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geo
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All of this going on... can't believe more arrests weren't made using it. So you have all of this PRISM but don't do shit with it. Kudos.

As a database guy, I'd hate to see the logistics of a simple keyword search.

Old Post 06-13-13 11:27 #
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Maes
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geo said:
All of this going on... can't believe more arrests weren't made using it.


The fact that they can easily collect data doesn't mean that it's always easy to interpret them or legally possible to use them, at least if you don't want to start handing out "preemptive arrest" warrants on the slightest hint that someone might not be as candid as one of those "ideal kids" in a Christian family book.

Let alone that if someone dictates that behavior A or B is "punishable" or "unacceptable" on arbitrary criteria (psychology/psychiatry is hardly an exact and non-abusable science), you already lost it.

So what they are doing now is collecting...collecting...collecting...with most of the data just being stored and forgotten somewhere, lest they come up with NEW and ENHANCED processing methods which allow them to process them and extract something profitable (or simply sell them to marketers that hope they can do so themselves, by applying infinite-monkey-typewriter kinds of algorithmic approaches).

Old Post 06-13-13 12:34 #
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Maes said:


The fact that they can easily collect data doesn't mean that it's always easy to interpret them or legally possible to use them, at least if you don't want to start handing out "preemptive arrest" warrants on the slightest hint that someone might not be as candid as one of those "ideal kids" in a Christian family book.

Let alone that if someone dictates that behavior A or B is "punishable" or "unacceptable" on arbitrary criteria (psychology/psychiatry is hardly an exact and non-abusable science), you already lost it.

So what they are doing now is collecting...collecting...collecting...with most of the data just being stored and forgotten somewhere, lest they come up with NEW and ENHANCED processing methods which allow them to process them and extract something profitable (or simply sell them to marketers that hope they can do so themselves, by applying infinite-monkey-typewriter kinds of algorithmic approaches).



I hope they at least use all this data to realize how sick and perverse most people are. Then maybe there will be less "moralistic" charlatans in politics. But I don't know if congressmen, and senators have access to this kind data.

Old Post 06-13-13 14:00 #
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Maes
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Kontra Kommando said:
I hope they at least use all this data to realize how sick and perverse most people are.


If that's the purpose, then all they had to do was to walk into a library, open a book by Bukowski, Camus, Hugo etc. or study Ancient Greek and Roman classics, or just about any history book.

Old Post 06-13-13 14:59 #
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Quasar
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Even the Germans are now comfortable with comparing the US's surveillance state to the Nazis and the East Germans. What's that tell you?

Old Post 06-13-13 15:41 #
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Maes said:


If that's the purpose, then all they had to do was to walk into a library, open a book by Bukowski, Camus, Hugo etc. or study Ancient Greek and Roman classics, or just about any history book.



Speaking of which, I wonder in a hundred years from now, will this information be available to the public? It would make for excellent primary sources, for people who study this era.

Old Post 06-13-13 15:44 #
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Quasar said:
Even the Germans are now comfortable with comparing the US's surveillance state to the Nazis and the East Germans. What's that tell you?
At least you can still be critical of Israel without being thrown in jail for hate speech.

Old Post 06-13-13 16:06 #
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I will post this here as well.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Numbermind/prism_zpsf98d48c5.jpg

Old Post 06-13-13 21:27 #
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hex11
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How effective or not the fedz are at using the data is completely irrelevant. The issue is that they're aggregating stuff they shouldn't have access to without a warrant issued for probable cause by a judge for a very specific person(s) and timeframe.

Old Post 06-13-13 21:54 #
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You'll be glad to know they DON'T have access to it without a warrant.

Old Post 06-13-13 21:59 #
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myk
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Technician said:
Anyway, the fourth amendment doesn't actually grant you a right of privacy, it simply forbids the government from using acquired information without warrant against you in court. Sadly, as of late, the government can simply detain you without warrant or due process, and can detain you indefinitely with that scrap of information they recorded from you, so the fourth is essentially invalid at this point.
And the main problem isn't privacy but transparency, which is more or less the opposite. It should be reasonable to allow authorities to keep an eye out, but who watches the authorities and the big companies that manage this data if they appropriate data and don't respond to the public in a timely way? Privacy then translates to a paranoid State bent on world domination, a bunch of corporations driven by profit and a mass of idiots (loaded with the original Greek meaning of the word) asking for more of the same.

