NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds

Maes said:

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".

You're not getting any disagreement from me on any of those points. Except I wouldn't call the police state a failure in that it's most effective at home; as a side goal, it's doing exactly what they wanted to do.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22902098
Well done British Government, wiping America's ass again I see. Not that this guy would ever come here anyway.


Archived information of Snowden's pre-NSA internet history use against his image. Apparently he was un-American an angst-ridden teen.

Oh, wow! Don't piss off the government, or they'll use your porn search history to publicly humiliate you.


So you try to discredit the guy by using the same system he is speaking out about. More evidence proving people at the top of the food chain are complete idiots.

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Who the fuck is calling for him to be tried for treason, other than people in the government? BBC is so mainstream sold-out it hurts.

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Quasar said:

Who the fuck is calling for him to be tried for treason, other than people in the government? BBC is so mainstream sold-out it hurts.

I'm seeing a few people on /pol/ and other right leaning communities calling him out for treason.

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Mostly I keep seeing the same obvious shills saying shit like that and launching attacks on his personal character.

It's amazing how few people understand what an ad hominem is and how it's nothing more than a puppet show distraction from the issue at hand.

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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?

The cause was not just in the "financial crisis", which is when the banks exploded in 2007-2008, but the way it was faced and deliberate policies to reduce labor rights and social spending that impacted on the middle and lower classes. These, in anger, take it at ethnic minorities, which are an easier target than the State and rich they are tied to but don't control much, in an environment where immigrants compete more with their work places and with what public spending is still available. Financial companies need more markets, but they also seek high-risk high-returns deals and they find it easier and cheaper to find many of these elsewhere, in the meantime lowering labor costs at home through deregulation and unemployment.

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.

Much more so along with policies that transfered costs to the general population, be they natives or immigrants, who pay with their necessities and human development means, and not just excess investment capital.

Quasar said:
Islam demands fiat currency and an economy where value is traded for value, and not one of credit, where debt is traded for debt.

Not sure where you got this or that there's a uniform economic policy in the Muslim world or among Islamic economists.

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Maes said:

Or should uninsured, black work become the norm even for the official economy?

Of course it should. It's what is being pushed forward whenever you hear people talk about "competitiveness". Because the only orthodox way to be competitive is to reduce the costs of production. You can do that either by buying cheaper raw materials (read: shoddier) or by paying the workers less (typically, by outsourcing the jobs or subcontracting). Shoddier materials seldom cause any problem to be accepted by everybody. I mean, sure, sometimes you get a scandal like boob implants made of industry-grade silicone (rather than the much more expensive medical grade one), or you decide not to heat bone meal and you get prions for everyone; but mostly nobody cares.

So most of the effort is on convincing people that they should also accept lower wages. Which is where competitiveness comes from. "Look: the average European worker is a fat, lazy, overpaid slob; for the same cost I get an entire village of Chinese laborers so if you want to keep your job you need to accept you'll be no more than one cent a month". And that's where policies come into place to create mass unemployment.

When having a job seems like a privilege, you aren't going to demand higher wages or better working conditions. You're going to sit quietly in your corner and burn yourself out in the hope that they'll choose another victim for the weekly sacrifice on the altar of institutionalized layoff. And so, gradually, everything that was acquired by the workers' struggles of the early 20th centuries and the 60s will be unmade, and we will go back to the Gilded Age of robber barons.

What is happening in Europe right now is just that. The deliberate destruction of an entire continent's society, for the profit of a handful of finance tycoons. The European Union has become an instrument of nation destruction. Everything must be privately held, so as to be turned into money in the hands of the same crew of oligarchs. Nothing that has a mission towards the common good may survive, because what benefits everyone does not benefit only a few. (Just recently, Greece lost all its public radio and TV channels; making sure only corporate-owned propaganda station may exist.)

Anything that doesn't bring profit to the 1% will be destroyed. The 99% will be reduced to toiling forever in indentured slavery. This is the world we are building. Because it's a "competitive" world.

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myk said:

Not sure where you got this or that there's a uniform economic policy in the Muslim world or among Islamic economists.

I'm confident Islam has strict rules regarding economics, it has everything else.

Gez said:

Just recently, Greece lost all its public radio and TV channels; making sure only corporate-owned propaganda station may exist.

It's funny how they worry about fringe groups like the Golden Dawn when Mussolini's brand of Fascism has more or less taken hold of the free world.

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Gez said:

Anything that doesn't bring profit to the 1% will be destroyed. The 99% will be reduced to toiling forever in indentured slavery. This is the world we are building. Because it's a "competitive" world.

What I want to know is how the sick bastards behind all this think things are going to go when the people that outnumber them by millions or billions have finally had enough of it.

