risking his life to tell you about NSA surveillance [ot]

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TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jun 28, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
Care About the Environment? Beware, the NSA is Watching

by s.e. smith June 27, 2013 2:30 pm


Rising sea levels, super storms, and droughts, oh my! Everyone on Earth seems to think that climate change is the most significant threat to global security — except people in the United States. We’re so committed to burying our heads in the sand that our own government has chosen to focus not on the problems associated with climate change, but on environmentalists. That’s right. The people fighting to protect the environment are the ones viewed as the potential security risk.

As the NSA’s PRISM scandal has unfolded and released scores of documents that the government would just as soon rather hide under the rug, some important information about the handling of environmentalists has emerged. While activists have always suspected they’ve been unfairly profiled, and have noted on numerous occasions that they seem to attract more attention than actual domestic terrorists, the PRISM documents confirm that environmentalists and eco groups were singled out for surveillance and close monitoring, as if their activities posed a legitimate threat to national security. After all, that’s the defense the government has used in discussions of PRISM and other infringements on civil liberties, arguing that the privacy of some must be sacrificed for the safety of many. Meanwhile, right-wing groups have been allowed to engage in actual acts of domestic terror and incitements to violence without such scrutiny.

What gives? The PRISM documents reveal that the Pentagon was putting plans in place to deal with major civil unrest in the wake of disasters, including potential environmental disasters, but that it had a special focus on environmental protest and activism. Millions of dollars are spent annually on pursuing environmental groups, many of whom are harmless — unless, of course, you think lobbying the government to take action on environmental issues is somehow causing harm, or you believe that educating the public about climate change poses a risk to national security.

The environment itself can become a security risk, but the people pushing to protect it certainly aren’t. While their express goal is to focus on environmental health and the protection of the planet, many are also concerned about the stability of nations and states as well as other political actors, because with global unrest tends to come environmental abuses. For example, in the Balkans and Iraq, depleted uranium was left behind after bitter wars, one of which had a lot to do with oil resources and control. Environmentalists are well aware that climate change will cause unrest which could lead to political instability, and they’re trying to prevent these problems, not cause them.

Policy-wise, the government should be promoting environmental protection as a sound national security practice. And while the government needs to remain separate from private organizations and can’t support environmental groups, it certainly doesn’t need to persecute them, either. Redirecting the resources currently used to spy on environmental advocates to actual concrete environmental protection and policy would do far more for national security in the long term, but that would require the government to admit that its decades-long policy of harassing environmental activists was wrong.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/care-about-the-environment-beware-the-nsa-is-watching.html#ixzz2XXBD74eu
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jun 28, 2013 - 02:06pm PT
At issue is participatory government.
Citizens vs. subjects.

"A republic is a form of government in which affairs of state are a "public matter" (Latin: res publica), not the private concern of the rulers. "

If we as a nation decide to take a radical detour and convert the nation into a total surveillance state that embraces universal and all pervasive spying of the citizenry, then that vital decision can only be made with the consent of the governed. To give our consent, we will need a complete understanding of exactly what such practices and programs entail. Any decision that so profoundly and pervasively effects our nation, our rights, our freedoms, and way of life can not be made privately and in secret by a relative handful of powerful individuals behind closed doors, before private secret courts, and promulgated via private secret memos. If you prefer the latter (which it appears you do) than perhaps the coronation of a king, emperor, or dictator would suit you ...

Snowden's leaks have been informative. They have served the republic insofar as informing the citizenry of heretofore-secret policies that bear enormous influence upon the core principles and conduct of our republic.

As per the healthy functioning of the republic, a public debate has begun. If you fear and/or revile the necessity of this public debate, it is suggestive that you fear and/or revile democracy. If you believe in democracy, you have to trust in your fellow citizens, that collectively we are capable of making a sound decision regarding the affairs of the state. In order to make a sound decision, we need to be informed, we need a free press, we need to know the truth ... otherwise a sound decision jeopardized. We may as citizens decide that universal surveillance is desirable or we may decide it is undesirable. But we'll need the facts: not spin, propaganda, misinformation, obfuscation, or lies.



