Bill Gates: Edward Snowden Is No Hero

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#51 Posted by Reaper4278 (337 posts) -

@reaper4278:

So you say you know how you would have handled the same information Snowden did, how would you have handled it?

I already laid out in this thread how I would have handled a situation that involved me feeling something I was privy to being illegal, immoral, or unethical. I personally find none of what Snowden revealed to be any of those, so I would have done nothing. I believe in what the NSA and the Intelligence Community is doing to keep this country safe. I think we do an excellent job of balancing constitutional rights with security.

#52 Edited by thebest31406 (3323 posts) -

As I've said before, Snowden should be honored. Actually, he has been honored; he received the Sam Adams Award.

#53 Edited by Serraph105 (27824 posts) -

@reaper4278:

Yes you did say you would go through proper chains of command, but what would those be? You see I'm trying to figure out what authority figures you could take the morally unethical information to and reasonably expect to see it be shown in the light of day to the American people. Especially when what you are alleging makes you sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist.

You also said that Snowden should have done what was right and then be punished for it, why should we punish someone for doing the right thing?

#54 Posted by one_plum (6348 posts) -

Who can offer a neutral point of view in the spying debate?

I imagine someone who isn't linked to a company that requires their customers to give in their personal information.

#55 Posted by LJS9502_basic (150355 posts) -

@one_plum said:

@Master_Live said:

Who can offer a neutral point of view in the spying debate?

I imagine someone who isn't linked to a company that requires their customers to give in their personal information.

Or someone that doesn't use a cell phone or internet.

#56 Edited by one_plum (6348 posts) -

@one_plum said:

@Master_Live said:

Who can offer a neutral point of view in the spying debate?

I imagine someone who isn't linked to a company that requires their customers to give in their personal information.

Or someone that doesn't use a cell phone or internet.

If that were true, OT wouldn't be so divided regarding the issue.

#57 Edited by LJS9502_basic (150355 posts) -

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

@one_plum said:

@Master_Live said:

Who can offer a neutral point of view in the spying debate?

I imagine someone who isn't linked to a company that requires their customers to give in their personal information.

Or someone that doesn't use a cell phone or internet.

If that were true, OT wouldn't be so divided regarding the issue.

OT has some less than intelligent users though that can't see reality.....

#58 Edited by one_plum (6348 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

Or someone that doesn't use a cell phone or internet.

If that were true, OT wouldn't be so divided regarding the issue.

OT has some less than intelligent users though that can't see reality.....

While Snowden's leak may have caused great damage to the American government, I don't see how it is unintelligent to question the ethical implications of monitoring civilians' private lives (depends on the extent). As in, two wrongs don't make a right.

#59 Posted by LJS9502_basic (150355 posts) -

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

Or someone that doesn't use a cell phone or internet.

If that were true, OT wouldn't be so divided regarding the issue.

OT has some less than intelligent users though that can't see reality.....

While Snowden's leak may have caused great damage to the American government, I don't see how it is unintelligent to question the ethical implications of monitoring civilians' private lives (depends on the extent). As in, two wrongs don't make a right.

You do know no one is sitting around sorting through the daily lives of citizens I hope. Nonetheless...if you voluntarily put something on the net....that is not invading anyone's privacy.....nor is hearing such things as cordless and/or cell phone transmissions. Hell on my last computer if I turned the speakers down I got conversations that I sure wasn't trying to find. Rule of thumb....if it's over the airwaves...don't think it's a secret.

#60 Posted by one_plum (6348 posts) -

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

OT has some less than intelligent users though that can't see reality.....

While Snowden's leak may have caused great damage to the American government, I don't see how it is unintelligent to question the ethical implications of monitoring civilians' private lives (depends on the extent). As in, two wrongs don't make a right.

You do know no one is sitting around sorting through the daily lives of citizens I hope. Nonetheless...if you voluntarily put something on the net....that is not invading anyone's privacy.....nor is hearing such things as cordless and/or cell phone transmissions. Hell on my last computer if I turned the speakers down I got conversations that I sure wasn't trying to find. Rule of thumb....if it's over the airwaves...don't think it's a secret.

This may sound a bit theoretical, but it's not necessarily about what they're doing now; it's about what they can potentially do in the future with all that power (information). Like how Americans believe in their second amendment, I don't think it's too irrational to imagine worst-case scenarios or to doubt a government that is too powerful.

#61 Edited by LJS9502_basic (150355 posts) -

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

OT has some less than intelligent users though that can't see reality.....

While Snowden's leak may have caused great damage to the American government, I don't see how it is unintelligent to question the ethical implications of monitoring civilians' private lives (depends on the extent). As in, two wrongs don't make a right.

You do know no one is sitting around sorting through the daily lives of citizens I hope. Nonetheless...if you voluntarily put something on the net....that is not invading anyone's privacy.....nor is hearing such things as cordless and/or cell phone transmissions. Hell on my last computer if I turned the speakers down I got conversations that I sure wasn't trying to find. Rule of thumb....if it's over the airwaves...don't think it's a secret.

This may sound a bit theoretical, but it's not necessarily about what they're doing now; it's about what they can potentially do in the future with all that power (information). Like how Americans believe in their second amendment, I don't think it's too irrational to imagine worst-case scenarios or to doubt a government that is too powerful.

Yet how many Americans want stricter gun control?

#62 Posted by one_plum (6348 posts) -

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

You do know no one is sitting around sorting through the daily lives of citizens I hope. Nonetheless...if you voluntarily put something on the net....that is not invading anyone's privacy.....nor is hearing such things as cordless and/or cell phone transmissions. Hell on my last computer if I turned the speakers down I got conversations that I sure wasn't trying to find. Rule of thumb....if it's over the airwaves...don't think it's a secret.

This may sound a bit theoretical, but it's not necessarily about what they're doing now; it's about what they can potentially do in the future with all that power (information). Like how Americans believe in their second amendment, I don't think it's too irrational to imagine worst-case scenarios or to doubt a government that is too powerful.

