Steve Wozniak Speaks Out Against NSA Spying: This Is Not My America

from the the-woz-speaks dept

The latest to speak out against NSA surveillance is “every geek’s uncle,” Steve Wozniak, who explained that “this is not my America.” The video is worth watching:

He makes a ton of great points about things that, when we were kids, we learned that the US did not do. And now, we do lots of them: spying on everyone, secret courts, secret prisons, etc.

When I was brought up, my dad taught me, other countries, when they got prisoners in a war, they tortured them. But we Americans didn’t torture them…. And I was so proud of my country. And now I find out it’s just the opposite. I just wish, all these things that I talk about with the Constitution — which made us so good as people — they’re nothing. They were all dissolved with the Patriot Act. There are these laws that just sort of say we can secretly call anything terrorism and do anything we want…. And I read the Constitution, and I’m not even sure how all this stuff happened. It’s so clear what the Constitution says. It’s extremely clear in the Bill of Rights. One thing after another after another that got overturned. That’s what a king does. A king just goes out and rounds anyone up, has them killed, put in secret prisons.

When I was brought up, we were told that Communist Russia was the ones that were going to kill us and bomb our country and all this. And Communist Russia was so bad because they followed their people, they snooped on them, they arrested them, they put them in secret prisons, they disappeared them. These kinds of things were part of Russia. We’re getting more and more like that….

It’s a bit hyperbolic, but more and more people are beginning to recognize how problematic the governments’ actions have been of late.

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Comments on “Steve Wozniak Speaks Out Against NSA Spying: This Is Not My America”

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44 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The Woz is right.

It’s awakening to remind oneself of the ominous feeling that pervasive surveillance once gave Americans. I highly recommend taking some time and watching political thrillers from the cold war era.
I recently watched Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Torn Curtain’ (1966). It was eerie to feel the dread that Hitchcock invoked in portraying the soviet surveillance state – And then to realize that the country I currently live in is so much more invasive than that.
It’s surreal to be a frog in boiling water and feel pity for those in uncomfortably hot water.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If I’m reading this, how are you blocked? You realize how much like a “crazed lunatic who is obsessed with Mike” you sound like right now, don’t you? Are you stalking him? Your behavior seems to be based on bullying, lies, and intimidation and are very reminiscent of TERRORISM. Perhaps a visit from DHS would change your tune.

dennis deems (profile) says:

Re: Re: To know vs not to know

From dear old WikiP:

Godwin’s law applies especially to inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons of other situations (or one’s opponent) with Nazis ? often referred to as “playing the Hitler card”. The law and its corollaries would not apply to discussions covering known mainstays of Nazi Germany such as genocide, eugenics, or racial superiority, nor, more debatably, to a discussion of other totalitarian regimes or ideologies, if that was the explicit topic of conversation, since a Nazi comparison in those circumstances may be appropriate, in effect committing the fallacist’s fallacy.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: To know vs not to know

Using info collected using IBM computers. Go Capitalism! However, I’m pretty sure they could have done similar without ‘special’ information.

And Hitler had years to do what he wanted because not enough people were opposing him.

I’m also pretty sure your government did have access to certain information, it just couldn’t cross departmental fiefdoms to join the dots.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘more people are beginning to recognize how problematic the governments’ actions’….are

i think changing ‘problematic’ for something like ‘disgraceful, two faced, double standard, paranoid, and any one of a hundred others describes what the USA has changed to. it certainly is NOT the nation that believes in ‘freedom and privacy’ above all else any more, the exact opposite is nearer the mark!!

Lurker Keith says:

video won't load

I had to follow the link to watch the video.

I have Windows 7 & IE10. YouTube videos normally play.

Kinda unrelated, but most of the time, I have to be in Compatibility Mode to get the insightful, funny & report buttons to display. Been debating reporting this or not. I say most of the time because it is hit & miss: sometimes they display normally, but the majority of others I have to hit the Compatibility icon. I know this is probably due to IE10.

out_of_the_blue says:

What happened? We let The Born Rich take over.

This is not surprising. Every nation lets people accumulate money (not necessarily wealth, but the power of FIAT MONEY) without limit, and inevitably those people believe themselves not just superior, but different in kind, entitled to rule.