Lovegasoline:
"Why do you not want to know even something? Do you insist on sticking your head as far up your aşş as possible? "


JoeHedge:
Ridiculous. If you don't like living in a country that won't all make its security secrets known to you, go find one that will

China and Russia will let you hang out in their international terminals for a few days, while you decide which one that will be


Grow up.


The concept that you are missing is called democracy.
Consent of the governed.
A radical idea over 200 years ago. And still a radical idea today.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jun 28, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, addresses the U.S. and their choice to take in Edward Snowden: "Don't come lecturing us about liberty. You need a reality check. Don't act like a spoiled rude child. Here you will only find dignity and sovereignty. Here we haven't invaded anyone. Here we don't torture like in Guantanamo. Here we don't have drones killing alleged terrorist without any due trial, killing also the women and children of those supposed terrorists. So don't come lecturing us about life, law, dignity, or liberty. You don't have the moral right to do so."

Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador
Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador
Credit: TomCochrane
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jun 28, 2013 - 02:31pm PT
From Dave Michael regarding the filibuster in TX which I missed but heard bits and pieces of here and there. It didn't pass with the after midnight vote taken, but will from my understanding, vote on it again either today or tomorrow (Friday). This will essentially close down every abortion clinic in the backward, oppressive state of TX.
Instead of the Lone Star State just refer to it as The Dumb Ass State,

Karsten School
Last night something very important happened down in Texas, something that if you weren't following as it happened, you're probably not going to hear the whole truth about. I was one of the people who was in the right place to watch, and so I'm now going to try to pass on the word as best I can. I'm tagging some of you at the bottom, people who I think should read this. Apologies for anyone who finds this disruptive.

The Texas senate voted yesterday on an bill that essentially would have closed nearly every abortion clinic in the state. To try to counter the bill (which was heavily supported by the Republican majority, senator Wendy Davis attempted a one-woman day-long filibuster, during which time she spoke on the subject while going without food, water, bathroom breaks or being allowed to sit down or even lean on her table for support. She lasted nearly eleven hours before being ruled off topic on a technicality. A second female senator then stepped up and tried to continue the filibuster by asking for salient points to be repeated to her, as she missed part of the session that day to attend her father's funeral.

But here's where things get interesting. With fifteen minutes before the midnight deadline, the lieutenant governor ordered the senate to proceed, and actually had the democrats' microphones cut off. The spectators in the assembly responded by cheering, chanting and generally causing a ruckus, in order to drown out attempts at a vote. The midnight deadline passed without a vote being taken, but the chair held a vote after midnight, as the spectators were forced out of the assembly. During all of this, there was no coverage on MSNBC, CNN or any other major news network, with the only coverage coming from a livestream set up by the Teas Tribune.

At 12:15, the Associated Press ran a story saying the bill had passed, which CBS picked up. This was based on a sole source, which the AP later admitted was a republican senator. Meanwhile in the chambers, the senators stood around, both sides confused if the vote had even happened, if they had even voted on the correct issue. The chair had left with the lieutenant governor without ending the session. The Tribune's feed was cut at 12:20 with 70,000 people watching. CNN at this point was talking about the deliciousness of muffins.

Outside in the halls of the senate building, thousands of people were packed wall to wall, chanting "shame, shame", while thousands more were outside. State police had formed a barricade around the entrance hall, and were making sporadic arrests (50 or so by night's end) and confiscating cameras. In the thick of it was a guy named Christopher Dido, who used his cell phone and a live stream to report on what was happening. He was the only journalist in America who was filming at the senate, with as many as 30,000 people watching the stream at one time, and over 200,000 viewers by night's end. He did this while the state police surrounded the protesters in the building, some of them with nightsticks drawn. The police at this time refused to let through food or water that people tried to send in, instead eating and drinking it themselves. They also barricaded access to vending machines and water fountains within the building, and were said to have blocked off access to the washrooms for at least a period of time. Meanwhile, journalists still inside the chambers tweeted out news updates, which were disseminated and retweeted by people like Matt Fraction, Felicia Day and Will Wheaton, reaching an audience that would otherwise have probably not seen or heard what happened next.