Most people in a nation are relatively vulnerable and powerless, and they benefit more from an environment of openness and not increased privacy, where they don't really have the power to hide, at least not nearly as well as the big players.

Democracy is about government, and by extension all organizations and groups with impact on society, being accountable to the general population.

Old Post 06-13-13 21:59 #
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Bucket said:
You'll be glad to know they DON'T have access to it without a warrant.
Why would the government need a warrant when they have no incentive to even take you to court? When was fighting "terrorism" ever about bringing the perpetrators to "justice" through the court system? With simple bytes of data, the NDAA can allow the feds to simply abduct you for questioning or keep you in captivity as that's enough for suspicion of intent.

Old Post 06-13-13 22:21 #
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hex11
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Bucket said:
You'll be glad to know they DON'T have access to it without a warrant.


Yeah right... Just like I don't have access to the data on my own HD. Best case, they troll through the data and go get a warrant retroactively. Worst case, they'll just use it however they want, without ever mentioning it. That is what the path to that kind of convenience leads to.

Old Post 06-13-13 22:21 #
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schwerpunk
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Bucket said:
I will post this here as well.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v...zpsf98d48c5.jpg

This is true of all mass surveilance. Doesn't make it any less troubling, because the state can decide to go Big Brother on any individual, even if they don't have the resources to do it to everyone simultaneously.

This is the same concept employed by institutional buildings (prisons, other secure installations, etc.) that make use of the 'panopticon' style of design. The idea is that you may be surveilled at any time, but you will never know when, or even if, you are in fact being watched. This leads to a chilling effect, whereby people begin self-censoring themselves before the state even has to lift a finger against them.

If your custodians (state, warden, boss, etc.) are magnanimous, then you're fine, but history has shown leaders change and absolute power, etc., etc., etc... I'm really disturbed that I have to spell out exactly why this is a big fucking deal.

Old Post 06-13-13 22:22 #
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But as long as we have the second amendment, we'll revolt against tyranny, right?


Right?

Old Post 06-13-13 22:26 #
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schwerpunk said:
Doesn't make it any less troubling, because the state can decide to go Big Brother on any individual, even if they don't have the resources to do it to everyone simultaneously.
Actually, that's just another way of saying what I posted above and it's already doing that. "Big Brother" occurs if the government can use that data but you can't. But the data is already there anyway, as companies already had it. The involvement of the government could even be a way to bring them to be more accountable, but this depends on how the government is run and how much power democracy has over the government.


but history has shown leaders change and absolute power, etc.
Like I said, the data is already there and business conglomerates can already access it. The government is not in a void and it's better to pin down what produces or would produce a "Big Brother" rather than preemptively avoid most politics similar to all the traits of "Big Brother".

Hitler didn't become a dictator by just picking up authoritarian practices, he picked those up in an environment they made sense. Fascists aren't becoming more common now in Europe because of authoritarian policy choices but because of the power of investment banking and the ideologies they drive, which managed to turn relatively benign immigrant policy into more xenophobic practices.

Thus, if governments rule by "let's not in case someone evil takes power," I suspect they are mostly talking about the effects of their own policies.

Old Post 06-13-13 22:50 #
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We COULD revolt, but we'd have our work cut out for us - as the 2nd Amendment does not grant us the ability to overthrow our government.

What the NSA is doing is data mining. Now, I don't approve of it when corporations use it to sell me crap, and I don't approve of the NSA doing it. I don't like the fact that my cable company is freely submitting my private communications to anyone. But others, as usual, have no idea what they're outraged about and probably no clue that this isn't even remotely new - it precedes both Obama and Bush.

myk said:
Hitler didn't become a dictator by just picking up authoritarian practices, he picked those up in an environment they made sense.

He also didn't become Fuhrer by quietly eroding the rights of his countrymen over the course of several decades. He loudly condemned his political enemies as enemies of Germany, grasped power with his militia and incited a revolution of sorts.

