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  America's STASI  (Read 4787 times)
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Offline CodeHead

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« Reply #30 - Posted 2013-06-10 18:39:29 »

Yes, I think we should all be treating these U.S. based services as "espionage services". They're like bait in order to get your data.

...

Everything is fed into the Prism. What gives me some concern is that only 1/5th of the data mined by Prism is from U.S. internet service... what the heck is the other 4/5??? What are we missing? This is the most immense spy project ever created, to spy on ordinary citizens. This is so much worse than STASI.

You keep using words and comparisons that I don't think you really grasp he meaning or gravity of.

Google along with the other service providers mentioned were not formed for the purpose of doing spying for the government, and the fact that they turn over information when compelled to by a valid warrant, something all companies are required to do by law in many countries, does not suddenly make guilty of espionage. From most reports, Google is one of the companies that actually makes the government dot their I's and cross their T's when it comes to data requests before they'll act. If your definition of espionage service is a service that has ever given information to the government when legally obliged to, I think you'll find every service is an "espionage service".

As for the Stasi comparison, let me ask you, what are your actual dealings or encounters with the Stasi? I'm willing to bet about as much as most drunks who declare the bouncers at bars are ****'s when they get kicked out for causing problems. Your equivocation also suffers from the fact that the Stasi primarily spied on and intimidated the citizenry within it's own country, it wasn't an agency gathering foreign intelligence as it's primary focus.

As RA pointed out nothing on your list is truly free. In the case of Google, you are the product, but your data provides far more value to them by being sold to advertisers rather than the government; after all, the government pays them nothing for it. As for why these services are based in the U.S., I would say your answer comes down to two words, Silicon Valley. And while they may be based in the U.S., their respective divisions operate under the jurisdiction of the local countries laws.

Your last paragraph comes off as ignorant. It's not because of what you don't know, but it's because of what you insist you do know without actual evidence. You state "everything is fed into prism", yet unless you are privy to some information that the rest of us don't have yet, I seriously doubt you know the scope, much less the actual operational procedures and capabilities of the system. You even admit you have no idea of what constitutes 4/5ths of what is being monitored. My guess that the other 4/5ths would include things like cell phone communication, travel details, and other things that aren't strictly digital based. That is purely speculation on my part though since, as stated, the full details aren't known.

The real question though is this: do you really trust your government that blindly? You keep talking about how you would make sure that none of your countries data would pass though the evil U.S. infrastructure and instead be safe in the hands of your country. Personally I think that's just as dangerous, and I can honestly think of no real reason why your government, or its spy agency, Icelandic Intelligence Service, should be seen as any safer than any other on the planet, or did you really believe that your country doesn't monitor foreign data as well.

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Offline appel

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« Reply #31 - Posted 2013-06-10 19:57:59 »

How on Earth can you not see the STASI similarities?

I'm not saying this is STASI, but unerringly similar, and even worse than STASI in some regard considering the amount of data they're amassing at the NSA.

What was STASI? It was a security agency that carried out mass surveillance on citizens in eastern Germany and kept detailed record on each and everyone.

Now, the NSA is a security agency that CARRIES out mass surveillance on its citizens and citizens of other countries and keeps detailed data banks on each and everyone.



The only ignorance here my friend is the blind ignorance, the type the government depends on to keep up the surveillance on everyone else.

I've come to the realization and understanding that, if the government can technically do it, then they're doing it. As this revelation has proved, they are data mining the primary internet services and other services. Now, they're not doing this just to keep the data in some warehouse vault never to be used... if it was me that was working at NSA and directing the PRISM project, then I'd make sure the data could be used, it is the natural course of action, just as it seems it is the natural course of action for governments to become tyrannical and fascist.

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Offline deepthought
« Reply #32 - Posted 2013-06-10 19:59:50 »

that's why governments need to be refreshed faster

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Offline Cero
« Reply #33 - Posted 2013-06-10 20:34:07 »

As for the Stasi comparison, let me ask you, what are your actual dealings or encounters with the Stasi?
You should be careful with what you are insinuating. There are MANY germans on this board. I'm born in Berlin myself.

