or lives in some kind of ridiculous denial bubble. This has been the case for basically as long as there have been spies. We spy on our allies, our allies spy on us, we exchange intelligence with our allies and sometimes with our enemies. This is how international relations work. The last big expose on surveillance of allies was in 1931 when Herbert Yardley, annoyed that the Black Chamber was defunded and shut down, wrote a book about it revealing the extent of our cryptographic surveillance of pretty much everyone everywhere.

It's nice that the Germans are upset about it, but the fact is that it is there and it won't stop just because you protest it. (And I'd guess that German intelligence is pretty happy that their people are annoyed at the US and are ignoring them for a while.) Surveillance will go a little deeper undercover for a while and somebody will notice sometime that it's happening again and the cycle will repeat. It's not new, it's not news, and it won't stop, ever, for longer than it takes for the protesting public to think they've made a difference and forget about it.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Chamber
http://books.google.com/books?id=Y2GI32 ... &q&f=false


I am in Germany and I think it is interesting that views on this topic are so different in both countries. The topic has been discussed everywhere and every day since Snowden made his information public. To me it seems that it has beenna much bigger topic than in the US.

Here it not about being spied on by our allies that upsets people. It is more about the amount of spying, I think. That every single person is being spied on even though the large minority did nothing wrong. That is the reason why people protest. (And people here are not naive, most know what protests can accomplish our can't. And that they "won't change anything". I think the main point is to show that you disapprove of certain things. At least that is why I protest. Oh, and we have a general election coming up in September.)

The whole NSA debacle and the activity of a right wing terrorist group that wasn't discovered for years and was able to kill several non-Germans put our intelligence into focus, too. I guess they would be happy if people were ignoring them right now but the protests are as much about them as they are about the NSA. The German intelligence is working with them and the GB intelligence. For what we know now, the German intelligence is probably spying on Germans, too.

I think we have a different view on this because nobody here declared a "war on terror" on anybody. We have had things like this happen in the 70ies with left wing terrorism. That was when spying on people was used as an excuse for fighting terrorism. And it accomplished almost nothing. And the same did happen now with the German right wing group that killed people for years. Intelligence had no clue about them even though they had the technology and the staff. So additionally many people her think they are of no use.


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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:33 am 
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yeah one reason it took me a while to really get interested in the Snowden thing was that no one I know around here has been discussing it at all. I had only been paying half attention and then suddenly started reading more about it and was like "Holy, shiitake, this is actually pretty important." It's weird that people aren't talking about it much on the street. Maybe it's just the people I hang around with, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:36 am 
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Mihl wrote:

Here it not about being spied on by our allies that upsets people. It is more about the amount of spying, I think. That every single person is being spied on even though the large minority did nothing wrong. That is the reason why people protest. (And people here are not naive, most know what protests can accomplish our can't. And that they "won't change anything". I think the main point is to show that you disapprove of certain things. At least that is why I protest. Oh, and we have a general election coming up in September.)


I think this is really important to point that out, that people in Europe seem to protest as a way of showing their opinion about something even if it won't necessarily change anything. People in the US seem just say, "Oh well there's nothing we can do about it, so why bother?" which sucks. I often think it can be really cathartic to protest something even just to get it off your chest. There's a lot of issues I'd like to do that with, haha.

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:57 am 
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I agree that spying has been going on forever, thousands of years we trace back spying on enemies, allies and own people. I think technology has enabled a higher level of spying and things that people may have never imagined.

As far as Snowden goes, my opinion isn't so much that he is a whistleblower but he was someone who breached a contract and that contract happened to be bound by law. In his type of position, they would've made it very clear the type of work he was doing and his obligations under the law as well as having him validate that understanding on a yearly basis. I think that he was playing a very dangerous game as there have been other people in the past who have gone to jail for almost their entire lives for similar and in times of war, death is a potential penalty in the US. I think if you disagree with what your employer is doing to that extent and you know you could go to jail for the rest of your life, then maybe, just maybe you look for another job.

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Mihl wrote:
We have had things like this happen in the 70ies with left wing terrorism. That was when spying on people was used as an excuse for fighting terrorism. And it accomplished almost nothing. And the same did happen now with the German right wing group that killed people for years. Intelligence had no clue about them even though they had the technology and the staff. So additionally many people her think they are of no use.


Yes, to this. Its amazing, but according to the Daily Show (and of course now I can't find the citation), all the surveillance has lead to information that may potentially be useful in just just a handful of investigations. So it just seems like a giant waste of government money (which is going to companies with ties to politicians and who hire lobbyists etc) at a time when we are closing schools and cutting much needed government services to the most vulnerable citizens.

The NYT did a good summary on the programs involved: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/28/opini ... d=all&_r=0
Quote:
THE twin revelations that telecom carriers have been secretly giving the National Security Agency information about Americans’ phone calls, and that the N.S.A. has been capturing e-mail and other private communications from Internet companies as part of a secret program called Prism, have not enraged most Americans. Lulled, perhaps, by the Obama administration’s claims that these “modest encroachments on privacy” were approved by Congress and by federal judges, public opinion quickly migrated from shock to “meh.”

It didn’t help that Congressional watchdogs — with a few exceptions, like Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky — have accepted the White House’s claims of legality. The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, have called the surveillance legal. So have liberal-leaning commentators like Hendrik Hertzberg and David Ignatius.

This view is wrong — and not only, or even mainly, because of the privacy issues raised by the American Civil Liberties Union and other critics. The two programs violate both the letter and the spirit of federal law. No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance. Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House — and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught.

The administration has defended each of the two secret programs. Let’s examine them in turn. [click link for details http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/28/opini ... d=all&_r=0]


Mother Jones had this summary on the NSA program: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... e-programs

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 Post subject: Re: Thousands in Germany protest NSA surveillance
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:14 am 
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(And I'd guess that German intelligence is pretty happy that their people are annoyed at the US and are ignoring them for a while.) Surveillance will go a little deeper undercover for a while and somebody will notice sometime that it's happening again and the cycle will repeat. It's not new, it's not news, and it won't stop, ever, for longer than it takes for the protesting public to think they've made a difference and forget about it.


Actually, they're not just angry with the US but with the German government.


Oh well, people will vote for the same people again anyway. It's depressing. Just because they don't understand economy and think we're "safe" thanks to our chancellor.

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