Last edited by Bucket on 06-13-13 at 22:58

Old Post 06-13-13 22:52 #
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hex11
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You can't realistically compare your cable or phone company to the government. Yes, the phone company has a massive DB of call detail records for billing and technical purposes, and so they can keep track of usage patterns and make plans on how to grow the business, etc. But their goal at the end of the day is to provide a service and make money from that, not to find "terrorists" or "fight crime" or however you want to paint whatever it is those federal agencies supposedly do (other than waste trillions of taxpayer money). And more importantly, they don't have the power to confiscate all your assets and imprison you (with or without trial). The most they can do is send a collection agency after your ass for not paying your bill, or maybe sue you if you damage their equipment.

Old Post 06-13-13 23:37 #
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Edward Snowden: US government has been hacking Hong Kong and China for years

Old Post 06-13-13 23:41 #
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GreyGhost
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Bucket said:
We COULD revolt, but we'd have our work cut out for us - as the 2nd Amendment does not grant us the ability to overthrow our government.
Since when have the people (of any state) needed a permission slip to oppose tyranny?

Old Post 06-14-13 04:22 #
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Since never. I'm just stating a simple fact that the founders didn't ratify an amendment just for that purpose.

Old Post 06-14-13 06:13 #
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Maes
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hex11 said:
The issue is that they're aggregating stuff they shouldn't have access to without a warrant issued for probable cause by a judge for a very specific person(s) and timeframe.


Exactly what makes you think the fedz are better or morally superior to e.g. the KGB, Stasi or Securitate, or that they follow a more "humane" or "democratic" modus operandi? Because they are based in the USA? Police will always be police, no matter what colour you paint it, red, green, white, blue or black.


hex11 said:
How effective or not the fedz are at using the data is completely irrelevant.


Actually, you can find a bit of solace in knowing that in most "western" countries, even if mass surveillance is indeed made easier by technology (you don't need to recruit an undercover army of agents, informants of various levels etc. like in Communist countries or Greece after WW2), actually using the data to send scores of armed agents with arresting powers after every poor sod is not very practical, if anything, because it would grind the economic life to a halt. Less stable or more rigidly ruled countries have less of a problem with that.

Old Post 06-14-13 09:18 #
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They are not morally superior, and they have done a lot of bad shit throughout the past century, and will continue to do even more if given more power and convenience. But the difference between USA and the others is that we have a constitution that specifically forbids that kind of unchecked government intrusion and surveillance. The fedz will do everything they can to get around that, by operating covertly, lying, outsourcing jobs to contractors and using psychological methods (like fear of boogeymen) to justify their actions. They use every trick in the book to get their way, and it's our job as citizens to push back and tell them to fuck off. But that's getting more difficult as time marches on and they accumulate more power while the citizens are stripped of more rights. The surveillance is particularly troubling because it can be used to profile and "handle" political dissidents or adversaries. And they don't have to go after everyone, just the more "dangerous" ones who have the potential to rock the boat, to actually bring about change to the status quo.

Old Post 06-14-13 12:13 #
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Ah right... the Constitution... that must have just as much practical value as the Geneva convention, or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I don't know how badly the USA Constitution is riddled with loopholes, but the Greek one basically contains the seeds of its destruction, by leaving plently of gaping loopholes to circumvent it or supersede it "in the name of public interest"/"because of exceptional and urgent/unpredictable circumstances" etc. which is also what allowed many so-called "reforms" to be passed, despite most of them being incompatible with the current "constitution". It also allows ruling by dictat, again in "exceptional circumstances" and passing bills with summary procedures, and directly by edict by the President, effectively circumventing the Parliament. Again, "only in exceptional cases", which tend to be the norm.

This has degenerated to the point where the standard reply to criticism of unconstitutionality is: "We cannot afford such formalities (!) get in the way of reforms, so we apply the reforms first, and deal with any alleged unconstitutionalities later (if ever), if not changing the constitution itself".

Ofc, Greece has the peculiarity of NOT having a Constitutional court with supreme powers or "the last word" in Constitutional matters, so even accusing something or someone of unconstitutionality is not a sure-fire way of getting it/him dealt with in a swift and standard, univoque manner, but it's up to interpretation, manipulation and of unclear jurisdiction, effectively nullifying any value the constitution might have.