Offline CodeHead

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« Reply #34 - Posted 2013-06-11 00:08:44 »

You should be careful with what you are insinuating. There are MANY germans on this board. I'm born in Berlin myself.

And just what am I insinuating other than someone who is listed as being from Iceland may not have quite the grasp on what it was like to actually live under the Stasi in East Germany? Is my pointing out that the comparison between the Stasi and NSA is not exactly an apples to apples comparison really running the risk of offending German members on the board? I find the ease of which labels such as N@zi (apparently a no-no word on the board), or Stasi, or here in the good old USofA, racist are used far more offensive since their overuse and context of use tends to gloss over the very serious actions and genuine evil of their origins. I say this as the grandson of immigrants from Prussia by the way.

How on Earth can you not see the STASI similarities?

I'm not saying this is STASI, but unerringly similar, and even worse than STASI in some regard considering the amount of data they're amassing at the NSA.

Are you really advocating a "Hitler wore pants" equivalnecy here? You're not saying "this is the Stasi", you're declaring "this is worse than the Stasi". Similar does not mean equal not worse than, nor even better than. Water and liquid cyanide are very similar. They're both clear, and wet, and used in industrial settings, but the similarities don't put them on the same hazard level.

So tell me, how much data exactly is being collected by the NSA (feel free to round to the nearest Terabyte or Petabyte). Here's an easier one, how much of your data has been collected by the NSA. The answer is, neither you, nor I know. So what evidence do we have. Looking at the Prism slides, I don't see evidence that everything is being collected en masse. As I've mentioned before, the word "request" is a big give away that that they're not as deeply entrenched as you think. I need not make a request for something that I control; I simply do what I want and believe it or not, Google and the rest don't tend to care for government intrusion into it's data centers any more than you do.

I'm aware of what the Stasi was. The Stasi also existed with the complete endorsement and support of the East German and Soviet government. In the case of the NSA, abuses can be and are often called out by other members of the government. Funny thing about a co-equal form of government, none of the branches wants to cede it's authority to the other branches. In this case it's the judicial branch and the legislative acting as a check on the executive branch. As for the repeated statement that the NSA keeps tabs on everyone, please present some actual hard evidence to back up your blanket assertion.

The main problem with this is that the "technically can do it" part in regards to collect, analyze, and store everything that comes through the wire aspect. To give an idea of the amount and size of average traffic over the Internet, I'll refer you to http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/VNI_Hyperconnectivity_WP.html. No matter how you cut it, the amount of data becomes impractical to collect, much less analyze and warehouse, rather quickly. Currently there is more speculation than hard evidence which is usually a good sign that the sky probably isn't falling.

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Offline appel

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« Reply #35 - Posted 2013-06-11 00:44:25 »

You should be careful with what you are insinuating. There are MANY germans on this board. I'm born in Berlin myself.

And just what am I insinuating other than someone who is listed as being from Iceland may not have quite the grasp on what it was like to actually live under the Stasi in East Germany? Is my pointing out that the comparison between the Stasi and NSA is not exactly an apples to apples comparison really running the risk of offending German members on the board? I find the ease of which labels such as N@zi (apparently a no-no word on the board), or Stasi, or here in the good old USofA, racist are used far more offensive since their overuse and context of use tends to gloss over the very serious actions and genuine evil of their origins. I say this as the grandson of immigrants from Prussia by the way.

How on Earth can you not see the STASI similarities?

I'm not saying this is STASI, but unerringly similar, and even worse than STASI in some regard considering the amount of data they're amassing at the NSA.

Are you really advocating a "Hitler wore pants" equivalnecy here? You're not saying "this is the Stasi", you're declaring "this is worse than the Stasi". Similar does not mean equal not worse than, nor even better than. Water and liquid cyanide are very similar. They're both clear, and wet, and used in industrial settings, but the similarities don't put them on the same hazard level.

So tell me, how much data exactly is being collected by the NSA (feel free to round to the nearest Terabyte or Petabyte). Here's an easier one, how much of your data has been collected by the NSA. The answer is, neither you, nor I know. So what evidence do we have. Looking at the Prism slides, I don't see evidence that everything is being collected en masse. As I've mentioned before, the word "request" is a big give away that that they're not as deeply entrenched as you think. I need not make a request for something that I control; I simply do what I want and believe it or not, Google and the rest don't tend to care for government intrusion into it's data centers any more than you do.

