Business Insider Ridiculously Blames Ed Snowden For All The Damage The NSA Has Caused

from the blame-the-messenger dept

Business Insider isn't exactly known for its hard hitting journalism, but it takes a fairly special level of ridiculousness to take the Open Technology Institute's report from earlier this week, covering just how much damage the NSA has done to our economy, and blame the whole thing on Ed Snowden. Yet that's exactly what BI's Eugene Kim has done. The title is particularly ridiculous:
New Report Shows Edward Snowden's Revelations Are Seriously Damaging U.S. Tech Firms
It's not Snowden's revelations that are the problem here, it's the NSA's actions. But Kim has no time for that. Let's blame the messenger everyone!
The nonprofit New America Foundation released a new report this week that summarizes the impact of Edward Snowden’s NSA revelation on U.S. tech firms.
Because, you know, it's not like anyone should actually put any of the blame on the folks who, you know, actually caused all of that loss in trust by hacking into networks and services and spying on everyone. No, let's blame the guy who blew the whistle on it. Incredible.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 1:26pm

    Shooting the messenger

    Well, if Ed Snowden had not told us, we would have only speculation and no confirmation. So, to some degree, it is Ed's fault that we know that the NSA is doing dirty deeds. Without that knowledge and/or confirmation, the economic impacts might not have taken effect, so soon, or with a page one event to point to.

    It might be useful to speculate on how often messenger shooting helped, in the end, throughout history. Anyone know?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 1:32pm

    What!? This is a travesty! Business Insider should be ASHAMED of themselves for spreading this information. The more people who know about it, the more damage it will cause!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jul 31st, 2014 @ 1:40pm

    Blaming Snowden

    Blaming Snodwen for the damage caused by the NSA is like blaming Al Gore for the damage caused by global warming.
    -- from a TED Talk by Mikko Hypponen

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    TheOldHippie (profile), Jul 31st, 2014 @ 1:42pm

    This paid op-ed is brought to you by the US Government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jul 31st, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    If not Snowden, then someone else

    This was never going to stay secret forever. Especially when insiders see rampant abuse, no effective oversight, and no way to try to fix it within the system. It was inevitable that someone was going to leak it eventually. If it weren't Snowden, it would have been someone else.

    Snowden is not the one to blame. The NSA is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jul 31st, 2014 @ 1:49pm

    About secrets

    People do keep secrets when they believe it is in the national interest and their patriotic duty.

    People won't keep secrets, even when told they are supposed to, and even when they agreed to it, when they think that leaking the secret is actually in the national interest and their patriotic duty -- even at great personal cost.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    jackn, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 1:56pm

    Business Insider, what a joke.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 1:58pm

    Re:

    There's only two type of people at Business Insider, dumb and dumber

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Jul 31st, 2014 @ 2:08pm

    Actually...

    I'm going to side a bit with Business Insider.

    Most of the article is about the damage that the revelations have caused, only twice did the article mention Snowden.

    And, well, the way it's worded, well, it WAS Snowden's revelations about the NSA, so it's TECHNICALLY correct. Even if it's worded in such a way that the average person (who doesn't keep up on this stuff) could think it's Snowden's fault.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Actually...

    So it's a technical truth which completely perverts the overall concept. Sounds about right

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    JD, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 2:13pm

    The article itself looks to be pretty clear that the cause is the NSA. "NSA’s PRISM program could cost.." and "foreign competitors are benefiting from...being 'NSA-proof' or 'safer'".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jul 31st, 2014 @ 2:16pm

    How much $$

    So, how much $$ did the NSA stuff into his belt to write this drivel?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    jackn, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 2:16pm

    Re:

    Yes, snowden is in the first paragraph, but not really anywhere else

    http://oti.newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/files/policydocs/Surveilance_Costs_Final.pdf

    This paper attempts to quantify and categorize the costs of the NSA surveillance programs since the initial leaks were reported in June 2013. Our findings indicate that the NSA’s actions have already begun to, and will continue to, cause significant damage to the interests of the United States and the global Internet community. Specifically, we have observed the costs of NSA surveillance in the following four areas:......

    I guess BI people don't read very well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    jackn, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Actually...

    I think the phrase "Yellow journalism" is in order here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 2:25pm

    Sure it's true that Ed Snowden unmasking the abuses of the NSA (and US Intelligence community) has cost the US a lot.

