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Comment Re:Haggling for Rates (Score 1) 229

But monopoly is mostly self fixing, as soon as you extract monopoly pricing you attract new competitors.

So presumably Americans don't hate cable companies, then? Because discontent with existing providers caused new ISPs and telecoms companies to spring up everywhere and fill the hole in the market?

sent from my alternate universe iphone

Comment Re:Germany should pay war reparations for WWII (Score 1) 743

Yugoslavia existed prior to WWII. It was invaded and dismantled by the Axis. Those disparate ethnic groups had been living peacefully together as Yugoslavia since the end of WWI, when it was formed, and even before that under the Austria-Hungary empire.

The only thing resembling genocide in that region occurred in the 1990s, unless you do some mental gymnastics and believe that imperialist aggression and Serbian nationalism leading to WWI was genocide.

Comment Re:Oh FFS (Score 1) 293

The public schools churn out morons like you because the left would rather teach leftism than basic literacy. Unsurprisingly.

If I can get 55 of them for a penny, then that's per cent. But % is percent. Or did you think those values were "per centages"? Dumb ass.

You're more than a quarter dumb, aren't you?

Not talking about coins here.

Comment Re:What's worse? (Score 1) 201

That's probably the funniest noir moment about this. The Washington Post, a newspaper, is being trusted with data so sensitive they don't even want to reveal some of it publicly.

A newspaper! I think I'd rather give my credit card information to Target than trust a newspaper company with knowing anything about the internet.

I would count the days until lax security leads to the raw data leaking onto the general internet, but it's probably already been read by Unit 61337.

Comment Re:hmm.... (Score 1) 201

It doesn't specify all of them, but it does specify some of them:

If a target entered an online chat room, the NSA collected the words and identities of every person who posted there, regardless of subject, as well as every person who simply “lurked,” reading passively what other people wrote.

There are others, too, but this would imply that if one of the legitimate targets had a slashdot account, or some other message board, anyone posting or reading the same site might be scooped up into the list of "incidental" targets.

Anyone showing signs of being a "likely" American, according to the article, were then "minimized". ie, their names were scrubbed. Of course their criteria for determining likely American status is not very rigorous.

Comment Re:"Fireworks Show" still to come (Score 2) 201

Out of curiosity, where did you hear this?

I think it's really interesting that of the "minimized" identities listed in the article, one of them is

A “minimized U.S. president-elect” begins to appear in the files in early 2009, and references to the current “minimized U.S. president” appear 1,227 times in the following four years.

Does this mean they were reading Obama's communications after he was elected to become President, and then scrubbed his name from it?

Comment Re:How big is the problem really? (Score 3, Interesting) 201

Here's the relevant paragraph from the article:

If Snowden’s sample is representative, the population under scrutiny in the PRISM and Upstream programs is far larger than the government has suggested. In a June 26 “transparency report,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence disclosed that 89,138 people were targets of last year’s collection under FISA Section 702. At the 9-to-1 ratio of incidental collection in Snowden’s sample, the office’s figure would correspond to nearly 900,000 accounts, targeted or not, under surveillance.

They use this information from Snowden, the 160,000 intercepted messages, showing that nearly 10 people were targetted "incidentally" for every 1 legitimate target. With that 10 to 1 ratio, and a transparency report released in june showing that there were almost 90,000 legitimate targets, the math comes out to approximately 1 million Americans "incidentally" targetted.

Of course it's a crock to say these people's communications were spied upon "incidentally". They were explicitly targetted for incidental reasons such as being in the same IRC channel, using a foreign IP address, etc.

What I don't get, though, is that the list of "minimized" targets whose identities were scrubbed as being likely Americans includes "a sitting President". Does this mean they spied on President Obama's communications, and then scrubbed his identity from it? Were these legitimate targets sending threatening emails to or what? Did they scrub any reference to his name, even when it didn't involve communications originating from him?

How did he wind up as any of these "incidental" targets?

Comment Re:Actual Facts (Score 1) 389

No, it isn't. I said that I do not care how lightly they think of spying, not anything about their governments not existing or any other such nonsense.

You don't care what their government thinks. Their government represents them. You wish to impose your views on them -- or, more accurately, you wish to speak for them in place of themselves or their government.

The fact is, despite how many times you say otherwise, that being spied upon -- especially by foreign entities -- is almost universally considered a criminal offense at most. You really have to come up with some kind of definition for what human rights are that encompass whatever privacy rights you think you're advocating for in order to advocate them. I've asked you to do that, and you said you have, by reiterating what you've already said: that it just is. That's not going to cut it on any level.

It would be one thing to talk about a totalitarian government not just spying on its own people, but recording every action and social connection, like what the East German or previous Russian governments were known to do, since this kind of persecution is so easily coupled with the suppression of dissidents or any kind of opposition. But that's not what is occurring.

In an international world where foreign governments can go to war with each other, states (and their people) must naturally regard foreign interests with varying degrees of suspicion. But it's never zero suspicion. This means that states (and their people) are essentially compelled into conducting spy and espionage actions, if only to determine the nature of hostile spy and espionage actions conducted against them by foreign entities. Anything else would be neglectful and dangerous. Of course, it can be taken too far, but to say that any amount of foreign intelligence gathering is strictly immoral is pretty absurd.

They are to me. And it can be both at once.

Until you can provide some sort of definition of human rights which encompasses whatever privacy rights you're advocating, they really aren't.

How do you determine whether or not I think it's negative, or likely?

You've already told me. If you think your human rights are being violated by your communications being read by anyone except the intended recipient, then you're negatively impacted by Snowden's revelations about American foreign intelligence actions because these actions will now be studied, broken down, and copied. Perhaps against you, perhaps against other targets, perhaps against a more authoritarian government's own people. According to you, those are negative. According to reality, they are somewhere between likely and inevitable.

As for "crimes," I don't think law equates to morality, so whether he's technically a 'criminal' is uninteresting to me. But to me, they shouldn't be.
I never said that all of the NSA's activities are unconstitutional; that's not all that interests me. The domestic spying is definitely unconstitutional. I believe much of their other spying is immoral.

You have a pretty shaky foundation for your belief in it being immoral. If Snowden revealed that other governments were conducting espionage through his own immoral behavior, how would you feel about it? What about if Snowden were a European and revealed domestic spying programs by the NSA which he only learned about through conducting espionage against the USA?

If your answers to those resemble anything like "the ends justify the means" then I'm not sure how strongly you believe foreign intelligence efforts are immoral in the first place.

Comment Re:Actual Facts (Score 1) 389

You have quite the imagination, to argue with someone who doesn't exist. But may I please ask you to keep it to yourself, rather than responding to me as if I'm the one you're arguing with?

It's something you said! Here it is again, for your benefit:

You should probably just let other peoples' governments speak for themselves. I'll spoil their answer for you: they think spying is impolite at worst, not some tragic human rights violation.

I don't care what they think, drone.

Your long-winded drivel was unnecessary.

I'll let James Madison know you think that about him.


I have. Here is a long series of steps that lays out how what I want could be accomplished:
1) Don't spy on innocent people unless you have a damn good reason to think they're not innocent, and in the case of citizens, have a warrant.

Right. Except these are a matter of policy, not some fundamental human right. If you disagree with the policy, but cannot disagree with its constitutionality or the moral basis for it, then you're wrong and Snowden committed crimes which are likely to negatively affect you in the future in addition to whatever whistleblowing he has done.

If you base your arguments on the constitutionality of the actions, and then later find out that it was, in fact, constitutional, your argument is worthless. Thanks for playing, though.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein