Comments

GraApril 14, 2015 1:14 PM

Despite the fact that he downplayed a lot many of the privacy issues that the NSA programs introduce, the contextualization of them in regard of Oliver's "junk", surely made a lot of people that didn't understood these programs, understand them. This is a huge feat. I agree with Oliver that most Americans don't care about foreign surveillance, but in my opinion, this was handled poorly by him. I think that they SHOULD care. Otherwise, a very good piece.

hermanApril 14, 2015 1:25 PM

It is really sad that a comedian with potty humour is the only one that can get anyone in America to take notice of the fascist legislation behind the NSA and its overreaching and ultimately useless behaviour.

GrauhutApril 14, 2015 1:46 PM

Some people need a lot of light to get Illuminati, sometimes somebody needs to illuminate their d*cks! :)

ScottApril 14, 2015 1:47 PM

@herman Sad? In what way? The fact Joe Sixpack is getting the message is good news.

Humor has always been an effective teaching tool. A decent satire or joke is infinitely more instructive than a humorless academic in Birkenstock sandals droning on and on about some abstract principle that people don't have the energy or wisdom to comprehend how it affects them.

Until the day comes that "representative government" is only available to those who possess those qualities, this is the best shot anyone has at getting the message across.

WinterApril 14, 2015 1:47 PM

This piece by John Oliver tells me as an European a lot about Americans.

And it seems to me that it must tell me something, that it is a Comedian that travels to Moscow interview Snowden and asks the relevant questions.

I am just not sure what it is that this tells me.

BooApril 14, 2015 2:42 PM

Winter- I am just not sure what it is that this tells me.
George Bernard Shaw — 'My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world.'

If you have not noticed the American sense of humor isn't what it once was.
Russian humor: "As one joke tells it, Brezhnev is gifted with the latest in artificial intelligence, so he asks it “When will we have built communism?” The computer responds, “In 17 miles.” Brezhnev thinks, “There must be something wrong,” and repeats the question. The computer again replies, “In 17 miles.”"
http://nautil.us/issue/23/dominoes/how-the-computer-got-its-revenge-on-the-soviet-union

BooApril 14, 2015 3:05 PM

" In 1961, the same year that General Fuller published his The Conduct of War, 1789-1961, Aldous Huxley somewhat seemed to support, not just to prophesy, what he called the coming “pharmacological revolution,” which is now so obvious in the spreading and deepening “narco-democracies” of the West, and, perhaps, even the West’s incipient “therapeutic collectivisms” and “narco-socialisms,” or Goethe’s feared servile (and putatively therapeutic) “Hospital State.” In a Voice-of-America sponsored lecture at the California School of Medicine in San Francisco, Aldous Huxley, himself the user and promoter of mescaline and other psychedelic drugs, and the revolutionary author of The Doors of Perception, said:

There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak; producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties be taken away from them but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel--by propaganda, or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution." http://isme.tamu.edu/JSCOPE00/Hickson00.html

We were warned about the Surveillance State and the threat all along was the Hospital State. Now the hospital has been made the center of US strategy. Come up with a new strategy. I have a notion I call Reverse Hospital. People can stay in their homes with reverse mortgages and take bourbon with IV's.

parrotApril 14, 2015 3:06 PM

For Snowden to see videos of people saying "I have no idea who Edward Snowden is," I can't begin to imagine how heartbreaking that is.

Reminds me of the scene in Brave New World where John the Savage is yelling at the crowd about how blind and superficial they all are, all the while the crowd has an orgy and cheers on his self-mutilation.

DeweyApril 14, 2015 3:11 PM

@Winter

>I am just not sure what it is that this tells me.

If morons are produced by the reiteration of progressive education through several generations, it is a practical demonstration that philosophic pragmatism is a dead end.

BooApril 14, 2015 3:26 PM

" Furthermore, we may ask, to what extent will our own predominant culture of scientific materialism (and naturalism or secular humanism) be adequate to limit and guide and benignly re-direct any inchoate and growing genetics-based military-technical revolution; or any more strategically inclusive, doctrinal and organizational expansion of this technology into a true “revolution in military affairs” (RMA), both at home, as well as abroad? Let us first resort to some eloquent and highly intelligent British thinkers concerned with this matter of moment to man.

It would seem that, on its own intellectual premises, scientific materialism is gravely inadequate and even self-sabotaging. Whyso? Howso?

As the philosophic scholar and famed British statesman, Sir Arthur Balfour (author of the “Balfour Declaration” about the future of Palestine after World War I) said in his profound book, The Foundations of Belief (1894), concerning the inherent contradictions of Materialism (mechanical and dialectical), and of mere Naturalism (and Atheism):

On the naturalistic hypothesis the whole premises of knowledge are clearly due to the blind operation of material causes, and in the last resort to these alone. On that hypothesis we no more possess free reason than we possess free will. As all our volitions are the inevitable product of forces which are quite alien to morality, so all our conclusions are the inevitable product of forces which are quite alien to reason."
http://isme.tamu.edu/JSCOPE00/Hickson00.html

Camus Imperative: We can replace politics with morality.

We can shoot them with cameras and cyberbomb them and all they have are guns. Water guns banned in California to save the population.

Dick JohnsonApril 14, 2015 3:31 PM

If we can put the invasion of privacy aside for a *brief* moment, until they start making penis-recognition systems, I'm not so concerned about what the USG can do with a picture of my Johnson. The unique noise pattern signature of the camera would be more useful as a piece of intelligence.

Facial images, license plate cameras bother me much more than this scenario, but with the general public this apprehension seems inverted. Quite peculiar.

I applaud getting more people to care about these issues, maybe the next step is to start focusing on protecting things that really matter.

BooApril 14, 2015 3:38 PM

For Snowden to see videos of people saying "I have no idea who Edward Snowden is," I can't begin to imagine how heartbreaking that is.

You aren't who you are. He isn't Snowden, he's you. She isn't Hillary, she's you. It's a brave new world or at least it better be. You got something they want. I don't have anything. Maybe you have it and don't know it. EOTS vs. EATS and with less water there's gonna be less eats. The CA water wars escalate. Throw more money err debt at it! Maybe they can have ration stamps like for gas in WW2. "Be like water." Kung Fu

BrianApril 14, 2015 4:20 PM

@parrot

I'm sure Snowden is disappointed to see how disengaged so many people are, but he didn't do it for personal fame. He avoided doing any interviews for a long time. He went public so that there wouldn't be a witch hunt that could harm other people and to inspire other potential whistleblowers to follow his footsteps.

