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Sad commentary on the commitment to Freedom among the American people.
Posted: 04 July 2013 11:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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VYAZMA - 04 July 2013 11:07 AM

No state has the right to spy on his citizens, or of other country’s citizens in absolute secrecy.

This here….what? Really?  Did you just type this right out? “I’m typing away,  what a lovely day!”
Zero substance…zero fact.

Yes. My sentence is not a statement of fact. It is a moral judgement. But I claim that every sensible person would support it, because there are many widely acknowledged arguments in favour for it. McGyver gave several of them. You on the other side only have ridicule of the other’s viewpoint on offer, and indeed, as McGyver states, show no insight in the matter at all. You even seem not to know what the difference between factual and moral statements is.

VYAZMA - 04 July 2013 11:07 AM

Great points there GdB….yeah, all Americans know the NSA exists.  The subject of them spying on us has come up before.  Most of us and certainly Congress
knows what their tasks are. Everything they were doing was within the borders of the law as far as everyone can tell so far.

Then what Snowden revealed was already known? That’s why he is called ‘state enemy no. 1’, and is the most wanted American? Why all the fuzz?

VYAZMA - 04 July 2013 11:07 AM

What have you dug up so far about them operating outside the law? 

I would suggest you start reading about it: e.g. here and here. Hey! They are also espionaging European countries and EU-institutions!

VYAZMA - 04 July 2013 11:07 AM

But GdB you aren’t an American so I would expect these comments from you more.

An argument ad hominum. I see no reason why I would not be in a situation where I can discuss this just as well as an American. You do? As a fact? I just noticed how some Americans I met were afraid to say their opinions about the Iraq war: who was not with Bush, was against him. Add your knowledge about the McCarthy years (which you, as a American of course know everything about), and combine this with all knowing secret agencies, and you should start understanding why you should be worried, and that Snowden was right to make all this public.

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Posted: 04 July 2013 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 04 July 2013 09:04 PM

Snowden saw what happened to Manning and the rest….

I can’t blame him for running.

I do. He must have known the price he would pay to release this information. How could he not after Manning and Assange were hounded? This is apparently sensitive material and if the NSA needs to be brought under control then public opinion will eventually pressure Congress to comply, and being a martyr for a cause goes farther than a hit and run strategy. It just makes him look traitorous (a la Benedict Arnold) turning public opinion away from the privacy issues and Constitutional violations and focusing on him. I don’t think he realized the consequences of his actions nor the fallout that resulted via the media. They can make you a hero or a villain and destroy your life and reputation. Now he’s relegated to a “Where’s Waldo” character, day fill in the blank and will be the top news story until caught or another natural disaster blows him off the front page. My point is that he missed an opportunity to show his true motive for exposing the NSA.
Cap’t Jack

That’s a fair argument.

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Posted: 05 July 2013 01:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Cloak - 04 July 2013 06:32 PM
Thevillageatheist - 04 July 2013 11:49 AM

For me, the choice to run is Snowden’s decision and nobody else’s. I, along with many others, would rather focus on the information that was leaked and its implications, as well as the manner in which the US tries to deal with the situation, including Snowden. Those are the primary issues.

Of course it is and nowhere did I imply that it wasn’t. My point is that surrendering himself to authorities would lend credence to his act if he had the best interests of the people in mind. Posting the secret memos then running leads public opinion to believe that his actions had an ulterior motive, especially after seeking asylum in two countries with whom we have issues. In effect he has branded himself a traitor, leading the public to see his actions as treasonous and the material he released as threatening the people instead of revealing what certain governmental departments are allegedly covering up.


Cap’t Jack

Snowden saw what happened to Manning and the rest….

I can’t blame him for running.


Nor I.  He might find himself in Guantanamo if he turned himself in. 

The only criticism I have of Snowden’s action is that he didn’t put himself out of harm’s way before he revealed what was happening.  He should have been able to guess what the US reaction would be and that he would wind up on the run. This does not give me confidence about his ability to correctly assess what would happen next.

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Posted: 05 July 2013 01:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Thursday, July 04, 2013

Will Snowden get Icelandic Citizenship any time soon?

