Edward Snowden Elaborates on NSA, Spying

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jbitzer

Well, since we are a country with government for of and by the people, and the government has betrayed the people, I'd say the government is traitorous and he is a patriot.

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JosephColt

I would tend to agree with that statement, but it's more along the lines of things like lobbyists and greed; people are corrupted to easily.

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WarpathPS

You are obviously unaware of the 4th amendment, as the NSA spying violates to hell and back. I'm not sure why you think secret FISA courts to circumvent the 4th amendment warrant process is a good thing. How is it you think a secret court, rubber stamping warrants after they have violated your rights is a good thing? The Supreme court is chalk full of 5-4 decisions that have violated rights. They have denied civil rights such as rounding up Japanese American citizens to put into camps, they have ruled that it was legal to round up citizens who the state deemed unworthy of procreation such as mentally handicapped, minorities, and the mentally unstable and of course these people were castrated and experimented on in "secret" asylums. Their latest atrocity is giving the wink and a nod with another 5-4 decision to implement a law that nobody read in govt. and is supposed to take us to some healthcare utopia after the govt. has bankrupted social security, and medicare, but hey lets not care, I mean you can still buy smart phones right bro? Well that is until Samsung, Apple, Intel, AT&T, etc. decide to to fight through the courts to criminalize the citizen or ban the competition. Of course if that happens the media will just bash "capitalism" and make no mention of the politicians who enable such behavior.

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JosephColt

Calm yourself there buddy....

Like I said, I wouldn't care if the government simply wanted to spy on me to ensure I wasn't doing something illegal. This isn't to say they can take it to far and go after me for doing little things, but that's unrealistic and would require tremendous resources. A real person would only be checked if the system flags them.

Is it really that bad if the government has a little invasive power to check on whomever they want. How the data is used is key too. Things can be complicated and complex. It's good to discuss these things though so they do not go to the extreme and abuse such power.

Please use paragraphs too.

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jbitzer

So you're ok with the police stopping by to go through your house to make sure you're all legal, no warrant needed right?

I mean, you're law abiding, why should they not be able to just pop over with dogs to rifle through your stuff once a week?

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vrmlbasic

As soon as you did someth8ing that you didn't know was illegal I'd bet that you'd care. With all these laws flying around, who really knows what all is illegal?

Though that's beside the point as the government does not have the power to alter or infringe upon our 4th Amendment rights. The whole idea is that those rights are given to us by something greater than government; the Bill of Rights says which rights the government can't take away from us, not which "rights" the government grants us.

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MaximumMike

>>Like I said, I wouldn't care if the government simply wanted to spy on me to ensure I wasn't doing something illegal.

I would have a big problem with it. Many champions of freedom throughout the history of mankind have went to great lengths to explain why exactly what you are proposing is an unacceptable form of tyranny. It has been the vehicle of oppression in countless intellectual novels and films that explored human injustice. This is hardly a new theme in our society. Conversely, it is a theme with which we are all too familiar, and one that permeates not only through our culture but one which has been recorded throughout history. So, I'm always astounded when I hear someone ignorantly professing that this really isn't an injustice and that we ought to be ok with it.

History is rife with injustices that start with the government's assertion that it has a duty to spy on you in order to protect you. One only need open a history book to see free black men being asked to submit to a search and prove they're not run away slaves, or Nazis demanding that if Jews have nothing to hide they would open their homes to searches, or English soldiers and dignitaries forcing their way into the homes of the Irish and Scottish under the premise that they are investigating a crime.

And when the United States declared it's independence, those brave patriots recognized it as well. Their thoughts on this very topic are enshrined in some of the greatest treatises on freedom ever written. And those same thoughts were cemented into the Constitution in order to protect American citizens from the very kind of oppression you don't seem to think is a very big deal. But upright men throughout all of history disagree with you.

>>This isn't to say they can take it to far and go after me for doing little things, but that's unrealistic and would require tremendous resources.

Unfortunately, history says that is exactly what they will do. And if evil men could do it without technology, they will certainly be able to oppress you when they are aided by it.

>>A real person would only be checked if the system flags them.

I'm not sure what you mean by a "real" person, but we already have a plenty of examples of "real" people being searched and having their stuff confiscated for no good reason. And what do you mean by "if the system flags them?" Couldn't the system be set to flag people for protected speech against the party currently in power? Or have you forgotten that the IRS under Obama's administration got caught discriminating against conservatives? Your reasoning is clearly faulty here.