The senate was recalled 90 minutes after its midnight end point, to determine whether or not the vote was valid- behind closed doors with no microphones, and only the Senate's own muted camera. Then something disturbing happened. The senate website carries the official record of the caucus. It listed the vote as happening past midnight, on June 26th. Until suddenly it didn't. The date was quietly manually changed to 6/25, the minutes altered to say the vote happened at 11:59, despite almost 200,000 people watching live who saw differently. Suddenly twitter and other social media sites blew up with before-and-after screen shots. Inside the closed sessions, the democrats were made aware of the alterations and brought them up- without social media, almost no one would have known, and never in time. Ultimately, based on the fraudulent alterations, the GOP conceded defeat, admitting the vote had taken place at 12:03, and declaring the bill to be dead. When this happened, the AP and CBS said the vote was overturned, never admitting to shoddy journalism. CNN ignored the story until this morning, because muffins take priority.

Yesterday, I witnessed women's rights under fire, a crippled legal system that didn't represent its people, a corrupt government body attempting to commit a crime in front of hundreds of thousands of witnesses, and the complete failure of the main stream media. I also witnessed a woman performing a nearly superhuman act to do what was right, the power of the people making themselves heard both in person and online, and the extraordinary value of one young man with a cellphone making sure people saw and heard the truth about what was going on.

Anyone reading the papers or watching network news today won't get the full story. Hopefully enough people saw it unfold live, that the lessons from last night won't be forgotten.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 28, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
to Me,, Ecuador can now go WITHOUT THIS:


The U.S. Government aid to Ecuador for Other USAID Assistance: Fiscal Year 2008: $3.38 Million Fiscal Year 2007: $3.15 Million Fiscal Year 2006: $1.66 Million



WBraun

climber
Jun 28, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
The facts", though, involve cabinet-level terrorist counter-intel, which you'll never get access to, nor should you.


Neither do you.

So grow up and move to North Korea ......
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 28, 2013 - 02:51pm PT
I have an actual fact - my government tortures people.

So bending a spying apparatus for political or civil unrest purposes hardly seems a stretch.

DMT
WBraun

climber
Jun 28, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
strong opinion on something you admit you know nothing about,

I never admitted to know nothing.

You are the one admitting you know nothing and bullying your stupid know nothing projection onto everyone else that disagrees with you.

You're losing it dude ......

Time for you to move to North Korea Joe

Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jun 28, 2013 - 02:57pm PT
The facts", though, involve cabinet-level terrorist counter-intel, which you'll never get access to, nor should you. So your argument is meaningless.

Your assertions are hogwash.
The public can be informed why it is or isn't necessary to surveil and spy on all of its communications and to store them ad infinitum. There is no good reason whatsoever for the very existence of this program to be shielded from the citizenry.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 28, 2013 - 03:02pm PT
Visa Requirements to Enter Ecuador: If you are a U.S. citizen wishing to enter Ecuador, you must present a U.S. passport with at least six months remaining validity. Ecuadorian immigration officials also sometimes request evidence of return or onward travel, such as an airline ticket.

Under Ecuadorian law, U.S. citizens traveling for business or tourism on a tourist passport can enter Ecuador for up to 90 days per calendar year without a visa. Extensions for up to another 90 days can be requested through the provincial migration offices.

If you are planning a visit longer than 90 days, you must obtain a visa in advance of your arrival.



seems like Ecuador isnt even following their OWN laws.
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jun 28, 2013 - 03:39pm PT
Just another ridiculous assumption based on ignorance. You have no way of knowing that "there is no very good reason", obviously. Nor do I. You want to blow up national security so you can see what it's made of. No. Now grow up.

