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  • May 13th, 2015 @ 11:27am

    (untitled comment)

    We've reached something like Poe's Law here. I have reread Cameron's statements several times and I still can't tell if they're real or lines taken from some dystopic novel.
  • Apr 22nd, 2015 @ 7:58am

    (untitled comment)

    When do you think we'll actually be bothered do anything about this here in the US?
  • Apr 13th, 2015 @ 7:26am

    (untitled comment)

    Here, we seem to have run into one of the basic problems with the discussion around surveillance programs and agencies since Snowden (most notably) and his predecessors have brought these issues to the public's eyes. We know that these agencies and their supporters lie; they lie about everything. So, that being a solid truth, why do we continue to believe the charade that these surveillance programs are about terrorism? Heck, here at Techdirt there have been multiple articles about how none of the programs have created any meaningful results outside of one guy from San Diego sending a few grand overseas. It could not be more obvious that they are about corporate espionage and exerting control over the populace.
  • Mar 13th, 2015 @ 6:48am

    (untitled comment)

    I still find it interesting that, in spite of the evidence, these agencies and reports still insist that these programs are about terrorism. Without arguing about what the word "terrorism" is used for, it could not possibly be more obvious that these systems are about overt control of the citizenry.

    Journalists making noise and attempting to expose misdeeds?
    - Find out what they have. Find the skeletons in their closets, blackmail them.
    Citizens organizing a protest, thinking about more?
    - Infiltrate their organizations, frame them for crimes, throw them in jail to rot.
    Public upset about news that has slipped out?
    - Entrap some dissident youth and slap it all over TV.
    People starting to think about voting for an unapproved candidate?
    - Invent evidence of sexual deviance, racism, sexism or some other social taboo.

    These systems are to keep us all in line or remove us from the equation. No discussion, public pressure, revelation of misdeed or even change of law will stop these activities because they are driven by our basest nature - that of the pursuit of power. There are no means to unseat these vultures without revolt.
  • Feb 9th, 2015 @ 1:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    Oh, the irony inherent in that the revolution will not even occur (let along be televised) since the televisions are the ones that fingered all of the revolutionaries.
  • Jan 23rd, 2015 @ 9:13am

    (untitled comment)

    The only way that the Empire gives up its accumulated powers is through its destruction. The only way we get our rights back is by taking them back at gunpoint, and that's only if it doesn't end up creating an even worse fascist state in the aftermath.

    Voting doesn't work. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
    Contacting your "representatives" doesn't work, unless you have a mighty checkbook.
    Attending meetings, town halls and debates doesn't work. Shout all you like.
    Protesting doesn't work, unless you enjoy sitting in a jail cell.
    It changes nothing because the bureaucratic oligarchs don't care and they don't have to.

    Things will get ugly here and this is only the tip of the iceberg. People will only begin to care when their food and electricity begins to run out.
  • Jan 20th, 2015 @ 6:36am

    (untitled comment)

    I'd be very interested to read the entire rubric and rankings for what constitutes "capability" and "priority." From this story, it seems as though GCHQ (and presumably the NSA) consider journalists to be a higher priority than terrorists. How could this not be horrifying to anyone?

    What makes one of the highest priority? If I had to guess, I'd say State actors (PMs, etc.) and top corporate officials. Of course, that would indicate that they are conducting corporate espionage, which we all know they would NEVER do...
  • Jan 15th, 2015 @ 2:48pm

    (untitled comment)

    Is there anyone left that desires justice or righteousness instead of profit and power? That can see that there are more important things than money and dominance of others?

    I really wish Udall had read the entire FULL report into the record.
  • Dec 28th, 2014 @ 7:34am

    (untitled comment)

    There is no regaining the moral high ground. As with someone who breaks a deeply-held personal trust, no matter the efforts to repair the damage, the seed of mistrust will always exist, always fester.

    When the peoples of the world stand up to us, they will not delineate between our leaders and our citizens. We will all be punished for the actions of the plutocrats and demagogues; that is, of course, unless we make a stand against them first.
  • Oct 27th, 2014 @ 11:24am

    For the sake of what?

    I think that I am going to have to agree with Dr. deGrasse-Tyson. This is mostly due to the fact that I think Mike and the good Doctor are speaking about two different things here. I think Dr. dG-T is suggesting that without innovation of a certain type, our species is doomed to failure. No matter how hard one tries, no app for our wonderful portable computers is going to change that.

    No one is going to develop an app that solves our need for a fundamental change and improvement in global energy production, pave the way for new medicines to help the species once our antibiotics are completely negated by nature or devise a mechanism to create potable water worldwide.

    I see Dr. dG-T's statements as an assessment of the focus of popular innovators now. Those people seem instead to be intent on innovating for the sake of innovation and developing technology for the sake of technology. There is no grand vision for the improvement, development or salvation of the species that comes from within a 5" screen on the new iToy.

    As a society, we do not value the true innovators that create REAL benefit. Getting you more efficiently from 82nd St to SoHo at the touch of your phone is not a REAL benefit. Getting your stuff delivered from Amazon in minutes rather than days is not a REAL benefit. This is an iterative improvement on our already first-rate existence.