@Dick Johnson

The manner in which they intercept it would almost certainly contain enough metadata to be very sure whose it was. Then the picture could potentially be used for blackmail, or the fact that you sent the picture to a particular person.

parrotApril 14, 2015 4:29 PM

@Dick Johnson

People simply know they don't want naked pictures of themselves on government databases. However, people don't immediately recognize the implications of what the government could do with otherwise uninteresting information (e.g. the unique noise patterns of a camera). It's an exercise of extrapolation that the vast majority doesn't have the time, expertise, or wisdom to consider.

tcmJOEApril 14, 2015 4:47 PM

@Marcos El Malo

Anyone who listens to The Bugle (http://thebuglepodcast.com/) would know that Andy Zaltzmann is the smart-alec Jew, while John's the Catholic one. In case you have difficulty telling them apart (looking at you, skeptic_007), just remember than Andy is the one with the puns.

I just got my girlfriend to start using a password manager, I'm going to have to show her the secondary clip. Margaret Thatcher definitely is 110% sexy.

gets_the_pointApril 14, 2015 6:34 PM

Excellent stuff.

Moving forward just go around telling people they have an opportunity to end the sexting surveillance program and it's as good as done. Excellent interview. Really.

I liked the comment about the IT guy smelling like soup coming into his office... "Ohh no... Do I have to learn something again?" I hate that guy. Hopefully, I'm not that guy when I DO go into someone's office to teach them something.

Kyle RoseApril 14, 2015 8:11 PM

It's much better to be entertaining than informative. You can recite the dictionary and be informative, but if no one's listening, who cares? You haven't actually taught your audience anything. At least an entertaining speaker will keep his or her audience's attention. So start there, and then add information.

P/KApril 14, 2015 8:53 PM

When Snowden avoided interviews for a long time, why is that changed and we now see him sometimes almost weekly in whatever interview somewhere around the world? It seems that's smart a move for PR reasons, as not much evidence came forward for all those strong accusations from the beginning. Then give people their hero who sacrificed himself for the good sake and it doesn't really matter anymore what's true or not in what he tells... (a bit like the way the christian faith was established)

BooApril 14, 2015 8:57 PM

‘It is the business of future to be dangerous.... The major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur.’

— Alfred North Whitehead

It's dangerous to be right when the government is wrong and Washington is creating major advances in civilization. In Russia it's not dangerous because the government is never wrong.

My country right or wrong.

neoApril 15, 2015 12:38 AM

@P/K

"as not much evidence came forward for all those strong accusations from the beginning."

Give a specific example.

S. MartindaleApril 15, 2015 2:57 AM

I'd love to watch this interview but it isn't available in "my country"... er... which is the United Kingdom. Hooray! Don't know why I expected otherwise.

Ole JuulApril 15, 2015 3:09 AM

@Winter

>I am just not sure what it is that this tells me.

It's a sad joke that it took a comedian to actually get out of his chair and go to interview Snowden. The press is no longer free. Media outlets expressing a non government approved opinion (or fact) will not survive in North America. Only the court jester can get away with saying anything meaningful in this environment. Here in Canada we're even seeing classical concert artists censured because of personal views that run contrary to the US government propaganda. It's gone pretty far lately.


ChristianApril 15, 2015 4:46 AM

That people don't know Snowden seems pretty horrible.

Not that you can find someone not knowing him ... but if that really was representative the US has some horrible problems. Especailly if there is more topics like that people don't know about.


If the average US-American doesn't know about Snowden, about Drone attacks in Pakistan, about US led torture camps.
How can you do democratic elections? wtf

gets_the_pointApril 15, 2015 10:24 AM

S. Martindale and others,

Get the hola browser plugin and change the country to the U.S. and try the URL one more time. It's a handy proxy UI.

Sean HarringtonApril 15, 2015 10:43 AM

Some Joe Sixpacks have a hard time comprehending Snowden's warnings. Take the Delta caste the state assigns to guard labor. The dumbshits they hire as cops just think, Hooh boy, I can get me some tit pics! Now every thinks he's a TAO cyberwarrior. This is why they make sure cops are stupid, so they're Snowden-proof.

BooApril 15, 2015 4:16 PM

Happy AI Spring!

"Several philosophers, cognitive scientists and computer scientists have speculated on where AI might have failed and what lies in its future. Hubert Dreyfus gave arguments for why AI is impossible to achieve. Others critics like Noam Chomsky have argued that AI is headed in the wrong direction, in part because of its heavy reliance on statistical techniques."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AI_winter

Who needs statistics when you can operate on lies, damn lies and leaks? According to that logic Russia is the right direction and if we secure the privacy of the criminal we can generate more legal billings and bailbond revenue. More colleges are going broke according to the paper. More papers are going broke too. Even the stupid AI will stay alive as a zombie AI.

John PepperApril 15, 2015 4:31 PM

On the article, and comments about exposure: I was heartened to discover Oliver Stone is making a movie on the issue, hopefully it is designed for a wide audience. That is what this big story needs.

I do not believe there is any real "media conspiracy" to the exposure problems, because the material is very technical. It is difficult to explain very technical material to a wider audience in a manner they can grasp.

However, I do believe Snowden is a part of an inevitable wave of disclosures. Just as private, individual citizens are finding their "transparency" increased at this pivotal stage of the "information revolution", so too shall their large organizations follow.

And we see this already and that on an ever increasing basis.

@P/K

When Snowden avoided interviews for a long time, why is that changed and we now see him sometimes almost weekly in whatever interview somewhere around the world? It seems that's smart a move for PR reasons, as not much evidence came forward for all those strong accusations from the beginning. Then give people their hero who sacrificed himself for the good sake and it doesn't really matter anymore what's true or not in what he tells...

1. Snowden has been doing routine interviews all along.
2. If there is some pickup in interviews it can be attributed to his getting adjusted to his new found situation. This means nothing in terms of your accusation that there is some manner of "trend" here which somehow implies some manner of "dishonesty" in the man and his message.
3. The US government and other involved or victimized governments themselves have well and strongly substantiated Snowden's disclosures.

Conclusions of his disclosures are in question by the US government, yes, but not the raw disclosures themselves.

I would suggest if you wish to argue any "accusation" is invalid or unsubstantiated, to state clearly what, exactly, those arguments are.

By the very definition of the term "unsubstantiated" you have provided here an accusation without any effort of substantiation whatsoever.

Your diction suggests you are not actually American, so I must say that my impression is your opinion is an attempt to ingratiate yourself with American authorities. Why?

BooApril 16, 2015 12:34 AM

America hasn't worked out. What we need is a new frontier: Seamerica! No cars, no problem.

nanApril 16, 2015 8:11 AM

It was a tough interview, but it needed to be done.

