Repealing the Patriot Act.

Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by The Ghost of Crazy Horse, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. K.

    K. Sober

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    I did. Snowden exposed a massive crime against the American people, and one of the things that flows from that crime is the security breach you accuse him of causing, which he no more did cause than a DA's star witness causes the mafia to commit more crimes in order to silence them. You ignore the major crime against that population, and by doing so ignore that aside from hacking encrypted emails of a head of government, having access to their and everyone else's private-but-not-top-secret emails is at least as massive a security risk. If Trump was blackmailed -- I don't know that he was, but you seem to think it at least plausible, and I don't disagree -- it very likely wasn't a government secret, but a private one that exposed him.

    Which is how I took it, and made the point that "the US" was not reading Merkel's emails, and the people who were don't deserve the "the US" trust, since they committed major crimes against that population. I stand by that.

    Sure, which is what I said. Actually, I think it's even more likely that he was mostly just bribed, and then through that also became exposed to blackmail later on.

    As for Snowden:

    Yeah, but "that is known" is kind of a skewed argument for secret intelligence. Which is why I asked whether you think what he did was extremely difficult to do, or whether he was part of an extremely tiny circle of confidence. My understanding is that neither was true, which means that this exposure to Putin or Xi -- though not to the public -- should have been entirely imaginable, and ultimately almost unavoidable. What sets Snowden apart is that he at least also helped protect the American people against at least some of the crimes their government was committing against them.

    Incidentally, you and I seem to agree that in addition to what Snowden told the world, he also very, very likely told Putin a whole lot more. Would you guess that that happened before or after he got to Hongkong?
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
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  2. Demiurge

    Demiurge Goodbye and Hello, as always.

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    thanks for the response, I've got a fun event with my son right now, but I'll respond to that later today.
  3. K.

    K. Sober

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    Let me guess, he runs a network of espionage satellites?

    :soholy:

    Have fun.
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  4. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    Okay, but anyone who lived through the Nixon years would hardly be surprised that government continued to "wiretap," using more sophisticated technology. When cordless landlines were first introduced, there were people who refused to get one because "they bounce your voice off a satellite and they can hear everything." No point in trying to explain the gazillion packets per second that were passing through. I was more concerned with the fact that I could sometimes hear my next-door neighbor's conversations on my phone and assumed he could hear mine.

    I'm from the Sixties. I just assume someone's listening in. :shrug:
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  5. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    Let's say "potential" impact. The Valerie Plame affair springs to mind. Publishing intel in a public forum such as The Guardian could expose and thereby endanger agents in the field. Unless you're naive enough to believe that espionage is an innately bad thing, you do want to protect your people, and their assets, most of whom are just ordinary citizens who occasionally serve as confidential informants.

    It's been a while, so refresh my memory. Did Snowden go to The Guardian before or after he went to Russia and China with what he knew (and both countries, according to him, turned him down)? That's important. Supposedly The Guardian only published a tiny portion of what he gave them. We'll probably never know what was in the unpublished info, but it was probably more volatile than what was released.

    Should governments stop spying on their people? That genie escaped from the bottle when the first protohuman crept up on a rival tribe to find out when and where they planned their next raid. Can't stop it now. Can somehow figure out a way to curb it by not passing regulations like the USA PATRIOT Act (let's not forget it stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) in the first place.
  6. RickDeckard

    RickDeckard Socialist

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    There is no evidence whatsoever that Snowden went to Russia or China with information. He was trapped in Russia against his will by the United States, and the enemies of an open society have been using that against him ever since, as if it were his own choice.

    And yeah, much of the espionage the US does is "bad". That's the point.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
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  7. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    Again, I haven't read anything current, but IIRC something written about 4-5 years ago quoted Snowden as saying he'd approached Russia and China and they turned him down. Which, the more I think of it, doesn't seem likely. As if Putin wouldn't have been coming in his pants at the very thought.

    Will have to see whether I can dig up that source...
  8. RickDeckard

    RickDeckard Socialist

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    Have you read his book? He very explicitly says that he did no such thing.
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  9. K.

    K. Sober

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    @garamet, I could be wrong, and nothing you have said could not technically apply to Snowden as well, but the way you're talking sounds as if you might be thinking of Assange for some of that story rather than Snowden.
  10. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    Most Americans do not know the difference between the two.
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  11. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    No, I haven't. I'll look into it.

    I'd thought of that after I posted yesterday and it's likely I did conflate the two. There was just so much missegoss flooding the media at the time that it was hard for me to keep track. So, unlike the Poster with the Expressive Middle Finger, I'm willing to admit I was mistaken.
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  12. K.

