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Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance guardian.co.uk
1219 points by grey-area  1 day ago   292 comments top 2
spodek 1 day ago 15 replies      
"Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA's surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. "What they're doing" poses "an existential threat to democracy", he said."

Thoughtful people brave enough to blow whistles seem to be the greatest check on what looks like a secret, unaccountable, illegal centralization of power based on lies from the top of the government on down.

Many powerful people will see him otherwise. I shudder to think of what will become of him, though I'm sure we'll see it played out in headlines.

Whistle-blowers are not our only defense, however, as we all have power too, for example contributing to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF):

"His allegiance to internet freedom is reflected in the stickers on his laptop: "I support Online Rights: Electronic Frontier Foundation," reads one. Another hails the online organisation offering anonymity, the Tor Project."

My personal favorite is the Freedombox project: https://www.freedomboxfoundation.org/learn

EFF: https://www.eff.org

(By the way, I don't know about anybody else, but for the first time I can think of, I'm seriously concerned about the consequences of posting support for somebody like this online. I don't know how things will play out years down the road and who will do what with this information.)

EDIT: Followed up by posting the above on my blog -- http://joshuaspodek.com -- based on comments below.

doe88 1 day ago  replies      
He did something I'd honestly never have the courage to do if I were in his position. He knows he will certainly pay for his action the rest of his life but despite that he did it.

I'm not easily emotional but reading this article I had some heart bumps and wanted to cry. I'm speechless.

Thank You Edward Snowden for your act of heroism, the present will certainly condemn you but the history will certainly remind with honor people like you who made progress our currently deficient democracies.

Cowards uncrunched.com
767 points by kevinwmerritt  2 days ago   225 comments top 2
edw519 2 days ago 2 replies      
First they came for the terrorists, and I did not speak out--Because I was not a terrorist.

Then they came for the whistle blowers, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a whistle blower.

Then they came for the illegal aliens, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not an illegal alien.

Then they came for the hackers--and there was no one left to speak for us.

jmduke 2 days ago  replies      
There's a meme on Reddit that revolves around 'so brave': basically calling people/posts/comments out for obvious pandering.

This reads like a pastiche of Keith Olbermann, all bravado and empty gusto. Arrington writes:

What has these people, among the wealthiest on the planet, so scared that they find themselves engaging in these verbal gymnastics to avoid telling a simple truth?

and then acknowledges that doing so, if it meant breaking FISA, is illegal.

Because their lawyers might be telling them what they are required to do. But their soul should be telling them what they must do.

What the hell does this even mean?

Listen, I completely agree with the central premise that we need to have an actual conversation both about privacy in the age of Facebook and the Kafka-esque way the U.S. government has engineered these catch-22 gag orders. But given Arrington's experience both with AOL and with the overall notion of privacy, I'd expect something with a little more substance and perspective.

Has the US become the type of nation from which you have to seek asylum? washingtonpost.com
715 points by Libertatea  16 hours ago   328 comments top
tpatke 16 hours ago  replies      
It is strange that the same country which cherishes its 'right to bear arms' on the grounds that it gives them a level of protection that the government is unable to provide is 'happy' to build the infrastructure which allows the same government to peek into their lives.

On the one hand, we don't trust the government with the basics (physical security). On the other, we trust them with information we don't want our parents to see (facebook profiles, etc). ...strange.

Edit: When I say 'the country' I mean the people in aggregate. Obviously, some people are outraged about this issue, just as some people were outraged when a gunman killed 30 children. Techies seem to be particularly concerned about this issue but, on the whole, most people are indifferent.

Petition to Pardon Edward Snowden whitehouse.gov
707 points by lukejduncan  1 day ago   171 comments top
dylangs1030 1 day ago  replies      
I don't mean to be cynical, but a mere petition is just the tip of the iceberg.

This is a government agency that is commiting widespread breach of privacy. A petition will not be respected. It's an OK start, but it will be essentially meaningless.

If you want results, riot in the streets. Civil disobeience. Historical actions and movements that achieve some measure of peace.

The ease of an action corresponds to what it can achieve. Do you want change? Show the government how badly you want it. Fight for your rights. Don't just click a link.

They've demonstrated they don't care for the voice of the people. So change the domain to something they do care about.

NSA leaker is a patriot, not a traitor sfgate.com
581 points by gridscomputing  6 hours ago   160 comments top 7
guelo 3 hours ago 8 replies      
We don't need an NSA or CIA or any other spy agency. I know I'm an extremist on government secrets, but I think there should be none. Nothing should be outside the reach of a FOIA request. In my ideal world all government officials' documents and emails would be made publicly accesible in real time, they're working for us. Any exception or loophole to transparency gets abused, every time. If that makes it harder to conduct wars or espionage, well too bad. If you remember from the game Civilization, democracy is not a good system for a warmongering state. And that's a good thing.
neltnerb 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I find this kind of thing particularly interesting because I am the same age as Snowden.

For reference, 9/11 is one of the defining events of my adult life. It happened during freshman physics lecture on my second week of classes at MIT. I considered joining the military, I protested in the streets against the war in Iraq. I remember the Patriot act being passed very well, and remember wishing people could see how shortsighted it was at the time. There is a particularly clarity (cough naivete) that comes with being 18 years old.

I feel like people who are much older than me remember previous major government corruption issues like Iran-Contra which I was only three years old for.

I feel like people who are much younger than me don't have any frame of reference for a time when surveillance wasn't the assumed state of affairs.

So, this fellow is particularly interesting to me because it seems like he, like me, has had his perspective on what the USA is defined by 9/11, the Patriot Act, the Afghanistan and Iraq not-wars, and a financial collapse.

I don't know that I really have a point; these issues are so multifaceted that I can't really consider them without being overwhelmed.

I do hope that this combined with the IRS scandal and the phone taps on reporters will push the electorate in a more libertarian direction. But I'm not counting on it, people are incredibly selfish in practice and vote for their perceived short-term interests even when their interests violate the liberties of others. That seems to in this culture just be standard practice, and if that's part of the culture I don't think things are going to go anywhere good.

jmduke 6 hours ago 9 replies      
46 points in fifteen minutes and not a single comment? This NSA issue is seeming less and less like a discussion topic and more like a echo chamber, despite the rampant lack of information on all sides of the event.
freerobby 6 hours ago 1 reply      
"Is Snowden a hero or a traitor? Stay tuned if you can only hold one simplistic juvenile idea in your head at a time."


brown9-2 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I wish everyone would wait more than 24 hours before drawing such concrete conclusions. We barely know that much of the story here yet, and I imagine a lot more of it is going to come out in the next few days (such as his true location, more about his career in the IC, etc.).

In the past there have been dissidents like this where it turned out years later that a foreign intelligence service was behind them the whole time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_and_Mitchell_defection).

I'm not saying that is the case here, but this news cycle is making everyone crazy - just think that we've known this guy's name for only approximately 24 hours.

u2328 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I love the government's response here. "Sure, we can have a debate about state surveillance, but the guy that forced this debate IS A NO GOOD DIRTY TRAITOR!"
lmg643 4 hours ago  replies      
I'm surprised we haven't seen more discussion of NSA leaker as a potential foreign intelligence coup. Think of the timing, right before a summit with China. And he defects to Hong Kong. Not to get too nutty here, but its worth considering. Arguably our government did all this to try and protect us and here we are going ballistic - what if the leak was a setup to shatter our negotiating leverage? Lesser of two evils kind of thing.
Did Obama Just Destroy the U.S. Internet Industry? linkedin.com
560 points by lukejduncan  1 day ago   273 comments top 2
zmmmmm 23 hours ago 16 replies      
One of the rather interesting side issues in this whole debate has been how casually the rights of foreigners are tossed aside as secondary to those of american citizens. There is intense debate about whether US citizens rights are being violated, but almost nobody questions whether there's any moral or ethical issue with completely unrestrained spying on everybody else.

While I understand that this is largely because the legality of the spying hinges on whether US citizens are subject to it, I still find it a rather fascinating aspect.

jval 1 day ago  replies      
This is a huge deal. I live in Australia and I have been running businesses on the cloud for the last 3 years or so. I have rarely heard the issue of the PATRIOT Act raised and in spite of there being laws banning the transfer of personal data outside Australia, most people are quite lax about the issue and take the view that the risks are too small to be counted.

Those days are most certainly over. This stuff will affect companies like AWS and Rackspace the most, given that they are competing for contracts with companies who are seriously concerned about who can get at their data. I imagine nobody will flaunt the laws in Australia regarding international data transfers in future, and that countries where no such laws exist will enact some very quickly.

Any cloud based software company in the US which holds large amounts of data that could in any way be deemed to be sensitive is going to have a much harder time pitching to clients overseas who will increasingly opt for a decent local alternative over a foreign one should the option exist. The only thing that American companies can hope for otherwise is that there is no foreign alternative.

The world is not going to come to an end but for a lot of people, their jobs are about to get much harder and the government should be worried about this.

Why didn't tech company leaders blow the whistle? stanford.edu
522 points by ot  1 day ago   80 comments top 21
magicalist 1 day ago 5 replies      
Blow the whistle on what? The problem with the "conversation" going on in these threads is that no one is defining that first.

If we're talking about the first leaked version of PRISM, we still don't even know if it exists or how it works. Subsequent revisions have made it seem that if the NSA doesn't have the immediate ability to query the companies' backends, then they have some kind of carte blanche ability to ask for data and immediately receive it. If either of these are true, then certainly, where are the whistleblowers? If not, and there's a very real chance that neither of these are true, then the question doesn't make sense.

If instead we're talking about FISA orders, there's nothing secret to blow the whistle on. Everyone knew what they would allow. Congress was briefed on what they actually have allowed. The EFF has been in court for years (7 and 5 on different cases) to try to just figure out if their clients have standing to sue over FISA. Many of the companies on that PRISM list now have transparency reports that tell you exactly how they disclose data and provide numbers for requests (other than FISA, which you're not allowed to do). There's been tech blog coverage for years by sites like Ars Technica that discuss everything from the flawed ECPA to the attempts by the Obama administration to use national security as a guise to subvert all attempts to find out what these intelligence programs even do, let alone who they do them to. So, what did you expect them to blow a whistle on?

For instance, Google and Microsoft are both now reporting ranges of the NSLs they receive; in effect, a kind of whistleblowing, albeit a legal and vetted one. NSLs are very much like FISA orders, in that they contain gag orders and have minimal oversight (and no public oversight) for their approval. Where's the indignation and action over those?

If we're going for hindsight here, the real question is where the hell were the major news outlets and where the hell were the American people? Or why has Congress been willing to approve this program on multiple occasions? Assuming incompetence in all three of those groups, the usual response to those questions, is not an acceptable answer.

If instead we're actually looking to the future, we need to ask how we're going to hold the Obama administration and Congress's feet to the fire to make sure that this ends, and that any real search beyond basic information (in a very narrow scope!) requires probable cause demonstrated before a judge, and that notification of a warrant can't be gag-ordered and withheld indefinitely.

tsotha 1 minute ago 0 replies      
The problem is the subpoenas come stapled to a gag order. "Why didn't tech company leaders blow the whistle?" is really not the right question to ask, and not the one the thread answers. They couldn't "blow the whistle" without going to jail.

The right question to ask is "Why didn't tech companies fight the orders in court", and the answer is, of course, if you're in a heavily regulated industry the government can crush you without involving the judiciary. You could win the court battle and go out of business, even if regulators don't attack you personally over "three felonies a day".

dylangs1030 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are several valid reasons why they didn't blow the whistle:

1. As the NYTimes article leaks[1], the leaders of these tech companies may not actually know the extent of FISA and PRISM within their servers - employees cooperating with the NSA would be forbidden from sharing this even with the CEOs.

2. What are they blowing the whistle on? There are a flurry of competing facts and fragmented stories. It came out afterwards that the NSA may not actually have as incredible access as they originally claimed. All they had to go on was the original Guardian article, which merely states "direct access" - everything else is, as the CEOs stated, covered under FISA laws.

3. Speaking of FISA laws, it's a violation of national security to even acknowledge the existence of FISA requests. PRISM is justified through section 702 of FISA. They wouldn't risk treason. This is reasonable. Are you on such a high horse as to say you would do differently?

[1]: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/technology/tech-companies-...

betterunix 1 day ago 2 replies      
In all likelihood, because they need the government to work with them. Google, Facebook, Microsoft -- all companies that must deal with regulations and shareholders who care more about profits than morals. The last thing any of them need is for the government to retaliate with stricter enforcement of those regulations, which might hurt their profits. The FBI's latest push for backdoors sends these companies a clear message: standing up to the government is bad for business.

Or, if we want to be optimistic, maybe they had no idea what their companies were participating in. Maybe the NSA people they met with were lying about their plans or purposes. It is a classified system, so maybe they felt compelled to leave out details that would otherwise have had the CEOs fighting back.

hga 1 day ago 0 replies      
"In this case a corrupt federal prosecutor (is there anyother kind?)...."

According to superstar trial lawyer Gerry Spence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Spence), as of when he wrote his book on Ruby Ridge, in an aside WRT serious prosecutor misconduct in that case, he has never tried a case against a Federal prosecutor in which there wasn't egregious misconduct. Come to think of it, his skill in finding that probably helps his near perfect success rate, and especially his signature tactic of resting without presenting a defense.

scythe 1 day ago 5 replies      
It might be wishful thinking, but part of me wonders if Steve Jobs might have actually been able to push back a little and prevented Apple from joining the program at the same time as Microsoft/Google et al. Apple isn't known for being outspoken about privacy, but Jobs is a formidable character to deal with and, well, if anyone had the balls to say 'no', he did.

Apple wasn't added until after Jobs died, years after other major players:


rdl 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's simple. Verizon, Qwest, etc. are not tech companies. They are telecommunications carriers, regulated utilities, who are close to an extension of the government.

The implausible part of the worst PRISM allegations was that Google/Facebook/etc. behaved like that, but telcos have acted as extensions of spy agencies for as long as they've been around -- back to the "Black Chambers".

known_unknowns 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everyone here seems to be assuming that tech company leaders actually knew the whole picture, but that isn't necessarily the case.

Think about it: Let's say you're the CEO of any of these companies. If someone from the NSA or the FBI serves a top secret FISA order on some poor SRE in your datacenter, do you even qualify as one of "those persons to whom disclosure is necessary to comply with such Order", or an attorney?

Now, maybe your General Counsel knows what's going on, or maybe the knowledge is scattered throughout your legal team. Your lawyers, who are supposed to be representing your interests, are now bound to keep these secrets from you, and possibly even from each other. This is something that affects millions of people, and you can't do anything to fight it, because you aren't necessarily allowed to know what's going on in your own company. The only sign might be that a few previously-happy key employees suddenly seem stressed and quit for no apparent reason.

Freedom of speech is such a basic assumption in our society that we struggle to understand the full implications of what can happen when it's taken away.

dm2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Because treason and national security are taken very seriously.

It's well known that there is a "secret" interpretation of the PATRIOT Act and FISA revisions that basically allow unlimited loopholes for accessing any data. Going up against what is arguably the most powerful organization in the world and the most powerful government in the world, while you have a nice cushy tech job, would be dumb.

Besides that, not many engineers employees for private companies have a firm grasp on all of the details of the law. How many people can say for certainty that it is even illegal for the NSA to do broad data-mining of US citizens?

yekko 1 day ago 0 replies      
Because they didn't get rich blowing whistles, or by biting the hand that feeds them.
kenko 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Speculation: because the heads of those companies think that surveillance is just peachy and it's their business model? That is certainly the case with Facebook, which acknowledges that they try to encourage sharing and break down norms surrounding privacy, then take the new norms they've created, treat them as a baseline, and extend them further. They think this is good. And it's not like the NSA is going to compete with them for advertiser $, so no bigs.
grecy 6 hours ago 0 replies      
..Because anyone who 'blows the whistle' will have their lives destroyed, a la Manning and Snowden.
zzbzq 1 day ago 1 reply      
For the post linked in the headline, those seem like shocking accusations, but the kind I'm now accustomed to taking with a grain of salt. It seems perfectly plausible that the guy legitimately deserves a 6 year sentence for reasons unrelated to any of this.