Yet how many Americans want stricter gun control?

If I were to judge from OT, not the majority.

#63 Posted by LJS9502_basic (150355 posts) -

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

You do know no one is sitting around sorting through the daily lives of citizens I hope. Nonetheless...if you voluntarily put something on the net....that is not invading anyone's privacy.....nor is hearing such things as cordless and/or cell phone transmissions. Hell on my last computer if I turned the speakers down I got conversations that I sure wasn't trying to find. Rule of thumb....if it's over the airwaves...don't think it's a secret.

This may sound a bit theoretical, but it's not necessarily about what they're doing now; it's about what they can potentially do in the future with all that power (information). Like how Americans believe in their second amendment, I don't think it's too irrational to imagine worst-case scenarios or to doubt a government that is too powerful.

Yet how many Americans want stricter gun control?

If I were to judge from OT, not the majority.

Uh....yeah OT certainly thinks that way. It's very liberal:|

#64 Posted by ad1x2 (5511 posts) -

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

@one_plum said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

You do know no one is sitting around sorting through the daily lives of citizens I hope. Nonetheless...if you voluntarily put something on the net....that is not invading anyone's privacy.....nor is hearing such things as cordless and/or cell phone transmissions. Hell on my last computer if I turned the speakers down I got conversations that I sure wasn't trying to find. Rule of thumb....if it's over the airwaves...don't think it's a secret.

This may sound a bit theoretical, but it's not necessarily about what they're doing now; it's about what they can potentially do in the future with all that power (information). Like how Americans believe in their second amendment, I don't think it's too irrational to imagine worst-case scenarios or to doubt a government that is too powerful.

Yet how many Americans want stricter gun control?

If I were to judge from OT, not the majority.

Going by this thread alone, most of OT is fully for more restrictions, if not an outright repeal of the Second Amendment.

#65 Edited by one_plum (6348 posts) -
@ad1x2 said:

@one_plum said:

If I were to judge from OT, not the majority.

Going by this thread alone, most of OT is fully for more restrictions, if not an outright repeal of the Second Amendment.

Are we really reading the same thread? Most of the criticisms in that thread was directed to the dad. I've read until the beginning of page 2 and only thumptable and makemeasammitch implied gun control. Several users jumped on them pretty quickly.

#66 Edited by ad1x2 (5511 posts) -

@one_plum said:
@ad1x2 said:

@one_plum said:

If I were to judge from OT, not the majority.

Going by this thread alone, most of OT is fully for more restrictions, if not an outright repeal of the Second Amendment.

Are we really reading the same thread? Most of the criticisms in that thread was directed to the dad. I've read until the beginning of page 2 and only thumptable and makemeasammitch implied gun control. Several users jumped on them pretty quickly.

It's usually the same people defending gun control while other posters use this as another reason guns should be banned. While not all of the posters outright said the US should ban guns several posters in addition to the two you named implied that this was the gun's fault and not the lying daughter who was too scared to admit to her dad she was boning her boyfriend.

#67 Posted by magicalclick (22449 posts) -

What Snowden actually did, was to confirm the suspicion the terrorist already had on the government. Render multi-billion PRISM completely useless. And IMO, reading hotmail and Gmail is not good enough. PRISM is obviously lacking since the bombing still happened in New York. Well, maybe PRISM did its job, but, you can't actually arrest someone before they commit a crime without substantial evidence. It is always a drawback that has been visualized it various TV shows.

#68 Posted by ad1x2 (5511 posts) -

@reaper4278:

Yes you did say you would go through proper chains of command, but what would those be? You see I'm trying to figure out what authority figures you could take the morally unethical information to and reasonably expect to see it be shown in the light of day to the American people. Especially when what you are alleging makes you sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist.

You also said that Snowden should have done what was right and then be punished for it, why should we punish someone for doing the right thing?

For Edward Snowden, if he wanted to go up the proper channel he could have reported what he believed was illegal to his immediate supervisor and if he didn't trust him he could have went to his boss and kept going higher until he got to General Jason Alexander, who is the NSA director.

However, since GEN Alexander was already aware of the programs and felt that they were legal Snowden could have gone even higher. The NSA reports to both the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Defense, so he could have went to DNI James Clapper or Secretary Chuck Hagel.

If he didn't trust either of them (I'm sure most posters feel the same way) then he could have went to the FBI, he could have went to the Attorney General, he could have went to the Supreme Court, or he could have even went to the President.

Once again, if he didn't trust any of them then he had a long laundry list of Congressmen he could have went to. Not all Congressmen were read on to the programs but if they were given a tip they would have had authority to investigate. I'm sure a few Congressmen would have had political reasons to push for it.

If after all of the people I named he still didn't get results or he was afraid one of them would try to shut him up then he could have claimed justification to leak only the domestic programs to a domestic news source and not the international programs we use. It would still be illegal, but he would have exhausted all means and that would have helped him in his eventual trial.

Also, I'm aware some will just say the US government would have killed him before he had a chance to leak the documents. Fact of the matter is if you feel that the US is sinister enough to do that then you may want to consider moving out of the country rather than be under a government who executes citizens on US soil without a trial in order to cover up alleged crimes.

#69 Posted by pie-junior (2821 posts) -

At first, I was like

"He broke the law so he's no hero"

Sound logic, Mr.Gates.

but then I read this

@Aljosa23 said:

"If he wanted to raise the issues and stay in the country and engage in civil disobedience or something of that kind, or if he had been careful in terms of what he had released, then it would fit

and was, like,

yeah

#70 Posted by Master_Live (14195 posts) -

Sometimes it is necessary to go outside the chain of command. My problem is with some of the unnecessary information Snowden let out which he didn't need to make his point.

#71 Posted by Reaper4278 (337 posts) -

@reaper4278:

Yes you did say you would go through proper chains of command, but what would those be? You see I'm trying to figure out what authority figures you could take the morally unethical information to and reasonably expect to see it be shown in the light of day to the American people. Especially when what you are alleging makes you sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist.