Today all the members of the Icelandic Pirate Party and members from 3 other parties, including party chair of the Social Democrats and former Interior Minister put forward in the Icelandic Parliament a bill to urge the parliament to grant Edward J. Snowden citizenship. The parliament has finally received a request for citizenship from Mr Snowden and many of the parliamentarians believe it is their duty to offer Mr Snowden shelter for his USA passport has been stripped from him and has been left de-facto stateless by his own government. The parliamentarians and many Icelanders share the same concerns as Amnesty International that if extradited to the USA Mr Snowden could be at risk of ill-treatment and possibly a subject of torture. No one should be charged for disclosing information of human rights violations. Such disclosures are protected under the rights to information and freedom of expression. The current governmental parties did not have the guts to co-sponsor the bill, however they still have time to change their minds, since the parliament is heading into recess. The reason for the delay in putting forward the bill is that the parliament had not received a formal request from Snowden until today. It is impossible to predict if Snowden will be granted citizenship, this is more of a statement for the time being and an encouragement to the governmental parties to stand tall for human rights and by those that call upon our doors while faced with grave danger.

The following parties and members of parliament sponsored the bill of granting Snowden citizenship.

The Pirate Party, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Party Group Chair, Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, Jón Þór Ólafsson
The Left Greens, Ögmundur Jónasson, Interior Minister 2012 - 2013
Social Democrats, Helgi Hjörvar, Party Group Chair
Bright Future, Páll Valur Björnsson

Statement form Snowden the sponsors of the bill received tonight

July 4th 2013
To: The Icelandic Parliament

I want to extend my gratitude to the Icelandic parliament for
considering my request for Icelandic citizenship. I have been
left defacto-stateless by my own government after communicating with
the public. I appreciate that Iceland, a small but significant country
in the world community, shows such courage and commitment to its higher
laws and ideals. I am heartened to feel the support of the Icelandic
people whom I know have a long history of standing firm, even under
threats of aggression, when basic principles are at stake.


Edward Joseph Snowden


Posted by Birgitta Jónsdóttir at 10:22 PM

http://joyb.blogspot.se/2013/07/will-snowden-get-icelandic-citizenship.html

[ Edited: 05 July 2013 02:01 AM by Lois ]
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Posted: 05 July 2013 02:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Edward Snowden should seek asylum in the only place beyond the reach of US law enforcement


https://plus.google.com/app/basic/stream/z12sf3v5xofkuhq0v235i5f5cufmw1w1q

(wish I could have pasted it here, but cannot.)

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Posted: 05 July 2013 03:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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No state has the right to spy on his citizens, or of other country’s citizens in absolute secrecy

What if I said no Hospital has the right to gather as much private and medical history from its patients or from other hospitals?

Perhaps an analogy may be found in medicine when we allow a surgeon, in his professional capacity, to cut us open and perform the most fundamentally intimate and intrusive surgical procedures (such as removing a cancer) on our physical bodies. The important information for that surgery was gleaned from all the other personal medical data and information available and is benign and protective in nature and beneficial to the patient and from that data another cancer may be prevented in the future.

And herein lies the crux of the matter.

In principle there is nothing wrong with data gathering of extremely large samples.

But when we allow that much data to be gathered we should be secure in the knowledge that this data remains SECRET, in order to protect the privacy of the citizens (patients).

Insurance companies know more about us than we know about ourselves. Do we care? As long as they keep it private, the information is secure from exposure.

If the massive gathering of personal data on individuals is handled with respect and professional dispassion, no citizen would need to be concerned about the “publication” of privileged materials, unless it was done by some hotshot “newsman”.

What was the intent of the revealing secret private information gathering?  Who is protecting who from whom? Is the financial information banks gather daily on their clients privileged?

This function was approved by congress as long as it was done with absolute regard to privacy (keeping things secret) except for purposes of national security. No more , no less.

The intent is to protect the nation from the import or construction of weapons of mass destruction, be they explosive, chemical, biochemical.
It takes but one single individual or small group, successfully hiding from detection, to do unimaginable harm. Witness 9/11.

The responsibility is to use this information with professional discretion and respect for the right to privacy.

[ Edited: 05 July 2013 03:28 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 05 July 2013 03:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Write4U - 05 July 2013 03:22 AM

No state has the right to spy on his citizens, or of other country’s citizens in absolute secrecy

What if I said no Hospital has the right to gather as much private and medical history from its patients or from other hospitals?

Perhaps an analogy may be found in medicine when we allow a surgeon, in his professional capacity, to cut us open and perform the most fundamentally intimate and intrusive surgical procedures (such as removing a cancer) on our physical bodies. The important information for that surgery was gleaned from all the other personal medical data and information available and is benign and protective in nature and beneficial to the patient and from that data another cancer may be prevented in the future.

And herein lies the crux of the matter.

In principle there is nothing wrong with data gathering of extremely large samples.

But when we allow that much data to be gathered we should be secure in the knowledge that this data remains SECRET, in order to protect the privacy of the citizens (patients).

Insurance companies know more about us than we know about ourselves. Do we care? As long as they keep it private, the information is secure from exposure.

