You can practically taste the fear and panic, and you can certainly see the results, that of lashing out wildly, with already debunked accusations, as though the people he's trying to convince are as gullible and easily fooled as the morons he deals with on a regular basis.
Yeah, not sure if you've noticed, but the idea of 'It's legal so therefor it's okay' has been taking a beating recently, and in fact has never been a good way to measure the good or bad of an action.
Recently, most of what the NSA has been doing is 'legal'(technically... sorta... mostly because they've been fighting like mad to keep any outside, impartial judges from reviewing their actions, and sadly the courts have gone along with them), but other than people unfamiliar with just how extensive their spying is, or authoritorians who feel that those in power can do no wrong, you'd likely be hard pressed to find someone who would argue that what the NSA is doing is right.
Historically, you've got a whole bunch of things that used to be legal, yet which the vast majority of people today wouldn't agree with in the slightest. Little things like racial segregation, prohibiting women from voting, the ban on drinking, freakin' slavery...
Point is, just because something's 'legal', doesn't make it right.
Not illegal no, but it does showcase the massive blinders the people working for the NSA seem to be operating with.
Objecting to bosses that they feel are spying on their every action, because of what it does to them, yet having no problems doing the exact same crap to the nation as a whole(if anything the employees get off lighter), apparently not realizing that the troubles they deal with from pervasive surveillance are the same ones they're inflicting on everyone else.
Not illegal to be sure, but hypocrisy of that magnitude is certainly a good thing to have pointed out like this.
Whereas you seem to fail to understand that 'trial, then punishment if the accused is found guilty' is generally considered, worldwide, to be how justice is best upheld.
Something like this completely throws out the idea of 'innocent until proven guilty', and replaces it with 'Guilty because I said so', which is anything but just.
Skipping the whole trial step and going straight to ordering the accused to be punished is both a serious abuse of power(by completely sidestepping the courts like his, he's essentially saying he's more powerful than them), and a pretty strong indication that the evidence, and therefor the case, wouldn't hold up in court, and the person ordering the shutdowns knows it.
Ah, never gets old, seeing people like this who get angry at Snowden for 'harming 'murica' show such open contempt for such core principles of the US like 'everyone gets their day in court before punishment' and 'innocent until proven guilty'.
Nope, far as they're concerned, they know he's guilty, so straight to the execution, none of that 'court to prove guilt' crap.
I'd run across a variation of that one before, though phrased more modernly I believe, interesting to find out where it originated from.
In this case, and following the lesson from that tale, if the chefs are claiming that pictures are 'stealing their IP', I'd say a suitable recompense would be for the ones taking the photos to 'pay' with a picture of coins/bills. Photo for photo as it were.
Now now, you can't forget their 'super duper accurate IP matching programs', the ones that they assure courts are completely accurate, and would never, and could never, result in a false positive leading to the wrong person being sued.
Of course the judges will just have to take their word for it, as for some reason they always seem to object strongly to having their programs tested for accuracy, but I'm sure that's a total coincidence, and has nothing to do with them knowing any independent review would show their IP matching programs to be laughably inaccurate.
Schmidt, 73, who headed one of the more infamous departments in the infamous Stasi, called himself appalled. The dark side to gathering such a broad, seemingly untargeted, amount of information is obvious, he said.
“It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won’t be used,” he said. “This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect the people’s privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place.”
What with the claims of how photographs are somehow 'taking away their intellectual property', someone really needs to ask them 'How?', because honestly, it sounds like they're using it as nothing more than buzz words, where it sounds big and important, but is actually completely meaningless.
Does the photo somehow take away the taste of the meal from other diners? Does taking the picture somehow make it harder for the chef to remember just how to cook that meal? Does photographing the food somehow make if more difficult for the chef to cook that particular meal in the future?
Honestly, I'd really love to know how taking a gorram photo somehow devalues their 'intellectual property'(and how exactly a meal can be considered 'intellectual property' in the first place, given I'm fairly sure you can't copyright a plate of food).
For how 'obviously illegal' file-sharing and similar sites are supposed to be, the ones demanding they be shut down sure seem to avoid like the plague any court time where they would actually have to prove that the sites are breaking the law and should be shut down/blocked.
Why, it's almost as though things aren't as cut and dry as they like to pretend, or that their 'evidence' isn't nearly as strong as they like to claim it is.
Not much would change I'd imagine, this isn't a democrat/republican issue, as both parties are equally guilty.
Now, some may try and spin it as all due to 'those dirty democrats/republicans', but that's just attempting to shift the issue, get people fighting over which party is 'to blame', rather than focusing on the actual problem.
The funny part is all the 'other' people (possibly Mike?), thinks this means its ok to completley copy another's work and sell it(as in a non-transformative). Like Mike says, "at least we can assume those people just don't know."
Nice strawman there, remember to keep it away from open flames and logic.
What would be really funny is if the letter wasn't in fact referring to their 'office life', but was a subtle stab at the overbroad, 'Grab Everything' spying the NSA loves so much, by rephrasing it in a smaller context like a boss spying on his employees.
If that were the case, I'd say the one who sent in the letter did a brilliant job of highlighting the 'One set of laws/rules for us, another for the rest of you' mindset the NSA has.
Maybe they're going there to listen in and try and gauge the reactions to their actions, not realizing that their presence is only going to make those reactions worse.
It's also possible they're showing up at events like that to try and 'guide' any discussion in the direction they want it to go in(like they've fairly successfully managed with the MSM), avoiding as best they can the topics they'd rather avoid. Of course, if that's the aim, they don't seem to have picked a very good target, as most people at a conference dealing with security are likely to see through their lies.
At this point it might be worth it to just stop inviting them to such events, no matter how much 'prestige' big names like that may bring, and make it very clear that the pulling of the invitations are entirely due to the fact that the government reps and spying agency reps are completely and utterly indifferent to adding to the discussion in any meaningful fashion.
A huge public snubbing like that, from multiple sources, would likely do more to further the discussion than their presence and silence ever could, and really put the focus on how completely and utterly silent they've tried to be any time the subject has come up.
Yeah, actually leaving Russia, asylum or not, would probably not be the best(or safest, or sanest) idea, but even if he stayed right there, to have a country publicly grant him asylum would be quite the accomplishment, and a giant (well earned) middle finger to the USG over the matter, showing that that country at least was willing to stand up to the USG and refuse to bow to their threats.