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New NSA spying allegations rile European allies

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By LARA JAKES and FRANK JORDANS

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65 Comments
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"Partners do not spy on each other..." HAHAHAHAHA! Well, publicly they'll have to say that, but privately everyone is gathering as much intelligence as they can even on allies.

-2 ( +3 / -6 )

News that might encourage other countries to offer asylum to Snowden.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Who needs enemies when you have friends like America?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

How many terrorist attacks on the scale of 9/11 have there been since 2001? None. Could it be NSA's intelligence gathering has been working?

-12 ( +3 / -14 )

" But the former head of the CIA and National Security Agency urged the White House to make the spy programs more transparent to calm public fears about the American government’s snooping.…"

The only proper course of action is to STOP snooping.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The pot calling the kettle black. They spy on each other and them being shocked that the USA spies on allies is so hypocritical.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Have these European nations released statements outlining their spying activities? Have they released statements describing the extent that they have used American information when dealing with others?

Europe needs to be really, really careful about how they handle this. They have a limit as to how much transparency they demand from the US while still keeping their activities secret. And at some point it's going to come out that some people in Europe knew something about what was going on. It always ends that way.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

" How many terrorist attacks on the scale of 9/11 have there been since 2001?"

Straw man argument.

And just because others also spy doesn't make spying right. It just shows that governments themselves are not only untrustworthy but rather impossible to trust at all. Corporate espionage is criminal is it not?

Every government is nothing but skeletons in their closets.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The United States government and all of the principal players of both this and the Bush administration deserve every shred of grief they get over this. There is no quicker path to receiving the one-fingered salute from friends and allies than to spy on them.

Realistically, with or without Snowden's actions, how long did the U.S. really expect such flagrantly hypocritical, duplicitous, cynical arrogance to go unnoticed?

Damn Obama for going along with this. Damn Bush for going along with this. Damn the U.S. Senators from then until now who went along with all of this. They've effectively made the U.S. the punchline of a very bad joke. Damn them all.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

NSA Director Keith Alexander last week said the government stopped gathering U.S. citizens’ Internet data in 2011. But the NSA programs that sweep up foreigners’ data through U.S. servers to pin down potential threats to Americans from abroad continue.

US does really think that the WHOLE world is preparing a terrorist attack since that is the reason they are spying and invading privacy, unless....not.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

But it is all for "freedom"

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The easy way to determine what the American government does, is look at what it accuses other governments are doing and figure the American government does much more and better. Thank goodness Snowdon spilled the beans and lets hope more do so we can keep up with what the American government is doing to its own people.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

USA is openly above any law or partner sovereignty. Anyway the rest of the world is idiot, communist and terrorist and cannot be trusted. I am convinced this is in the mind of 90% of the US people.

-5 ( +3 / -6 )

"Partners do not spy on each other..." HAHAHAHAHA! Well, publicly they'll have to say that, but privately everyone is gathering as much intelligence as they can even on allies.

What gets me is that, the people that are crying foul, do it themselves. This is what gets me about Europeans, they'll rally and yell and scream, bloody murder, but they also in turn spy on us. I get it, it's part of the business. It's like a married couple, both cheat on each other, they both find out about their extramarital affairs and yet, both blame each other for their infidelities, but it usually is always the man, the leader, the strong one, head of the family that gets in trouble. Basically, same analogy.

Here's a news flash for all JT readers, 10 years ago, I had to do an assignment at the UN and it was to interview a couple of dignitaries from Croatia and while I was there, I found out, firsthand that every room in the UN where all these leaders stay in are bugged. Was I surprised not really, but we are dealing with a lot of shady nations that give the NSA concern and also to make sure, our friends are really our friends and that we know who are enemies are. It's bee. Like that for over 70 years, it just makes me laugh at how some of you are shocked! This is nothing new. And don't worry, this is NOT East Germany, so you liberals don't have to worry about the "Stazzi" knocking at your door and hauling you off for questioning. Everyone, relax.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Anyway the rest of the world is idiot, communist and terrorist and cannot be trusted. I am convinced this is in the mind of 90% of the US people.

ROTFL. Seems to be true !

