What we are doing, we know we are doing it wrong, we want to keep doing what we are doing just in case we can do it right.
One day. Maybe. If we're lucky/
In the clearest possible sign that the US intelligence services live within their own political bubble, the director of national intelligence has asked Congress to reauthorize a spying program that the NSA itself decided to shut down after it repeatedly – and illegally – gathered the call records of millions of innocent …
Or the administration wants these powers, and Coates is leaving anyway, so he gets to be the sacrificial lamb who asks for the powers to be reinstated.
And that will probably happen given US politicos generally vote for repressive legislation like the 'Patriot' and 'Freedom' Acts. Which in the case of the Patriot Act was a massive slab of legislation waved through in <48hrs. Kinda handy TPTB had it on file already.
But we've also seen the FBI deciding that creating conspiracy theories is domestic terrorism, rather than fun. Unless it's the FBI staff creating those theories wrt Russia, hacking and oh look, a dead Eppstein! Oh, and also declaring a 'War on Domestic Terrorism', because all the other wars on drugs, international terrorism etc etc have worked out so well. Which ok, they have, especially if you're in the business of selling props to security theatre. So much for the land of the 'free'.
At least on this side of the pond, things aren't quite so bad. Ok, we've already got the UK's version of the Freedom Act and CDR logging, but our politicians are now busily getting outraged about warning kids not to eat fried chicken with sharp pointy things. Caroline Lucas will probably introduce the Spork Bill. Solve knife crime by banning knives, peace in our time!
(I am starting to wonder if politicians are getting dumber, or it's just me getting older and more cynical..)
if politicians are getting dumber, or it's just me getting older and more cynical
Or, in slightly less paranoid worldview - politicians are running out of 'serious' issues and so are now concentrating on lesser (but hopefully vote-grabbing) issues.
 Even if you are less paranoid, they are *still* out to get you. You just don't notice..
 As in "la la la, we can't see those issues"..
I don't know. Do they? Where is the Edward Snowden of Arabia?
The Julian Assange of Italy?
I don't give a flying fuck about third world countries and their spying techniques! It's the Western world spying techniques that scares the fuck out of me - because it doesn't matter whether I'm guilty or innocent - the Western world will spy on me, and use whatever they can against me when it suits them.
The United States of Fuck You America needs to be demolished.
I love playing games with Fuck You America - come for me - I will come for you!
My name is not Julian.
Well of course, grant the NSA the power to ignore the Constitution and citizen's rights, because hey, they're doing it anyway so might as well make it official.
No way you're actually going to institute oversight, right ?
...the director of national intelligence has asked Congress to reauthorize a spying program that the NSA itself decided to shut down after it repeatedly – and illegally – gathered the call records of millions of innocent Americans.
Agency not only violated laws, they violated constitutional rights...
This is something I see all over the place on reporting of this and similar issues: the insistence on "innocent citizens" are having their rights violated. In almost all cases, it isn't about innocence or guilt until after the trial. It should all come down to people having their rights violated and that the agencies that are doing so ought to be held accountable for it. The way it is stated above plays into the rhetoric that Judge Roy Bean's approach (fair trial followed by hanging) is how a justice system ought to work - no presumption of innocence, no oversight, just that we should only care if the innocent are in some way harmed. If those who are charged with implementing our justice system do not play by the rules, we have already been harmed.
Agreed. It is vitally important that the rights of the guilty be protected as well. While societies recognize a reason and justification for curtailing those rights (e.g. by incarceration), if that becomes an excuse to disregard those rights completely, you no longer have a civilization worthy of the name.
"The military could overpower a nation full of rifles without breaking a sweat."
Not so easily. For one thing, America isn't China or North Korea. U.S. servicemen and women would balk at firing on American citizens, officers at several levels would ignore, "misinterpret" or otherwise not carry out such orders. Troops forced into the field would suddenly develop terrible marksmanship and a rash of weapons failures. There's no better way to wake the sleeping dragon than to push Americans around, and seeing Bradleys firing on Americans would enrage the nation regardless of their previous opinions. Political will isn't something authoritarian governments have to worry about. It's necessary to get things done in the US, and it wouldn't survive the first days of an insurrection.
With all that said, it would also take something HUGE to really start a revolution, so it's kind of a moot point. But never underestimate the power of an armed populace. Why do you think dictators make sure to disarm their citizens? The US is the only place on the planet whose Constitution specifically says that the people SHOULD overthrow their own government if it abuses the will of the people enough. Look it up.
and it would still be puny in comparison - and also not as well supplied
The army has a number of advantages - coherent chain of command and a (mostly) common set of objectives and training.
Those 45 million gun owners? You probably have about 45 million different attitudes and ideologies. And, sadly, the only probable winner would be the fringe or criminal gangs.
About 6 years ago during project Jade Helm (prison camp building/training at closed walmarts across the US) there was a LOT of discussion among enlisted people, the consensus being they are pledged to protect the Constitution - which represents the people not the government. A revolution in the US would take one day if it happened - Orders sent to attack civilians with military, an hour later those ordering it would be arrested for treason, a temporary government initiated, and new elections held within a month.
otherwise not carry out such orders
Part of the training for British Armed Forces used to be (probably still are) in the concepts of "illegal orders" and that no service person is required to follow an illegal order.
Of course, yer average squaddie may not totally understand the concept but you would hope that someone promoted to be an NCO would. A commissioned offier *must*.
U.S. servicemen and women would balk at firing on American citizens...
I don't have a clue where you pulled this from, you AC troll, but history would disagree with you there. Both our military and police forces have plenty of instances under their belts of doing just this (e.g. Kent State).
The US is the only place on the planet whose Constitution specifically says that the people SHOULD overthrow their own government if it abuses the will of the people enough. Look it up.
You look it up! The only thing in the US Constitution remotely having to do with making changes to the government has to do with the way it can be amended and/or replaced (Article 5). There is mention in the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Federalist Papers, yes, but not the Constitution. You have managed to conflate... I lose track... many different issues and facts. Take some time and figure it out.
People who talk about having guns to protect against a corrupt administration don't imagine fighting the military. In their fantasy scenarios, the US military is somehow absent from the conflict. Instead they're fighing an abstract boogyman like the FEMA camp guards that Obama was arming (that's why you can't get any .22 rimfire, ya know).
It's the perfect project. It needs lots of money going to contractors, lots of employees, lots of top talent, and it's all secret. Nobody knows what the kickbacks are from contractors, the specifications are secret, and it would be a risk to national security to say exactly how well it works.
It would be a shame if the project wasn't funded and something avoidable happened to you.
The spying never left, if you recall they shifted the storage responsibility to the Telcos. Which the NSA has direct access. This took it off the NSA books and provided closer to real time access or data/connection records. Which has improved the speed at which people can be intercepted. They are now looking to publicly display their abilities as apposed to hiding (can get legally tricky), but want it to look legal - by having publicly acknowledged access.
There is nothing good to come of this, but it's not like anyone has a choice - it's still going on either way.
Yes Mahhn, I agree.
When we had the 'open' Telco Standards Development meeting on "lawful interception of telecommunications", the (natural) group photo of the hard working engineers, in the usual nice seaside conference place, had telco engineers diving for cover, behind bushes - palm trees etc - shouting "No Photo, NO PHOTO!"
My worry is, China is leading the way to the social-media metadata-ranking society-privilege model, and I can see the rest of the democratic nations eyeing-up the autocratic nations with envy, and having urgent committee meetings on how soon can we implement this sh!t
did I just forfeit my right to a bus-pass?
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