Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Norc on Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:21 am

on a scale of one to invading russia mid winter how much do you think USA regret letting snowden reach Russia?
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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by halfwise on Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:29 pm

I think the government doesn't care all that much except it wants to make an example to stop copycats. But now it's just looking prissy and pathetic.

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:41 pm

Ive said from the start the problem is this has undermined US releations abroad- Russia are taking the piss, Putin in particular is loving this.
Now its not that other countries secret services didnt know or at the very least suspect Amercia was doing this- many of them almost certainly were/are doing the same thing.
But America got caught with its hand in the cookie jar, and worse its got caught with its hand in other peoples cookie jar.
There is no good outcome for the US diplomatically over this- they've given every one else an ace to play whenever they need too, made a joke of their surveillance program, and thats evident in America demanding him back and the world defying America by refusing to hand him over.
American threats are not be feared as they once were- everyone knows Iraq was a mess and cost America dear and combined with Afghanistan, another military blunder, there is no appetite among the American people for further wars, and no money to pay for them anyway.
And that also means less money for other countries as incentive to act in US interests.
Unless something dramatic changes the US has already peaked as a superpower and is well on its way down the slope on the other side.

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by David H on Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:07 pm

Unless something dramatic changes the US has already peaked as a superpower and is well on its way down the slope on the other side.

And about time too!Rolling Eyes 
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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:04 pm

I think future historians will look back on the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 (against the advice of the world) as the turning point for America's imperial fortunes. At that point the Cold War had been over for more than a decade and it became clear that the rest of the world would not sign off on an American war for no good reason. The human, financial, and political costs of the next eight years in Iraq further accelerated the decline of American power as we continued to squander our resources and influence on a pointless war that produced numerous scandals (Abu Ghraib, Blackwater, etc.) and alienated even more countries.

If someone like Snowden had leaked this information back in the mid-1990s I think there's a fair chance that the US would have caught him by now, but the balance of global power is changing. I hope that the US will make the transition from imperialism smoothly and that it might have beneficial effects for American democracy. People like Mark Twain pointed out that imperialism was a mistake all the way back in 1898 with the Spanish-American War.
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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:04 pm

I just got round to watching Obama speech the other day about the US spying programs- he announced a whole raft of new safeguards and oversights- all very good- but he also continued ihs condemnation of Snowden- this seems a tricky balancing act- if Snowden is a traitor to the American people how come his leaks have led to better safeguards for  US citizens?
If Snowden hadn't leaked this info about how lax the security was on these programs would we even know of their existence yet let alone be having extra safeguards that should have been in place anyway now beng put into them?
I very much doubt it.
Obama's speech seemed to me as good an admission that Snowden did the people of America a good turn as I can imagine and to continue, in the same speech, to insist Snowden is a security threat to the US seems petty and disingenuous.

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Ringdrotten on Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:34 pm

They can't ever say publicly that Snowden did something right- what sort of message would that send to all the other people who work for their intelligence agencies?

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:40 pm

Thats the tricky bit Ringdrotten- Obama's admissions that there needs to be a lot more checks and balances is essentially an admission Snowden was right, and that the current security programs were poorly scrutinized and open to abuse.
There is even a line in the speech where he essentially admits that the capabilities the US now has in spying on everyone are potentially very dangerous and open to abuse without proper safeguards.

One half of the speech seemed to me to confirm everything Snowden said, and to try to address the issues he raised- the bit still condemning Snowden seemed odd and out of place in the same speech.
He is trying to do two opposing things at the same time- put in safeguards spurned by the leaks- and condemn the leaker.
That's pretty shaky ground.
Nor do I see when the President publicly declares someone guilty to the worlds media how any there can be any chance of a fair and unbiased court in the US?

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Ringdrotten on Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:06 pm

I see your point, but I think perhaps I should've chosen my words differently - they can never directly and openly admit that he was right, even if they're making indirect admissions. But that's just the way politics work, I guess Banghead 

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:10 pm

Sadly it is Ringdrotten- although I am not sure in this case the position is sustainable.

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:53 am

'US and UK intelligence have reportedly cracked technology used to encrypt internet services such as online banking, medical records and email.
Disclosures by leaker Edward Snowden allege the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's GCHQ are hacking key online security protocols.
The documents allege that Yahoo and Google were among service providers targeted.
The reports say the UK and US intelligence agencies are focusing on the encryption used in 4G smartphones, email, online shopping and remote business communication networks.' - BBC

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:48 pm

I suspect there will be more of this sort of thing, and that behind the scenes a lot of countries are just as furious about US spying-

"Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has called off a state visit to Washington next month in a row over allegations of US espionage.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been accused of intercepting emails and messages from Ms Rousseff, her aides and state oil company, Petrobras.
The allegations of widespread espionage against Brazilian citizens were first published in July by Rio de Janeiro-based journalist Glenn Greenwald, a reporter for the British Guardian newspaper.
Earlier this month, another report by Mr Greenwald alleged that the NSA had illegally accessed data from oil company Petrobras.
The company is due to carry on in next month an important auction for exploration rights of an oil field off the Rio de Janeiro state coast.
Ms Rousseff has said that if the accusations were proven it meant the NSA was involved in "industrial espionage".
in a statement on Tuesday, the Brazilian government said that "given the proximity of the scheduled state visit to Washington - and in the absence of a timely investigation of the incident, with corresponding explanations and the commitment to cease the interception activities" it could not go ahead as planned.
The White House said in a statement: "The president has said that he understands and regrets the concerns [that] disclosures of alleged US intelligence activities have generated in Brazil and made clear that he is committed to working together with President Rousseff and her government in diplomatic channels to move beyond this issue as a source of tension in our bilateral relationship."- BBC

I note Obama regrets the 'concerns' caused over the leaks, but does not regret the illegal spying.

