Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Snowden finale

Anyone care to make predictions?
Alternet: ... According to The Sunday Times of London, Glenn Greenwald will publish the names of Americans targeted by the NSA.

“One of the big questions when it comes to domestic spying is, ‘Who have been the NSA’s specific targets?’” he told the Times. “Are they political critics and dissidents and activists? Are they genuinely people we’d regard as terrorists? What are the metrics and calculations that go into choosing those targets and what is done with the surveillance that is conducted? Those are the kinds of questions that I want to still answer.”

Greenwald has promised that this will be the “biggest” revelation of the nearly two million classified files he received from Edward Snowden, and that “Snowden’s legacy would be ‘shaped in large part’ by this ‘finishing piece’ still to come.” In a May interview with GQ, Greenwald spoke of this “finale:”

"I think we will end the big stories in about three months or so [June or July 2014]. I like to think of it as a fireworks show: You want to save your best for last. There's a story that from the beginning I thought would be our biggest, and I'm saving that. The last one is the one where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicolored hues. This will be the finale, a big missing piece. Snowden knows about it and is excited about it."


MUltan said...

The government already got to him on Monday, says Jon Queally of Common Dreams: Last Minute US Govt Claims Put Halt to Greenwald 'Bombshell' "Greenwald went back to Twitter and announced:After 3 months working on our story, USG today suddenly began making new last-minute claims which we intend to investigate before publishing
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 1, 2014

Andrew Foland said...

The only way I foresee anything substantive resulting from this, is if Mitt Romney's name is on this list.

Even then, the blowback will be on Obama, not the NSA or the surveillance regime.

Hacienda said...

I predict it will contain elements of PhD level focus and idiocracy level outlandishness. If a list of surveilled is given, you have a high chance of being on that list. Jeremy Lin too. A variety of porn actresses, Hollywood celebrities, corporate leaders and their consorts. John Stewart, Nigahiga, Donald Trump, Miley Cyrus just for kicks, the cast of Big Bang Theory, Steve Sailer. Mark Zuckerberg will be revealed to have opened his database to the US and to Israel.

MUltan said...

If you like knowing about "really obscure, weird, and batshit insane military projects", this Jan. 2011 thread at Charlie Stross' blog is the best ever: PSA: Gorgon Stare. The posts by "EH" are especially interesting, including one which lays out many of the NSA techniques which shocked people when Snowden revealed them. The MKULTRA/ARTICHOKE/BLUEBIRD subproject headings are more fun, though.

SethTS said...

Even more likely: blatantly racist stuff posted here by commenters wind up being attributed mistakenly to Steve and become part of his "permanent record". I'm reminded of the old "All in the Family" episode where Archie Bunker is trying to track down why he is considered to be dead. Some clerk shows him a punched card and points to a specific hole with his pen -- "that's the one that means that you're dead".


yulva said...

Thomas Drake's story would give anyone pause. He is a former NSA employee who the US government tried to incarcerate for life...


It should be noted that Drake made an unwise decision when he agreed to talk to the FBI. Never, ever talk to the police/FBI no matter how innocuous their approach...

A law school professor and former criminal defense attorney tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police:


Pat Boyle said...

SethTS seems to be suggesting that Dr. Hsu is in danger of being condemned for something some 'blatant racist' might post as a comment. That seems unlikely to me, but if he objects to anything anyone says he can just deleted it and banish the author, can't he?. If SethTS is referring to me - please ban me. I don't want to post where I'm not welcome.
I have always tried to be helpful. I read this blog because I'm trying to learn. I'm not here to teach. Notice that I use my real name. That's because I refuse to live in fear. Most web commenters hide behind an alias - as I once did. I realized that if anyone wanted to look me up, no alias would be much of a mask.
The article is about Snowden. Many people worry about their government gathering data on the citizenry. I was just pointing out the gathering of data on bloggers or blog commenters does not require High Tech. It's trivial.
BTW I'm opening a data base entry on 'SethTS' - (just kidding).

SethTS said...

My reference to 'racists' wasn't directed at you. I've read this blog on and off for several years, and the recurring talk about the role of genetics in making people 'smart' has attracted a lot of rather irrational comments from various people (whose names/handles I haven't bothered to try to remember).

My real point is that the sense that computers are watching us has been around a long time and that the most likely way it will affect us will likely continue to be the old story of clerical stupidity. Some computer generated "fact" like "Archie Bunker is dead" or "John Doe has a bad credit rating" (as a result of identity theft, say) gets created. Then people spend a lot of energy trying to reverse the consequences of highly "objective" stupidity. The guy who tells Archie to his face that he is dead is an example of what I mean by objective stupidity: he takes the objective evidence from his computer record to be worth more than his own subjective evaluation of the identity of the person in front of him. That kind of reasoning can be justified, but it often is cover for refusing to make a subjective evaluation of new evidence. It's clerical laziness or avoidance of responsibility. There is some opportunity for political abuse of such information gathering, but I suspect that the primary effect will be more opportunities for objective stupidity.

steve hsu said...

Never attribute to conspiracy what could also be explained by stupidity ... :-)

Hacienda said...

"Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence."
- Napoleon

Reality is more blended though. North Korea mixes high levels of conspiracy, stupidity, malice, and incompetence. So does the NSA.

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