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Ask Slashdot: What Will It Take To End Mass Surveillance? 239 239

Nicola Hahn writes: Both the White House and the U.S. Intelligence Community have recently announced reforms to surveillance programs sanctioned under Section 215 of the Patriot Act and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. But do these reforms represent significant restructuring or are they just bureaucratic gestures intended to create the perception that officials are responding to public pressure?

The Executive's own Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has written up an assessment (PDF) of reform measures implemented by the government. For those who want a quick summary the Board published a fact sheet (PDF) which includes a table listing recommendations made by the board almost a year ago and corresponding reforms. The fact sheet reveals that the Board's mandate to "end the NSA's bulk telephone records program" has not been implemented.

In other words, the physical infrastructure of the NSA's global panopticon is still in place. In fact, it's growing larger (PDF). So despite all of the press statements and associated media buzz very little has changed. There are people who view this as an unsettling indication of where society is headed. Ed Snowden claimed that he wanted to "trigger" a debate, but is that really enough? What will it take to tear down Big Brother?

Comment Re:Striking air traffic controllers fired (Score 1) 223 223

Ah, yes, the big, bad UNION . I don't defend them all (police unions are the biggest sacks of unionized assholes in the world) but let's take your Verizon example and switch it up a bit.

Boeing and Microsoft have or are threatening Washington state. Both are doing it for profit for the companies and directly against the interest of their own employees. What about the collusion among tech companies to not hire each other's employees? Why devalue and demonize workers so much? Demand higher standards, absolutely, but understand that sometimes we need to to fight back rather than fighting each other for the scraps.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long