The CIA made these systems unclassified.
Why the CIA chose to make its cyberarsenal unclassified reveals how concepts developed for military use do not easily crossover to the 'battlefield' of cyber 'war'.
To attack its targets, the CIA usually requires that its implants communicate with their control programs over the internet. If CIA implants, Command & Control and Listening Post software were classified, then CIA officers could be prosecuted or dismissed for violating rules that prohibit placing classified information onto the Internet. Consequently the CIA has secretly made most of its cyber spying/war code unclassified. The U.S. government is not able to assert copyright either, due to restrictions in the U.S. Constitution. This means that cyber 'arms' manufactures and computer hackers can freely "pirate" these 'weapons' if they are obtained. The CIA has primarily had to rely on obfuscation to protect its malware secrets.
One of the more interesting passages. The arsenal must not be classified to protect those who deploy it from legal action. This cyberwarfare kit, which can just as easily be used to destroy the US as one of its enemies, is public domain software created and released at US taxpayer expense.
This is almost hilarious.
Not that being classified would make any difference: cyber-"weapons" have something in common with biological weapons in that they're prone to leaking and blowing upwind, but also once used it's possible for the enemy to vaccinate against them.
"[U]naware of the opposing air force's knowledge of the chaff concept, planners felt that using it was even more dangerous than not, since, as soon as it was used, the enemy could easily duplicate it and use it against them... for over a year the curious situation arose where both sides of the conflict knew how to use chaff to jam the other side's radar, but refrained from doing so fearing that if they did so the other side would 'learn the trick' and use it against themselves."
Using a modern missile against an indigenous people will only impart that you are capable of that type of attach.
Using a modern missile against WWII Germany would likely quickly result in refinements to their V2 Rocket program, given enough remains to study.
Using a modern missile against Vietnam era USA would likely result in advancements in miniaturization and computation, given enough remains (even if they did not have the resources/facilities to capitalize on some aspects of those for years, I think it's likely it would advance the fields by a least a few years).
One of the biggest advantages the Allies had in WWII was that they had cracked the "uncrackable" Axis encryption. Even though they were able to decipher enemy messages, they often didn't act on that information because that would tip their hand. The strategic value of reading the enemies messages is enormous when the enemy doesn't know you can do it, and much less so, and possibly even negative when they do know.
It's also along the lines of Sun Tzu-esque deception.
I suppose the modern example are the constant probing of air defenses by the attacker (i.e. the US and its array of electronic warfare suites), and the game theoretic calculation by the defender on whether to turn on their radars or not...
IIRC the proximity fuses were developed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL); that is the story I got when I worked there.
IIRC, the shells were also especially effective as anti-aircraft artillery.
It does. WWII tanks' armor is mostly concentrated to the front and sides, because those tanks are designed to force enemy lines against ground-bursting shells, field pieces, and other tanks, all of which fire mostly on low trajectories; what's on top is much thinner, because no one expects to need to withstand a lot of damage there. Bursting a shell above ground level throws a lot of fragments at that weak armor, where a ground burst mostly wastes them against armor designed to withstand direct hits from much more powerful weapons. For infantry, it's even worse; the whole point of a trench or a foxhole is to put a thick layer of earth between you and all the metal that's flying around at ground level. When an airburst can send fragments right down into the hole with you, that earth doesn't help one bit.
Fun fact: "daisy cutter" bombs work the same way. Up until Vietnam at least, their proximity fuse was on the end of a rod protruding a few feet from the nose of the bomb. Low-tech compared to a radar proximity fuse, but fearsomely effective; probably the only reason you wouldn't find it on a shell is that, unlike an air-dropped bomb, a shell has to withstand the force of being fired from a gun, and I doubt any such expedient could. (That's also why bombs tend to be so much more effective than shells, even when no more accurate. When the strongest force involved is 1g, you can spend a lot less mass on structure, and a lot more on explosive.)
The sight is arranged so that if you aim at the tank, the weapon is actually aiming above it. Then the round will detonate as it pass over the target, sending a molten metal shaped charge right down.
sink (one's own ship) deliberately by holing it or opening its seacocks to let water in
The more important role of scuttling—at least during wartime—is to prevent the ship you just abandoned getting hauled into the enemy's shipyard as a "prize" and restored to service with its guns pointed back toward you.
This is also more toward what is meant by Naval captains "going down with the ship" during battle: they stick around to act as a guard (and proximity fuse) for the scuttling charges, so that whoever just disabled the vessel can't just hop on-board and drive her home. (And, just maybe, catch a large enemy marine contingent in a grand old explosion if they try.)
> I look upon the sinking of the German fleet as a real blessing. It disposes, once and for all, the thorny question of the redistribution of these ships.
Also of note - in WWI ships had been deliberately scuttled ('the Blockships') to secure the smaller entry ways into Scapa Flow, by WWII these (and the anti-submarine netting in the larger channels) were shown to be inadequate when U-47 sunk the HMS Royal Oak. This attack led to the building of the Churchill Barriers without which I doubt we would have anywhere near as strong a community as we currently have in the Orkney Isles.
Today the wrecks of both the German Fleet and the Blockships are excellent shallow dive sites in slightly chilly water. If you dive I strongly recommend going to Orkney.
Was: they committed to destroying those weapons, and have been doing so for 24 years. They were 89.75% complete in 2012. The video you linked was from 1973.
I think you're letting your cynicism get in the way of truth and understanding.
The US has signed and ratified a treaty committing to destroy all chemical weapons and never produce them again , and it has built the infrastructure to do so  .
It's conspiracy-nut territory to think the US is simultaneously stockpiling chemical weapons in some super-secret program without good evidence for it.
Wide spread market fixing, libor, gold, silver was conspiracy nut territory.
The US engaging in blscksites and systematic torture was conspiracy nut territory.
But criticizing your pro Government apologia only results in comments being banned and removed -- perhaps just more conspiracy nut territory?
Or am I supposed to trust a stopped clock [the nuts] since it was shown to be right twice a day?
Anyhow, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons out of The Hague oversees compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention. That includes verifying the destruction of stockpiles and weapons facilities as well as industry inspections that closely monitor precursors, as well as investigating cases of alleged production or usage. As of last October, 93% of declared stockpiles has been destroyed and independently verified by the OPCW. You don't have to take the US government's word for their numbers.
here is even a hertiage foundation report talking about sharing privacy keeping technologies with the government in the name of 'fighting terrorism'
and here is the ACLU sounding the alarm in August of 2004:
Ironically, its around the same time the NSA purported to have their own 'rules' in how they gather, which were obtained here:
and of course, not more than a few years later we have these reports:
It was never a wing nut conspiracy theory. Its just nobody was looking close enough to care.