    It's also true that I am more than happy to pay that price than I am to give up freedoms and allow the US government to abuse it's power. The cost in dollars is insignificant when compared to protecting freedom.

    As noted before, just because Snowden's actions have cost the US, that doesn't mean Snowden was wrong in what he did or that it's his fault. He did what he did to protect the Constitution and rights of every American. Those who did the wrong Snowden exposed are to blame for any costs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Actually...

    so it is just the "least untruthful reporting"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    william (profile), Jul 31st, 2014 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Actually...

    Upon close reading on the article, I am afraid I am siding with silverscarcat on this one too.

    Look, we all hate what NSA/US gov. has done here, but don't let emotion override your good sense. Not the entire world is against snowden.

    On the title my first instinct is also like "they are blaming the messenger".

    however, if you read the content, it's quite an accurate description of the article. It's NOT saying snowden is causing the damage, but this revelation is causing the damage, and that is true.

    For example, if person A shot person B and person C reported this incident causing a police gang crackdown, the title "The shooting reported by person A makes local police start a gang crackdown" is not taking aim at person C, but is describing the "reporting"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    william (profile), Jul 31st, 2014 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Actually...

    and of course I typed it wrong above, lol.

    I mean to say " "The shooting reported by person C makes local police start a gang crackdown"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jul 31st, 2014 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Actually...

    Well, at least the comments over at Business Insider are not open to any contrary points of view. So we can at least give them credit for that.

    Oh, wait.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Simon, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Actually...

    Yeah... I read this TD story first and then read the BI article, and unless it's been edited from the original posting, I don't see them inferring that Snowden is in the wrong, just stating what the impact has been.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    tomczerniawski, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 3:36pm

    Y'all don't get the game yet. I've got it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2014 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Blaming Snowden

    Hey, maybe THIS is Al Gore's fault - after all, he invented the internet!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Dan G Difino, Aug 1st, 2014 @ 7:28am

    You're too quick to forgive sNOwden

    Not only did it impact the tech industry, snowden himself was all over even the highest of official offices held in government, hacking even into the President's phone. Who's to say that dickhead isn't still doing it. Everyone knew it was happening. Everyone knew it was bad. Now as a result of this agency getting spanked around the globe, you are going to watch our freedoms erode away completely. You are going to see it get worse. The government is like a pissed off teenager who just has a pile of crap laid on his lap. Everyone is going to pay.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2014 @ 8:09am

    dickhead? Of course he's still doing it, he just charges $1 million a month for it now.

    "Now as a result of this agency getting spanked around the globe, you are going to watch our freedoms erode away completely."

    Congratulations! You just won the Most Idiotic Comment of the Day award!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2014 @ 8:32am

    Re: Shooting the messenger

    that an incredible 'stick you head in the sand' response the govt is hoping for...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 1st, 2014 @ 9:12am

    Re: You're too quick to forgive sNOwden

    I don't see what Snowden's done that requires forgiveness. I do see what Snowden's done that requires thanks and gratitude.

    "Now as a result of this agency getting spanked around the globe, you are going to watch our freedoms erode away completely."

    I rather think that we'll see some degree of regaining our freedom, not the opposite. But even if you're right, the blame for it lies entirely with the agency, not with the whistleblower.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    MondoGordo (profile), Aug 1st, 2014 @ 9:18am

    No, let's blame the guy who blew the whistle on it. Incredible.

    Interesting that you think this is incredible Mike ... There is a long and storied tradition of blaming the messenger. I think it's inevitable that the messenger will be blamed by the powers that be and their hired shills.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    leehb9 (profile), Aug 1st, 2014 @ 9:39am

    Re: Blaming Snowden

    Was this before or after he invented the Internet???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2014 @ 1:44pm

    Police!

    Arrest that man who found the dead bodies in my shed! If it wasn't for him they'd still be alive!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Aug 1st, 2014 @ 2:08pm

    Re: About secrets

    Isn't it a wonder how the government transforms patriots into traitors, even as the real traitors multiply their crimes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    DBM, Aug 1st, 2014 @ 5:52pm

    Snowden is no saint. He was computer systems analyst (network administrator) who was fired from 3 other federal jobs for trying to illegally access other workers computer. He finally found a few people stupid enough to give him their passwords and then started digging around to find incriminating material. I'm glad the info got out but snowdens no better than the nsa people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    GEMont (profile), Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 4:07pm

    Re: You're too quick to forgive sNOwden

    And blaming Snowden for everything is going to help this situation how exactly??

