Senate Diplomatic Firestorm

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Skywalker8921, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Rogue_Follower Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2003
    star 6
    Outlandish, indeed. Not only would such a proposal be technically unfeasible and impose a huge cost on everyone involved, it would also require additional monitoring and bureaucracy to ensure that citizens were provided their notices. Ironic! It would be much easier to place large, friendly posters in public locations to gently remind citizens that they are being watched.

    Here are some alternative hypotheticals, all admittedly unrealistic to varying degrees:

    1) Judiciary reverses course on the third-party doctrine. All of your personal information, including metadata, has 4th Amendment protections, even if it is accessible by a third-party (e.g. phone company, ISP, etc.) Very unlikely, but I do think that the concept of "expectation of privacy" needs to be reexamined now that nearly every single thing you do is logged by a third party.

    2) Improved transparency; less secrecy. Executive branch fesses up to what they've been doing---no, you, it doesn't count that people inside the beltway, in law enforcement, in intelligence, and readers of the Economist already knew this type of thing was going on, I'm talking about informing Joe "I only watch Kardashian Idol Star" Schmoe---and provides some sort of additional, independent oversight mechanism. A more informative presidential address would be a start. Public annual reports and statistics would also be nice. But this is also unlikely.

    3) Congress amends the language of the PATRIOT Act to be more specific about what it does and doesn't allow. I think this one is the most likely, but still not certain. The surveillance programs seem to have a lot of support in Congress, and on both sides of the aisle.

    4) Constitutional amendment of some sort. Never going to happen. As with #3, intelligence and law enforcement communities (among others) would raise hell about their toys being taken away. You don't want the terrorists to win, do you?
  2. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Increased transparency and less secrecy has hamstrung the bejesus out of American intelligence agencies. You need to go the other direction but appoint a strong ombudsman figure and a closed parliamentary style committee to review the services.
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  3. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    The other more troubling aspect of this is that there are now secret laws on the books which FISC writes and enforces. Whatcdo these laws say? Who knows. But it is a bit troubling to know there's laws a person can 'break' which puts them on the government's radar.
  4. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Here.
    My longest Senate post this year, labeled 'factually incorrect', 'a fantasy world idea of how government works' and 'an opinion I've spent no effort researching'.
    I've since been made to understand that there's not a million people with access to the banker's email, but I'm far from convinced that the people that do have access are properly checked and monitored, or that their number is really kept to a minimum.

    KK, this is beneath you. It's rather obvious that when I say "no hyperbole", I'm reacting to "'Show me something more than hyperbole and knee jerk reactions". I know you can see through the fact that I've missed a few quote signs.
  5. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Right, so the banker's emails.

    I don't want to say definitely not scanned, but the chances are low -- here's why. When the government talks about scanning emails, etc. it's on the level of "the emails are on the Verizon servers, so we have access to them" versus "the emails are sent internally over a private network and stored on the company's email servers."

    Now, I don't want to be naïve and suggest that there is no access to the email or communications at all, as the Internet itself is the transmission platform -- though usually over dedicated lines rather than shared pipes and probably crossing over to public interchanges only to go internationally -- but it's a different scenario.

    For example: I use Lotus Notes at work and everything is stored on company servers to which I connect via VPN. I use Verizon at home, to which I download my messages to my local email program from the Verizon servers where the emails are sent and stored. That is a different paradigm, really. Which isn't to say that the government isn't snooping, but if they are it is likely at a far lesser rate...
  6. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but in your original quote of me, you removed prior quotes (specifically my quoting of drg4) from the block. The bulk of the hyperbole remarks were directed at another user, and you said nothing to clarify that you only were referring to that one line.

    Even then, as I pointed out in my last response, my only hyperbole comment to you was in reference to what we have seen overall on the subject from other people. I never accused you of throwing out the hyperbole.
    Last edited by Kimball_Kinnison, Jul 12, 2013
  7. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Okay, KK, I get it. Sorry for having gone on about it.

    That's pretty convincing, and you're right, banks do use private networks. I'd suggest them to go one further and get some encryption software on it, maybe even something like Tor.
    But...
    ... people still use Lotus Notes?
  8. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Yes, there is most definitely encryption on it -- both at the point of login (twice) and on the servers and (if desired) the emails themselves. I can vouch. ;)

    And yes, Lotus Notes has never once been hacked -- that (plus conversion costs) are why people, especially financial institutions, use it.
  9. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    Domino's also a powerful platform on which to base custom applications. Legacy apps are another big conversion expense.

    I know that a few years ago, IBM claimed that half of the Fortune 100 still used Notes. I'm not sure what the numbers are like now.
  10. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Outlook has come a long way forwards in data protection but to further @dp4m's post, Government agencies use Notes.
  11. McLaren Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2002
    star 2
    For clarity, just because Lotus hasn't been (publicly) hacked, doesn't mean the NSA can't access it: MS gives NSA Outlook keys

    Pretty sure if someone wants the data bad enough, the reporting requirement will become technically feasible but, agree totally with the huge cost. That's the idea. If it's an enormous burden, then collecting this sort of information becomes less likely. Instead of our data being scattered on servers everywhere because the cost of collection and storage is practically nil, our data will only reside in a handful of places. Much easier to protect (and hold those collecting accountable) a thousand blocks of gold in one vault then a thousand vaults with one block each.

    As to your points about Congress and law enforcement, also agree. We have given our government great power over us; wresting it away will not be easy. But, do we give up because it will be difficult?
    Last edited by McLaren, Jul 13, 2013
  12. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
  13. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I think it's just for temporary asylum, so Russia allows him to leave when he boards a plane.