>>Is it really that bad if the government has a little invasive power to check on whomever they want.

Yes, it is a terrible idea- as unAmerican as it gets. But you go ahead and produce even one example from all of history of a benevolent government that spied on everyone and ruled a happy and prosperous people. Just one example will do.

>> How the data is used is key too.

They shouldn't have it in the first place.

>>Things can be complicated and complex.

Yes, so stop trying to simplify them and pretending that this could possibly be a good idea.

>>It's good to discuss these things though so they do not go to the extreme and abuse such power.

It's even better that these things were already discussed by some of the most brilliant men in all of history, and that those men recognized what you do not, that government will inevitably abuse whatever power it can, and forbade such power to the government in the Constitution.

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JosephColt

"Yes, it is a terrible idea- as unAmerican as it gets. But you go ahead and produce even one example from all of history of a benevolent government that spied on everyone and ruled a happy and prosperous people. Just one example will do."

There will always be unhappiness, and all governments spy in any fashionable way, this is nothing new. Even a country with no crime or unemployment will be watched by it's government.

This issue isn't a national one, it's a global one too.

"And when the United States declared it's independence, those brave patriots recognized it as well."

Those brave patriots? History is written by the victor. They were technically conspirators, traitors, and terrorists who rebelled because they didn't not receive the same treatment as British citizens from the homeland. The colonies wanted to remain British citizens till later in revolutionary war by a large majority.

There is no good and bad, a lot of times only the ironic. You can praise those people, but the crimes the same people and their people committed were awful. Genocide of Indians, enslavement of Africans, stealing land, and so forth. It's always about selfish acts in history no matter what side your on.

"I'm not sure what you mean by a "real" person"

Sorry, re-wrote my sentence and made an error in my writing; there shouldn't be the word real.

As I was saying those, the system they use detects and flags certain parameters then is inspected as it's not humanely possibly to actually try and watch over everyone.

"They shouldn't have it in the first place."

Well they already have complete control over everything in the first place of yours by default for just being an American citizen, only difference here is they are just capable of looking at what you do in your personal time if the system flags an anomaly or they are investigating.

"Yes, so stop trying to simplify them and pretending that this could possibly be a good idea."

It is a good idea and can be used with good intentions. If a system can monitor all communication and flag suspicious information parameters then help stop it, that is a justifiably good. The problem lies within keeping it from being abused. The police, FBI, and CIA are all built with the good of the people in mind, yet they are abused often.

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MaximumMike

>>There will always be unhappiness, and all governments spy in any fashionable way, this is nothing new. Even a country with no crime or unemployment will be watched by it's government.

So, in other words you are unable to name even one country that prospered under a government that spied on every facet of its citizens lives. And you are unable from the annals of history to produce any example of human society that suggest what you purport could work.

>>Those brave patriots? History is written by the victor. They were technically conspirators, traitors, and terrorists who rebelled because they didn't not receive the same treatment as British citizens from the homeland.

You can label them how you like. But after studying history and reading their writings I see them as brave patriots, revolutionaries who were unwilling to bear up under they tyranny of men on a distant shore who sought to dictate in what manner they should live. Too bad there aren't living today more men like them and less men like you.

>>There is no good and bad, a lot of times only the ironic.

Your moral relativism is astounding. But if you really believe that, why do you later in this post call government surveillance good?

>>You can praise those people, but the crimes the same people and their people committed were awful. Genocide of Indians, enslavement of Africans, stealing land, and so forth.

You're making a huge logical fallacy there. The men who framed the Constitution are not the ones who destroyed the native Americans or enslaved the Africans. The slave trade in Africa actually existed before the Americas had ever been found and had become prolific in the Americas by the time the Revolutionary War was fought. The men who founded this country lamented its existence, though I guess you could find fault with them for leaving its abolition to future generations. Furthermore, the annihilation of the Incans, Mayans, and other South American cultures was performed primarily by the Spanish, and not the 13 British colonies. The atrocities towards native Americans in North America came much later in US history, and were inexcusable. But the perpetrators of those crimes were not the founding fathers.

>>As I was saying those, the system they use detects and flags certain parameters then is inspected as it's not humanely possibly to actually try and watch over everyone.

You're on the wrong website for peddling that statement. Everyone here knows where technology is and where it will be very quickly. There can be very little doubt that computers will soon be capable of tracking everything we do if we allow them to.

