Perhaps there needs to be a public shaming of the developers who work for the NSA and create these things? Try to create disruption from within.
After 10 months of the slow drip of releases Greenwald and his co-adversarial journalists (TM) have habituated us to, this whole mass-surveillance thing is turning into a look-at-what-we-can do wholesale type advertisement for the NSA.
No word on when and how any of this is going to help bring about change, other than to Greenwald and Co's bank accounts. But I'll keep hoping!
I'll give Chris Floyd the last word.
"*But I continue to be amazed at the nugatory effect of the Snowden
revelations. I continue to be shocked at the way these revelations are
being handled -- kept tightly under the control of a handful of responsible figures who happily submit them to 'government stakeholders,' while effectively repressing 98 percent of the evidence of criminality and moral turpitude on the part of those same 'government stakeholders.'*"
If pieces aren't being released, how does Floyd know of the repression of 98% of criminality? If he has the documents to prove this, why doesn't he release them?
Remember when it was the KGB and Stasi that were the bad guys?
Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian's editor, said that his newspaper had only released about 1% of the Snowden data. He even went as far as to say, great pursuer-of-truth journalist that he is, that The Guardian would not reveal more of them.
There are 58000 files (files, not pages). How many pages taken from those 58000 files have we seen in 10 months, from Mr. Rusbridger or from Omydiar's employees?
As for the criminality bit, Rusbridger again has all the answers, the one you'd expect of a great journalist, of course.
"Mr Rusbridger told the committee: "There's stuff in there about Iraq, Afghanistan, we're not even going to look at it. That's not what Edward Snowden was doing when he wanted responsible journalists to go through this material."
How may of those have we seen so far? From any of those adversarial journalists?
Everybody who works on stuff like this has clearances up the wazoo. They'll never talk about it unless they want to become another Edward Snowden.
So, we are supposed to leap to suspicion of criminality? In other words, no proof is proof of criminality. Remember Assange, and his dump? Remember all of the instances where the government cried that the leaks endangered informants and diplomats? Isn't it a possibility that the journalists don't want to step on that landmine, but that they are highlighting specifically where the spying goes against the constitution and where it affects non-criminal every day people of the US?
Has Floyd requested access to documents, and what is his perspective on release of info, dump it all, like Assange? Or does he believe none of it should come out? Regarding change, in response to the leaks, that isn't anything that Greenwald can single-handedly accomplish, now is it? What is Floyd doing to create change? Chastising a different reporter?
For starters, your character assassination of Rusbridger blunts your overall point (and is a little tiresome). I've found it interesting that the Guardian, and not an American paper, appears to have led the pack when it comes to reporting on NSA activities.
As for the number of files and the calculations on how much has been and will be released, anyone who does admin work, or hell, does any computer-centric work at all will know that 58K files =/ 58K pages. And we don't have any idea as to what the breakdown of those files. 1k files can correspond to one story just as easily as they might correspond to one thousand powerpoints detailing ten stories. Whether we'll ever know that breakdown of material is another question entirely, but the number of files is a red herring, to my mind.
$67.6M is not a lot of money to spend to "own the net." I don't want to underestimate the enormity of NSA activity in general, but perhaps this one particular program is not really as big as the bureaucratic promulgators of it would like to suggest?
$67.6M is not a lot of money to spend to "own the net."...
That's not almost 70 million dollars of normal Silicon Valley seed money. One can vastly stretch each and every dollar when you're able to work in the shadows, circumvent laws, competition, costly regulations and many bureaucratic slow-downs/restrictions in the process.
It'd be similar for you to compare tax-free mafia money to how far a law-abiding citizen can stretch those same dollars. The NSA is not a law-abiding citizen (see US Constitution for starters).
The mafia can open and run a restaurant for the fraction of the operating costs compared to normal citizens who obey laws/regulations, gather seed money from normal avenues, lack shady (corrupt) connections, are restricted by their own ethics and have to fucking work for a living.
Sys Admins of the World Unite?
advertisement for the NSA.
If these releases are covert advertisements for the NSA as you imply, the ad campaign isn't going so swell. Haha..
Polls Continue to Show Majority of Americans Against NSA Spying:
Poll: Most Americans now oppose the NSA program:
What do you suppose Greenwald's super-sekrit-covert NSA name is?
Yeah, well, that's just what an NSA stooge WOULD say. I'm onto you...
It just goes to show how universally hated the NSA operation is when, in order to discredit someone, they now say 'He's one of us'.
I think it's interesting to think of the NSA as a form of cancer on the county. It starts off as an organization that is run by the government, then it mutates into something that is unaccountable to it and that sees it and the country as a target. It then just keeps growing and invading other areas as its code switches from supporting the body to spreading its own influence.
Except that unlike with cancer, the government could put an end to this NSA nonsense tomorrow if there was even a weak consensus to do so. The fact that there's barely even a whisper of protest from them tells you what you everything you need to know about the US government.
If you think the NSA isn't a bureaucracy, you're mistaken. I'm quite certain they are just as inefficient as other organizations like the CIA and FBI. So I don't think the money really can be stretched very far. Government cost structures are very ponderous and cumbersome, and the security services are not exempted from this; indeed, they are even worse than average. I wouldn't be surprised if the NSA loaded headcount was well over $250K.
Still, the accounting methods used for the program aren't clear. If that's $70M for expenses for a project for which all the staff and capital is already paid for out of some other account, that's quite different from it being the total operating budget of a department dedicated to the project. In the former case, it might well accomplish something, where in the latter it would really be more of a boondoggle than anything else.
This is a problem with establishing the importance of all this leaked information. Without actually being in the organization, there is no real way to tell which projects are just powerpoint and which are real, and of the real ones, which are being worked diligently and which have been discarded or backburnered.
next page →