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Old 2013-06-09, 05:46   Link #28781
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Given that the situation is essentially the same as banks keeping records of customers' transactions, this is not a problem unless the government has unlimited and overreaching access to said information. Is there any evidence of such unlimited and overreaching access?
Yes, although we should recognize that "overreaching" may be a subjective term. The government has physically built "back doors" into a number of communications and financial institutions. I don't think they have any business doing that. If they want to go with a warrant to obtain specific records then there's no problem, but to be constantly monitoring background levels is a massive overreach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
My uproar personally is that all of this information collecting has helped prevent what crimes, exactly? Stopped terrorists? Nope. Stopped shootings? Nope. Any crime? Nope. All of this information, and they're just as helpless to protect their citizens as they were a decade ago.
The problem with programs like this is that we can't say for certain what it is or isn't doing. Everything is secret and the full details can't be revealed or else the effectiveness of the programs would be put at risk. The data available to us is limited; we can claim that the number of attacks and deaths has remained constant, but we can't say whether or not the number of attempted attacks and thwarted attempts has increased. The government would probably say that they have and that the program is justified as a result, but we have no way of knowing if it's true and/or if they're counting cases that they shouldn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
Mississippi aims to curb teen pregnancy with umbilical blood law
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9560SL20130607
Here's a weird one. The cord blood collection is being performed in order to identify men who might have committed statutory rape, and this will supposedly cut down Mississippi's teen pregnancy rates. It's an interesting idea, but America's high teen pregnancy rate is not due to older men impregnating teenage girls. I doubt it's much different in Mississippi. This seems like an attempt to do something about teen pregnancy without addressing the core issues of sexual education and access to contraceptives.
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Old 2013-06-09, 07:23   Link #28782
ganbaru
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North Korean defector's "impossible" dream of closing prison camps
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9541BG20130605

Congo conflict masks deadly volcano threat
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9540MW20130605
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Old 2013-06-09, 07:36   Link #28783
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
I suppose this is where it's hard to get information on from my side, at least with the US. I've seen plenty of cases in Japan and Korea where such data-mining solved the puzzle, so I do believe there is some merit.
I'm not saying it's without any merit. But the scope of the comparison is completely different. I sincerely doubt Japan or Korea have anything on the level of the US infrastructure in this type of thing. The closest might be China, since they monitor all communication very heavily.

There's been a broad, even alarming, expansion of executive power in the US over the last 100 years. While each political "side" cheers when their guy is doing it and jeering when the other guy is doing it, the overall effect on the health of government is discernible.

This guy does a nice job of summing up my concerns.

The reality is that abuse of power absolutely exists in our pillared institutions. Ignorance is rampant, too, with people in high level positions going on record as saying some of the dumbest things imaginable. And with the way the typical voter picks a candidate, I hold no faith that they'll always pick the guy (or gal) who won't overreach with power or harm us with stupidity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
The problem with programs like this is that we can't say for certain what it is or isn't doing. Everything is secret and the full details can't be revealed or else the effectiveness of the programs would be put at risk. The data available to us is limited; we can claim that the number of attacks and deaths has remained constant, but we can't say whether or not the number of attempted attacks and thwarted attempts has increased. The government would probably say that they have and that the program is justified as a result, but we have no way of knowing if it's true and/or if they're counting cases that they shouldn't.
Right. The appropriate analogy would be something like this:

Quote:
Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.

Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.

Homer: Thank you, dear.

Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.

Homer: Oh, how does it work?

Lisa: It doesn't work.

Homer: Uh-huh.

Lisa: It's just a stupid rock.

Homer: Uh-huh.

Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you?

[Homer thinks of this, then pulls out some money]

Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.
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Old 2013-06-09, 11:47   Link #28784
SeijiSensei
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What I find most disturbing is the sheer amount of information being sucked up and the computer resources being used for its analysis. Read the Bamford article I cited earlier for details, or this piece in this morning New York Times:

Quote:
Today, a revolution in software technology that allows for the highly automated and instantaneous analysis of enormous volumes of digital information has transformed the N.S.A., turning it into the virtual landlord of the digital assets of Americans and foreigners alike. The new technology has, for the first time, given America’s spies the ability to track the activities and movements of people almost anywhere in the world without actually watching them or listening to their conversations.
When the NSA has "splitters" in the major international switching centers that basically enable them to copy the entire digital stream of international Internet traffic for later analysis, the notion that any sort of legal or judicial oversight is being employed largely goes out the window.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...d&continuous=1
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Old 2013-06-09, 11:53   Link #28785
Dop
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Well, we knew this day was coming, but it's still sad.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22835047

Author Iain Banks has died aged 59, two months after announcing he had terminal cancer, his family has said.
The Scottish writer revealed in April he was suffering from terminal gall bladder cancer and was unlikely to live for more than a year.

