NSA net-security sabotage means the end of US Internet "stewardship"

The fact you think the US is uniquely evil really doesn’t indicate much hope for you either.

For example, here’s something that Greenwald blamed on the NSA. Surprise.

I didn’t say I thought the US was uniquely evil. I said that many Americans have this … ‘USA! USA! USA!’ is probably the best way I can put it… whereby they, whether they realise it or not, come across as pitying anybody who doesn’t live in the USA because well, only the USA has freedom.

In Ars today they quote a patent lawyer telling the jury that only the good ol’ USA has juries in civil trials. Even as a layman I know that’s rubbish. Civil trial by jury isn’t common here in New Zealand but it does happen. There are lots of other places that have plenty of good things.

Which brings me back to your original point, that the US isn’t uniquely evil. No, they’re not. We just finished a series of loud protests against our own government’s expansion of spy powers (during the first couple of months of the SNowden leaks, no less) which hand practically unlimited power to spy on whomever he/she wants to the Prime Minister, with the only ‘oversight’ being two other people who a) can’t overrule him and b) are beholden to him for their jobs.

The government sneered at us and rammed it through anyway.

What annoys me is that lots of people - including Bruce - recently were horrified that the UN might dare to suggest that the Internet come under the control of the ITU, which is an international organisation not controlled by any one country - because only the USA could guarantee freedom on the internet. Only Americans really believe that… and as a group you’re really loud about it.

Just because someone disagrees with the US position does NOT mean it’s time to trot out the USA! USA! USA! again, and imply that if you disagree with the US, it must be because you’re evil.


I agree there are a lot of other places that have plenty of good things. Most if not all of those places also spy on the internet.

On the other hand, I think putting anything whatsoever under the control of any UN agency where a majority consisting of dictators and autocrats gets to squeeze democracies for fun and profit is a very very bad idea. That includes anything to do with the internet, obviously.

Except that we now know that the US doesn’t just spy on the Internet, they’re actively attempting to break it. And to be fair, those dictators and autocrats get their squeeze power from systems sold to them from democratic countries, so we are all a little to blame there.

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The US, or rather, the NSA isn’t trying to break the internet. It’s trying to use it for spying, as they do. This is why we have (or are supposed to have) civilian oversight over these spy agencies. The NSA problem will be fixed IMO, in the same way that until yesterday they could tap all the phones and read all the mail and bug all the houses but were prevented from doing so.

The dictators and autocrats get squeeze power at the UN because the UN system is broken.

I don’t know what systems you’re talking about that democratic countries sold to them, but if you’re thinking I’m responsible for murder committed with a hammer I sold someone, I’d have to disagree.

I’m saying they get their squeeze power from Boeing, Lockheed, Colt, Cisco and Bluecoat. Also their ex-Soviet-bloc equivalents. I’m not holding you responsible, but I am pointing out that your - and my, I don’t doubt - country provides a crucial contribution to the power of the despots of this world. Who would have thought that the result of giving a madman a gun might be that someone got shot? So again, it’s a little hypocritical to simply brush off efforts at international oversight of what is now an integral part of many people’s live all over the world – that’s right back to where I pegged @billstewart in the first place.

And yes, the NSA is trying to break the internet. I think you may have missed the point of Bruce’s speech. By insisting on backdoors in the infrastructure that runs the internet, the NSA has severely weakened its security, and the only way to get it back is to tell the government to expletive off while other people sort it out.

We need to improve our Internet Security by any means possible. I’m not saying that it would be easy to bypass the NSA but at least we should try

It is unlikely there will EVER be and ‘unhackable internet’. That’s just the nature of the beast.

However - I firmly believe that standards and security measures need to be developed by the IT community itself - not governments, ever. If they want to mess with it inside their own borders, that’s on them. But generally, it’s not a political problem at root - it’s a group of technical weaknesses being exploited for political purposes. You don’t take a car to the highway patrol when it needs better tires, just because the driver is bad atdriving.

We should keep the political stuff where it belongs, and the technical stuff with the technical experts. Did we learn nothing from the Obamacare joke? Politicians can’t develop internet stuff fer crap, I don’t even care which country they’re trying to ruin (I mean, run.)! It’s not our problem to always determine which idiots are going to try to wreck it next. All we need to know is that there WILL be some, and work from there.

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The NSA actively works to undermine all standards of encryption to ensure their access to communications. That means keeping the internet broken forever. If we can’t safely send private communication or make secure purchases then it’s a broken internet. The NSA is actively trying to prevent the internet from ever working properly.

So “the UN system is broken” because everybody involved gets a say?

The USA has laws guaranteeing freedom of speech and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. The government routinely breaks those laws even against the will of a majority of citizens, and this system isn’t “broken”?

American exceptionalism at its bestest!

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