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  #101  
Old 23.06.2013, 02:03
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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Ridiculous statement. Digital screening is hardly going to succeed with 2 individuals living in the same house who plan to commit a local atrocity with homemade materials. Same with the 2 guys in London who murdered the soldier in the street recently. No one has suggested that these intelligence activities are guaranteed to prevent every act of urban terror. They can only hope to pick up some of them, particularly those arranged across continents involving several people -- but many others will succeed.
Wow.

But it is ok to monitor us all because it might, just might, stop something like this? After all, you're the one who brought them up in the first place.

Please, don't believe the propaganda that America is so good at dishing out. How long have you been gone? The brainwashing does fade with time, if you keep an open mind and don't just trust the government because they're the government.

ETA:

Sorry, I just looked at your profile and see you're a Brit. The brainwashing isn't as severe here (I'm originally from the US, but have been gone for over 10 years, with most of those in Switzerland but the last few in the UK), and people here do question quite openly the authority and actions of the government, particularly when compared to the US. In the US, everyone is out to get the "bad guys" (clue 1 to propaganda, using infantile language to describe criminals, making it not only as black and white as it is for children, but also dumbing down of the population), and for many "by any means necessary" is valid. But to give up willingly the liberties that we hold as human beings to do so? No, not a good idea. At all.

Last edited by evilshell; 23.06.2013 at 02:06. Reason: Correcting myself OP's on national origins!
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  #102  
Old 23.06.2013, 02:08
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

As for the mentally ill men who killed the soldier here in the UK, one of them was most definitely on the radar of those who monitor such things. They didn't think he was a major threat...
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  #103  
Old 23.06.2013, 09:46
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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Wow.

But it is ok to monitor us all because it might, just might, stop something like this? After all, you're the one who brought them up in the first place.

Please, don't believe the propaganda that America is so good at dishing out. How long have you been gone? The brainwashing does fade with time, if you keep an open mind and don't just trust the government because they're the government.

ETA:

Sorry, I just looked at your profile and see you're a Brit. The brainwashing isn't as severe here (I'm originally from the US, but have been gone for over 10 years, with most of those in Switzerland but the last few in the UK), and people here do question quite openly the authority and actions of the government, particularly when compared to the US. In the US, everyone is out to get the "bad guys" (clue 1 to propaganda, using infantile language to describe criminals, making it not only as black and white as it is for children, but also dumbing down of the population), and for many "by any means necessary" is valid. But to give up willingly the liberties that we hold as human beings to do so? No, not a good idea. At all.
This is my last post on this subject, as it's one that generates more heat than light.

The point at issue is contained in your question: "But it is ok to monitor us all because it might, just might, stop something like this?"

You genuinely believe that "we are all being monitored". I don't. That is a key difference between us. Or rather, we disagree on what "monitored" means. You think -- or if you don't, many people do -- that our emails are being read and our phone calls listened to. That someone is actually illegally dipping into our communications and knows what we are doing.

This is plain wrong. It saddens me that the Guardian (a paper I have read and liked for over 35 years, incidentally) has deliberately skewed its reporting of this story to pretend that this is what is happening. As the paper approached by Snowden, they are keen to make it seem as big a deal as possible, and are steadfastly refusing to make clear to their readers that there is no personal 'snooping' going on here. They know damn well that the authorities are mass screening emails and phone calls, and have been doing so for at least 20 years. I've been reading about these activities (in the same newspaper) over this period. Just google Menworth Hill if you want to check this.

There is, and has been for many years, mass digital screening to look for keywords and names that are regarded as potentially threatening to our national security. If these names crop up, further automated analysis kicks in. When a line is crossed in terms of further contact with numbers/names of interest, then there might be human intervention. If the NSA or MI5 decides this is significant, requests can be made to the ISP or telephone company for deeper access e.g. the ability to actually read the emails.

You only have to look at the statistics. Do you know how many emails are sent every DAY? Between 200 and 300 BILLION. Every single day. Those figures alone will tell you that there is no way your communications are being personally scrutinised.

So to return to your question - "But it is ok to monitor us all because it might, just might, stop something like this?", then my answer is Yes, I have no problem being monitored in the sense mentioned. I am 100% certain that the authorities neither know nor care about what I think or do. As for terrorist activity, it might be like looking for a needle in a haystack but I am at least glad that they are looking.

A fascinating difference between us, and the reason we will never see eye-to-eye on this, is that when I read about intelligence activities like this, my instinctive response is to feel more protected whereas yours is to feel more vulnerable. I don't know why that is.

It's all very well to talk about freedom, but this cuts both ways. You want freedom from any NSA-style intelligence analysis and I want freedom from the threat of anyone being killed by terrorist activity. I regard the latter as a much bigger threat whereas you consider the former to pose a much greater danger.

C'est la vie. That's where I leave it. Over and out.
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  #104  
Old 23.06.2013, 10:17
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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Pardon him? Even if that were possible, why should he be? I tend to agree that he has damaged the NSA programmes he has released classified documents on. I suspect the NSA will be re-evaluating who gets what information rather soon. When you take on work like that, you agree to not release the information. Most of us who work in the bowels of technology know, if not by firsthand knowledge then by tacit understanding, that this has been happening for decades. Non-techies put this sort of stuff into movies that make light of it and put it into the realm of the tinfoil hats but, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

And it's not just the USA, it's every government on the planet, e.g. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/ju...unications-nsa and http://yle.fi/uutiset/supo_wants_exp...powers/6697667

All of this hubbub and we still haven't gotten to find out who killed JFK. Why can't we get a contractor to release /that/ information as that would really be a firecracker.
He is a naive guy and a manipulated one, at that. Yeah, he qualifies for being pardoned.
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  #105  
Old 23.06.2013, 10:49
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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"The American public" includes people like the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston Marathon in the name of militant Islam.

This is not "tortured logic", but a simple fact.

Your own choice of terms also "speaks volumes" -- as no doubt do mine. That's what we do when trying to argue a point.
And of course, there's Tim McVeigh - as American as you can get. There are plenty of "homelander" terrorists who should be monitored.
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  #106  
Old 23.06.2013, 11:14
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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This is my last post on this subject, as it's one that generates more heat than light.
All the more reason to stick around, instead of lighting a fire and leaving!

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The point at issue is contained in your question: "But it is ok to monitor us all because it might, just might, stop something like this?"

You genuinely believe that "we are all being monitored". I don't. That is a key difference between us. Or rather, we disagree on what "monitored" means. You think -- or if you don't, many people do -- that our emails are being read and our phone calls listened to. That someone is actually illegally dipping into our communications and knows what we are doing.
I don't think we're all being actively monitored. But everything we're doing online, text messages, phone call records, etc. are being recorded and there are people with access to those records. That, to me, is monitoring.


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There is, and has been for many years, mass digital screening to look for keywords and names that are regarded as potentially threatening to our national security. If these names crop up, further automated analysis kicks in. When a line is crossed in terms of further contact with numbers/names of interest, then there might be human intervention. If the NSA or MI5 decides this is significant, requests can be made to the ISP or telephone company for deeper access e.g. the ability to actually read the emails.
Indeed. As I said earlier in this thread, there's been no real privacy for decades. But the crossed line, yes, I think we're there now.

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You only have to look at the statistics. Do you know how many emails are sent every DAY? Between 200 and 300 BILLION. Every single day. Those figures alone will tell you that there is no way your communications are being personally scrutinised.
But they have the ability to do so, should they choose to, because they've harvested the data. There is every way that your communications can be scrutinised without a warrant.

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So to return to your question - "But it is ok to monitor us all because it might, just might, stop something like this?", then my answer is Yes, I have no problem being monitored in the sense mentioned. I am 100% certain that the authorities neither know nor care about what I think or do. As for terrorist activity, it might be like looking for a needle in a haystack but I am at least glad that they are looking.
All I can say to this is to quote a famous poem:

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First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
You may think you have nothing to hide, so who cares if they monitor and harvest your data. But what if the authorities change their minds about what comprises a law abiding citizen? Then what?

