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Do you object to U.S. tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter acceding to U.S. government requests for user data in the interests of national security?

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If the US government really was about Freedom and Democracy, they wouldn't need to spy on people, would they?

The USA is rapidly becoming the USSR. All the things that people used to point out as bad things about communism appear in the USA today. Secret police, no freedom of speech, incarcerating people who expose government crimes.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

As if terrorists put real data on the Facebook profile. Maybe they could just "friend" the people they suspect? You can always unfriend them later you know!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What requests? The governmental already has all the information. They are just using this as a front to act like they don't have any information on people.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yes, I object. Never mind rights, obviously they can do what they want with the information that we the public put online. BUT they have no reason to be handing over such information.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If the US government really was about Freedom and Democracy

If the US government was really about freedom and democracy they wouldn't need to repeat the mantra over and over again. They say it because they aren't.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This has quickly become pretty scary, personally looking back on my analog life, its looking to be better than what digital has & is bringing, life & work are getting more hectic instead of becoming easier & freeing up more time for us mere plebs

And now govts(this aint just the yanks folks be honest!) what/have access to our most private aspects of our lives, its seriously messed up!

The US has to watch out because at this pace govt & big biz & likely the military CLEARLY want to CONTROL its people, watch out you yanks, Big Bro WANTS YOU!!!!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Name the nations with more freedom please.

We have been loosing more and more in recent years. Blame lawyers and politicians, one and the same.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

... I don't object to them having it so much as the way they went about getting it. I acknowledge that some aspects of my online life are open to public scrutiny, in the same way that I'd be open to public scrutiny if I went down to the pub and had a chat with my mates.

What I object to is:

That they did it in secret. Anyone who tries to do stuff in secret KNOWS they're doing something wrong and KNOWS they shouldn't be doing it.

That they only applied U.S. law, as if we're all in the U.S. ... but if we were all U.S. citizens then this would be a serious breach of our human rights and they couldn't do it. At its core there's a TON of hypocrisy inherent in this information seizure.

That the U.S. deliberately went after diplomats and other foreign officials' data. There are certain international "unwritten rules". One is that governments will quietly spy on each other, but the more important one is that they'll be discrete about it and won't get caught with their hand in the cookie jar. The U.S. got caught with their hand in the cookie jar... and then tried to pretend they were doing nothing wrong.

Every day it gets harder and harder to tell China and the U.S. apart. They act so scarily similar that they could be identical twins... and no, not "good twin, evil twin", just identical.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Frungy,

Good post.

I don't object to them having it so much as the way they went about getting it.

I agree with you, of course. But what worries me is how they're going to use this information.

If a government agency wanted to put the squeeze on a person and they had certain details about his private life that were, while not necessarily illegal, but embarrassing, that they could use to paint a false picture, I would be really against it.

American politics uses this kind of dirty fighting, so I wouldn't put it past them.

And I agree completely with your comparison of the USA and China.

Peas in a pod.

Except for the fact that China is at least honest about it.

They don't try to portray themselves as a bastion of Freedom and Democracy.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I'm not a US citizen, I have no interest in America... yet because I use FB and Google my details are subject to CIA or NSA scrutiny? Why?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

That they did it in secret. Anyone who tries to do stuff in secret KNOWS they're doing something wrong and KNOWS they shouldn't be doing it.

I have to disagree with this Frungy. Doing things in secret is generally a red flag, but not a certainty of wrongdoing. A lot people do good things in secret, sometimes even the U.S. government. But not today. No, not today.

Secret activities have been necessary to fight the U.S. government, since even before it blacklisted Grandpa Walton and Burl Ives as subversive commies. (look it up peeps).

And I have a question: Are the people who never miss an opportunity to blast Wikileaks for its information collection speaking up today? Are those who insist the U.S. government has a right to privacy today condemning the U.S. government for violating ours? Or are they keeping silent?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If a government agency wanted to put the squeeze on a person and they had certain details about his private life that were, while not necessarily illegal, but embarrassing, that they could use to paint a false picture, I would be really against it.

Exactly! They use this information to blackmail people. they also spied on UN diplomats and world leaders. And we learned last month that the NSA shared unfiltered data with Israel, so they can also blackmail people. This has nothing to do with security.

And these tech companies were also threatened to not inform their clients that their privacy was compromised. The US has a great constitution, but what the US government is doing is sick, and must not be tolerated.

-45 ( +4 / -49 )

What are you people smoking? The US Gov can get this information any time they want without it be given to them by tech companies. Are you people really so paranoid? The only people that should have any issues with this are people with something to hide, which is the whole point of gaining the data in the first place! If you are not doing anything wrong there is no reason for you to object to this. If you are up to no good, then too bad for you! You're busted! Suck it up!!!