What gets me is that, the people that are crying foul, do it themselves. This is what gets me about Europeans, they'll rally and yell and scream, bloody murder, but they also in turn spy on us. I get it, it's part of the business. It's like a married couple, both cheat on each other, they both find out about their extramarital affairs and yet, both blame each other for their infidelities, but it usually is always the man, the leader, the strong one, head of the family that gets in trouble

Hahahahaha! Dear Bass, why Obama Admiinistration yet did not hire you as oficial spokesman, I wonder? Frankly, you are defending actions of the US Government MUCH BETTER than any of those tongue-tied clowns!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

So bass4funk, with your pedigree you could be the next Snowden. Are you brave enough?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Only dyed-in-the-wool minions of the Empire can attempt to justify spying on everyone and their pet, all in the name of "safety ". What a load of dung.

The EU leaders, though not innocent either, rightly protest the Stasi-esque tactics, regardless of which nations goons are doing the spying. The spies should ALL be outed and meet with retribution.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Casablanca?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@techno

why Obama Admiinistration yet did not hire you as oficial spokesman, I wonder?

What?? And take the job away from Carney??? Then how would I get my daily humor laughs in? I would have to take that job seriously and Gibbs or Carney have done that, Carney, even less!

Frankly, you are defending actions of the US Government MUCH BETTER than any of those tongue-tied clowns!

I'm only defending what the NSA is doing, meaning as far as keeping us safe, but if they were targeting individuals based on their political affiliation or ideology.

@simond

with your pedigree you could be the next Snowden. Are you brave enough?

Unlike Snowden, I'm not a narcissistic basket case. Again, Snowden could have handled this differently, but he chose to run like a rabbit and take crack shots at his own country, running to our enemies and asking for refuge. I would never do something so low, but thanks for asking.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

but it usually is always the man, the leader, the strong one, head of the family that gets in trouble. Basically, same analogy.

Not even remotely the same analogy because it presumes everyone cheats. Everyone doesn't, at least not in marriages. Your analogy speaks more to unresolved personal issues than any salient truth about international political intrigue.

every room in the UN where all these leaders stay in are bugged . . . to make sure our friends are really our friends

Like the United Kingdom?!

If our fear of terrorists/Commies/Socialists/insert-threat-here is so all-pervasive and consuming that we no longer trust proven allies like the UK, then this country is fundamentally broken on levels that go far beyond economic or social.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

bass4funk: "What gets me is that, the people that are crying foul, do it themselves."

Kind of like the guy that says he doesn't mind that the US is going against the constitution and human rights but then derides other nations for doing the same, and supports the actions of the government in wanting to prosecute Snowden for treason, but then derides them for their actions.

Hmmm...

The EU is right to question the US and Britain on a similar programme, and hopefully this does indeed lead to a reexamination of any trade deals, with of course the US having to make certain amends and give certain things up. Of course, when the government denies what Snowden has leaked and/or says they are not spying and trust their EU counterparts, they simply cannot be believed -- such are the consequences of the treasonous acts by this and past US governments.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

SOMETIME IN THE NOT-TO DISTANT FUTURE

BOBBY: Hey Dad, wha-da-wanna-do today? DAD: What’s today? BOBBY: Thursday, November 4th. DAD: AH! Well, I’m gonna crack open a beer and watch Dancing with the Traitors on the NSA channel. How-bou-chew? BOBBY: Well, I thought I’d goda NSA-video and rent a movie, since it’s November 4th. DAD: Why? BOBBY: Well, my teacher said it’s a great movie with Tom Cruise! DAD: Eh. OK BOBBY: Hey Dad, by thew way, while I was walking home from school, the city was putting up a bunch of flags along the street. What’s going on? DAD: Helif-I-know! Ask your mother. BOBBY: OK...Hey mom, why are they hanging flags along the street downtown? MOM: Cuz it’s the NSA’s birthday today. BOBBY: HUH! MOM: Yes, we are celebrating the birthday of the NSA BOBBY: You’re joking right?! MOM: No, back in 1952.... DAD: Hey! Bobby! Dancing with the Traitors is starting!! BOBBY: Sorry Ma. Gada go!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There is no reason for the Europeans to be "calmed" by the efforts of the US Government, the facts are clear, the US Government under Obama has violated rights of not only its own citizens but many of the European nations supposedly its allies. This is the worst series of events in American history since WWII and clearly shows that the US Adminstration of the current President which is repsonsible for these tragic violations should be replac4ed and an immediate impeachment of the current joke of a President carried out to save any vestiges of American integrity world wide. I am sorry it has come to this but we many of us in the US have long suspected that the current adminstration has for five years flagrantly violated our own Constitution and had tried to run the country as a Monarchy thru a huge number of Executive orders and a vast expansion of seized powers by the White House. It is time to clean house.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Smith, do you think your country knew anything about it or used any of the information with a hint of suspicion as to how it was obtained? I'm curious because of the hypocrisy angle.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@LFR

Not even remotely the same analogy because it presumes everyone cheats.