I'm not convinced in any way this couldn't be foreseen if people would've paid more attention
My bar of cynicism is a little higher when you're talking about the United States discretely stockpiling mustard gas versus taking down a smartphone, you know? (Maybe I, too, am irresponsibly naive.)
They are so terribly afraid of committing war crimes they do not recognize the International Crime Court and are reading to invade any country trying an american soldier.
Surely the US would never do that!
While I agree, it was also considered conspiracy-nut territory to have believed most of the stuff in this leak. Look at how the wider tech community treats people like McAffee and Stallman.
Yeah, why won't people respect the opinions of a meth-cooking, bath-salt abusing, murderer who lived in Belize with underage 'girlfriends'?
Unless containment has been set up in such a way that this is a geographical impossibility (for instance, on two sides of the Rocky mountains to stop accidental mixing in groundwater).
So think long term...
Is this an innoculation game >10 years out????
"Classification" only pertains to how the material should be treated within the government.
Once its out, the only penalty can fall on the person who let it out into the wild.
But, yes a random citizen has no responsibility or rules they most follow.
Especially in this case as these are all offensive tools.
Does the author really think that if the tools were exposed then people who wanted to use these tools actually wouldn't simply because they were labelled "classified" somewhere?
Having code be copyrighted does not require any explicit registration.
I don't think I've followed the larger point, I don't see how copyright is relevant to the production or dissemination of malware.
What exactly in the admittedly shortened list am I supposed to be upset about? It makes no distinction between US citizens and overseas parties. If these actions are being done domestically against US citizens, with no just cause sure I will get upset, but that has yet to be seen.
As usual it seems Wikileaks publishes a sensationalist story around one of their leaks, claiming dozens of zero-day releases where most were already patched. Hell, they included the i0nic jailbreak as one of the 0-day exploits (https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/cms/page_13205587.html).
I'll let journalists parse through the full report before coming to any conclusion as of yet. I just find it hard to get excited about any Wikileaks release that has yet to be vetted.
From Wikileaks' overview:
"In the wake of Edward Snowden's leaks about the NSA, the U.S. technology industry secured a commitment from the Obama administration that the executive would disclose on an ongoing basis — rather than hoard — serious vulnerabilities, exploits, bugs or "zero days" to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other US-based manufacturers.
"Year Zero" documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration's commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA's cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals."
By not releasing this information to technology companies affected, they are increasing the risk of the same exploits being used against high profile US targets.
The CIA on the other hand has clear (though not always followed) directive to only act outside the US and to act against foreign nationals.
It's less clear to me that they should be required to disclose these. Another post makes the claim that the CIA may have lost these, that case seems clearer that they must disclose to protect US interests.
For example, if the CIA finds an exploit in a wireless router made in China and sold all over the world, that hole can also be found by others and used against targets in the United States.
Is being able to hack others worth letting ourselves get hacked?
The answer to this for me is a clear no. What I was more questioning is given the CIA's role and job, I don't think it's necessarily their responsibility to do it. We're talking about a government agency who's purpose is to collect information about potential threats against the US, they have no reason to want to make that harder on themselves.
If you want to debate changing the role of the CIA, and if or if not it should exist, that's a different set of questions. But given what their job is, why would they want to turn that funnel of information off? It's not in their interest to do that.
I want everything to be hyper secure on the internet, but I also know that there are threats against the US (some created because of our actions) which the CIA is responsible for trying to keep an eye on.
A similar question: is it worth being hacked so that we can know that there is an imminent attack coming against some US interest?
EDIT: I know that the CIA is responsible for some really ugly things in the world, I'm not defending any of those actions. I'm speaking more of what their theoretical function is and what responsibilities they have in disclosing some of this information.
However, the CIA is still a part of the US Government, and as such it still should have a responsibility to work towards outcomes that are best for the US overall. When this appears to be in conflict with their direct mission, in many cases the correct response should be to punt the decision upstairs.
You wouldn't expect the US Forestry Service to take decisions harmful to the overall country even if it made their direct mission easier, would you?
I think this has way more to do with our reference-point than anything else. My expectations were never quite as high!
That, with taxpayer dollars, the government of the United States is undermining the security of consumer devices around the world.
Part of the difference between your worldview and the view of those of us who find this behavior childish and unacceptable is that you "expect a spy agency would be doing [this;] if they were not then [you] would be disappointed." Whereas for many of us, the legitimacy of the state is already on thin ice and is subject to descent below the x-axis as the internet comes to supplant it.
Listening to my neighbor through their TV set is just one thing I want the state to stop doing as our species moves into the internet age; other things I want it to stop include all the other things it does.
I get the theoretical moral argument. I just don't understand why it matters in practical terms.
If the government wants to blackmail me, or discriminate against me, or whatever, they're going to do it with or without these tools. To not build them is to willfully give up an important competitive edge on the global stage.
Yeah, I guess I don't think those guys should have power like this.
There is evidence that NSA employees or contractors have used domestic surveillance to spy on exes. There is evidence that Marines have shared clandestinely obtained nudie pics of female Marines. Why would the people working at the CIA be any different?
If you take a large human organization, and give them the tools to spy on their fellow citizens, it is likely that those tools will be misused by some people in that organization.
That is what I and I believe the parent is getting at. Regardless of our moral standings on if the CIA should be doing this, realistically the CIA can be doing it.
You're comparing reality against a theoretical world where we can both prevent crimes and never need to develop the tools necessary to do so.
As to the second point, sure, we don't know. That's tangential to my point. Let's assume the government is abusing their power. What does that have to do with these tools? Nothing, besides it maybe makes it a little bit easier for them. But, like I said, they'd do it anyways with sufficient motivation.
I still optimistically believe that an important tenet of liberalism is that you put some trust in your government, but recently it seems for many liberals that trust only extends to cushy (not to say I don't want them) domestic programs like healthcare, equality programs, or whatever the program du jour is. I'm willing to trust that our intelligence agencies aren't some nightmare Orwellian monster hellbent on subjugating the populace. Abuse of power could happen just as easily through other agencies, it just doesn't sounds as scary as when you slap a three letter acronym on it.
