Snowden, liberty, freedom, survalience and propaganda

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closed account (3qX21hU5)
True my mistake ;p

Anyways

Privacy was never promised under the constitution and is not considered a protected right.


Amendment I
(Privacy of Beliefs)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment III
(Privacy of the Home)
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
(Privacy of the Person and Possessions)
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment IX
(More General Protection for Privacy?)
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
@Zereo
None of those apply.
closed account (3qX21hU5)
I believe it could be argued that they the do apply but then again I'm no lawyer and our countries rights and laws are hard to navigate.
Amendment I is not privacy, it the freedoms amendment. Your choices will not be private per se, but you have the right to make those choices for yourself.

Amendment III is silly in today's times. It just means that you won't have to quarter troops. I suppose you could stretch it to the point of being privacy of the home, but that's hardly applicable here.

Amendment IV is arguable here. Is communication considered property? If so, then government spying could be considered unlawful search and seizure. If not then this amendment won't protect it. If you were to say that communication is property, than you must also believe that copyright laws are necessary and fair (which I'm assuming most people here don't) or you would be using a double standard.

Amendment IX is essentially a restatement of the question; Is privacy a right? If it is considered a right, then IX protects it. If not then IX is irrelevant. Ultimately the deciding factor would be Amendment IV.

While I disagree with the magnitude of the spying, I don't really think a little bit of surveillance is such a bad thing. I do think there's a bit of overreaction though...
closed account (3qX21hU5)
Didn't mean that all the amendments applied here was just posting the amendments that related to the right of privacy.

The main amendment that might apply to this situation is IV as Modshop mentioned if it covers communication documents.
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There is no (legal) expectation of privacy when it comes to call meta data (sender, receiver, duration, etc...) it's owned by the phone companies not us. There is an expectation of privacy for the actual conversations but they aren't recorded.
There is an expectation of privacy for the actual conversations but they aren't recorded.

Citation needed. Well they're probably not recorded as "sound", but if there's an automated speech recognition system you can bet Jurassic will be used to convert the conversations to text.
@Catfish4
It would count as wire tapping and would require a warrant for each line.
I totally missed ModShop's entire reply before.

ModShop wrote:
In his situation I suppose it would have been impossible to be active without becoming an enemy though.


Depends on your definition of "enemy". Criminal, yes.

Then again Nelson Mandela was a criminal. As was MLK Jr. Not that I lump Snowden in with either of them... the point is marking someone as "evil" or "an enemy" or "a traitor" can't be defined solely on whether or not what they did was legal. It's more a line of morals.

I don't think what Snowden did was immoral. I think what the NSA was/is doing is immoral... and exposing it was a conscious, strong decision for what he truly believed to be the betterment of the US public. And what he had to give up for it is crazy.

[Racial profiling] happens, whether you like it or not.


I know that. It doesn't mean we should condone it.

Murder happens. That doesn't mean we should go out murdering people.

I still consider him a traitor in principle though.


A traitor to who, though? The NSA? definitely. The US public? Hardly.

So then the question becomes.... where do your loyalties lie? With agencies like the NSA who operate in secrecy with very little regulatory oversight? Or with everyone you've ever met and known?

I know where mine lie. And they're certainly not with the NSA.

Even if nothing terribly damaging was released, if he gets away scotch free than more will follow.


That's a leap.

It's not like people are lining up and looking for excuses to expose classified information (at least I hope not).

Besides even if he receives a full pardon now and doesn't serve any jail time... I'd hardly call that "scot-free". Keep in mind he had to give up his career, and had to leave his friends, family, and all his possessions behind. Fleeing to another country with an uncertain future.
It would count as wire tapping and would require a warrant for each line.

What about warrantless wiretapping?
The NSA has actually broken the law more than once:

http://www.ibtimes.com/fisc-will-not-object-release-2011-court-opinion-confirmed-nsas-illegal-surveillance-1305023

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2013/06/fire_dni_james_clapper_he_lied_to_congress_about_nsa_surveillance.html

Technically then the NSA are traitors, also when people have complained up the chain of command like they were supposed to they still found themselves punished for it! ever heard of Thomas drake?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Andrews_Drake

I don't believe that this inward spying is purley about anti terrorism, I think its about businesses tied to government being fed up with people blowing the whistle on them, Its bad for business, and congress is OWNED by lobby groups and the federal reserve, I have this:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leaks-as.html#.Uc7UFju1HxA

I feel uncomfortable about the state, a lot more than I do terrorism, we never made this kind of fuss when the IRA kept blowing up pubs in london, didn't stop people going to the pub and the IRA killed a lot more, strangley though washington doesn't reconize the IRA as a terrorist organisation!!