I'm aware of what the Stasi was. The Stasi also existed with the complete endorsement and support of the East German and Soviet government. In the case of the NSA, abuses can be and are often called out by other members of the government. Funny thing about a co-equal form of government, none of the branches wants to cede it's authority to the other branches. In this case it's the judicial branch and the legislative acting as a check on the executive branch. As for the repeated statement that the NSA keeps tabs on everyone, please present some actual hard evidence to back up your blanket assertion.

The main problem with this is that the "technically can do it" part in regards to collect, analyze, and store everything that comes through the wire aspect. To give an idea of the amount and size of average traffic over the Internet, I'll refer you to http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/VNI_Hyperconnectivity_WP.html. No matter how you cut it, the amount of data becomes impractical to collect, much less analyze and warehouse, rather quickly. Currently there is more speculation than hard evidence which is usually a good sign that the sky probably isn't falling.

You can look up what STASI was on wikipedia, you don't actually have had to lived under them for you to draw up a comparison. Are you not allowed to talk about anything unless you lived it? Surely would put history teachers out of work. The people of east germany got plenty of proof once the berlin wall fell, people were able to visit the stasi archives to see what had been documented about them. Perhaps some day you'll have that chance.

And regarding internet traffic... they're only mining the parts that matter, not video sharing, p2p, or downloading which represents roughly 2/3 of all packets on the internet. The bytes that represent emails, social networking etc. are trivial and can be easily digested by the world's superpower that spends billions for that purpose and employs thousands for that purpose. Do you think those huge NSA houses are empty?

But anyway, don't let me disturb your patriotic flag saluting.

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Offline CodeHead

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« Reply #36 - Posted 2013-06-11 05:56:22 »

You can look up what STASI was on wikipedia, you don't actually have had to lived under them for you to draw up a comparison.

Sure, if all you're using the term for is shock value, wikipedia certainly serves your needs just fine I guess. Your comparison boils down to "the Stazi spied on people, so did the NSA, therefore they're equivalent" which is no different than "Hitler wore pants, my neighbor wears pants, therefore my neighbor is equivalent to Hitler". You do nothing but cheapen the experience of people who suffered under the actual Stasi by using it in a hyperbolic fashion.

No, you don't have to live through something to talk about it, but if you're going to talk about it, you should at least have a firmer grasp on the overall context before attempting to draw historical parallels. You also have to have something a bit more than a lot of conjecture and assumptions about the modern thing you're trying to compare. If a history teacher doesn't have those two things as factors in their lessons, then they certainly should be put put of work.

As for evidence of the Stazi, the East Germans already had plenty of it before reunification. The Stazi's purpose was intimidation to keep the populace in line.  It's actions were fully sanctioned by the East German government. The Stazi was not a secret organization. Your outrage started about your data being spied on, so please don't feign concern for mine all of a sudden.

As I said before I have no expectations of privacy on a public network. If the government isn't looking, somebody else probably is. Either way, if you are using the Internet to transmit something that you feel is so vital that it must not be seen, take some initiative, and use the many encryption and secure connection technologies available. Don't want Google to have your data, run your own mail server and never send anything to anybody with a Gmail address or search with Google. Don't want ad-sense tracking you, run an ad-blocker and set your browser to block cookies. if you don't want your international correspondence by mail read, encode your writings with a one time pad. Hell, there could be some money in that if you figured out how to practically apply it to digital transmissions. It's impossible to crack if done correctly. Securing your data isn't a 3rd party providers responsibility beyond cursory measures, it's certainly not the job of any government since if they're responsible for securing it, they can just as quickly make it unsecure, it's yours.

And regarding internet traffic... they're only mining the parts that matter, not video sharing, p2p, or downloading which represents roughly 2/3 of all packets on the internet.

That's not what most of this thread seems to say. If you look at the first slide you posted, you'll clearly see listed ,among other things on the left under "What You'll Receive In Collection", videos and file transfers (which doesn't seem to rule out p2p in any sort of way). Techniques such as Steganography and technologies like slow scan TV mean that many different forms of information can be hidden in varying types of information packets. All parts potentially matter.