When did this become a tenet of liberalism? I've read a lot of liberal philosophy, from Aristotle to John Stuart Mill, and much more often the opposite is espoused: that the burden of proof of all claims of state authority is on the government to make.
> I'm willing to trust that our intelligence agencies aren't some nightmare Orwellian monster hellbent on subjugating the populace.
This sounds to me like a very privileged, safe point of view. After what these people did to Thomas Drake (and many others like him), I think it's long past time to take away their toys and send them to their room.
It weakens the US position in the world, how many people are going to be thinking today "Hm, I have really sensitive information on my phone, the US can hack Iphones and Androids? Maybe I need a different phone."
There is a risk due to the US intel agencies having so much power over US technology that other countries will end up shying away from US tech.
May I just ask, why does this distinction matter? Why do you believe the world should be divided into "people who were issued bits of paper by my overlords" and "people who weren't"?
I never understood this division in other people's heads. It leads to all sorts of philosophical problems, like for example people believing that war is ethical.
How would you spark a revolution in people's thinking?
If we treat the world like we treat our citizens, then perhaps this leads to greater prosperity, more shared understanding about the rights of man, rule of law, and how to resolve conflicts (see the lately faltering "No two countries with a McDonald's have ever gone to war with each other" rule).
Lately, this has been harder to justify as Americans have felt scared of foreign terrorism (not making a value judgment on that fear, but that the fear exists is real). Because of this the "evangelize to the world" feelings of the Cold War have given way to "protect us from the world - we need to get OURS."
Many (including me) would argue this is short sighted. Best way to combat the narrative is to talk about the impacts of retreat from the world, and of arms races, etc. Communicating nuance, history, etc is hard. :/
But looking from the outside -- when has the US ever done anything but put America first?
They have killed hundreds of thousands, to over a million people over the last 30 years by putting their interests first, by default.
I believe I proposed something like a "no executive" world government, where you had international laws, defined by treaties, and a commitment by some treaty signatories to "arrest" any state actor which broke them. If this coalition of "world police" (which are, of course, armies) were powerful enough, I believe this could lead to less lawbreaking by governments (from the USA to Zimbabwe). Note, the commitment is not to start wars/invade, but specifically to arrest e.g. presidents or generals. You can't do this without an army, but the objective is considerably different from invading, neutralising any opposing forces, and securing a place.
Of course, persuading people something like this is a good idea, your actual question, is just about the hardest problem I've ever thought about solving. I still don't really know where to begin, but I'm interested in teaching people epistemology before other things, as a means to halt the "post truth" stuff (which has been going on for years, not only recently!)
By the way, if anyone wants to work on these idea with me - I'm calling the concept "World Peace, Inc" in my head - please get in touch with me (clues in profile). I'd love for this to be my job rather than the hobby I don't have time for.
We're organized as nation-states in the first place so we can protect (generally) and pursue interests based on some sort of shared goal or value. For the United States, it's the constitution (ostensibly), for others it's different reasons.
Federations of nation-states contributing to a global force might work without totally corrupting, but not a single "no-executive" force. Further, if everyone contributes forces then countries can opt-out and go their own way... for their own interests. (See the UN)
Coming to an understanding between 10 people on what pizza to order is hard. Coming to an understanding between 8 Billion on who should be able to arrest them is extremely difficult.
That is specifically why I don't permit an executive. This isn't one army, it's an alliance of armies. They were (in my original proposal, not in the comment above) controlled by a council of heads of government who had to take (arrest) suggestions from the chief prosecutor of the international court, but were forbidden to take other actions collectively.
In fact, I recall suggesting that such a group of allies would promise to use force only to defend direct attack on their own borders, and to execute arrests.
> We're organized as nation-states in the first place so we can protect (generally) and pursue interests based on some sort of shared goal or value.
I'm not sure I was ever offered a choice of whether or which nation to join, nor given any arguments for it. The reason(s) for their formation are certainly not rational - they are an emergent phenomenon!
> the UN
The UN is a diplomatic mission, which aims to give nations who come into conflict a neutral space in which to talk to one another like grown ups (or, often, not like grown ups.) It is a fundamentally different goal to an organisation which aims to use the traditional enforcement of rule of law to coerce those with political power to act within at least some behavioural boundaries.
> Coming to an understanding between 8 Billion on who should be able to arrest them is extremely difficult.
Actually, again, this hypothetical force only has arrest power over international crimes - specifically, crimes which are committed by people wielding state power. This includes members of governments, civil services, uncivil services (police, army), and so on, but most definitely not civilians.
(An interested edge case I considered was the idea of an impromptu Texan militia who attempted to invade Mexico. I can't remember whether I decided they had designated themselves a pseudo-state or not by doing it. The same reasoning about whether jurisdiction should apply also works for most terrorists, anyway.)
The group of allies comments make sense, but that assumes a super-state group of allies with shared values are willing to band together to share those values (NATO is a prime example of this, but it's not ALL countries of the world, just those nations that felt the need to counter Soviet / Russian influence)
> controlled by a council of heads of government who had to take (arrest) suggestions from the chief prosecutor of the international court, but were forbidden to take other actions collectively.
In order to effectively "arrest" activities of other countries outside of your typical shame, embarrassment, sanctions or other incentives you need to be able to pull together a force that is more powerful than that country.
In the case of 1-4 party hegemony this isn't really plausible, and that's the current situation (in my opinion). At a minimum you'd get hegemonic blocs like (totally random because they're not opposed but they're known blocs) BRIC vs. NATO.
Once a single country (or cartel of countries) has enough of a deterrent or military force, then they can (effectively) do whatever they would like, including go against any collectively forbidden actions. I'm not saying this is what _will_ happen if countries happen to think participating in a global order is a good idea and are friendly, but that's not the historical precedent. I'm not sure how to counter that, short of the current blocs or potential other future arrangements.
> I'm not sure I was ever offered a choice of whether or which nation to join
The reasons for a number of nation-state formations are very much rational. That said, they are not necessarily permanent or as binding as people think. The idea of being "French" is pretty powerful. If you live in Alsace, maybe you waffle, but it's a unifying thing that has territory tied to it due to a long history. Different for more recent Western assignments of borders, surely and you see the results of that. Just because you're a citizen doesn't necessarily mean you're part of the nation, but my guess is that you probably come to identify somewhat with your country at some point?