Of course it is. Don't go running off into the weeds, you get my basic drift, you know what I mean, wise up.

Everyone doesn't, at least not in marriages. Your analogy speaks more to unresolved personal issues than any salient truth about international political intrigue.

And if you can't comprehend it and if it doesn't fit with your rationale, then that is on you.

Like the United Kingdom?!

Yes, even the UK and they do it to us as well. Sorry to burst your bubble.

If our fear of terrorists/Commies/Socialists/insert-threat-here is so all-pervasive and consuming that we no longer trust proven allies like the UK, then this country is fundamentally broken on levels that go far beyond economic or social.

You really don't know ANYTHING about as to how the spy agency works. If you don't, please don't make childish comments.

As I told you, I have done my share of reporting on this and I know for a fact, this is NOT a US problem, the only thing is, that Snowden just brought it to the forefront, but it annoys me, when you libs just point the finger as if the US is the only one doing this. Yes, the US might be better at it and have better facilities and better equipment, but as far as the spying goes, virtually almost every country does it.

Get used to it, all of you, if you think it's going to stop or you can stop it or people will be sued or arrested. As God is my witness, that will never happen, live with it or move from the planet. Ahhh, even the space station is bugged. I guess that rules that out!

@smith

Kind of like the guy that says he doesn't mind that the US is going against the constitution and human rights but then derides other nations for doing the same, and supports the actions of the government in wanting to prosecute Snowden for treason, but then derides them for their actions.

You got it twisted again as usual. Snowden is the problem!! I'm not going to keep saying it, I already told you were I stand, put your liberal bias to bed for a moment and understand, "I am Ok with the program and support it as long as it is NOT used for political purposes, like the way the IRS was targeting conservatives." No Problem, Nada, NIchts! Put it to rest, please dude! You're helping by spinning this.

The EU is right to question the US and Britain on a similar programme, and hopefully this does indeed lead to a reexamination of any trade deals, with of course the US having to make certain amends and give certain things up.

Ha ha ha ha ha, Yeah and Carlie Manson will get his own TV cable show! On paper, perhaps, in practice, NEVER. This is much deeper than all the you guys on JT will ever know, that includes me as well. It is so entrenched, there is no way they will change anything, however, they are doing damage control in the wake of what Snowden did and are tightening up all lose ends to making sure, that this doesn't happen again, the NSA can recover and reinvent and redo all procedures and protocols they always stay ahead of our adversaries.

Of course, when the government denies what Snowden has leaked and/or says they are not spying and trust their EU counterparts, they simply cannot be believed -- such are the consequences of the treasonous acts by this and past US governments.

Seriously, ask ANY government directly if they are engaged in the espionage business and they would give you that deer staring in the headlights look and say, "NO way." If any country can avoid or deflect from their own spying games, they of course would.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Snowden could have handled this differently, but he chose to run like a rabbit and take crack shots at his own country, running to our enemies

Ah, your enemies. That would be the people you spy on right? It's a big and growing list bass4funk. Whose on the friends list?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Simond

I'm half German, they have a long list as well and then there is France and Oh, yeah...Japan.... Everyone is a friend, keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bass,

Oh, no. I get your basic "drift." There's man and woman in a marriage that -- by your estimate -- quite naturally is based on lies and infidelity. This relationship is between the U.S., represented by the man in your narrative, and the EU (France, Spain, Germany, et al), representing the follower, the weak one, the woman in this 50's-era family you envision (Oh, you are just so clever!!).

Both are dirty little cheats. Both know the other is a dirty little cheat. And now the world knows both are dirty little cheats.