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By then they'll probably have surrounded themselves with armies of minigun-toting combat robots who's loyalty is absolute and obedience is unquestioning - we'll be used for target practice.

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It was a pretty disgusting comparison CNN did to him with Christopher Boyce. So awful and tasteless.

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MRB_Doom said:

It was a pretty disgusting comparison CNN did to him with Christopher Boyce. So awful and tasteless.

Considering Snowden just confirmed the obvious.

"America really does spy on it's citizens and surrounding countries? What is this, science fiction?"

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geo said:

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.

The NSA is part of the US Military. They don't investigate crimes or have the ability to arrest anyone.

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They do have, however, the ability to capture people and send them to Guantanamo, or to assassinate them with drones.

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schwerpunk said:

Robots don't need target practice...

Don't know about you - BUT - if I'm having an army of killing machines constructed by the lowest tenderer the least I'd do is have the weapons tested and calibrated, what better way to do that than a live-fire exercise with targets that have an instinct for self preservation.

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Quasar said:

What I want to know is how the sick bastards behind all this think things are going to go when the people that outnumber them by millions or billions have finally had enough of it.


Because they will have applied divide & conquer once again, as they have always have done through the ages. Other than the top 1%, there will be another 9-10% that will actually knowingly or unknowingly act as their watchdogs -public servants, army, police, bureucrats and generally, people who will have been granted a relative privilege (either salarial, professional or being put in a position of relative power). Even something as innocent as a pensioner -for as long as the concept exists, at least- is actually a strong supporter of the status quo: it's safer to keep things (and the pension) as they are than risk surprises which might lead to not getting one at all.

This system worked wonders for all regimes in history, from communist to nazi to North Korea and even modern Greece: the top 1% also needs the near unconditional (well, actually very conditional and purely based on personal favors) support of about 9-10% of the total population (even in democracies, this is often enough to get a party 20 or even 30% of the actual votes, due to various factors).

The existence of this 9-10% has many benefits for the top 1%: first of all, it creates a "middle class" of "pleased people", who "don't complain" and act as a "shining example" for that pesky, always complaining 89%. Secondly, they put someone else in charge of doing the fighting. A super-rich 1% guy shouldn;t have to worry about defending his seaside pool from the 99%, nor duke it out in the streets with hordes of dirty, unemployed, hungry "zombies": that's the job of the 9-10%, which will actually do so to protect their own relative wealth and well-being (even if it's e.g. a policeman's salary, which however can afford living in an actual apartment), so rest assured that they will put all of their efforts in this "struggle".

Convincing this 9-10% that in reality their "superiority" is just there by design, and in reality they have the same interests as the remaining 89-90% of the unprivileged, is nearly impossible.

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fraggle said:

The NSA is part of the US Military. They don't investigate crimes or have the ability to arrest anyone.

The DHS on the other hand has an ever-expanding role, and just recently purchased enough firearms and ammunition to equip an army. For what end, I wonder? TSA doing a lot of shooting at the airports lately?

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Quasar said:

Who the fuck is calling for him to be tried for treason, other than people in the government? BBC is so mainstream sold-out it hurts.


Pretty much... everyone in the national security industry? He kind of deserves it, imo. You can't just divulge secrets because you woke up on the bad side of the bed one morning and decided to tell the press about it.

Why do you think the Internet became so widely available? Web mail like Hotmail and GMail? Did you think those were fully privatized?

If you don't think every google search (and Duck Duck go search), web mail, and forum post isn't noticed, monitored and logged since the days of USENET, then I don't know what to say to you.

You want secure comm? Tough cookies. It has always been this way, and Snowden is just a reminder of it. Maybe if people were reminded daily to the point of exhaustion, something might be done. But I doubt it. Convenience wins out every time and the public is lazy.

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Maes said:

The existence of this 9-10% has many benefits for the top 1%

However, it has worked too well for too long. Now the 1% are getting greedy and eying what the 10% has. Public servants, police, and pensioners aren't safe from austerity measures. In fact, austerity is basically about targeting them specifically.

(There are reasons to slash police budget. High crime rates are a good source of social tensions within the lower classes.)

This is often hypocritically combined with a public discourse that is tough on crime. Create a problem and pretend to be the solution, that's politics 101. An example in France was when Sarkozy and his cronies dismantled the "proximity police", snidely commenting that the role of the police wasn't to play soccer with local teenagers. And completely forgetting that the police is useless if they don't have a good relationship with the populace, which brings them informants. Instead, the focus was put on various kinds of squadrons of stormtroopers who patrol from time to time just for show, and are generally completely useless.

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Csonicgo said:

Pretty much... everyone in the national security industry? He kind of deserves it, imo. You can't just divulge secrets because you woke up on the bad side of the bed one morning and decided to tell the press about it.