    K. Sober

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    Nor most Germans. We literally did a study.
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  13. Spaceturkey

    Spaceturkey official beverage of antifa

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    compounded by how many of them at least had a relative who was on a party line at some point?

    I mean my grandmother had one until she moved into a retirement home in 1982.
    but yeah, I grew up with "always assume this phone is tapped"...
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  14. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    I’m sure the same could be done here. Have you seen John Oliver’s episode in Snowden? Yes, I know it’s supposed to be comedy, but he (his staff) very often has done more intensive research than most news reporters here in the US. So completely so that I’ve had to stop watching. It’s so very depressing how badly the world has become and so many people so willing to be hoodwinked just so they don’t have to deal with reality.
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  15. K.

    K. Sober

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    Thing is, you didn't spend your life online back then, and they wouldn't have been able to go through all the data anyway. Today, surveillance can be truly comprehensive, if we let it.
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  16. Rimjob Bob

    Rimjob Bob The way you'd think of God's as big

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    When do I get to stop removing my shoes at the goddamn airport? Almost no countries beside the US do that nonsense. :brood:
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  17. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    I saw an interview this morning from 2013 with John Le Carre where he talked briefly abotu Snowden. Le Carre mentioned that he was bit puzzled by Snowden's actions. He mentioned that people who see themselves as whistleblowers are generally willing to take the consequences (think Lt. Col Vindman) for their actions. Snowden instead took a powder and ran to the shelter of the adversary countries. It struck him as odd.
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  18. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    You’ll need to read (think it was) @RickDeckard’s post above. The US apparently pushed Snowden into their adversary’s hands. He has claimed the same throughout his exile. Yes, he took precautions. But he knew the kind of people he was dealing with. Chelsea Manning didn’t. She’d still be in prison if it weren’t for Obama.
  19. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    I did read RD's post. I think Le Carre's comments are still relevant. Look up the BBC interview on Youtube if you're interested.
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  20. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    Thanks. I will
  21. tafkats

    tafkats That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo! Moderator

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    Do other countries have as big of a Scared White Suburbanite population as we do?

    Obviously, the shoe thing doesn't do much to stop terrorists, but it does probably help cut down on the delays that would result from shutting the entire terminal down every time some Baggage-Claim Becky gets spooked because she saw a brown person.
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  22. Demiurge

    Demiurge Goodbye and Hello, as always.

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    Well, he's 15. So who knows what he's going to do.

    His great grandfather on my side was an engineer on the Apollo project. His grandfather on my side was a computer scientist that helped program the nap of the earth low level flight program that was included in quite a few things, including tomahawk cruise missiles, and later did instrumental work on Optical Character Recognition (OCR). His grandfather on his mother's side was a prominent civil engineer in Canada, and helped build both the Canadian highway system and NORAD, and holds several patents.

    His mom was an academic who studied at U of T and MIT, the later directly under Choamsky, and did pioneering work on several african langauges. For a while she was an academic, but then she sold out for the money though and now is a an executive at a major consulting firm.

    Luckily though, she was a wise academic, and has always known what her specialty involves, as opposed to those that are pedantic and like to lecture on topics that they have absolutely no standing in, and are just another shmoo.

    So it wouldn't surprise me at all if he ended up doing something you'd consider fantastic. You know, because we spend hundreds of billions on high tech here, and there are job openings for smart people. :D
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  23. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    This presumes that he's being honest in his book. Not saying that he's lying, I just want to point out that if he admitted to approaching China and Russia with information first, not too many people in the US would care if he wound up dead.

    A communist friend of mine, who has no love of US covert operations, did a deep dive on Snowden's social media history after the document dump came out and his conclusion was that Snowden's motives were not as honorable as some might think. Now, I hasten to point out that this friend has been a contrarian hipster douchebag since the 80s and there very well might not be a rational basis for his claims. I don't know. I will say that I seriously doubt that this has been the national security nightmare many claim it to have been.
  24. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    wait...you actually wear shoes?
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  25. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    My brother is a Lutheran minister. Everyone loves him. As a child, people said he could sell ice water to eskimos. But, I was the one he told all his dirty secrets to. The one he told all his dark and dirty thoughts. I didn’t want to hear them, but I was his only outlet. He said those things regardless of whether or not I wanted to hear them. I’m saying this because I have seen him bullshit everyone and everyone believes him. I’m far from an expert at reading people or knowing a good person from a bad person. The interviews I’ve seen of Snowden, he does not appear to me to be a slick manipulator or devious con artist. To me, he seems to be very much what he presents. A good guy who wanted to do the right thing but got in way over his head.
  26. Demiurge

    Demiurge Goodbye and Hello, as always.