But in your reality, only the man (And here's the best part! Such wit! Such rivetting insight!) the U.S. -- the leader, the strong one, head of the family, (I see what you did there. Bravo!) gets into trouble for being a dirty little cheat.

Yeah, I get your analogy just fine.

What you're not hearing is that your slapdash analogy, such as is, is less of an analogy and a lot closer to the same sort of arrogant, cynical "I'm okay with hypocrisy" pap we're seeing from the the U.S. adminstration as it struggles to defend this. And since you insist on the valiity of this particular comparison, we'll tack on sexist drivel to meet today's "Bass4Funk said what?!" quota.

Now here's the thing, Bass. For an analogy to work, it has to do so both ways. Your doesn't. The logical fallacy here is that everyone cheats in marriages. They don't. Which is in direct contradiction with your ceaseless insistence that all nations spy on one another. Perhaps they do. Perhaps they don't. But the next flaw in your analogy is that both sides are perfectly aware of the infidelity, when in reality, the only one caught with their hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, is at present the United States.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Is anyone even a little bit surprised by these revelations?

I remember my primary school teacher talking about the cold war saying that the Americans spied on the Soviets and the Soviets spied on the Americans, and of course the Americans spied on the Brits too, and us on them.

He said it as if it were the most natural thing in the world; I certainly didn't doubt it, and that was over thirty years ago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@LFR

Oh, no. I get your basic "drift." There's man and woman in a marriage that -- by your estimate -- quite naturally is based on lies and infidelity.

Do I lay it out for you, sir? The marriage being the US and other countries.

This relationship is between the U.S., represented by the man in your narrative, and the EU (France, Spain, Germany, et al), representing the follower, the weak one, the woman in this 50's-era family you envision (Oh, you are just so clever!!). Both are dirty little cheats. Both know the other is a dirty little cheat. And now the world knows both are dirty little cheats.

Exactly, we all lie, meaning, most countries do lie about spying.

But in your reality, only the man (And here's the best part! Such wit! Such rivetting insight!) the U.S. -- the leader, the strong one, head of the family, (I see what you did there. Bravo!) gets into trouble for being a dirty little cheat. Yeah, I get your analogy just fine.

Good, See, I knew you would get it later rather than sooner.

What you're not hearing is that your slapdash analogy, such as is, is less of an analogy and a lot closer to the same sort of arrogant, cynical "I'm okay with hypocrisy" pap we're seeing from the the U.S. adminstration as it struggles to defend this. And since you insist on the valiity of this particular comparison, we'll tack on sexist drivel to meet today's "Bass4Funk said what?!" quota.

Uhhh, No.

Now here's the thing, Bass. For an analogy to work, it has to do so both ways. Your doesn't.

You mean for you. If you don't get the underlining message, please, don't dump on me.

The logical fallacy here is that everyone cheats in marriages. They don't. Which is in direct contradiction with your ceaseless insistence that all nations spy on one another. Perhaps they do. Perhaps they don't. But the next flaw in your analogy is that both sides are perfectly aware of the infidelity, when in reality, the only one caught with their hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, is at present the United States.

You are not getting it, but that's ok. Re-read and you just might get the correlation.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I like how Nixon bugged two offices as was forced to resign. Obama got caught with half the world bugged, and somehow it's no big deal. I guess times change. I was looking forward to taking a trip back to the US this winter, but man... more and more I'm thinking about changing that plan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Bass,

If you don't get the underlining message, please, don't dump on me.

I understand the underlying message just fine. The analogy to drive that message however is fundamentally flawed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@LFR

I understand the underlying message just fine. The analogy to drive that message however is fundamentally flawed.

And that is YOUR OWN personal OPINION and you are allowed to have that OPINION.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bass,

Actually, noooo... It's not an opinion thing. It's a logic thing. Your analogy doesn't stand up to even the most rudimentary application of logic. That's not opinion. That's observation of the obvious. Think up a better analogy> Or just give it up.

In any case, your OPINION that our government spying on you, me, allies and enemies alike, and everyone else under the sun should be no cause for alarm is, in my OPINION, tragically myopic and self-centered.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Scary really the approach some people take to this. The best one is I have got nothing to hide therefore have no problem letting government listen into my calls. So, let us take this a step further and maybe use bass4funk as an example.