>>Well they already have complete control over everything in the first place of yours by default for just being an American citizen

Not only is that blurb nearly incoherent, but it also makes me wonder if you have ever read a single word in the Constitution. The Constitution obligates the government to protect my property. By proxy of being an American citizen, the United States government is forbidden to interfere with my property.

>>only difference here is they are just capable of looking at what you do in your personal time if the system flags an anomaly or they are investigating.

The Constitution says they need to show probable cause and need a warrant to do so. That is not the case here.

>>It is a good idea and can be used with good intentions.

It is an awful idea, and very few men in the government have good intentions.

>>If a system can monitor all communication and flag suspicious information parameters then help stop it, that is a justifiably good.

You are exactly the sort of coward our forefathers pitied. I am not willing to trade my liberty to make you feel secure. Grow a spine and become willing to live freely. Quit looking to the government for everything and learn to look to yourself, your neighbors, and your community.

>>The problem lies within keeping it from being abused.

You cannot keep it from being abused. Our forefathers understood this. That is why they explicitly forbade such power to the government.

>>The police, FBI, and CIA are all built with the good of the people in mind, yet they are abused often.

If you believe this, then how can you possibly think the government spying on everyone is a good idea?

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JosephColt

So, in other words you are unable to name even one country that prospered under a government that spied on every facet of its citizens lives. And you are unable from the annals of history to produce any example of human society that suggest what you purport could work.

Of course not, this type of surveillance has not been around till now where every thing about you can be seen so easily, and this is the point where we find out if we can or not.

"You can label them how you like. But after studying history and reading their writings I see them as brave patriots, revolutionaries who were unwilling to bear up under they tyranny of men on a distant shore who sought to dictate in what manner they should live. Too bad there aren't living today more men like them and less men like you."

They were brave, but they still were by definition those labels, and only as a last resort till they were pushed to far.

"You're making a huge logical fallacy there..."

I think they made grave mistakes in being to general, and thus the government has become a corrupt machine.

Washington was one of my favorite people in history, and he was exactly right about political parties for example, and that we should not have them because they can cause serious issues. A lot of issues started with the anti federalist and federalists which lead to the formation of political parties. It's a bit sad really...

Also early Americans were pretty messed up, and Andrew Jackson for example basically helped lead a genocide of a formed Indian Nation west of the colonies(forgot the tribe name). A lot of these people from before owned slaves(including many of the founding fathers) and caused a lot of cruelty, so they were not without their dark acts too.

"Not only is that blurb nearly incoherent, but it also makes me wonder if you have ever read a single word in the Constitution. The Constitution obligates the government to protect my property. By proxy of being an American citizen, the United States government is forbidden to interfere with my property."

Just because the constitution says something does not mean the government will not do it; they could do a lot of bad stuff without you having any possible recourse.

"The Constitution says they need to show probable cause and need a warrant to do so. That is not the case here."

Read last statement.

"You are exactly the sort of coward our forefathers pitied. I am not willing to trade my liberty to make you feel secure. Grow a spine and become willing to live freely. Quit looking to the government for everything and learn to look to yourself, your neighbors, and your community."

I am a coward for wanting a single policy that is a bit invasive? You seem to think I am willing to bend over for everything the government wants, no I am not; this is where you misunderstand me.

"You cannot keep it from being abused. Our forefathers understood this. That is why they explicitly forbade such power to the government."

Yes, they may have, but it's also the duty of every American to help ensure things like this does not happen. We don't serve the government, they serve us.

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DeltaFIVEengineer

JosephColt,

No offense, but people like you terrify the hell out of me. Anyone who is so indifferent towards a government or any powers that be who aim to strip you of fundamental human rights, scares the bejesus out of me. I realize that throughout history, there were people who took opposing viewpoints towards events happening at the time (American revolution, French revolution, etc.) But to be actually faced with someone who literally cannot understand how the "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" argument is so utterly and terribly wrong, it sends chills down my spine.

I can only hope that this tyranny we face is quashed with the same fervor in which it was conceived.

MaximumMike,

Phenomenal rebuttal and you did a hell of a job producing a cogent post to this topic.

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JosephColt

You people misunderstand me, I have a different opinion on a point, and I believe the NSA should have some limited power to view information on people easily; there are many things I don't agree on that the government does.

"Phenomenal rebuttal and you did a hell of a job producing a cogent post to this topic."

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jbitzer

The part that amuses me is how he keeps bringing up the founding fathers and slavery, but is totally willing to allow the government complete control over his life.