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    As to the rest,

    The security breach was NOT the data that the NSA was collecting. You can conflate that two in your mind, but your confusion is not my issue. The data breach was the 1.5 million documents he stole, and the fact that said documents later ended up in Russian hands, and the damage that did.

    Again, this is the type of thing that changes history. The NSA having your call log of the people you have phoned is not doubt a violation of the 4th amendment if done without due process, but not in any way is impactful to society.

    The DA's star witness is never committing a crime when he comes forward. Snowden did. If a Mafia lieutenant comes forward and testifies without a deal on a rico case, you know what consideration he's guaranteed? None.

    Your statement that the entire system is a security breach is unfounded. The person responsible for those breaches bears both legal and moral onus, and that person was Snowden - even if it is only the 10,000 documents that he shared with journalists, despite the fact that the intelligence agencies of both the UK and US claim that he is responsible for all 1.5 million.

    Yes, he claims he didn't do it. And there's no one guilty at Riker's Island. They are all innocent.

    The US government was, and it really doesn't matter to the average US citizen that Merkel's emails were being read. If you were shocked that the US was mounting a vast cybersecurity presence after 9/11, that's nice. Most people I knew were well aware of it, and very few people were naive enough to think it wasn't happening.

    You tell me. Apart from your clear 'shock', what US citizens were negatively impacted? Was it in anyway comparable to the damage caused by the attacks by the FSB later on?

    The corporations were already harvesting that data, and clearly still are.
    Pure speculation on your part. Secrets are often kept for an extended period of time. You know, like the debacle at the practice for the invasion of D-Day, in which 750 US service men were killed, and the secret was successfully kept for over 50 years.

    The scope and scale of the impact of the US surveillance programs on internal matters was rather limited. Phone metadata was collected - that is not the content of phone calls. PRISM required court orders. Text message interception was overseas. You overstate the impact on domestic US programs.

    It did piss off our allies how much we were spying on them though, though certainly most of them already knew, it was embarassing when it came out.

    As to what Snowden told when, I don't know. It's even possible he meant well and didn't talk to Putin. But they got the data anyway - through him.

    Why? We know Snowden trusted Assange, the one who was advising him and got him to Moscow. And Assange was on Putin's payroll.

    He might have given the data to Assange to keep. The fact that MI6 says the data was still being decrypted several years later suggests that highly, as if Snowden wanted to give the data he would have handed over the encryption key when he did it.

    And you know what? Still fuck him. His stupidity caused massive international impacts that we will still be feeling a decade from now. This type of shit changes the balance of power in the world.

    I can believe he meant well, and still say he needs to be extradited to serve a lengthy jail sentence.

    Free Reality Winner, put Assange in jail forever, and Snowden for twenty years. That's what each deserve in my opinion.
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  27. spot261

    spot261 I don't want the game to end

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    Perhaps it is worth reminding you that "we" needn't mean the American people.

    As Germans, Brits, Australians, Canadians "we" also represent citizens of the nations whose security was being compromised intentionally by the NSA activities Snowden exposed.

    That he sought refuge in Russia should be no surprise. He previously requested asylum in dozens of nations allied to the US which, despite being victims, had no desire to alienate a superpower.

    Russia, on the other hand, had no such bridges to burn but thousands of reasons to accept him.
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  28. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    Another interesting snippet from the Le Carre interview was that The Guardian apparently did nothing to protect Snowden. Just another thing that he thought didn't make sense.
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  29. Demiurge

    Demiurge Goodbye and Hello, as always.

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    Brits, Australians, and Canadians were part of the programs. Australia's ASD, the UK's GHCQ, and Canada's CSEC were all partners across several of the programs, and all groups shared intel.

    Germans were not, whether they were approached and declined or simply left in the dark was unclear. Snowden claimed that the US conducted industrial espionage against German corporations. But Germany's BfV, their internal cyber group, fond no evidence of that.

    I won't say Snowden was wrong in being concerned. I do believe how he did it was inept, and ultimately led to far more problems than he resolved.
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  30. Demiurge

    Demiurge Goodbye and Hello, as always.

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    Oh, and as to Trump being 'hacked', I have no reason to think that's true.

    Trump's approach to Russia began in Soviet times, back when he visited Moscow and came back and ran a full page ad in the NYTimes stating NATO should be dissolved. 1987 IIRC.

    Since then he's clearly been active with Russian organized crime. One of the Russian mafia's biggest bosses was arrested in Trump Tower after evading a US manhunt for the better part of a year. Another of his associates is currently under indictment and is a known mafiaso, and was a partner with Trump on Trump Soho. The Taj Mahal received the largest fine for money laundering in Casino history. Large numbers of Russian nationals bought Trump properties with cash.

    Old fashioned HumInt was more than enough to compromise Trump, a decade before he thought about running for President.
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