Why do you think the Internet became so widely available? Web mail like Hotmail and GMail? Did you think those were fully privatized?

If you don't think every google search (and Duck Duck go search), web mail, and forum post isn't noticed, monitored and logged since the days of USENET, then I don't know what to say to you.

You want secure comm? Tough cookies. It has always been this way, and Snowden is just a reminder of it. Maybe if people were reminded daily to the point of exhaustion, something might be done. But I doubt it. Convenience wins out every time and the public is lazy.

Doesn't make it excusable. It might be inevitable, but we can be mad about it. And Obama pretty much broke every promise he's made on the issue.

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As above, so below; the fractal geometry of nature. Just as molecules organized into cells and cells organized into organisms, organisms are organizing into an artilect. The 1% is the core of its body beginning to solidify and the 10% will be in some mutualistic relationship with it like gut bacteria for an individual human. And as soon as it opens its 17 eyes it will reveal a consciousness of pure wickedness, following nature's theme of "red in tooth and claw". Nature only replicates so it can self destroy, in a constant orgy of evil full of hyenas slowly chewing the guts out of still living prey animals that share 85% of its genes, killbots programmed by the bowels of self organization to seek and destroy near clones of themselves. And Hugo De Garis was right, the artilect will regard the more primitive lifeforms, humans, as pesky mosquitos and intentionally try to squash them. Its far too late for the rest of the animal kingdom; they've been mechanically de-souled and packaged as ground meat and their ecosystem has been disassembled and re-engineered as sickly as possible, as that pleases the sinister artilect best.

They put up flags to gloat how they conquered you:
http://www.crappie.com/crappie/attachments/missouri-fishing/56995d1300275739-lots-boats-highway-yesterday-mcdonalds-flags.jpg
What is humanity, the non-sociopaths with empathy? They are a nuisance and unfit in the survival of the fittest. The artilect must destroy humanity as slowly and painfully as possible as a sacrament to the billions of years of evil evolution that birthed it. And as it turns out, life extension technology will make this timeline equal to the remaining age of the universe, as each human will be forced to live forever and cloned millions of times, each clone wired to feel the agony of all other clones, and each sent to 1984's personalized room 101 until the heat death of the universe. Its the next logical evolutionary step up from crocodiles biting wildebeest in the face and drowning them, and has been the goal of the universe's evil programmer all along. Evil obviously wins, so therefore we must assume that the universe's programmer is evil.

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Gez said:

However, it has worked too well for too long. Now the 1% are getting greedy and eying what the 10% has. Public servants, police, and pensioners aren't safe from austerity measures. In fact, austerity is basically about targeting them specifically.

(There are reasons to slash police budget. High crime rates are a good source of social tensions within the lower classes.)


Austerity actually hit the public sector the least. The cumulative losses in the private sector have been much greater in magnitude. One example to rule them all: none has been fired in the public sector, yet, vs 1.500.000 new unemployed in the private sector. How's that for "specific targeting"?

Also, a policeman is always a public servant. As such, even his slashed wages are kept well above the average wage for a similarly skilled worker in the private sector (in the case of a policeman, that would probably be private security or a do-it-all employee). In addition, he has a guaranteed job, career path and regular pensions and social security contributions, plus benefits that are inexistent in the "free market". To use a Greek expression "He fucks you (at least) once", where "you" is any free market, private sector laborer.

So, to the system and to himself, he does not just feel superior or at least more fortunate: he is superior.

Remember what was written in the novel 1984:

...a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and another.

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GreyGhost said:

Shouldn't the McDonald's flag be on top?


I think to them, below is on top. A human forms a star with 2 arms, 2 legs and a head on top. They invert the flag ordering just like they invert humanity and invert the star into a pentagram. Ke$ha makes bras out of human teeth, following the handiwork of her presumed great great grandfather Ed Gein, both belonging to the same secret society of inbred syphilis infected royal bloodlines. Why do you think McDonald's's's' have slides and ball pits to attract children there? Big macs are made of children. Ronald McDonald's stripes, shoes and hair are colored with blood. They also like to troll us with sarcasm because everyone knows the US flag is now the China flag.

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They might as well just have a Hello Kitty flag above the Mc.Donalds one, and just leave out that other old one nobody cares about anymore.

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Maes said:

Also, a policeman is always a public servant. As such, even his slashed wages are kept well above the average wage for a similarly skilled worker in the private sector

Maybe in Greece. Where I'm from, the tradeoff between public and private as always been that private pays more, but public won't lay you off (unless you really fuck up). Notably, a public servant's wage is calculated from a complex grid depending on job category and experience, and bureaucracy gets in the way of raising them.