I'm a law abiding citizen so do you mind if I listen into your calls bass4funk? I mean, I'm not going to do anything with them or whatever. Or better still, I don't need to hear your conversations but it does make me think why was your wife calling from the abortion clinic and why did you reply from a red district area? Probably I'm reading too much into this.

Now bass4funk, I'm the local police officer in your neighbourhood allocated to make sure no terrorists are about. Then I intercept a call from someone claiming to be Mohammad Abdul who say's "the order is ready". Is this a code? Can I take the risk? I decide to visit your house just to be sure. And I know you will not mind because you have nothing to hide.

So 8 vans pull up outside your home, call out that you are surrounded and demand that you and your family come out with your hands above your heads. But you're OK with this as you have nothing to hide. And you are right. After the police have turned your place over, taken their knees out of the back of your children and wife, they say: "He's clean".

And you say what? God bless America?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The US motto is due for a revision:

"In GOD We Trust; All Others We Bug, and God is on Notice."

The only ones NOT under surveillance (if you dare believe THAT claim are Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand) are spied upon knowingly by British Intelligence, and that is directly shared with The Empire.

How to make friends and influence people...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@LFR

Actually, noooo... It's not an opinion thing. It's a logic thing.

Sorry, no, because YOU don't see it that way doesn't make it so, but nice try.

Your analogy doesn't stand up to even the most rudimentary application of logic. That's not opinion. That's observation of the obvious. Think up a better analogy> Or just give it up.

But it's true, I'm just saying, I agree that you have the right to disagree with me, no harm, no foul. Nothing wrong with that.

In any case, your OPINION that our government spying on you, me, allies and enemies alike, and everyone else under the sun should be no cause for alarm is, in my OPINION, tragically myopic and self-centered.

Not true. Actually, and factually, you have nothing to worry about. You won't be hoarded off to some dingy dungeon, but if you were visiting a couple of questionable Internet site, that could change things significantly.

@simond

I'm a law abiding citizen so do you mind if I listen into your calls bass4funk?

Actually, NO, you'd probably hang up in 5 min. Anyway.

I mean, I'm not going to do anything with them or whatever. Or better still, I don't need to hear your conversations but it does make me think why was your wife calling from the abortion clinic and why did you reply from a red district area? Probably I'm reading too much into this.

Don't care.

Now bass4funk, I'm the local police officer in your neighbourhood allocated to make sure no terrorists are about. Then I intercept a call from someone claiming to be Mohammad Abdul who say's "the order is ready". Is this a code? Can I take the risk? I decide to visit your house just to be sure. And I know you will not mind because you have nothing to hide.

To keep me and my family safe, DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO! Since I'm paying your salary. I will fully comply.

So 8 vans pull up outside your home, call out that you are surrounded and demand that you and your family come out with your hands above your heads.

Actually, something similar happened to me 20 years ago, yep, it freaked me out, but after the police explained why they did what they did, NO problem. I totally understood.

But you're OK with this as you have nothing to hide. And you are right. After the police have turned your place over, taken their knees out of the back of your children and wife, they say: "He's clean".

If I'm clean, I'm clean. If there is a mistaken identity problem, ill just have to clear it up at the station. It happens sometimes.

And you say what? God bless America?

Most definitely!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

" To keep me and my family safe, DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO! Since I'm paying your salary. I will fully comply."

Wow. Just Wow. Total submission. Loving Big Brother, and meaning it. Let's hope Julia doesn't betray you first.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Now bass4funk, I'm the local police officer in your neighbourhood allocated to make sure no terrorists are about. Then I intercept a call from someone claiming to be Mohammad Abdul who say's "the order is ready". Is this a code? Can I take the risk? I decide to visit your house just to be sure. And I know you will not mind because you have nothing to hide.

To keep me and my family safe, DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO! Since I'm paying your salary. I will fully comply.

So 8 vans pull up outside your home, call out that you are surrounded and demand that you and your family come out with your hands above your heads.

Actually, something similar happened to me 20 years ago, yep, it freaked me out, but after the police explained why they did what they did, NO problem. I totally understood.

But you're OK with this as you have nothing to hide. And you are right. After the police have turned your place over, taken their knees out of the back of your children and wife, they say: "He's clean".

If I'm clean, I'm clean. If there is a mistaken identity problem, ill just have to clear it up at the station. It happens sometimes.