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A fascinating difference between us, and the reason we will never see eye-to-eye on this, is that when I read about intelligence activities like this, my instinctive response is to feel more protected whereas yours is to feel more vulnerable. I don't know why that is.
Because I don't feel all cozy with the warmth of the state wrapping me up in their brand of cotton wool. My instinctive response is to say "What is this being used for? They never tell the whole truth when it comes to spying and intelligence, what is this being used to do?" instead of being satiated that the state is taking care of us all.

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It's all very well to talk about freedom, but this cuts both ways. You want freedom from any NSA-style intelligence analysis and I want freedom from the threat of anyone being killed by terrorist activity. I regard the latter as a much bigger threat whereas you consider the former to pose a much greater danger.

C'est la vie. That's where I leave it. Over and out.
The biggest threat is the government intrusion into our lives, and this is a giant slippery slope towards that.
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  #107  
Old 23.06.2013, 11:35
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

He's on his way to Moscow:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-23019414

Then off to Caracas via Havana courtesy of Aeroflot.

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  #108  
Old 23.06.2013, 15:41
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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He's on his way to Moscow:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-23019414

Then off to Caracas via Havana courtesy of Aeroflot.
Great! This used to be the other way around -- Russian dissidents were fleeing to the US
I hope he stays in Moscow.
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  #109  
Old 23.06.2013, 18:14
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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Great! This used to be the other way around -- Russian dissidents were fleeing to the US
I hope he stays in Moscow.
Sigh......
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  #110  
Old 23.06.2013, 18:44
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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Sigh......
It will be fun to read how the US reacts to this How they will smear Putin and Russia over Snowden's escape. Sen. Schumer already said that:

"Putin always seems almost eager to stick a finger in the eye of the United States - whether it is Syria, Iran and now of course with Snowden," Schumer told CNN's "State of the Union," adding that China may have had a role as well."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3486621.html

Let's see what the others will say
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  #111  
Old 25.06.2013, 00:03
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

And you thought the Internet was something you owned and granted to you for nothing.

It has been common knowledge that the NSA has been doing this well before Snowden. Just about every country in the world does it. If the US Government had not been doing this, I would say they would not be doing their jobs and are in dereliction of their role and obligation to protect its people. I would be terribly ticked off and disappointed if they did not collect SIGINT.

I think the NSA data store would make for some extremely interesting applications in the area of anthropology, sociology, economics and psychology. It would provide a clearer picture of human society. I would be surprised if they have not already feed it to an Artificial Intelligence engine and mine the data. Apart from storing the past, it could also be used for predicting behavior.

Already, there have been talks of lawyers wanting to subpoena the data, for use in criminal investigations, or even civil cases such as divorce. It would be interesting to see what happens if this data were to ever make it to the public domain. This machine would know an awful lot about a lot of things.

I think they ought to release a data masked version of the data, where real identities are obfuscated. Examining the interaction between entities would make for good scientific study of sociological patterns.
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  #112  
Old 25.06.2013, 00:27
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

I don't think we should be so phlegmatic about this degree of surveillance.

"If you haven't done anything wrong, you've got nothing to fear" is what some say, and it sounds great all the way until you realise that you and me are not the ones who are deciding what is right and what is wrong.

If you watched Dispatches on the UK's Channel 4 this evening you will have seen large scale abuse of powers by the British police who tracked, and abused peaceful members of organisations such as Greenpeace.

This data is not just used for good, but it is also used to work against people who work to expose corruption within the establishment, and once the rot sets in the establishment how are you ever going to clean things up when you've enabled them with so much data and information?

Just on account of the sheer scale of abuse that is possible with this amount of data, we should be against such surveillance.
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  #113  
Old 25.06.2013, 00:29
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

Ugh!

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In 2008, NSA workers told ABC News that they routinely eavesdropped on phone sex between troops serving overseas and their loved ones in America. They listened in on both satellite phone calls and calls from the phone banks in Iraq's Green Zone where soldiers call home. Former Navy Arab linguist, David Murfee Faulk described how a coworker would say, "Hey, check this out… there's good phone sex or there's some pillow talk, pull up this call, it's really funny, go check it out." Faulk explained they would gossip about the best calls during breaks. "It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, 'Wow, this was crazy.'"
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/polit...nalysis/65963/
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  #114  
Old 25.06.2013, 01:02
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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And you thought the Internet was something you owned and granted to you for nothing.

