Lockeed has designed, built, and delivered ground breaking avionic technology for over 50 years. They are the poster child of Free Enterprise Innovation. We will not enter space in any meaningful way until the technology needed to protect and sustain a human being become more mature. We have had the technology to plant someone's ass on Mars ever since the 60's. Supporting someone once they are there is an entirely different animal. The technology could advance rapidly if we wanted to spend unlimited funds in a crash project but even then why would you pay all that money to put someone on Mars when the unmanned landers already there are capable of providing the same amount of data.
I really hope you are joking. How do you prove a negative? "We can't find something therefore it must exist!".
The "free speech zones" first became headline news when it involved protesting during an presidential election period. It was determined the security risk of letting an uncontrolled number of people mob the people protected by the secret service was to big. They setup the zones so people could still express their views and not unnecessarily endanger those being protested against. It's a sensible tradeoff that in today's world is hard to argue against.
Nobody has ever shown any detailed proof of government backdoors in their products. But hey facts really have nothing to do with today's shallow thinking.
"security-by-obscurity." is the default security for internet traffic. The sheer amount of traffic alone makes the data hard to analyze unless you know before hand who you are trying to locate. The most advanced keyword algorithms can return millions of hits per day which require additional human attention. Maybe it's why the government stopped trying to collect the bulk internet traffic a few years ago because it required a huge amount of resources but produced no real benefits. Any chance Snowden will release the documents related to scaling down and abandoning the entire program?
If the US needed someone in orbit I am pretty sure they could make it happen without to much trouble. They have used the unmanned X-37B in operations for nearly 2 years and the manned version is already being tested. Let someone else be responsible for the taxi and delivery services to the space station and let the US concentrate on developing more advanced technology. The type of technology China can steal once all the R&D has been conducted by others.
The first thing people should to do is understand the difference between privacy versus anonymity. The former can be somewhat achieved depending on ones actions but not 100% and the latter is impossible to achieve unless you live in a cave and do not use any modern electronic devices while also staying away from anywhere that might be under video surveillance such as stores, ATM's, and even roads. The government has had the ability to track or identify someone long before the Internet came on the scene. SS numbers, birth certificates, drivers licenses, marriage licenses, property deeds,car registry, and the mother load of personal information contained in your federal and state tax filings. Phone metadata has also existed in one form or another by the service providers for billing purposes.
"The american government has repeatedly shown they have no real interest in space exploration "
How do you explain all the unmanned probes flying around and even flying out of the solar system? Or the various Mars landers which have been instrumental in testing the various technologies and capabilities needed for further space exploration? Or the X-37B reusable space plane that has been flying missions into orbit for the last 4+ years? Or the manned version of the X-37B currently being tested? Looks like someone in the US is still interested in space exploration and developing the technologies needed to expand space exploration. Add in the private companies willing to risk huge sums of money for potential profits well into the future and space exploration is being pursued quite vigorously. Also you may want to check into the Chinese defense budget a little closer. Their budget has been growing exponentially over the past 15 years and that is assuming that the budget numbers the Chinese government publishes. If they want to go to the moon good for them. The US has already been their a couple of times and discovered there really is not a whole lot to see other than some rocks. Maybe in the future it will be possible to build a base on the moon but there are still some technologies needed to protect humans for extended trips into space.
Now here is the main problem I have. If the NSA is actually capable of doing all they are accused of why would Wikileaks offer any barrier to them finding out where the data came from?
Snowden's transgressions have absolutely nothing to do with freedom of speech. He has admitted taking a job for the express purpose of stealing classified information. That is not a trumped up charge or part of any new law. If he had released only the information related to internal US surveillance programs he could have probably got a slap on the hand in return for not releasing the information on foreign intelligence programs. However with the unconditional support of glory seeking and book deal craving journalists he walked himself right into a text book definition of violating espionage laws which are over 80 years old and have noting to do with the Patriot Act or any other new law. Now he has no leverage and he will be under threat of arrest for the remainder of his life. Assange on the other hand didn't actually steal anything he just passed on the information. Not being a US citizen he cannot be charged with espionage. He did not enter into any binding agreements that restricted the dissemination of any of the data. The most he could ever have been charged with is receiving stolen property and even that charge is far fetched because the different press organizations do the same thing. And the US government is probably content that Assange has basically checked himself into prison. He is living in a small bedroom inside an embassy that could ask him to leave at any time. Could jail really be any worse?
People like to protest but no one ever seems to be able to offer up a viable and realistic course of action to correct whatever injustice they are protesting against. Tearing down governments, industries, or other society structures is relatively easy but without a clear plan of action for afterward you usually end up making things worse than they were before the protesting.
The FBI, CIA, or the NSA are not collecting credit card information or other personal data used to commit online fraud against the average citizen. If your credit card information or your SSN has ever been compromised your screwed. If you live in the US I assure you the government already has a lot of your personal data. Just your SSN and Tax Returns provide everything the government would need to find you if they wanted to. Of course they have had this data long before the Internet ever came into play. The FBI, CIA, and NSA are not randomly publishing the confidential information in every media outlet on the planet regardless of the consequences large or small. The FBI, CIA, and NSA are not launching nuisance attacks to tie up or deface websites. As a matter of fact there has been no verifiable proof that the FBI, CIA, or NSA has caused any harm to US citizens or misused the data collected. So far all the complaints and accusations are about what they "could" do not what they are actually "doing" with the information. If everything published about the NSA capabilities is true then they would certainly be able to identify the people behind these type of attacks. After all they are supposedly intercepting and storing all the traffic moving on the Internet. The have supposedly cracked SSL, TOR, and other encryption systems used by companies and individuals. They are suppose to be able to compromise Google data centers as well as other large data centers at will. With all these capabilities tracking IP's back through multiple proxies is child's play in comparison. But it's always possible that the capabilities ascribed to the NSA are exaggerated in the extreme. Personally I am more worried about private and public corporations collecting and selling my data and online habits to others for profit. Hell Google drives down every street they can find collecting addresses and scanning for active Wi-Fi signals. Of course they just want to improve their mapping applications and they swear they are telling the truth about their motives.
His sentence is primarily to make others stop and re-think their actions. The people engaging in hacking into systems seem to think they are doing nothing wrong so the law really doesn't apply to them.
You do know that the biggest US creditor is the US Federal Reserve? All others holding US debt such the Chinese who buy US securities only account for around 4-6% of all outstanding debt.
You have nothing to worry about. The US government is not going to be bankrupt anytime soon. The government funds itself using Monopoly game money along with the capability to print as much as they want when needed. A few adjustments here and a few press releases there and everything gets back on track.On the off chance something really bad does happen it is comforting to know that it will most definitely take down every other country on the planet at the same time.