I hope more people can find ways to communicate this to the broader public.

wwIIIApril 16, 2015 10:44 AM

Oliver must have been primed by the NSA for the accusation that snowdon is responsible for anyone anywhere being killed by terrorists or other enemies.
People who become pawns of foreign intelligence services no matter what nation they live in, are compromised by that foreign agency and no one else. If you want to accuse anyone of getting americans killed, look no further than the cheny/bush cartel who treasonously started a pointless war.
the assumption now in the deep state, is that government is a secret and criminal enterprise with total self justification for any crime it commits and is never to be held responsible. for example, US relations with iran date back at least as far as 1953 and did not originate in 1979

Snowdon is a patriot of the constitution, not of the deep state.

John PepperApril 16, 2015 5:45 PM

@wwIII

Oliver must have been primed by the NSA for the accusation that snowdon is responsible for anyone anywhere being killed by terrorists or other enemies.

I have not watched the interview, but that is a valuable observation to bring out. However, it very well could have simply been a 'hard question' to ask Snowden so he could respond. In actuality, that seems like a 'softball question', which opened the door for Snowden to dismiss it for the foolishness that it is.

Someone could have secretly inserted some intel agent into the interviewer's path who could have asked him that question and so got his mind churning. But, as that very question is a claim some in the us gov are claiming, that probably would be a waste of money.

Probably only very extreme hawks would make such an argument and actually believe it.

The reason is there is no evidence for the accusation. The us gov could do a 'damage assessment' on Snowden's disclosures and release at least some version of that to the public to 'make their case'. But, this they have not done.

In fact, no other country has done anything like this either, with some exceptions, such as Germany and Brazil. Was China hacked left and right and Snowden's disclosures proved this? No one knows. They do not say. What about Russia? Iran? Heck, even ISIS or some Islamist group at all? Nothing?

Have any spies be caught and expelled or killed? That kind of thing very well could make the front pages from this sort of disclosure. Have any operations been broken? Maybe that would not be reported, but even theoretically, what kind could.

that government is a secret and criminal enterprise with total self justification for any crime it commits and is never to be held responsible. for example, US relations with iran date back at least as far as 1953 and did not originate in 1979

That, unfortunately, is a bad example because the change was likely to happen anyway, and there are very strong arguments for this. A better example from CIA-US-IRAN dealings is how they looked the other way with the Shah and did not promote a democratic system nor human rights there -- as they continue to do in many countries.

But, at the same time, those are difficult problems to sort out, and they are not entirely without basis for siding with someone.

Snowdon is a patriot of the constitution, not of the deep state

I think that is quite obviously true.

BooApril 16, 2015 6:41 PM

"The book is very much a novel of the second half of the 1980s but it is amazing how relevant the content and themes remain when reading it today, concerned as it is with state-sponsored terrorism and assassination. Reading it one is struck with how little has changed regarding the tensions between Israel and the other countries in the region.

Holt is yet another Seymour character who is appropriated by the government as a pawn in their poorly thought out schemes."
American title: An Eye for an Eye
http://www.geraldseymour.co.uk/at-close-quarters/

Patriot or not, the scheme was poorly thought out. That makes you a pawn. Maybe he can open a pawn shop in Moscow. I have the UK version from Harrod's Knightsbridge. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. The themes remain the same.

P/KApril 16, 2015 11:08 PM

@ Neo
NSA was accused of serious wrongdoings and illegal activities, spying on ordinary Americans and mass surveillance of whole populations worldwide. For all of that there's still no evidence, except for some minor cases and/or on a small scale.

@ John Pepper
There's more of dishonesty in what Snowden says and does or doesn't say or do than you will probably like, and time will show that.

I am only interested in the truth, or what comes close to that. And over the past two years I noticed that what Snowden e.a. tells, is not supported by all the documents that were published. Snowden is talking like an activist, in a way that apparently is attractive to certain Americans, but which for me, as a European, is weird. We don't see the government as evil as many Americans do, although we actually had to suffer from one of the most evil regimes in history. Maybe therefore comparing NSA with the Stasi is ridiculous for us to hear, especially because in the US, there's even more transparancy and oversight regarding intelligence agencies than in most European countries.

BooApril 16, 2015 11:35 PM

Too much Snowden and data and not enough snow. The dolts have new files and they are searchable. It might rain over the weekend. Collect the rainwater and resell it. Make it shareable and you can have a water app and deliver it in your new economy car/taxi. Open Snowden pawn shops and sell old gear because it doesn't have the new NSA circuits to report your email to congress for review. You aren't who you are. Snowden isn't Snowden, he's you.

Nick PApril 17, 2015 12:13 AM

@ P/K

NSA said they were doing all kinds of foreign collection and only metadata collection on Americans. During questioning, they explicitly denied that they were collecting phone or Internet data on Americans. The Snowden leaks showed they lied. They were collecting everything they could. They also were backdooring the very U.S. encryption products that they publicly told voters and Congress they had difficulty with. They were also weakening our systems across the board for their own use while telling the public to trust them to protect our systems.

So, before we get to anything Snowden says, the leaked documents prove NSA and company to be utter liars across the board. They also are doing plenty to help our foreign opponents. Further, them weakening most defense systems and aiding the digital enemy are both illegal under separate laws. Given this level of deception and subversion, only someone on their team (or payroll) could trust them more than Snowden. Even more likely if the person only talks trash about Snowden and not the scumbags whose lies he leaked.

Hopefully for you, your dedication to their disinformation campaign earns you the big bucks that General Alexander is making right now. Otherwise, you're just living the BOHICA lifestyle.

Note: The stuff you spend all your time trying to get photos of is so behind the curve it's unreal. The EMSEC and such is still top notch. Yet, others have long exceeded their security engineering capabilities in endpoint security. They're mostly doing the same shit they always did. Both academia and commercial sector in this niche are far ahead. It's kind of sad, really, that their mission precludes them from adding best of breed technology to their organization across the board. All those people trusting the engineers and senior management are sheep led to the digital slaughter. Just in case they want to spy on a few of the 300+ million people in this country sometime.

BooApril 17, 2015 1:08 AM

"Brudastov notes that, according to the federal service for veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance, Moscow has become a "hotbed" of Newcastle disease, a bird disease that can be transmitted to humans."
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/19/moscow-investigates-pigeon-apocalypse-birds

They got that Newcastle disease and the zombie pigeons are passing it on to the people. "Before death, they start to resemble zombies: they lose their orientation and fly without a sense of direction, then fall, already lacking the strength to get up," GPS is no help! So you might want to avoid Moscow. The city's pigeons are dying en masse, but first they start flying around like the brainless living dead. NSA has Sentry Duck doing surveillance.

Joggers were running even faster than usual in Moscow to avoid the zombie apocalypse. The 'Charmed Run' has runners sprinting for their living deaths.

Russian Actor Says Ebola Victims Reanimating as Zombies.

