Shia LaBeouf, Government Surveillance Whistleblower?

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by JackmanG, Jun 12, 2013.

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  1. JackmanG

    JackmanG Former Poster

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    This is the kind of thing that still gets me about all this. I honestly thought this sort of stuff was common knowledge. I always assumed government had (or at least could get) access to pretty much anyone's Internet and telecommunications. Like I was saying here, the film Enemy of the State came out in 1998, and virtually everything in it seemed perfectly plausible. And it's not as if technological capabilities are going to regress.

    But here's just one more example [VIDEO]:

     
  2. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    None of what you hear, half of what you see. Heard that before?
     
  3. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    I understand your point, and I agree, that many of us always thought it went further than just interception of foreign communications or NSL for domestic surveillance. I think what makes this so different is the total "dragnet" of anybody and everybody in order to hopefully catch the bad guys. I don't think any of us really believed the electronic surveillance was as complete and total as it apparently is.

    Did we know it was possible? Yes. Did we think they had capabilities as depicted in Enemy Of The State? Yes. Did we know that it went beyond emails, phone calls, and included all internet traffic, basically everything? No. I think this whole bombshell is such because it's now on the table. It's actually being done. It's no longer Hollywood and we can no longer talk about "conspiracy theorists" when it comes to things like Room 641A, and live surveillance of what we type in certain situations. All of the sudden those people who many called "paranoid" are now looking simply prescient.

    I still haven't wrapped my own mind around the scope of what's been revealed -- and knowing there's more to come. I'm steadied and braced for whatever is around the corner. I even accept that some of this is probably necessary in today's world. But it's a matter of accountability to the people. No secret courts. No wholesale stripping of 4th amendment rights. It's a matter of public discussion now as to where and how to find that balance.

    .
     
  4. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    How do you know this is true?
     
  5. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    Fair question. But as I watched General Alexander today, I was struck by how much was not said as much as anything he actually said. It's still the kind of thing that needs to be behind closed doors with the Intelligence committee tomorrow and so forth.

    I also agree that the denials are of the type we might call non-denial denials.

    Lastly, if it's NOT happening we have to discount Snowden's information, what he's revealed and what has yet to be revealed. I think it's certainly pointing more toward what Snowden is claiming than any damage control from the powers that be, at least that I've seen. I also understand perfectly those who prefer a wait and see attitude -- as long as these issues will be discussed and not just in back rooms with secret courts.

    It's certainly the most fascinating thing to watch involving computer security and privacy since I've been watching all this since the late 80's.

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  6. JackmanG

    JackmanG Former Poster

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    Anyone who believes that's what it's for is sadly naïve.


    I'm honestly not trying to be special or anything of that sort, but I always kind of did. Maybe I'm just abnormally paranoid. Or maybe Enemy of the State kind of laid the groundwork and guided my view of things.

    But on that note...What exactly is it you're saying we "didn't" know? "Beyond emails, phone calls"...What else is there? I mean, I would assume you would understand if emails can be intercepted (especially given how they are intercepted) you would be able to understand "photos, videos, chats, etc." would be included.

    Can you elaborate on what "all internet traffic, basically everything" is, and how exactly the NSA captures it?


    I'm not sure I know what you mean. 641A wasn't a conspiracy theory. It was leaked factual information. As I said it was the basis for an entire lawsuit. Seven years ago.

    And for that matter, Crypto AG scandal wasn't a conspiracy theory either. It was a legitimate covert operation conducted by the NSA, revealed after the fact. Operation Northwoods wasn't a conspiracy theory. It was an actual false flag proposal by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs which came out in declassified documents. CIA agents working the basement of the US embassy in Tehran to organize a coup and overthrow prime minister Mossadegh wasn't a conspiracy theory. That like, kind of happened.

    The negative connotation of the phrase "conspiracy theory" is one of the biggest weapons actual conspirators have against being held accountable for their nefarious deeds.

    It really makes one wonder when (or I guess, "if") people will come around and start to realize their childish views of "how the government works" that they've been carrying around since Schoolhouse Rock are about as realistic as Nancy Pelosi's browline.


    I'm still quite confused what you mean by this. They basically collect and store metadata on all electronic communications, and could probably get live access to the contents of virtually any of those plaintext communications if they wanted to. What exactly is it that you think is coming? What exactly can't you wrap your mind around?