And you say what? God bless America?

Most definitely!

I REST MY CASE - some can't be saved.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Me: "How many terrorist attacks on the scale of 9/11 have there been since 2001? None. Could it be that NSA's intelligence-gathering has been working?"

Jean: "Straw man argument"

Or, it's a fact, considering that Al-Qaida and other wacko groups have not just been lounging around on beaches, they have been trying to find a way to make 9/11 look like a picnic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@jean

Wow. Just Wow. Total submission. Loving Big Brother, and meaning it. Let's hope Julia doesn't betray you first.

It's not that I'm falling into a submissive state. But what else do you want? You think, you're going to stop this, you think the general public can dismantle the entire surveillance infrastructure that are in place and set up over the years? It'll never happen. Seriously, you think you have the power to stop this, doesn't matter what country you live in. Has nothing to do with the US, but again, you guys see what you want to see. @simond

I REST MY CASE - some can't be saved.

Not really. If you didn't get my point. I'm fine with what our government needs to do, I understand.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I seem to remember the US throwing it's toys out of the cot recently when it thought the Chinese were hacking/spying on it - what beautiful double standards.

Europe are right to suspend talks of trade treaties.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@tamarama

It's ok, they'll get over it. They need us as more than we need them. Obama will send an envoy or someone from the admin. to do damage control, they will take, get reassurances ,bla, bla, bla and everything will be back to normal.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Serrano,

"Or, it's a fact, considering that Al-Qaida and other wacko groups have not just been lounging around on beaches, they have been trying to find a way to make 9/11 look like a picnic."

As the Boston Bombings showed, the ideology that is al-Qaida (which is al it really is) shows that it can morph with the times, something that cannot be said of the religion it purports to represent. All terrorists want to do is cause terror, so even monumental losers like the Tsarnaev brothers can slip through gazzillions of dollars of security programmes.

Tamara,

The Chinese are quite happy that the US has been outed doing what they have been doing all along - as we can see the JT tinfoil hat army don't seem to have a problem (or are even in denial) of said fact. Superlib already gave us the quotes from the ex NSA chief on the other thread that make perfect sense, everyone spies on everyone all of the time, friend and foe. The US simply got caught. Suspending the historic trade agreements because of this would be economic suicide for the EU as well as pretty hypocritical.

Snowdon claims he was acting out of altruistic reasons, but I don't believe a word. So far the only winners out of this have been the Chinese and Russians who have obviously seized the information he stole, unless some people out there are riding to work on a unicorn.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

They need us as more than we need them.

Ha ha ha.

"The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, pride and arrogance." Samuel Butler.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Since 9/11 has come up in the discussion and "intelligence gathering," I wonder if anyone has any explanation for the fact that the two planes were allowed to bring down three buildings in spite of the fact that there was plenty of intelligence about their whereabouts.

Likewise, there was plenty of intelligence that there were no WMDs in Iraq, yet Bush and the wrecking crew invented their own intelligence and waded in.

It seems to me that with Snowden turning over the rock, quite a few creepy crawlies and spineless worms have appeared.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Serrano, yes, that's a strawman argument. About 9-11 you fail to address the question of why an alleged group of Saudis would set up an elaborate plan, GWB offered the ludicrous reason "because they hate our freedom", and the dumbed-down accepted that nonsense. What dark, sinister plot has the surveillance state foiled that they didn't also have a heavy hand in setting up? TWA-800? The shoe/underwear bombers?. Both foiled by passengers. As credible as the official report isn't, the majority of the sheeple agreed...to invade...Iraq!? Oh, and then Afghanistan.

Credibility of the Empire is at possibly an all-time low for anyone actively thinking.

bassfunk, "It's not that I'm falling into a submissive state. But what else do you want? You think, you're going to stop this, you think the general public can dismantle the entire surveillance infrastructure that are in place and set up over the years?"

No, no. Freedom IS Slavery, right?

The general public is comatose now unlike my generation which actually protested against LBJ's Vietnam. You remember Kent State? Nixon was eventually ousted...because he was exposed. Now, the exposure is exponentially larger, and on a World scale. Few anticipated the demise of the Soviet Union, but it happened. The good news is that each of the Several States already has a Constitutional form of government. Hamilton's Federalists are on the way out.