For participants of this 5k run in Moscow, a casual run in the park turned into a living nightmare and now the living nightmare is taking to the road to spread the nightmare across Europe by biker zombies. If you see them, beat them or burn them, they go up pretty quick. If they reach Poland coat the road with old motor oil.

John PepperApril 17, 2015 10:22 AM

@Nick P

So, before we get to anything Snowden says, the leaked documents prove NSA and company to be utter liars across the board. They also are doing plenty to help our foreign opponents.

My concern is that there 'is not a deep state', and there is not 'more to the story'. The Snowden disclosures show circumstantial evidence that there could be something much darker going on. But, as it stands, it appears to be the product of poor reasoning, poor strategy.

Overzealous in the 'war against terrorism' they vastly overstepped their bounds thinking 'more information' is equivalent to 'better information'. And little thought was given to the potential negative side effects of such systems. Where one major failure was trusting that everyone who would work on or with these systems, now and in the future, are trustworthy.

I could be wrong. But without further information, it is difficult to ascertain.

These systems do need to be gotten rid of, and I am not surprised, despite these disclosures, they are not.

This could indicate malicious control of politicians, or it could indicate politicians wishing to show themselves as strong 'anti-terrorists', or it could indicate that they are privy to information the American people are not themselves privy to which is reasonable. For instance, maybe these systems have had successes they do not wish to reveal because they are operations in progress.

Polls, however, are not strongly against these systems at this time. So it may not even be the politicians who are the controlling factor there, but their voting base. I am hoping the upcoming Stone movie will make concerns more widespread, if Stone delivers it well. Which he does not always do.


John PepperApril 17, 2015 11:14 AM

@P/K

And over the past two years I noticed that what Snowden e.a. tells, is not supported by all the documents that were published.

Like .... what? If it is just the activist line or something like 'his frequency of interviews was slow initially but now has picked up', this is not evidence.

I am not even sure of your reasoning there on why you believe these are 'tell tale' clues. Of anything.

I do not think I have watched a single Snowden video, but I have looked at the documents and read a wide variety of the articles on it. (And so some interviews he has made.)

Some of the stories he has told come from personal experience, and not supported by documentation. That does not mean they are invalid. In fact, usually media sources/whistleblowers do not have hard paper evidence but their position and experience is its' authoritative. It is also very possible that Snowden has made assumptions about what he has seen and connected dots which were not there.

For instance, when he made pains to cover himself up in the Hong Kong hotel room, I do not think that was anything but adrenaline playing with his mind. That, and similar actions and statements, simply tell me he is not experienced as a deep undercover agent of any kind. Which fits his story.

He could make mistakes in interpreting the evidence he disclosed. However, that, too, is normal. Otherwise, there would not be a debate on the value of the material in the US, noting poll data. Everybody can not be right, therefore some must be misinterpreting the evidence.

Snowden is talking like an activist, in a way that apparently is attractive to certain Americans, but which for me, as a European, is weird. We don't see the government as evil as many Americans do, although we actually had to suffer from one of the most evil regimes in history. Maybe therefore comparing NSA with the Stasi is ridiculous for us to hear, especially because in the US, there's even more transparancy and oversight regarding intelligence agencies than in most European countries.

There are definitely many in Europe who do not think well of their government and are suspicious of other allied nation's governments. You can see this in the demonstrations. There have further been many European based demonstrations over the decades and recently against the US Government. There is often frequent opinions given by Europeans even on minute details of the US Political system.

The US does have a very wide reaching surveillance system and enormous amounts of money put into these systems, including domestic surveillance. I think concerns this could lead to 'full blown' totalitarianism have some validity. I will point out, however, unlike European countries, the US Constitution is extremely suspicious of this very possibility so it is likely Americans are more concerned then Europeans, more suspicious.

Because of the wording of the constitution and other founding documents, as well as the context of the American revolution this is actually American "patriotism". Also, this factor is enhanced by the fact America is a nation of immigrants.

What Snowden did was very likely because of activism and political beliefs. In fact, he has not stated otherwise. So this is congruent with his over all story. You can even go back and see some of his online posts at ars technica and see some of his transition. It is a believable one considering issues such as 'torture' (which many Europeans have also balked at), and the consistent push for these systems that are illegal.

Considering 'Watergate' and the FBI and other policing excesses in American past, it is certainly not unreasonable for Snowden to have strong beliefs about these matters.

It is true, however, none of these excesses were at the Stasi or Nazi Germany level. They were not there, how could they possibly know. You were not there, but probably have a much better view of it as the generation before you was. People tend to not like to study such material, and there are few ways they can really grasp 'how it was'. There have been a few movies, but mostly Americans would have to go by their 'dystopian future' fare.


Nick PApril 17, 2015 11:52 AM

@ John Pepper

"My concern is that there 'is not a deep state', and there is not 'more to the story'. "

The deep state claim hasn't come from Snowden's side: it's from conspiracy sites and their readers that show up here on occasion. Let's not mix the two. Snowden's side claims they're collecting data they shouldn't in secret, using it in ways they'd deny, and sharing it with many 3rd parties. And that most of this happened without the voters' knowledge or approval. They were sold on bulk *metadata* and warranted collection of data for *terrorists*. The bait and switch that happened couldn't have been known without the leaks.

"Overzealous in the 'war against terrorism' they vastly overstepped their bounds thinking 'more information' is equivalent to 'better information'"

That's an easy mistake to make. Actually, they've been trying to get vast surveillance and police capabilities for a long time. They argued for it to stop communism, drug dealers, money launderers, pedophiles, kidnappers, and more recently terrorists. Likewise, the continuity of government legislation, which partly enables a police state, goes all the way back to the Nixon administration. The battle against cryptography goes back at least as far as the 90's. The only thing 9/11 did was let them pass laws that (a) expanded police state-like powers and (b) removed obstacles to sharing in intelligence community. That latter part cleared away both red tape obstacles and access controls that prevent some insider attacks.

"These systems do need to be gotten rid of, and I am not surprised, despite these disclosures, they are not. "

"This could indicate malicious control of politicians, or it could indicate politicians wishing to show themselves as strong 'anti-terrorists'"

It has happened before. J Edgar Hoover used limited surveillance capabilities and blackmail to control Congress for a long period of time. These organizations have vastly more surveillance capabilities and power. The actual capabilities come from a secret interpretation of by a secret court of sections of the Patriot Act, passed without debate during a national panic. As if that wasn't baseless enough, the Patriot Act initially had opposition who were hit with the same kind of anthrax we have at Ft Detrick. Quick attacks, a few Congressmen dead, Patriot Act passes quick, and no more anthrax attacks. I've always found that interesting.