As for the subject/headline, which I'm not sure is related to the particular post linked, it seems pretty simple. Tech companies would probably see PRISM with much more perspective than the internet's knee-jerk reaction. After all, these are companies who have that information at their finger tips 24/7, who can invade all kinds of privacy without any oversight or checks and balances and nobody would even know to get outraged. The media companies, particularly Google, are companies that regularly collect and profile that information anyway for the expressed purpose of profiling people in order to maximize their ability to manipulate the public. As far as tech leaders are concerned, the NSA is the first party to suggest doing something non-evil or selfish with all that data.

So for things like listening to phone conversations, there's still an argument and some outrage to be had. But I think for a lot of the companies, the leaders would have to sooner blow the whistle on themselves than the NSA. The whistle blowing would have to come from where it apparently did--an ideologue who has a fetish-ized view of the public sector as something evil and invasive even as the private sector pours over all the same information unimpeded for selfish ends.

magoon 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Chicago politics? Nope, just politics.
paul_f 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a difficult thing to wrap your head around. My assumption is that the vast majority of people haven't formed an opinion yet. And many others don't have a problem with what the NSA is doing.
magoon 4 hours ago 0 replies      
pvdm 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Do no evil" but do something much worst.
dgellow 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The first rule of PRISM is you do not talk about PRISM
mmastrac 1 day ago 0 replies      
helloamar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everyone falls for the MONEY
Grovara123 1 day ago 0 replies      
This article is crap - Joseph P. Nacchio is serving 6 years for Insider Trading.
Why we can't go back to business as usual post-PRISM stanford.edu
445 points by nullc  23 hours ago   158 comments top 5
b6 21 hours ago 7 replies      
I'm a peaceful person, but this issue has been simmering in my head for years, and I find myself actually looking forward to some kind of meaningful conflict. I'm sick, sick, sick to death of the president issuing denials while they keep building more and more infrastructure against humanity. I think the article is right, that it'll get worse from here, and in a way, I'm glad.
bayesianhorse 21 hours ago 7 replies      
For me, this incident is an example where the U.S. democracy failed, pure and simple. Obama made campaign promises to not do surveillance. He was elected and then did it anyway. It's frankly impossible now to change this issue in a democratic fashion.

From the outside it often looks as if American politicians are overly busy with a very expensive "game", rather than using the game for the greater good.

robomartin 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I know a couple of people that, for as long as I've known them, have been consumed by this idea of having to be able to defend yourself from an intrusive government. They, as one would expect, have gun safes full of guns of all types, piles of ammunition and other survivalist tools and equipment.

When the Newtown school massacre happened I actually called a friend in the Sheriff's department to ask if I should "drop a dime" on these guys. My argument was that, while they had never hurt anyone in their lives, perhaps they could one day blow a fuse and use their arsenal to kill innocent people.

This was a troubling call for me. I am not anti-gun at all. I don't happen to own any. Yet, I don't have any fundamental objections to law-abiding people owning them. The Newtown event rattled me as much as it probably did lots of people.

To my surprise my friend, the Sheriff, said not to worry. He went on to tell me that this sort of thing (stock-piling weapons and ammo) is very common. He said lots of cops do it. He went further and told me "we can find most of these people because they are being tracked one way or the other, whether they know it or not".

I didn't think much of that last statement until the latest government scandals started to surface, from the IRS targeting political groups (regardless of alignment, would you like it to happen to you in the future?) to this PRISM/surveillance mess. You now have to wonder where else the government is tracking us. Or, perhaps, the right question could very well be the opposite: Where are you safe?

All of a sudden these "nut-cases" who stockpile weapons and wake up every day thinking the government is out to get them actually have something to point to and say: "See, I told you so". I already got that call, BTW.

No, I am not going out to buy guns. Not interested. I have enough fun shooting them at the range. I don't feel I need to own any of them for any reason. But, you know, how can I now tell these guys they are insane for thinking the way they do?

fpp 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Also read the reply by Aaron Greenspan in the thread:


ericHosick 22 hours ago  replies      
This may seem a bit off topic, but I do agree that we can't go back. So, I'm asking here.

We are building out a software development framework "from scratch" and would like to make security a core aspect of the framework.

Where would be a good place to start looking at encryption solutions? For example, would PGP be a good option?

Mac Pro apple.com
437 points by salimmadjd  9 hours ago   347 comments top 8
carterschonwald 1 minute ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty bummed about the new Mac Pro, I really want / need my dev work station purchase this summer to have a Haswell generation CPU, plus NVidia Cuda support. Which this seems to lack.

(context, I'm doing a lot of Dev work on high peformance numerical algorithms, and the fewer machines i need to test all the different substrates, the better.)

btown 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Copywriting and product-debate aside, that's some pretty impressive frontend presentation. From what I can tell from the minified JS, they're using Require.JS for code organization, their own jQuery-like utility toolkit they call Apple Core, fully pre-rendered text everywhere, and javascript that plays and pauses two copies of the HTML5 video, one backwards and one forwards, shuffling their opacities for seamless transitions.

Interestingly, they don't need separate videos for each transition, because the video is streamed rather than pre-buffered in its entirety. Not that Apple really cares about its bandwidth costs here, but it's an interesting strategy.

The minified JS: http://images.apple.com/v/mac-pro/home/a/scripts/macpro.rele...

And the raw video (download and play in QuickTime): http://movies.apple.com/media/us/mac-pro/2013/96614028-695e-...

ChuckMcM 6 hours ago 2 replies      
As a design asthetic I find it fairly interesting. By working toward a design managing the thermals in a way that allow for more heat removal while allowing it to not sound like a 747 on takeoff is good. I suspect your typical desktop machine will benefit from that kind of thinking.

Also for a long time Intel was trying to push all of the expansion boards outside the case with USB, and Apple seems close to achieving this with thunderbolt. Leaving the primary chassis as the system/holder for CPU+Memory+GPU with perhaps some boot media, and putting anything else outside.

I can't wait to see on in action to see how well this strategy works in practice vs in slideware.

rsync 5 hours ago 4 replies      
I love this new device. I suspect I will buy one.

But it doesn't solve my "need a new mac pro" problem.

Right now my 2009 octo mac pro, with six displays attached, plays three roles:

- it is my high end desktop workstation, with three primary high resolution (2560x1600) displays.

- it is my HTPC, with one of the six monitors strung into another room entirely.

- it is my office NAS, with four internal 3TB disks

So, three roles all rolled into one device. This is possible because I can expand it internally with 3.5" disks and pcie cards. In fact, my 3x gt120 cards only take up 3 of the 4 slots.

To duplicate this, I think I need to:

a) add an external disk enclosure

b) drive my fourth display via HDMI

c) pray that 3x 4k displays leaves can coexist with 2x 2560x1600 displays as secondary displays, which seems unlikely

d) pray that the disk array doesn't cannibalize enough thunderbolt bandwidth to interfere with the displays

e) another external box for cd ripping and general optical disk usage

... and all the while, with a single physical CPU, and no ability to ever upgrade the graphics cards. Granted, my needs must not be complicated if I can live with gt120s in 2013, but it was nice to know I could upgrade.

Oh, and I have upgraded my SSD boot device three times in the 4.5 years I've owned this system. That was nice.

So again, I actually really like this device - I think it is a very, very cool computer. But as a discriminating mac pro user who pushed the form factor to the limits, it is not at all what I need.

duncan_bayne 3 hours ago 5 replies      
It's disturbing to see so many people drooling over this hardware. Granted, it's tasty-looking, but:

- http://www.defectivebydesign.org/apple

- http://www.ifixit.com/blog/2011/01/20/apples-diabolical-plan...

- http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2337939,00.asp

Give some thought to the above before buying an Apple device, please.

glenra 7 hours ago 10 replies      
"Okay, we COULD just label the ports with regular high color contrast paint. Say, white paint on a black background or black paint on a white background. But that would be TOO EASY and the panel would then really 'pop' against our otherwise monolithic clean design. Which would be distracting."

"But during actual use the ports are going to be on the BACK of the device (so you won't see it) and will have random stuff plugged into some of the ports, which ALSO would disturb the pure clean lines of the thing, so who cares?"

"No, no, we've got to label this thing with black labels on a black background, so it blends in."

"How will people be able to see the labels?"

"Easy. We'll add LED backlighting!"

"How will people TURN ON the LED backlighting, without the button to do THAT destroying our perfect design?"

"Simple - there's no button for it - you just move the machine to turn on the backlight!"

"What if you want the backlight to STAY on for a while, longer than the default?"

"Just keep shaking the machine. Or duct-tape a vibrator to it."

"That's PERFECT!"

jmduke 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Apple is doubling down on their segmentation here. They're clearly abandoning (I don't mean this in a pejorative sense) a mass appeal with this new iteration and targeting it specifically to 'actual' professionals: graphic designers, video editors, etc.
mbell 6 hours ago  replies      
Personally I couldn't care less about the design, it would be sitting behind several large screens anyway and the thermal ideas sound interesting....

That said....

4 ram slots???? Really? 12 cores, 2 GPUs and I get 32GB of ram? Maybe 64GB if 16GB dimms in standard sizes become a thing? That kills it completely in my book.

NSA's Backdoor Key from Lotus Notes cypherspace.org
433 points by EthanHeilman  2 days ago   80 comments top 12
rozzie 2 days ago 5 replies      
Ray Ozzie here. Regarding "minitruth" - you've got to maintain a bit of a sense of humor when things get stressful.

It was such a long time ago, but one thing that clearly differentiates our efforts in those days vs. what's been reported in the news in the past few days is the issue of transparency.

The day we shipped the "differential workfactor" implementation in Notes, I keynoted the RSA Conference and gave a speech laying out what we did and why. Charlie Kaufman, a great cryptographer who worked for me, also distributed a paper he wrote with the technical details. You can find my speech and his paper buried in here if you're interested. (search for "lotus.notes")


And if you're really motivated to understand what it was like during the Crypto Wars, go read Steven Levy's book "Crypto".


Back to the present - it pains me to see such a lack of transparency in how our elected officials are running our government. Of course, the common man knows it's common sense that there's an inherent need for secrecy in conducting small scale covert operations. We do get it.

However, it's also common sense that it's inevitable that any complex large-scale long-term operation will ultimately come to light. And so it's just common sense that any such broad-based operations that might be perceived as impacting our constitutional rights should be the subject of broad public debate. No, not when they're being prototyped or tested or used in small scale settings - but definitely somewhere on the path from "tactical use" to "broad strategic dependence".

These are not small issues, nor need they be at all partisan. Wyden, Paul, and others are trying. Theses issues are fundamental to defining the relationship between us citizens and our government in the decades ahead.

In particular, in this world where "SaaS" and "software eats everything" and "cloud computing" and "big data" are inevitable and already pervasive, it pains me to see how 3rd Party Doctrine may now already be being leveraged to effectively gut the intent of U.S. citizens' Fourth Amendment rights. Don't we need a common-sense refresh to the wording of our laws and potentially our constitution as it pertains to how we now rely upon 3rd parties? It makes zero sense in a "services age" where granting third parties limited rights to our private information is so basic and fundamental to how we think, work, conduct and enjoy life.

For example, did you really intend to yield your 4th amendment rights when you granted a 3rd party access to your files as a part of Mac Software Update, Windows Update, Virus Scanners, etc., or when you started using a service-tethered smartphone?

Anyway, unlike 'web tracking' issues which seem to be broadly ignored because of our love for ad-supported services, I hope we all (especially the young readers of reddit, hackernews, etc) wake up to the fact that these privacy and transparency issues are REAL, and that they truly will impact you and the country you live in, and that even if you don't consider yourself an activist you really should get informed and form an opinion. Again, this is a non-partisan issue, and let's all work to ensure that it stays this way.

Two great organizations where you can learn are EPIC and EFF. (Disclosure: I am on the board of EPIC.) Take it in, and think. Your contributions are needed and would of course be quite welcome.



jrockway 2 days ago 1 reply      
If I were a programmer that wanted to damage the reputation of my employer, I'd embed a key in its software that made it look like the software was sending all user data to the NSA. Any denial would meet "well, there's a secret law making you deny it". The perfect crime...
acqq 2 days ago 2 replies      
Also from these times:


An example of coverage, very similar to what we read now:


krenoten 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting article, but slight quibble: differential cryptography is a cryptanalysis technique, ie a method that anybody can use to try to break a cipher.


anonymfus 2 days ago 1 reply      
>This page has also been translated into Russian here

It is not in Russian. It's in Belarussian.

javanix 2 days ago 3 replies      
Would they really put the NSA director's email in the PGP key? Something smells fishy about this.
jamesaguilar 2 days ago 7 replies      
I may be willing to believe the NSA are misguided, but nobody uses the bad guys' name for themselves on purpose. The NSA used Minitruth as the name of their backdoor? Gimme a break.
apapli 2 days ago 2 replies      
Given many companies running notes push forms out to their web site, I am curious, does now knowing this key increase the vulnerability of Lotus Notes servers everywhere as theoretically anyone can use it now?
TheYComb 2 days ago 0 replies      

Getting the private key is as easy as having a smart person inside the company that works for both the company and the gov.

Then you just have to sit on a router and read the traffic. Relatively simple for a gov agency.

There are 2 ways to be safe:1) You do not use any technology.2) You are honest in everything you do.

The second one is probably the easiest.

scaramanga 2 days ago 0 replies      
hmm, I was expecting to see that they'd factored the private key. It's been done before for 768bits RSA and presumably both NSA and RSA are picking good semiprimes but maybe not eh? That would be interesting to know.
cocopanda 2 days ago 2 replies      
Should I be worried about looking at this.
BruceLi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Welcome to China!
Tor and HTTPS eff.org
411 points by claudius  1 day ago   125 comments top 15
frisco 1 day ago 4 replies      
I think this is misleading. I now believe that the NSA has the private keys for substantially all SSL certs in use, and I expect that a non-trivial percentage of Tor nodes are run by the government.

SSL certs require cooperation of a trusted registrar even for the biggest companies -- Google's is signed by Equifax, for example. Given what we've seen in the last few days, requesting keys from the root CAs is a no-brainer.

For Tor, a bunch of attacks are possible by owning only a small percentage of all nodes. Recently, Tor was issuing a "call for relays" due to a dwindling number of participants that was endangering the network. Considering that Tor came out of Navy research, if you don't think they have a statistically interesting number of nodes, you're crazy. If they don't, it's only because they don't think that Tor is an interesting source right now.

TL;DR: Security depends on your threat model, and while I think that Tor and HTTPS provide strong protection from run-of-the-mill attackers, I don't think that either provides meaningful security if you're worried about the NSA.

wyck 1 day ago 1 reply      
The important part of the diagram for Tor is the first NSA character, as you can see it still shows "Location" before you are routed through the Tor relay.

With the location information it is possible to correlate the exit information via pattern matching, though it would take considerable analysis, this can be done by logging volume and timing information on the two sides. I am sure there are even better techniques to analyze exit/entry correlations, especially if you're not using a secure browser.

So having a private VPS doesn't really matter, in fact it can make matters worse because you are adding layers that can be "watched" before you hit an entry node, the more data that can be logged the easier it is to track.

You're best option is to choose random nodes, connect at random times and also look into using Tor bridges. If possible using several different IPS's or even better random wi-fi hotspots, though this is hardly convenient for most users.

Tor bridges: https://www.torproject.org/docs/bridges.html.en

Whitepaper on Tor passive logging attacks (pdf): http://people.cs.umass.edu/~mwright/papers/wright-passive.pd...

belorn 1 day ago 2 replies      
An excellent illustration for those already familiar with the concepts.