    Necessary to maintain growth of centralized power so as to offer an elite minority a hope of potentially controlling a population this size, maybe.


    Ah yes. The ol' two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. How democratic.
     
  7. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    Jackman, friend, I am not going to dignify your post with a response. You clearly only want to pick apart as many posts as you can in that condescending way of yours.

    Not going to take the bite.

    BTW, take the politics somewhere else.

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  8. JackmanG

    JackmanG Former Poster

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    Not at all. Sorry if you felt attacked or anything. I'm genuinely curious what you think we haven't heard yet. I really can't imagine...well...what I can't imagine :)

    What I mean is I can only think of possibilities that I can think of...and I'm not sure the NSA's reach can get much farther than what everyone pretty much understands their reach is.

    What is it specifically you're thinking hasn't been revealed? I'm serious I honestly want to hear ideas.



    First of all, you opened the door:

    "I even accept that some of this is probably necessary in today's world. But it's a matter of accountability to the people. No secret courts. No wholesale stripping of 4th amendment rights. It's a matter of public discussion now as to where and how to find that balance."​

    I was merely responding along that subject line, which you introduced. (I actually find it quite odd that someone who introduced a statement like that would follow up with "take the politics somewhere else.")

    Second, I'm not sure you can disassociate this matter from politics...as it is quite literally a political issue. I don't think anyone would deny the biggest threat to anyone's privacy is government, and Snowden himself basically admitted he was more or less politically motivated. (Not in a "political party" partisan sense, of course, but in actual "politics" and "policy" sense.) A sense which you seem to actually admit is at the heart of this matter.

    So I'm also curious as to why you would make such a demand.
     
  9. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    Citing the constitution and asking that things be constitutional is hardly partisan politics. The ISSUE at hand IS a matter of policy. Jackman, you show disdain for the system itself.

    Originally Posted by LockBox
    I even accept that some of this is probably necessary in today's world.

    You: Necessary to maintain growth of centralized power so as to offer an elite minority a hope of potentially controlling a population this size, maybe.


    Originally Posted by LockBox
    But it's a matter of accountability to the people. No secret courts. No wholesale stripping of 4th amendment rights. It's a matter of public discussion now as to where and how to find that balance.


    You: Ah yes. The ol' two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. How democratic.

    What is an attack?

    Originally Posted by LockBox
    I think what makes this so different is the total "dragnet" of anybody and everybody in order to hopefully catch the bad guys.


    You: Anyone who believes that's what it's for is sadly naïve.

    I can't handle your condescending attitude no matter WHAT username you choose to use.

    .
     
  10. JackmanG

    JackmanG Former Poster

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    I didn't say it was partisan. You never said anything about partisan. You said "take your politics somewhere else." Surely you would consider government/constitution/law/policy in the "politics" realm, right?


    A system of violating people's rights, sure. Do you not share such a disdain?



    Surely you've heard that definition of democracy/democratic process before. My point there was to illustrate the imbedded issue in "public discussion" when it comes to things that affect everyone...even those who don't (or even can't) participate in the discussion.

    What I was speaking to was the point that regardless of how many people you get to agree, there will always be a dissenting minority...and when you determine things by (as I would assume you were talking about, ultimately majority-rule voting) it's basically a matter of "whatever 50% + 1 says, goes". And of course that would mean not only do those who don't or can't participate in the discussion get screwed, but even those who do participate lose everything, just the same.

    If you prescribe that matters of human rights are up for debate, and that encroachments on those rights should be decided in a democratic process, then that necessarily means that as long as you get enough people to agree with you, you are allowed to pretty much do whatever you want.

    It's why the framers of the Constitution never use the word "democracy" in either the Declaration nor the Constitution. It's why they had such critical words to say about it as a concept.

    This is why it is ultimately a political issue. If you agree that privacy is part of the natural rights that human beings share, then it is inherently a conversation about politics (again, in the polity sense).


    I'm not sure what you mean by this.


    My point there was to point out how the "this is all for your safety" refrain is quite laughable, and demonstrably so. For one thing, there are plenty of security experts who would explain that this kind of data collection does not make catching actual bad guys easier...and in fact makes it more difficult.