That Congress is still toothless even after being hacked by CIA and mislead by NSA shows they're afraid to act for *some* reason. Fear of blackmail, media smearing, or death are most likely given the history of agencies involved in covert operations. Especially the CIA.

" For instance, maybe these systems have had successes they do not wish to reveal because they are operations in progress."

We've already grilled them on that to the point they only admit one, harmless plot was "foiled." Meanwhile, they failed to catch Boston bomber despite him talking trash on social media, visiting red flag countries, and our warning from Russian intelligence saying "grab his ass before he does something!" (paraphrased) Most ideal case ever for automated methods finding a threat. Result was utter failure. However, the leaks showed the methods have been used with covert cooperation of police for fraud, money laundering, drugs, and dissident groups. Again, everything but what Americans were told they were doing with the capability.

"Polls, however, are not strongly against these systems at this time."

The Oliver intervew clearly illustrates that they don't understand the issue. I believe the media is doing that intentionally. Yet, if media made it real and personal for them, then they'd understand the risks enough to have an opinion. The best example of this happening is Enemy of the State: a movie the NSA says was one of the most damaging things to ever happen to the agency.

We need a similar movie featuring mass collection leading to a target, FBI parallel constructing false chain of evidence on the main character, FBI agents with machine gunes tearing up the house, courts who can't get evidence of innocence due to State Secrets privilege, the CIA kidnapping him/her at an airport, the torture in a Middle Eastern black site (including rectal feeding), and the heroic effort to escape the shadowy agencies' grasp. They need to see it all together to see the Dual State we now live in. The theme will be: "One day, this could be you. You won't be able to do shit about it. So, vote it away while you still can."

John PepperApril 17, 2015 3:40 PM

@Nick P

The deep state claim hasn't come from Snowden's side: it's from conspiracy sites and their readers that show up here on occasion. Let's not mix the two.

Ah. Yes, I did just take that term from another poster here, whose reliability can be questioned as his nick was "wwiii".

Snowden's side claims they're collecting data they shouldn't in secret, using it in ways they'd deny, and sharing it with many 3rd parties. And that most of this happened without the voters' knowledge or approval. They were sold on bulk *metadata* and warranted collection of data for *terrorists*. The bait and switch that happened couldn't have been known without the leaks.

My concern is if anyone is using these systems for 'other purposes' then the stated ones. Which could indicate the presence of some organization(s) which has gone rogue but remains connected to the system. But, I do not take that the only reason they are using these systems is for 'terrorism', they are also going to use it for 'foreign nation sponsored' threats of a wide spectrum. And I am not surprised to see they used it for 'political espionage', eg, in the case of Germany and Brazil.

The other purposes for such systems is not going to be widely trumpeted for obvious reasons.

Snowden's information, nor any information I have seen from any disclosure, has alerted me that there is much substance there. "Swordfish" type organizations, while ludicrous on the surface, may not be entirely ruled out as a possibility, for me, anyway. However, I do not pleasure entertaining useless conjecture which does not have any hard facts and evidence supporting them.

It *could* happen, but without evidence that it *has* happened means that seriously buying into such an idea would be a mistake.

The discoveries are not on the level of a kruschev secret speech revelation, nor on a level of the watergate revelations.

Most of these points I just stated, I think average Americans are aware of, but probably just have not explicitly thought it out.

[Mistake of reasoning that 'more information means better information']

Maybe there is yet a kurschev speech level of revelation coming, but in lieu of that, one might as well assume the us is working with aliens or behind the creation of crop circles.


That's an easy mistake to make.

Agreed. And that is an useful assessment because "easy" can mean "likely", in terms of assessing actions and statements made. It is the straightest, shortest line from A to B. Not always the case, but often the most probable case.

Human beings love their straight lines.

It has happened before. J Edgar Hoover used limited surveillance capabilities and blackmail to control Congress for a long period of time. These organizations have vastly more surveillance capabilities and power.

I am aware of that. The profile resulting is simple: human beings will get addicted to power for the sake of power. They will tresspass the law for these purposes, according to their personal risk assessment in their capacity to do so. This includes their instinctual assessment of the likelihood of getting caught, and the damage getting caught would cost them.

For instance, had Stalin been exposed before Kruschev, he would have paid a very high cost. However, his control was sufficient that the risk was very low. Hoover was in a much different environment. Probably his most deplorable tresspass was in his actions against Martin Luther King, Jr. His actions showed he was aware he could be caught by at least some people not fully onboard with him. But, he was going with a powerful popular sentiment of the time, regardless of how atrocious this action was. That popular sentiment meant his potential cost of damage if exposed was much lower then if it was entirely against him on the matter -- as they would be today.

However, the leaks showed the methods have been used with covert cooperation of police for fraud, money laundering, drugs, and dissident groups. Again, everything but what Americans were told they were doing with the capability.

I am sorry, I am actually not aware of this. Can you please elaborate?

Are you stating that these systems exposed by Snowden were used for "fraud", "money laundering", "drugs", and "dissident groups"? Of these, for "dissident groups" I can understand. Depending on "what they are dissident of", "where", and "what their philosophy is", eg, is it non-violent.

The Oliver intervew clearly illustrates that they don't understand the issue. I believe the media is doing that intentionally. Yet, if media made it real and personal for them, then they'd understand the risks enough to have an opinion. The best example of this happening is Enemy of the State: a movie the NSA says was one of the most damaging things to ever happen to the agency.

I do not buy into much media *conscious* conspiracy theories, but definitely buy into *unconscious* media conspiracy theories. I could be wrong. I buy into some, but would prefer not to discuss that as interesting as such a subject can be.

I have heard the NSA make that statement, but that does not mean that was any manner of accurate damage assessment. Maybe anecdotal. After all, it depicted a very rogue team at work there doing damage, not the entirety of the agency.

And there is some value for intelligence agencies being overplayed in their capacities, as well as underplayed. (Another "meh" area, though, for me. )


And this aspect of the case does interest me:

Look, fact is, the story is really boring. The whole area is very boring. Swordfish, the Matrix, uhm... Sneakers... 13th Floor... maybe some others made it interesting. Even those movies are very, very audience specific.

[Enemy of the State while dealing with NSA did not focus on computers and information technology.]

[The Net was a good one.]

Some popular and niche sci-fi novels would translate into good movies, ones which have some level of focus in these areas. Most would not and are mind numbingly boring to but a very select audience.

Even these movies I listed have people getting killed in them, guns being involved, and really the technical aspect is very much just window dressing.

Most movies that were a success last year included some form of hero or heroine that had some manner of supernatural or sci fi powers. The few which did not, the main characters still had superhuman capacity.

That is considering the top twenty list.