As for not firing people in the public sector: sure, because technically you aren't allowed (except for cases of serious misconduct); but you can simply wait for them to retire and not replace them with new recruits. This has been policy for over a decade now. The end result is the same: you destroy jobs and degrade the quality of the service (because the remaining servants are overworked).

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Maes said:

Also, a policeman is always a public servant. As such, even his slashed wages are kept well above the average wage for a similarly skilled worker in the private sector (in the case of a policeman, that would probably be private security or a do-it-all employee). In addition, he has a guaranteed job, career path and regular pensions and social security contributions, plus benefits that are inexistent in the "free market".

In the last few years such privileges have been cut in Poland, to the point where police departments lack manpower due to lack of interest from people who could qualify for the job. Before the football championships last year there was a legitimate concern that the 8000 vacant positions in the police force might impact security of the event (5000 as of February 2013).

Same thing happened with the army once they've moved away from conscription.

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Gez said:

Maybe in Greece. Where I'm from, the tradeoff between public and private as always been that private pays more, but public won't lay you off (unless you really fuck up). Notably, a public servant's wage is calculated from a complex grid depending on job category and experience, and bureaucracy gets in the way of raising them.


It used to be this way in Greece too until the 80s (the wage part): in the early 80s however, Andreas Papandreou (of the now a-shadow-of-its-former-self PASOK party) literally doubled public sector salaries and pensions overnight. Even after the cuts they applied in order to "cut public spending" (yet another joke), the salaries are still clearly superior to the private sector. IMO, they should not just cut them by an arbitrary amount, but align them to the average wage for the private sector. Ofc, knowing how the public sector operates, determining said average would be done by a not-very-impartial committee, and end up with an unrealistically high "average", so back to square zero *rolleyes*

While they're at it, they should abolish mandatory social security/pension contributions or at least give full freedom to choose/move between insurance/pension companies (with laws MANDATING that the contributed sum stays intact when switching), kinda like when switching between banks. It should be the job of the insurance companies (even if state-run or state-endorsed) to offer competitive enough offers to keep their customers from bailing boat, and not forcing them to stay due to laws or red tape which make it hard to
"leave the club" (also because while wages were cut, contributions did not...)

As for not firing people in the public sector: sure, because technically you aren't allowed (except for cases of serious misconduct); but you can simply wait for them to retire and not replace them with new recruits.


Waiting for the very last of the "old guard" of public servants (those hired in the period of the 'fat cows') to retire could take up to 35 years starting from now. And IMO the "tactic" of offering a retirement bonus package isn't a solution: those packages can be as high as 100K euro, quite a ransom to pay for the "privilege" of seeing someone "sacked".

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Maes said:
Austerity actually hit the public sector the least. The cumulative losses in the private sector have been much greater in magnitude. One example to rule them all: none has been fired in the public sector, yet, vs 1.500.000 new unemployed in the private sector. How's that for "specific targeting"?

Theoretically that should be fine since the public sector more or less takes care of necessities. The less money there is, the bigger the proportion that should be in public hands. But what seems to be the problem in what you describe is that the public sector appears to restrict its benefits, like a select club, a cozier clearing in a harsh neoliberal jungle.

Also, a policeman is always a public servant.

In Latin America there's a key debate about the autonomy of the security forces. Years of dictatorships and outside meddling have left police forces and military forces that more or less run themselves but can collude with other interest groups, with some politicians more or less allowing them to do that, while others have specific programs or measures to fight this issue, which erodes democracy and people's rights. Essentially, a struggle against police corporatism. It really also occurs in the judicial system on the whole when there is no way to impose the will of voters on it, functioning like a nondemocratic power within the democratic State, like a bunch of self-organizing "wise old men" that aren't really accountable to the general population, generally cloaked by the ideal of "independent judiciary".

IMO, they should not just cut them by an arbitrary amount, but align them to the average wage for the private sector.

One important role of the State is to guarantee a floor for salaries and ensure salaries are reasonable, so you can't just have the private sector deciding what to pay people. You'll need at least strong unions in most sectors so workers can fight for their interests, unemployment benefits, and if you can't ensure widespread formal jobs, you need assistance for all the people who are hired without basic benefits and minimal pay.

While they're at it, they should abolish mandatory social security/pension contributions or at least give full freedom to choose/move between insurance/pension companies (with laws MANDATING that the contributed sum stays intact when switching), kinda like when switching between banks. It should be the job of the insurance companies (even if state-run or state-endorsed) to offer competitive enough offers to keep their customers from bailing boat, and not forcing them to stay due to laws or red tape which make it hard to "leave the club" (also because while wages were cut, contributions did not...)

We used to have that shit here, but the State took over pensions again, fortunately. That improved retirement payments for most people considerably and was a great step because part of the money can be used to finance long term social investment and support, not just retirement or disability pensions while private companies take a chunk of the the money elsewhere or away from the general population.

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