Tuesday, September 17, 2013

NSA monitoring terrorists and "others"

Excellent post by Ken at Popehat:
I am not — at least not yet — classified as a terrorist, cybercriminal, or human trafficker. So I suppose I am the "other." I want to learn to use strong crypto effectively, and encrypt my professional and personal communications from government spying.

I am the other because I do not trust my government in general, or the people working for its security apparatus in particular.

I am the other because I believe the Security State and its representatives habitually lie, both directly and by misleading language, about the scope of their spying on us. I believe they feel entitled to do so.
That's just the warm up.  RTWT.


Douglas2 said...

And as ken is a criminal defense lawyer, it would indeed be irresponsible of him to NOT take every reasonable effort at making his communication with clients closed to government snooping.

I worked out long ago that if I had any information on a laptop computer or thumb drive that I was legally required to keep confidential, there was no way I could in good consciense carry that item across the US border, on account of the border search "exception" to the 4th amendment.

Goober said...


I wrote about this same post a few days ago, but from a different angle.

The prevailing attitude towards the NSA wiretapping now is “what happens when they use this to come after more than just terrorists sometime in the future?” to which a lot of the more government-trusting among us respond with derision. They say that they won’t ever use it against us, that they are just doing it to keep us safe, and that we should be thanking them.

But here’s my angle:

They can’t protect the data that they are collecting. This isn’t up for debate – Edward Snowden is living, breathing, walking proof of that. The fact that this data exists means that bad guys can get their hands on it. So I shouldn’t worry about the NSA, as an agency, according to my detractors. Great! Now, what about individual NSA employees?

What if one gets wooed by overtures and promises of millions of dollars from the black hat brigade?

What if one leaks the data because he thinks it is his patriotic duty?

What if one of them is incompetent or lazy or uncaring and leaves the door open?

What if one of them just makes a simple, honest mistake?

The NSA is putting us at risk here, and my stance is that the risk that they are creating with this dragnet is far more substantial than the risk that they created the dragnet to protect us against.