The future is bright.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Jean,

"What dark, sinister plot has the surveillance state foiled that they didn't also have a heavy hand in setting up? TWA-800?"

Methinks you and Bertie Wooster should loosen the tinfoil hats a tad.

Snowdon's "revelations" are that the the US spies on everyone. Clearly the aluminium has successfully blocked out common knowledge since circa the late 1940's but I hate to inform you yet again, everyone else was already aware of this. Clearly supposition is all you guys have left to keep the dream alive, but I'm guessing within a short period of time there will be more heart-break as your hero is handed over to US authorities, and introduced to the justice system.

Look on the bright side, at least it keeps the conspiracies alive!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's not that I'm falling into a submissive state. But what else do you want?

Bass, "total submission" as depicted about means that you have not any levers of control of your government any more. You think that they are "good guys" therefore they have all rights to tap your phones and monitor your mail. Because you are a good "law abiding citizen " and you have nothing to hide. But they turned to be "bad guys". You see, anytime, anywhere a lack of control from society makes any good governmental agent a bad guy or plain murderer. Lack of control from society makes any good president a tyran. So, quite possible that police officer who used to tap your phone and detected a mentioned call from Mokhammed Abdul will simply order to open fire at your house from various directions. National security is a top priority. Members of squad from those 8 vans will execute his order because they suppose that you still hide something from Big Brother. And your "law abiding neighbours" will cowardly watch through their windows at merciless execution of your family , shake their fatty buttocks and whisper in excitement "good riddance!" and "God bless America!" You see a psychology of a "total submission" means you aren't "land of brave and free" anymore. Rather, a land of sheep herds. I strongly recommend you to read a wonderful books : "WE", "1984" , "Brave New World".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Techno,

"You think that they are "good guys" therefore they have all rights to tap your phones and monitor your mail."

And whichever utopian paradise from which you hail, trust me - they're either doing it or trying to do it as well as the Americans.

"So, quite possible that police officer who used to tap your phone and detected a mentioned call from Mokhammed Abdul will simply order to open fire at your house from various directions."

Alllriiighty....tinfoil hat on stand by.

Trust me, "they" don't need a police officer to tap your phone. "They" can listen to you on your mobile phone even when it is turned off as long as it is on your person and the battery is in place. I know for a fact the French authorities (where I reside) do this regularly - not for evidence that could be presented in court naturally, but to gather information on criminals, political dissidents etcetera. Sound familiar?

Heh, and there's that fool Hollande today kicking up a stink in the media about this as if the French don't try to spy on the Americans.

I've been saying all along the only reason ego-maniacs like Assange and presumably Snowden garner support is because it makes people who hold an unreasonable anti-American sentiment feel justified.

Watch

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Trust me, "they" don't need a police officer to tap your phone. "They" can listen to you on your mobile phone even when it is turned off as long as it is on your person and the battery is in place. I know for a fact the French authorities (where I reside) do this regularly - not for evidence that could be presented in court naturally, but to gather information on criminals, political dissidents etcetera. Sound familiar?

Trust you and completely understood. Furthermore, I own and can operate some pretty portable electronic devices, such as GPS-jammer and GSM-jammer. I have no my real photos at social networks where I used to sign. In the age of electronic warfare some simple measures of precautions are always useful.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Heh well I'm what you would probably call a Luddite, what would you recommend as jammers and is my BlackBerry BBM really as safe as they say it is?? :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How many terrorist attacks on the scale of 9/11 have there been since 2001? None. Could it be NSA's intelligence gathering has been working?

or maybe not...who knows? only the shadow does.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'd tell the day dreamers here to try and sign up with their own countries intelligence agencies to get a grip on whats going on without their knowledge but we already know they wouldn't get hired in the first place because they would automatically sign away their countries secrets (and safety) just because they feel like it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We're all good guys until somebody decides we're bad guys.....

I do find the sense of outrage ironic. In Britain you can't go much of anywhere without CCTV watching. They have software to scan for facial recognition. Not sure how it is in the rest of Europe. But Orwell was right, just 30 years off.

I used to report to a guy who refused to support a local politician. Local politician was elected anyway. The next thing this guy knew the town highway department came over and cut down all the trees in his front yard. 40 y/o trees that were there when he bought the house. Something about them being too close to the road....