I think there'll be many a glass of fine single malt raised in his memory tonight.
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Old 2013-06-09, 12:15   Link #28786
ganbaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dop View Post
Well, we knew this day was coming, but it's still sad.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22835047

Author Iain Banks has died aged 59, two months after announcing he had terminal cancer, his family has said.
The Scottish writer revealed in April he was suffering from terminal gall bladder cancer and was unlikely to live for more than a year.

I think there'll be many a glass of fine single malt raised in his memory tonight.
Sad day indeed, I didn't know than he had cancer but honestly I don't know much about the authors than I read.
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Old 2013-06-09, 12:18   Link #28787
NorthernFallout
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God damnit I was looking forward to more Culture

RIP.
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Old 2013-06-09, 20:59   Link #28788
ganbaru
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Ex-CIA man says exposed spy scheme for better world
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9580DW20130609
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Old 2013-06-09, 21:53   Link #28789
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
Ex-CIA man says exposed spy scheme for better world
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9580DW20130609
Oh Good. So now we can add "spying on its own citizen via the Internet" to the list of things "America bitch China about to show its moral superiority--then caught do it"
Quote:
"The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards," he said.
Something tell me this isn't U.S domestic only.

Last edited by ArchmageXin; 2013-06-09 at 22:05.
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Old 2013-06-09, 22:02   Link #28790
Cosmic Eagle
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dop View Post
Well, we knew this day was coming, but it's still sad.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22835047

Author Iain Banks has died aged 59, two months after announcing he had terminal cancer, his family has said.
The Scottish writer revealed in April he was suffering from terminal gall bladder cancer and was unlikely to live for more than a year.

I think there'll be many a glass of fine single malt raised in his memory tonight.
That is sad...Culture novels were pretty nice to read
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Old 2013-06-09, 22:07   Link #28791
Irenicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchmageXin View Post
Oh Good. So now we can add "spying on its own citizen via the Internet" to the list of things "America bitch China about to show its moral superiority--then caught do it"
I agree with you.

However, you will notice that at least a sizable number of the common American citizens -- to be distinguished from the self-important, hypocritical scums in Washington -- are rightly outraged. I have similar expectations that many a common Chinese internet user is no fan of the Great Firewall, even if they will never admit it publicly.

As for Mr. Snowden. He is a hero. May he live long and prosper, or at least, however unlikely it is, may he not get tortured, "questioned," harassed, defamed, dirtied, ruined, poisoned by "decisive" intelligence types because he stands for something more than they will ever stand for. His life is already ruined, but maybe he can take comfort in having had the moral courage to do what is in the best interests of his fellow man.

I believe his choice of Hong Kong as first-stop asylum is, in his desperate situation, as well as he could have done. There are few places in the world where the powers that be stand a chance to stick it to the US, while not exactly being a hellhole (if not entirely free and all that lovely). Though it is now up to the PRC if it's willing to block the inevitable extradition request that will come through the US-Hong Kong treaty. Or, hell, if it's going to send its own agents in and "question" Mr. Snowden before the United States' massive intelligence apparatus -- its pride shamed -- gets to him.

And of course, his willingness to reveal himself does him credit -- and again, intelligent, since it preempts the inevitable smear campaign that hit previous whistleblowers such as Mr. Assange. It has already begun, with many commentators of the so-called "Progressive" side (I am disgusted by how many partisan "Democrats" are standing with Obama because he's Obama and the Republican Party is hypocritical...or something) calling for his head as a "Chinese spy."

Quote:
Something tell me this isn't U.S domestic only.
It's not. Actually, the "legal" side of the controversy -- aside from the moral objections to blanket surveillance and secret courts (YES, WE HAVE SECRET COURTS) -- is that US citizens are being caught in a supposedly foreign-targeted spying dragnet program.