    In fact, in the documentary you yourself posted, the former NSA Director of Research all but outright admitted this. And plenty of others will admit the same thing...as well as the fact that there are much more efficient and effective ways of catching bad guys, if that really were the only and ultimate goal.

    The reality is (as demonstrated by historical evidence and deductive logic) the scope is much broader than that. Sure "catching bad guys" may be a part of it. But you don't capture, collect, and store everyone's information just to try and catch bad guys...the same way you don't buy bales of hay so as to try and find needles.

    In practice, a "dragnet" as you call it, combined with a long-term store of all that information collected, provides a mountain of information for anyone with the connections/clearance/power broker influence to datamine and ultimately dismantle an opponent.

    Again, as I was saying here, this is precisely what Snowden was talking about. And as I said, this is shown this to be true time and again. The history books are littered with count after count of individuals using private information to blackmail, extort, defame, defeat, or otherwise destroy their enemies. J. Edgar, Roosevelt, Nixon...hell even Barack Obama won his first elected office because he got a judge to release sealed court documents pertaining to his opponent's divorce.

    Private information quote literally translates to power.

    Those guys with the means to spy on other powerful people didn't do so because they were trying to "catch bad guys." And the biggest spy organization in the history of the world isn't collecting the data of every single person they possibly can (which is certainly the majority of Americans) to "keep them safe".

    It's essentially the same with the IRS scandal. Why exactly would the IRS need the medical records of people participating with tax exempt organizations...based upon the political leanings of those organizations? To make sure they weren't spending money on medical treatment instead of paying taxes? But then why would the nature of the organization itself matter? If I were a nefarious person with that kind of power, I'd collect that information on people who disagreed with me too. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer", they say?


    I'm not sure what this means either. It sounds like you're implying I have other accounts here in the forum.
     
  11. Countermail

    Countermail Registered Member

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    Well, there are probably hundreds of technical things I had wanted to know :) i.e how far have they come in factorization of large integers? Can they create hash collisions in SHA-xxx? New attacks on AES? Quantum computing? Which CA do they use to intercept SSL-traffic? etc.
     
  12. JackmanG

    JackmanG Former Poster

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    Yeah that would be some interesting stuff. I mean, I suppose it would mean a lot for security if they had any of that capability, but for one thing, it's doubtful they do, and for another, I don't really consider that kind of stuff as necessarily adding to the privacy encroachment...as the vast majority of layman traffic isn't encrypted anyway (and the stuff that is SSL is usually going to those big tech providers anyway...which is a large part of the bonus of PRISM.)

    But really I can't think of much outside of what is described here.

    I realize the guys in-the-know at the Guardian and WaPost say people would be "shocked" to know even half of what they've learned...but I'm tending to think that's largely due to their technical and political ignorance. (Not that that's an insult, I'm just pointing out that journalists are almost never techies, and they're even more rarely government skeptics. Granted, Greenwald over the years has proven himself a notable exception to the latter.)

    I guess being of the more EFF-geek type I just can't really imagine anything they could reveal that would altogether surprise me. And if you listen to the EFF this past week, a large part of their tone isn't shock but more so "Um..duh. We've been telling you people this for the better part of a decade at least."

    Not only have they been around this block more times than I'm sure they care to count, it's just a lot harder for anything in this realm to surprise you when you have a decent technological understanding and an even remotely healthy skepticism of power structures. (Both of which I think it's obvious they have.)
     
  13. dantz

    dantz Registered Member

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    That's exactly what it's for. Your obvious bias in this area has apparently clouded your thinking.

    What's your opinion? Do you think they're doing it so they can suppress individual rights and achieve world domination? Is that what was approved by congress and the foreign intelligence surveillance court?

    To tell you the truth, JackmanG, your conversational pattern is becoming quite clear. First you attack in an overbearing, unfriendly manner and then, when confronted, you apologize and try to act like a "normal" person for a little while. Oh, how I wish you were! I wish you could learn how to carry out a normal, balanced conversation without having to engage in personal attacks and put-downs, as you would obviously have a lot more to offer if you could do so.
     
  14. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Removed Off Topic Post and Closed Thread As Per Policy.

     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
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