My entire scheme is to strike down the convention that someone is only put on international trial after they have lost a war and been captured (I would like justice to be done without having a war first.) this may not be possible, but is surely worth a try.
Re: citizenship, I strongly believe that these feelings of belonging are learned, indeed are engineered in us in much the same way as a religion. My objection is that, observing the emergent behaviour of a system where everyone is under either of these spells, they lead to undesireable behaviours (aggression, proselytising, belief that evil acts are justified, sometimes even committing the evil acts willingly). Both of these systems were, hypothetically, supposed to make people behave better, not worse!
It's borderline impossible. People are social animals. While they don't necessarily form hierarhical societies, they are easily swayed by someone who offers simple solutions to their complex problems and have a bias towards following others vs being their own individual sovereign.
> "World Peace, Inc"
Alright Tony Stark :) Are you recruiting Avengers and trying to successfully privatize world peace?
Similarly, Brexit received 17.4M votes out of a total UK population of 64M (~26%).
There are certainly a non-negligible number of people who believe in borders and nations and patriotism, and they can't and shouldn't be overlooked. But "majority" is stretching it.
As for how to spark a revolution in people's thinking: you make your case to the young & open-minded, explaining why it's a good idea, and then you wait for the old and stubborn to die off. Some people will never change their mind, and you can't force them to. Everyone dies eventually, though, and if something is actually a good idea then future generations will have a chance to remake the world in their image.
 - http://www.statisticbrain.com/voting-statistics/
There's this obnoxious US attitude that is really wide spread in the population that the US is the best, and that Americans are noble, even though they mess up occasionally.
It's to the point where even when criticizing their own country, Americans will write that the criticism is in the spirit of improving the greatest nation on Earth, etc.
It's just a really noticeable and obnoxious pattern, even among allies. It seems to be very, very deeply ingrained.
I don't perceive people of other advanced Western countries being so jingoistic. Canadians don't crow about how Canada is the best. We might have unrealistic views that we are e.g. more tolerant, or accepting than we really are, but the US attitude is really jarring, even among friends.
Trump didn't even get a majority of the votes cast (or even just the votes cast for major party candidates), much less support from the "majority of the citizens".
I am fairly sure that's not true. A real war, where both parties have a fair chance of winning, only has losers. Or if one side is much bigger, like the Netherlands against the Germans in 1940 or the USA against Iraq more recently, it's more of a coup.
Information sharing has also removed a lot of practical barriers; what does it mean for the CIA to be constrained if they can use other agencies for domestic work? Interdepartmental rivalry is still a constraint, but hardly one to count on.
When thinking about the value-add of agencies like this, analyzing black-letter law is close to useless. You have to look at what actually happens. Tricky, that, when talking about spies.
 One interesting question is how, as a practical matter, to provide systematic oversight of spies with the ability to monitor and anonymously leak details of the overseer's lives, blackmail/manipulate third parties, and selectively leak to the media.
You're delusional if you still believe this.
Edit: and yes, there is plenty of evidence that especially during the Vietnam war the CIA was actually breaking the law.
There is no paper trail for this abuse. This is a system that should not exist.
But I know for a fact that the CIA does have a committee of elected officials that oversee it. Whether that is effective oversight is debatable, but the fact is that it exists, and they must legally disclose their actions. This means there are legal means by which they can be held to account in the cases where they do not.
And they let their own inflated egos delude themselves in believing that the overall threat posed by the Russians/Chinese (which in comparison to the US, are much weaker) is greater than that of a government that surveys/records/interferes with the lives of its own citizens.
Because different people, and different groups of people, have different beliefs and intentions. The current divisions, such as nation states, may seem arbitrary, but some of them are currently necessary.
We quite simply do not live in a unified utopia as some posters here have deluded themselves into believing (which is an easy trap to fall into when one lives in a well-fed, massively rich democracy where one wants for nothing, such as the ones we all live in).
Like it or not, these divisions exist, and will continue to exist well beyond our lifetimes. Groups of humans want to dominate other groups, to exterminate them, or worse. The divisions are necessary to protect the things we value, such as social progress, our loved ones, our innovations, and so on.
In short, there is still a very clear and objective distinction between good and evil in the collective human species, and this leads to the development of the divisions with which you're uncomfortable.
Thankfully, such feelings of "that's icky!" are not (yet) a primary factor in the decision-making process with respect to defending our side of the line. If it were, we wouldn't be having this discussion. We wouldn't be able to have many discussions at all, and particularly not on a medium so free as this one. We'd probably be doing manual labor in between sessions of worship to some supreme leader or god-authority.
Yeah, I'll... I'll take those divisions for now, please.
Your claim that having the tools to spy on people is inherently unethical, but I don't buy that. The ability to hack a TV is nowhere near the ability to destroy a city with a WMD. It's not even on the same slope.
"Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal...and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection...gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA."
So, now, you get to worry about anybody else that might have this toolset. (Not withstanding your note that some of it might have already been available)
You also have to consider who has the capability to actually use these tools - its not like they come with a user manual. Could Joe Schmo download these and start using them tomorrow? Probably not.
Also, I'm pretty sure this isn't "the entire hacking capacity of the CIA". If you consider all the stuff that came out with the Snowden leaks, you'd think this is more likely the tip of the iceberg in terms of tools they're currently using. I would think they're developing new tools and techniques daily.
"including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized "zero day" exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation"
Sounds like they do potentially come with a manual.
>Also, I'm pretty sure this isn't "the entire hacking capacity of the CIA"
Well, yeah. Wikileaks does like to put their spin on things.
Some of the technical documentation is better than the official stuff!
1. Poor control of the resources means a proliferation concern. Hacking tools are not classified, because it would then be illegal to deploy them if they were. But leaving them unclassified makes it easier for them to spread outside of the agency.
2. The CIA is duplicating the NSA's capabilities for no real reason other than institutional rivalries.
One of the lesser issues I thought was particularly interesting is that the CIA works to make attribution more difficult, and in particular, to pin things on the Russians. That's got to be relevant in the current political climate.
From the Reppublica article: "Three years ago the news that the Agency had spied on the US Senate intelligence committee's years-long effort to investigate CIA's tortures by penetrating the computers of the committee staff members sparked public outrage and political fury."
It seems incredibly relevant.
