As if there wasn't enough revelations about this travesty
Ever since Edward Snowden began leaking NSA secrets earlier this year, President Obama has insisted that they weren't "whistleblowing" in any useful sense because they didn't reveal any abuses. Instead, they simply revealed secret programs that were:
Operating with rigorous NSA oversight and without real problems;
Extensively vetted by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC);
In compliance with US law, which didn't need any significant changes; and
Generally speaking, a good idea.
For instance, here was Obama at an August 9 press conference at the White House, answering a couple of questions from journalists about the NSA's programs.
And if you look at the reports, even the disclosures that Mr. Snowden's put forward, all the stories that have been written, what you're not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs and, you know, listening in on people's phone calls or inappropriately reading people's e-mails. What you're hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now part of the reason they're not abused is because they're—these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC.
The frustrating thing for critics of the massive US spy apparatus is that Obama keeps saying the right things—things like "so much of our information flow today is through the Internet, through wireless, that the risks of abuse are greater than they have been in the past." How to square that statement with the fact that Obama apparently supports the NSA's wholesale effort, revealed today, to ransack worldwide cryptography by weakening crypto standards, compromising routers, and breaking protocols that affect the lives and work of hundreds of millions of people around the world?
Source: Ars Technica (full article)
The last paragraph at the end of the full article sums this up pretty well
Or, as the Center for Democracy & Technology—no radical group—added in a statement today, “The NSA seems to be operating on the fantastically naïve assumption that any vulnerabilities it builds into core Internet technologies can only be exploited by itself and its global partners. The NSA simply should not be building vulnerabilities into the fundamental tools that we all rely upon to protect our private information."
Basically, you know how the NSA is supposedly spying and monitoring internet activity going in and out of the US for the sake of "national security" in order to stop terrorists? Well now it turns out the NSA don't like encryption (because you know, they like to monitor US citizens and it jst makes it harder for them) and they would much prefer if encryption standards has some vulnerability in them somewhere so what you presume to be 'secure' is probably not.
Do you regard Edward Snowden as a traitor to the US for leaking these things or doing this for the sake of the general public?
Do you find it acceptable for your activity to be monitored if it was in the interest of national security?
This is a very interesting debate - in trying times, do we choose security or freedom? You can look back at history and see what societies chose. China chose Mao & security. Germany chose security in '33. So did the Russians in 1917.
Personally, I find Snowden to be more or less a traitor hiding behind the mantle of a whistblower in order to save his own ass from what happened to Bradley Manning, who I think is more of a whistleblower than Snowden is. Snowden has an agenda is is only throwing flames on the fire.
And how funny to see all the outrage at the NSA now, when it's been going on for years and actually in the public psyche since '06. How about some outrage for Iraq? The exploding income inequality? Afghanistan?
I personally do not care about my individual activity being monitored, because the NSA would be able to help locate terrorists with data from here, Imgur, facebook, etc. But to do so to an entire public is crossing a line. Watch the parts of The Dark Knight about Batman's sonar location thing to find the Joker, what price he paid for that, what he did after they found him, etc.
I don't think what the NSA's doing can be labled in such a black & white sense, neither right nor wrong. And I think that in and of itself is the problem right there.
WWI left Germany's economy in pieces, and then the victors decided that Germany should pay for the war and take full blame for it. While they chose security, it was economic security - Hitler, for all his faults, did a great job at restoring their economy.
The issue with the NSA's spying on people is that where does it end? We've been giving up our freedoms ever since 9/11, with the promise that doing so would defeat the terrorists... And here they still are, as strong as ever.
Both Snowden and Manning had agenda's - To expose what they saw as governmental wrongdoing. Snowden, their spying on the American people. Manning, the numerous covered up civilian deaths.
Terrorists thrive by slipping through the cracks - Realistically, the only way for a monitoring program to be sucussful in stopping terrorists is if they monitored everything. The actions of every person. What they buy. Who they talk to. Where they go. Everything.
Most people wonder though, who else has access to this information? And what else can it be used for?
The ACLU released a intresting piece, I'd recommend you watch it.