You also said that Snowden should have done what was right and then be punished for it, why should we punish someone for doing the right thing?

I meant if he truly felt what he was doing was right he would not have run to a foreign country with it. He would have had his day in court, own up to what he did in the name of "being right." I do not believe he was right in what he did, but obviously neither did he. If he did he was too much of a bitch to stand up and face his accusers. He gave away secrets to foreign countries, adversaries and allies alike, this is where he screwed up.

There is such a thing as intelligence oversight (IO) which all people who work with intelligence must abide by. For me being military I would take it up my chain of command and through the IO manger, if that did not work then I would go to the IG, there are means for doing so http://www.dodig.mil/hotline/classifiedcomplaint.html .

After I have exhausted all legal courses of action and I still felt what was being done was wrong I would do what I could to meet with a member of congress I felt would share my view. I would still attempt to do this as legal as possible, only divulging what I felt was enough to get that person to investigate on his or her own. If that did not work I would as a last resort go to the American media, then turn myself in like any honorable member of our military would.

Now if I still sound like a "crazy conspiracy theorist" to you after this that is your ideology making you see that, not my views. I took an oath, and I also signed NDA's regarding classified information that clearly state the penalties for breaking it. They do not come with caveats that state "unless you just feel it is the right thing to do". Snowden broke the law, period. He betrayed the trust that was given to him by this government. It is not up to any one person what should be classified and what should not, unless you are an original classification authority that has been appointed such responsibility. These things are in place for a reason. Snowden himself does not understand the ramifications of his actions in the long term.

#72 Edited by Reaper4278 (337 posts) -

What Snowden actually did, was to confirm the suspicion the terrorist already had on the government. Render multi-billion PRISM completely useless. And IMO, reading hotmail and Gmail is not good enough. PRISM is obviously lacking since the bombing still happened in New York. Well, maybe PRISM did its job, but, you can't actually arrest someone before they commit a crime without substantial evidence. It is always a drawback that has been visualized it various TV shows.

The every day American people have no idea how many active cases are going on right now involving early plans to commit terrorist acts within this country. There us a reason we have had very few incidents since 9/11, it is not for lack of trying to motivation to do so. These things are stopped well before they get to the point of being newsworthy.

#73 Edited by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

I don't necessarily consider Snowden a hero but I would call myself a Snowden sympathizer. And personally I don't think it's a good idea to give moral judgement based off of the legality (or lack thereof) of an action.

#74 Edited by Reaper4278 (337 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't necessarily consider Snowden a hero but I would call myself a Snowden sympathizer. And personally I don't think it's a good idea to give moral judgement based off of the legality (or lack thereof) of an action.

I think the case has been made pretty clear that his actions have ramifications beyond simply being illegal. The fact he broke the law is simply part of the puzzle, the manner in which he did it and what he revealed to who is what implicates him more than the fact he did it illegally. If the American people want to celebrate him for bringing the NSA collection light I can live with that, but he did not have to reveal the other things he did which in fact hurt this country. This is where he gets the traitor stamp. Revealing our spying practices on allies was extremely amateurish of him and shows he really did not understand what he was getting into. Anyone who does actual intelligence work (not just information systems stuff) knows our allies and every other country in the world that is capable spies on us. We all do it to each other, the United States is no better or worse in this respect. The fact he thought we were "wrong" and needed to reveal it shows what a dipshit he is.

#75 Posted by vfibsux (4205 posts) -

I think we should start hanging these guys in public, then all the future little punks like Manning and Snowden will think twice before committing treason. The problem is so many people see these asshats as heroes, all it does is make more of these impressionable kids with self-esteem issues want to be heroes too. This country has gotten to be so ass backwards.

#76 Posted by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't necessarily consider Snowden a hero but I would call myself a Snowden sympathizer. And personally I don't think it's a good idea to give moral judgement based off of the legality (or lack thereof) of an action.

I think the case has been made pretty clear that his actions have ramifications beyond simply being illegal. The fact he broke the law is simply part of the puzzle, the manner in which he did it and what he revealed to who is what implicates him more than the fact he did it illegally. If the American people want to celebrate him for bringing the NSA collection light I can live with that, but he did not have to reveal the other things he did which in fact hurt this country. This is where he gets the traitor stamp. Revealing our spying practices on allies was extremely amateurish of him and shows he really did not understand what he was getting into. Anyone who does actual intelligence work (not just information systems stuff) knows our allies and every other country in the world that is capable spies on us. We all do it to each other, the United States is no better or worse in this respect. The fact he thought we were "wrong" and needed to reveal it shows what a dipshit he is.

To say he "hurt" this country is an exaggeration. As you have already implied, countries like Germany already knew that we spy on them. What he did was embarrass government officials/leaders by going public with these revelations to the point where plausible deniability became impossible. All he did was pulled back the curtain, the American public already knew that they were being monitored without warrant, Snowden just made the extent of these surveillance programs public knowledge - something I'm fine with, I'd like to have an informed say on any and all civilian surveillance programs that the government is conducting.

#77 Posted by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

I think we should start hanging these guys in public, then all the future little punks like Manning and Snowden will think twice before committing treason. The problem is so many people see these asshats as heroes, all it does is make more of these impressionable kids with self-esteem issues want to be heroes too. This country has gotten to be so ass backwards.

Yeah, turn them into martyrs, that'll put an end to the hero-worship

#78 Posted by Serraph105 (27824 posts) -

@reaper4278:

I'm not arguing that going through the chain of command makes you look like a conspiracy theorist, I'm saying that the people you go to with the info will think you are crazy. Before Edward Snowden if you went to the FBI or a congressman and attempted to tell them about a secret government organization that was secretly spying on the entire population of the US by collecting everyone's phone data and routing all the traffic of the internet to a remote server of theirs, what response would you honestly expect?