You are right that a spy agency should be expected to try to find ways into all of these devices. You are of course wrong in trusting that the spy agency is acting in your best interests. They don't have any accountability as we cannot see what they are doing. Wikileaks is the only organisation trying to bring accountability to the unaccountable.
This part concerns me:
> The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.
So, not so much the contents of the leak, but that it happened at all, and that Wikileaks is just one of many who have access. If the total cyber arsenal of the CIA were floating around on the web somehow, I'm glad that Wikileaks made that public. Could potentially see a big spike in viruses, and maybe make plans to avoid products with known exploits and stuff.
Loosing their "cyber" equivalents of atomic bombs after they deemed it unnecessary to improve the protection of the US against such those weapons is what you expect?
I guess we can go ahead and close this particular thread then. If you don't want to read any of the source materials, you could possibly at least make the effort to respond to the various philosophical or policy questions this poses, that takes only an opinion.
But it also shows that he or Bannon might have known this leak was coming and the "wiretapp" rant was the set up. Which makes things very messy indeed.
Who do you imagine is asking you to be upset about anything. A strawman?
This is knowledge. Wikileaks is about spreading knowledge. How you react to that knowledge is entirely up to you.
Considering the political situation unfolding in the US and who this leak weakens, there is some evidence that wikileaks is not in the hands of a neutral party.
There is clear motive right now for undermining the CIA. This may not have been an act of altruism like Snowden. While shockingly damaging to the American arsenal, the CIA is by far the biggest loser.
This comment was immediately down voted on Reddit. Someone is seeking to control the narrative.
This whole narrative of Wikileaks not being neutral is a very weird story, because they've never published anything that wasn't verified to be true. Since that's something they can't be attacked on, it seems that the strategy for discrediting Wikileaks has now become to accuse them of association with the Russians. Assange touches on this in the AMA as well.
Beyond that, only speculation remains. So why even give a shit? As long as what they're publishing is true, which it has always been so far. Let them fight each other with the truth and the people will be better off. Nothing you've said changes the validity of this article, in fact, it only distracts from it. So I'd say you're doing us a disservice by distracting from the real story here.
 In 2010, WikiLeaks declared to the public the intent to publish docs alleging significant Russian corruption. It was also picked up by a Russian newspaper that reported to be working with WikiLeaks. However, nothing happened and the topic has been untouched since.
Wikileaks may be telling the truth but it's far from clear whether they are telling the whole truth. And in between "truth" and "whole truth" there's a lot of room to shape the narrative
A lot of the stuff they keep to themselves can be used as collateral, like all the names they redact, operational details, etc, but I think they would quickly find themselves in an even more dangerous game than they are now, if they started to exploit these possibilities.
Even if Wikileaks withheld other leaks, for which no evidence has ever been presented so far, what they have published so far seems to have been factual and genuine material. So let's not distract from the truth...
It's not just 'shaping narrative' - it's 'creating it'.
I'm not for or against the very nature of Wikileaks - but I'm pointing out that editorialization is quite fundamentally bad - for an organization like them.
The 'best leaks' were the ones in concert with Guardian, NYT and Spiegel - that way they had a lot of transparency, a lot of eyes on it, and some people who could agree to redact specific names without changing the nature of the information.
Cutting out 'Russian related material' is really quite a bad thing.
Further interesting point: the news if fairly minimized at CNN, Fox etc.. No big headlines.
Also is the fact that Assange was trying to 'hand himself over' to authorities during the election. He may have been trying to use this potential leak as leverage. Who knows. It's all so mysterious ...
The people who support Wikileaks are arguing that none of the leaks were fraudulent, while critics point to evidence suggesting that Wikileaks was editorializing by withholding information. The supporters never really address the editorializing issue.
Technically you wrote those words in that order, but by omitting other words the context was completely lost. This is why selective omission is dangerous. s/word/email/ and you have the Wikileaks situation of omitting certain emails. This is why, when people take the stand, they are asked to tell the whole truth. Because when you omit things, you lose the context and change the situation.
Surely omitting some emails is different from omitting pieces of some of the emails to change the meaning.
I don't understand your example - murder coerced by blackmail is still murder. I imagine if this email was actually released to the public and people found out I was a murderer, when the police arrived I would show any documentation of the threat or call attention to the fact that my missing relative was being held. Society would be better off knowing I was a murderer and that I claimed to be coerced because then the perpetrators would at least have a harder time reusing the same tactic.
If that murder evidence email was released and discussed online, it'd be weird to see it be disqualified in discussion, despite being believed to be true, because of a belief that there might be a second email which compelled the execution of the murder. It would be fine for someone to show this second email as part of a defense, but again this example is kind of tricky because being compelled to murder under the threat of murder doesn't justify murder.
Wikileaks was founded on the idea that it is a resource for getting transparency from all powerful entities, not just selected ones. Their recent string of one-sided releases calls all their reporting into question. We know corruption happens in every country. Why publish nothing on Russia?
Obviously and indisputably, any organization that really placed openness and opposition to secrecy as their highest values would put the Russian Federation at the top of their list. Clearly, WL has instead placed the United States at the top and dropped the Russians from the list altogether.
Wikileaks objectives seem to line up with the Russians too often to dismiss as coincidence. For example, WL clearly timed and staggered the DNC releases for maximum political impact. It had absolutely nothing to do with openness as clearly working for Russia against the United States in this last election worked against the objective of a more open world. This is not even a political statement but just acknowledging reality to state that supporting authoritative regimes is serving the interests of those who stand in direct opposition to the stated goals of WL.
I'm guessing that WL had integrity at one time but they were compromised and then captured. Their priorities alone make this completely obvious to anyone not in denial.
It's weak to take a hard position claiming something is true that is obviously not true. To those who employ this tactic, I respectfully request that you stop leaning on the crutch of reality denial to defend your positions. Please defend your positions on the merits, while acknowledging its weaknesses, even acknowledging that you're wrong when you are wrong. If you've never openly admitted that you were wrong on something in the course of a discussion then why bother?
WL publically criticized the decision to not release all of the Panama Paper's details so based on that, I think they would have released more of the information.
Let history be our guide. Has WL released anything substantially damaging to Russia?
Are things about how rich and corrupt Putin is considered damaging and would Russian State media give it any play regardless? It'd play big internationally but in Russia I wonder if the public would even hear about it...