However, I not sure its that easy to understand for those who don't know what "location" means, and the text is slightly small and hard to read. It would be a great improvement if they showed a small help text if one hovered over a label inside one of the yellow boxes.

Still, a very excellent job of EFF.

bcl 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can help contribute - https://cloud.torproject.org/

Note that you can reduce your costs by using spot instances.

mtgx 1 day ago 3 replies      
Assuming the NSA is tapping ISP cables, and siphoning all unencrypted data of the web, and that they need to ask the big companies in the slides for the encrypted data, would EFF's "HTTPS Everywhere" help with all the websites that are not encrypted, like say Reddit?
VexXtreme 1 day ago 4 replies      
What happens if NSA starts operating a number of Tor exit nodes and eavesdropping on the outgoing traffic? What prevents them from doing so?
btipling 1 day ago 4 replies      
Why does the graphic portray police as mean angry people. Police are good people who provide a valuable service. They do a good thing. They are not the enemy.
D9u 1 day ago 0 replies      
B0Z 1 day ago 1 reply      
Maybe I'm misinformed, but I thought the big problem has less to do with data in transit than it does with the destinations (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc) working hand-in-hand with the NSA? What am I missing?
chj 1 day ago 2 replies      
The problem of HTTPS is that you will need certification from some CAs which may be working with government agents.
josscrowcroft 1 day ago 1 reply      
Where does running traffic via a VPN [0] come into this?

Does that count as HTTPS, or are they referring to 'SITE.COM' having an HTTPS certificate?

Is it possible to use Tor and a VPN together?

[0] e.g. I use https://ipredator.se

alextebbs 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting how everyone in the diagram except the user, the sysadmin, and the relay nodes have "evil eyes".
runn1ng 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have problems even logging in on ycombinator with tor. Not to mention any site with anti-spam protection.
showsover 1 day ago 3 replies      
How legal is operating a Tor node?I'm thinking of putting up a machine (and a VPS) to just run a node.I just don't want to get into legal trouble for running a(n exit) node.
esalman 1 day ago  replies      
When using Tor+HTTPS, the first NSA eavesdropper can see location. How serious is that?
Using Metadata to Find Paul Revere kieranhealy.org
402 points by decklin  13 hours ago   60 comments top 12
danso 12 hours ago 7 replies      
I don't know if David Simon's (creator of "The Wire" and "Treme") defense of the Verizon phone records request ever made it onto HN's page:

Here it is, if you hadn't seen it:http://davidsimon.com/we-are-shocked-shocked/

Apparently it was so controversial that his site crashed from the traffic, and he had to tell everyone to chill out: http://davidsimon.com/nsa-and-fisa-commentary-calling-it/

Anyway, why I thought of that in relation to the OP was, that I think some defenders of the NSA and general government surveillance policies are just unaware of how technology can fundamentally change things...As Google leaders have been known to say, "Speed is a feature"...and so it's not the finding of information that makes the establishment of Google time in human civilization, but how fast Google allows us to do it.

So that said, Simon is one of the journalists I have the absolute highest regard for...I'll be one of the many who think "The Wire" is the best TV drama ever, both for its artistic take and for its illustration of how institutions -- the police, the schools, the drug trade -- corrupt even the best of individuals. "The Wire" is heavily based off of the year that Simon embedded himself in the Baltimore homicide department...the book (which spawned a network TV show) is the best book about the practice of journalism I've ever read. After a year following the detectives, you'd think Simon would be pretty much in cahoots with the police...but he followed up "Homicide" with "The Corner", in which he spent a year embedded with drug dealers and their customers...apparently most of the friendsships he made in the Baltimore Police department evaporated after he published a book bringing sympathy to Baltimore's downtrodden.

Anyway, I don't think Simon has a love for government or authority. But I do think he's a little naive when it comes to advances in technology and their consequences. When "The Wire" started, the police were focused mostly on tapping pay phones. By the time "The Wire" ended, the police were surprised at the advent of camera phones. So when Simon says he thinks the NSA and other law agencies won't abuse their wiretap authority, I believe him...because in much of his experience, the practical obstacles (such as, having to have an officer watch a payphone all day) made it basically impossible for blanket surveillance.

But technology is different...I think Simon's -- and others who I respect -- mistake is to think that the game is being played the same as it always is. It may be the case that the NSA is staffed with as people as good and conscientious as anywhere else...but it's naive to think (as was the primary lesson in "The Wire") that the power they have will lead them astray...and to those of us affected by it, it makes no difference if the violations were intentional or accidental.

Anyway, back to Paul Revere and the OP...I think it's a great example. But of course, what makes that educational scenario feasible is technology and the ability to record information (metadata or whatever you want to call it) in an organized way.

Frankly, I kind of thought anyone who read 1984 would understand how technology changes everything. But yeah, I do think there are some well-meaning people don't grasp the technology, and if they did, they'd have a different opinion about the dangers of unchecked surveillance.

* edit: misspelled conscientious as 'contentious'

* edit: as an example of how much Simon continues to challenge the police as a citizen, here's an essay he wrote after the success of the Wire, in which he tried, as a citizen, to get the basic details of a cop-involved shooting, something that has always been public record. He eventually succeeded, and the revelations about the officer involved ended up jeopardizing the prosecution: http://davidsimon.com/in-baltimore-no-one-left-to-press-the-...

But as you can see if you read the piece, Simon is not to thrilled with how the Internet has displaced newspaper journalism

startupfounder 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Paul Revere, "in the Fall of 1774 and winter of 1775, I was one of upwards of thirty, chiefly mechanics, who formed ourselves into a Committee for the purpose of watching British soldiers and gaining every intelligence on the movements of the Tories."[1]

Paul Revere was essentially one of the founding members of this country's counter intelligence program against his oppressive government. He was the first in a long line of Mark Felts, Bradley Mannings and Edward Snowdens of this country.

If we have a system where these whistleblowers are stopped before they can leak information on the system that catches them before they can whistleblow there is no turning back. This would not be the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA without Paul Revere and Edward Snowden.


antoko 12 hours ago 4 replies      
This is very clever and all, but from the British perspective - this is exactly what they would have been looking for and Revere would be considered a revolutionary and a real threat, so this is the system working as it is supposed to.

This is the equivalent of saying that the NSA can use such metadata to find muslim extremists that want to kill your children and implement sharia law. (hyperbole courtesy of American media)

Changing the timeline such that "americans" are the underdogs rather than the establishment isn't really helpful... is it? Or is this attempt to stoke revolutionary sentiment?

csears 12 hours ago 3 replies      
So could we spoof bogus metadata to hide Paul Revere?

In other words, if a large enough number of people started start calling and texting random Verizon customers, tweeting with random people from the middle east, inviting random people with Muslim-sounding names to Google+ Hangouts, and commenting on every Facebook like with "This ____ is the bomb!"... could that tip the signal to noise ratio enough to defeat this type of analysis?

LiamMcCalloway 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Academic version: http://db.tt/6UA1bXZq


Cornell University and Banco Central del Ecuador

Abstract In a society composed of a dictator and its citizens, what are the determinants of the political equilibrium between these two? What are the conditions for a successful citizens revolt? What kind of strategies do governments follow to prevent such revolts? The situation of these types of societies can be understood as a game played between a leader, who has to decide the distribution of the aggregate income, and a group of citizens who have the opportunity to revolt if they are unhappy with the distribution. Coordinated action by citizens is possible because they form nodes in a communication network. However, communication through the network is distorted, which could preclude the emergence of collective action among citizens. The network structure and the distortion level are determinants of the political equilibrium and wealth distribution. The model explains how the dictator could use propaganda, cooptation, and repression to increase his expected utility. Finally, the model is illustrated by applying it to cases in Nigeria and Zaire/Congo.

kevinpet 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a lot of fancy math and graphics that don't differ all that much from what a very simple analysis can give you. Only Revere belonged to five of the groups of interest. Of the three who belonged to four groups, two of them are in "top scorers" on centrality, and the third, with one of the two in centrality, is in the final table.
msandford 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a really great counterpoint to the "if you have nothing to hide..." crowd.
jroseattle 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Makes me think of the ramifications of false positives.
dfc 9 hours ago 0 replies      
kjh the author of this link has a greatintroduction to emacs:


He also has a lot of good reference material on latex/org-mode/pandoc. Definitely a good resource to have handy if you ever have a less-techie friend who wants to get away from MS word and its ilk.

rickyconnolly 11 hours ago 1 reply      
You hould have ued the long in this article
quchen 12 hours ago 1 reply      
While being an interesting read, the "old world" scenario was kind confusing me every couple of lines. (Could be because I'm not a native speaker.)
lettergram 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This would mean the larger your network, the larger your likely hood of being a terrorist
I'm Ready To Help NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Seek Asylum forbes.com
390 points by llambda  1 day ago   42 comments top 10
lawnchair_larry 1 day ago 1 reply      
Birgitta Jonsdottir, member of parliament in Iceland and the woman extending this offer (edit: she doesn't have authority to offer asylum, so reaching out to offer assistance is more accurate), was previously the subject of these secret orders, which were served on all of the major tech companies. The only reason she knows is because Twitter actually challenged the gag order and managed to get it unsealed (MAJOR respect to twitter, they deserve credit for this), which is the only time that has happened. Several others who were supporters of Wikileaks had these served as well.

"The information demanded by the DOJ is sweeping in scope. It includes all mailing addresses and billing information known for the user, all connection records and session times, all IP addresses used to access Twitter, all known email accounts, as well as the "means and source of payment," including banking records and credit cards. It seeks all of that information for the period beginning November 1, 2009, through the present"

This is why the "protecting the country from terrorists" rhetoric is bullshit and should be ignored. They'll sweep up anything from anyone who has any success in opposing or embarrassing them. That's why this cannot be allowed to happen in secret. Once they have your entire life, it doesn't matter who you are, they'll find something. If not, they'll harass you for years.

While only five people were individually named, according to lawyer Mark Stephens the order effectively entailed the collection in relation to criminal prosecution of the personal identifying information of over six hundred thousand Twitter users, namely those who were "followers" of WikiLeaks.

They claim this type of activity is only for specific, targeted individuals, but apparently to them, that means things like "anyone following @wikileaks on twitter".

ck2 1 day ago 2 replies      
The problem is people always screw up and a decade later they think it's okay to visit the US for a conference or something and don't realize they will never see the light of day again once they step into that airport.

Or some country wants a political favor from the current US president so they turn him over.

Very brave dude but his life is just about as over as Bradley Manning.

beggi 22 hours ago 1 reply      
FYI: Birgitta is in a minority opposition party (The Icelandic pirate party) with 3 representatives out of 63. Given the ruling government's track record, both regarding refugees seeking asylum as well as a strong will to have good relations with the U.S., I find it highly unlikely he will be given asylum in Iceland. Now, Bobby Fischer was given an asylum in Iceland in 2006 in a unanimous parliament vote - but that was without great objections from the U.S. This is (obviously) a completely different thing.
untog 1 day ago 7 replies      
Slightly off-topic question, but why did he not just go to Iceland in the first place? Hong Kong does not seem like the best destination here.
mseebach 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The funny thing is, if the US had only treated Bradley Manning 'decently' (ie. as they would any other criminal suspect), the case for asylum would be exceedingly poor - he openly admits to committing a crime, and that simply isn't grounds for asylum. But the Bradley Manning case shows that those under prosecution for that kind of crime will be subjected to 'extra-legal' treatment that it can well be argued amounts to 'persecution' (which is the requirement in the UN convention on refugees).
znowi 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This is very nice of Jonsdottir, but given the current conservative government in Iceland, I doubt it is a safe place for Snowden.

In fact, given how widespread the American influence is, I can't think of a safe country for him. Apart from Ecuadorian embassy-like hideouts.

ekr 19 hours ago 1 reply      
On an unrelated note, there's this petition on the White House website, in need of signatures : https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-edward-snow...
pvnick 1 day ago 1 reply      
The memo claims they're trying to reach out to Snowden to verify his intentions to seek asylum. I wonder how they do that?
jlgreco 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't even care if she straight up runs a "gay conversion therapy" business if she does the right thing in this situation. I cannot object to a bad politician doing the right thing (though of course that does not mean I would vote for them).
tagabek 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Mildly off topic question: How common are asylum applications submitted? How often are they accepted?
How three pacifists were convicted as terrorists commondreams.org
386 points by swombat  1 day ago   161 comments top 8
mtgx 1 day ago 6 replies      
This is becoming a lot more common lately. The discrepancy between how much jail time the people who upset the government get, and the people who commit real crimes is getting bigger. And that's without counting the complete lack of interest in prosecuting bankers and other corporations that are very friendly to the government. Justice is becoming increasingly more unequal.
einhverfr 1 day ago 4 replies      
When I was growing up as a Quaker, I was raised to see such people as heroes, and I still do. These people took their beliefs and their convictions and chose to live life on their terms, not bowing to the authorities of the government. They knew what the potential punishments were. They used the trial to make their case. They made it. Like many other heroes of great magnitude they have sacrificed much and now stand as political prisoners.

But in addition to making their own cases, they have exposed something deeper about our system of government. We are all in their debt.

I shall listen to Jack Warshaw's "No Time for Love" (as a tribute to political prisoners) tonight, both his version[1] and the Moving Hearts version[2] (which was published first interestingly).

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NT8p1XhTc2Y

[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTgD-QveQrU

jasallen 1 day ago 3 replies      
I don't particularly agree with them, frankly, but I would still hold them up as an example of the proper use of civil disobedience as a tool to affect change.

a) broke the law, knew there would be consequences

b) did not cause harm, injure or endanger people in the process

c) used the attention to proselytize their cause, not beg for leniency

So, as a person who does not want society to stagnate, I applaud that there are people out there will to take risks for (perceived) needed change.

However, that only stands as long as there is a society to be 'risking' it against. We need laws and we need structure to be a society. And not every change truly is needed.

Since there is a compelling reason to punish people who break into government weapons facilities (we don't want every high schooler with a naive moral streak imitating it), It strikes me that, while I hold nothing against them and applaud their willingness to take the punishment, I think their does need to be a fairly harsh punishment.

Now, if despite the harsh punishment, more and more people start doing this and if the less brave of us who are in agreement with them are vocal (I said already I'm not particularly in agreement), and the less brave still at least vote, then over time laws and government can change. But in the short term, the brave revolutionaries must take the consequences.

jfaucett 1 day ago 1 reply      
This piece is extremely disturbing, are you kidding me? Has the US Gov't and its justice system degenerated so far as to label pacifist as terrorist and incarcerate them? What disturbs me the most, is that I had heard nothing at all about this case, and I consider myself fairly up-to-date on political happenings...
omonra 1 day ago 4 replies      
It could be just me, but this story bothers me a lot more than all the non-stop coverage about NSA.

Perhaps I had always expected NSA to snoop on everything on the internet whereas this shows complete breakdown in common sense by the government.

RexRollman 1 day ago 1 reply      
Conservatives complain about "activist judges" but I would like to see something done about "activist prosecutors", who stretch the law to imprison people in ways not intended by law. The computer hacking statutes are also a good example of this.
rdl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I the only person who dislikes the headline?

"Turning a pacifist into a violent terrorist" is what happens when you send someone to Gitmo, break him, convince him the world has no meaning except for through violent terrorism, etc.

Prosecuting a protesting pacifist under laws meant for terrorism doesn't "turn them into" violent terrorists; I'd be perfectly comfortable around them/not afraid they would kill me, although I do think they should get some slight punishment for destroying government property and trespass (suspended), while the security at Oak Ridge should get vastly more scrutiny.

sc00ter 1 day ago  replies      
I couldn't help but be struck by the parallels between this case and that of Aaron Swartz, given the significant overreach by the prosection in continuing to add federal charges to the indictment as the case progresses. We have a glimse here as to how the Swartz might have ended; it will be revealing to see how the sentencing in this case pans out.
Mark Zuckerberg addresses PRISM facebook.com
382 points by cbrsch  3 days ago   282 comments top
dkulchenko 3 days ago  replies      
Look at the two writeups (Zuckerberg's and Page's) side by side. Each has 4 paragraphs. Each of the pairs of paragraphs addresses the same thing.