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by David H on Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:17 pm

I note Obama regrets the 'concerns' caused over the leaks, but does not regret the illegal spying.

Disrespectful certainly. Unethical probably. But what laws exactly are you referring to that were broken? US laws? Brazilian laws?  

The trouble is it's hard to explain by our 20th century laws how a person in the privacy of their own home or office can break the laws 5000 miles away in a different country on a different continent.  

I'm sure our government argues this is exactly the same as taking pictures into people's back yards as a satellite passes overhead in international space. And most other governments aren't going to object too loudly because they're planning on playing the same voyeuristic games if they aren't already.Mad 
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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:30 pm

I cant speak for Brazil, as I dont know the laws there- but in the UK intercepting such things without a warrant from a UK judge is illegal and against our privacy laws.

There have been several cases n the UK where someone hacking US systems from here has been extradited to the US for trial, as the laws broken were US ones.
So I dont see why that doesnt work the other way- if someone on US soil (govt or otherwise) breaks our laws, they are still breaking the law.

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by David H on Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:44 pm

I don't claim to know much about this, but I know the bulk of our laws are made by the legislatures of individual States (you've seen this in action with gay marriage, legal marijuana, gun laws, alcohol laws, marriage laws, etc, etc.) so I'm guessing there are loopholes big enough to fly a Star Whale through, especially if you have some of the nation's top lawyers to navigate.
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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Eldorion on Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:51 pm

I'm sure most countries with (aspirations to) global power, including Brazil, spy on each other.  You're just not supposed to do it, and you're really not supposed to get caught doing it.  Diplomatic repercussions are necessary on Brazil's part since they will look weak and foolish if they don't respond.  I wouldn't expect the effects to be too significant, though.  It depends on how close the US and Brazil are though, which to be honest I don't really know about.  When, for example, the US caught Russia spying a few years ago, no one was really surprised.  But when it was revealed that the US had been spying on its NATO allies, I'm sure there were some people who weren't surprised, but it bothered a lot more people.
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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by David H on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:05 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:
So I dont see why that doesnt work the other way- if someone on US soil (govt or otherwise) breaks our laws, they are still breaking the law.
I just poked around a bit and I think you're exactly right (to a point.) By the 2003 US-UK extradition treaty, the UK ought to be able in theory to extradite an individual American hacker for trial under UK law. But you'd have to be able to make a case against an individual. That could be extremely difficult if the individual is an NSA subcontractor. And it could also be more difficult after the recent Gary McKinnon case.
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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by David H on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:08 pm

Eldorion wrote:and you're really not supposed to get caught doing it.  
Exactly.Nod 
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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:09 pm

The difference there as I see it Eldo is people expect governments to spy on other governments- what they didn't expect was to discover governments are spying on civilian populations in other countries to such a personal and individual level and in such numbers.
Its one thing for people to think governments are spying on each other, and quite another when populations think governments are spying on them.


Thanks for digging around on that David- thats interesting. Of course no one in government would ever do it- but I wonder if a citizen could if they thought they had been spied on? Take it to the court, then right up t o the European Court. An interesting thought- if a successful lawsuit was brought it would open flood gates of potentially millions of lawsuits from all round the globe.

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Eldorion on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:12 pm

Are you talking in generally or just about the Brazil case? Because my understanding with regards to Brazil is that the NSA is only accused of spying on the office of the President and the state-owned oil company.

I'm not really trying to defend the NSA though, I have plenty of reservations about them, especially the lack of accountability for these programs.
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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:16 pm

I was thinking aloud Eldo in very general terms drunken 

If an individual thought they had their email hacked and spied on, and took that to a UK court, its unlikely they would go for an extradition even if the Court felt a law had been broken (accessing personal information without a warrant in this case) a lawsuit of some type would be more likely I think.

In the case of Brazil the more series charge is regards the oil company, as that is industrial espionage which is illegal on a global treaty basis I believe.

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by halfwise on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:25 pm

Other than just having another useful tool in the back pocket I'm sure all governments work hard on hacking anything just to understand the process well enough to develop countermeasures. Though I'm not too happy about the idea that anything I do may end up readable by the government, in general I think democracies have the best interests of their own citizens at heart. But like nuclear weapons it comes at a price.

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by David H on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:27 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:
Its one thing for people to think governments are spying on each other, and quite another when populations think governments are spying on them.

As for that, I think we've got to look at people's comfort level with satellite images. When the word first came out that both the US and the Soviets had the technology to read your book over you shoulder as you sat in your lawn chair, some people got paranoid for a couple years. Then everybody adapted. Google Earth sparked a debate about how much resolution, and Street View raised more questions about invasion of privacy. Security cameras on every street corner and ATM is Orwellian beyond anything I could have imagined as a kid. At each step the public outcry is minimal. Airport security likewise. We all seem to adapt to loss of privacy quite easily. I'm sure our governments are counting on us doing exactly the same thing this time.
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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:49 pm

The question then is, is there a line? Is there a straw that breaks the camels back or do we end up in pure Orwell where we are observed in our homes under the claim of preventing domestic/child abuse, drugs use ect.

At which point of having all our personal information and life observed and recorded is the point where its too far?

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Re: Edward Snowden: Robin Hood or just robber?

Post by halfwise on Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:19 am

Actually, isn't the concept of privacy a relatively modern conceit? From my understanding through most of history you were either poor and did everything crammed into a room with a bunch of extended relatives, or were rich and had servants doing everything from dressing you to fanning as you were fucking. No mention of privacy in our constitution, not really sure when the idea of privacy as a right first emerged, but I'm guessing not until the middle of the nineteenth century.

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