Uncle Sam, Dirty Old Man

The NSA says we shouldn’t worry because they only “touch” 1.6% of Internet traffic on the Web. As it turns out, that really means all of it.

7 thoughts on “Uncle Sam, Dirty Old Man

  1. HA. I thought of the sexual harassment frame one and was happy to see myself rewarded. This defense is a lot like the “but we only look at a little of the info we store so we aren’t really collecting it” one…

    GREAT wrap-up analogy!

  2. Ted, as I scour the interwebs for information, it dawns on me that you may be the last person out there who’s still talking about this. Very astute analogy. It’s really the justification of loving domination….they love America so much they’re willing to destroy it lovingly in order to keep it from becoming corrupted by reality

  3. One charming thing about this surveillance is that the people in the US who are being surveilled are paying for the privilege via their taxes. We foreigners, of course, don’t contribute ; that is, if our own spy agencies – or franchise takers of the the evil empire’s (in)security organs – for which we do indeed pay, aren’t cooperating with the NSA to the best of their considerable abilities. But that would never happen in this, the best of all possible worlds, now would it ?…

    Henri

  4. The NSA — and their brethren — are ramping up the pressure. British forces “detained” Glenn Greewald’s partner, David Miranda, for the maximum allowed period of nine hours — purely for the purpose of intimidation (there simply isn’t any other believable excuse). Then they released him without arresting him.

    A big problem with statist regimes — at least for those living in them — is trying to identify the first event, that thing which was (in retrospect) a clear sign that something really, really bad was happening, and that it was going to get worse.

    I think this qualifies. It’s one thing to go after the actual players (Assange, Snowden, Manning) but when you start rounding up their loved ones? That’s right out of Pinochet’s playbook.

  5. Was just about to post about that, alex.

    What people seem to often miss is just how petty authoritarian regimes are. Much ink is spilled about faceless bureaucracies crushing the human spirit, but that isn’t universal. Authority figures being dicks is. The cops here knew that they were violating the law — that’s part of the appeal.

    The inability to recover property stolen by the police is a pretty terrifying example of authoritarian evil. Glenn’s partner didn’t lose much stuff*, probably, but he could have. They could have raided his home, if he were living in England instead of just passing through. I can see no practical counter to this outside of gaining tremendous amounts of local political and police power yourself. The U.S. and the U.K. are now in banana republic territory: if you don’t have a cousin or sibling on the police force, you’re toast.

    *Though, of course, journalists get their information stolen with this process, which is pretty bad indeed.

  6. Pingback: Obama’s claims on NSA transparency » Mano Singham

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