Even kruschev speech level disclosure or watergate make, generally, for poor story performance. Yes, "All the President's Men" was an incredible movie, but who that was not alive in the 70s has watched that? Maybe that would fly today, but I think... no. Would be critically acclaimed, as it was then, but would not get wide, mainstream coverage.

Someone typing on a computer highly abstract things is not very interesting.

I am highly skeptical Stone can make good substance out of the Snowden story. No one was killed in the story. There was no solid threat to anyone's life. The ultimate conclusion was that the authorities overstepped their bounds in pursuit of causes, in general, the American people and much of the world agree with. The political espionage aspects are too expected and apologized for. The economic espionage aspect is too small.


We need a similar movie featuring mass collection leading to a target, FBI parallel constructing false chain of evidence on the main character, FBI agents with machine gunes tearing up the house, courts who can't get evidence of innocence due to State Secrets privilege, the CIA kidnapping him/her at an airport, the torture in a Middle Eastern black site (including rectal feeding), and the heroic effort to escape the shadowy agencies' grasp. They need to see it all together to see the Dual State we now live in. The theme will be: "One day, this could be you. You won't be able to do shit about it. So, vote it away while you still can."

Hah. Good plotline, but it needs some work.

Not dissimilar to Brazil. But also not entirely dissimilar to many of the 'dystopian future' fare many so love. Difference between "Brazil" and those is that "Brazil" exposed villainy possible in bureaucracy very well. Normal dystopian future stories dig deep into motives of the villain. The villain is an addict of power, and has a lot of it, and if they fail they stand to pay an enormous cost. Typically, if not always, that payment is transferred at least symbolically to the main character.

There needs to be a reason which the FBI has to attack the main character. That is, a reason the audience can clearly condemn. That "everyone" in the FBI is bad, and adding to that "everyone in the CIA" and "everyone in the police" is a hard sell, and I do not think even a sell people should necessarily be considering trying to make.

It *could* be possible, but under what context.

The "rogue group" in a master agency angle is plausible, and it is not entirely bleak, so bleak people do not even want to contemplate it.

But, definitely, interesting plotline and general line of thought.

Nick PApril 17, 2015 7:29 PM

@ John Pepper

re fraud etc

I was saying they were used against people that were allegedly involved in those activities. The government said they were just using it for the extraordinary threat of terrorism. That's something people are unlikely to be accused of. Yet, they were covertly feeding law enforcement information saying person X was guilty of Y on more common accusations. Then, law enforcement hid the real reasons (aka parallel construction) they came after them. That's knocking out several Amendments for reasons other than terrorism.

re enemy of the state

It was damaging mainly because (a) it was many's first impression of NSA and (b) it didn't paint a good picture. They started doing all kinds of PR after that, including opening their agency up to the public more. Hayden did a lot of speeches. In one, he assured Americans that, while abuses were possible, he was sure there were none. Lol.

re other movies

Yeah, it would be a hard sell in general. I got to see the audiences of the Wikileaks movie. It had little impact on what few were there. Citizenfour was done well enough to have a visible impact on more people. Yet, still barely memorable compared to the other Top 20. That's why my scheme is much more dramatic.

"There needs to be a reason which the FBI has to attack the main character. "

There only needs to be a reason that makes sense to the FBI. The movie Rendition did a nice chunk of my plot with the reason being some phone calls were made (metadata). A number of people were at Guantanamo or killed by FBI SWAT teams because a name was written down wrong or a source not validated. Post Boston, a family was SWATed because NSA's mass collection connected the wrong dots in their communications. Accidents happen so much and with such severe consequences that it should be considered for the plot.

Yet, like you said, America responds better to villains. That's the greater worry, too. Enemy of the State laid nice groundwork with government types doing anything it took to get more power for themselves. They even believed it was necessary for national security. The new plot could rehash that with new, realistic capabilities targeting the good guys exposing it.

Alternative might be a coup supported by top-level NSA officials. The coup might be by politicians wanting power or even corporate elites overthrowing a pro-ThePeople President. The coup might involve blackmail, an assassination, or who knows. The people trying to stop the hit or the replacement are the targets. The bad guys just feed disinformation about them into the system. The overall apparatus does the work from there to come after them.

I'm actually open to ideas. It just has to show the damage that can be done by powermongers on the top with the capabilities and laws that actually exist. It must also illustrate how there is no defense. Then, people might be willing to either reduce the capabilities or modify them for better accountability/defense.

John PepperApril 17, 2015 11:04 PM

@Nick P

The government said they were just using it for the extraordinary threat of terrorism. That's something people are unlikely to be accused of.

Hrrm, so zero real value led them to leaking data through improper channels to make the system economical worthwhile.

Yet, they were covertly feeding law enforcement information saying person X was guilty of Y on more common accusations. Then, law enforcement hid the real reasons (aka parallel construction) they came after them. That's knocking out several Amendments for reasons other than terrorism.

Ah, okay. Yes, that is a fraud.

It is an abuse of power, which harms the entire system like printing fake money harms the economy. Many of these core systems are clearly in violation of the constitution. That is hitting at the very foundation of the house that is the nation, making cracks that probably can not be repaired.

They have screwed up the plumbing of the house. Forget the manual or hiring a plumber. They did it themselves and threw the manual of the constitution out the window. Everything stays solid enough until the water turns on, then all of those pipes start to burst.

In the meantime, there are leaks everywhere causing degradation all across the place. Degradation they do not see yet, and by the time they start to suspect anything it is too late. Water leaks suck, they can be completely invisible until the bathtub falls through the second floor.

It was a good manual while it lasted.

Life did not suck so bad for awhile.

There only needs to be a reason that makes sense to the FBI.

This is true.

The movie Rendition did a nice chunk of my plot with the reason being some phone calls were made (metadata).

Hrrm, maybe I will check it out. Main reasons I have not checked it out, which are maybe somewhat reasons others have not: it looks bleak as hell, and graphic torture scenes are horrible to watch.

I read the news and get 'bleak as hell' all over the place already.

A number of people were at Guantanamo or killed by FBI SWAT teams because a name was written down wrong or a source not validated. ..... Accidents happen so much and with such severe consequences that it should be considered for the plot.

Yeah, this is a frequent problem I see.

Just read about some kid getting stuck in Kuwait because he was wrongly put on the 'no fly list'. And, being the sweeties they are, they arrested him and tortured him.

Kuwait doesn't care. It isn't like anyone will call them to account for this. Why not make your cops psychopathic-murdering-sadists-with-a-fetish-for-dismemberment. What could ever go wrong with that.

Chalk one up for the anti-terrorists.

Yet, like you said, America responds better to villains. That's the greater worry, too. Enemy of the State laid nice groundwork with government types doing anything it took to get more power for themselves. They even believed it was necessary for national security. The new plot could rehash that with new, realistic capabilities targeting the good guys exposing it.