1st paragraph: we wanted to respond to these claims. 2nd paragraph: never heard of PRISM, don't give direct access. 3rd paragraph: each request goes through legal channels. 4th paragraph: encourage governments to be more transparent.


EDIT: It gets worse. Here's Apple: "We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order."

Here's Paltalk: "We have not heard of PRISM. Paltalk exercises extreme care to protect and secure users data, only responding to court orders as required to by law. Paltalk does not provide any government agency with direct access to its servers.

Here's AOL: "We do not have any knowledge of the PRISM program. We do not disclose user information to government agencies without a court order, subpoena or formal legal process, nor do we provide any government agency with access to our servers."

And here's Yahoo: "We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network."

Microsoft refused to issue a direct denial of involvement in PRISM.

Apple Literally Stole my Thunder medium.com
371 points by alariccole  5 hours ago   146 comments top 10
jussij 4 hours ago 5 replies      
It always makes me sigh when I read stories like this.

For decades Microsoft was bashed for offering up a closed system, yet the reality was Microsoft would let you sell any type of software for Windows and they couldn't care less.

Then along comes Apple with it's tightly closed, highly controlled platform and no one raises a murmur, but rather everyone seems to celebrate the idea.

Watching on are the rest of the big players and they see how successful Apple has been, so they all start madly creating their own closed systems.

The reality is none of these issues existed in the old style Windows system, but thanks to the success of Apple, those days are now gone :(

Developers are now forever beholden to the big corporates.

eggbrain 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time this happened. This also won't be the last time either.

When you build apps on a platform, be ready to run into brick walls if you start to enter (or have already entered) areas that the platform wants to get into -- that goes for Facebook and Twitter as much as it does for Apple as well.

crazygringo 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Gotta say... best post title I've seen in a while.

But still a very valid point. I would really support legislation governing online marketplaces, so that this kind of abuse couldn't take place. A company shouldn't have to be a monopoly, for anticompetitive behavior to become illegal.

eridius 3 hours ago 3 replies      
"Months before"? If your weather app is only a few months old, then you are far from the first person to do what you're describing. I had an app on my iPad that provided exactly the experience you're describing, and that was I think at least 2 years old (I don't remember the name anymore).
speeder 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the most weird part, is that I made a app exactly like that, but with cartoon instead of realistic, and it got approved on the first attempt.

For those wondering, it is this one: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/weather-and-clock-for-kids/i...

Granted, a bit more than a month ago, Apple rejected a update for it (because the message of it complaining of lack of GPS had a ok button that quit the APP), and it was really weird, because the thing they complained always existed on the app, and I on purpose proposed a terrible alternative, and they said they wanted THAT. So I DID made the terrible alternative on my point of view, and now the app uses that...

milesskorpen 4 hours ago 5 replies      
While I totally understand why you're angry, I'm almost certain Apple's app review team does NOT have access to pre-release versions of iOS, so this probably didn't happen because Apple was working on similar functionality.
revelation 4 hours ago 1 reply      
HTCs custom Sense UI had this all along (even on Windows Mobile, I think):


It's, uhh, not exactly novel.

rorrr2 4 hours ago 3 replies      
So did you learn your lesson?


Considering how many horror stories we've seen, I wonder why anybody would waste their time developing apps for that weird company.

Develop for open systems instead. They will win in the end.

andrewmunsell 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Way back in 2010, I developed an app called World Weather Watch for WebOS: http://forums.webosnation.com/webos-apps-games/231824-introd...

It had animations and an "overview" screen that had times, temperatures, and forecasts. Here's a couple of screenshots: http://us.appitalism.com/app/palm-webos/244623-world-weather...

I also developed World Weather Watch for Mac OS X: http://www.andrewmunsell.com/work/world-weather-watch/

(The animated weather concept was inspired by HTC's Sense UI, though as far as I can remember, the overview list was entirely my own concept and idea)

So, the concept of animated weather, or even Apple's overview list of weather and times, goes back much farther than a couple of months.


If anyone's curious what World Weather Watch for WebOS looks like in motion, I made a video a while back too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3tS7n4VAsk

joelrunyon 4 hours ago  replies      
Doesn't Haze already do this? http://gethaze.com/

Seems strange that they would let some animated weather apps through and not others...

The Irrationality of Giving Up This Much Liberty to Fight Terror theatlantic.com
353 points by 300bps  13 hours ago   109 comments top 17
DanielBMarkham 11 hours ago 8 replies      
I completely agree that we've overreacted, but I've always rejected this argument, and here's why: Terrorism is not about numerical risk, it is about public perception.

That means that it plays in the same game as everything else in the PR world: politics, advertising, social signaling, and so forth. The last thing it has anything to do with is logic.

It would be great if we could tally up all the things that kill us and spend proportionally on those. It's the logical thing to do. Heart disease would come first, then cancer, and so on. But instead we spend and give attention to those things that the public perceives we should: AIDS research, nuclear war deterrence, terrorism.

And if you think about it, that's the way it ought to be. Spending and making laws are all about the consent of the governed, doing things they want. They're not about math or logic.

The problem here is that, with the Cold War over, the defense and intelligence industry saw 9-11 as a call to arms. They're going to go out and do things a good defense and intelligence industry should. And as Americans we have traditionally been forgiving of having our civil liberties temporarily trampled on during times of war.

But you can't have a war forever. A democracy cannot survive this. Instead of the natural overreaction to a war that always happened, we started creating permanent infrastructure to address all terrorism, forever. We're fighting a war with nobody to surrender, and no amount of spending or government monitoring will ever be enough.

The original laws around 9-11 were temporary, and for a very good reason. But somehow politics has gotten to the point where terrorism is the new third-rail: some national politicians might grandstand a bit, but nobody is going to do anything except for give the security state apparatus whatever it says it needs. Otherwise they'd be thrown out of office. Public perception demands it.

Adding up numbers has nothing to do with it, unless you're using them to make some kind of persuasive argument, and then we're right back to public perception and politics. You're in the same boat as those who asked for more cancer research instead of AIDS research. Different people, rightly, see things differently, and everybody deserves to be represented. We're running a country, not an insurance agency.

tkahn6 11 hours ago 4 replies      
It seems that no one who brings this argument up acknowledges the possibility that terrorism doesn't seem like a big threat precisely because of the extreme precautions taken to stop it.

Comparing traffic related deaths to terrorism related deaths is invalid since we don't spend the same resources or give up comparable liberties to prevent traffic related deaths.

Any analysis that doesn't seriously consider that cannot be taken seriously.

As the Boston Marathon Bombing showed us, it's very easy to create a lot of destruction and disruption and fear with very mundane items (gunpowder and pressure cookers). If it's so easy to accomplish, why doesn't it happen more? Either terrorism is genuinely not a serious threat or our security organizations are very good at what they do using the tools they have at their disposal.

I would be in favor of our security apparatuses 'taking a break' or scaling back spying operations for about 5 years just to see what the result would be and if the American public would be able to tolerate it. Bombs going off every week in a major shopping mall or in an airliner or in a bus (like in Israel in the 90s) would probably not be acceptable to the American people.

Alternatively, we would discover that terrorism is not a big threat and the debate about giving up liberties to prevent terrorism would be a very simple one.

at-fates-hands 10 hours ago 6 replies      
The premise is completely off. If the author actually compared the totality of the impact of 9/11 on the country, instead of just comparing the number of people who die each year to various diseases, they would surely see the importance of fighting terrorism.

Just some facts:


- The destruction of major buildings in the World Trade Center with a replacement cost of from $3 billion to $4.5 billion.

- Property and infrastructure damage: $10 billion to $13 -billion.

- Federal emergency funds (heightened airport security, sky marshals, government takeover of airport security, retrofitting aircraft with anti-terrorist devices, cost of operations in Afghanistan): $40 billion.

- Direct job losses amounted to 83,000, with $17 billion in lost wages.

- Losses to the city of New York (lost jobs, lost taxes, damage to infrastructure, cleaning): $95 billion.

- Fall of global markets: incalculable.

Keep in mind the reason terror attacks have been successful here is that the terrorists use our own laws against us in order to gain an advantage. The lax immigration laws allowed many of the 9/11 hijackers to set up shop here. Keep in mind a large number of illegal immigrants being stopped at our southern border are middle eastern:


"A 2006 congressional report on border threats, titled A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border and prepared by the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations, indicated that 1.2 million illegal aliens were apprehended in 2005 alone, and 165,000 of those were from countries other than Mexico. Approximately 650 were from special interest countries, or nations the Border Patrol defines as designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals that could bring harm to our country in the way of terrorism.

It's a tough balancing act. You don't want to give the bad guys an advantage, but when you keep the laws relaxed and reduce the amount of money being spent on this, all you do is play into the hands of the people who want to kill Americans.

fexl 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Right: (1) the chance of being murdered for any reason is very low, (2) the chance of being murdered for a political reason (a.k.a "terrorism") is extremely low, and (3) the chance that a multi-billion dollar, multi-yottabyte info dragnet can save you from (2), or is even designed to do so, is also very low.
D_Alex 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Now consider also this: the medical privacy rights have the effect of withholding from research vast amounts of medical data, which would be extremely valuable in, say, cancer research.

How many people did CANCER kill in the US 2001-2012? Roughly 6 million. 6,000,000 people. 2000 times more than terror attacks.

Cardiovascular disease and stroke: roughly the same, and just as likely to benefit from medical data.

I - personally - would much prefer that my medical data becomes known, than my e-mails and telephone conversations. I think that applies to 99+ % of us. Certainly the argument "if you did nothing wrong, you got nothing to hide" applies to medical data - few medical problems would land someone in trouble.

jerf 11 hours ago 0 replies      
We aren't giving up liberty to obtain safety. Those in power are using terrorism as an excuse to do what they want to do anyhow, and it's successful enough to provide just enough cover that successful resistance never quite formed.

Educating people out of beliefs they mostly don't have is not going to solve the problem.

ianstallings 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The purpose of the institution is to protect the institution. This has about as much to do with terror as it does with aliens from another planet. Nothing at all. It's about protecting the US government from all threats. And they feel threatened by US citizens so they react with the subtleness of a titan. I sometimes wonder if this is the natural evolution of all governments, to overreact and slide into a delusional world, thinking complete control can be attained.
leot 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Sent this letter to Conor Friedersdorf (article author):

The trouble with the idea of "terrorism" is it doesn't distinguish between Boston Bombings and a 500k+ casualty attack from a nuclear device. The former can and should be dealt with within the normal rule of law and using normal law enforcement. In the case of the latter, we hope and expect that the full national security apparatus is directed toward preventing the event, and that a suspension of the normal rule of law could probably be appropriate.

The problem is, like the 2008 financial crisis and the 2009 Gulf oil spill, the probability of these massive impact "black swan" events is much higher than naive statistical modeling and intuition would suggest. That is, the distribution of these events is "heavy-tailed": the probability of an extremely bad thing happening cannot be easily extrapolated from looking at the frequency with which less bad things have actually happened.

I think people may have a sense that the distribution of terrorism events is "heavy-tailed", making our reaction not entirely irrational (though much of it is). The real problem is that the word "terrorism" conflates normal garden-variety shootings, bombings, and ricin-laced-letter-mailings with the events that could kill millions. If the NSA is only working on preventing the latter, then I think most people would be happy to let them read everything. But when peace activists are called threats to national security (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/20/peace-activists-nuc...), and people in the IC joke that Glenn Greenwald should be "disappeared", it's hard to have faith that our national security apparatus is appropriately allocating its resources.

aetherson 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This article is of course right on the money, and a well-argued version of this argument. But I have to think that everyone in the US has heard this argument a dozen times since 2001, and it seems like it has likely convinced all the people it's going to convince.
T-A 9 hours ago 2 replies      
While I dislike mass surveillance as much as the next guy, the OP's particular argument against it strikes me as myopic. The risks which PRISM purportedly addresses do not cap out at the 3000 deaths by terrorism in 2001. One nuclear device detonated in a major city (let's say in a RORO container awaiting inspection in New York's harbor) could kill millions. Does inclusion of that number in the math make PRISM rational?
300bps 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Hindsight is 20/20, so I am not looking to place blame when I ask - how much better off would we be if we put the money we spent on the "war on terror" to just about any other use?

There are some monumental things that can be done for a trillion dollars (see http://costofwar.com/ which doesn't even include the TSA or other homeland security operations).

cpdean 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a problem with the author's use of comparing the quantity of people killed by terrorists with the quantity of people killed by guns.

The media isn't fearmongering off 'death by planecrash'. Why can't he use something more direct like 'mistakenly-shot a family member that forgot their keys', or drive-by shootings, accidental-discharge-of-a-firearm-while-it-was-being-cleaned deaths? Unlocked gun cabinet related deaths?

jack-r-abbit 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I find it a little ironic when people talk about how rare and possibly over-stated the terrorism threat is and then go on to freak out over the NSA snooping with a bunch of "what if" arguments ("what if they do [this|that|the_other_thing] with my data?") that are likely to be just as rare and over-stated.

Even if it doesn't really concern me too much, I can respect your concern over it. But if you turn the NSA snooping into some doomsday thing, I won't really listen to you for very long.

lazyjones 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It's short-sighted to assume that fighting terror is the only goal these governments have. One of the main benefits of a surveillance society is self-censorship and other "panopticon" effects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon#The_panopticon_as_me...). Fighting terrorism is, in my opinion, actually just a pretext.
hotpockets 9 hours ago 0 replies      
There's even stronger arguments that this article doesn't make. Cures last forever (at least until the entropy death of the universe assuming we can become space-faring and continue to exist for ~10^50 years) benefiting incalculable numbers of people. On the other hand, preventing one terrorist attack, has very temporally limited benefits. New knowledge lasts forever.
temp453463343 9 hours ago 1 reply      

"Liberty is the value of individuals to have agency (control over their own actions)"

Privacy is not a liberty. It's a restriction on the action of others.

TSA and no fly lists are restrictions on liberty.

dllthomas 11 hours ago  replies      
I wholeheartedly agree with the thesis here, and have been saying as much since 2001. An event on the scale of 9/11 happening every other day would still kill fewer Americans than heart disease.
Mozilla should move Persona out of the US workhere.io
350 points by workhere-io  15 hours ago   84 comments top 14
callahad 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Hi, Persona dev here.

We want to do better: we want to get rid of the Persona servers altogether. As tlocke said, Persona is designed to let you choose who you trust, and anything that requires centralization is considered a bug.

There are 4 points of temporary centralization, each of which can be replaced independently:

1. The JS polyfill. Until we stabilize the API, we ask that you link directly to login.persona.org/include.js

2. The persona.org interface. Once browsers have native support for Persona, that will supersede both the polyfill and the persona.org interface. This is all based on what Mike Hanson called Locally Isolated Feature Domains (LIFD): http://www.open-mike.org/entry/lifding-the-web

3. The Fallback IdP. If your email provider doesn't support Persona, Mozilla will certify your identity after you click a confirmation link sent to your email address. If your email provider does support Persona, it automatically supplants Mozilla's fallback.

4. The Hosted Verifier. Until we stabilize the data formats, we recommend that sites POST identity assertions to verifier.login.persona.org/verify for verification. The assertions necessarily contain your email address and the site you're logging into. We want this to go away soon, and Franois Marier has suggested a pretty slick way to get us there. Until then, we've got a strong privacy policy in place and we limit the data we log. I believe Ben Adida is going to comment more on that shortly.