By the way, are there people here who downvote things just because they disagree? I had a comment downvoted to -1. It's the one that you replied to originally above. What's wrong with my comment other than a lot of people think I'm wrong?
Russia has been cultivating opposition to US hegemony since the falling out after WWII. Back in the day, it was leftists. But since the 80s, they've focused more on libertarians, anarcho-capitalists, conspiracy theorists, etc. Look at RT, for example, and who its fans are. So yes, Assange and associates roughed out Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet (2012) on his RT show, "World Tomorrow". The goal is "independence from the security guards of the world". For better or worse, that's pretty much the US.
Bottom line, I think that it's an enemy of my enemy relationship. I can't imagine that he'd deny that Russia is a kleptocratic horrorshow. Also, he clearly has a personal grudge against Ms. Clinton.
But the fact we are even discussing Assange's psychological makeup and his "views" and who he hates and who he's aligned with against a common enemy are enough to disqualify him for the position he and his organization have claimed.
He's not and WL is not a neutral arbiter of openness, he's an anti-U.S. propaganda tool.
If freedom from the world's security guards means the rise of the world's petty thugs, then I'd say he's made a deal with the devil.
I've not read the above document but is it accepted that it's the real deal? Given that and the massive amount of evidence, WL is not neutral and is not about openness why do people still cling to this absurd position? I liken it to those who still claim the earth is flat because it looks flat from from here so it must be flat.
But anyway, do read the book. You might also enjoy Of Captain Mission by Daniel Defoe.[0,1] It's rather the grandfather of laissez faire.
But it could well be that the devil is in the details.
People who reacted incredulously to it online just reveal themselves to be uninformed, or politically motivated, in my opinion.
At this point, I feel our intelligence agencies were founded to counter moves by major foreign powers. And every day Russia is allying itself more with the Republican party.
It's a classic divide and conquer strategy spread out over a hundred years. First, attack from the left w/communism. Then, the right with fascism.
I have to feel intelligence agencies are the free public's allies at this point, and now I see why Obama and Clinton were so fearful of encryption. I'm not sure whether Clinton's idea of a Manhattan-style project on breaking encryption was right or not. My initial reaction was no way. I wonder what that would look like. Quantum computers?
Now, it appears bad actors have leapt to the top of government and the DOJ seems to be sluggish in building a case against them. Perhaps they can't gather evidence as quickly due to encrypted chat apps and hidden money transfers like Bitcoin.
I guess I will go look on youtube but I'm pretty sure it's cringeworthy to watch this jackass on RT.
Instead, if you have information that I have a pattern of murdering lots of women, and my friend has a pattern of murdering lots of men, and you choose to release information about me and not my friend, it immediately suggests that you support killing men but not women.
Further if the Huffington Post (or name a left learning publication if you believe they are not) does an article on Trump and the facts they release are verified should we not act on them due to the lack of a similar article in regards to Obama?
Indeed. The canonical example of this is releasing privately-commissioned polls. The data released can be a perfectly true reflection of the poll done, but if you are only choosing to release the polls that tell the story you want to tell, then the result is still going to be biased.
Additionally, this may be subjective, but Assange's story and personality makes him seem quite steadfast in these beliefs.
If you leaked something (document dump style) today there's a fair chance nobody would pay any attention to your claim to have this or that trove of documents so you'd need an agent. Who are you gonna call?
I find it impossible to believe there are never any significant leaks from the Russian Federation. I think the problem is the dominant PR agency in that space won't work with you if you're doing anything that might harm Russian interests.
I think you actually meant "Why are there no significant, recent leaks that have not been reported by anyone else about Russia"? There's plenty of innocuous explanations:
- the media is currently on an anti-Russian frenzy. Why would you leak to Wikileaks, which has a much smaller reach than say, the NYT?
- Assange has been painted as a Russian shill. Why would you leak to Wikileaks if you are afraid he might suppress that information or share it with Russia?
- Wikileaks has no political leverage. Why would you leak documents to Wikileaks instead of US intelligence agencies, which may/could offer some kind of protection vs Russian reprisal?
(By the way, browsing a few other countries, it seems like most of the indexed stuff is from 2008-, so Russia isn't an outlier in this regard. It seems like their recent leaks have significantly slowed down in number, which isn't surprising).
With regard to the item above about the NYT you realize that WL has always used the media just like a PR agency would, right?
Your first choice isn't to release to the NYT because the NYT gets god knows how many claims each day and they'd ignore you not to mention that curating the documents and preparing for a an actual story is harder than it looks. The press wants information packaged and ready to use. They'd prefer not to devote resources to vetting, sorting, and curating, as that's what WL does for them. By the time something gets to the NYT it is ready to emerge as a headline.
Reporters operate on deadlines. If you send them a quote ready press release that writes their story for them they're going to take notice if they happen to read your email. If you mail them or email them a document dump they're going to ignore it if they notice it at all. These are extremely busy people on tight deadlines under tremendous pressure.
They'll return phone calls from WL. From you or me? Not likely.
Here's a rather famous leak that the WaPo published about Trump and Russia - https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama...
Here's an example of the NYT publishing leaks that were sent directly to them about Trump - https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-...
Here's an example of a NYT journalist asking for leaks to be sent directly to them, concerning Trump - https://twitter.com/NickKristof/status/838554838329872384
I would agree that it's not clear whether the anti-Russian frenzy is Trump-related, so purely Russian-related leaks might not be getting the same attention. However, I don't think it's fair to say that leakers get ignored by the NYT et al.
If you're an official who knows a couple reporters and you've delivered the goods before, you can successfully get your leak in the top headlines. You've got the credibility and the contacts to make it happen. Reporters treat you like the Oracle of Delphi and you never have to pay for your drinks.
Maybe there should be two different terms because these aren't really the same species. I'd say the day-to-day leaks are just that.
But what Snowden did had more in common with a waterfall then it did with a leaky pipe.
They did say they've changed to a computer-free environment after the Snowden leaks. Or maybe Russian would-be leakers know the stakes are higher for them than for American leakers, because they can get tea with a portion of Polonium.
Whether or not you were a Clinton supporter or not, it was pretty shady to time and stagger the DNC releases for maximum political damage. That's simply not how a neutral arbiter of openness would conduct itself. I think that on its own is enough to refute any claims that WL is neutral or that their mission is about openness.
I think having to flee to Russia with no option to leave that country for the rest of your life to suck pretty bad. Snowden says he'd gladly come home to face trial provided he's offered a fair trial. So he'd risk it all for a fair trial but U.S. officials won't give him one.