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

The only people that should have any issues with this are people with something to hide, which is the whole point of gaining the data in the first place! If you are not doing anything wrong there is no reason for you to object to this.

So if you have nothing to hide, you don't need rights? Brilliant!

Without probable cause, it is illegal.

-42 ( +6 / -48 )

The only people that should have any issues with this are people with something to hide, which is the whole point of gaining the data in the first place!

Thomas Jefferson had something to hide. So do I.

If you don't, well good for you. Or not. I don't know. Maybe the mind expanding exercise of having something to hide would do you some mental good?

You know, there was a time when being gay was considered the same thing as being a communist. Oh, I know you probably think those days are over, but they aren't. They just changed. These days, you can still get in trouble just for smoking marijuana. Its changing, finally, but still not quite fast enough. An affair is legal, but it can ruin your marriage and career if found out. So, not only mild illegal behaviors, but simply the mood of the times and private information can be used against you and very good politicians as well...such as Thomas Jefferson.

There are very good reasons why we have rights to privacy and why we have checks on government powers. I don't want the U.S. government to be remotely like Soviet Russia. If you think its so wonderful to live in a place with no privacy, I am sure there must be someplace you can move to and be happy rather than wish it upon the United States. China perhaps?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Anyone can object, but it will not do any good. Fortunately, in Japan, the USA, and other civilized countries anyone can object in a variety of ways. It is called FREEDOM OF SPEECH. China, NK and others are watching everything a person does or limits what can be done on the internet. Go ahead NSA and look at the information, then maybe it can take a few innocent people off the "watch lists."

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

People get the government that they desire. Unfortunately, over the years, people cared much more about their own good vs the public good. Any low called the "Patriot Act" has to be unpatriotic. The US people gave up their freedom for the allusion of safety. Many people have that in the past and many people have paid for it. If anyone thinks that what happens on the internet is not observed, you are very naive. Everything on the internet is open for inspection by just about anyone. All countries have a cyber division. Many Japanese companies have been hacked and yet no one pay attention. Security issues are one thing but you also have corporate espionage, some are government sponsored. Those countries will deny it but look at the record. The internet was created by the US Dept of Defense, the web was created by CERN, all are government entities. AS for the NSA, their getting data from the telephone companies. As for Tech companies, they have been collecting information on users long before the NSA.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bertie: "The USA is rapidly becoming the USSR. All the things that people used to point out as bad things about communism appear in the USA today. Secret police, no freedom of speech, incarcerating people who expose government crimes."

Exactly! Couldn't have said it better myself, though I probably would have compared the US to China or NK.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yes, i am against it, but that will not stop them, because it is al for "freedom"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

smithinjapan,

Thanks.

Comparing the U.S.A. to the USSR is valid, I think, because the latter is dead and the U.S.A. is rapidly moving down that the same path to bankruptcy, and, if there really is a similarity, rule by the greedy ultra-rich.

China is more clever, I think. They do not waste their money on military overspending and "secret government." They already have that! They appear to be becoming more and more free as the US gets more and more tight.

Hell, we don't want either of these scenarios!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Might as well run Google China on all searches then, full censorship possible. Soon it'll just be everything chipped and linked. Big Data

Thanks Useless Boomers. Everything was put on sale and now has been sold

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As an American, if they want to read my emails or messages, they should try probable cause to do so, and if it exists, seek a warrant in a court of law. A policeman in America may not look in my wallet, or at my cellphone without my permission, or without obtaining a warrant to search them, but the US government is doing much more than performing simple searchs without permission, probably cause, or a legal warrant.

As for spying on other countries, that is different, America is not obligated to respect the privacy of foreign countries or foreign nationals unless there are treaties to the contrary, and other countries are free to do the same to America and Americans.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

U.S. Government requests are not requests, they are demands. If the companies do not give up the information in a form, completeness, and time period that the Gov't deems appropriate, they will take it, by subpoena if possible, by force if that fails.

Thus the illusion of "freedom" is maintained.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, I do.

I think we all know they've been doing this since the get go. Here's what you can do:

Don't use any of these sites/services without assuming it is public info. Iow, don't send anything over the internet you wouldn't want your grandma, employer or the government to know.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

sangetsu03

A policeman in America may not look in my wallet, or at my cellphone without my permission, or without obtaining a warrant to search them.

As for spying on other countries, that is different, America is not obligated to respect the privacy of foreign countries or foreign nationals unless there are treaties to the contrary.

Thank you for that brilliant and succinct foreign policy synopsis.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We should all be like China.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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