#79 Posted by Reaper4278 (337 posts) -

@reaper4278 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't necessarily consider Snowden a hero but I would call myself a Snowden sympathizer. And personally I don't think it's a good idea to give moral judgement based off of the legality (or lack thereof) of an action.

I think the case has been made pretty clear that his actions have ramifications beyond simply being illegal. The fact he broke the law is simply part of the puzzle, the manner in which he did it and what he revealed to who is what implicates him more than the fact he did it illegally. If the American people want to celebrate him for bringing the NSA collection light I can live with that, but he did not have to reveal the other things he did which in fact hurt this country. This is where he gets the traitor stamp. Revealing our spying practices on allies was extremely amateurish of him and shows he really did not understand what he was getting into. Anyone who does actual intelligence work (not just information systems stuff) knows our allies and every other country in the world that is capable spies on us. We all do it to each other, the United States is no better or worse in this respect. The fact he thought we were "wrong" and needed to reveal it shows what a dipshit he is.

To say he "hurt" this country is an exaggeration. As you have already implied, countries like Germany already knew that we spy on them. What he did was embarrass government officials/leaders by going public with these revelations to the point where plausible deniability became impossible. All he did was pulled back the curtain, the American public already knew that they were being monitored without warrant, Snowden just made the extent of these surveillance programs public knowledge - something I'm fine with, I'd like to have an informed say on any and all civilian surveillance programs that the government is conducting.

Actually there is more to it than that, much of which I cannot even bring up because it would be confirmation it is true and I would be in violation myself as well. I know on the internet this could sound like a cop-out, but it is what it is.

#80 Edited by Reaper4278 (337 posts) -

@Serraph105 said:

@reaper4278:

I'm not arguing that going through the chain of command makes you look like a conspiracy theorist, I'm saying that the people you go to with the info will think you are crazy. Before Edward Snowden if you went to the FBI or a congressman and attempted to tell them about a secret government organization that was secretly spying on the entire population of the US by collecting everyone's phone data and routing all the traffic of the internet to a remote server of theirs, what response would you honestly expect?

My bad, I misunderstood you. The reason I did so is because I have credibility. It would easy for anyone with any amount of authority to confirm my clearances, where I work, etc. If I were just some guy off the street sure, I would look like Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory lol. Snowden had the same credibility I do, he would not have been seen as a kook.

As an analogy, Imagine if a scientist who could easily be confirmed as specializing in infectious disease went to the CDC and told them he or she discovered some new virus that could potentially wipe out the planet. Would they dismiss this person as a kook? Of course not. But some guy who works as a greeter at Wal-Mart would get kicked off the premises.

All Snowden would have to do is show his access badges, which in itself would be a violation but it would give him credibility enough to get a foot in the door and warrant further investigation.

Look, I am not using my position to further some political agenda, I am hoping to provide insight as to how the IC works because there are so many misconceptions out there.

#81 Posted by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@reaper4278 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't necessarily consider Snowden a hero but I would call myself a Snowden sympathizer. And personally I don't think it's a good idea to give moral judgement based off of the legality (or lack thereof) of an action.

I think the case has been made pretty clear that his actions have ramifications beyond simply being illegal. The fact he broke the law is simply part of the puzzle, the manner in which he did it and what he revealed to who is what implicates him more than the fact he did it illegally. If the American people want to celebrate him for bringing the NSA collection light I can live with that, but he did not have to reveal the other things he did which in fact hurt this country. This is where he gets the traitor stamp. Revealing our spying practices on allies was extremely amateurish of him and shows he really did not understand what he was getting into. Anyone who does actual intelligence work (not just information systems stuff) knows our allies and every other country in the world that is capable spies on us. We all do it to each other, the United States is no better or worse in this respect. The fact he thought we were "wrong" and needed to reveal it shows what a dipshit he is.

To say he "hurt" this country is an exaggeration. As you have already implied, countries like Germany already knew that we spy on them. What he did was embarrass government officials/leaders by going public with these revelations to the point where plausible deniability became impossible. All he did was pulled back the curtain, the American public already knew that they were being monitored without warrant, Snowden just made the extent of these surveillance programs public knowledge - something I'm fine with, I'd like to have an informed say on any and all civilian surveillance programs that the government is conducting.

Actually there is more to it than that, much of which I cannot even bring up because it would be confirmation it is true and I would be in violation myself as well. I know on the internet this could sound like a cop-out, but it is what it is.

Which is exactly my (and Snowden's) point - these programs shouldn't be classified and redacted to the point where a public dialogue about these surveillance efforts is rendered impossible. My position (and the position of Snowden) is that the American public should have an informed say in what their government is doing in relation to civilian surveillance. I don't think that's unreasonable.

#82 Posted by ultimate-k (2348 posts) -

Snowden is nothing compared to Arizona Wilder.

#83 Posted by vl4d_l3nin (857 posts) -

He's not. A noble cause doesn't justify the deceptive means.

Like Captain Walker

#84 Posted by redstorm72 (4525 posts) -

Who cares? We are all focused on the wrong thing. Whether you consider Snowden or Manning a hero or traitor is irrelevant, what we should be worried about is the U.S. and other western governments massive breaches in our fundamental rights.

#85 Edited by ad1x2 (5511 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@reaper4278 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@reaper4278 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't necessarily consider Snowden a hero but I would call myself a Snowden sympathizer. And personally I don't think it's a good idea to give moral judgement based off of the legality (or lack thereof) of an action.

I think the case has been made pretty clear that his actions have ramifications beyond simply being illegal. The fact he broke the law is simply part of the puzzle, the manner in which he did it and what he revealed to who is what implicates him more than the fact he did it illegally. If the American people want to celebrate him for bringing the NSA collection light I can live with that, but he did not have to reveal the other things he did which in fact hurt this country. This is where he gets the traitor stamp. Revealing our spying practices on allies was extremely amateurish of him and shows he really did not understand what he was getting into. Anyone who does actual intelligence work (not just information systems stuff) knows our allies and every other country in the world that is capable spies on us. We all do it to each other, the United States is no better or worse in this respect. The fact he thought we were "wrong" and needed to reveal it shows what a dipshit he is.