If the massive gathering of personal data on individuals is handled with respect and professional dispassion, no citizen would need to be concerned about the “publication” of privileged materials, unless it was done by some hotshot “newsman”.

What was the intent of the revealing secret private information gathering?  Who is protecting who from whom? Is the financial information banks gather daily on their clients privileged?

This function was approved by congress as long as it was done with absolute regard to privacy (keeping things secret) except for purposes of national security. No more , no less.

The intent is to protect the nation from the import or construction of weapons of mass destruction, be they explosive, chemical, biochemical.
It takes but one single individual or small group, successfully hiding from detection, to do unimaginable harm. Witness 9/11.

The responsibility is to use this information with professional discretion and respect for the right to privacy.

How can we be sure data is being handled correctly if we don’t know what is being gathered?

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Posted: 05 July 2013 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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In theory the government is not the enemy.

Lois.
How can we be sure data is being handled correctly if we don’t know what is being gathered?


How do you know you medical data is being handled correctly and with extreme discretion and respect for privacy.
It cannot be handled at all, once is filtered. As long as the rejected information remains secret and does not become public, it is private. Just like banks, hospitals, insurance companies, lending institutions handle privileged private information, so can a benign and responsible governmental national guardianship, I am not concerned that much about what they know about me if they cannot use it except in case of national emergency, like certain needed skill during a disaster.

[ Edited: 05 July 2013 05:46 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 05 July 2013 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Write4U - 05 July 2013 03:22 AM

In principle there is nothing wrong with data gathering of extremely large samples.

But when we allow that much data to be gathered we should be secure in the knowledge that this data remains SECRET, in order to protect the privacy of the citizens (patients).

Insurance companies know more about us than we know about ourselves. Do we care? As long as they keep it private, the information is secure from exposure.

If the massive gathering of personal data on individuals is handled with respect and professional dispassion, no citizen would need to be concerned about the “publication” of privileged materials, unless it was done by some hotshot “newsman”.

What was the intent of the revealing secret private information gathering?  Who is protecting who from whom? Is the financial information banks gather daily on their clients privileged?

This function was approved by congress as long as it was done with absolute regard to privacy (keeping things secret) except for purposes of national security. No more , no less.

The intent is to protect the nation from the import or construction of weapons of mass destruction, be they explosive, chemical, biochemical.
It takes but one single individual or small group, successfully hiding from detection, to do unimaginable harm. Witness 9/11.

The responsibility is to use this information with professional discretion and respect for the right to privacy.

Write the difference is that banks and other companies collect data we chose to share with them. The government is collecting data we did not give permission to collect and which we had every right to expect would remain private. None of us gave approval to have our telephone, email, and text messaging tracked by the government.

I honestly don’t care what their stated intent was. Things like this are always started with the best of intentions but such things never go unabused forever. We have protected ourselves for decades without resorting to this sort of intrusion on personal privacy. It may be more difficult now and we may have to accept the fact that we won;t be able to prevent every attack but if the alternative is to live in a surveillance state where there is no privacy then we may have a lot more to worry about than a few terrorists.

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Posted: 05 July 2013 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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For the U.S.
http://www.licenseplateflipper.com/

And for my EU and UK friends:
http://plate-flipper.com/

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There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

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Posted: 05 July 2013 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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macgyver - 05 July 2013 05:49 AM

Write the difference is that banks and other companies collect data we chose to share with them. The government is collecting data we did not give permission to collect and which we had every right to expect would remain private. None of us gave approval to have our telephone, email, and text messaging tracked by the government.

That’s number one. Number two is that with the right means, the NSA is able to combine data from different sources, and so to draw conclusions about you that no single of the organisations that you gave your data to could draw based on their information alone.

And you cannot suppose that the ‘masters of data’ will always be goodwilling. I already mentioned the McCarthy period.

  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 the Jews,
  and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

  Then they came for the Catholics,
  and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.

  Then they came for me,
  and there was no one left to speak for me.

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Posted: 05 July 2013 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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macgyver - 05 July 2013 05:49 AM
Write4U - 05 July 2013 03:22 AM

snip

Write the difference is that banks and other companies collect data we chose to share with them. The government is collecting data we did not give permission to collect and which we had every right to expect would remain private. None of us gave approval to have our telephone, email, and text messaging tracked by the government.

I honestly don’t care what their stated intent was. Things like this are always started with the best of intentions but such things never go unabused forever. We have protected ourselves for decades without resorting to this sort of intrusion on personal privacy. It may be more difficult now and we may have to accept the fact that we won;t be able to prevent every attack but if the alternative is to live in a surveillance state where there is no privacy then we may have a lot more to worry about than a few terrorists.

