Every single OS currently being used has 0-day exploits just waiting to be found. So by your reckoning I guess all the developers involved in creating and maintaining these OS's are incompetent? The real incompetence is in all those companies calling themselves security experts. These deep-think groups of geniuses are always 2 steps behind those creating the exploits. They publish white papers containing postmortems on exploits that have already reeked havoc. And the vast majority of exploits today are caused by social engineering tricks, negligent system administration, lack of codified IT practices, and of course reckless and click happy users who have never seen a hyperlink they wouldn't click on.
Jury nullification is not a legal defense in any US court room. Jury nullification has been legally challenged at every court level in the US and each time declared illegal. Jury nullification would inject politics into the legal proceedings. Look closely at the trials involving white on black crimes in the south 40 years ago with all white jurors to see what jury nullification looks like. Snowden sealed his fate when he published information on foreign intelligence operations. He systematically violated the Espionage act. You don't walk away from this charge. Like it or not the US is not the only country that conducts intrusive foreign intelligence operations with little regard for other countries laws. As long as this fact holds true the government is going to treat breaches of national security in matters related to foreign operations very seriously and make sure the penalties are substantial.
Of course the verdict is decided because he has already admitted he performed illegal acts. There is no gray area on this point. Had he only released information related to domestic activities he could have used the remaining foreign related information as leverage to bargain with the government. The government would have taken that deal in a second and would settle on charging him with some minor misdemeanor related to the theft with no jail time. But he has a history of making bad decisions. His first bad decision was releasing the information BEFORE he was safely ensconced in some Latin American paradise. His second bad decision was thinking the material related to foreign intelligence operations was some how illegal and infringed on the rights of US citizens. Foreign intelligence operations outside of the US are not subject to the US Constitution or Bill of Rights. The only law that applies to foreign intelligence operations is don't get caught. He should resign himself to living in Russia under constant surveillance by the FSB. If he leaves Russia he will have to evade the US, English, Australian, German, French, and New Zealand security services because a lot of the information released also involved their security services operations.
The Constitution may be a little ambiguous in some areas but it doesn't place any restrictions on what state intelligence and clandestine security agencies can do outside of US sovereign territory in the name of national security.The only rule when it comes to conducting intelligence operations in foreign lands is don't get caught. That's why foreign embassies across the world are heavily staffed with intelligence operatives giving them diplomatic immunity if caught in a compromising situation.
"granted infinite power outside of US " The amount of power the US or any country has outside their own borders is ultimately decided by military and economic strength.
It's all about scale. Comparing small Nordic countries to the US is foolish.
Putting spyware in routers going overseas, and the key word here is overseas, is what a foreign intelligence service does to fulfill the mandate of their agencies. Clandestine foreign security and intelligence agencies across the world return the favor by doing everything they can possibly do to collect military, political, and industrial information from the US. The US Constitution and Bill of Rights do not come into play outside of US sovereign territory. And no one has ever found any government mandated back doors in Windows and that is not from a lack of people trying. And I think the NSA should be disbanded as soon as every other foreign intelligence service in the world does the same thing. But we would probably still have to maintain some type of foreign intelligence service just to make sure the other security services were actually disbanded.
Distribution of wealth only guarantees every one will be equally poor.
Extraction sites tend to be located in under developed rural areas where income levels are lower than in highly populated urban centers. Although there are oil pumps scattered throughout some of the wealthy suburbs of LA that are hidden by clever landscaping. They could discover vast oil and gas fields under any large city but the costs to get at such a resource is astronomical. Energy resource extraction has always been dangerous, dirty, expensive, and controversial. But the fact is even those complaining the loudest against exploiting fossil fuels directly benefit from the oil,,gas, and petroleum products produced. The environment also takes a major hit when extracting the rare earth elements needed for building all of our modern day electronics. Everything from computers, cell phones, and cruise missiles. The toxicity emanating from these mining areas is almost as dangerous as a open nuclear waste landfill. The US closed down almost all of the rare earth element mines because the cost of satisfying the EPA requirements made it cheaper just to buy the rare earth elements mined in foreign countries.
Their mandated function is to bolster national security through spying using both SIGINT and HUMINT. Questioning their activities in the US domestic space may be warranted but all foreign activities are fair game. And if they only released an executable it might be prudent to not install it. However, they released the source code to the world at large. And this particular tool is for companies and organizations that provide contracted services to the NSA and need to satisfy a certain level of security awareness before they are granted a contract.
If people ever want Israel to back off from publicly naming their enemies and unilaterally conducting military operations to protect their state than the incitement to violence against Israel needs to end. And since every Arab country that has ever tried to militarily defeat Israel has had their asses handed to them incitement and the left wing useful idiots is all they have left to keep their fight alive. Forget about nuclear weapons. Right now the deadliest weapons in the world are the rockets that Hamas and other affiliated groups launch against Israel. Rockets funded by Iran. For every rocket fired 2 Palestinians die and millions of dollars in infrastructure is destroyed. The Arabs in the middle east are deathly afraid of Israel not because Israel has nuclear weapons but because Israel knows how to deal with attacks against themselves and has a 65 year track record to prove it. Israel does not ask permission or give two shits about what the "international" community thinks.
Israel has had nuclear weapons for over 30 years and have not used them or even threatened to use them. They don't hold weekly "Death to Iran" parades and their leaders don't make speeches aimed at the elimination of Iran. Granted Israel is certainly not afraid to employ their conventional weapons when threatened. And they don't waste time gathering a consensus or asking permission or approval from the US or any other country.
The Ukraine gave up their nuclear missiles and look where that got them. There will never be another country that has nuclear weapons willing to give them up based on paper agreements or treaties. There was never any down side to SA giving up their nuclear weapons program. They are not facing off against any great foe intent on invading their country. The US, Russia, and China arsenals are held in check by the MAD doctrine. On the other hand Israel is surrounded by 80 million implacable enemies who are always looking for Israel to drop their guard. No matter how good Israels conventional forces are they could eventually be defeated by sheer numbers and there is certainly no shortage of raving lunatics from the surrounding Arab countries to feed into the meat grinder. The Iranians can chant "death to Israel" at their weekly prayer groups until they are blue in the face but the Iranian leadership knows exactly what would happen if they decided to play nuclear chicken with Israel. They are much safer playing nuclear chicken with the US.
England paid for it's continued survival by handing over just about every technological and engineering breakthrough they had mastered or were in the process of mastering to the US. In return the US supplied England with ships, planes, ammunition, food, trucks, clothing, fuel, and eventually US lives. And the folks at Bletchley Park would have had a much harder time breaking the Enigma code if not for the 2 Polish mathematicians who originally reverse engineered the pre-war business version model of the machine and forwarded all their research to England prior to Germany invading Poland.
Minorities can leverage the Internet to make themselves appear larger than they really are. And of course the majorities do the same thing which has led to soaring animosities between both peoples and states across the world. And make no mistake the government is a failure in every way that matters. If the Senators and representatives in Congress had a shred of decency and honor they would acknowledge the failure, step down, and allow special elections to select their replacements. Mid term elections happen all the time. A symbolic restart would go a long way towards solving the countries many problems.
Democrats are no different than Republicans. They are both terrible managers of the government. Populists and the so called Progressives are even worse. They tend to spout ridiculous policies that are so divorced from reality they should rename themselves the Fairy Tell party. If we could just get the extreme far right and extreme far left, which are pitiful minorities, to shut the fuck up maybe things could get better.The extremist of every strip just generate more screeching rhetoric and hyperbole while those living in the real world try to carry on as best they can.