(I don't think it recognizes lehi either)

I still think anti terrorism laws are out of proportion to the threat, i think american leaders are sacrificing a lot of the citizens freedom tle laws are creeping in every year, maybe the line will never get drawn, presidents are always going to make more rules and regulations they aren't going to repeal as many so at some point people are going to fear the state more than they will the terrorists, I guess no one is going to be keeping tabs on that at the moment.

The sad thing is american's still have great freedoms compared to us uks, I have always been angry about the police and army and possibly secret service agents swearing elegance to the queen:

so if ever the majority of people were trying to change their country through a peaceful revolution the police and army would stop it but if the minority of elites wanted to bring about a revolution for the majority the police and army would support it

EDIT: oh guys you cant forget, Bradley Manning released footage of apache pilots DELIBERATELY targeting civillians, people didn't know, the pilots even got medals when they got home! and they called him a traitor too.


EDIT2: on the issue of racial profiling I met a wild-eyed Glaswegian on the buss the other day, like a lot of didicoy gypsies and roaming scotsmen they go to small towns and bang on doors and ask for cash in hand work, this guy was telling me he was staying in a travel lodge when the police barged in nd started searching his flat, some one had been robbed the day before and the cops were looking for whatever was stolen, they found nothing but took his shoes as evidence, he showed me his feet he was wearing sandals XD
the funny thing is when the cops were questioning him they justified busting him simply because he was a Glaswegian by saying this

"we figured were never gonna make it to DCI so we just busted you anyway"

The cops comment speaks volumes about what they already knoew of course and we had a little laugh, Glaswegians are scary though, no sudden movements around them.
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Disch wrote:

Depends on your definition of "enemy". Criminal, yes.

Then again Nelson Mandela was a criminal. As was MLK Jr. Not that I lump Snowden in with either of them... the point is marking someone as "evil" or "an enemy" or "a traitor" can't be defined solely on whether or not what they did was legal. It's more a line of morals.

I don't think what Snowden did was immoral. I think what the NSA was/is doing is immoral... and exposing it was a conscious, strong decision for what he truly believed to be the betterment of the US public. And what he had to give up for it is crazy.


That's essentially what I meant by "enemy". I think what he did has moral and immoral aspects though. Leaking ANY information is immoral, but revealing the NSA's spying is correct. If I were to be in control of the outcome of this whole mess I would sentence him to a few years of jail time, to show that leakers will be caught and prosecuted, but only that, because what he did was ultimately right in the bigger picture.

Disch wrote:

A traitor to who, though? The NSA? definitely. The US public? Hardly.

So then the question becomes.... where do your loyalties lie? With agencies like the NSA who operate in secrecy with very little regulatory oversight? Or with everyone you've ever met and known?

I know where mine lie. And they're certainly not with the NSA.


Traitor in principle. He worked his way into a position of trust then betrayed that trust by revealing secrets. Don't get me wrong, I'm not for NSA spying at this scale, but I'm not that crazy about leakers either.

Disch wrote:

That's a leap.

It's not like people are lining up and looking for excuses to expose classified information (at least I hope not).

Besides even if he receives a full pardon now and doesn't serve any jail time... I'd hardly call that "scot-free". Keep in mind he had to give up his career, and had to leave his friends, family, and all his possessions behind. Fleeing to another country with an uncertain future.


Not really. Imagine some other high school dropout with no family living in less than ideal conditions working at a similar contractor. It isn't that infeasible to think that this person may just be crazy enough, or have not much to lose, that they would leak all kinds of information to make a name for themselves and for the thrill. Especially if they know they'd eventually end up being sheltered and payed by some foreign government like China, and that they wouldn't actually be caught by the U.S.
Leaking ANY information is immoral,


That's too black and white to be realistic.