To say he "hurt" this country is an exaggeration. As you have already implied, countries like Germany already knew that we spy on them. What he did was embarrass government officials/leaders by going public with these revelations to the point where plausible deniability became impossible. All he did was pulled back the curtain, the American public already knew that they were being monitored without warrant, Snowden just made the extent of these surveillance programs public knowledge - something I'm fine with, I'd like to have an informed say on any and all civilian surveillance programs that the government is conducting.

Actually there is more to it than that, much of which I cannot even bring up because it would be confirmation it is true and I would be in violation myself as well. I know on the internet this could sound like a cop-out, but it is what it is.

Which is exactly my (and Snowden's) point - these programs shouldn't be classified and redacted to the point where a public dialogue about these surveillance efforts is rendered impossible. My position (and the position of Snowden) is that the American public should have an informed say in what their government is doing in relation to civilian surveillance. I don't think that's unreasonable.

In order for intelligence to be effective disclosure has to be limited. If we tell the whole world how we do what we do the bad guys adjust their methods. People who talk about how useless the NSA programs are like to bring up that the Boston Bombing wasn't stopped. Do you really think that was the only terrorist attack attempted since 9/11? Bad news gets better ratings and nobody is going to report on minor plots stopped (some of which may be classified to prevent copycats).

Snowden wasn't an intel analyst, he was an IT administrator. His job was to fix broken computers and he needed a TS because some of the computers he was tasked to fix had Top Secret files on them. Snowden, as well as civilians who know nothing about how our intel programs work are so hung up on the word "surveillance" and keep quoting the Constitution without actually proving that the NSA programs was a true violation of it. Public dialog between US citizens means people outside of the US will know about them, it's not like we can keep the info within our borders.

#86 Posted by Reaper4278 (337 posts) -

Who cares? We are all focused on the wrong thing. Whether you consider Snowden or Manning a hero or traitor is irrelevant, what we should be worried about is the U.S. and other western governments massive breaches in our fundamental rights.

They are not doing anything with your cell phone calls, you are merely a small, unwanted fish in the net that will be thrown back. Paranoid delusions of grandeur run rampant among Americans.

#87 Edited by Reaper4278 (337 posts) -

@ad1x2 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@reaper4278 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@reaper4278 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't necessarily consider Snowden a hero but I would call myself a Snowden sympathizer. And personally I don't think it's a good idea to give moral judgement based off of the legality (or lack thereof) of an action.

I think the case has been made pretty clear that his actions have ramifications beyond simply being illegal. The fact he broke the law is simply part of the puzzle, the manner in which he did it and what he revealed to who is what implicates him more than the fact he did it illegally. If the American people want to celebrate him for bringing the NSA collection light I can live with that, but he did not have to reveal the other things he did which in fact hurt this country. This is where he gets the traitor stamp. Revealing our spying practices on allies was extremely amateurish of him and shows he really did not understand what he was getting into. Anyone who does actual intelligence work (not just information systems stuff) knows our allies and every other country in the world that is capable spies on us. We all do it to each other, the United States is no better or worse in this respect. The fact he thought we were "wrong" and needed to reveal it shows what a dipshit he is.

To say he "hurt" this country is an exaggeration. As you have already implied, countries like Germany already knew that we spy on them. What he did was embarrass government officials/leaders by going public with these revelations to the point where plausible deniability became impossible. All he did was pulled back the curtain, the American public already knew that they were being monitored without warrant, Snowden just made the extent of these surveillance programs public knowledge - something I'm fine with, I'd like to have an informed say on any and all civilian surveillance programs that the government is conducting.

Actually there is more to it than that, much of which I cannot even bring up because it would be confirmation it is true and I would be in violation myself as well. I know on the internet this could sound like a cop-out, but it is what it is.

Which is exactly my (and Snowden's) point - these programs shouldn't be classified and redacted to the point where a public dialogue about these surveillance efforts is rendered impossible. My position (and the position of Snowden) is that the American public should have an informed say in what their government is doing in relation to civilian surveillance. I don't think that's unreasonable.

In order for intelligence to be effective disclosure has to be limited. If we tell the whole world how we do what we do the bad guys adjust their methods. People who talk about how useless the NSA programs are like to bring up that the Boston Bombing wasn't stopped. Do you really think that was the only terrorist attack attempted since 9/11? Bad news gets better ratings and nobody is going to report on minor plots stopped (some of which may be classified to prevent copycats).

Snowden wasn't an intel analyst, he was an IT administrator. His job was to fix broken computers and he needed a TS because some of the computers he was tasked to fix had Top Secret files on them. Snowden, as well as civilians who know nothing about how our intel programs work are so hung up on the word "surveillance" and keep quoting the Constitution without actually proving that the NSA programs was a true violation of it. Public dialog between US citizens means people outside of the US will know about them, it's not like we can keep the info within our borders.

I could not have said it better myself.

This guy (Snowden) has no clue about what he was leaking out, he was essentially a layperson with enough access to get some things; it was not his job to know. He also used other employees access credentials to get things he had no access to.

The next 9-11 could be a direct result of the damage Snowden caused, we can then all ask if it was all worth it and discuss what a "hero" he was. Americans can learn a thing or two from the Israelis, who have what it takes to beat Islamic extremism.

#88 Posted by redstorm72 (4525 posts) -

@redstorm72 said:

Who cares? We are all focused on the wrong thing. Whether you consider Snowden or Manning a hero or traitor is irrelevant, what we should be worried about is the U.S. and other western governments massive breaches in our fundamental rights.

They are not doing anything with your cell phone calls, you are merely a small, unwanted fish in the net that will be thrown back. Paranoid delusions of grandeur run rampant among Americans.