If you're interested in getting involved, drop me a line and I'd be happy to help you get started.

rfugger 13 hours ago 5 replies      
The fact that Mozilla is a US corporation means that it will still have to give the US government the data it asks for, regardless of where the servers are hosted.
andyl 13 hours ago 1 reply      
And so it begins. People who care about a strong US tech industry need to oppose government snooping.
rasterizer 13 hours ago 2 replies      
If you think that the US is the only country with overreaching intelligence bodies then you're deluded.
Yoric 13 hours ago 1 reply      
That doesn't sound very useful.

Firstly, Persona doesn't have access to any such information. The only interesting information that could be extracted by owning a Persona server is that user X using IP Y wants to connect to some service - but Persona doesn't know which service. So you only get the IP.

Secondly, well, anybody can become a Persona identity provider. Do you want to host one in insert-your-favorite-country here? Well, that's quick and easy.

junto 14 hours ago 4 replies      
I think that the vast majority of tech companies need to seriously consider relocating outside US jurisdiction, in a similar manner to which they have already off-shored their finances.
tlocke 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Mozilla Persona is federated, so the BrowserId service is provided by the email provider. Mozilla provide a fallback service, in case your email provider hasn't set one up. So just pick an email provider in the country of your choice.

There's another misunderstanding in the post:

  > Then NSA would have access to basically 40% of a user's  > browsing history, including URLs, the email address used,  > and time of visit.
As I understand it, Persona doesn't 'phone home' each time authentication is required. It's intended that the browser authenticates you from its cache, and only refers back to the Persona server from time to time, and doesn't tell the Persona server anything about the sites you've been visiting etc.

ck2 13 hours ago 1 reply      
NSA is good at MITM attacks according to Snowden. Moving outside the USA won't stop them.

Unless it's just for politics, to feel better, then go for it.

chrismorgan 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems to me that if the NSA is able to force Mozilla to put in such tracking into Persona (which in its current form, where using the scripts at persona.org is recommended, would be possiblelater on, you'd need to modify the source and get people to update to it), you don't need to worry about it in the slightest. You've already got much larger problems: putting tracking into the browser itself would be much more effective.
mixedbit 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Unfortunately, you don't need to tap an authentication system to spy which services people are visiting. You can achieve the same for example by ordering a popular jQuery CDN to collect HTTP referrers, IP addresses and browsers fingerprints.
jwr 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Your site disables zooming on iOS devices, which makes it inaccessible to some of us. Please don't do that if you want people to read what you wrote.
drivebyacct2 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Why? Nothing about it is remotely centralized and eventually it won't require ANY sort of server-side resources. The entire point is that you trust who you want to be your IdP

edit: never mind, reading the thread it's clear that few here have any idea what Persona is or how it works.

ttrreeww 10 hours ago 0 replies      
US based technology companies can no longer be trusted.
northisup 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think you know how to persona...
Iain Banks dies of cancer aged 59 bbc.co.uk
340 points by andyjohnson0  1 day ago   132 comments top 21
nsns 1 day ago 3 replies      
Here's a strong recommendation to anyone who hasn't read yet The Bridge by Banks, to go and read that wonderful novel.Not to mention his classic and highly imaginative Sci-fi novels: The Player of Games, Feersum Endjinn, Use of Weapons, Excession...
shabble 1 day ago 2 replies      
It was only yesterday I came across his most recent update[1] and was hoping the best for him. Truly a sad day for all who knew him, or enjoyed his works.

In the spirit of Douglas Adams' Towel Day[2], I propose the institution of 'Anti-Gravitas Day', date to be determined.

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/may/21/iain-banks-updat...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Towel_Day

TomAnthony 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since hearing he was ill on Hacker News, back in April, I decided I should finally get back to reading. I followed the recommendations here and read The Player of Games, then moved on to Consider Phlebas which I finished this morning. Afterwards, I went over to his website to see how he was doing.

The two books I read were fantastic and it is bittersweet to have discovered them in such a way. However, I'm thankful to him for getting me back to reading. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

elliott34 1 day ago 2 replies      
From his wikipedia:

"Following graduation Banks chose a succession of jobs that left him free to write in the evenings. These posts supported his writing throughout his twenties and allowed him to take long breaks between contracts, during which time he travelled through Europe, Scandinavia and North America. He was an expediter analyser for IBM, a technician (for British Steel) and a costing clerk for a Chancery Lane, London law firm during this period of his life.[4]"

Kind of inspiring. Most of my generation (I am 23) want instant gratification and won't eat shit like a guy like Banks would in order to support what he really liked to do.

egypturnash 1 day ago 1 reply      
/me cracks a bottle of whiskey across the bow of the ROU The Infuriating Fragility Of Life In A Pre-Contact Civilisation
crapshoot101 1 day ago 1 reply      
What a shame. One of the most brilliant authors of his generation - I'd urge everyone here to read Use of Weapons, which is storytelling done right.
jacquesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
So quick :(

I hoped he would have a bit more time to enjoy his newly wedded state.

Thanks for all the wonderful stories.

andyjohnson0 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm feeling really sad about this. His culture novels in particular had a big effect on me. Right now it seems like the world just got a little bit less interesting and less fun.
rasur 1 day ago 1 reply      
I recall reading an article by him (about a month or so ago), shortly before reading an article about a new possible cancer cure (sadly still untested on humans). A sad loss for the literary world (amongst others). I hope he got the opportunity to make "an honest widow" (as he joked) of his girlfriend before he left.

Safe travels Iain, you'll be missed by many.

porsupah 1 day ago 1 reply      
Iain Banks, for me, was the individual responsible for introducing me to seriously good Scotch. ^_^

It was East(er)con '90, at the Adelphi Hotel - a rather wonderful example of architecture, designed by someone with a passion for steps, to the point that you couldn't walk more than 20' without at least a single step along the way - after a long, good day of con proceedings. We were gathered around in the lobby, around 3am, a circle of some dozen attendees, and he begins passing his whisky flask around. I forget what it was, specifically, but I believe something at least a dozen years old, maybe even a 21.

It was a revelation. ^_^

There was no barrier - no Famous Person, just a bunch of people who all enjoyed sci-fi, chatting into the early hours.

He made the world a richer place to inhabit.

f4stjack 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a sad day... the world, hell the universe, had become a greyer place... Rest in peace Mr. Banks. Your books saved me from depression&suicide.
cjdavis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I spent six weeks in London for a college exchange class the summer of 1990 and discovered Banks and the Culture; I believe it was Consider Phlebas. One of the best parts of that summer. I remember the delays in releases of books once back in the US was agonizing.

Fuck cancer.

sixQuarks 1 day ago 6 replies      
Why do great people like Iain Banks, Steve Jobs, Carl Sagan all die relatively young, while evil sons of bitches like Dick Cheney live to a ripe old age despite having 100 heart attacks?
bpizzi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Having defined the most beautiful imaginary world where there's no more sickness and unwanted death, and dying of cancer before 60. What a cruel world where're living in.

I'll go and reopen Excession for one more time - just for you, dear Iain.

bragh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hope our galaxy's version of the Culture are good guys and backed him up, so he can have a very enjoyable and long life. RIP.
defen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Damn. I literally just finished reading Use of Weapons two days ago. I had no idea he was ill :-(
adrianhoward 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Sad, if not unexpected, news.

My only other comment would be to encourage folk to go read his books. All of 'em - not just the "M". Too many geekish folk only pick up his Culture books - and they're missing out on some really great reads.

Thasc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am so glad he had the chance to see how much he and his work are appreciated, and by so many people. RIP.
sjclemmy 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've loved most of his books since I first read The Wasp Factory in 1987. A sad loss. I hope someone does a faithful and sympathetic movie version of one of his culture novels.RIP
nsns 1 day ago 1 reply      
emehrkay 1 day ago  replies      
Very far off tangent: I do not know who the author is, but in reading the first paragraph I thought that "The Crow Road and Complicity" was a single book because of the exclusion of the Oxford Comma and titles do not capitalize words like "and." I would assume that the BBC used the Oxford Comma (according to this article, they do not), does the author?
obamaischeckingyouremail.tumblr.com obamaischeckingyouremail.tumblr.com
314 points by patkbriggs  20 hours ago   39 comments top 14
angersock 17 hours ago 1 reply      
This shouldn't be half as funny as it is. It shouldn't be funny at all.

Then again, a little bit of gallows humor is always in order when facing these things.

znowi 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This is one of those times when it's both funny and makes you cry
jk4930 15 hours ago 2 replies      
We wanted a president that listens to all Americans Now we have one (Jay Leno)
Aldipower 18 hours ago 5 replies      
Posting this link on Facebook forces me to answer a captcha, what I have never seen before at this point.Then trying to follow the link, the FB-redirect produces an Internal Server Error, so the link to the Tumblr page isn't working. Haha, 500 Code on an simple link, while other links are working.

There must be the NSA behind it! :-D

return0 19 hours ago 0 replies      
"Yo guys, i really like snooping on emails lately, can you bring me some more emails to read? kthxbye"

NSA: We 'll do our best Mr. President

logn 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Finally. Something funny. Ok, now I feel like I can get back to programming... something I've been putting off all day. The world is fubar, but it's still alright.
Ihmahr 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Just like the 'kim-jong il looking at things'! :)
bifrost 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Hillariously, previously submitted -> https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5851063

Can't say I mind seeing this multiple times :)

ck2 16 hours ago 1 reply      
This is disarming the seriousness of the government recording all your internet activity.

Too soon.

viveutvivas 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I keep trying to share this on facebook and facebook makes me enter CAPCHA and then breaks my link. Conspiracy Y/N?
noerps 19 hours ago 0 replies      
A picture says more than 1024 words, and its funny, thanks a lot.
thehme 13 hours ago 1 reply      
haha! most ppl in these pics are actually showing him their computers, cell phones, etc.

The ridic thing is that this has been happening since the beginning of electronic footprints and suddenly now ppl are outraged by this, but not by the nonsense they happily put up on facebook. w/e

Yuioup 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Seriously guys, how much of this is Obama's fault? Isn't it Bush that we all should be complaining to?
Government Says Secret Court Opinion on Law Underlying PRISM Must Stay Secret eff.org
310 points by teawithcarl  2 days ago   18 comments top 9
einhverfr 2 days ago 4 replies      
Wow. Just wow.

Not only do we have a star chamber, but we can't even be allowed to see what laws they have concluded are Unconstitutional.

Any facade of a functioning democracy, or of a commitment to transparency by this government, is swept away.

It also gets to something Scalia said in oral argument in Clapper v. Amnesty International, namely that we should trust the FISC to address 4th Amendment issues. It makes me wonder if he knew about the decision before the case reached the court.

But without such access to case law determining what is Unconstitutional, how can we know what the law is? Where is due notice in this?

asperous 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here is the source:


I. This Court Does Not Have Jurisdiction Over This MotionII. The Opinion at Issue Is Sealed Pursuant to This Courts RulesIII. This Court Should Not Vacate the Seal on the OpinionIV. The Fact That Movant May Be Unsuccessful in the District Court in Compelling the Department of Justice to Release a Classified, Sealed FISC Opinion Does Not Mean That Plaintiff Faces a Catch-22

The release is really sticky though, this part really caugh my attention:

>"Moreover, even if this Court had jurisdiction over this Motion, it should deny it, rather than allow another court to determine whether any portions of its opinion should be released under FOIA. Any such release would be incomplete and quite possibly misleading to the public about the role of this Court and the issues discussed in the opinion."

coldcode 2 days ago 1 reply      
We the people are now we the unimportant nimrods. When the rule of law no longer matters, we no longer matter.
qubitsam 2 days ago 0 replies      
> The government's bottom line is this: their rules trump the public's statutory rights.

Mind boggling. And this is the same government that's invading sovereign countries, has its agencies undertake black operations to overthrow foreign democratically elected bodies that don't serve its interests [1], all in the name of bringing "democracy" to those regions. Here we have that same government making a fool out of the very people that elected it.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_United_States_foreign_r...

pfortuny 1 day ago 0 replies      
To me, a secret court of justice is equivalent to a secret amendment of the Constitution: there is no way to protect yourself lawfully against it. Funny that it exists in the US ans nobody seems to care.
magoon 2 days ago 0 replies      
As you read the first paragraph, remember that the "Justice Department" is the executive branch.
yekko 2 days ago 0 replies      
US justice system in calamitous collapse
cdooh 1 day ago 1 reply      
Laws that are interpreted in secret can only be subject to massive abuse. The problem isn't the survellance its the lack of public oversight
naasking 1 day ago 0 replies      
EFF's link to its previous story is broken.
People with nothing to hide twitter.com
307 points by alfo  1 day ago   252 comments top 2
john_flintstone 1 day ago 31 replies      
Questions for people with nothing to hide:

1. Have you ever had an abortion?

2. Have you ever cheated on your husband / wife?

3. Are you currently looking for a new job?

4. Have you ever being diagnosed with a mental illness?

5. Are you currently on anti-depressants?

6. Were you ever sexually abused as a child?

7. Have you ever fancied someone of the same sex?

8. Have you ever had sex with someone of the same sex?

9. Have you ever criticised your current employer or boss to anyone else?

10. Do you love all of your children equally?

11. Have you ever fantasized about...

12. Are you planning to get pregnant in the next two years?

13. Have you ever lied on a cv/resume?

14. Are you mean to your wife / husband on a regular or semi-regular basis?

15. Do you have trouble acquiring or maintaining an erection?

16. Are you one of those women whove never had an orgasm?

17. What prescription drugs are you currently taking?

18. Have you ever cut yourself?

19. Have you ever attempted suicide?

20. Have you contemplated suicide in the past 2 weeks?

21. Would you be happy with your answers to these questions being made public? Or being read by your employer, local 23 year old policeman, or nosey neighbour?

I could go on and on. None of the actions mentioned in these questions are illegal, but for many/most people, the answers would be intensely private.

ck2 1 day ago  replies      
Think about how the NSA helped stop all the killings and maimings at the boston bombing.

Oh wait, they didn't - from two super stupid criminals not even trying to hide what they were planning.

So WTF good are they doing for all the damage they've done to our society.

NSA has become just like the TSA, completely useless theater that hassles everyone and accomplishes nothing.

Just wait until they can park hundreds of drones over every city and track everyone's movements historically, forever - the logic will be you are in public so no warrant needed or there will be yet another secret warrant for the entire country.

Obama, NSA, Verizon and DoJ sued for $3B over PRISM scribd.com
297 points by ParkerK  7 hours ago   76 comments top 13
tptacek 6 hours ago 2 replies      
By Larry Klayman, of Judicial Watch; a fringe political group just a tier above Orly Taitz. Read his history (he was all over the spotlight in the '90s during the Clinton administration) before jumping to the conclusion that this is the start of something meaningful.
msandford 6 hours ago 3 replies      
The fact that a former DOJ prosecutor is pursuing this is a very good sign. I am very happy that it's someone whose credentials cannot be called into question.

I still think it stands no chance at all but it's great to see it happening. I wonder what would stop say a good 2/3 of the country from jumping in on this case? I know I haven't personally used Verizon as I don't have a contract with them but I'm sure my calls have been snooped on since I can't help but call people who do have Verizon contracts.

jholman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Please change the obviously-incorrect title. PRISM is not involved in this suit.

The suit is about the gathering of Verizon metadata.

PRISM, as it has been publically alleged, has nothing to do with this. PRISM is an alleged program that involves SiVa tech companies, and involves spending $20 M to magically ingest, sort, and dispense basically all the traffic of half a dozen of the biggest IT companies in the world. (In case my bias wasn't clear, I don't think that's possible to do with $20M.)

Note that the word "prism" appears nowhere in the legal document. Because Larry Klayman has the basic literacy skills to keep apples and oranges distinct, unlike the scribd uploader.

downandout 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Former AUSA (Assistant US Attorney) or not, "He who represents himself has a fool for a client". Might be entertaining though. He may at least get a headline or two when it is thrown out, which will be good because this whole thing will die from the headlines in about a week, and the vast majority of Americans will go back to being blissfully ignorant.
Sealy 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Its going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Its an exciting episode in the new technological age of 'freedom of speech'
dvt 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Pretty amusing, although it's (obviously) going to be thrown out.
littletables 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'd say it's safe to say that Klayman is 'functionally insane.'


