FAQ
It is currently Sat May 27, 2017 2:29 am


Author Message
tridimity
Post  Post subject: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:09 pm

Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 1117

Offline
I guess you will all be aware of the former CIA technical worker, Edward Snowden, who leaked sensitive information about US surveillance programmes:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22837100

What do you guys think? Is what Snowden did really that reprehensible?

As far as I can tell, whether or not the claims he has made regarding the invasion of individuals' privacy by US authorities is true or not, Snowden's perception was that the invasion of people's privacy was a reality.

As such, by whistle-blowing he has knowingly sacrificed his own vocation and freedom for the sake of members of the public. That is an overwhelmingly noble action - more noble by miles than any US authority would dare to achieve.

Snowden is a hero and deserves our respect, admiration and pardoning. The pardon petition can be signed here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/10/edward-snowden-pardon-petition-nsa-whistleblower-white-house-website_n_3415350.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

_________________
gone also


Top
marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:26 am
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4779
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Offline
that's the problem with countries that are high on patriotism : anything that's seen as disrespectful of the existing order makes you a traitor

on the other hand, can you blame the intelligence services that they try to make use of the available information ? and then you have to start wondering who gathers all these data - for data mining and targeted advertising

_________________
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)


Top
bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:54 pm
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:55 am
Posts: 978
Location: Denver, Colorado

Offline
Quote:
As such, by whistle-blowing he has knowingly sacrificed his own vocation and freedom for the sake of members of the public.


As a member of that public I am still trying to ascertain exactly what harm he has saved me from. Then, when that becomes clear I will have to weigh whether I place higher value on that than on the potential harm that this type of monitoring may have saved me from. Until that becomes clear I am not ready to sigh any petition.


Top
tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:33 am

Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 1117

Offline
Quote:
marnixR wrote:
on the other hand, can you blame the intelligence services that they try to make use of the available information ?


Quote:
bunbury wrote:
As a member of that public I am still trying to ascertain exactly what harm he has saved me from. Then, when that becomes clear I will have to weigh whether I place higher value on that than on the potential harm that this type of monitoring may have saved me from. Until that becomes clear I am not ready to sigh any petition.


No, of course not, they have a very important job to do in protecting the public from harm - however, obviously Snowden is not an idiot (despite the negative portrayal of certain media agencies) - at his discretion, he deemed the activities of the intelligence agencies to, at times, be doing more harm than good. None of us are granted access to this world, and so we are reliant on the information fed to us by (ex) insiders (whistleblowers). We are not able to directly verify Snowden's claims - but what might be his motives for his actions if there was not a real or perceived threat to public privacy and wellbeing?

It strikes me that Snowden could face extradition and life imprisonment for an action that was based on wholesome intentions. Just? Seems in the US one is guilty unless proven innocent :lol:

_________________
gone also


Top
bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:21 pm
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:55 am
Posts: 978
Location: Denver, Colorado

Offline
Quote:
Seems in the US one is guilty unless proven innocent


Nonsense. Where did you get that idea? The press does not send people to prison, and the press I have read is still pretty much on the fence about Snowden. Perhaps we could wait to see:
a) If the officials can support their claim that the surveillance prevented "dozens" of terrorist attacks
b) What criminal charges, if any, are to be brought against him, when we might see what actual harm he may have caused
c) What the press eventually has to say about a person who decides that his opinion and judgment is more important than that of my elected representative and the elected representatives of every other voter in this country, since all the activities he revealed are perfectly legal.

The way this country works is that if you don't agree with a law you try to change the law. You don't break another law to highlight the one you happen to dislike. I compare this guy to the sherrifs in Colorado who are refusing to implement some minor restrictions on gun ownership in their counties because they disagree with the new laws. Well, too bad. If you don't want to do the job you are paid to do, then resign or be fired. It is not their right te be selective about which laws they enforce and which ones they don't and it is not Snowden's right to choose which laws he obeys and which he dopesn't.


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:53 am
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
bunbury wrote:
Quote:
Seems in the US one is guilty unless proven innocent


Nonsense. Where did you get that idea?

Perhaps not in the legal system itself, but among the populace we do very much seem to be taking on a witch hunt mentality for every tiny thing that pops up, lately.

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:12 am

Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 1117

Offline
Quote:
bunbury wrote:
Nonsense. Where did you get that idea? The press does not send people to prison, and the press I have read is still pretty much on the fence about Snowden. Perhaps we could wait to see:
a) If the officials can support their claim that the surveillance prevented "dozens" of terrorist attacks
b) What criminal charges, if any, are to be brought against him, when we might see what actual harm he may have caused
c) What the press eventually has to say about a person who decides that his opinion and judgment is more important than that of my elected representative and the elected representatives of every other voter in this country, since all the activities he revealed are perfectly legal.


I read that, if extradited, Snowden faces life imprisonment for his actions. As for deferring to the opinions and judgments of elected representatives of voting citizens - Snowden was, as far as I can tell, attempting to protect these very people from the corruption (as he perceived it) that was being perpetrated by these very elected representatives. Just because a representative has a mandate, does not mean that that mandate should not be challenged in the event that the representative fails in its core institutional obligations towards those who put them in that position of power. Sometimes the ends justify the means - even if those means are objectionable under less exceptional circumstances. The question therefore becomes, were the means employed by Snowden justified by the net outcome (or his intended outcome)? That is difficult to answer without more information but as yet no-one has satisfactorily answered the question as to why he would put himself through such an ordeal if not in the public interest?

Quote:
bunbury wrote:
The way this country works is that if you don't agree with a law you try to change the law. You don't break another law to highlight the one you happen to dislike. I compare this guy to the sherrifs in Colorado who are refusing to implement some minor restrictions on gun ownership in their counties because they disagree with the new laws. Well, too bad. If you don't want to do the job you are paid to do, then resign or be fired. It is not their right te be selective about which laws they enforce and which ones they don't and it is not Snowden's right to choose which laws he obeys and which he dopesn't.


Actually, it is his right, but he still must live with the legal ramifications of misbehaving. Just because something is legal does not make it morally valid.

Quote:
iNow wrote:
Perhaps not in the legal system itself, but among the populace we do very much seem to be taking on a witch hunt mentality for every tiny thing that pops up, lately.


Exactly - it is a theme playing over and over that those rare individuals who have the moral courage to sacrifice their very own freedoms in the name of exposing the corruption of elected officials and large corporations are (unsurprisingly but unfairly) persecuted by the latter. You have to ask yourself: where does the greatest moral ill lie? With the corrupt corporations or with the lone whistleblower? If nothing else it's an irony of ethics.

_________________
gone also


Top
bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:31 pm
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:55 am
Posts: 978
Location: Denver, Colorado

Offline
Corruption?

Where is the corruption in the Snowden case? Please elaborate.


Top
GiantEvil
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:26 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:19 am
Posts: 786

Offline
bunbury wrote:
Corruption?

Where is the corruption in the Snowden case? Please elaborate.

From the Wiki wrote:
The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

A giant data mining operation performed on the electronic communications of nearly every American citizen?

_________________
It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.
-W. K. Clifford-


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:51 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
GiantEvil wrote:
bunbury wrote:
Corruption?

Where is the corruption in the Snowden case? Please elaborate.

From the Wiki wrote:
The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

A giant data mining operation performed on the electronic communications of nearly every American citizen?


But that's not corruption in and of itself. They're looking not at the content of our communications, but the fact that we are making them, how long they last, and to whom we're connected... Much like is already available on facebook or twitter, really. It's meta data. I understand there are important privacy concerns to be discussed, but like bunbury I'm confused where this idea of corruption is coming from.


That said, it's also been going on for like a century.

http://www.vice.com/read/a-brief-histor ... ess-spying

Quote:
Nothing is ever new. The NSA’s monitoring of the internet and the phone records of millions of Americans surprised some people, and made the public as a whole fairly pissed off, but it’s not the first time US government has taken an Big Brotherly interest in its citizens. The feds have been tapping into the private lives of Americans without warrants and with the help of communication companies for nearly a century. Here are some of the more significant spying programs:

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
GiantEvil
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:21 am
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:19 am
Posts: 786

Offline
iNow wrote:
That said, it's also been going on for like a century.

Up to the limits of the then current technology, I would say longer than a century.
iNow wrote:
They're looking not at the content of our communications,

Hmm, I haven't looked so closely at the story to determine whether I suspect that or not. Whatever the case that's where I would draw the line. Looking at meta data, fine. Looking into, or data mining communication contents, bad, bad, extra bad, possibly genuinely evil.

_________________
It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.
-W. K. Clifford-


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:38 am
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
They can look at content, but need a warrant. The existing "rubber stamp" warrant we've heard about in the news covers meta-data only.

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:57 pm
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4779
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Offline
they surely have kept facebook busy : more than 9000 data requests in half a year's time

NSA scandal: Facebook says it received over 9,000 data requests from US government agencies in just six months

_________________
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)


Top
bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:28 pm
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:55 am
Posts: 978
Location: Denver, Colorado

Offline
Scandal:

Quote:
A publicized incident that brings about disgrace or offends the moral sensibilities of society


As a member of society my moral sensibilities are not yet offended, nor are those of many others. The use of the word scandal is both premature and inflammatory. Whatever happened to getting the facts before forming an opinion?


Top
marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:56 am
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4779
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Offline
the link was there more to highlight the number of requests rather than to agree with the article headline of whether this is a scandal or not

in the meantime, Apple and Microsoft have also gone public about the number of requests received :

Apple reveals US surveillance requests, following Facebook's lead

_________________
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)


Top
bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:51 pm
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:55 am
Posts: 978
Location: Denver, Colorado

Offline
marnixR, I understand that you were not necessarily agreeing with the headline. Likewise I was not criticizing you at all - I was just hoping to raise awareness of a problem that I think we have here, in the way this is being reported and the way some people are receiving it.

I object to the use of the word scandal to describe the information illegally revealed by Snowden, although it might apply more accurately to his own actions and the fact that he was able to release this information that may or may not affect national security.

I object to the use of the word whistleblower that I have seen elsewhere to describe Snowden. A whistleblower is a person who reveals corruption or lawbreaking among his employers. Snowden has not done this.

I found these items interesting in the Apple article:

Quote:
Apple stressed that each request was evaluated on its merits and was not automatically granted.


Quote:
In a letter to US attorney general Eric Holder last week, David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, wrote: "Assertions in the press that our compliance with these requests gives the US government unfettered access to our users' data are simply untrue. However, government nondisclosure obligations regarding the number of Fisa national security requests that Google receives, as well as the number of accounts covered by those requests, fuel that speculation."


Quote:
Apple said the most common form of request comes from "police investigating robberies and other crimes, searching for missing children, trying to locate a patient with Alzheimer's disease, or hoping to prevent a suicide".


People are forming opinions without knowing the facts, and the media, in some cases are collaborating in this.


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:31 am
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
bunbury wrote:
People are forming opinions without knowing the facts, and the media, in some cases are collaborating in this.

The problem has been getting worse in recent years, IMO. I'm reminded of tridimity's recent comment about the mob and witch hunt mentality we seem to be seeing so often.

To the issue of data collection, it's sort of the nature of servers. If data passes through a server somewhere, it can be tracked and analyzed and reported upon. If you don't wish to be tracked, you can't pass any information through the server in any form or in any fashion. I think we're well beyond that conversation, and would like us to consider how that data gets used, when, and under what protections (or penalties for fraudulent use).

Then again, we couldn't even arrest anyone in the banking industry after the massive "scandal" and collapse there, so what are the chances we'll do this right?

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
seagypsy
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:28 pm
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:44 am
Posts: 176
Location: DFW, TX

Offline
For one thing, spying on private citizens is illegal. I do agree that it is somewhat hypocritical for people to whine about their privacy when they tweet their every fart on the internet for everyone to see. But from what I understand even when tweeting and facebooking some privacy is assumed. I personally don't make public posts on facebook. I only send private messages to my family members. But what I send privately and the fact that I send it, is none of the feds business. I should not have every person I every have contact with documented especially if I do it in private.

What if you are chatting with someone you know online but you don't really know who they are. For instance this forum. Do any of us really know who we are talking to. So let's say we exchange PMs with a fellow member not realizing that even though this person seems perfectly sane and rational, they are secretly plotting to blow up the world. The feds see PMs being exchange and they take that as evidence that you are a questionable character yourself. Next thing you know they are getting into every aspect of your life, looking everything you spend your money on, how you dress, who you call, even listening into your calls. That is a form of rape and it is unjustified.

Our Constitution was written the way it was for a reason. To prevent abuses of power against the people. If we permit them to get away with this now, especially on the grounds that it's been going on for a long time, what's to stop them from trampling on more of our rights. Like our right to protect ourselves in our own homes with firearms if we so choose to do so.

Our Constitution has been getting spit on in the name of national security for far too long. The nation that we were does not even exist anymore. We aren't free anymore and many of us don't even realize it. The terrorists won. They destroyed our country. We are no longer free, we are suspicious of our neighbors, divided on more issues than we can imagine, and now being terrorized covertly by our own government. Outsiders don't need to blow us up. We no longer have the power to be a threat to anyone because we are too busy fighting amongst ourselves to be any risk to anyone else.

They didn't just destroy our buildings and take a bunch of lives, they destroyed our sanity, took away our unity, and turned us against each other. The government is no longer for the people by the people. its us against them even if we don't see it. We are now a country full of individuals out to rule over each other rather than work together for the good of us all.

_________________
It takes a certain amount of obvious stupidity to keep the science geeks from falling asleep. I am happy to do my part in keeping them awake.


Top
bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:03 am
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:55 am
Posts: 978
Location: Denver, Colorado

Offline
If you are exchanging emails with someone who the feds know is plotting to blow up the world then I would certainly hope the feds would also investigate you (or me).


Top
seagypsy
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:05 am
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:44 am
Posts: 176
Location: DFW, TX

Offline
Constitutional rights be damned huh. Wouldn't it be better that I be alerted by them in case my own life was in danger?

_________________
It takes a certain amount of obvious stupidity to keep the science geeks from falling asleep. I am happy to do my part in keeping them awake.


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:25 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
seagypsy wrote:
Constitutional rights be damned huh.

You are constitutionally protected against unreasonable search and seizure, as well as cruel and unusual punishment, but if you're emailing a terrorist then their search of your content and investigation or analysis of you is neither unreasonable nor cruel and unusual.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Ame ... nstitution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Ame ... nstitution

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
seagypsy
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:31 pm
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:44 am
Posts: 176
Location: DFW, TX

Offline
iNow wrote:
seagypsy wrote:
Constitutional rights be damned huh.

You are constitutionally protected against unreasonable search and seizure, as well as cruel and unusual punishment, but if you're emailing a terrorist then their search of your content and investigation or analysis of you is neither unreasonable nor cruel and unusual.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Ame ... nstitution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Ame ... nstitution


If they discovered the email through illegally monitoring my emails then it is illegal.

If they were monitoring the terrorist's emails only because he/she was a suspect and they had just cause to monitor his.her communications, and by doing so they saw he/she had sent me an email through my blog asking about how to bake cookies, then I have no problem with them reading the contents of THAT single email. The contents which would be reasonable enough to show that I was not a terrorist and had no knowledge of who the person actually was. If he/she introduced himself/herself as a terrorist I would not have responded but reported him/her.

But if they see the email exchange on my account because they were monitoring me without cause and didn't like the screen name of someone I emailed or because the person has an Arabic sounding name, then it is the result of illegal search and seizure.

They should not be blanketly monitoring the entire populations communication activities. That is illegal search and seizure. And usually evidence collected by illegal means isn't even admissible in court.

_________________
It takes a certain amount of obvious stupidity to keep the science geeks from falling asleep. I am happy to do my part in keeping them awake.


Top
Neverfly
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:46 pm

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:19 am
Posts: 68

Offline
Monitoring personal communications without probable cause is illegal and a violation of what the nation was founded on and pretends to continue to stand for.

The whole "terrorist threat" excuse has been repeatedly exploited ever since the TSA was found to be getting away with rampant theft and illegal search and seizure, to be crooked as hell, abusive and invasive. They saw everyone bending over for the TSA and taking it and said, "Oh... They LIKE it!"
"Let's see what else we can get away with."

Then they turned around and lied like dogs about the NSA monitoring.


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:33 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
seagypsy wrote:
If they discovered the email through illegally monitoring my emails then it is illegal.

Not that I agree with the steps they took, but it WAS legal. It said in the law they could do this, and they also requested and received court approval. You could argue that the courts inappropriately provided blanket approvals, but the approvals were definitely in place and so technically it was neither illegal nor unconstitutional... no matter how much we may hate that it happened.

Neverfly wrote:
Monitoring personal communications without probable cause is illegal and a violation of what the nation was founded on and pretends to continue to stand for.

What law was violated, and what specifically was our nation founded upon that was violated? I'm hoping you don't give me some meaningless deepity like "freedom!" as I've not yet heard a good answer to these questions from anyone with whom I've discussed this and I'm truly trying to find one.

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
seagypsy
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:04 pm
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:44 am
Posts: 176
Location: DFW, TX

Offline
I'll have to locate my US Government text book from 2 years ago. But I will do my best to remember the research path that took me to some supreme court decisions on a few particular cases where the supreme court declared that snooping through private communications whether through trash cans, email, or us post was a federal offense. Something related to it being a federal crime to open any mail that is not addressed to you. So like if your roommate gets a letter from his mom and you open it without his permission, it's a federal offense. And though it is rarely enforced, it technically is a federal offense to open someone's mail. And the supreme court in on case had extended that protection to any sort of communication that was reasonably considered to be private, such as email and telephone calls.

Most of the people in my class were not aware of the supreme court decision regarding it and it became quite the interesting class discussion.


Until I can track that down. There is the case of breach of contract. If the provider of email service states in their terms of service that your privacy will be protected and unless they are presented with a subpoena or warrant for search then they should not be voluntarily handing over any information regarding your personal communications to anyone. Then you should at least be able to sue the for breach of contract.

I am still searching privacy laws. Some vary from state to state but federal ones are what I am most interested in right now. I found some before and we talked about them in class but that was 2 years ago and my memories are all jumbled now.

_________________
It takes a certain amount of obvious stupidity to keep the science geeks from falling asleep. I am happy to do my part in keeping them awake.


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:06 am
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
Thanks, seagypsy. The breach of contract angle is an interesting one for sure, however, that's obviously an issue in the private sector unrelated to whether or not the government did anything wrong.

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
Ascended
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:14 am
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:59 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Over the hills and far away

Offline
tridimity wrote:
I guess you will all be aware of the former CIA technical worker, Edward Snowden, who leaked sensitive information about US surveillance programmes:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22837100

What do you guys think? Is what Snowden did really that reprehensible?

As far as I can tell, whether or not the claims he has made regarding the invasion of individuals' privacy by US authorities is true or not, Snowden's perception was that the invasion of people's privacy was a reality.

As such, by whistle-blowing he has knowingly sacrificed his own vocation and freedom for the sake of members of the public. That is an overwhelmingly noble action - more noble by miles than any US authority would dare to achieve.

Snowden is a hero and deserves our respect, admiration and pardoning. The pardon petition can be signed here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/10/edward-snowden-pardon-petition-nsa-whistleblower-white-house-website_n_3415350.html?utm_hp_ref=uk


I'm in a bit of a quandary over just how to view this guy on the one hand he has exposed something supposedly illegal going on, yet on the other he has kind of made public that which is probarbly best left in the shadows of anonimity. I think most of us probarbly at least having some inkling that the security services have capabilities to spy on people, after all it is kind of their job. This at least to me doesn't really bother me, provided they are just using to go after people that are a threat to the country.

Do I care that they might collect data about me, honestly, not really. I'd be more worried I guess if they didn't have this ability or if they were incompetent. This then I suppose does really require some trust in the people working for and actually running the said security services that collectively they do really have our best interests at heart. But again since they are made up from our own country men, I'd have to think they aren't going to be all that different in thought and attitude from you or I, so I'd have a hard time believing they were really trying to do things that hurt the public in general.

Again though this makes me think about just how to feel about this guy, sure we should applaud his courage of conviction to stand up for what he believed to be right and as such I don't really want to see get punished for his actions, but niether would I wish to see this becoming a trend either.

We all need to have some trust in the people that are there to protect us and our country/countries and when this is undermined it makes us all feel less secure.

_________________
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm


Top
tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:44 am

Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 1117

Offline
Of course the intelligence services need to be able to collect sensitive information. The point is that Snowden will have known this - and in spite of this knowledge, he deemed their actions to be inappropriately invasive, suggestive of an abuse of power on the part of the authorities. Now whether or not such an abuse of power actually occurred I cannot tell. However, Snowden's perception of the illegality - or moral reprehensibility - of their actions is convincing. Why else would he sacrifice his own wellbeing if not for the greater cause of protecting his fellow US citizens? As such I think Snowden ought to be pardoned. Again it comes back to the means justifying the ends. A bit of a strawman argument but illustrates the point: imagine a person witnesses a murder carried out by one of his friends. The friend asks the witness to keep his gruesome secret. Would it then be wrong of the witness to inform others (and the police) of his friend's crime? Yes - he would be breaching the unspoken friendship contract by betraying confidence. I think you will probably agree though, that in this case, as in other real-life cases - sometimes the means (whistleblowing) justifies the ends (protection of the public from harm).

As for the authorities being 'our country men' - do you really think that they care about the average individual citizen? I doubt it. They care about citizens collectively because collectively they represent economic power underpinning their own power. Without the citizenry, they would of course be powerless. Perhaps I am too much a cynic but it seems to me that the only allegiances are socioeconomic - national borders no longer divide us but elsocioeconomic ones always will. The really powerful can traverse the globe with ease; yet tgey remain dependent on those of lower socioeconomic status, who are tied locally, for their wealth and power. Which is why they like to appear as if they care about the average Joe - the awareness of depe

_________________
gone also


Last edited by tridimity on Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.


Top
tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:46 am

Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 1117

Offline
dependency obliges them to put on a front. The same story plays out worldwide. Class struggle. Okay, rant over.

If you really want to protect yourself, trust no-one. Nothing makes a person so vulnerable as blind trust.

_________________
gone also


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:14 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
Snowden broke the law and should face the punishment. I am, however, glad he shared what he did, and I also feel he was cautious not to share anything too sensitive that would put the nation at risk. That makes me more trusting of his motivations (he did not, for instance, publish a list of the location of all of our secret agents and their aliases).

What perhaps bothers me most about this whole story, however, is how much focus has been on Snowden instead of on the real issue of surveillance and what is / is not appropriate in that domain. It's as if we as a populace are being intentionally distracted by the "bright light" of Snowden so we don't focus on the core issue he exposed.

Yes, Snowden broke the law and laws mean something so he should face the consequences whatever they may be. He knew those consequences existed when he did what he did, and he chose to do it anyway. That's his prerogative. Now, can we please start having an adult conversation about what is happening with our data and what limits or protections we should expect as citizens?

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
Neverfly
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:49 pm

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:19 am
Posts: 68

Offline
iNow wrote:
Snowden broke the law and should face the punishment.

Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges.

Laws are never perfect. If a law creates more harm than good, it should be broken and should be broken punishment free.

Laws and crimes are an invented concept of humanities desire to Control Reality- a fallacy, at best. Breaking a bad "law" is never a "crime."


Top
tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:41 pm

Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 1117

Offline
Agreed, Neverfly

I imagine those whose job it was - but who refused - to carry out the physical, almost mechanical, process of killing Jews under the Nazi regime would have been considered to have been breaking the law or breaching employment contract or something. Since they were breaking the law, should they be punished? Of course not - there is always a bigger picture. To ignore the bigger picture in favour of arbitrarily submitting to authority allows the perpetration of crimes against humanity.

As for the point about focussing extensively on Snowden as an individual rather than on the issue of privacy at large, I agree with you iNow that perhaps we have become distracted. Whether or not that distraction is borne of nefarious intent on the part of the media I cannot tell. Personally the reason I have focussed more on Snowden is: i. the extremity of his situation - to be extradited would almost certainly mean a lengthy prison sentence for him - for him the innocent party (a double-whammy of moral insult); and, ii. insufficient information to allow me to gauge the accuracy of the claims made against the intelligence services.

_________________
gone also


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:33 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
Neverfly wrote:
If a law creates more harm than good, it should be broken and should be broken punishment free.

Laws and crimes are an invented concept of humanities desire to Control Reality- a fallacy, at best. Breaking a bad "law" is never a "crime."

The challenge with this, of course, is that it's completely open to interpretation and is rather subjective when deciding whether or not something "does more harm than good" or when a law is "bad."

We're not arguing whether 2+2=4 or whether 2+2=5, where we have a precise set of definitions and a consensus on rules and operations. We're arguing whether 2+2= Awesome or 2+2= Awful... where each individual person will have differing definitions, different interpretations of terms, and where there is no consensus on rules and operations.

The more harm than good and "bad law" test you suggest is much more vague and disputable and lacking clear precise answers than is required to make such declarations as you have above, IMO.



tridimity wrote:
As for the point about focussing extensively on Snowden as an individual rather than on the issue of privacy at large, I agree with you iNow that perhaps we have become distracted. Whether or not that distraction is borne of nefarious intent on the part of the media I cannot tell.

It's probably a bit of both, but ultimately we NEED to be focused on the larger issue. We NEED to have an adult conversation about how best to handle this. Instead, however, we focus almost solely on witch hunts and on characters and personalities and what they're wearing or who they're dating... instead of on the story and central plot and the path forward.

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
kojax
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:25 pm
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:43 am
Posts: 582

Offline
To be honest the surveillance didn't sound to me like it was particularly nefarious.

However, seeing Snowden charged with treason bugs me a lot. He doesn't appear to have given up any information which the USA's enemies don't already know. The sole basis of secrecy laws is to prevent our enemies from knowing certain things. So, he may have broken the letter of those laws but he certainly kept the spirit of those laws.

I don't want the government to demonstrate that it can excessively punish employees who break discipline while attempting to act in the public's interest. That's a really bad precedent.

If Snowden had endangered the country, or given up names of agents in the field (like Cheney did), then I'd see the treason charge as justified. But as long as he and all future whistle blowers respect the boundaries he has respected, and don't endanger the nation or its operatives, I'd like to see them merely getting slapped on the wrist.

Edward Snowden, put out your hand. Hold it there. Hold it... Slap!!!!! Bad Edward! Bad! Bad! Baaad!

There. Now I hope we all feel better.


Top
Neverfly
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:38 am

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:19 am
Posts: 68

Offline
iNow wrote:
The challenge with this, of course, is that it's completely open to interpretation and is rather subjective when deciding whether or not something "does more harm than good" or when a law is "bad."

This is true- but it's just as open in making laws, how laws are later interpreted and how they are implemented.
Let's say Georgy Porgy murders Carlos Salazar in order to rape his wife and steal his car.
The majority would consider that "Bad."
They would push to charge and give maximum sentencing.
Whether or not the majority is correct- that the behavior was, indeed, bad, is entirely subjective. Maybe Mr. Salazer had really poor genetic material and the raping of his wife was good for the species as a whole. But maybe it was very traumatic for his wife.
Don't get me wrong- I'm all for charge this fictitious Mr. Porgy. But this IS how it is.
We agree because we don't like it- not due to any real or objective Good or Bad.
Let's say Georgy Porgy murders Carlos Salazar to prevent him from stealing his car and raping his wife.
The majority would consider it "justifiable" and he would not be charged with a crime.
But what if Mr. Porgy was a wife beater, over-all a man of very low character that swindled people and disrupted Science Forums and talked in theaters. Mr. Salazar was a fine, upstanding man that paid his taxes, walked his neighbors dog and brought his wife ice cream when she was on her period- but was hopped up on Bath Salts at the time of the incident?
The majority would get all confused at that one.

So, Was the real life George Zimmerman a good man? Was he a bad man? An over-zealous man? A murderous criminal?
Was he a racist? The majority will be opinionated on all of it- but also confused.

In the end, laws are rather arbitrary and like morality, based far more on our own wants than on any Absolutes.
iNow wrote:
The more harm than good and "bad law" test you suggest is much more vague and disputable...(snip)

I never suggested a test. You are mistaken. Please quote where I suggested a test for it.
tridimity wrote:
I imagine those whose job it was - but who refused - to carry out the physical, almost mechanical, process of killing Jews under the Nazi regime would have been considered to have been breaking the law or breaching employment contract or something. Since they were breaking the law, should they be punished? Of course not - there is always a bigger picture. To ignore the bigger picture in favour of arbitrarily submitting to authority allows the perpetration of crimes against humanity.

As distasteful as Godwins law is- this is a very good point. Well worded.
tridimity wrote:
As for the point about focussing extensively on Snowden as an individual rather than on the issue of privacy at large, I agree with you iNow that perhaps we have become distracted. Whether or not that distraction is borne of nefarious intent on the part of the media I cannot tell. Personally the reason I have focussed more on Snowden is: i. the extremity of his situation - to be extradited would almost certainly mean a lengthy prison sentence for him - for him the innocent party (a double-whammy of moral insult); and, ii. insufficient information to allow me to gauge the accuracy of the claims made against the intelligence services.

The primary question is that if any person discovers that the government is breaking the principles it stands on and Violating the citizens of that governments trust, is it "wrong" to expose the lie?

I say it is not and pursuing charges for patriotism is nonsense.


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:40 am
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
Neverfly wrote:
Let's say Georgy Porgy murders Carlos Salazar in order to rape his wife and steal his car.
The majority would consider that "Bad."

That's irrelevant. Rape and stealing are both clearly defined. There is consensus on what they mean. We're not arguing whether the LAWS about rape or stealing are good or bad and hence can be broken, but that is what you were here doing regarding the NSA case.

I'm certainly open to a discussion whether or not these laws should be changed, but I stand firm in my position that your suggestion that laws can/should be ignored when you personally happen to "feel" they are "bad" is misguided at best, regardless of how well intentioned or focused on the greater good you may be.

Neverfly wrote:
Let's say Georgy Porgy murders Carlos Salazar to prevent him from stealing his car and raping his wife.
The majority would consider it "justifiable" and he would not be charged with a crime.

But it IS still a crime and he SHOULD still be charged. Let the jury decide the outcome, but the act is a crime and that is NOT in question. Same as I'm suggesting with Snowden. He did commit a crime. Whether or not the jury chooses to let him off is another matter.

Neverfly wrote:
But what if Mr. Porgy was a wife beater, over-all a man of very low character that swindled people and disrupted...

And what if rainbows really did have gold at the end guarded by leprechauns?

Neverfly wrote:
iNow wrote:
The more harm than good and "bad law" test you suggest is much more vague and disputable...(snip)

I never suggested a test. You are mistaken. Please quote where I suggested a test for it.

I'd like to avoid arguing over semantics. You're right, you did not use the exact word "test," but you were very clearly suggesting that laws can/should be ignored if they are causing "more harm than good" or if they are "bad" laws, and I was merely providing very rational feedback that this is problematic due to the subjective and arbitrary nature of those categorizations.

Neverfly wrote:
The primary question is that if any person discovers that the government is breaking the principles it stands on and Violating the citizens of that governments trust, is it "wrong" to expose the lie?

I do not think so, no. I definitely think the lie should be exposed (in a manner that does not endanger lives whenever possible). However, it generally is very much illegal, and part of the discussion needs to be facing the consequences of breaking that law, not assuming a priori that the law is invalid and hence moot. The model I propose is similar to what happened when Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon papers. Ellsberg was charged, took his case to court, and he ultimately won. There is no reason the same could not / should not happen here.

Neverfly wrote:
I say it is not and pursuing charges for patriotism is nonsense.

What if some of us are recommending that we pursue charges for reasons other than patriotism, such as consistency in the application of our laws... or such as a desire to ensure a broader societal conversation takes place about changing that law... or ensuring this topic is not merely forgotten by the next news cycle after our witch hunt is through? In your opinion, is that nonsense, too?

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
Neverfly
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:39 am

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:19 am
Posts: 68

Offline
iNow wrote:
That's irrelevant. Rape and stealing are both clearly defined.

Are they?
It actually is not so clear...
iNow wrote:
We're not arguing whether the LAWS about rape or stealing are good or bad and hence can be broken

I Am.

Are you telling me that I cannot?
iNow wrote:
I'm certainly open to a discussion whether or not these laws should be changed, but I stand firm in my position that your suggestion that laws can/should be ignored when you personally happen to "feel" they are "bad" is misguided at best, regardless of how well intentioned or focused on the greater good you may be.
iNow wrote:
Same as I'm suggesting with Snowden. He did commit a crime. Whether or not the jury chooses to let him off is another matter.
iNow wrote:
And what if rainbows really did have gold at the end guarded by leprechauns?

Tilting at windmills will not alter the point i made.

iNow wrote:
I'd like to avoid arguing over semantics. You're right, you did not use the exact word "test," but you were very clearly suggesting that laws can/should be ignored if they are causing "more harm than good" or if they are "bad" laws, and I was merely providing very rational feedback that this is problematic due to the subjective and arbitrary nature of those categorizations.

I never hinted nor suggested at Testing it. Now if you took it that way- I am not arguing over semantics. I am merely clarifying what I had said.
iNow wrote:
I do not think so, no. I definitely think the lie should be exposed (in a manner that does not endanger lives whenever possible). However, it generally is very much illegal, and part of the discussion needs to be facing the consequences of breaking that law, not assuming a priori that the law is invalid and hence moot.

So pretty much- if the law stands in the way of doing the right thing, the person should do the right thing and then get hauled off to court to answer for their criminal act of doing the right thing.

Call me crazy... But I think that would encourage people to not do the right thing for fear of being charged...
iNow wrote:
What if some of us are recommending that we pursue charges for reasons other than patriotism, such as consistency in the application of our laws... or such as a desire to ensure a broader societal conversation takes place about changing that law... or ensuring this topic is not merely forgotten by the next news cycle after our witch hunt is through? In your opinion, is that nonsense, too?

In my opinion, declaring a Law is a Law and a Rule is a Rule is oppressive because it takes no account for actuality. The only way one can support the claim that the Law Is A law is to demonstrate the law as infallible.


Top
tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:17 am

Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 1117

Offline
Quote:
Neverfly wrote:
As distasteful as Godwins law is- this is a very good point. Well worded.


*Sighs* [Ed: replace 'Nazi regime' with 'anonymous regime which employs genocide']

Does it really make that much difference which particular totalitarian, genocidal regime is mentioned? I don't see why mentioning the Third Reich ought to imply a loss of credibility for the argument. The point still holds.

_________________
gone also


Top
seagypsy
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:43 am
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:44 am
Posts: 176
Location: DFW, TX

Offline
tridimity wrote:
Quote:
Neverfly wrote:
As distasteful as Godwins law is- this is a very good point. Well worded.


*Sighs* [Ed: replace 'Nazi regime' with 'anonymous regime which employs genocide']

Does it really make that much difference which particular totalitarian, genocidal regime is mentioned? I don't see why mentioning the Third Reich ought to imply a loss of credibility for the argument. The point still holds.



I think NF was agreeing with you, that it is a good point and that it holds. And I agree, I don't think comparing something to Hitler's regime should automatically make an argument fallacious.

_________________
It takes a certain amount of obvious stupidity to keep the science geeks from falling asleep. I am happy to do my part in keeping them awake.


Top
Neverfly
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:22 am

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:19 am
Posts: 68

Offline
tridimity wrote:
Quote:
Neverfly wrote:
As distasteful as Godwins law is- this is a very good point. Well worded.

*sigh
Does it really make that much difference which particular totalitarian, genocidal regime is mentioned? I don't see why mentioning the Third Reich ought to imply a loss of credibility for the argument. The point still holds.

Note the parts in bold and underlined.

Why do I bother posting? It's there in Black and White- in PRINT. It's not as though I said it really fast and it got missed... It's all right there... All anyone needs to do is just read what is there. (I mean, jeez, you even quoted me saying it!)
Yet, people seem to skim it and then make up whatever they want to say you said. This seems to be constant for the past week or two.

It must be me. The way I write must have suddenly become very baffling. Clearly, if I say, "This is a very good point."- that means I said, "This is automatically fallacious and the point does not hold."

If I say lies are not necessary to be inaccurate; anecdote does not equal evidence- clearly I am saying that someone is a liar and told a lie.

If I say that I believe that no law is perfect, then that somehow means I have proposed a method for testing it.

No, really. It's all me. I'm vague and unclear in my communication. And people wonder why I get GRUMPY.


I give up...


Top
Ascended
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:48 pm
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:59 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Over the hills and far away

Offline
Still think when it comes down to the security services, MI5 & MI6 ect.. in the UK or the CIA & NSA ect.. in the US, I just really don't particularly want to know all their secrets or they've broke this rule or that rule ect...
What is important to me and this would bother me greatly if ordinary people were being hurt by their actions, but despite Snowden's revelation's there doesn't seem to be any evidence of such. Ok yes it's fair to say it looks like ordinary people were spied on but so what, people are spied in so many ways all the time these days.

What it seems to come down to is this, if the security are doing something so bad that ordinary are being hurt then yes we do need people like Edward Snowden to come forward so that we can put a stop to it, if however ordinary arn't really being hurt and the rules are being bent just to keep us safe against foreign countries and terrorists then in that case people like Snowden need to keep quiet and just do their jobs.
It also should be the case of it coming down to personal conscience for who gets to decide whether or not to be a whistle blower. What we should have is clear lines that are well defined, so that people know if these lines are crossed then it's ok to stand up and shout about it to the world, not this crazy current situation where people get to pick and choose what may or may not offend their sensabilites.

_________________
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:57 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
Neverfly wrote:
iNow wrote:
I definitely think the lie should be exposed (in a manner that does not endanger lives whenever possible). However, it generally is very much illegal, and part of the discussion needs to be facing the consequences of breaking that law, not assuming a priori that the law is invalid and hence moot.

So pretty much- if the law stands in the way of doing the right thing, the person should do the right thing and then get hauled off to court to answer for their criminal act of doing the right thing.

IMO, yes. That's the only way that law will ever be changed.

Laws don't change by being ignored. They change when we as a society come together to agree the law is contrary to our values and culture. Laws change when conscientious people see others breaking that law and feel the punishments being leveled are unfair or unwarranted.

I'm not here arguing in favor of the law. Instead, I'm arguing that we don't get to arbitrarily choose which laws we will follow and which laws we will not. If a law is misguided or wrong, we should rally to change it, not merely ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist because we feel like it.

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:01 pm
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4779
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Offline
iNow wrote:
Laws don't change by being ignored.


there's plenty of ancient laws in the UK that are still on the statute books but are no longer enforced - the law on blasphemy comes to mind - so in way some laws disappear from practical use by being ignored

_________________
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:09 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
Ascended wrote:
What it seems to come down to is this, if the security are doing something so bad that ordinary are being hurt then yes we do need people like Edward Snowden to come forward so that we can put a stop to it, if however ordinary arn't really being hurt and the rules are being bent just to keep us safe against foreign countries and terrorists then in that case people like Snowden need to keep quiet and just do their jobs.

The challenge with this, as I was alluding to previously in my exchange with Neverfly, is that it's completely subjective and arbitrary (and interpretations/opinions differ from person to person) regarding what constitutes "hurt."

Some folks feel this is a great program because it helps keep us safe... Not only does it NOT hurt americans, but it helps us. Still, other people argue that this is an unconstitutional intrusion into the lives of innocent citizens and is a sign of government over-reach and a move toward fascism. Where the line gets drawn is going to vary for each of us.

I do still see the "Snowden leak" as a distraction, though. We're all focused on that... and whether or not he should be prosecuted... instead of focusing on the larger issue of how we as a society want these types of surveillance programs to be structured and overseen in the coming years.