You may want to have another peek at the slides at the beginning of the video.

You've lost me here. I'm honestly not sure which video you're referring to. I've re-watched the video of the analyst  and saw no slides. Either way your point about the ease of processing emails and social network postings as trivial is kind of nullified since I've pointed out that the slides do indeed talk about video and file transfers and a lot of other data being part of the collection.

I don't believe I've ever said the NSA buildings were empty, so I don't know what your argument is there. What I have said is that putting aside the sensationalism and taking a pragmatic view based on what is actually known, not assumed, Collection, classification, and long term storage of every bit of data flowing through U.S. boarders is most likely not feasible due to both storage and computational considerations. What the slides do seem to indicate is that there is not a direct pipe into the servers and that data must still be requested.

But anyway, don't let me disturb your patriotic flag saluting.

That might have had some actual weight when you say it save for the fact that earlier in the thread you seemed to express that you feel your data would be secure if only it could be kept in your country while seemingly missing the point that all governments spy on data. Your country is no more or less trustworthy or resistant to corruption than any other country. If you consider saying all governments spy and that the capabilities of Prism are probably being overestimated as patriotic flag saluting, that's your right. I'm just waiting for it to dawn on you how many governments other than the U.S. are also looking at your data. Like the second slide points out, packets take the cheapest, not the most direct route. Route costs change all the time so it's hard to tell where your packets are visiting on the way to their destination. Maybe I'm the one being paranoid though. I mean countries like China or Russia would have no desire or capability of doing the same things, right?

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Offline nerb
« Reply #37 - Posted 2013-06-11 11:48:39 »

The strange thing to me is that people assume that they have privacy on the internet in the first place...

You're using a carrier service and accessing and submitting data to servers not owned and controlled by you, what makes you think that your data is safe and private (apart from 'good-will')?

Think about the data you submit to most sites you sign up to. Name, location, birthday, email address, password, etc.Huh Do you use a different username and password combination for each site you sign up to? Do you know who owns and manages the site? Can you trust them? Are they a rogue living in their mother's basement who will use your data for all kinds of nasty purposes? Potentially.

Approach the internet with the idea that anything you do can and will be observed by others. This could be extended to all communication methods. It's a risk we all take when we decide to use it.

As for the issue of governments snooping on your info and communications... well as others have pointed out, it's nothing new, and it's not limited to the US. Get up to no good and chances are an intelligence service somewhere will be interested in you, and will start watching your every move.

Apart from the obvious negatives and the fact that none of us like being watched; spying, snooping and all that business has actually prevented quite a lot of bad shyte happening in the past too, and has saved lives. (Admittedly it has also been misused and abused).

At the end of the day, do you think your government is really interested in you and your habits? Do they care if you like your women the same as your coffee? Are they concerned that you bought some fancy lingerie off eBay last night? Probably not. And if your government really turns rogue and starts unfairly using your information against you, thats when it's time to start kicking arse and stand up against them. In the meantime, welcome to the internet; relax, unless you are one of those aforementioned people that is up to no good, in which case don't use the internet.

 

Interestingly, this message was posted through the Great Firewall of China.
Offline appel

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« Reply #38 - Posted 2013-06-11 23:04:47 »

The main problem with this is that the "technically can do it" part in regards to collect, analyze, and store everything that comes through the wire aspect. To give an idea of the amount and size of average traffic over the Internet, I'll refer you to http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/VNI_Hyperconnectivity_WP.html. No matter how you cut it, the amount of data becomes impractical to collect, much less analyze and warehouse, rather quickly. Currently there is more speculation than hard evidence which is usually a good sign that the sky probably isn't falling.

Skepticism is all fair and good, but lack of imagination is not. Foxnews has published this article which includes an estimate of the size of the datacenter.


Quote
This top-secret data warehouse could hold as many as 1.25 million 4-terabyte hard drives, built into some 5,000 servers to store the trillions upon trillions of ones and zeroes that make up your digital fingerprint.

Some reports have suggested the data center could hold as much as 5 zetabytes, an astronomical sum equivalent to 62 billion stacked iPhone 5s. King called that number "difficult, if not impossible to conceive.”