I suggest since you think the surveillance state is so nice, you go to Berlin and visit the Berlin Wall Museum and see the extreme measures people took to get out of East Berlin and maybe walk along the border and see all the crosses planted memorializing the people who tried to escape the type of government you seem to like, and think long and hard about them being gunned down because they wanted to be free.

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JosephColt

I never said I wanted the government to have total control of my life. I am fine with the NSA having access to a large amount of information as long as it's justifiably used. Having a minority view on a single policy does not mean I wanted to be fully controlled by the government.

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Carlidan

I was going to reply, but then I read his whole post and said never mind, not worth the effort.

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MaximumMike

After reading your comments for years, I'm truly not surprised.

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JosephColt

While you guys may not respect or like my opinion I am totally fine with that, I still respect your opinions as I can see why you don't like what the NSA is doing.

Just keep in mind that if an opinion is outrageous or an offensive ideology to you try and understand it from the other peoples point of view. I can understand that you do not want to be watched, it makes you uncomfortable, but not everyone will share your views.

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jbitzer

It isn't my opinion of not liking what the NSA is doing. I saw what they are doing. I saw the bunch of "bros" high fiving each other because no one is safe from their surveillance.

Having to become a police state, where we get audio reminders in the subway to turn in your neighbor "remember, see something, say something" Where the police can detain you for hours just because you want to get somewhere, where they feel they can kill citizens with impunity, etc because we're so afraid of the boogeyman is exactly what Bush assured us on SOTU speeches we wouldn't allow to happen.

"We won't change our way of life because of their extremist threats". Really? Go read 1984, or the Man in the high castle, we've changed our way of life. Americans can't be sure that their conversations are free, NSA analysts have gone on record giggling about how they listened in to pillow talk from military members calling home.

People act all surprised that Bradley Manning had access to such "secret damaging information", but the truth is, a criminal can very easily get past the background checks, you just have to have not been caught yet. As for the polygraph, it's not a lie detector, it's a "care" detector, people who aren't ashamed of their actions have nothing to fear from polygraphing, pathological liars are immune, and honestly, the military only gets asked like 3 questions because they are only given the terrorism/counterspy portion, and if you've never blown up a bridge, you're safe. The NSA routinely gives these powers to people who only recently were required to have a high school diploma, so no, I don't want them having this power at all.

I remember hearing about as a kid when we were in the cold war scare about "papers please!" the STASI, the government disappearing people, interrogating them etc in the USSR, to that I would reply: TSA, Police serving no knock warrants, extraordinary rendition, the indefinite detention of American Citizens authorized by the NDAA, TSA VIPR exercises, searching of people AFTER getting off of transportation, TSA looking at your social media in advance of your travel to "prescreen" you, Stop and Frisk.... Need I go on?

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MaximumMike

>>While you guys may not respect or like my opinion I am totally fine with that, I still respect your opinions as I can see why you don't like what the NSA is doing.

No, you don't see why. So, don't try to pretend you understand where I'm coming from. You are either ignorant or willfully pissing on my rights. There is no in between or common ground for us. And I could care less if you empathize with my position or not. My intention is to expose the ignorance of your comments and of those who share your beliefs, to berate you and publicly show your beliefs for the worthless and dangerous principles that they are. If you ever see the light of reason, then I will commend you for that. But when you advocate for the death of my rights, and thus of my country, you will earn nothing but my contempt- not because you are different from me (as you like to imply) but because you seek to rob me of my rights.

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limitbreaker

For once maximummike, i agree with your views.

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JosephColt

Why, because other people have opinions you would never even side with or like? Why did you even take the effort to make this remark?

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vrmlbasic

Wait a second, he isn't openly and blatantly criticizing Obama? That's odd, seeing as how he's not only the guy in charge of the spying but the man who has condoned it and expanded it.

Sadly, no change will come of this. Maybe if he'd done his exposure close to the 2012 election...

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PCWolf

We were warned long ago. People shrugged it off & laughed at all those "conspiracy theorists". We didn't listen. Snowden exposed it. Now it has happened. & were are paying the price for our ignorance. Social Media and Smart Phones have made it easier than ever before to Spy & Track everyone at any time. Fiction has become Reality. Welcome to 1984.

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WarpathPS

That is because conspiracy theorists are usually delusional idiots. They might string a few concepts together accurately but they soon start sprinkling their racist anti-semite garbage in there, attacking capitalism, and adding other ridiculous themes to their conspiracies.