My fellow citizens don't particularly care about infringing on the nonexistent rights of foreigners, see.

That does mean, if you're someone in the government of, oh, Russia, you don't think in terms of outrage and citizens' rights (you don't even care about that), or if the UN really needs to update its Declaration to include "And no, America, you are NOT exempted," but you think in terms of how are you going to route around the American "prism." Though if you're just some dude in Moscow, well, what are you gonna do about it when even the American citizens, technically owners of the US government, frankly have no idea how to get started in pushing this back?
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Old 2013-06-10, 04:07   Link #28792
Mentar
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The sad thing is that this scandal isn't even creating real feedback. It seems that the erosion of privacy rights is deemed irrelevant by the vast majority of people, and even internet-savvy users like those of this board feel bored about it.

Scary.
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Old 2013-06-10, 04:27   Link #28793
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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U.S. finds long-lost diary of top Nazi leader, Hitler aide
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9580HL20130609
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Old 2013-06-10, 06:40   Link #28794
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
The sad thing is that this scandal isn't even creating real feedback. It seems that the erosion of privacy rights is deemed irrelevant by the vast majority of people, and even internet-savvy users like those of this board feel bored about it.

Scary.
It's a bipartisan policy. This means you can't fix it with any kind of election for as long as USA still use the two party system. This means there is no recourse for political outrage. And Fox News certainly isn't pointing out that Senator John Boehner is in on it as much as Obama is.

The ONLY things that are kept functioning in the US government are bipartisan issues. And PRISM is one such issue. And as such, no voter can oppose it.

Am I mad about it? Yes. But in a way we always knew this was happening. We have the Right and the Far Right running America, both want more surveillance. And never-mind what extent of spying they are doing to foreigners who are meant to be allies.
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Old 2013-06-10, 07:47   Link #28795
demonix
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Jeremy Irons 'feels sorry' for those accused of abuse

Quote:
He may, however, wish he'd also 'buttoned his lip' over these latest comments...
It might be better if his mouth was run through the sewing machine...

BLANKET STITCH
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Old 2013-06-10, 07:51   Link #28796
GDB
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Age: 28
Not only that, but you can't really change more than a third of Congress at a time. When it appears to be almost, not entirely unanimous, even replacing a third of it won't help. By the time you can get to the next third, the first third will have been bought and brainwashed.
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Old 2013-06-10, 08:29   Link #28797
ArchmageXin
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
It's a bipartisan policy. This means you can't fix it with any kind of election for as long as USA still use the two party system. This means there is no recourse for political outrage. And Fox News certainly isn't pointing out that Senator John Boehner is in on it as much as Obama is.

The ONLY things that are kept functioning in the US government are bipartisan issues. And PRISM is one such issue. And as such, no voter can oppose it.

Am I mad about it? Yes. But in a way we always knew this was happening. We have the Right and the Far Right running America, both want more surveillance. And never-mind what extent of spying they are doing to foreigners who are meant to be allies.
That is the crux of the problem. Can you imagine Romney showing up more outraged than Obama on the spying issue?

I find it funny all those conspiracies theories in the 90s via Hollywood or Video Games, such as the original Deux Ex or Will Smith's enemy of the state, once crackpot jokes, now true predictor of the future.
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Old 2013-06-10, 15:13   Link #28798
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
Iceland may not be the haven U.S. leaker hopes
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9590OK20130610
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Old 2013-06-10, 15:14   Link #28799
AnimeFan188
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US Seeks To Defend American Officials from UAV Targeted Killings:

"The US government, which has used missile-armed UAVs to kill hundreds in
Pakistan and Yemen, is looking for ways to ward off the same kind of attacks on
its own officials.

After all, several countries now produce unmanned aerial vehicles, including
China, Iran and Russia, and they are in the arsenals of as many as 80 nations
and even some nonstate actors such as Lebanonís Hezbollah."

See:

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...geted-Killings
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Old 2013-06-10, 22:58   Link #28800
NoemiChan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
U.S. finds long-lost diary of top Nazi leader, Hitler aide
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9580HL20130609
Hopes it's downloadable....
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