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/06/11/inside-nsas-secret-utah-data-center/

5 zetabytes surpasses annual IP traffic by far.
"Annual global IP traffic will pass the zettabyte threshold by the end of 2015, and will reach 1.4 zettabytes per year by 2017."

This means they can essentially make hard-copy of all IP packets on the internet, and then some.

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Offline Riven
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« Reply #39 - Posted 2013-06-12 00:44:51 »

I'm all on the stasi side of the argument, but I'd never quote FoxNews on... well... anything.

1,250,000 million disks spread over 5,000 servers, that's 2,500 disks per server.

Nuff said.

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Offline appel

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« Reply #40 - Posted 2013-06-12 00:52:11 »

I'm all on the stasi side of the argument, but I'd never quote FoxNews on... well... anything.

1,250,000 million disks spread over 5,000 servers, that's 2,500 disks per server.

Nuff said.

Well, when it's fox news telling you about government conspiracies, rest assured it must be much worse!  Grin

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Offline CodeHead

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« Reply #41 - Posted 2013-06-12 04:18:19 »

Skepticism is all fair and good, but lack of imagination is not. Foxnews has published this article which includes an estimate of the size of the datacenter.
Quote
This top-secret data warehouse could hold as many as 1.25 million 4-terabyte hard drives, built into some 5,000 servers to store the trillions upon trillions of ones and zeroes that make up your digital fingerprint.

Some reports have suggested the data center could hold as much as 5 zetabytes, an astronomical sum equivalent to 62 billion stacked iPhone 5s. King called that number "difficult, if not impossible to conceive.”

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/06/11/inside-nsas-secret-utah-data-center/

Yes, some reports speculate some things, other reports speculate other things. I've seen the scale posted in everything from exabytes on wikipedia to yodabytes on techcrunch. In the absence of hard facts, it can be pretty much anything you want it to be. I could speculate that they're preparing to bring the worlds largest MineCraft server online. Shocked The funny thing about facts (something us skeptical people love) is that they don't take any imagination. There is no blank to fill in; it is the filled in blank.

Now coming back towards the world of reality. If you're running a data center and planning for long term retention, a large chunk of your capacity is going to be used for redundancy. Also consider that you're going to have to plan for future growth and the fact that a lot of IP traffic is compressed and you'll need some room for decompression for examination. That "enormous" data space is starting to feel a bit cramped already even before you add in the non IP data that is supposedly being captured as well (pretty much anything with an OTA type broadcast). If we go with the notion that it's 5 zetabytes of potential storage space, and consider that we're projected to have around a 140% growth in IP traffic alone in a 1 year period (yes I know I'm fudging the estimate a bit by projecting the 1 zb period to occur at the end of 2015 / beginning of 2016, but it's easier math), either the new data center isn't for total data awareness / retention, or someone is really bad at planning for short term, much less long term capacity planning. Speaking of which, they're already

On a lighter note, the analogy used by "King" made me laugh out loud. I think that's the first time I've seen storage capacity compared to stacked iPhone 5s. I'm still trying to figure out if he's literally talking about surface area or if he's referring to the sum of the amount of ram in each device. Either way, I would expect that an expert would understand that when you're trying to quantify it in a unit that results in another number that's "difficult, if not impossible to conceive.” Roll Eyes

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Offline Jimmt
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« Reply #42 - Posted 2013-06-12 04:35:16 »

Horrible analogy, most people will think of the (equivalent of) hard disk capacity, which obviously varies from iPhone to iPhone. Back to the original topic, if the gov't has the means to get the data, it will get it, and it will use it, I think there's no doubt about that. I don't find it hard to believe that someone from the NSA would spy on someone else because of something trivial - I mean, you hear scandals in the news all the time.
Offline ctomni231

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« Reply #43 - Posted 2013-06-12 10:31:32 »

This discussion is powerful, because it has a lot to do with the future of computing.

However, the Internet is a public entity. Thinking that people, even our own respective governments, will not look at the data if you display certain patterns is completely and utterly naive. Our information is always at risk when we decide to put it on the Internet, and packets can be intercepted by anyone. As programmers, we know there is no guaranteed way to make sure data can't be manipulated, or reverse engineered over time.