It's a very reasoned argument he makes, the one where Jews are to blame for gay marriage.

No. No, it's actually not. It's pretty crazy. It sucks that this is the first lawsuit.

jemfinch 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I stopped reading at "Barack Hussein Obama." That name is the clearest signal of ideological intellectual dishonesty that I've yet found.
nolite 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Why is Bush missing from this?
ezl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
oh come on, if you're going to sue Obama, NSA, Verizon, and DoJ, go for broke: $TEXAS.
olympus 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Remember, you can only sue the government to the extent that it lets you. If the powers that be decide that they are immune, then they are. If they decide to give immunity to Verizon for complying with government orders then poof! they have immunity. It's a noble idea, but the courts will not solve this issue. I think ultimately the government will not be able to fix itself, one branch cannot fix another branch.
howard610 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Um ... for PRISM, shouldn't they be suing Google, Facebook, Apple, etc?
jack-r-abbit 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Perfect. And then when they lose and need to pay a bunch of lawyers $3B, someone will go shake the money tree and a bunch of tax payers will fall out to foot the bill.
Hacker Who Helped Expose Steubenville Could Get More Prison Time Than Rapists businessinsider.com
276 points by soleimc  3 days ago   74 comments top 13
danso 3 days ago 3 replies      
OK, this sounds pedantic, but "Convicted for Longer"* is not accurate...you're not convicted for a period of time, you're convicted and then sentenced to a period of jail time, or probation.

And of course, as we all know from the Aaron Swartz coverage, "could serve for as long as..." is different than "actually serve a sentence of [xy] ears".

But the most relevant quibble is this: a father who beats these rapists with his fists would also face a longer sentence than these accused rapists (who, according to the OP, faced 1-2 years)...because these convicted offenders were juveniles.

And as much as we want to celebrate extra-judicial vengenance upon convicts, juvenile or not, I think we should be aware that there may be unpleasant consequences when our justice/political system looks the other way upon unlawful actions in which "the ends justified the means".

...because, I mean, isn't that at the core of the NSA controversy that is currently raging in the the other 20 HN threads?

* edit: the original title for this submission was "Hacker...Could Be Convicted for Longer..."

mratzloff 3 days ago 3 replies      
Here's a summary:

A girl in a high school football-obsessed small town went to a party and was assaulted by football players who later bragged about it on Twitter.

A blogger saw the posts (later deleted) and took screenshots. She tried to get justice for the victim by re-posting these on her blog. For this she was hounded relentlessly in the town and a defamation suit was brought against her.

The players bragged that the coach knew about the accusations and would make them go away.

Two of the football players were later given 1 and 2 year sentences in juvenile detention, largely due to the efforts by people who got involved in bringing this case to a wider audience.

As for the hacker...

I've read the linked article, another article, the accused's webpage, and an article by the blogger who stood up for the rape victim, and I still can't figure out exactly what role, if any, this guy had in this mess.

Jabbles 3 days ago 3 replies      
An informative read if you're curious about US sentencing: http://www.popehat.com/2013/02/05/crime-whale-sushi-sentence...;

excerpt: "People reporting on federal criminal justice whether journalists or bloggers routinely report on the statutory maximum sentence that a defendant could hypothetically get, an oft-ridiculous figure calculated by taking all the charged crimes and adding up the maximum punishment for each. This is usually followed by some sort of pronouncement that THIS PERSON CHARGED OF MINOR CRIMES FACES MORE JAIL TIME THAN YOU'D GET IF YOU BEAT A TODDLER TO DEATH WITH AN UNCONSCIOUS NUN WHILE RAPING A BLIND LIBRARIAN, or words to that effect."

forgotAgain 3 days ago 1 reply      
The original Mother Jones story is here:http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/06/kyanonymous-fbi-...

At first, he thought the FBI agent at the door was with FedEx. "As I open the door to greet the driver, approximately 12 FBI SWAT team agents jumped out of the truck, screaming for me to 'Get the fuck down!' with M-16 assault rifles and full riot gear, armed, safety off, pointed directly at my head," Lostutter wrote today on his blog. "I was handcuffed and detained outside while they cleared my house.

pfortuny 2 days ago 0 replies      
You know: the rule of law is more important than a lot of things (especially if these are done by minors). I have not understood what the 'hacker' did but IF it were trying to overstep due process, I would understand a very painful sentence.

The constitution is all about that: freedom and how the State handles the issues. Due process cannot be subverted without punishment even though doing so may have 'good consequences': the classical problem of the ends and the means.

gmu3 3 days ago 2 replies      
I feel like it is a little unfair comparing the number of years someone is sentenced and going to jail for and the number of years someone could go to jail for if they are found guilty and receive the max sentence.

(Perhaps people don't think the hacker did anything that should be considered a crime worthy of a sentence that long, but that's a totally different argument)

ScottBurson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Direct link to defense fund donation page: https://www.wepay.com/donations/deric-lostutter--ky-anonymou...
codezero 3 days ago 1 reply      
I imagine that he faces charges, not specifically for crimes committed to out the rapists, but possibly for a number of other illegal activities related to hacking.

That one of his deeds ended up resulting in outing bad people, does not mean that he is always so conscious or on the side of good.

rosser 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is one of the most reprehensible things I've heard in I don't even know how long.
cLeEOGPw 2 days ago 0 replies      
It is actually very logical that hackers are sentenced for much higher than violent criminals, because a hacker is a potential threat to the government stability (in case he exposes secret data about the activities of the government), while all violent criminal does is damages one or few people property and/or health. In the sense of computer system, a violent criminal is some incorrect input, while a hacker is a bug in the system.
yekko 3 days ago 0 replies      
Priorities, our masters sure got them.
daned 3 days ago 0 replies      
What are they alleging he did?
detcader 3 days ago 0 replies      
Kill Aaron, put kids in prison for dDOSing... but for god sakes, don't ever try to send a message to potential rapists! That would be oppressing men everywhere!
Shortcat - Keyboard productivity app for Mac OS X shortcatapp.com
269 points by superchink  3 days ago   100 comments top 42
crazygringo 3 days ago 4 replies      
As someone who has tried to come up with a lot of product names...

"Shortcat -- killing mice, one at a time."

is just genius. Super-kudos to whoever came up with that.

_chendo_ 3 days ago 13 replies      
Hey all, I'm the developer behind Shortcat. Feel free to ask me questions or give me feedback! I'm on a short holiday at the moment so I might not be able to respond super quick.

If you do use the app and it crashes, please send a crash report and a short description what you were doing. It helps me a lot figuring out what the problem is. I post up known issues at https://trello.com/board/shortcat-bugs/51ac6a3711f6b34606001... (public Trello board) so people can vote and comment on issues.

I strongly suggest reading the README as I haven't baked in a tutorial to the app just yet.

christiangenco 3 days ago 1 reply      
Oh wow, this is brilliant. My only problems with it are that it doesn't work with some applications, which is the perfect problem to have, because it means I can now identify applications that have accessibility issues that I didn't notice before.

Demand for accessible apps increases -> I become more productive and apps become more accessible for people that need them. Perfect!

swift 3 days ago 1 reply      
Amazing. This has instantly become a must-have utility for me after trying it out for just a few minutes. Easily the best new Mac utility I've seen in a very long time.

I noticed the mention of the "regions" feature in the README, so maybe you already have plans for solving this, but one thing I'd love would be to have a way to select something based in part on its proximity to something else. For example, imagine I want to click on the comments link for a particular story on the HN front page. It'd be more intuitive to me to type, say, "Shortcat#comments" to pick the item that matches "comments" nearest the item that matches "Shortcat", than to type "comments" and hit Control to select the correct link.

malandrew 3 days ago 5 replies      
Being able to define new shortcuts in real time is awesome, but half the battle. Helping me learn the shortcuts that are already there is the other half.

Can you guys add a feature that flashes on the screen the keyboard shortcut that already exist for an action performed via the mouse?

Even better if you can add a threshold for an action. For a trivial example, imagine just going to the edit menu and choosing cut/paste/copy. If I perform that action more often than once every 10 minutes, shortcat would flash a fairly large overlay on my screen showing me that shortcut. You could even make this progressive. First teach me any shortcuts for any action performed every 5 minutes for a particular application. Once I learn all those actions, expand the threshold one minute at a time until I learn a new action. Once I consistently perform those actions within the threshold via the keyboard, further increase the threshold until I learn all the commands.

How much do you plan on charging?

jcromartie 3 days ago 0 replies      
I can see this being an OS X power-user/accessibility feature in the next major release. Enjoy your acquisition and/or idea being brazenly appropriated.
alanctgardner2 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm seeing a CloudFlare error:

DNS Points to Prohibited IPYou've requested a page on a website (shortcatapp.com) that is on the CloudFlare network. Unfortunately, it is resolving to an IP address that is creating a conflict within CloudFlare's system. If you are the owner of this website, you should login to CloudFlare and change the DNS A records for shortcatapp.com to resolve to a different IP address.

Timestamp: Fri, 07-Jun-13 22:40:20 GMT

Requested URL: shortcatapp.com/0

Error reference number: 1000

Server ID: FL_29F5

Process ID: PID_1370644820.240-1-3281482

Edited to remove my personal info.

jhickner 3 days ago 1 reply      
Very cool!

Small suggestion: In the case of selecting an item that's not the topmost, it would be nice if it was a one-step process rather than two (you need to first highlight with ctrl+letter, then activate with Enter).

Maybe a repeated press of ctrl+letter could actually activate the selection. Or maybe pressing and holding ctrl+letter for a short while.

domodomo 2 days ago 2 replies      
You've nailed it here, outstanding job.

Any chance of defining a custom selection key other than ctrl? On my Macbook air, holding the control key with my pinky or thumb while I type is really awkward. Shift would seem more natural, as the pinky finger is already used to using this as a modifier, no?

tomflack 1 day ago 0 replies      
I subscribed to your newsletter (life is too short for beta software, but once it hits 1.0 I'm all over it!) and you're on Elizabeth Street!

I'm based out of Canberra at the moment, but it's great to see local guys pop up on HN occasionally.

m_ke 3 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome, goes great with vimium for chromehttps://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/vimium/dbepggeogba...
rodly 3 days ago 1 reply      
So if I type in '.' and see the control I want to specify listed as 'C', how do I tell Shortcat to activate 'C'? I tried obviously typing in ".C" or just "C" but neither work.

/missed something obvious

dantiberian 3 days ago 1 reply      
I must be doing something wrong but I can't see how to select an element or button by the letter over it's highlight. Ctrl+Letter doesn't do anything for me. From the README, that seemed to be the way to do it?
shurcooL 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is cool. Nice name.

I've already been doing something like this in browsers for some time:



Enter/Shift+Enter to go next/prev result (or Cmd+G/Cmd+Shift+G)

When it highlights the link you want to press: Esc, Enter

Of course the beauty of this app is that it works outside the browser too.

mitchty 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looks cool, I'll have to test it out. Should reduce the amount of tab/shift+tab I have to do right now.

That said, the video screencast doesn't show up in firefox sans flash player. Not a huge deal but thought you might want to know.

jaxbot 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'll be the one to say it. Awesome. Anything like this for Linux or Windows?
tommorris 2 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who tries to avoid mice for RSI-related reasons, this looks amazing. Thank you.
mikeroher 3 days ago 0 replies      
Any way this can be "downgraded" for Snow Leopard? I hate the iOSification Lion and Mountain Lion have gone through. I like my vintage Expose with the Dashboard disabled.
septerr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great idea and product. I will gladly pay for it. One of the biggest issues I had when transitioning from pc to mac was the lack of meaningful shortcuts. This would have eased the pain greatly!

I could not figure out how to click an element when using . to highlight all elements.

colbyh 3 days ago 1 reply      
A very good compliment to Quicksilver indeed. This will be invaluable when I'm in browser tab hell and need to find one specifically.

A menu bar icon would be appreciated!

wesley 2 days ago 0 replies      
How are you able to query the accessiblity api so fast? In my experience, it's awfully slow.
codex 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am in love with the idea of this tool. Can't wait to try it.
gdonelli 2 days ago 0 replies      
Made me think of an App I wrote a while ago with the opposite objective, never touch the keyboard to launch an app. (SapiensApp.com).
lostpixel 3 days ago 1 reply      
Very nice. On your readme page you mention that with sublime text nothing works. I presume the onus will be on Sublime text developers to make their tabs available to the assit API?

EDIT: On further inspection of README this is somewhat covered. /sleepy

birgander 2 days ago 0 replies      
Love it. This is a great app!One thing I'm missing though - settings for colors. I have color vision deficiency and it's very hard for me to see which element is selected.
knes 2 days ago 0 replies      
An integration with [alfredapp](http://alfredapp.com) would be so awesome! Hope you can get in touch with them!
oakaz 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's what exactly what I've been wishing for years. Does it work in web browsers ?
hankcharles 2 days ago 0 replies      
The reviews for this are one of the more enticing reasons of late for me to switch off of linux. I'm really excited about this. great stuff!
Siecje 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there something like this for Linux?
johncoltrane 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice. It looks like a system-wide EasyMotion.
dClauzel 3 days ago 0 replies      
Excellent tool! A good complement for QuickSilver.

Bonus: the cat is absolutely cute :)

EragonJ 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's really a nice tool to use with. It's as awesome as Alfred !!
Maert 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any chance of this being made/ported for Windows platform?
NicholasMurray 2 days ago 0 replies      
Which came first? The name or the product? Both are outstanding.
Sealy 3 days ago 0 replies      
Who did the cute little cat design?
hibbelig 3 days ago 1 reply      
Looks really cool, but doesn't work with Postbox.
vincevip 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think it awesome product with brilliant.
samweinberg 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's like Ctrl + F meets Vimium.
lightyrs 3 days ago 0 replies      
oogali 2 days ago 0 replies      



i_s 2 days ago 0 replies      
ace-jump-mode.el for OSX. Nice.
grandalf 3 days ago  replies      
this is fantastic!
Wuala: Secure Cloud Storage wuala.com
268 points by greyman  19 hours ago   184 comments top 8
kijin 16 hours ago 5 replies      
Seriously? Wuala is a service run by LaCie. LaCie is owned by Seagate, an American corporation. It doesn't matter where the servers are, because all the important decisions will be made in Cupertino, California.


Now, client-side encryption is a much more interesting aspect of their service, but is it worth the trouble if Wuala's clunky client takes 100 times longer than Dropbox to sync a file between two devices? Ditto for SpiderOak, JungleDisk, and every other backup/sync solution that I've used so far that boasts client-side encryption. And it wasn't due to Dropbox's deduplication, either. Some of them just talked lazily with the server for several minutes before they even started to upload/download any files.

gahahaha 18 hours ago 4 replies      
"""Do you plan to open the source code?

Currently not. Opening the source code of Wuala would consume quite some time and effort, and commitment to maintain it. If you are a software engineer and would like to see how Wuala works, feel free to apply for a job at Wuala."""

_ So.. an alternative, but not the solution we need.

danso 17 hours ago 4 replies      
So honest question, but how is having your data stored in Switzerland (where Wuala is based) any different than having it in the US? Or is it just the promise of local encryption that makes it safer?

Some purported info about data protection for Switzerland:


> Restrictions on disclosure

The DPA does not permit the disclosure of sensitive data or personality profiles to third parties without lawful justification. The consent of the data subject can constitute a lawful justification. Breach of this prohibition is an offence if knowledge of the sensitive data has been gathered in the course of a professional activity requiring knowledge of such data and can be punished by a fine of up to CHF 10'000.--. If the fine is not paid, it can be replaced by imprisonment for up to 3 months.