A) It's the principle of the matter. Americans love their constitution, yet seem to have no problem when the NSA/CIA/government shits all over it.

B) I'm Canadian

#89 Edited by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@ad1x2 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@reaper4278 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@reaper4278 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I don't necessarily consider Snowden a hero but I would call myself a Snowden sympathizer. And personally I don't think it's a good idea to give moral judgement based off of the legality (or lack thereof) of an action.

I think the case has been made pretty clear that his actions have ramifications beyond simply being illegal. The fact he broke the law is simply part of the puzzle, the manner in which he did it and what he revealed to who is what implicates him more than the fact he did it illegally. If the American people want to celebrate him for bringing the NSA collection light I can live with that, but he did not have to reveal the other things he did which in fact hurt this country. This is where he gets the traitor stamp. Revealing our spying practices on allies was extremely amateurish of him and shows he really did not understand what he was getting into. Anyone who does actual intelligence work (not just information systems stuff) knows our allies and every other country in the world that is capable spies on us. We all do it to each other, the United States is no better or worse in this respect. The fact he thought we were "wrong" and needed to reveal it shows what a dipshit he is.

To say he "hurt" this country is an exaggeration. As you have already implied, countries like Germany already knew that we spy on them. What he did was embarrass government officials/leaders by going public with these revelations to the point where plausible deniability became impossible. All he did was pulled back the curtain, the American public already knew that they were being monitored without warrant, Snowden just made the extent of these surveillance programs public knowledge - something I'm fine with, I'd like to have an informed say on any and all civilian surveillance programs that the government is conducting.

Actually there is more to it than that, much of which I cannot even bring up because it would be confirmation it is true and I would be in violation myself as well. I know on the internet this could sound like a cop-out, but it is what it is.

Which is exactly my (and Snowden's) point - these programs shouldn't be classified and redacted to the point where a public dialogue about these surveillance efforts is rendered impossible. My position (and the position of Snowden) is that the American public should have an informed say in what their government is doing in relation to civilian surveillance. I don't think that's unreasonable.

In order for intelligence to be effective disclosure has to be limited. If we tell the whole world how we do what we do the bad guys adjust their methods. People who talk about how useless the NSA programs are like to bring up that the Boston Bombing wasn't stopped. Do you really think that was the only terrorist attack attempted since 9/11? Bad news gets better ratings and nobody is going to report on minor plots stopped (some of which may be classified to prevent copycats).

Snowden wasn't an intel analyst, he was an IT administrator. His job was to fix broken computers and he needed a TS because some of the computers he was tasked to fix had Top Secret files on them. Snowden, as well as civilians who know nothing about how our intel programs work are so hung up on the word "surveillance" and keep quoting the Constitution without actually proving that the NSA programs was a true violation of it. Public dialog between US citizens means people outside of the US will know about them, it's not like we can keep the info within our borders.

Um, I don't know about you but I'd say that warrantless wiretapping is a clear violation of the 4th amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Per the constitution, if the government wants to collect emails, text messages, phone calls, ect. it needs a warrant - it's as simple as that. In fact just a couple of months ago the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent government agency created in 2004 that has access to classified information in order to be able to effectively perform the job outlined in the agency's title, released its report on the NSA survelliance program (in response to the Snowden leaks) and found it to be both illegal and ineffective. Your apologetics simply don't stand up to reality.

EDIT: And this idea that we need to keep these programs secret so the "bad guys" don't know how we're catching them is absurd. Are these people going to stop using the phone? Stop sending emails? How are they going to "adjust"? Are they going to start using carrier pigeons?

#90 Posted by 67gt500 (4620 posts) -

It's much, much more disturbing to me that so many people are shitting their pants about Snowden's disclosures yet don't seem to care that the government itself has been acting unlawfully... has everyone conveniently forgotten Obama's impassioned rhetoric about how whistleblowers are heroes and should be protected, because 'good' governments aren't afraid of transparency?

#91 Posted by foxhound_fox (87725 posts) -

Sometimes it is necessary to break the law to expose government misconduct.

#92 Posted by ad1x2 (5511 posts) -

Um, I don't know about you but I'd say that warrantless wiretapping is a clear violation of the 4th amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Per the constitution, if the government wants to collect emails, text messages, phone calls, ect. it needs a warrant - it's as simple as that. In fact just a couple of months ago the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent government agency created in 2004 that has access to classified information in order to be able to effectively perform the job outlined in the agency's title, released its report on the NSA survelliance program (in response to the Snowden leaks) and found it to be both illegal and ineffective. Your apologetics simply don't stand up to reality.

EDIT: And this idea that we need to keep these programs secret so the "bad guys" don't know how we're catching them is absurd. Are these people going to stop using the phone? Stop sending emails? How are they going to "adjust"? Are they going to start using carrier pigeons?

I'm not going to post a rebuttal on the oversight board because I haven't reviewed their findings but I'll take a look at it tomorrow since it is late. The only thing I can say for now is so far the Supreme Court hasn't declared the NSA's activities unconstitutional. If they did that would possibly save Snowden from charges for leaking the domestic programs. However, it won't save him from charges leaking the programs we use on foreign nations and it won't save him from charges for illegally using the passwords of his coworkers to get stuff he wasn't read onto.

As for the bad guys changing their methods, they may not have stopped using the phone or internet, but they have adjusted how they use the phone and internet to discuss plans, making it harder for them to be caught. I won't go into details of ways they may be able to adjust because I'm not trying to give anybody any ideas. But saying it is "absurd" that terrorists changed their methods due to the leaks is narrow minded and it is common sense for anybody who deals with intelligence on a regular basis to know they made adjustments thanks to Snowden.

Forgetting about terrorists, think about how many normal people changed what they do because they think the NSA may be monitoring. The day the first leak was published naming Verizon for sharing data thousands of people threatened to cancel their service. People on this very forum claim they tape their webcam not because of illegal hackers but because of Uncle Sam. Thousands of people who may have planned to get an Xbox One now refuse to not because they can't afford it or think it sucks but because they think Kinect will send a live feed of their living room to the NSA.