As for what we can do about it. Nothing really. It is important for every nation to at least keep the illusion that they are tracking data. It turns the internet into leverage, not allowing anyone to gain full control. As surfers, we just need to be aware that we might be watched, and overall to have some integrity of what you post and do digitally.

The mistake that many people make is believing that giving personal information on the internet is any better than writing your personal information in a public restroom stall. Even if you write your information in a secured bank's restroom (Amazon, Google, Yahoo, etc.), there is always that one janitor that has the keys. Just watch what you post and stay vigilant, (it goes for all your other digital transactions too).

Offline Roquen
« Reply #44 - Posted 2013-06-12 12:29:47 »

What ya'll are missing is that all governments are just puppets to international mega-corps!!!   They're job is to maximize production and consumption!!!  What we REALLY need to worry about is our discount and credit cards...because they KNOW EVERYTHING about our consumption.  One day there tacked aggreement will fall threw and the COPERATE WARS WILL BEGIN!!!!  When that happens expect visits from thugs from                   or                 to make you pay for not buing the write brands!!!!

INTERNAL NOTATION: Not for distribution.  Edited on 20130612 by 1337077
Offline appel

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« Reply #45 - Posted 2013-06-12 13:06:28 »

The U.S. government has lost its way, badly. I do wonder where all those hillbilly militias are, those who oppose government control and justify their gun ownership as a failsafe to fight a totalitarian government. Well... they're kinda worthless right now aren't they?

Just look at the control the evil empire has over companies like the creditcard companies, who not only serve the U.S. but the international world as well. The U.S. government blacklisted Wikileaks and forced the creditcard companies to shut down any influx of donations to Wikileaks via their service FROM ANY SOURCE IN THE WORLD. It was illegal for the creditcard companies to block Wikileaks donations, and an Icelandic court found the creditcard companies in breach of contract. Thing is, breaching the contract wasn't considered an issue by the powers to be. Rule of law has gone out of the window and has been replaced by totalitarianism and rule by decree.

When did Americans start to become scared of freedom?

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Offline Roquen
« Reply #46 - Posted 2013-06-12 14:11:39 »

It not just the US that's suffering from some weird identity crisis.  It seems to be pretty much all of the world.  If I were to attempt to get US citizens to "do something" about their freedoms I'd focus on the Rico act and large parts of the Patriot Acts.  This current topic is pretty uninteresting to me...along the lines of "what's that stain on whatsername's dress?"  My only questions would be: what abuses has it led to?  legal vs. illegal? and what are the checks-and-balances?  BTW:  I find the STASI reference borderline repugnant because it's a too recent history and there are many people that lived thorough that regime.  I was a young adult when the wall came-a-tumbling down.  On legal vs. illegal, it seems logical to me that any data purposely sent through the net has absolutely zero expectation of privacy.  Likewise for cell communication.  In both cases you're knowingly throwing information into the void for anyone to grab...you're yelling into a public phone with a circle of a million people standing around you.  Too bad for you if someone is listening.  However a phone conversation made from a non-public fixed line does have reasonable expectation of privacy and inspecting that data should require a warrant.  Yes there are a lot of gray areas in my last statements, but I don't feel like writing a novel.
Offline Damocles
« Reply #47 - Posted 2013-06-12 15:01:23 »

I see this as a business opportunity for competitors of US companies
to host their servers outside the US juristical access.
And implementing a strict secure communication from client to server (https for starters)

At one time there will be economic pressure to reduce (or make people belive so) the
sniffing on their private communications.


----

The main effect of observing and recording peoples behavior lies less in aquiering intelligence data to find bad terrorists
(or drug trading, or tax fraud, or pirating software, or mobbing schoolmates, or throwing away beer cans on the highway, or critizising the current govenment)

But more into making people change their behavior in their daily lives. (a broad feeling of intimmidation)
Beeing more careful and communicating less critical.

Offline Danny02
« Reply #48 - Posted 2013-06-12 18:18:49 »

I just leave this here: https://mailman.stanford.edu/pipermail/liberationtech/2013-June/008815.html
Offline CodeHead

JGO Coder


Medals: 40


From rags to riches...to rags.


