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I wonder what world you all live in in which this is a bad thing. Theres real threats out there and i'd hate to live in a country that lacked the geopolitical leverage to make use of these tools to my nation's interests.

> Theres real threats out there

In 1972 the threat was the Democrats being elected president, so workers on the president's re-election committee burglarized the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate hotel. Then Nixon (on tape!) hashed out a plan to have the FBI cover this up. Without a high-up leaker in the FBI, none of this may have ever come to light. (Actually, Nixon did something similar in 1968 against Humphrey, by convincing the South Vietnamese government to not hold peace talks. He not only betrayed the US but the South Vietnamese he made a deal with, since he pulled US troops out in 1972)

Then of course there is the FBI acting as a political police - disrupting the civil rights movement, bugging Martin Luther King Jr. and leaking information gained to the media, attacking those Democrats who were voting against continuing the Vietnam War etc.

Some of these excesses were pulled back in the 1970's, but in recent years they have begun raising their head again. And the country isn't even in such bad shape economically, militarily etc. I can image what would happen if there were another Depression, sit down strikes etc.

In 1929, the Secretary of State (a Republican!) shut down post-WWI domestic spying saying "gentlemen do not read other gentlemen's mail". Now we have these massive police bureaucracies who apparently don't care about the Fourth Amendment, and who are advising Congress that we shouldn't be allowed to have private communications with one another on our iPhones etc., all should be opened to the ears of Big Brother.

Keep walking down this road, and the "threats" like the mujahideen (funded by the previous generation of your type who explained to us that "Theres real threats out there") will not die down, but multiply, and will increasingly be from citizens within this country.

> Theres real threats out there

Grow some balls. I'll take a 1% chance of dying to terrorists every year over an Orwellian government that passively intercepts everyone's communications.

Besides, your actual risk of dying in a terrorist attack is nowhere close to 1% / year.

It's actually 0% per lifetime, rounded to many decimal places.

Statists and authoritarians like to overstate external threats as an excuse to consolidate & expand state authority internally. It's an old and common tactic.

Well, sure. I'd take a 1% chance of you dying in a terrorist attack every year too. But it's not clear that a terrorist attack would necessarily be so limited in its scope/damage.

> I wonder what world you all live in in which this is a bad thing.

The world where we all depend on secure communications for autonomy of our own lives?

Again that's not the issue, the NSA's mission is to be capable of breaking crypto that's their job.

Having the ability doesn't mean that they need to use it all the time which is what you should be fighting against.

As long as the fight is centered around trying to disarm the NSA you'll lose because that's not the right tactic an the US as a nation cannot accept it.

How can we know who the NSA works for?

It's the only agency that works directly for the president :)

From what I've read, I gather that they don't always tell the President everything ;) Partly that's just complexity and incoherence. Nobody reporting to the President knows everything. Or even the important stuff. And I gather that the reporting structure is extremely convoluted.

Maybe it's all just petty fiefdom bullshit. But those are standard approaches for plausible deniability. And some bits are reportedly unaccountable, walled off through "need to know basis" policy. So how can we know who they work for?

I'd love to live in an America where they did that instead of their current 'whatever the hell we feel like' policy.

I agree. All those charities ands civil liberties groups and millions of average citizens sure are dangerous to our life and liberty.

I'm glad the NSA and GCHQ are keeping tabs on them. Who knows when they might get a little too uppity and try change the status quo?

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