If Joe Public is doing that to avoid (mostly) legal but potentially embarrassing things getting out imagine the changes people actually planning terrorist plots or other criminal activity are making to avoid detection.

#93 Posted by fnevaeva (503 posts) -

@Serraph105 said:

I agree with Bill on a lot of things, but there was no reasonable way for Snowden to bring this to the attention of the American people without doing what he did.

That is absolutely not true sir. We have plenty of ways to bring this stuff to light that do not involve fleeing to foreign countries with it and spilling MUCH more than what was needed to "protect" the American people. I am not saying he still would have not gotten in trouble, but he could have done it in a less traitorous way. There are even legal routes he could have taken, this is just a fact.

If he had taken a legal route, all the documents/information would have been taken and hidden and we would not have heard anything about this...

#94 Posted by achilles614 (4849 posts) -

@fnevaeva said:

@reaper4278 said:

@Serraph105 said:

I agree with Bill on a lot of things, but there was no reasonable way for Snowden to bring this to the attention of the American people without doing what he did.

That is absolutely not true sir. We have plenty of ways to bring this stuff to light that do not involve fleeing to foreign countries with it and spilling MUCH more than what was needed to "protect" the American people. I am not saying he still would have not gotten in trouble, but he could have done it in a less traitorous way. There are even legal routes he could have taken, this is just a fact.

If he had taken a legal route, all the documents/information would have been taken and hidden and we would not have heard anything about this...

In a nice ideal world he would be able to keep climbing the chain of command until he found someone who would listen... too bad we don't live in a fucking ideal world.

If our government wants to mass collect data I have no issue with that, but I would prefer to be made aware of the extent of the monitoring on the U.S. just like I can clearly see in many areas if I'm being recorded on video (Walmart, banks etc). Obviously most (if not all) waves that are transmitted over the air can be picked up by others with right equipment, doesn't mean I should expect someone to exploit it.

#95 Edited by toast_burner (21450 posts) -

Saying he's not a hero because he broke the law is silly. I'm not saying he is or isn't a hero but that reasoning is naive.

#96 Posted by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@ad1x2 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

Um, I don't know about you but I'd say that warrantless wiretapping is a clear violation of the 4th amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Per the constitution, if the government wants to collect emails, text messages, phone calls, ect. it needs a warrant - it's as simple as that. In fact just a couple of months ago the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent government agency created in 2004 that has access to classified information in order to be able to effectively perform the job outlined in the agency's title, released its report on the NSA survelliance program (in response to the Snowden leaks) and found it to be both illegal and ineffective. Your apologetics simply don't stand up to reality.

EDIT: And this idea that we need to keep these programs secret so the "bad guys" don't know how we're catching them is absurd. Are these people going to stop using the phone? Stop sending emails? How are they going to "adjust"? Are they going to start using carrier pigeons?

I'm not going to post a rebuttal on the oversight board because I haven't reviewed their findings but I'll take a look at it tomorrow since it is late. The only thing I can say for now is so far the Supreme Court hasn't declared the NSA's activities unconstitutional. If they did that would possibly save Snowden from charges for leaking the domestic programs. However, it won't save him from charges leaking the programs we use on foreign nations and it won't save him from charges for illegally using the passwords of his coworkers to get stuff he wasn't read onto.

As for the bad guys changing their methods, they may not have stopped using the phone or internet, but they have adjusted how they use the phone and internet to discuss plans, making it harder for them to be caught. I won't go into details of ways they may be able to adjust because I'm not trying to give anybody any ideas. But saying it is "absurd" that terrorists changed their methods due to the leaks is narrow minded and it is common sense for anybody who deals with intelligence on a regular basis to know they made adjustments thanks to Snowden.

Forgetting about terrorists, think about how many normal people changed what they do because they think the NSA may be monitoring. The day the first leak was published naming Verizon for sharing data thousands of people threatened to cancel their service. People on this very forum claim they tape their webcam not because of illegal hackers but because of Uncle Sam. Thousands of people who may have planned to get an Xbox One now refuse to not because they can't afford it or think it sucks but because they think Kinect will send a live feed of their living room to the NSA.

If Joe Public is doing that to avoid (mostly) legal but potentially embarrassing things getting out imagine the changes people actually planning terrorist plots or other criminal activity are making to avoid detection.

Fortunately thanks to the Snowden leaks the Supreme Court will likely rule on the constitutionality of the NSA surveillance program in the near future. Prior constitutional challenges had been dismissed - not because the Supreme Court found the programs to be constitutional but because they ruled the plantiff's lacked standing because they couldn't actually demonstrate that they were being monitored (which isn't the case now). The surveillance program has already been deemed unconstitutional in federal court, the judge went so far to describe the program as "Orwellian"

Moreover, it was already common knowledge that the US government was spying on the American public. Terrorists already assumed the government was monitoring phone calls and emails and if they were/are smart they would've already made the necessary adjustments (using Tor, ect). All Snowden did was took away the government's ability to plausibly deny the scope and extent of these programs that prevented any sort of actual debate on their usefulness and legality. You look at 9/11, the government already knew about things like the hijackers getting flight training in the midwest - the intelligence problem was not that the US government didn't have enough intel about what was going on, the problem was the intelligence community was woefully disorganized. The NSA program is a classic example of an overreaction.

#97 Edited by Reaper4278 (337 posts) -

@redstorm72 said:

@reaper4278 said:

@redstorm72 said:

Who cares? We are all focused on the wrong thing. Whether you consider Snowden or Manning a hero or traitor is irrelevant, what we should be worried about is the U.S. and other western governments massive breaches in our fundamental rights.

They are not doing anything with your cell phone calls, you are merely a small, unwanted fish in the net that will be thrown back. Paranoid delusions of grandeur run rampant among Americans.

A) It's the principle of the matter. Americans love their constitution, yet seem to have no problem when the NSA/CIA/government shits all over it.