« Reply #49 - Posted 2013-06-12 23:35:13 »

I don't find it hard to believe that someone from the NSA would spy on someone else because of something trivial - I mean, you hear scandals in the news all the time.

I don't think it's hard for anybody to believe that, and that the NSA spies is certainly not in question. The scale and methods of surveillance are what's being questioned.

I do wonder where all those hillbilly militias are, those who oppose government control and justify their gun ownership as a failsafe to fight a totalitarian government. Well... they're kinda worthless right now aren't they?

And just when the hyperbole seemed to have died down. You're making yourself out to be ignorant if you think that a)only "hillbilly militias" carry guns or see value in the U.S. second amendment, b)that the only tyranny that exists comes from the federal level, and c)that tyranny is the only thing that a gun is useful for protection from. That being said, the irony in all of it is, judging by your rants and general level of conspiratorial paranoia, you would probably feel right at home among a group of them or any of the other survivalist type groups that you seem to have a low opinion of.

And you do realize that credit card companies, even ones based in "the evil empire" are not controlled by the U.S. government anymore than they are the Icelandic government or others. Like other business entities, they are subject to the laws and regulations of the countries they are doing business in, otherwise, the Icelandic court ruling would have no way of being enforced.

Fun fact: The backlash against wikileaks wasn't a U.S. only thing. A Swiss bank also froze Julian's funds, and Moneybookers (a U.K. firm) also cut ties with them. While there were certainly those in the U.S. government who wanted to add wkileaks to a financial blacklist, ultimately it was decided that there were not legal grounds to do so. I'll aslo point out that it was another U.S. based company, XIPWIRE, who provided a means for individuals to donate to wikileaks after Visa and Mastercard had stopped doing transactions with them.

As a side note, can you please stop with the misuse, mischaracterization, and mislabeling of history to try and suit your agenda? It muddies the conversation, can be confusing, and doesn't make you look any smarter to people with actual knowledge of historical scale and factual context. To wit, "the evil empire" is a well understood reference to The Soviet Union made by Ronald Reagan during the cold war. If you want to slander an entire nation, then you could use a phrase that is actually identified with it like say "The Great Satan"; a favorite of Iranian clerics, or hell, be creative and come up with your own (I'm the one who lacks imagination, remember)?

When did Americans start to become scared of freedom?


I think it was somewhere around the time Iceland quit teaching actual history in schools. Pointing


Another excellent story, but considering the fact that Nacchio did actually sell his stock off while the price was inflated and before knowledge of the government contracts were made public reaping a windfall. His excuse? He wasn't in a right state of mind at the time. The persecution claim doesn't hold up that well in light of the fact that Google had stated that they were approached by the NSA with similar requests in the past and had turned them down.

It would seem that if you're a CEO, do nothing illegal, but paid a lot, you should be locked up and have the key thrown away, but if you're a CEO who "sticks it to the man" in people's eyes, then goes on to do insider trading and self enrichment, any criminal charges or penalties you face for said activities is obviously an Orwellian government exacting its revenge.

Arthur: Are all men from the future loud-mouthed braggarts?
Ash: Nope. Just me baby...Just me.
Offline Riven
« League of Dukes »

JGO Overlord


Medals: 742
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #50 - Posted 2013-06-13 00:26:15 »

That being said, the irony in all of it is, judging by your rants and general level of conspiratorial paranoia, you would probably feel right at home among a group of them or any of the other survivalist type groups that you seem to have a low opinion of.
I know this is the Miscellaneous board, and anything goes, but personal attacks and insinuations like these not only hurt your point, they also hurt your credibility.

I think it was somewhere around the time Iceland quit teaching actual history in schools.
Much like you, I could join this argument, not taking the above statement as lightly as was intended, saying something along the lines of how you clearly 'missed the point' and that the statements of an individual from a specific country, do not necessarily reflect that nations educational system.

This is slowly turning into a thread where people argue, for argument's sake. Where you see the typical behavior of only responding to eachother's weakest arguments, as they are easiest to attack. It ends in a situation where tensions rise, yet both parties feel strengthened in their point of view.