You give a bunch of petty pencil necks this kind of power and the system is ripe for abuse. Upset with your neighbor? Put them on a list. Interested in the local woman next to her pool? Fly a drone over. It's not pretty and it is real. Happens all the time. Tammany Hall is alive and well and has the latest technology.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

From Putin:

"If he (Snowden) wants to remain here there is one condition - he should stop his work aimed at inflicting damage on our American partners no matter how strange this may sound coming from me."

That really made me laugh...heh. Russia probably has the information now and wants to stop others from getting it.

Tamarama: I seem to remember the US throwing it's toys out of the cot recently when it thought the Chinese were hacking/spying on it - what beautiful double standards.

Everyone gets angry when they learn they are being spied upon, and everyone spies on everyone else. Everyone has double standards, even if you like them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@bertie

Since 9/11 has come up in the discussion and "intelligence gathering," I wonder if anyone has any explanation for the fact that the two planes were allowed to bring down three buildings in spite of the fact that there was plenty of intelligence about their whereabouts.

At that time, Bush took a lot of heat for (supposedly) Not doing enough, the intelligence agency, CIA, FBI came under a lot of scrutiny. Now with the creation of Homeland security both agencies had to finally share information and secret intel.

Likewise, there was plenty of intelligence that there were no WMDs in Iraq, yet Bush and the wrecking crew invented their own intelligence and waded in.

There was also a lot of evidence showing that Saddam did have Yellow cake which was a key component in manufacturing WMDs, based on British, French, Russian, Israeli intelligence. I guess, they all lied and invented there own intel, somehow.

It seems to me that with Snowden turning over the rock, quite a few creepy crawlies and spineless worms have appeared.

And he's one of those bugs that should have been stepped on.

@jean

No, no. Freedom IS Slavery, right

What would you know about slavery, seriously?

@techno

"total submission" as depicted about means that you have not any levers of control of your government any more. You think that they are "good guys" therefore they have all rights to tap your phones and monitor your mail. Because you are a good "law abiding citizen " and you have nothing to hide.

That's right.

But they turned to be "bad guys". You see, anytime, anywhere a lack of control from society makes any good governmental agent a bad guy or plain murderer. Lack of control from society makes any good president a tyran. So, quite possible that police officer who used to tap your phone and detected a mentioned call from Mokhammed Abdul will simply order to open fire at your house from various directions. National security is a top priority. Members of squad from those 8 vans will execute his order because they suppose that you still hide something from Big Brother. And your "law abiding neighbours" will cowardly watch through their windows at merciless execution of your family , shake their fatty buttocks and whisper in excitement "good riddance!" and "God bless America!" You see a psychology of a "total submission" means you aren't "land of brave and free" anymore. Rather, a land of sheep herds. I strongly recommend you to read a wonderful books : "WE", "1984" , "Brave New World".

Dude, dude, seriously, relax, it's ok. NO one is coming to get you, just stay away from the Internet and the Oliver Stone's of the world and you WILL be ok. You're taking this all in a little too deep.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I'd trust Russia to be more considerate of other countries than I would China. And believe it or not the US has shared information with those it trusts to a certain degree. Behind the scenes its better to be able to willingly share information between different countries intelligence agencies especially for dangerous people or groups. I scratch your back you scratch mine.

Funny, some folks are still worried that the US is spying on them even though they probably don't have diddly-squat worth spying on. Is the US government interested in your limited edition mint condition collectable or are they interested in you activity by visiting Shadad Muhammabad on an extremist website... seriously people can't get their priorities straight for the life of them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Madverts, blackberry is uber safe, countries like Saudi Arabia wont sell the damned things because the Canadian company will not give them the encryption keys. Use your blackberry to plan an overthrow of a western government, and all bets on your privacy are off though...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's fascinating and simultaneously depressing is how quickly the PRISM program has been pushed into the background with this sideshow about the United States devolving to a level of paranoia and fear so profound as to negate fundamental legal protections against illegal search and seizure. Snowden feared this would happen. And he was right.

This isn't about spies spying on each other.

It's about the United States government seizing upon the fear and uncertainty of 9/11 and the spectre of terrorism to give itself powers LEAGUES outside of what's enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

We'd be fools to let all this other nonsense distract us from that fundamental issue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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