    Had he not blown the whistle, the Snoop and Scoop would have escalated exponentially as the spooks realized they could get away with anything and everything, especially as technology was making what used to be expensive or impossible, easy and cheap to do.

    By popping their cherry in public, Snowden has made the world aware that it is being spied on in ways that they were all assured were not possible - ways that the public and business had indeed been paying to keep impossible at ever increasing rates.

    Once the NSA succeeded at their goal - to have all the dirty laundry on all the people of earth, to know where everyone went every day and at what time and who they spoke to and hung out with and what they ate and read and drank and smoked and watched and loved and hated and who they had sex with and when and where and who they had wronged and how and when and where - did you think that they would not then use this data in exactly the ways that Snowden exposed - blackmail, coercion, extortion, character assassination and real assassination - for profit and power.

    And just to set the record straight, Snowden was not "hacking even into the President's phone".

    He said it would be easy to do, not that he had done it.

    Just a little heads-up here.

    Shooting the messenger, in no way alters the activity of the perps who planned and executed the crimes that the messenger is reporting. It does however, make it harder to discover who the perps are and what they have done because other messengers will fear the same stupid reaction when they try and inform the public about other crimes and other perps.

    By blaming Snowden, you do a huge dis-service to your country and its citizens and aid and abet the bastards who are using your laws and your constitution for ass-wipe.
    ---

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    GEMont (profile), Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 4:35pm

    Where the light never shines.

    Hell people. All the NSA, CIA, FBI, and Obama had to do after Snowden exposed their bare bums to the wind, was go on TV and say:

    "OK, you caught us. We did indeed overstep our mandate and we did indeed steal shit we really should not have.

    So we're gonna make reparations to everyone we wronged and close down these programs and create a slew of laws and watch-dogs to insure that this sort of thing never happens again in this country.

    We are very, very sorry for any inconvenience and harm we may have caused. Our intentions were pure, but we simply got caught up in the process and lost our way.
    "

    Instead, they sent forth their best bull-shitters and lied time after time and pretended that it was all legal and above board because they had super honest and super smart watch-dogs analyzing their every move, making sure they did nothing wrong every step of the way. So there!

    Because of this attitude, most people with a brain now believe the Spook Agencies and the whole membership of The Most Transparent Administration In American History have been continuously insincere about everything, and that they will continue to be insincere because they are guilty of every single crime Snowden has pointed out.

    Because of this attitude, most everyone is certain that they are just a cabal of plain evil little shits who want to peak into your private life so they can blackmail you whenever the mood strikes them, or ruin your life if you happen to get in their way.

    It was this pathetic and childish "sticking to their story" and lying about everything (that they are still in fact doing) that has cost the USA its Moral High Ground Position in the global arena, not the exposure of their crimes by this century's greatest American Patriot.

    ---

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    GEMont (profile), Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 4:45pm

    Re:

    I am unaware of anyone, at any time, describing Snowden as a saint. In fact, a saint would never do what a patriot must do, when confronted by those who would destroy his country from within.

    So, its not a very good straw man.

    I can't even give you a "Nice Try" for that one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    ChrisH (profile), Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 11:44pm

    the NSA’s PRISM program could cost cloud-computing companies from $US22 billion to $US180 billion over the next there years

    It doesn't look like they're blaming Snowden.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    GEMont (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:37pm

    Re:

    "It doesn't look like they're blaming Snowden."

    They are and they are not.

    The wording lays the blame at Snowden's feet for "exposing" the public to the NSA's semi-legal clandestine global surveillance activities and lays the blame at the NSA's feet for getting caught without an effective plausible denial at the ready.

    The implication is that had Snowden minded his own business and kept his mouth shut like a good loyal minion, the NSA would still be merrily secretly collecting and analyzing the planet's communications, black-mailing heads of state, judges and others to comply with their needs, and destroying citizens lives and reputations around the world, and the world's populations being none the wiser, would still be supporting American companies as if nothing was amiss.

    Which is of course, entirely true. :)
    ---

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.