B) I'm Canadian

Maybe B) exhibits why A) is not factual. The NSA's mass collection of data is not unconstitutional -exploiting, analyzing, and acting on that data without a warrant is. Without exploitation it is simply raw data sitting on a hard drive.

This is where people buy into the media hype and all the nutty blogs and disregard all facts and reason. No one is listening to Joe Blow's phone calls without a warrant, period. Being in possession of those phone calls does not represent a violation of the 4th amendment.

@toast_burner Who is saying he is only a dirtbag because of the legality of it?

#99 Posted by redstorm72 (4525 posts) -

@redstorm72 said:

@reaper4278 said:

@redstorm72 said:

Who cares? We are all focused on the wrong thing. Whether you consider Snowden or Manning a hero or traitor is irrelevant, what we should be worried about is the U.S. and other western governments massive breaches in our fundamental rights.

They are not doing anything with your cell phone calls, you are merely a small, unwanted fish in the net that will be thrown back. Paranoid delusions of grandeur run rampant among Americans.

A) It's the principle of the matter. Americans love their constitution, yet seem to have no problem when the NSA/CIA/government shits all over it.

B) I'm Canadian

Maybe B) exhibits why A) is not factual. The NSA's mass collection of data is not unconstitutional -exploiting, analyzing, and acting on that data without a warrant is. Without exploitation it is simply raw data sitting on a hard drive.

This is where people buy into the media hype and all the nutty blogs and disregard all facts and reason. No one is listening to Joe Blow's phone calls without a warrant, period. Being in possession of those phone calls does not represent a violation of the 4th amendment.

@toast_burner Who is saying he is only a dirtbag because of the legality of it?

So I guess they are just collecting the data for shits and giggles eh?

#100 Edited by Reaper4278 (337 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@ad1x2 said:

In order for intelligence to be effective disclosure has to be limited. If we tell the whole world how we do what we do the bad guys adjust their methods. People who talk about how useless the NSA programs are like to bring up that the Boston Bombing wasn't stopped. Do you really think that was the only terrorist attack attempted since 9/11? Bad news gets better ratings and nobody is going to report on minor plots stopped (some of which may be classified to prevent copycats).

Snowden wasn't an intel analyst, he was an IT administrator. His job was to fix broken computers and he needed a TS because some of the computers he was tasked to fix had Top Secret files on them. Snowden, as well as civilians who know nothing about how our intel programs work are so hung up on the word "surveillance" and keep quoting the Constitution without actually proving that the NSA programs was a true violation of it. Public dialog between US citizens means people outside of the US will know about them, it's not like we can keep the info within our borders.

Um, I don't know about you but I'd say that warrantless wiretapping is a clear violation of the 4th amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Per the constitution, if the government wants to collect emails, text messages, phone calls, ect. it needs a warrant - it's as simple as that. In fact just a couple of months ago the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent government agency created in 2004 that has access to classified information in order to be able to effectively perform the job outlined in the agency's title, released its report on the NSA survelliance program (in response to the Snowden leaks) and found it to be both illegal and ineffective. Your apologetics simply don't stand up to reality.

EDIT: And this idea that we need to keep these programs secret so the "bad guys" don't know how we're catching them is absurd. Are these people going to stop using the phone? Stop sending emails? How are they going to "adjust"? Are they going to start using carrier pigeons?

Warrantless wiretapping is old news and was stopped in 2007, let's stay up to date please. All of that is under FISA now.

If you are referring to the NSA's mass collection of data that is not the same thing as warrantless wiretapping, which is actual surveillance. Also the wiretapping program had to be calls that originated outside of the United States, it is not like they were tapping into dude in Cleveland talking to his mother in Miami. It was dude in Somalia calling his boy in Dearborn, MI they were concerned with.

And funny I don't see anything about mass collecting of emails and cell phone calls in the constitution, which forefather wrote that in there again? It does say "unreasonable" search and seizure, of which a reasonable person could conclude does not apply here. Mass collection of data is just that, collection. They are taking nothing from you, they are not exploiting the information without a warrant, they are simply collecting it in case they need it later.

Let me enlighten you to how important this is in this simplistic example of a fictional scenario that can really happen:

We get a hit on a bad guy planning to strike an American mall with some sort of chemical weapon. We find out his phone information and now can get a warrant to get into the mass collection of data and check out every phone call made from his phone and start created a network of possible people involved. We can take numbers he has called and go back into those numbers and pull the calls collected over the years to see if they are involved, check the numbers they have called and rinse, repeat until a solid network of suspects is built. This leads to increased surveillance on all parties involved and leads to countless possibilities of not only stopping the attack but revealing the entire cell. This is as simplistic as I can make it without revealing anything at all that should not be revealed.

But now that everyone knows every phone call they made is stored for possible future use tactics can easily be altered to avoid this from every happening. Thank you Edward Snowden and other selfish, naive, and ignorant Americans who celebrate him. With any luck the next people killed will not be in your personal circle, too bad we cannot say the same for all Americans.

And the PCLOB document is a 200+ page review, funny I could not find any match using ctrl-f for "ineffective" and any match concerning the word "illegal" was in reference to illegal drugs or actions of targets, or were quotes by judges who deemed the program illegal. Nowhere did I see any definitive conclusions that represent your implied exact words of "illegal and ineffective".

In fact, here is a quote I did find on page 215:

"Our conclusion that the program does not violate the Fourth Amendment is unanimous, as it should be: Smith v. Maryland is the law of the land."

My advice, before you try to use a document in order to further your agenda maybe you should read it yourself instead of trusting bias sources to tell you what it said. Just my personal assessment as to what happened here.

I am not going to pretend they are not critical of many of the program's details, but this quote here pretty much destroys any argument of unconstitutionality you were attempting to make.

http://www.pclob.gov/SiteAssets/Pages/default/PCLOB-Report-on-the-Telephone-Records-Program.pdf