    But yeah, Snowden recently praised Russia and Venezuela as being champions of human rights and freedom. [face_laugh]
  14. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7

    When seeking asylum from an emerging authoritarian state and seeking asylum from authoritarian states to avoid prosecution in said emerging one, it makes sense to praise your hosts no matter how full of hokum it is.
  15. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Where is the emerging totalitarian state?

    If you say America, I'm going to ask you to punch yourself in the face until you black out so I don't have to do it for you. Stupidity is intolerable in this day and age, and hyperbolic stupidity is the worst kind.
  16. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Eh. If Snowden wants to go to Ecuador or Venezuela because those are his only options...sure whatever. If he genuinely regards those two countries as beacons of freedom and liberty however, then I start to take a much dimmer view of him.
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  17. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    He didn't say totalitarian. He said authoritarian. Not the same thing.

    And yes, the US is now authoritarian. There's nothing emerging about it. But we're not as authoritarian as Saudi Arabia or Vietnam.

    A totalitarian state would = North Korea. That is not us. Not even close. We still organize too many aspects of our society privately, including most of our economy(although that has shifted a bit with the ACA and other legislation since '08. But it's still vastly private).

    I just make a distinction with authoritarian and what I would call high-authoritarian from totalitarian.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Jul 17, 2013
  18. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    OK but the notion the US is authoritarian is actually laughable. If you hold that view, I'm looking down at you as a paranoid and immensely stupid man playing at adult games. I would derisively ask how your bunker is coming along, whilst dismissing you as barking mad.

    And, I would be wholly correct to do so.
    Last edited by Ender Sai, Jul 17, 2013
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  19. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    You do protest too much. I mean your barbs are really over the top the last few years(decades).

    Seriously, all you do is ad hom. That's your MO. I get it.

    Any nation with a semi-independent CIA and now semi-independent FBI, and a Patriot Act, and a two party duopoly in its national government, an vastly private NSA, and a massive military bigger than the other half-dozen around the world combined, would be considered authoritarian. No, not totalitarian as you tried to stuff words in other people's mouths.

    But yes, a mild form of authoritarianism does exist in our country.

    The fact you get so pissy about it just proves my point. It has nothing to do with "oh Im just pissy because I can't stand stupid people". But it does have everything to do with you like concentrations of power more than I do.

    And because you can't always have it your way and have everyone agree with you, you responses get over the top.

    But you're not fooling me Ender. Keep up the schtick.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Jul 17, 2013
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  20. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Guys.

    [IMG]

    @Ender Sai, please criticize the opinion, not the person.
    @ShaneP, don't get baited.
  21. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    I'm not sure I'd even go so far as to say we're even mildly authoritarian. Just looking at the Wikipedia page for authoritarianism, I can see that we do have some characteristics such as ill-defined executive power, and the use of some external threat to justify holding power...but I think the similarities to other authoritarian regimes ends there. To some extent we do face an external threat, and while a powerful executive branch might not be too healthy for democracy, I think it still resides in the "unhealthy" zone and not the "abusive" zone. More importantly, when you look at Russia where state power is actively being used to suppress the political opposition, I think it's safe to say we're not anywhere like that.
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  22. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Shane, seriously. One of my big gripes with the US is how bloody spoiled you are. You actually have it pretty good, despite allowing people who are fundamentalist Christians to run for office and drive the collective IQ down several dozen points. You have abundant resources, reasonably good infrastructure, wealth, prosperity, and people still want to live there in droves.

    To suggest it's authoritarian, when it's meant as much as a reproach as a serious critique, smacks of ingratitude.

    Firstly, you will never find a state that could not be defined as being, in part, authoritarian in the West if you cherry pick elements of Linz's definition of the system (Linz being the most lol authoritative voice on the matter). You may claim that the concept of liberty is eroding, but arguably you lot put so much emotional emphasis on the word as to render it impractical and in actuality, the facade of liberty is being stripped back to reveal the true face beneath. You built it up to be something it's not, and then dismay when this is realised.

    Secondly, by not making voting mandatory you have let the American people off the hook for taking responsibility for the country, which is why I would label you spoiled. You were given everything more or less on a plate, and let the dumbest, fattest, most narrow minded of you run the joint. I'm not saying "suck it up and deal with it"; I'm saying you have both the capacity and facility to challenge that status quo. It may be hard work, but I doubt your forefathers faced an easy path either. The difference is, they weren't sitting on their hands pining about a golden bygone era.

    If America is beyond saving, then it's best you now admit you were wrong to cede from Britain and the whole experiment was a failure.
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  23. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5

    The thing that I think you're having trouble with @Ender Sai, is that Americans, whatever else they may be, are inheritors of a nation borne from a certain set of Enlightenment ideals, and as befits a nation of such ideals, we quickly grow frustrated when we perceive our elected leaders to have lapsed in their sworn upholding of those same. As such, we are not a nation that welcomes pragmatism lightly, for better or for worse.

    Of course, I can easily see how you, being of a people descended from the criminal classes and other castoffs of the dregs of British society, might have difficulty understanding and appreciating that, but, I would ask that you, with your ever-so-superior Commonwealth attitudes, forgive us for striving to attain the ideals we so often fail to achieve.

    Yours, respectfully & etc.
  24. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Actually my father is Dutch and my mother, English. I was born here as a first generation Australian. Sorry sport!

    But honestly, all that rose-tinted idealism is a facade and I suspect you're broadly aware of this. You have persistently compromised those ideals whilst retaining the concept of their purity; much like letting the family silver tarnish, be sold off and replaced with plastic but still talking in reverential tones about the silver.

    If you feel your country falls short of it's ideals, pray tell what you are doing to spur it back to greatness?
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  25. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    [IMG]

    everybody itt needs to read DID SOMEBODY SAY TOTALITARIANISM?! esp ender
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Jul 17, 2013
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