You talk about those abuses like if they ever stopped. They just got better at hiding them...
Hence the dread! Back in '94 to '99 I've been sysadmin at the math department of my university. Already then all the students that were learning Matlab dreaded the subject. I was observing lesson after lesson, year after year, since they happened at the Comp. Lab. I was managing, always the same thing.
People who never actually made any product do not fully understand how wide is the chasm between a product and good product. And that the chasm between a good product and great product is even much wider.
We do understand the concept sometimes as 80:20. The first 80% of a product takes about 20% of time to make and the remaining 20% takes 80% of the time. Well, making a good product is another 80:20 split and making a great product is yet another one if not more. So you really spend 25-30 times more time and effort on great product than on a simply working one.
... Lucifer complained about God's betrayal and claimed that Hell has got to be hot, which is fully within the framework he is supposed to operate in and there is really nothing he can do about it.
You are simply deluded. You know what was NSA called before it was widely know it exists. No Such Agency. Shining a light on it will only drive the real efforts into more secrecy. Once NSA is exposed a new secret agency we won't know about will be created. I would not be surprised if the efforts were already underway.
YOU CANNOT PREVENT THIS! The state has too much power, too little to fear. You can only mitigate the worst excesses of abuse of power, which I described above. Once you force the government into accepting the above described abuses as price of getting the information it thinks it needs, there is no way back.
The Eastern Europe behind its Iron Curtain had a hope of the West breaking through and helping them overthrow the government and clean the house, but you have NO ONE. There is nobody more powerful than the US government. There is no hope for you to get any sort of external help once the repression starts. NONE. So you better not speed it up. It has already started in Guantanamo it will spread, but fighting NSA will make it spread even faster.
There is slight chance of this country collapsing economically before it can defeat Russia and China, but that would be a very small hope to look forward to. Most likely Russia will fall soon and China soon after and that will solve any economic issues US might have had, since all of the world resources will be available for the taking.
You should work for NSA, because the alternative to NSA is worse. Totalitarian governments like USSR, East Germany or North Korea will do anything to have a total information control of their population in order to ensure stability. We have a well established history that if they cannot get this information technologically, they will lie, cheat, extort, kidnap, bully or worse, just to get to this information. USA now falls into this category and they will do anything to have full domestic surveillance. If you don't help them achieve this goal technologically, it will have enormous human cost. The alternative of not getting this information is not acceptable to them so they will get it and you can only help to affect how they get it and how many people and lives are harmed in the process.
If you want to avoid the Gulags, the political prisoners, children not getting in universities because sins of their parents, neighbors spying on each other, informers and snitches everywhere, home searches, not being able to trust anyone, being afraid what your kids say in school that gets back to you, feeling helpless and afraid to report crime to police in fear they would instead investigate you. If you want to avoid all those things, you just have to go and help the NSA to get the information electronically, because the alternative is just too awful.
In Russia it is a small government based operation involving couple hundred people. In US it is a wide scale, industrial operation, otherwise referred to as mainstream media and involves hundreds of thousands of people. In Russia the product is comments under articles, in US the product are the articles themselves. I don't think that we, in the US, are exactly qualified to complain about what the Russians are doing.
Just as one example, look at articles from 2008 to 2013 about Russia in the US mainstream media. It reads like hit job. There is not a single article published without a mention of some perceived problem in Russia, be it with Putin himself, so called human rights violations, free speech violations or corruption. Not a single article that would not spend at least several paragraphs on bad mouthing Russia.
And even if you say, those are justified, compare it to articles from 2008 to 2013 on Saudi Arabia, which has much worse record in every single regard. You will see the stark difference.
From my experience the Russians are not exactly inventive country in the regard of international politics or even that good at it. I would not call them as "leading the pack" in almost any regard. Which leads me to believe that if the Russians are doing it now, the Brits and Americans had been doing it already 50 years ago.
Close to half of the software developers from India that I've worked with did not actually touch a computer until 3rd year of their degree. I am not saying that it reflects their ability, most of them were very intelligent and could learn well, eventually, but they certainly did not come from the university prepared in the same way as I would expect.
Here are several links that are public knowledge. I know some cases personally, which I don't want to mention because I don't want to get associated with them publicly. There is more than 200 names in these lists:
I am not even including any of the whistleblowers or the Guantanamo prisoners in this list. But both of those categories are political prisoners.
I know how the story goes. I name people, then you say that is exception, so I name 3 more, you say that means nothing, it is still rare, so I name more and you say that well, Russia is still worse. There is always going to be some argument with you that will make it seem like everything is just fine. I don't care. If you are a troll, it won't stop you from trolling, if you are really a concerned citizen, you can do your own research and you will trust that more than you'd trust me here anyway.
I could have predicted it from mile away, anytime the arguments start to be hard for the spooks, they Godwin the discussion.
Yes, that has been the US mantra. You have a freedom of speech. But the thing is, you don't. Post of slashdot does not matter at all and where the speech matters, there it is viciously prosecuted. And if you did nothing wrong, well, everybody did something wrong. But even if you did not, who will question the authorities when they said they found a HDD full of child porn on your computer? Or that they find out you were enabling payment system for drug dealers? You will get railroaded and it won't even look political. That is how US operates. It leaves people to speak their mind because it does not matter. They can shout themselves to death. They just need to nab the few leaders of any of such effort, jail them on drug charges and are done with it. Or would you want to say that you mean to do some action beyond the words? No. You won't.
All it takes when the discussion heats up is sending couple trolls like you, who will start to peddle the freedom of speech argument and people will think: "Well, its not so bad when they let me say all those bad things about them." They just need a reason to justify for themselves why they do nothing about it. And you are conveniently supplying it.
Free Press, Human Rights, Rule of Law. Those are nice phrases. You say Russia has problem with those but compared to whom? I don't see free press in US, I don't see human rights observed, I don't see rule of law. So when you want to criticize someone meaningfully, you have to have a basis for comparison.
Edward Snowden, John Kiriakou, Stephen Jim-Woo Kim, Jeffrey Sterling, Thomas Drake, Bradley Manning, Shamai Leibowitz, Lawrence Franklin
But the main travesty is the 2.2 million imprisoned americans, that is 5 times more per capita than China and even more by 0.5 million in absolute numbers. Those are from over half political prisoners before the law under which they were imprisoned exists for none other than political reasons, since these so called crimes have no actual victims.
You can talk with gays, blacks and immigrants about the human rights violations, you can talk with inmates about the rule of law. You can talk with Rupert Murdoch about the free press. If the same entity buys both press and the government, neither one can be considered free or for the people.
So I only defend Putin because of the hypocrisy implied in your statements. The implicit right you give yourself to criticize others countries for things your own does in abundance. I got no reason to like him personally, but I simply hate what you are doing. You are trying to attack others to put yourself in position where you can claim you are better, but you are not.
You keep ascribing motives to other people based on your assumptions and you think that by repeating it over and over ad nauseam you are going to suddenly become right. That is nothing but empty propaganda and I've heard way too much of it during the last years.