If you work for a company and had to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to gain access to their files... then find out they're embezzling money... is it immoral to break the agreement and go to the authorities?

I would say no. In fact I'd say just the opposite... if you're in such a situation and you just look the other way... then that is immoral.

I would sentence him to a few years of jail time [sinp] what he did was ultimately right in the bigger picture.


Are you listening to yourself? You'd punish him for doing the right thing?

If it were me I'd give him a medal. Send the message that if you see wrongdoing, stand up and say something.

Traitor in principle. He worked his way into a position of trust then betrayed that trust by revealing secrets.


Again I have to turn back to my embezzling example.

But yes... Snowden betrayed the NSA. But does that mean he betrayed the US? I'd say no. So the US should not be punishing him.

It isn't that infeasible to think that this person may just be crazy enough, or have not much to lose, that they would leak all kinds of information to make a name for themselves and for the thrill


I would think that an organization like the NSA whose sole purpose is to investigate individuals who are a threat to national security would weed out the crazies willing to sacrifice everything they have to get their name in the paper.... rather than give them access to top secret docs.

I mean you're talking like school shooting crazy. Murder/suicide crazy.


Especially if they know they'd eventually end up being sheltered and payed by some foreign government like China, and that they wouldn't actually be caught by the U.S.


They know no such thing.

Last I heard, Snowden is living in an airport. He's borderline ostracized from society.
Disch wrote:

Are you listening to yourself? You'd punish him for doing the right thing?

If it were me I'd give him a medal. Send the message that if you see wrongdoing, stand up and say something.


:| You snipped out half the sentence to make it sound ridiculous. What he did involved some rule breaking, so rewarding him for it straight off could send the wrong message to the wrong person.

Disch wrote:

I would think that an organization like the NSA whose sole purpose is to investigate individuals who are a threat to national security would weed out the crazies willing to sacrifice everything they have to get their name in the paper.... rather than give them access to top secret docs.

I mean you're talking like school shooting crazy. Murder/suicide crazy.


Perhaps, but a lot of crazy people aren't known to be crazy until after they act. Given what I've seen and heard, I really don't think it's impossible for someone who is less than stable to get in. Really though, they wouldn't even have to be "off", I'm sure countries like China would provide quite the incentives for valuable information.

Disch wrote:

They know no such thing.

Last I heard, Snowden is living in an airport. He's borderline ostracized from society.


He revealed domestic spying programs. China probably already knew about them, or assumed as much. I would think they would be warmer to someone who leaked more sensitive information.
Nice thread. This should due for the annual debate.

You know, before now I didn't even like politics. You guys are changing me.


I'd consider Snowden a traitor IMO. I'm sure if people didn't know about this, they wouldn't even care. Now look now. Many people still don't care.

Not to mention the fact that he is almost certainly leaking information to China/Russia.

I'm also almost certain it's no coincidence that he went straight for really the only 2 main countries that rival the US militarily. Use your head now.

Also I honestly could care less that the NSA is watching us. The worst you could have are some dirty photos/video you're sending to your lover (Or downloading from some website). Unless you're an enemy to the US leaking info or planning an attack you should have little to nothing to worry about. I'm sure your arch enemy from High School isn't going to find your online Journal and post it on your FB page.

I mean I could understand if some random people had it. But I mean, they're our government. Trust that they will do right with it...

I think all you guys looking for a rebellion (That's what I'm getting from it) are being absurd. I mean, come on. Just because your exposed naughty letters and photos are now in the hands of the government doesn't mean it's the end of the world.

Be rational. What are the chances of our government looking at yours?

To that person who said the argument above is the reason that they shouldn't spy, remember - some possibility to finding enemies are better than none.

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BTW - Wouldn't it be perfectly legal for US citizens to start a rebellion? I mean in the constitution it says we have the right to replace the government if they fail to protect our rights...

EDIT - added extra words for more sentence variety.
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closed account (3qX21hU5)
I'm also almost certain it's no coincidence that he went straight for really the only 2 main countries that rival the US militarily. Use your head now.


That wouldn't matter mainly because the US wouldn't risk going to war with either of those super powers because of this. Though it is creating tension with them because the Chinese have been looking for hard proof of our spying on them (Even though they are spying on us to).

Also I honestly could care less that the NSA is watching us. The worst you could have are some dirty photos/video you're sending to your lover (Or downloading from some website). Unless you're an enemy to the US leaking info or planning an attack you should have little to nothing to worry about. I'm sure your arch enemy from High School isn't going to find your online Journal and post it on your FB page.


The argument that you have nothing to worry about unless you are doing something wrong hold little weight. Every single person in the US has broken laws. Everyone is guilty of something.

But that isn't the scary part. Sure it might just be spying for terrorists right now but what is next? Once someone has the power to search through anything they want who is to say they won't abuse that power? Who is to say they won't start gathering damning information on people they don't like?

Like someone that will run for president in the future? Or a senator? A certain company that the government doesn't agree with and wants out of business? It's a very slippery slope.

I mean I could understand if some random people had it. But I mean, they're our government. Trust that they will do right with it...


I am not saying our government is doing this now or even that it will do it in the near future. But it is quite scary when the government starts to watch its own citizens. And from the recent past issues with our government (Drone strikes on US citizens, Suppressing news organizations freedom of the press, the IRS targeting certain political parties) it gets even more scary and real.

I hate to sound like a paranoid person, but never say it can't happen. Just look at the history of the world and you will see that government runs out of control when it is given the chance.


I think all you guys looking for a rebellion (That's what I'm getting from it) are being absurd. I mean, come on. Just because your exposed naughty letters and photos are now in the hands of the government doesn't mean it's the end of the world.


You are the only person that has said anything about a rebellion. No one in this thread said anything that could mean that.

Be rational. What are the chances of our government looking at yours?


Quite well actually. Again they might not read it right now but what is to stop them from keeping them on record and using your private conversations against you when you run for senator or president or are part of a major company that the government doesn't agree with or you are a reporter they don't like?

To that person who said the argument above is the reason that they shouldn't spy, remember - some possibility to finding enemies are better than none.


You might be willing to give up your freedom for security but I won't. Trading liberty for security never works and just leads to oppressive governments and communist countries.

Your way of thinking is your are guilty until proven innocent. That is not what America was founded on.

Look at it this way. One way we could catch more bad guys in just arrest every person that might have committed a crime without trials. We will definitely put more bad guys behind bars that way right? And who cares if a bunch of innocent people are behind bars for crimes they didn't do.

I believe we are founded on the ideal it is better to save one innocent person then catch 10 bad guys.

BTW - Wouldn't it be perfectly legal for US citizens to start a rebellion? I mean in the constitution it says we have the right to replace the government if they fail to protect our rights...


Again no one mentioned anything about a rebellion. And no it wouldn't be legal to start a rebellion against the government (Non-peaceful at least).
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If there was a rebellion, would the US government use the NSA to collect data needed for population control and manipulation policies?
One way we could catch more bad guys in just arrest every person that might have committed a crime without trials. We will definitely put more bad guys behind bars that way right? And who cares if a bunch of innocent people are behind bars for crimes they didn't do.


I never said that there would be no trial.

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What would China do even if they DID in fact have proof of spying?

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Anyway, I kind of see what you're getting at. If you look at Rome, Julius Caesar abused his power to become a Dictator.

Napoleon abused his military power to become dictator of a large portion of Europe. (But lost it).

I understand there is a possibility of the government abusing power, but I didn't think of it the way you were explaining it to me. Now that you made me think of it in that way, I guess I'm on "The-Whole-Thing-Isn't-Constitutional" side.

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By rebellion I mean protesting against the law. I'm not getting at killing over a silly issue like this. (Compared to those under dictatorships, such as in North Korea & the Middle East)

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In honesty, we must realize that it is probably not likely that the government would create a 'read only' spy window into everyone lives. Once they have access, they have access, and can manipulate it in any way they want. Your finances/bank accounts, tax history, private messages, your computer itself, would all become theirs to play with. If they wanted to make someone a public enemy, it would be as easy as creating a labloid article about them, only they would have the "proof" to back it up.

But relax... governments have been doing this kind of stuff since forever. So nothing has really changed.
That's a bit unsettling. What proof do you have that this has been happening for a while?
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