Ascended wrote:
It also should be the case of it coming down to personal conscience for who gets to decide whether or not to be a whistle blower. What we should have is clear lines that are well defined, so that people know if these lines are crossed then it's ok to stand up and shout about it to the world, not this crazy current situation where people get to pick and choose what may or may not offend their sensabilites.

Absolutely. Unfortunately, lately it seems as if our laws are only as good as the smart lawyer arguing against them.



marnixR wrote:
iNow wrote:
Laws don't change by being ignored.


there's plenty of ancient laws in the UK that are still on the statute books but are no longer enforced - the law on blasphemy comes to mind - so in way some laws disappear from practical use by being ignored

But, technically the government could still prosecute somebody under that law, couldn't they? That is, of course, if they were willing to look silly and stir up the ire of the populace... Since the law remains in place, they still have the power to enforce it whenever they see fit. To remove that power, the law itself would need to be removed/changed.

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
Neverfly
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:51 pm

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:19 am
Posts: 68

Offline
iNow wrote:
IMO, yes. That's the only way that law will ever be changed.

Laws don't change by being ignored. They change when we as a society come together to agree the law is contrary to our values and culture. Laws change when conscientious people see others breaking that law and feel the punishments being leveled are unfair or unwarranted.

I'm not here arguing in favor of the law. Instead, I'm arguing that we don't get to arbitrarily choose which laws we will follow and which laws we will not. If a law is misguided or wrong, we should rally to change it, not merely ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist because we feel like it.


Valid enough. MarnixR made a good response to this.

However, some laws are rather rarely broken without justifiable cause.

In this case, the law itself may be fine, but that the process that led to breaking that law was unusual.


Top
Neverfly
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:12 am

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:19 am
Posts: 68

Offline
With a free moment to actually concentrate:

I am not trying to advocate that anyone just chooses what laws to follow and what not to follow.

But in a case of basic ethics, the majority can still clearly voice whether a broken law should still be punished. This is one of those rare cases.
Snowden fled the country.
Shortly afterward, a petition was started. It has passed the 100,000 signature mark. This petition can only elicit an official response from the executive branch, however, it signifies public opinion which may be very important for a politician currently struggling with his popularity- especially in regards to the NSA issue.

A trial can get a jury that may acquit- however, there is more than just the verdict- a lot of money and time goes into a trial. It's a big affair. It can be prudent to pardon and get past all that expense and trauma.

When I took my oath upon joining the armed forces, it begins with the line, "I, (name) do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
I am not aware if Snowden was ever required to take such an oath as a contractor.

But he upheld it, in my opinion. Placing himself in danger from his own country in order to protect the principles upon which this nation stands- even if the "enemy" is domestic.
The white house has attempted to vilify him, to question his motives and his character but at no point, have they addressed being out of line with the NSA. Rather, they said, to effect: "We must sacrifice liberty for security."

Ben Franklin would roll in his grave...


Top
tridimity
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:26 pm

Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 1117

Offline
Quote:
Neverfly wrote:
Note the parts in bold and underlined.

Why do I bother posting? It's there in Black and White- in PRINT. It's not as though I said it really fast and it got missed... It's all right there... All anyone needs to do is just read what is there. (I mean, jeez, you even quoted me saying it!)
Yet, people seem to skim it and then make up whatever they want to say you said. This seems to be constant for the past week or two.

It must be me. The way I write must have suddenly become very baffling. Clearly, if I say, "This is a very good point."- that means I said, "This is automatically fallacious and the point does not hold."

If I say lies are not necessary to be inaccurate; anecdote does not equal evidence- clearly I am saying that someone is a liar and told a lie.

If I say that I believe that no law is perfect, then that somehow means I have proposed a method for testing it.

No, really. It's all me. I'm vague and unclear in my communication. And people wonder why I get GRUMPY.

I give up...


I was going on the, 'As distasteful as Godwin's law is' part - it seemed to me as if you were acknowledging the merits of the point yet drawing attention to its consistency with Godwin's law and the implicit lack of credibility that that implies for the argument. In short, I misinterpreted your meaning.

I'm sorry Neverfly for making you feel frustrated.

_________________
gone also


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:38 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5523
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
Neverfly wrote:
Rather, they said, to effect: "We must sacrifice liberty for security."

Ben Franklin would roll in his grave...

This started long ago, and was massively enhanced under Bush after 9/11. Indeed, if we're not careful we'll deserve neither liberty nor security, but that's what I find so frustrating here. We're not talking about that proper balance between security and liberty. We're talking about Snowden, and how he's living in an airport, and whether he is a hero or a traitor, and how he should either be prosecuted or let free, and what's happening with his pole dancing girlfriend...

Maybe we can have that discussion here... What SHOULD we allow when it comes to government surveillance in this modern age of technology, where every time we click a button or scan a credit card or take our phone with us somewhere any random kid with basic server access at the phone company can pull reports on our activity or the activity of celebrities or those in power?

Should we focus on changing our system to completely prevent the collection of this information (which I frankly feel is impossible given the way technologies work) or should we focus on putting clear and strict limits... checks and balances... in place regarding how it gets used (and if so, what should those regulations look like and who should enforce them)?

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
Neverfly
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:23 pm

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:19 am
Posts: 68

Offline
To really know a person is to have power over them.


Top
kojax
Post  Post subject: Re: Edward Snowden  |  Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:45 pm
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:43 am
Posts: 582

Offline
Law enforcement has to be allowed to gather some information without a warrant, just in case they might do so accidentally.

Shall we require them to wear nose plugs when they're out on patrol, so they don't smell the marijuana smoke coming out of someone's apartment window as they walk by?


Top
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Print view

Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
Jump to:   


Delete all board cookies | The team | All times are UTC


This free forum is proudly hosted by ProphpBB | phpBB software | Report Abuse | Privacy