Wednesday, June 12, 2013


David Brooks is caught admiring the perfectly creased trousers of the NSA:
Edward Snowden isn't the betrayer.  The betrayers are the Bush administration, the Obama administration, the NSA, and the Congress.  For Brooks to claim, with a straight faith, that it is Snowden who betrayed his oaths and the Constitution, that is is Edward Snowden who "betrayed the privacy of us all" when he exposed the NSA's lawless domestic spying program, is to tell a far bigger lie than Joseph Goebbels ever told.
And Charles Krauthammer is an idiot, too.

Lawrence Person fisks Obama's NSA defense.

The NSA has lousy Marketing instincts.  Naming a program "Boundless Informant" sounds both juvenile and creepy, especially when they're spying on us more than they are spying on Russia.

Bruce Schneier: What we don't know about the NSA spying is even scarier than what we do know.

German politician: Boy, this NSA thing sure looks like the Stasi.

FISA Court: You know, this NSA spying is unconstitutional.  NSA: shaddup.

EU Justice Minister to Eric Holder: I thought you wanted to be more like us.  WTF?

The statistics of "You don't have to worry if you have nothing to hide":
One problem with the nothing-to-hide argument is that it assumes innocent people will be exonerated certainly and effortlessly. That is, it assumes that there are no errors, or if there are, they are resolved quickly and easily.

Suppose the probability of a correctly analyzing an email or phone call is not 100% but 99.99%. In other words, there’s one chance in 10,000 of an innocent message being incriminating. Imagine authorities analyzing one message each from 300,000,000 people, roughly the population of the United States. Then around 30,000 innocent people will have some ‘splaining to do. They will have to interrupt their dinner to answer questions from an agent knocking on their door, or maybe they’ll spend a few weeks in custody. If the legal system is 99.99% reliable, then three of them will go to prison.
Ah, but that assumes that the Government Agency is motivated to catch terrorists, rather than to make sure that next year's budget is bigger.  Those 3 convictions will show that "the system is working".

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