It has been common knowledge that the NSA has been doing this well before Snowden. Just about every country in the world does it.....
If this has been a common knowledge then what all that secrecy surrounding the US surveillance programs is about? If the guy has revealed nothing then why don't the US government drop the espionage charges and let him go home to his girlfriend?
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Old 25.06.2013, 05:02
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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If this has been a common knowledge then what all that secrecy surrounding the US surveillance programs is about? If the guy has revealed nothing then why don't the US government drop the espionage charges and let him go home to his girlfriend?
This is why; http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/24/44...contractor-job He's an idiot and yawped his gaping gawp well past the point of defense. He should have listened to Schneier.

Nothing I've seen in the papers, US or UK, really reveals anything new or shocking...like I say, why couldn't he have gone after really top secret stuff like the JFK assassination files rather than, oh, yeah, the NSA can sift through all your telephone calls and data packets looking for stuff. I mean, it's not like gumshoe cops are knocking on doors in taking down not just terrorists, but international child porn rings....too bad that he's so young and naive as he might have looked for really interesting bits of information such as an AES backdoor, etc.
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  #116  
Old 25.06.2013, 14:30
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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...He's an idiot and yawped his gaping gawp well past the point of defense. He should have listened to Schneier...
Or, according to this article:
If Edward Snowden Had Watched '60 Minutes' In High School He Could Still Be Living In Hawaii With His Beautiful Girlfriend

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Old 25.06.2013, 15:18
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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If this has been a common knowledge then what all that secrecy surrounding the US surveillance programs is about? If the guy has revealed nothing then why don't the US government drop the espionage charges and let him go home to his girlfriend?
They've practically announced it in the past, for those who can read between the lines.

Before, there were no attributal source to, only winks and rumours that such a system exists. Yet, they have publicly stated they would build such a thing. There were well publicized initiatives, such as T.I.A.: Total Information Awareness systems. They've allocated billions of dollars for it. They have even changed wiretapping laws according to this technology.

The only thing Snowden provides is an attributable source and confirmation that it exists indeed. But Snowden is a suspicious character. He claims to have good motives and is doing this out of conscience, yet what he has done and the way he has gone about it is not what someone of good character and conscience would do. A person of good character and conscience would have followed due process to affect change, and maintained integrity. Snowden has dishonorably deceived and betrayed. He can defect to some state if he wishes, but he will be tried and found guilty anyway, even in absentia.
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  #118  
Old 25.06.2013, 15:21
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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This is why; http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/24/44...contractor-job He's an idiot and yawped his gaping gawp well past the point of defense. He should have listened to Schneier.

Nothing I've seen in the papers, US or UK, really reveals anything new or shocking...like I say, why couldn't he have gone after really top secret stuff like the JFK assassination files rather than, oh, yeah, the NSA can sift through all your telephone calls and data packets looking for stuff. I mean, it's not like gumshoe cops are knocking on doors in taking down not just terrorists, but international child porn rings....too bad that he's so young and naive as he might have looked for really interesting bits of information such as an AES backdoor, etc.
Exactly. It is so ironic that in his naivety and out of idealism (allegedly) he gives "ammunition" these days to countries like China and Russia, which are not quite known as human liberties heavens.... But yeah, let's all hate America now, and "the internet"...and..
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  #119  
Old 25.06.2013, 17:12
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

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Let's not call out our government when they act like the Chinese and Russian governments in their spying and espionage in case it gives the Chinese and Russians ammo against us.
Is this all you can understand from this scandal?
And LOL. You don't "call out" anyone now. You are discussing non-sense on a forum.
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  #120  
Old 25.06.2013, 18:01
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Re: NSA collecting records of all US phone calls

I had a thought earlier.

What if everyone - and I mean, EVERYONE - just cut the crap, made it easy for them and started CC'ing NSA and/or GCHQ on every email?
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