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Discussion Starter #1
That seems to be the question that everyone’s asking. Me, I don’t know.

I can’t say whether he’s a patriot or a traitor; I don’t know enough about the guy or his motives. What I do know is he has pointed out that EVERYONE is under surveillance, domestically. And the thing that’s even more disturbing, this has crossed two administrations, and both parties. Both political parties have vetted this program and they’re okay with it. Now personally I could see some version of this where MAYBE I’d be okay with it; but I just inherently distrust government and political parties.

I’m very glad Snowden has exposed this to the public. I’m saddened that he has had to flee the country. I’m concerned that he has fled the country and is potentially talking to the Chinese.

At the end of the day, I fear my own government FAR more than I fear foreign terrorists; but that’s just me. What say you?
 

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At this point I think he is a criminal....OK a "traitor" if you wish to use that narrow terminology. Blabbing and running is not what I consider the "hallmark" of a noble patriot.
Snowdon seems also to be rather naive, to me.
I think there are many questions about what our country has done with regards to information gathering. The collection of "metadata" -- phone numners, date, time and related info seems to me legitimate and legal and a lot of people have pointed out if we find some new terrorist we need to be able to actually have that older data if we're to find out who he's been talking to.
There's a lot of ....ah, "rumors" about the collection of e-mails which IS illegal -- except we don't know yet if this is true or just reckless falderall. If it's unconstitutional I can't support that....but as I said, I don't know if it is true.

As far as fearing my government or terrorists....both. Why make it mutually exclusive?
Even if this metadata collection is legal, this sort of thing can "turn on a dime", as they say.
Government IS a dangerous entity.
And we live in interesting times.....
Anyone who wants a simple answer....sorry, I can't do that. We never did live in a "safe" world, that's just the way it is. We might have thought ourselves safe when the Soviet Union collapsed and we won the Cold War, and had a "peace dividend."
Ha ha ha. Then we had 9/11/01. Then we expanded our intelligence assets and turned them inward.
Shoulda seen THAT coming.
Life ain't easy. Deal with it.

EDIT:
We think this is "new?" Anyone remember "echelon" from the 1990s?
 

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A patriot would have presented the material to a ranking member of whatever congressional committee is responsible for oversight of the intelligence community. A traitor blabs about to a leftist rag's resident America hating sock puppet. We should give him a medal for his courage in exposing the abuses and then have him shot for exposing the capabilities to our adversaries.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As far as fearing my government or terrorists....both. Why make it mutually exclusive?
Well in this case it is mutually exclusive. I'm giving up freedom & liberty for "security" and I haven't actually asked for greater "security". It may not feel like it, be we have definitely lost something. That "security" measure can be used to perpetrate a great deal of evil. And I personally fear that evil much more than I fear foreign terrorists. Would you be okay with the US Government having a bug in every room of your house?

And technology is flat out scary. Are you aware that the your cell phone, which most people have on their person can be hacked and turned into a bug? Would you be okay with that?

And of course a bug in your house, or turning your cell phone into a bug are very different from having your phone calls mined…but if we allow the phone monitoring, then it makes it a whole lot easier for them to take the next step.
 

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I'm with Kevin on this--if Congress as a whole really gave two craps about the Constitution, then the Oversight Committee would be where to go, but with the Statist Wing Democrat/RINO Big .GOV "Reichssicherheit Uber Alles" Complex running the show, the only hope was to get it to the awareness of We The People and insurgent officeholders like Rand Paul and Trey Gowdy, and the few Dems who've been intellectually honest enough to denounce NSA's actions.

"Outing capabilities?" The enemy already knows about these, as does anybody who pays attention to what the black-bag sector does--our enemies probably have less advanced versions but similar capabilities themselves, at least the developed-nation-level ones like China. As soon as the stories started about that huge data-center in Utah, you KNEW they were going to use it for storing SOMETHING big...
 

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And some of us had problems with Echelon and Carnivore even back then. Power corrupts unless kept firmly checked... and the checks on this one appear to have been insufficient since they bought, blackmailed or bamboozled a pet judge to overlook the black-letter restrictions of FISA in issuing their warrants--even Sensenbrenner, the AUTHOR of FISA, has said that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm reserving judgment re Edward Snowden, but what he has done pales in comparison next to the Executive Branch's systemic abuse of power across the board.
 

