Every country spies on every other country. A no brainer. If spying is no big deal, why is the Obama administration promoting a culture of fear? Why the incessant increasing hysterical irrational demands for ever greater "security" to "protect" us from those "attacking" the US?
In reading the "traditional" media, such as the Washington Post it would appear that the US is "under attack". One such attack that has been splattered has been Chinese cyber-attacks on US computer networks. I don't doubt that has been occurring, but it seems that the US has itself been busy in the cyber-attack realm. Enough of this fear mongering to promote an evermore repressive government in the name of supposed "security".
The Chinese may well be hacking into US Computers. And the US (and media) has been shrilly fanning the flames of "war" and "theft". But the US is doing the same thing!!! The US has no moral high-ground to stand on.
And along with other scandals, the Obama administration's credibility is in the toilet. So why should we, as a nation, continue to allow ever more onerous restrictions on our civil liberties in the name of security?
A side issue to the "War on Terror" is that the US ignores the sovereignty of foreign countries. The drone strikes being one example, even if the US has some sort of supposed "approval" to conduct those operations.
So the issue is not simply purported "rogue" individuals like Snowden or Manning, but how the US treats the rest of the world. For example, the US loudly proclaims that China is committing cyber-security attacks against the US, but the US, as the NSA leaks point-out, is itself committing cyber-security improprieties. The US has lost its moral high ground.
Privacy is gone. Companies have been doing data-mining for years and occasionally get caught for abusive tactics. The Obama campaign won reelection based, in part, on data-mining. But now the IRS has been exposed as abusing the power of the State for essentially political purposes.
Based on anecdotal evidence, it shouldn't take a genius to figure out that the NSA (like IRS) snooping activities could be used for nefarious purposes. (Also don't forget the new facility being built in Utah. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_Data_Center)
Also how effective has this snooping been? It evidently did not expose the Boston Marathon bombers, the Sandy Hook School mass killer, and it would not likely to be effective against spontaneous acts of terrorism. So is all this supposed snooping actually cost-effective?
So do we allow a police state in the name of supposed security that has the potential to be used for nefarious purposes (despite the denials)?????????? I say not.
Obama is a populist, he offers the adoring masses "candy" to solicit votes. Obama knows how to and is extremely effective at selling populist concepts, but will he actually invest time and effort to pursue fighting patent trolls??? I doubt it.
There is a slight twist to this. In theory, the content is supposed to fall into the public domain after a limited period of time. So you as a member of the public would "own" the content after the copyright privilege has expired. I would advocate, that those who have extended the scope and time-span of copyright have been "stealing" from you.
Good News! Student Wins Supreme Court Copyright Decision
From the Los Angeles Times. Maybe our ownership rights are still holding on.
"A former USC student who bought textbooks in his homeland of Thailand and sold them in the United States won a major Supreme Court ruling on copyright law that gives foreign buyers of textbooks, movies and other products a right to resell them in the United States without the permission of the copyright owner."
The media, depends on fair use and the free flow of information, yet they display a poor understanding of copyright law and attempt to privatize their content.
For example, when SOPA/ACTA was running "hot" as a National issue, FOX News had a panel of so-called pundits discuss the copyright law. What floored me, was the call for compromise. Not once was it mentioned that copyright has grown ever "strong". But piracy has. So the obvious implication by the word compromise was the continued trend towards an ever stronger version of copyright. The logical approach of comprise; to restore copyright to its original intent was never raised.
As a similar experience. A while ago, on impulse I unthinkingly bought CIV5, only to find it to be DRM "crippled". The game gave the user NO option to obtain a refund if the terms-of-service were declined. Obviously, this raises a fundamental question; if DRM is meant to prevent unauthorized use, then the customer should be able to get a refund if they decline to accept the TOS since they can't use the product without the DRM.
Anyway, I left my complaint on the ??? website, which remained unanswered by the company for several months. After some complaining, one staff person was honest enough to simply say (paraphrased): "my sympathies, but you are screwed.". Without going into a long discussion, my credit card company did give me a courtesy refund. Unfortunately, that does not teach companies such as EA a lesson in customer service.
In terms of SOPA, both Obama and Romney made a temporary tactical retreat based on public outrage. It didn't change their minds. Romney has been absolutely livid concerning the "theft" by China of so-called "Intellectual Property".
Irrespective of who wins the election, I expect a re-emergence of proposals for ever "stronger" legislation to protect so-called "intellectual property".
What comes around goes around. Those who advocate "strong" so-called "intellectual property" rights will die by them. This is a particularly losing proposition for the US as other countries develop their own "portfolios" of so-called "intellectual property" and the US portfolio declines.
If customer satisfaction was a true company imperative, it would not make proprietary connectors. As a general observation many companies do NOT care about the individual consumer anymore. They tend to be somewhat responsive when consumers abandon them in mass.