I have a way of knowing there is no good reason: none has been provided

.... as to why there are secret orders from the government to collect every single electronic communication of ours from Verizon et al, and to secretly store those communications ad infinitum.

Could it make us more secure? Perhaps. But that's not a good reason.
Perhaps abducting, torturing, interrogating, and jailing every third US citizen periodically would also make us more secure.

We are going to need a good reason.





(No good reason why the government needs to know I'm now off to the Gunks to climb).
WBraun

climber
Jun 28, 2013 - 03:56pm PT
Why aren't they trying to nail him on this?

Obviously because you know nothing.

But if I told you why you still wouldn't understand it.

Why is that?

Because you KNOW nothing Joe.

You're just a stupid talking head shill from the mainstream.

Time for you to move to North Korea Joe.

It's time .....

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 28, 2013 - 04:01pm PT
The thing I find interesting is that congressional repubs have gone after Obama for anything and everything they possibly could. Why aren't they trying to nail him on this? Where's Issa on this?

I find it interesting as well. I'm not sure much of anyone in Congress is?

Hrm... now why would that be (sound of dirty hands a washing... or is that water boarding)

I'd like to thank the Congress on either side of the aisle both past and present, for the Patriot Act and all the internal spying, self-justification and torture that 'law' has spawned.

One step closer to Empire, Citizen!

DMT
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jun 28, 2013 - 04:19pm PT
Tom, that's an amazing story you quoted, although not sure this is the right thread. Still, this is worth a repeat:


Yesterday, I witnessed women's rights under fire, a crippled legal system that didn't represent its people, a corrupt government body attempting to commit a crime in front of hundreds of thousands of witnesses, and the complete failure of the main stream media. I also witnessed a woman performing a nearly superhuman act to do what was right, the power of the people making themselves heard both in person and online, and the extraordinary value of one young man with a cellphone making sure people saw and heard the truth about what was going on.
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Jun 28, 2013 - 04:31pm PT
The very people you'd think would be all over this, both for constitutional and partisan reasons, are silent. No repub witch-hunt for something that people are hysterically claiming is subverting the constitution at a fundamental level.

Surely those who are critical of NSA data mining think it's a more important issue than Benghazi or the IRS, right? Then where are the investigations?

Well, my guess is that they (Congress) in no way want to open that can of worms. Any scrutiny Congress could bring would inevitably lead back to the fact that they themselves (Congress) authorized the data collection in the first place.

Curt
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jun 28, 2013 - 04:32pm PT
Joe: IMO, the folks who run the NSA also run Congress. See Tom's story for a dose of how our Gov't cares for We The People...
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 28, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
Any scrutiny Congress could bring would inevitably lead back to the fact that they themselves (Congress) authorized the data collection in the first place.

Of course.

DMT
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jun 28, 2013 - 04:52pm PT
It's fact that Congress has subverted the will of the people.

Take a look at how popular the Patriot Act is in the first place.
tooth

Trad climber
B.C.
Jun 28, 2013 - 05:17pm PT
apparently the sensitive data can't be viewed on DoD computers but is ok for the American public... weird, shouldn't the government be viewing it and not the public if jhedge's arguments are true?




"Should any website choose to post information the department deems classified, that particular content on the website will be filtered and remain inaccessible from DoD networks so long as it remains classified," Pickart reiterated in an emailed statement.

"The department does not determine what sites its personnel can choose to visit while on a DoD system, but instead relies on automated filters that restrict access based on content concerns or malware threats. The DoD is also not going to block websites from the American public in general, and to do so would violate our highest-held principle of upholding and defending the Constitution and respecting civil liberties and privacy."
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jun 28, 2013 - 06:48pm PT
Wasn't this a movie back in 1998.
Why are you all so surprised?
Hell, I break the laws of God and Man every day and nobody is beating down my front door.
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