Ask any military officer who is a ring knocker; telling a 100% truthful narrative in such a manner as to provide a false narrative is still grounds for breaking the spirit of the honor code, and thus grounds for disenrollment.
I think while that's correct, we shouldn't let it distract our attention to the fact that transparency in government/democracy is good for the people, especially the working class.
Though, I am not of the opinion that WikiLeaks has a hidden agenda or is controlled by a third party. But, neither would I be shocked to learn such a thing.
 Tom Kelley, co-founder of Ideo as in '10 Faces of Innovation'
Ownership of information and facts are key points in the overall discussion here, if something is known it can be manipulated (just as they discuss above).
Defensive patenting could be achieved, or releasing news of something to knock away at funding for its continuation...
One example how it could be relevant in particular to the general discussion is how the software and partially hardware has been kept by CIA to formally avoid reprecussions from good honest people.
"a staffer tells Podesta that his Windows 8 login on what appears to be a new work computer is username: jpodesta and password: p@ssw0rd."
I thought it was widely accepted that Podesta was the victim of a spearphishing attack (coupled with bad advice from IT), rather than just "hacked" via password-guessing.
* Yes, lots of evidence says that Podesta did give his password to a hacker the spear phishing email you mention. The email dump cuts off soon after this event, the phishing bit.ly link was visited then according to the stats page, and we can see the phishing email here: https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/34899
* This appears to be a quote of someone speaking, I think it's pretty reasonable not to pronounce the @. All common variations on password are equally vulnerable to password guessing programs. There's a rule to use l33t speak in JTR and many other common programs.
* You can make a GMail account with the password p@ssword, something else they don't mention, choosing instead to go with a literal interpretation.
* It doesn't seem to mention that he also lost his phone in a DC cab, which is another possible source of leaks.
* They never appear consider whether or not the person who gave the emails to Wikileaks told them Podesta's password, they just say there's no evidence for them to verify, other than Gmail rejecting a password of 'password' (but not p@ssword), after which they rate that claim as false.
I will also agree that the Politifact article's conclusion is hasty, and their selection of evidence is questionable at points (such as gmail account creation).
What the email indicated was that someone temporarily set a Windows 8 password to a variant of password.
What the email did not indicate that his gmail account itself used a variant of password as the password. It is disingenuous to conflate the two and claim his email password was password as Assange did in numerous interviews.
Just stop with the nonsense that his email password was "p@ssword", as the truth is just as stupid.
However, it seems like Wikileaks, while claiming to be a neutral source that "just wants to make powerful people accountable", they only seem to be releasing damaging information about systems in place in the US.
I think the issue here is that many (most?) of us assume that all global powers have this capability, yet a Wikileaks is trying to paint the US as the scary one, and so people are questioning their motives. Is what the US is doing morally wrong on a few levels? Undoubtedly. Can the US afford to stop doing these things when some arguably less moral actors are going to continue regardless? That is up for debate.
Assange to me seems irrationally anti-America. Has the US done many reprehensible things now and in the past? Absolutely. But that is true for every powerful nation ever. And if you're looking at America's competition, you'd need to be blind to think that Russia is somehow more benevolent than the US.
1) Relatively high freedom
2) Variety in values/opinions (often due to freedom)
3) Secrets to be leaked
1 ensures the leaker's ability to leak, 2 ensures there is a leaker to leak, and 3 ensures there is something to be leaked.
Assange outlined his goals  a while ago in regards to exposing secrets, and I think Wikileaks is staying in line with those rather well. It essentially states that they'll leak whatever they receive, and try to enforce a kind of 'secrecy tax' on governments/parties/organizations that refuse to be transparent via forcing them into less effective means of communication and overall less use of technology.
The fallout of these disclosures potentially contributed to a building coup attempt in Turkey by forces loyal to the US (which the US tacitly supported) that burst just a week after the disclosures.
Wikileaks does not only publish "against" America. When it does, it's closer to home for the Americans and we hear more news coverage about it. In any case, wouldn't it okay that there are outlets that produce true news focused on negative aspects of the United States, keeping it accountable? That seems like a positive thing to me - though I don't think Wikileaks is "it".
On 24 November 2015, Turkish F-16 combat aircraft shot down a Russian Su-24 during an airspace dispute close to the Turkish-Syrian border. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as "a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists" and further stated that "today's tragic events will have significant consequences including for relations between Russia and Turkey".
7 months later, on 19 July 2016 WikiLeaks released the AKP Emails. AKP is the ruling party of Turkey and political force behind president Recep Erdoğan.
Wikileaks has stated repeatedly that it is not a hacking organization, it distributes items given to them by others.
It's clear what is happening here. Russia is doing an excellent job of manipulating the rhetoric surrounding its ties with Trump. If the CIA is to look like a foolhardy and scary institution to the American public, Trump can say stuff like "Obama wiretapped me", and it degrades the legitimacy of all CIA input on Trump-Russia ties.
They do have a category on Russia, though:
IIRC, they don't have any staff fluent in Russian, though, and they pointed to other whistle-blowing operations as more able to operate there.
Russia doesn't need to collude with them, nor does any other party. They just need to leak to them. If you read what Assange wrote about how wikileaks works to raise the cost of conspiracies, you'll see that it actually doesn't matter who is using them, only whether or not the material is true.
Russia and Turkey at the point of the disclosures were in a rapprochement: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/turkey/2016-07-20/ru...
The result of the disclosures was a weakening of that warming relationship, with Turkey pivoting again in its foreign policy - at least for some short time.
What else has Wikileaks reported on?
The Italian "Hacking Team" - https://wikileaks.org/hackingteam/emails/
Saudi Arabian Embassy Cables - https://wikileaks.org/saudi-cables
Pirate Bay Court Documents - https://wikileaks.org/gottfrid-docs
Cables from the Assad administration in Syria - https://search.wikileaks.org/syria-files/
Documents from inside Scientology - https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Scientology
Swiss Banking Tax Offshore Scandals - https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Bank_Julius_Baer
His point isn't very compelling for the following reason: instead of taking my argument ("Wikileaks publishes on far more than the US") he took an anecdote decorating my argument ("for example Turkey") and tried to argue the anecdote (poorly).
I'll give him an upvote. Not because I think his argument is really good. But because he contributes to the conversation.