And Wuala's own policy: http://www.wuala.com/en/about/privacy

> 6. Disclosure to third parties

Basically, your data is not transmitted to third parties. However, LaCie may release personal data if the law requires it to do so or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with any laws or respond to a court order, subpoena, or search warrant or to protect LaCie's rights and interests. Furthermore, you expressly agree that LaCie can disclose personal data to identified third parties (e.g. owners of intellectual property rights) and/or government enforcement bodies in order to enforce the General terms and conditions, particularly in case of founded indications that the laws or the rights of a user or of third parties, particularly copyrights, other industrial property rights or personal rights, have been violated , insofar as such is necessary.

maggit 18 hours ago 16 replies      
I recently tried replacing Dropbox with Wuala because of privacy concerns. I failed, and in the process realized how successful Dropbox has been in creating an awesome user experience!

I'm still looking for a locally encrypted Dropbox-alternative. So if any of you are making one, please speak up :)

(Edit) I should specify that it was the user experience that made me give up on Wuala, and any proper Dropbox alternative would need to offer at least decent user experience. Looking forward to trying the alternatives you are suggesting :)

solnyshok 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I used Wuala for couple of years, when it was free and allowed earning a much larger quota by sharing own drive space to host other user's data. I used it to keep around 100GB of my personal data. Used to be good while it lasted. Encrypted, distributed, redundant. Then LaCie bought it and turned it into a Dropbox clone. Now I use AeroFS, also tried TorrentSync. Both a roughly equal. I just felt lazy changing from already running and tuned AeroFS to anything else. If you have 24x7 homeserver at home it is very hard to justify paying for storage at dropbox or skydrive or google. I built my homeserver on the latest Atom, so it is frugal (~10W) and completely silent (no fan, SSD). It's dualcore 2.1GHz and has enough grunt for simultaneous NAS, torrents, and plays 1080p mkv to the attached TV. No place for Wuala in this arrangement anymore.
znowi 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Or use BitTorrent Sync instead. I'm quite pleased with it and moved all my data off Dropbox.


Keyframe 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Company may be in Europe, servers might be in Europe, you might be in Europe. Nothing guarantees you that your data won't be routed through US where it can be tapped into. That's the primary issue for me with the whole PRISM scandal.
quchen 18 hours ago  replies      
Sounds cool! I've been looking for a trustable Dropbox alternative so I don't have to manually encrypt the contents all the time. I'll download and try it out real q-

> Make sure Java [...] is installed.


Sweden warrantlessly wiretaps all Internet traffic crossing its borders wikipedia.org
267 points by Sami_Lehtinen  23 hours ago   56 comments top 19
belorn 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The Wikipedia article is quite focused on the discussion before the law was made into effect, and are thus missing how the focus on terrorism was changed before even a year had passed.

Before the law was voted in, political leaders and columnist promised high and low that FRA would never be used for anything other than counter terrorism. Anyone who said otherwise was a tinfoil hat, and just didn't understand the issue. The law was about preventing terrorists from killing our children and nothing more!

A little less than a year after the law was passed, and the secret police got access to the collected data. Soon after, the legislative assembly and diplomats. After that, the police wanted in and was also granted access.

Today, go to their website and they talk very little about terrorism. The focus currently is on it-threats, malware and pen-testing[1], and thus calling out how great help they are currently providing in connection with the regular police and secret-police[2]. The "mission" description sounds more like the slogan of a pen-test company than that of counter-terrorism, mostly noticeable because the word terrorism is not even mentioned most of the time, and on the list of services, the word "terrorism" is demoted to the bottom part of a bullet point list.[3]

The last attempt to expand the "goal" of FRA was when the Swedish version of IRS asked for access. I don't know if they were granted, and the media don't care much anymore.




* Correction *

The IRS has not asked yet for FRA data. They have asked ISP's and webhosting providers for customers data, but not from FRA. There have been speculation on where the FRA scope would go next after that the police got access, but from what I can find, nothing official.

sebcat 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Just want to emphasize the difference between the FRA law and what's happening in the U.S. right now: FRA (swedish agency doing SIGINT) don't need a warrant. This is all supported by law.

"Nothing to hide" dominated the pro-debate for this. Only populist representatives like Fredrick Federley and Annie Lf voiced their discontent with the proposed changes in law, and they happily agreed to it while some minor things where changed. Common people just didn't care. Still don't.

effn 20 hours ago 2 replies      
It's worth noting that Facebook's European datacenter is in Sweden so a large part of Facebook traffic passes Swedish borders.
tommis 22 hours ago 3 replies      
This is actually old news, but what is interesting is that recently Finlands gov. approved plans to layout new cable to the sea, so that internet traffic can be routed from Finland to Germany, bypassing Sweden all together...


Picture from the article shows how the connection towards Europe/US goes trough Germany and the connections towards Asia will be directed trough nothern part of Finland, trough Norway - instead of Sweden:


m_eiman 22 hours ago 2 replies      
It's widely known and acknowledged that the information gathered this way is used not only by Swedish agencies, but also traded with foreign agencies in exchange for information gathered in whatever way is possible to them. In effect it means that communication that crosses any border is likely collected, analyzed and available to all western intelligence agencies. Good luck trying to hide.
znowi 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, this is getting really grim. There seems to be no safe place left.

Although, this is to be expected. The US is a common trend-maker and the world is looking up to them. Of course who can sit this one out when the US itself is at full speed spearheading it. And very likely gently forcing to abide.

We're all at fault in what is happening.

NicoJuicy 19 hours ago 3 replies      
Sweden used to be the most open country for internet access.

Since America threatened it with economic sanctions (because of the piratebay, sweden was sued by America and their entertainment industry), Sweden has changed a lot.

A pitty America has to threaten every other country in the world... :-) .

jonke 21 hours ago 1 reply      
overall moral: even if your own country don't collected your internet traffic, always assume that another country does.
venomsnake 18 hours ago 0 replies      
That is not such a big problem. When a government does something like that in the open you can use appropriate protection if you feel you need it. There is not information asymmetry. You just remove all sweden related certificates from the CA bundle and use VPN to other country.

If tomorrow the US says openly - we collect all data you send to Apple,Facebook,Google and Yahoo although stupid you can use or not them depending on how you feel about it.

bjhoops1 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Swedish government - or Lisbeth Salander?
cupcake-unicorn 8 hours ago 0 replies      
But it's something that people voted on, something that people knew about, something that people had a chance to protest...which was not the case with PRISM. I mean, yes, people did vote on the Patriot act, but I wonder if things would have been different if there was more transparency in putting this system into place.
mercurial 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It's reassuring to see how "terrorism" is still the magic word to pass all manners of freedom-trampling laws.
temp453463343 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The difference is that this program is public and the Swedish public can debate it.
plainhold 15 hours ago 0 replies      
What should be noted is that before Sweden gave FRA authority to increase it's surveillance the swedish public was well awere of what was happening. There was a public debate, the adversaries would say it was only for the curtains, but the people still had a chance to rally up against it before the legislatures reached their decision. But the public majority didnt care that much.
Legogris 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Not that it gives Sweden any real excuse here, but I believe most countries do SIGINT at least on a level comparable to that enabled by the FRA law already. That we did already have a law disabling the government to do so legally was mostly percieved as an inconvenience that had to be "fixed".The real issue here should not be the miltary SIGINT that is performed today, but what will happen years from now when these possibilities might be used for gradually varying purposes.
namank 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I have no sources but I'd be willing to bet that so do India and China.
Murk 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I expect most countries either monitor traffic endpoints or capture data. I know the one one in which I live does.
parski 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm fine with traffic going in and out being tappable. As long as they have good reason I have trust in the FRA.
sandstrom 21 hours ago 3 replies      
I think the Swedish wiretapping is wrong and that the law should be torn up.

That said, in practice it's less intrusive than the recently revealed US wiretapping-programs. Since more or less all software encrypt their traffic, the FRA-wiretapping is pretty useless.

Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide' (2011) chronicle.com
267 points by ekm2  2 days ago   57 comments top 26
InclinedPlane 2 days ago 1 reply      
One fundamental problem with the "nothing to hide" argument is that it makes several casual assumptions which should not be made. An alternate formulation of the saying is "why fear the truth if you have done nothing wrong", which is generally the sentiment of the "nothing to hide" sayings as well. However, the proper form of that saying should be "why fear the truth if you have done nothing the government dislikes". And this is on a much different stance than the others. The issue is not right or wrong, the government is not an absolute arbiter of morality, the issue is government power.

Consider how often and how recently in our own history there have been activities which have been illegal and yet not "morally wrong" as considered today. Aiding escaped slaves. Homosexuality. Inter-racial marriage. Abortion. And so forth.

Also note how I said "nothing the government dislikes" rather than "nothing illegal". And that's because when a government has broad sweeping powers, especially of surveillance, government agents can easily punish people and ruin people's lives regardless of whether their activities are illegal.

Our system of governance has been designed at its core to limit the powers of government. This is very much intentional because it is designed to allow government to enforce the laws only with the cooperation with the public at large. A government that can enforce laws independent of the will of the people is a government poised for the transition to tyranny.

There is a reason why the term "police state" is so reviled even though in itself it contains merely mechanical descriptions. And that is because even if a "benign police state" could exist the danger is far too great that the reins of power would be usurped by those seeking their own ends and their own advantages. And the most forceful way to avoid such a catastrophe is again to limit the power of the state.

vy8vWJlco 2 days ago 3 replies      
The "nothing to hide -> nothing to fear" sophistry is about shifting the basis of judgement from "innocent until proven guilty" to "guilty until proven innocent," replacing reason with superstition. It's McCarthyism; it's an inquisition. An individual has no rights over the hysterical "consensus" of the mob.

Unfortunately, there is no piece of evidence that can exonerate a person in such a context; one cannot "establish innocence," the best one can hope for is to plead tirelessley in an endless popularity contest.

The right to privacy is nothing less than the right to keep an individual mind... To own a body. If you value your own life, the right to privacy - to be left alone - is your beginning and your end, if not kept.

(Edited an error/reversal.)

samstave 2 days ago 4 replies      
Read /u/161719's amazing post on reddit on this topic: http://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/1fv4r6/i_belie...
jerf 2 days ago 1 reply      
Do you fully support the current party in control of the government? If not, you have something to hide.

Do you fully support the party that will be in control of the government in five years? If not, you have something to hide.

You think I'm being silly? Six months ago you might have been able to float that argument, but with an openly partisan IRS, go ahead, tell me why that's wrong.

dnautics 2 days ago 0 replies      
this article also misses 'falsification'. If the government is collecting data, there is an implicit level of truthfulness in this data, which someone malicious working in the government could use to frame you for a crime or cause other less severe harm to you (financial, social, whatever).

This person need not be accountable, say, to the voter (it could be a low-level bureaucrat with a petty axe to grind), and although presumably there is 'accountability', what if the harm done to you is significant enough to make your life miserable, but not significant enough to the monolithic agency (which remember is only accountable indirectly, to elected officials who may care about stupid stuff like political wedge issues) to justify the expenditure and effort to root out the malicious actor.

jkn 1 day ago 0 replies      
For once, an article that defends privacy while recognizing the non-obviousness of the issue. That makes it unusually convincing, but there is still one part I find weak:

Investigating the nothing-to-hide argument a little more deeply, we find that it looks for a singular and visceral kind of injury. Ironically, this underlying conception of injury is sometimes shared by those advocating for greater privacy protections. For example, the University of South Carolina law professor Ann Bartow argues that in order to have a real resonance, privacy problems must "negatively impact the lives of living, breathing human beings beyond simply provoking feelings of unease." She says that privacy needs more "dead bodies," and that privacy's "lack of blood and death, or at least of broken bones and buckets of money, distances privacy harms from other [types of harm]."

Bartow's objection is actually consistent with the nothing-to-hide argument. Those advancing the nothing-to-hide argument have in mind a particular kind of appalling privacy harm, one in which privacy is violated only when something deeply embarrassing or discrediting is revealed. Like Bartow, proponents of the nothing-to-hide argument demand a dead-bodies type of harm.

Bartow is certainly right that people respond much more strongly to blood and death than to more-abstract concerns. But if this is the standard to recognize a problem, then few privacy problems will be recognized. Privacy is not a horror movie, most privacy problems don't result in dead bodies, and demanding evidence of palpable harms will be difficult in many cases.

The author dismisses the "need for blood" as too extreme, but that is not convincing. For example, consider the most compelling argument in the article, which is that government data collection creates a Kafkaesque world in which the opacity of the procedures renders the individuals powerless:

Government information-gathering programs are problematic even if no information that people want to hide is uncovered. In The Trial, the problem is not inhibited behavior but rather a suffocating powerlessness and vulnerability created by the court system's use of personal data and its denial to the protagonist of any knowledge of or participation in the process. The harms are bureaucratic onesindifference, error, abuse, frustration, and lack of transparency and accountability.

This is a powerful argument, but it is not going to convince a majority of people unless you can show real harm. Not blood or broken bones, but actual cases where good guys (as perceived by the majority) were harmed by government surveillance, e.g. harassed or put to jail. Why would people feel a "suffocating powerlessness and vulnerability" if the Kafkaesque bureaucracy does not eventually bring actual harm? (The case of Aaron Swartz is not an example: the problem lied with the CFAA rather than government surveillance).

I'm still optimistic: the process will work as usual. Government powers will be abused. There will be scandals. In the long term, laws will be improved and transparency will increase. What reasons do I have to think otherwise?

konstruktor 2 days ago 0 replies      
If I have nothing to hide, i.e. am doing nothing illegal, you don't have any reason to be watching me.
betterunix 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Retorts to the nothing-to-hide argument about exposing people's naked bodies ... are relevant only if the government is likely to gather this kind of information"

Yes, because it is crazy to suggest that the US government might be collecting images of people's naked bodies...

(To be clear, I do agree with the article. I just couldn't help but laugh a bit at the idea that the government taking nude photographs of people is depicted as "extreme.")

belorn 2 days ago 0 replies      
A good and very comprehensive article on the subject. The only area I wish the article would also include is how society is today built on top of the assumption that privacy exist, and what happens when that assumption is found to be wrong.

To take an example, the court system assumes that judge and jury members private life is not known. When one side in a trial knows the judge or juries dreams, aspirations, deep secrets or just plain biases, that party has suddenly gained an huge unfair advantage. Since we can now start to grasp the amount of information gathered by the state, Google or Facebook, can a trail involving either one of them still be claimed to be fair and just if the other party do not has similar inside knowledge of the judges or juries lives?

Symmetry 1 day ago 0 replies      
In pre-urban times with smaller houses people used to have far less privacy from their families and their neighbours than they do today, but of course back then the lack of privacy was symmetric. I think I would like to live in a society with less privacy, but only if it was something that everybody had to endure. I certainly don't want some person unknown to me spying on me without being able to spy back, that creates a very dangerous power differential.

And of course a big part of the problem nowadays is that everybody does things that are illegal regularly, there are so many laws that how could we not? "Ignorance of the law is no excuse", just the fact that you're not aware of having committed any felonies doesn't in any way guarantee you haven't committed one.

csears 2 days ago 4 replies      
The real question is: When do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, either online or IRL?

Yes, I have curtains, but unless I close them, I don't expect privacy. If I'm using mainstream social media sites, I don't expect privacy either. The problem is that most people don't think about the "curtains" being open by default when they're online.

I think we do have a right to privacy and obviously most people have something to hide, but that privacy should require intentional effort to enable (eg closing the curtains, TOR + VPN).

TomaszZielinski 2 days ago 1 reply      
Most of those articles are missing one important point.

"I have nothing to hide because I don't do anything wrong."

What does "wrong" mean in this context? Against the law.

So - how many torts or crimes are there on the books? How may ways of interpreting them are there - both already writted down and possible in the future? Are they interpreted by flawless machines or emotional humans? Etc. etc.

joeldidit 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why would you need to have something to hide to want privacy? What bothers me about being watched or spied on is everyone having their nose in my business. I also see it as an insult, as you are essentially degrading me and treating me as though I am hiding something, when I'm not. My business is none of your business; keep out of it.
ownagefool 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is no such thing as 'Nothing to Hide' unless you have an extremely naive view of the world. If you feel that way, you just need to remember that out there, somewhere, are those who'll judge you harshly for being you.

Sure, you may not be ashamed of it. You're probably not be breaking any laws that you're aware of, at least none that really matter. You're pretty sure you live in a country that you're free from persecution. All should be OK, right?

Sadly, whether that's true or not, that only works for today. Tomorrow, well it would seem those with enough bile and hate to judge you, seem to be one of the few sets of people who actually want to seek out power and privledge over you.

You sure you're really that free today? You sure you'll really be that free tomorrow. Your sure it'll be the same for your kids? If there is any hesitation, any hesitation at all, then it's probably not a brilliant idea to sit idly by and accept Government creating profiles on you and the future you's.

Dead god, won't anyone think of the children? :P

sneak 2 days ago 1 reply      
"So the government is spying on me. So what?"


shurcooL 2 days ago 2 replies      
Pretty sure I've read with this exact or a very similarly titled article.

Unfortunately, I can't help but find it very unconvincing, despite that I'd like to be convinced. There are lots of words but few strong arguments (or any kind of arguments).

b2spirit 2 days ago 0 replies      
"nothing to hide -> nothing to fear" is a misdirection. It gets the enemy to waste time arguing against something that is obvioulsy stupid.
stretchwithme 2 days ago 1 reply      
Of course privacy matters, even if you are doing nothing wrong. Without it, we'd continually have to explain our actions and prove our innocence to people who don't understand our situation.

And that's a lot of work. And they really aren't motivated to understand.

And its a lot of work trying to understand everyone else's situation. I certainly don't want to.

So nature gave us a need for privacy and the means to respect the privacy of others. And even the sense to often pretend that we don't see many things.

jokoon 2 days ago 0 replies      
> "What if the government mistakenly determines that based on your pattern of activities, you're likely to engage in a criminal act? What if it denies you the right to fly? What if the government thinks your financial transactions look oddeven if you've done nothing wrongand freezes your accounts?"

That's a lot of ifs. I don't think it really has anything to do about privacy issues. Privacy issues created those "ifs". That's a paranoid state, not a state of law and rights. Those are issues created by society unable to sort its things. I doubt a government can really forbid things based on information, and if so, it already existed before.

Of privacy issues make things worse, but those issues were the mix of a digital age and terrorism. Nobody can escape the fact congress will vote laws and agencies will want to work on things.

lightknight 2 days ago 0 replies      
The fundamental problem with that saying is that it for it to be formed, for it to even exist, as a thought, the reality in which you are currently cohabiting must be terribly skewed off the truth axis. Black must be white, up must be down, and good must be evil.

I mean, look at our society...just look at it. So much of its energy is devoted to ruling people. Judges, courts, bailiffs, clerks, kings, police, lawyers, etc. It's madness. Most people can't even imagine any other way of living...when they write about alien societies, the aliens have laws as well, and clerks as well, and laws as well.

Julianhearn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Basically, knowledge is power. The more knowledge the government have the more power they have over you. We all do something wrong, do drugs, be unfaithful, avoid taxes, bend rules/laws, say things against friends/family/employer, etc, etc, all this can be used to blackmail and control us. We all have something we want to hide from someone.
gambomb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Although I agree the "nothing to hide" argument is fundamentally flawed, I have yet to read a solid rebuttal to it. This article has not broken that trend. While it has given me some food for thought, I feel it resorts to a weak slippery slope argument, not quite capturing what feels truly wrong about universal monitoring.

--garbled by my mobile

damaja 2 days ago 1 reply      
Regarding the original Veriz court order.. Answer me this: Does your phone number, or the fact that your particular string of numbers is a phone number, somehow exist in the universe with some sort of innate privacy apart from you? Nope. What exactly does a phone number, absent a name, address, billing info, or other customer info, mean to anyone, even the NSA.
j2kun 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think there's a big difference between privacy of information about you and privacy of your physical self, which is a bit jumbled in this article.
someaccounthere 2 days ago 2 replies      
The whole argument is premised on the idea that the laws are all moral and just and government is some noble protector, watching over us. The reality is that the government is a monopolistic protection racquet and I pretty much want to hide everything from them. Surveillance is a mechanism by which they control their subjects.

The more they know about me the more they can steal off me and the more liable I am to be attacked for disobeying one of their edicts. If I want to do something that the government arbitrarily decides it "wrong", then I've got something to hide.

So yeah, I have everything to hide from a criminal gang.

Joseph Nacchio wikipedia.org
264 points by teawithcarl  1 day ago   47 comments top 11
zainny 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some context, taken from the other story currently on the front page [1]:

"We know what happened in the case of QWest before 9/11. Theycontacted the CEO/Chairman asking to wiretap all the customers. Afterhe consulted with Legal, he refused. As a result, NSA canceled abunch of unrelated billion dollar contracts that QWest was the topbidder for. And then the DoJ targeted him and prosecuted him and puthim in prison for insider trading -- on the theory that he knew ofanticipated income from secret programs that QWest was planning forthe government, while the public didn't because it was classified andhe couldn't legally tell them, and then he bought or sold QWest stockknowing those things.

This CEO's name is Joseph P. Nacchio and TODAY he's still serving atrumped-up 6-year federal prison sentence today for quietly refusingan NSA demand to massively wiretap his customers."

[1] https://mailman.stanford.edu/pipermail/liberationtech/2013-J...

shiftpgdn 1 day ago 3 replies      
To all the people claiming this was solely as a result of insider trading: Have you ever dealt with the government in any capacity? Especially any of the 3 letter agencies?

They will lean on you and they will absolutely try to ruin your life because you inconvenienced them. Did you know lying to an FBI agent is a federal offense[1]? Did you know it's status quo to try to trick people they're interviewing into presenting a lie or obscuring the facts? They do this so they can present you with the option of either A. Doing everything they demand or B. Become a felon and face time in prison with rapists and murderers.

I can absolutely guarantee Nacchio went to prison over not helping the NSA.


blhack 1 day ago 2 replies      
If you read the entire article, this seems to be the timeline:

1) He is tried for insider trading, and convicted.

2) He appeals this because the trial excluded a key witness that supported his innocence .

3) He WINS this appeal, and is granted another trial.

4) He is tried again, this time not in front of a jury. The circuit court of appeals, where this is tried (stressing: without a jury this time) convicts him 5-4.

This isn't nearly as clear cut as some of the people in this thread are making it, and it does arouse some suspicion.

tptacek 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's a short indictment. Nacchio was convicted along with several other Qwest execs.


Obviously, the indictment has nothing to do with wiretaps, and concerns itself instead with the millions of dollars Nacchio made selling his stock while demonstrably in possession of material nonpublic information.

But of course, it's hard disprove a negative, so the idea that this conviction alone among hundreds of similar convictions across corporate America at the time is in fact retaliation... well, it'll never die.

jnbiche 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's really strange to read the pro-government people here and elsewhere claim on one hand that Snowden was incredibly naive to be surprised that the CIA railroaded foreign bankers into informing by manipulating the legal system, and then turn around and claim that any talk of the NSA "arranging" Nacchio's sentencing is some kind of conspiracy theory. The logical discord is hard to understand.

I'm not convinced Nacchio was railroaded (I don't know enough about it yet), but it's definitely the modus operandi of powerhouse intelligence services around the world. So it's entirely possible Nacchio was set up, or at the least, that the some member of the US intelligence community was behind the prosecution.

peterjancelis 1 day ago 1 reply      
Context: https://mailman.stanford.edu/pipermail/liberationtech/2013-J...

The article argues the 'insider trading' charge was related to the gag order.

jongraehl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Neither of the two sides here (CEO, usgov) can fairly expect the benefit of the doubt. I welcome any expert legal analysis of his alleged crimes, but otherwise can't be bothered except to say there's a good chance his claims of retaliation are true.

Let's keep in mind that congresspeople legally commit insider trading all the time, and surely many of their DC friends and allies do so illegally, but without punishment. Or, let's remember how successful former public servants are at earning a big salary on the basis of their connections+access (at best) or as reward for their corruption (at worst).

nkohari 1 day ago 2 replies      
...for insider trading. What ridiculous link bait.
ccarter84 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's amazing how often government seems to act like a vengeful ex.
downandout 1 day ago 0 replies      
At least he is now in a halfway house and is due for release in September. Given that few in the US care about their rights, I guess that people who stand up for them should be grateful when they don't get locked up permanently.


jsonne 1 day ago 2 replies      
Very misleading. The article says he's in prison for insider trading.
Rewarding Edward Snowden's Courage crowdtilt.com
260 points by jjb123  1 day ago   107 comments top 19
DanielBMarkham 1 day ago 5 replies      
I am a patriot, a former service member, and I love my country. As much as I love talking about politics, I have never taken an active protest role in my life. I'm middle-aged, completly non-violent, and I live in a rural area. I am literally the last person in the world you would expect of being a political activist.

Hell, I'm even in favor of some SIGINT, as long as we are talking simple node-to-node analysis. But that's not what happened. What happened was a vaccum cleaner. They're sucking up every piece of meta-data they can get their hands on. And it's not because of some cost-benefit equation that the public was shown. It's simply because they can.

As a patriot, I feel that the only patriotic thing to do for all other patriots is to come out, rally and support Snowden. The government has stepped over the line here, and we all need to clearly let them know that this needs to be fixed.

And no, this case is not the same as Manning. Snowden saw one thing that he was willing to take the penalty for. He released data on one thing. Now, as the natural legislative body of the state, the people can make a choice whether to support him or not based on this one issue. I can support that kind of behavior. Manning betrayed his country by releasing everything he could get his hands on. He is truly an enemy of the system itself. Different thing entirely.

downandout 1 day ago 5 replies      
The fact that money is trickling into this campaign, while campaigns such as one to send a heckled school bus driver on vacation explode with hundreds of thousands of dollars, shows our society's ignorance. This man is a hero, and is likely to be cannon fodder for the US Justice system.

John Mccain went on CNN this morning and said that this whole thing isn't a big issue in the minds of most Americans and there won't be much if any political fallout. I am sure he is saying that with polling numbers in hand. Mark Udall, who has been trying to warn Americans about this for years, also appeared and was made to look like an overaggressive alarmist. They may as well have superimposed a tinfoil hat on him.

This whole thing gives us a very scary glimpse into how pliable the populace is. Many assumed that the NSA was doing this, but not so obvious until this incident was the depth of ambivalence Americans have toward their rights. The stage is now set for a remakably dark future, and by the time the populace finally has enough, they will no longer have the power to stop it.

u2328 1 day ago 2 replies      
Snowden clearly indicated that he did not want this controversy to become about him, and he indicated that he only came out to vindicate the Guardian story from being discredited.

Nobody knows his current financial situation. I think we can all appreciate the ideal, but at this point, it's probably better to donate to the EFF, EPIC and the ACLU. Not to mention, maybe even get a subscription to the Guardian US in support of investigative journalism.

blhack 1 day ago 8 replies      
Wow, I would tread incredibly lightly here. In the eyes of the US government, this person could be considered an enemy of the state...and you're literally giving them aid.

That's probably a pretty serious crime. I support this person as well, but there is something to be said about living to fight another day. Directly giving money to [possible] enemies of the state might not be the greatest idea.

mpyne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Guys, hyperbole is not necessary here.

The last "spy" that the U.S. caught was not designated an "enemy of the state" or anything nearly so extreme, so at least wait for Obama to put on the anti-Christ mask before you start freaking out please. Pretty soon I'll literally be able to see out the back of my head.

Likewise, treason has a specific Constitutional definition, both on actions that constitute treason and the witnesses required to prove it.

As a civilian (contractor no less, not even a Government employee!) Snowden does not fall under UCMJ so all this crap about "Aiding the Enemy" is crap as well. You should be worried about Espionage Act, not UCMJ.

Likewise, giving "aid and comfort" to someone accused of a crime would fall under the same rules as any other person accused of a crime. If there ends up being a valid warrant for his arrest then you should not help him evade arrest. You should not help him commit further crimes or cover up evidence of previous ones. But certainly you can contribute to his legal defense fund (though be careful that those evil Fed prosecutors don't freeze those assets :P). Those cautions are nothing special about this case, it's always been a bad idea (legally speaking) to aid and abet crime. If you feel your morals will outweigh that then bon voyage, but go in forewarned.

Also, yes, it's possible your actions will be more closely scrutinized in the future if you aid Snowden, but things that are worth doing are not typically easy, otherwise they'd already be done.

I would be more worried about ensuring that you don't end up crowdsourcing or kickstarting some con man's bank account instead of Snowden's legal defense fund, but then again I've always been sort of a pessimist...

yuvadam 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Seriously, 'murica? One of the most important heroes of our time blows the whistle on the largest spying industry the world has ever known, and you pay him back with cash?

Edward Snowden has done the world and the US a huge deal by sacrificing everything and letting you know just how fucked up things are.

Use that knowledge, be inspired by his courage, and tear apart this messed up system of surveillance and oppression.

rdl 1 day ago 1 reply      
This technically exposes him to somewhat more liability than he had before, right? "Financially benefits from his crime"
runn1ng 1 day ago 0 replies      
ummm.... where will my money actually go?

The campaign is very light on details. I will not give them money just because they used his picture in a header. I will rather post the money to EFF

kohanz 1 day ago 1 reply      
This seems a bit strange to me. Snowden was very well compensated for his work (articles mention a $200k salary) as a young man and despite this he still did the right thing and followed his conscience. My bet is he would be the first to tell you that the real reward for him is the weight off of his shoulders. Rewarding such a brave act with a "cash prize" doesn't seem appropriate.
buro9 22 hours ago 0 replies      
There's no way Edward put himself on the line for money.

But... how long do you think he can access funds in his name? And how long do you think he will have to stay in hotels and temporary accommodation that he will have to fund?

He will need help, the hardest bit isn't even summoning the help, it will be getting it to him.

bluetooth 1 day ago 2 replies      
Two issues I can see arising from this:

1. You're funding someone who the government most likely has labelled a terrorist. I don't think the government will take too kindly to such a thing.

2. Snowden is in hiding. Not only might it be hard to come into contact with him, but how can we be sure our money will reach him?

I think #1 is not too difficult to solve via ways of bitcoin, but #2 is still a blocker.

dodyg 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Nominate him for Nobel Peace Prize for this year. It will offer him a better political protection against the current US government and will make him one of the better winners of prize in this decade.
LoganCale 1 day ago 2 replies      
Some would probably argue that contributing to this is treason. Providing material aid to an enemy of the United States.
dale386 1 day ago 2 replies      
This will be cute until donors start being investigated for funding terrorism.
jbranchaud 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is to completely miss the point [1]. Not everything is about compensation or reward. There are things worth doing that have nothing to do with money. To try to strap a reward onto this or some similar situation is to diminish it.

If you feel compelled to give money, give it to an organization that can effect meaningful change for those that may need it. Based on [1], it doesn't seem that Snowden is one that needs it.

1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-n...

dw5ight 1 day ago 0 replies      
damn stoked to help Snowden out after the service he's done us all, at significant risk to his own career and liberty
dllthomas 15 hours ago 0 replies      
If you do this, know that (in my estimation - IANAL) you're likely doing something illegal. Imagine the same situation for any other crime: "You killed someone I don't like; here's $10k".

If you choose to do it as an act of civil disobedience itself, more power to you, but it should be deliberate.

llamataboot 1 day ago 2 replies      
How are you going to get him the money? My guess is he'd rather the money go in his name to the EFF/etc.
brilee 1 day ago  replies      
He didn't do this for the money...

I've been offered minor cash gifts for significant volunteer work that I've done previously, and it's usually sort of offensive - nowhere near large enough to compensate for my time, and I didn't do it for money.

The right way to go about this is probably to find a way to get meals continually delivered to him in his hotel after his credit card is inevitably cancelled.

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