You beat me to it, macgyver. Why does this argument keep coming up (“well, you let the businesses do it, so why can’t the govt. do it?!?!”)?

The issue is consent and the democratic process. We consent to businesses storing and using this information in order to serve us better. We know about it! And there are clear and openly known legal restrictions on how these entities are able to use it. A consumer has the ability to opt out of it at anytime by refusing the said service. This govt. program is something that directly affects the public, yet it was unilaterally decided on by a secret court that never turns down requests. What kind of democratic process is that?

If we claim to truly have a democracy, whether direct or representative, then this surveillance program, which is claimed to be for “our good” needs to be discussed out in the open, in the presence, and under the judgment, of the people who it directly affects. Whether or not they intend to do anything malicious with the information, the potential temptation for such behavior should be obvious. Even if the public accepts it, they should have the opportunity to look over the program and suggest more judicial restrictions as well as safeguards to keep it from becoming a slippery slope precedent for govt abuses.

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Posted: 05 July 2013 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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I am only arguing from the standpoint that “a pound of prevention is worth an ounce of dirty uranium ‘.

Personal data is not the problem, the proper use or non use of that data is the issue. Do I care that some “ear” or “eye” observes my life?  hmm…..that sounds almost spiritual.
In the end the government has a right to observe your life whether you know or approve of it.
Perhaps we should not let this perceived personal freedom stand in the way of impartial data but important demographic data.

I’m just weighing priorities in an exponentially growing dangerous environment, is it better to be proactive or reactive? It the right to privacy the right to separateness or the right to have this knowledge guarded from exposure by the general public by an impartial “protective” government function . The Supreme Court is such a body, they deliberate “in secret” on all the data available from all sources, free from corruption, if opinionated.

This seems like the famous bathroom dilemma. The differences of sharing one bathroom with a single person and having total privacy half the day, or with twenty three people, each afforded exactly one hour per day. Shall we let the alphas dominate the allotted time or shall we cooperatively participate in the spirit for the protection of the Nation’s self interests.

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Posted: 05 July 2013 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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ote]Cloak,
If we claim to truly have a democracy, whether direct or representative, then this surveillance program, which is claimed to be for “our good” needs to be discussed out in the open, in the presence, and under the judgment, of the people who it directly affects. Whether or not they intend to do anything malicious with the information, the potential temptation for such behavior should be obvious. Even if the public accepts it, they should have the opportunity to look over the program and suggest more judicial restrictions as well as safeguards to keep it from becoming a slippery slope precedent for govt abuses.

And once that is done, there should be total silence about the information gathered, no? In this context privacy is ‘the right’ to secrecy.

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Posted: 05 July 2013 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Write4U - 05 July 2013 05:38 AM

In theory the government is not the enemy.

Lois.
How can we be sure data is being handled correctly if we don’t know what is being gathered?


How do you know you medical data is being handled correctly and with extreme discretion and respect for privacy.
It cannot be handled at all, once is filtered. As long as the rejected information remains secret and does not become public, it is private. Just like banks, hospitals, insurance companies, lending institutions handle privileged private information, so can a benign and responsible governmental national guardianship, I am not concerned that much about what they know about me if they cannot use it except in case of national emergency, like certain needed skill during a disaster.


But they can always come up with a “national emergency”, can’t they? They can accuse anyone of being a terrorist or of helping a terrorist, then everything they’ve ever collected can and will be used against you.  How much money do you have? Enough to hire a pack of lawyers to represent you against trumped-up charges or even an honest mistake? Would you be able to make $5 million on bail, if they even set bail?  They can ruin you and your family on trumped up charges or a mistake  Then what happens?  Do they continue to harass you for years or do they  say, “Oops, we made a mistake, too bad?” Meanwhile you’re bankrupt.  

Incidentally, Medical data isn’t used to arrest people. There isn’t anything in your medical data that could lead anyone to suspect that your’re a terrorist.  Your phone, Internet records and results of other surveillance can be (and is).

Remember the surveillance the FBI did on millions of innocent people looking for evidence of “communist” activities? Too ofen they managed to  “find” something and harassed people for years, made them lose jobs, etc.  Remember The  Hollywood blacklist? Remember the House UnAmerican Activities Commission? Remember the McCarthy hearings?  Remember the innocent people summoned to testify who were ruined in the process!

That is what surveillance of innocent Americans can result in.  Is that what you want all over again? Is your memory that bad?

 

Lois

[ Edited: 05 July 2013 01:29 PM by Lois ]
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