If you two can't get along, that's no problem, but don't make it such a public affair. Exchange email addresses or something. I'm fairly sure though, that without both parties feeling reinforced by the public eye, it'll fizzle out surprisingly fast. JGO is not the place for this bickering.

Hi, appreciate more people! Σ ♥ = ¾
Learn how to award medals... and work your way up the social rankings
Offline Jimmt
« League of Dukes »

JGO Kernel


Medals: 128
Projects: 4
Exp: 3 years



« Reply #51 - Posted 2013-06-13 03:35:22 »

End argument: ignorance is bliss. Grin
Offline CodeHead

JGO Coder


Medals: 40


From rags to riches...to rags.


« Reply #52 - Posted 2013-06-13 03:46:13 »

I know this is the Miscellaneous board, and anything goes, but personal attacks and insinuations like these not only hurt your point, they also hurt your credibility.

Agreed, but in all fairness, while I could have perhaps used a better term than "conspiratorial paranoia", it wasn't really meant as a person attack. My point was that the same groups he's mocking are in general, deeply suspicious of government, have deeply held opinions on privacy and independence (especially the survivalists), have a less than "stellar" view of big business and the financial system, and are fiercely patriotic. While I may not agree with all the views, I do think they do hold valid points at times, and do not see them as a bad thing (thus my defense of them in my second sentence). My point is that his derision was aimed towards a group who actually holds a lot of agreement with him. If it came off as a "you're an idiot and suxors" type comment, I sincerely apologize.


Much like you, I could join this argument, not taking the above statement as lightly as was intended, saying something along the lines of how you clearly 'missed the point' and that the statements of an individual from a specific country, do not necessarily reflect that nations educational system.

That was actually my form of "Reductio ad absurdum" in response to his comment about Americans fearing freedom. I find both statements to be absurd and figured the absurdity would be pretty evident. To be honest, I have no real bias one way or the other when it comes to Iceland in general, and the Icelandic educational system specifically. If I were forced to give a knee jerk response at gunpoint, I would actually probably say it's better than what we have in the U.S. That's just going by American stereotypes of Europe in general though, which, like any other type of stereotype, I have zero actual faith in. And yes I am aware that a sampling of one is no representation of an entire populace. [self deprecation]Good thing too, otherwise all Americans, or at least the ones from Ohio, would be long winded assholes. Cheesy[/self deprecation]

I hold no hard feelings against apel. I may debate hard, but in the grand scheme of things, I keep the arguments in the thread that they're related to, and don't think that just because I disagree with someone on one subject, that I'll disagree with them on all subjects or that there's a need to be confrontational in other dealings because of it.

I'll make this my last post on this thread. I agree with you Riven, at a certain point it is just time spent inappropriately bickering (which is probably much better spent on development, answering questions in the other threads, hanging out with family, or damn well about anything else). Smiley

@Apel - My apologies if I came off as harsh. Overall, we may not agree in this instance, but I honestly believe you're a good guy on the whole. I say this due to being a lurker on here for quite a while now and reading some of your posts in the past. I hold no hard feelings, or ill will towards you, and hope the same is true on your end.

Cheers! Cool

Arthur: Are all men from the future loud-mouthed braggarts?
Ash: Nope. Just me baby...Just me.
Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 49
Projects: 4


I always win!


« Reply #53 - Posted 2013-06-13 12:46:47 »

@CodeHead
I love you too!!

Seriously, I never considered this more than a debate, arguing, opinion conflict, which I've never had a problem with.

At work this sort of argument conflict is encouraged, and we have much harsher debates which some outsiders might perceive as we're going to kill each other. But fear not, we're all best buds!

 Grin

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline Riven
« League of Dukes »

JGO Overlord


Medals: 742
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #54 - Posted 2013-06-13 15:40:29 »

I'm all for intense debates, but insinuations, insults and constantly implying that the other guy is stupid for not realizing something, has no part in a proper public debate.

It is obvious that it started as an exchange of information, turning into an exchange of ignorance, like 'the evil empire' response - that was just painful to watch, not contributing to the discussion in any way.

Hi, appreciate more people! Σ ♥ = ¾
Learn how to award medals... and work your way up the social rankings
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