    A REAL benefit is developing and distributing an effective malaria vaccine. Or sending rovers to Europa and Enceladus to survey for extraterrestrial life. Or creating sustainable, safe, small-scale nuclear fusion.
  • Oct 2nd, 2014 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: New term requred

    Yes, it is long overdue. This is why they are working hard to get the people screaming to abolish the rights protected by our 2nd Amendment.

    The militia must be called forth to protect the union.

    Maybe this is what they meant by "The South will rise again."
  • Oct 2nd, 2014 @ 12:57pm

    Money and power

    Don't forget that as blood is collected from every newborn to test for genetic disorders, that information is also undoubtedly stored elsewhere. Not only does my state maintain a database of DNA sequences for all persons convicted of felonies and misdemeanors (and desires to make it mandatory for arrestees), but it keeps the genome of my young child as well.

    What could be gleaned from this sort of information? Well, I'd be willing to bet health (and other) insurance companies would love each and every person's DNA sequence. They'd probably pay a pretty penny too.

    It also strikes me as terribly wrong to forcibly collect and store permanently the DNA of people arrested at, say, a protest.
  • Sep 16th, 2014 @ 9:58am

    Re: Nothing short of blood and fire...

    I must agree with you; however, we should try protesting first, if only to expedite the process.

    The entire alphabet soup of Washington is seemingly filled with the corrupt and power-mad. If Congress, as our representatives in federal arena, will not toughen up and get to work cleaning house, we citizens need to do so.

    What can we do to start organizing this sort of thing?
  • Sep 16th, 2014 @ 9:07am

    (untitled comment)

    One hopes that there is equivalent information in the Snowden files for the apparatus used to spy upon the American citizenry.
  • Sep 10th, 2014 @ 6:29am

    (untitled comment)

    I suspect that the release of this heavily redacted document will SOMEHOW be after the November elections. How could that happen???
  • Sep 9th, 2014 @ 7:39am

    We need a MLK, Jr.

    The time is ripe for a civic leader to bring us together under the umbrella of recovering what this government, in its infinite propensity to harm the people it is supposed to serve, has taken from us.

    I am reminded of Dr. King's speech about the Vietnam conflict in 1967.

    Sadly, this is probably the speech that got him killed.

    Is there anyone among us willing to stand and speak? Can we come together and stop this wave of evil before it crests and crashes down upon us? Please, make it so.
  • Sep 8th, 2014 @ 8:36am

    Alternative scenarios

    The other scenarios posited by this forward-thinking review are equally frightening in their foresight (unless everyone at the NSA is a big science fiction fan). Reading through this document has reminded me not to underestimate these people. Although they may be unable to create a powerpoint that looks better than a five year old could make in 15 minutes, they do seem to have their fingers on the pulse (around the throat?) of potential future social tendencies.

    - "Identity-based groups supplant the authority of nation-states, competing with one another for influence in a chaotic political environment"
    - ("BRICS Bust-up") "Locked in multi-polar competition, states jockey for resources and adopt mercantilist trade policies in a precarious balance of power"
    - "Power shifts to corporations and megacities, allowing global ills (climate change to international crime) to spiral out of control"

    This highlights for me the essence of the NSA's true work in creating a global surveillance platform: control of the future of society. Stopping "terrorism" is an excellent front and I am sure that many NSA employees truly believe that this is their goal; however, this, combined with the previous documents about Human Intelligence and social tendencies derived from the monitoring of social media and sites like reddit and Youtube, tell a greater story.

    Control and absolute power are the goals here. Never forget that.

    P.S. - On the bright side, it is nice to see the government recognize and state that climate change is an issue of importance.
  • Sep 5th, 2014 @ 11:09am

    A Canticle For Leibowitz

    Want to follow this argument about the destruction of books to its rather predictable end? Read "A Canticle For Leibowitz" by Walter M. Miller, Jr.

    Meanwhile, the typical unthinkingly fascist mindset of your average American is on display yet again: "We should do this thing because it is right. It is right because I say that it is right. None shall be allowed to disagree with me because I am right."
  • Aug 29th, 2014 @ 10:34am

    (untitled comment)

    There are songs about the Colonists fighting off the British Empire and declaring independence from the tyrannical crown. There are songs about fighting the British off again when they returned 30 years later. There are songs about the struggles of brother versus brother when the North fought the South. There are songs about The Bismarck, "because the world depends on us."

    What songs will they sing at the end of all of this?
  • Aug 26th, 2014 @ 1:42pm

    Next step

    The next step is pretty clear, folks. Look, Americans need to feel safe in their homes. That is the Number One job of The Government. With all of this surplus military gear out there and folks getting hurt, it is clear that the domestic police forces need more training and guidance. With so many veterans having returned home from foreign wars recently, especially those in need of work, why not use them to train the police forces in the proper use of their military gear? Gotta love Creating Jobs For America, right folks? In fact, just to make sure that we citizens have the utmost in Security, why not just station a militarized (and now well-trained and -guided) police officer inside each home? How Safe and Secure could we all feel then?

    Besides, Posse Comitatus sounds like a sexually transmitted disease anyway. Nobody wants that.

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