Let alone, that constitutions can get reformed and amended....are you certain that in its CURRENT form it really is like what you were taught in school, and what the Founding Fathers had in mind?

Old Post 06-14-13 12:46 #
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Fascists aren't becoming more common now in Europe because of authoritarian policy choices but because of the power of investment banking and the ideologies they drive, which managed to turn relatively benign immigrant policy into more xenophobic practices.


There's anti-capitalism talk that just makes me sigh, and then there's anti-capitalism talk that makes my head explode.

I mean, from what I can tell the grim picture your average left-leaning Internet person has of investment banking ideologies is "money, money, money for me, screw everyone else". Not "screw some specific guys because of their ethnicity or skin color", "screw everyone". The more people you screw, the more money, right? It catches on specifically because it can be seen as a threat to you the regular dude just trying to make a honest living, as opposed to those foreigners most people don't really give a fuck about unless they're actively prompted to think about them (and then apathy resumes ten minutes later).

Xenophobia makes no sense whatsoever in investment banking. The more markets, the more opportunities. Nobody can afford *not* to go international these days.

So what's the big idea here? Investment banking caused the financial crisis, which caused people to lose their jobs, which caused heightened fears from foreigner competition, which caused xenophobia, so investment banking promotes xenophobia? Because holy shit that would be convoluted, as well as a gross simplification overlooking several factors and making the usual condescending assumption most people are impotent cattle unable of coherent thought.

I wouldn't be as arrogant as to blame the late rise of fascism worldwide on any particular thing I happen to dislike, but in my own country (France) I'm convinced the aggressively pushed politically correct rhetoric in the public space, as well as swift repression of debate, has played a significant role in rising extremism. Stop people from speaking their mind, and frustration builds up. Call them names while you hold their mouth shut, and frustration turns to anger. Especially as they see two thirds of their wages taxed by the State to pay welfare to "those same foreigners" they see burning cars, raping, robbing trains, and celebrating all of this with a smile as they get a mere slap on the wrist once they're caught.

Now's the part where someone misses the quotes, chooses to assume I'm really talking about myself and goes on to lambast me for generalizing foreigners. No, you hypothetical dumbass. I know those dipshits are a tiny, tiny minority. The people I'm talking about know those dipshits are a minority; but once you antagonize people, you raise the heat. "Turn the other cheek" isn't that popular even amongst conservatives. It's certainly not popular when you feel you've been slapped a dozen times in a row, and it becomes easy to lose sight "the other guy" doesn't necessarily have it better. I've seen friends of mine veering more and more towards the extreme right. Heck, if I'm being honest, I am as well. All said in a facetious tone during private conversations, but you can tell there's a slimmer of truth behind, exasperation lashing out. At this point if you value freedom of speech and free exchange of ideas in France it sometimes feels as if there's no choice but to defend terrible people; and I despise the left-leaning majority for forcing me into that position, thus, reinforcing this vicious circle. You don't get anywhere with censorship. You can't cure hate with censorship, and hate-filled censorship is the worst of both worlds. It only radicalizes people.

Last edited by Phml on 06-14-13 at 13:24

Old Post 06-14-13 13:16 #
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Maes
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Phml said:
Xenophobia makes no sense whatsoever in investment banking. The more markets, the more opportunities. Nobody can afford *not* to go international these days.


It depends on the nations involved though ;-)

I can be "multiethnic"-friendly too, if the ethicities involved are all white, rich, blond, aryan etc. ;-)

Much less so if they are poor, brown, smelly etc.

Ofc investment banking also has a place for them too, provided a deal can be struck with their local authorities: sweatshops.


Phml said:
So what's the big idea here? Investment banking caused the financial crisis, which caused people to lose their jobs, which caused heightened fears from foreigner competition, which caused xenophobia, so investment banking promotes xenophobia?


Actually, investment banking also caused slum-like living conditions and wars in places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. which in turn caused mass migration of impoverished, unskilled and -most importantly- ruthless people that have nothing more to lose and will work mostly in the submerged economy and without social security (assuming they don't turn into outright criminals), and that in turn translated into increased black economy, crime rates etc., which in turn drives xenophobia up.

