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Submission + - Snowden rebuts Feinsteins statement that NSA spying is not surveillance (arstechnica.com)

SternisheFan writes: Note to Eds: Entire Ars Technica story pasted here, edit as you like...

by Cyrus Farivar — Oct 25 2013, 12:17am +0200
National Security
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Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden went into a relatively long silent period after being charged with espionage and fleeing to Russia. But it seems that he is becoming more comfortable about speaking out. Today, new Snowden comments emerged in which he directly took on Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who last week defended the NSA spying programs in a controversial op-ed in USA Today.

“We've learned that the US intelligence community secretly built a system of pervasive surveillance,” Snowden wrote in the statement, published today by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA's hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They're wrong.”

In her October 20 op-ed, Feinstein argued that the “call-records program is legal and subject to extensive congressional and judicial oversight,” adding that “[t]he Supreme Court has held this ‘metadata’ is not protected under the Fourth Amendment.”

Snowden called on his supporters to join the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and other groups who will be holding a rally called "Stop Watching Us" at Union Station in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 26, at 12:00pm local time.

Comment Re:Oh noes.... (Score 1) 358

Assuming, of course, the Captain Planet model of industry, where the moment the Federal Regulator steps away, the CEO pulls the lever to dump the toxic waste into the nearby river.

Or, maybe the guys running the plant (and likely living nearby) don't want to die in a nuclear waste spill either.

I'd think that one regulator on-site, one shift a day, would be more than enough to catch any worrisome behaviors. Maybe with a surprise inspection once a week on an off-shift time if you really think "Mr. Slimeholio" runs the plant.

Comment Oh noes.... (Score 1) 358

The article says 90% of employees is 3600 furloughed. Which would say the remaining 10% would be 400 workers.

To monitor 100 plants.

That would mean you could have one regulator on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week (That's 21 eight-hour shifts for the math challenged) or 5 shifts per person, with one overtime shift.

At every plant. 24/7 surveillance, with 10% of the workforce. What the hell were they doing before that? 10 regulators per plant, 24/7?!?!?!

Comment Re:Anyone know a good viewing area? (Score 3, Informative) 33

The visitor's center view of the launch facility is now blocked by a stand of trees that has grown considerably over the years. One recommended viewing area is on the causeway between Chincoteague and Assoteague Islands.


Another possible site was a location I scouted out last weekend where Arbuckle Neck road dead-ends into Oyster Bay. That gave me this view of the launchpad area. The rocket pad itself is the last tall building to the right of the water tower.

Comment Twinkies vs. Dreamies (Score 4, Funny) 223

I noticed Twinkies back on the shelf a couple weeks ago. I ran up to the stack, hefted a box lovingly and said, "I knew you couldn't resist me for long!" A stockboy standing nearby laughed, but what does a mere lad know of true love?

Now I know, however, a shadow has fallen upon this romance. In Twinkies' absence, I tried Tastykake's Dreamies. Her smooth, flavorful cream enrobed in fresh, rich-tasting sponge cake was more than simple comfort when Twinkies left. Dreamies shared sensations with me that were unfulfilled fantasies when Twinkies were my sole companion. Every night after dinner with Dreamies was an exquisite exploration of forbidden flavor. Sometimes, I even had two!

When Twinkies came back, my heart and stomach pounded; lovers reunited! We left the grocery store and I buckled my box safely into the passenger seat and started the engine. At the first traffic light, I reached over and deftly parted her cardboard folds and reached for the treasures within. Cellophane yielded willingly at the next red light and soon familiar flavors and textures burst in my mouth!

Something was wrong.

My tastebuds now expected the fresher, richer flavors of Dreamies. Twinkies had a familiar, hydrogenized aftertaste, but Dreamies didn't. I don't think my companion noticed at the time, but when we got home, I put her on the shelf and have only reached for her twice since then. I've even ... shared her with my wife and little boy. "Yes, please! Help yourselves!"

There's no way Twinkies doesn't know now. Something has changed between us. I think I hear sobbing in the kitchen when she doesn't know I'm near. I feel bad, but I know she feels worse because she was the one who left. I want to make it work, but Twinkies just can't bring me the sensations for which I yearn. I've ... moved on.

Comment Re:Don't Leave Optimism Out (Score 1) 95

I think we're looking at this from a similar perspective. Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic as viewed from a primitive perspective, but a sufficiently advanced technology can tell the difference. Consider Mr. Spock. Being half Vulcan in a universe that allows psychic phenomena, it is possible for him to touch any intelligent being and "mind meld" with them. But if he had technological telepathy, for example, in a universe that otherwise does not have real psychic phenomena, would he have been able to interface so easily with Old Mother Horta? Or would he first have to outfit her with tech that allows for such an interface -- with all the complexities introduced by fundamentally different evolutionary paths to intelligence?

Comment Re:Don't Leave Optimism Out (Score 1) 95

You're thinking of a kind of technological telepathy, and believe me, I've given lots of thought to that. But I specifically mentioned ESP, which is kind of a catch-all that also includes clairvoyance and precognition, and bundles all this stuff up under a paranormal, psychic forces banner. And that's the key here. Even if I'd said "telepathy", it's fair to argue that you're not talking about the same thing since most supporters of the paranormal aren't talking about technological enhancements, but gifted individuals who somehow already possess these talents without any need for technological support.

Comment Don't Leave Optimism Out (Score 3, Interesting) 95

This sounds exciting. I was a huge fan of the magazine and still have many copies gathering dust in various places. Omni introduced me to new artists and writers I'd never heard of before, posted light articles about various scientific matters, and from "Continuum" to "Anti-Matter" gave readers a chaotic, but often optimistic glimpse at possible futures.

Please don't leave the optimism out. There's been a resurgence of neo-Malthusian gloom in the last decade or so. If the new Omni becomes a mouthpiece for doom-mongers, I'll gladly walk the other way. Oh, and a little fringe science is kind of fun, too. Maybe ESP and flying saucers have become passé, but I'd like a serving of zero-point energy and parallel universes, please.

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