Wozniak may be a good guy — and I distinguish him as Working Rich from BORN Rich — but his Born Rich kids will INEVITABLY be tyrants to whatever degree their ambition takes them. Best we can hope for is they just squander resources instead of turn to active tyranny as the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Fords, Carnegie, the Germans masquerading as British, and far too many others do.

You’d think that by now humanity would have learned the pattern, but it goes on. — So in some sense that technology has now advanced to where the human race might wipe itself out is a relief. — Not that I’m for it. I just wish people could be reasonable, stop going along with tyranny, content themselves with perfecting trifles, stop squandering natural resources, stop breeding like rabbits, and so on…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What happened? We let The Born Rich take over.

There’s really no reason for this comment to be reported. I mean, I see who it’s from, and I know he has earned a certain reputation around here, but in the interest of rewarding good behavior and punishing only bad behavior I have marked his comment “insightful” because I would like to encourage this particular poster to continue to provide comments of at least this quality into the future.

The Real Michael says:

This government is sliding down into tyranny. They blatantly disregard the Constitution and Bill of Rights, hence disregard the people those documents were designed to protect. People are waking up to all the lies, the propaganda and manipulation that they’re being spoon-fed. After all, what makes us Americans exceptional, what gives us unique standing in the world if not the freedoms we enjoy?

Masnick = Censor says:

What does Mike do when challenged on the merits? Well, he attempts to block the IP addresses of the person challenging him! Of course! The guy who laughs at others for censoring and playing whac-a-mole does it himself. Would you expect anything else from Mike? Of course not! Hypocrisy is one of his several middle names.

I’m still here, Mikey? See how well that blocking works? LOL!

James (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Who the heck are you, and what is your problem?

I generally avoid feeding the trolls … but I’m genuinely curious.

What merits, exactly, do you think Mike is avoiding?
How should they be addressed?
Is it your contention that we should ignore the issue of governmental monitoring?

If you don’t have a coherent point to make, then go away. If you’re willing to discuss the issue, or make a cogent argument as to why the issue shouldn’t be discussed, say your piece.

Or keep sniping, being the annoying gadfly that does little more than annoy the participants here.

Anonymous Coward says:

the only ones that disagree with what he has said are those that are engaged in the practices and abuses he describes! not all progress is for the better! what is happening in the USA definitely isn’t! and just as bad, more countries are being forced, under threats of sanctions and/or being put on the dreaded ‘301 list’, the most ridiculous thing any government could do in support of an industry that isn’t worth as toss, to join it!

Anonymous Coward says:

Wozniak is wonderful some of the things he said through the years are just amazing.

Quote:

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak describes the very first circuit boards he and Steve Jobs built to sell to members of the Hombrew computing club. It would take 50 people to buy the circuit boards to break even.
Steve Jobs: “Yea, we’ll lose our money, but at least we’ll have a company.” Woz thought that sounded like a great reason to go ahead.
This is part of a speech recorded Oct. 4, 1984 at the Colorado School of Mines as Wozniak spoke to the Denver Apple Pi computer club.

Source: Youtube: Steve Wozniak says Steve Jobs Formed Apple Knowing They’d Lose Money

There was a time that people got into business to feel proud about something they did, it didn’t matter if it lasted or not, it was all good at the very least they would have a good story to tell others.

I miss those days, the focuses was not in making money, but being able to say “I did it”.

Nick (profile) says:

What happened?

What happened was the “War on Terror”. War means martial law. The PNAC people very quickly realized the unlimited potential, political and economical of such law. This simple formula created a situation that made any return to pre-9/11 extremely difficult if not impossible. The war has now to run its course as has always been the case historically. And it does. Generating enormous profits on its way.

anon retentive says:

Then and Now

As I recall, Woz’s first products were “blue” boxes built to rip off telephone calls. Giving talented youth a reason and opportunity to build up their society in spite of their youthful trajectories has it’s manifest benefit: I expect that Apple Inc would not exist had Woz lived in the modern America. Either a jail term and branding as a cyber-terrorist, or software patents that only protect the status quo would likely have pushed the nascent tech giant to quit or become a vassal of HP/IBM/etc. The outcome of that conjecture is a much poorer world where our smaller economic pie is horded by the few, a path I think we are well along now.

This nation has been taught to be timid and fear ourselves, it is not the home of the brave anymore.

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