Xenophobia isn't about the sweatshop slave 10000 km away from me, toiling in some underground dungeon sewing T-shirt. Yeah, that one also has some negative effects on the average xenophobe (though subtler to catch), but it's not about him, really.

It's all about the ex-sweatshop-slave-turned-illegal-migrant robbing and killing elders for a dime and defecating right in my front yard, right here, right now. A visible "opponent" in flesh & bone, if you prefer, not an abstract concept or idea such as "the foreign competition" or the "vulture funds", but a very real human being shaping my and your reality with direct actions (and the tolerance of great part of the authorities).

I wonder, all those who claim that "foreigners don't take your jobs, it's the locals that don't want to do certain jobs any more", would they work at the same conditions (uninsured, living in shacks, unpaid and finally shot) as illegal migrant workers? Or should uninsured, black work become the norm even for the official economy?

Last edited by Maes on 06-14-13 at 13:44

Old Post 06-14-13 13:34 #
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Phml
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Maes, you... You... :P

You'd be surprised at the number of people of Indian ethnicity in finance, actually. But, yeah, they aren't poor and all come packaged with their complementary UK or US diplomas. :)

Old Post 06-14-13 13:43 #
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Maes
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Phml said:
You'd be surprised at the number of people of Indian ethnicity in finance, actually. But, yeah, they aren't poor and all come packaged with their complementary UK or US diplomas. :)


I guess they fall into the "not poor, still brown, and sometimes still smelly" category, then ;-)

But then again, those are relatively high-profile foreigners, unlikely to become the target of xenophobes. Xenophoby is usually a phenomenon targeted at the lowest migrant underclasses, so other than a racist, it's also typically classist phenomenon.

To make a US-friendly example of the latest, it's unlikely that e.g. Fernando Herreiro Ingrasia De Lorque, rich investor from Mexico City and Pedro Gonzalez, wetback illegal cotton picker, would be treated the same even by the most extreme US xenophobe.

Most would gladly invite the former into their house and even swap business cards, but none would dare even come close to the latter, for fear that they might lose their wallet or have their throat slit (or simply because he doesn't really smell like a bouquet of roses).

Actually, I think most instances of "racist" xenophoby are actually predominantly classist (loathing the underclasses): how many of you would treat a bum, beggar or a drug addict of your own same ethnicity better than a foreigner of the same status? Since most illegal migrants (which tend to attract most of the xenophobia) are typically not very well-off, they automatically belong to the underclasses, which most people loathe. The fact that they stand out racially compared to local people doesn't help them, either.

Also, "try" (well, don't, actually) becoming poor, losing everything etc. and let's see how quickly you'll be treated like the very last of the Pedro Gonzalez wetbacks even by many of your former "friend" ;-)

Last edited by Maes on 06-14-13 at 13:56

Old Post 06-14-13 13:45 #
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Quasar
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The real element you're picking up on with regard to the international banking system is its natural opposition to Islam. Islam demands fiat currency and an economy where value is traded for value, and not one of credit, where debt is traded for debt. This puts Islam at natural odds with the Western creditors and bankers, and with the US petro dollar.

Maybe that puts some more context (aside from oil, the most obvious one) as to why we can't keep our hands out of that part of the world, and why our media/government conglomeration is so hell-bent on demonizing all Muslims. The fact that the so-called war declared on them also allows for simultaneously advancing the agendas of those in favor of a totalitarian police state is just convenient, and will therefore be exploited to the max.

Old Post 06-14-13 14:34 #
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Maes
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Quasar said:
The fact that the so-called war declared on them also allows for simultaneously advancing the agendas of those in favor of a totalitarian police state is just convenient, and will therefore be exploited to the max.


The problem is that no matter how phoney or "so-called" the war may appear from the West's side, it has triggered some very real war-like response from -so far, at least- a handful of Muslim fanatics. And, ironically, the police state that was allegedly set up to "protect" against them so far has failed miserably: it has had far more "success" repressing its own citizens than culling the "foreign danger".

Old Post 06-14-13 14:47 #
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