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Well in this case it is mutually exclusive. I'm giving up freedom & liberty for "security" and I haven't actually asked for greater "security". It may not feel like it, be we have definitely lost something. That "security" measure can be used to perpetrate a great deal of evil. And I personally fear that evil much more than I fear foreign terrorists. Would you be okay with the US Government having a bug in every room of your house? .
Certainly we have "lost" something. But let's not underestimate the danger the terrorists pose. An even worse problem is that it seems the greatest problem is they aren't even skulking over from Saudia Arabia via A'stan.
Our problem more recently is the home-grown variety of IslamoNaziwannabees -- like the Boston Marathon bombers.
As individuals it is incredibly unlikely that we will be targeted by one of these thugs.
From a philosophical point of view I am very concerned about what govt. can do -- and not only just because of what the IRS thugs or the DHS thugs are doing. But I have to admit the actual intrusion (so far...) into my life is very minimal ... that I know of.

And technology is flat out scary. Are you aware that the your cell phone, which most people have on their person can be hacked and turned into a bug? Would you be okay with that? .
Yes I knew this. It was true prior to 9/11. You can prevent it by taking out the battery.
I have a cell phone but rarely have it with me. I utterly HATE the bleepin' things. But (*sigh*) sometimes you need to stay in touch......

And of course a bug in your house, or turning your cell phone into a bug are very different from having your phone calls mined…but if we allow the phone monitoring, then it makes it a whole lot easier for them to take the next step.
Oh they will take the next steop for sure. The only question is; will we be aware of it?:censored::twisted::twisted::censored:
 

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This question was debatable until he started talking about American cyber warfare against the Chinese, who have long been waging cyber war against us.
At that point, he became a traitor.

This is no different then talking about American spying operations against the old Soviet Union who was waging a spy war against us.
Had he stuck to information about probably unconstitutional spying on American citizens inside America, the question would still be debatable.
 

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The point has been made that getting the address of sender and receiver of emails is the same as the old "mail cover" program where the Post Office recorded that information for targeted persons. That had been held to be legal long, long ago. Presumably, the PO would also have noted dates of sending/receipt of messages. I've got no knowledge of the legal hoops necessary for the mail cover. However, since those items were written on the outside of the envelope, there was no expectation of privacy. Interesting question about any expectation of adressee privacy with email. I'm sure the constitutional lawyers will be ginning up on both sides of this one.

Recording in and out numbers on targeted phones is also old hat. The only difference is methodology.

I was never involved in getting warrants for wire taps, have to wonder what role the pen register records (OK, I'm a senior citizen-call it calls from/to persons of interest records) played in developing probably cause?

There's never been a judicial jurisdiction where judge shopping didn't/doesn't go on. There's also been mentoring on the wordsmithing of warrant applications.

Interesting program on Fox the other night about big data. If you've got an Iphone and/or pay bills electronically and are upset by the government program, you're a babe in the woods. You'd be truly horrified by what is known about you in the electronic universe.
 

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To ALL,

As many of you know, I'm quite fond of quoting 'ole Tom Jefferson. Here's my "Jeffersonianism" for today from 1803,

"When the government fears the people there is LIBERTY. When the people fear the government there is TYRANNY."

FYI, these days, I love the USA but fear our corrupt government!

yours, sw
 

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Three Former NSA Employees Praise Edward Snowden, Corroborate Key Claims
USA Today has published an extraordinary interview with three former NSA employees who praise Edward Snowden's leaks, corroborate some of his claims, and warn about unlawful government acts.
The more that comes out the less I blame Snowden. I still think he needed to find someone in Congress who would listen before talking to the press.

Google challenges U.S. FISC gag order, citing First Amendment
Google asked the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday to ease long-standing gag orders over data requests it makes, arguing that the company has a constitutional right to speak about information it's forced to give the government.
Too bad that Google didn't acknowledge freedom of speech when they were sucking up to China.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I’m concerned about his flight to Hong Kong more than anything else. I think his turning to the press first was a smart move; it guarantees he’s not going to “quietly go away”. I’m unsure of his motivations, but I’m very glad he has made this public.
 

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Interesting program on Fox the other night about big data. If you've got an Iphone and/or pay bills electronically and are upset by the government program, you're a babe in the woods. You'd be truly horrified by what is known about you in the electronic universe.
It IS scary. We have access to a couple of services which can give us an amazing amount of data on an individual. Now we pay for access to these services, and have to submit acknowledgement that they are being used for LE reasons, but there is a bunch of stuff about almost anyone just floating around out in cyberspace.

Don't misunderstand...if I need phone, medical or financial records, I need a subpoena, sometimes a search warrant. Wire taps? Never had to get one either, although I understand they can be quite difficult to get.

Snowden? I'm glad he brought this to light...not so happy with his running to China and complaining about US Intelligence gathering against foreign countries.

Geez Louise, there is a heckuva lot of difference between gathering info on current or potential foreign enemies and doing the same to what seems to be a vast majority of your own citizens.
 

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Given what happens to whistle blowers, despite the laws supposedly protecting them, I don't blame him one little bit.

Geoff
Who notes the Federal Government has squandered the last vestiges of trust granted by the people.
 
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