I like that plotline significantly better.

It gives the good guys a fighting chance. And it is plural, instead of singular.

I can stomach movies where the main character gets massively setup for something they did not do. As long as they have a fighting chance, and continued successes along the way. I am not a fan of them eventually getting caught, and ruthlessly tortured. Especially not when they have no chance.

Personal preference, but maybe not so far out of the way of what mainstream audiences also prefer.

Yet, like you said, America responds better to villains. That's the greater worry, too. Enemy of the State laid nice groundwork with government types doing anything it took to get more power for themselves. They even believed it was necessary for national security. The new plot could rehash that with new, realistic capabilities targeting the good guys exposing it. ..... I'm actually open to ideas. It just has to show the damage that can be done by powermongers on the top with the capabilities and laws that actually exist. It must also illustrate how there is no defense. Then, people might be willing to either reduce the capabilities or modify them for better accountability/defense.

Oh come on, everyone prefers a strong villain. And there is much to say about anti-heroes. I am tending to think the wave of the future is in a really well worked out anti-hero. I suppose, to a degree, it has surely been a long time coming.

This kind of plot material is perfect for that sort of story. Light is dark, dark is light. People made squirming in their seats because they realize they are rooting for someone who they would normally be abhorred at, and they are not exactly sure why.

Like one of those rollercoaster rides that turns the whole thing around and around, not just a dip here and rise and dip there.

Even better when the good ones they are initially rooting for turn out to be bad. And the bad ones they initially were hungering to see 'get it' turn out to be good.

Transfer of power on a massive scale.

I am not sure this is possible without a Shadow type of character. The latest Hannibal series started to get at it.

I was analyzing such a story yesterday. The hero sets up the bad guy to power. The bad guy predictably gets addicted and does a lot of bad things which are painfully allowed. A little thing is asked for him, but that little thing means complete devastation forever of his power. Increasing pressure is put on him, and he yields at turns, but keeps coming back. Finally, though he has lost it all, he can not help it, he continues to his destruction.

The Watchmen had this kind of thing to it.

Not to mess with someone else's art: but put that skeleton on that kind of story.

That thing was a symphony.

It would fit this. The individual characters could remain individual, or be represented as varying organizations. Heck, it even fits the components I was talking about. Anti-hero, good and evil becomes evil and good. Shadowy dual state. People rooting for anti-heroes that make them wince. They initially thought they were good. They come to accept they are bad, but retain a grudging sympathy for them.

The main character initially appears good. Then bad. Then good again.

The hard methods, the superpowers, of the state are exposed. Exposed in a way that people can understand 'why' they abused their powers and kind of sympathize with them, but at the same time see that this other way of lawlessness to make law clearly is not working.

Maybe the ending could be expanded on some. It could be re-written in a wide variety of ways.

The book had it be a fourth dimensional monster. The movie had it massive cities taken out.

The cold war standoff is a bit difficult to repeat, but not if the terrorists are state sponsored (and the everyday people do not know). If the "cops" continued on their path it could be shown how inevitably that would lead to a global catastrophe, including dissolution of the state entirely.

Maybe something that scares the hell out of everyone so bad they put down their guns for good.

Fight Club had a good ending.

IDK, really, my favorite story of the past ten years has not yet been made into a movie. Daemon & Freedom, by Daniel Suarez. Has a lot of the same elements. Maybe even fits this to a 't'.

Way forward thinking.

Maybe even already happening for real.

Or something not too unlike it.


TomTrottierApril 18, 2015 12:15 AM

It is a common revolutionary tactic to cause the government to become more and more repressive, so engendering more revolutionary fervour.

Why is the US falling for this?

GregoryApril 18, 2015 11:51 AM

@TomTrottier

They are blind, deaf, and dumb. And they are not pinball wizards.

Even if they were to suspect they were being manipulated, they would not think it was government doing it.

neoApril 18, 2015 8:12 PM

@P/K

NSA was accused of serious wrongdoings and illegal activities, spying on ordinary Americans and mass surveillance of whole populations worldwide. For all of that there's still no evidence, except for some minor cases and/or on a small scale.

The obvious response is that Snowden clearly brought massive amounts of evidence of activities that were considered at the very least a sea change in the relationship between the U.S. citizen and the government. At least the overt relationship. The same story had happened before in past decades. Wrongdoings, some smaller scale than others, but plenty on the scale of 'regime change against democratically elected leadership regimes'. So in that sense, yeah, more of the same. But it's the overtness that makes a difference in the future history books. The populace can no longer claim ignorance and go on reaping the spoils of unconscionable behavior. The police state is the responsibility of the people. If the people do nothing to reign it in, and later its victims, or decendents of its victims reap vengeance and wrath, well, that's on the collaborators now.

Read your own words again if you'd prefer to ignore mine. Your choice in speaking about the existence of evidence, rather than the activities themselves shows your true colors. You know what you believe and what you'll deny in a debate. You'll get yours.

BuckApril 18, 2015 10:13 PM

@Alex

Attached is the updated renewal pricing for SPE's Global Terrorism policy, which renews at 12:01 AM April 1, 2014. They have agreed to a 2 year policy, with payments made on an annual basis, no pre-payment needed. There will be reduced pricing in the 2nd year.
Lolz! That's gotta be the most expensive April Fool's prank I've ever seen! :-P
I'll post some of my other Sony observations over on the squid thread.

NSAIApril 19, 2015 10:16 PM

His best idea was leaving the wrecked country. The worst idea was going to another wrecked country. At least here you can sue and determine the degree of wreckage. Try suing Russia. Everybody from Cuba in Florida should sue Cuba now for losses related to communism. Sue the NSA!

TonyApril 20, 2015 1:20 AM

Wow this got a lot of comments. About time Bruce comment? Possibly he did, I have not made it to the end. Such a vague opening.

GeorgeApril 24, 2015 11:39 AM

Sorry, Snowden is a traitor pure and simple, and for his efforts to have any credibility, he needs to turn himself in and have his day in court. His being manipulated to support of Putin's lies about state surveillance showed his hand. At best he's an idealistic nerd.

Not sure'd I'd agree with you about the quality of that password advice, there, Vern.

Clive RobinsonApril 24, 2015 2:03 PM

@ George,

Sorry, Snowden is a traitor pure and simple...

People who generaly take this line have failed to inform themselves of what has been released....

I suggest you do a bit of background reading.

NathanaelApril 29, 2015 10:41 AM

Boo: that reference to the Brezhnev-era USSR is very important.

http://nautil.us/issue/23/dominoes/how-the-computer-got-its-revenge-on-the-soviet-union

"Big Brother, who wanted to see everything and know everything, became overwhelmed with information that was often distorted by lower-level officials trying to present a rosy picture. Vast clogs of inaccurate information paralyzed the decision-making mechanism, while accurate information was exchanged only locally, like black-market goods or forbidden books in the samizdat. "

That's where we're headed, if we aren't already there.

SteveApril 29, 2015 2:06 PM

+1 with boo, parrot, and Brian's comments above. I was heart sick and extremely disappointed in Oliver for playing the "I have no idea who Edward Snowden is," clip to Edward. Edward had given up a comfortable life for the potential torture of solitary confinement in a small cell. That act of selflessness and courage requires respect, regardless of the venue. The same applies to Jay Leno who joked in a similar fashion against Jeremy Scahill during a talk show. These folks demand much more respect than that given by pay per laugh clowns.

Edward along with courageous reporters bring us to a very close version of the truth which stands in stark contrast to DC political tools who propagandize establishment gibberish (see Notes #1 & 2 below). Regardless of the efforts of DC Hacks and clowns, Edward and Glenn will one day be held in very high regard by the majority - in similar regard as Daniel Ellsberg and Neil Sheehan. The courage in these good people is the same sort as was once found in old time folks such as Thomas Paine. This form of character is in very short supply these days, with virtually zero to be found in DC. So, it is of little wonder why Americans remain ignorant and/or unsympathetic of Edward & Glenn; along with the most important story since the Pentagon Papers.

Note #1 Journalist...
Courageous journalist such as Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, Laura Poitras, Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay (hint, Strobel & Landay of Knight Ridder who exposed DC Iraq propaganda as early as 2002 - when most bloggers & newspapers were tools beating the WAR DRUM beat to invading Iraq).

Note #2 DC tools...
DC tools such as David Gregory, NYT, wapo, Fox, Judith Miller (she is the disgraced Dick Cheney stenographer who once posed as a reporter in the run up to invading Iraq) etc, there is an over abundance in this category.

Note #3
I was tempted to use the word patriot to describe Edward. However, these forms of words have become meaningless in our society via misapplication and overuse; esp within political parties, TV, and "news".

Nick PApril 29, 2015 7:58 PM

@ Steve

"+1 with boo, parrot, and Brian's comments above. I was heart sick and extremely disappointed in Oliver for playing the "I have no idea who Edward Snowden is," clip to Edward. Edward had given up a comfortable life for the potential torture of solitary confinement in a small cell. That act of selflessness and courage requires respect, regardless of the venue. "

I agree with the sacrifice earning respect and it's why I totally disagree with you on him playing the video. He DEFINITELY should've shown him that. Did you even listen to what Snowden said before he saw it? He thought... from what source who knows... that he had sparked a huge national debate among the majority of the voting public and that they might take action against NSA. Oliver shows him most people he asked about the subject: (a) never heard of Snowden, (b) didn't care to remember what he did, (c) misremembered what he did, (d) misattributed others' activities to him, or (e) were opposed to him.

I interviewed hundreds of people myself in a diverse area to find only a handful knew enough to even make an informed decision. I could count on two hands how many people looked at enough articles to know they should support him. Out of *hundreds*. Showing Snowden the *reality* of the situation vs whatever fantasy he had in his head is definitely the right thing to do. Now, he can himself make a more informed opinion about what his best strategy is in the next media appearance or even after his asylum expires. The alternative is lying to or pampering him so as to let him be blindsided by reality later, while hoping that will workout somehow.

Not a good plan.

SteveApril 30, 2015 2:38 PM

@ P/K
Yes, discourse in our society is often powered by ignorance. Awareness is not evenly distributed across all educational levels and socioeconomic strata. This condition limits exposure of news events, such as Edward's revelations (hereafter simply called revelations). Thus, the ignorance displayed in the clip is no surprise. But, this ignorance is exhibited in most all subjects and events, not just the revelations. Ask the herd about Taylor Swift's new hit, awareness rises. Ask the herd about the history and importance of the 4th amendment, awareness falls as ignorance displays its ugly face.

Amongst the conversations I have had with my friends, all have a very positive impression of the revelations. Most understand them as critical attempts to hold onto the few strands of "democracy" remaining after 911. Even on this particular blog post, there is a 10 to 1 favorability ratio for the revelations. This 10/1 ratio is representative of all forums I have read; even suspect plants are counted (P/K you do know the US gov't has several illegal propaganda programs targeting the citizenry don't you? I suspect you are aware.).

Now, I'll address a 2nd item in your post; you state, "He thought... from what source who knows... that he had sparked a huge national debate among the majority of the voting public and that they might take action against NSA.".

Simply use Google to determine the veracity of Edward's belief and you will see why he holds it. A search of the following two terms,

nsa constitution

returns 8,840,000 results which would suggest the issue is being discussed. 92,100 of those results occurred in this past month alone.

Furthermore, action is indeed occurring as a result of the revelations. Here are a few popular blog links indicating direct action as a result of the revelations

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/238227-new-anti-nsa-coalition-pledges-to-fight-215

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/25/nsa-surveillance-amash-amendment-narrow-defeat

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/19/house-nsa_n_5513642.html

@P/K, I've read all of your post to Bruce's blog post on Edward. As is the case of a few others, I remain unimpressed by your lack of objectivity and/or your lack of research. You'll prove few points to alert type folks and zero points with tech type folks using your methods.

SteveMay 7, 2015 11:51 AM

The latest on the Snowden effect, in 3 links:

HR 2048, the USA Freedom Act
http://www.judiciary.house.gov/index.cfm/usa-freedom-act

Decided on May 7, 2015, "NSA mass phone surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden ruled illegal"
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/07/nsa-phone-records-program-illegal-court

“Now that this program is finally being examined in the sunlight, the executive branch’s claims about its legality and effectiveness are crumbling. The president should end mass surveillance immediately. If not, Congress needs to finish the job and finally end this dragnet.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, which led the initial legal challenge against director of national intelligence James Clapper, predicted that its victory on Thursday should force Congress to take a tougher approach.

“The current reform proposals from Congress look anemic in light of the serious issues raised by the second circuit,” said ACLU director Anthony Romero. “Congress needs to up its reform game if it’s going to address the court’s concerns.”

Leading reformers in the Senate also urged Republican leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on the reform-minded USA Freedom Act rather than attempt to simply update existing legislation when it expires in a few days time.

“Congress should not reauthorize a bulk collection program that the court has found to violate the law,” said a joint statement from Democratic senator Patrick Leahy and Republican Mike Lee. “ We will not consent to any extension of this program … We urge the majority leader to bring the USA Freedom Act up for a vote next week after the House passes it.”


Link to ruling:
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/may/07/nsa-bulk-data-collection-surveillance-document

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