I thought the conclusion was that that coup attempt was more or less theater by Erdogan. Organized with his approval and prior knowledge, destined to fail, and used to enact martial law.
Erdogan's subsequent power grab was/is also very real.
(They aren't mutually exclusive.)
The social media rumor that you're referring to has been widely discredited.
Do we think that, though? We've heard a LOT about Russia's cyber capability lately and the consensus seems to be that they employ groups of criminal kids who are by and large given free reign and occasionally called upon to look at targets of interest. We also know that the US's military spending (known budget) is something like 6x Russia's military spending, and we can imagine that intelligence spending is a similar multiple higher.
I should also make the point that the DNC/Hillary stuff is not a foregone conclusion that it was Russian. These leaks cast new light on the DNI's Grizzly Steppe paper where the NSA gave a 50/50 level of confidence that Russia was involved (but CIA and FBI said that it was greater than 50%). This leak includes information about a project called "UMBRAGE" which is a CIA project to catalog and strategically make use of hacking tools of other countries for certain projects in order to point the finger.
We do know that GCHQ has capabilities that are similar in some ways to CIA/NSA, but is it a foregone conclusion that all world powers have cyber programs this extensive? I don't think that it is.
This is often misleading. Russia and China might spend less but their dollar goes further.
Payroll for 5,000 hackers is within the reach of many world governments I'd think.
No big deal.
The Feds probably spend $700M just on Office 365.
Why would the CIA hack the DNC though? It certainly wasn't a smart strategic decision for the Democratic administration. Why would they hack the DNC and not the RNC?
That said, there definitely is a disproportionate amount of info on America v ROW.
If we think that just because something is factually true no one is trying to fool us, we're quite the fools.
> I think the vaccine analogy is really helpful here. You can make true statements, like "vaccines can kill you", that cause massive public harm if they're not correctly contextualized.
Much of the US media narrative about its overseas interventions likewise fall into this category.
Much of the war propaganda consumed by the US population is based on truth. The problem is that US citizens don't have the appropriate context to understand that truth. The fallout is incredible damage to people and lives overseas caught up in great power struggle that could be a different way if there we a systemic commitment toward building a real basis toward international security (over, say, unipolar control).
[Small rant] There are huge economical incentives to scold those who question medicines with high amounts of side effects. Do people really believe that big pharma doesn't account for a good share of the astroturfers online?
To give one example:
In Sweden a vaccine for the pigflue caused narcolepsy in completely healthy young individuals. [End rant]
The problem here is not truth or how it's used to effect but foremost the missinformation that is blocking out all traces of it.
Truth helps any discussion and creates trust - which the vast majority of societies are built on (or used to be).
And just to be clear, narcolepsy wasn't caused by the "additives" in the vaccine like anti-vaxxers claim. Narcolepsy was caused by the pig flu protein itself.
Thus, if there had been no pig flu vaccinations and people had been exposed to the real thing, a number of them would also have got the narcolepsy, in addition to the nasty symptoms of the pig flu itself.
We have more scientific evidence for vaccines than we do for gravity, and frankly I am disappointed in the quality of the argumentation here. What percentage of patients developed narcolepsy? Was the study powered for that causal conclusion? Was the methodology sound?
No idea, you're just spewing anecdata.
Astroturfing is absolutely a problem in online discourse but so is wilful ignorance.
Vaccines are, by comparison, not big money makers.
As there seem to be astroturfers out and those who require sources (which are not equated but noted to be a seperated quality) I'll ad some information; The vaccine was Pandemrix and the study was conducted by läkemedelsverket (basically a national study organ of medicine).
Pigflue itself would cause narcolepsy but the vaccine would increase the risk threefold.
The timing of the leaks was rather suspect too. In interviews, Assange insinuated months before during the primary that he had the emails that would eventually become the DNC leaks, but they waiting until after HRC was the sure nominee, during the DNC meeting, to release them. Procedurally, this made it so the Dems could not nominate another candidate before the general.
It may have been a coincidence, but they couldn't have been released at a politically more opportune time (for the R's) than then. In fact, during that interview, I recall Assange saying he was waiting for the right moment to release it. They aren't lying, and shinning light on wrong-doing is great, but the choice of when to do so and possibly sitting on information on the others who stand to benefit is suspicious.
Why does this matter? I feel like the reason people are worried about bias is that it means the source is not trustworthy. If Wikileaks is publishing true information, they should be trustworthy, even if their choice of targets is not unbiased.
What people here are asking is: "what is the story Wikileaks is trying to tell". Before they thought it was that "government is not trustworthy and needs a watchdog". Now it's possible the story is "Don't trust anyone who disagrees with Trump or Russia", and that's concerning.
There are far more than enough actors with far more than enough relevant information, and certainly the capacity to distribute that information, to fill in the gaps.
You can't do that when Wikileaks is the only source.
When Snowden approached CNN, the Times and a number of other large media outlets they attempted to report him to the Feds rather than report on the domestic and global mass surveillance programmes.
The incentives, partnerships, timelines and ethics of major media outlets prevent them from speaking truth to power.
1) Wikileaks provides evidence of wrongdoing
2) You respond "Its possible evidence that proves this isnt wrongdoing exists"
Your position seems to be roughly meaningless and the only justification I see to take it on is ideological.
It's not plausible that WL unfairly portrayed Podesta and the DNC by incomplete leaking. The leak targets have both the power and incentive to clarify any serious misrepresentation by releasing the context they already possess.
Somehow, I keep seeing people give the Syria example, then claim that we should disregard even the US-domestic leaks because "there could be context we don't have!" It doesn't make much more sense than saying "sure, the murder suspect didn't offer any defense, but maybe he has an alibi he never bothered to mention!"
Some are more biased than others. I think that's actually what people are discussing: how biased is Wikileaks? How heavily curated is the information they are releasing? Throwing up your hands and saying everyone is biased is a lazy answer to a difficult problem.
It would be wonderful to discuss the role that different outlets play and different biases come in. But it's difficult because any time the topic comes up "faithfuls" from all sides come in and it starts to look more like a sports or religion debate than it does an illuminating conversation.
Yeah, Wikileaks has some biases.
I actually think they are incredibly important biases. Also, I don't think they are nearly as "anti-American" as some panic about.
Another way to say this: only one side is willing to blatantly lie. Luckily media outlets are starting to realize that and moving to coverage of the truth not just what people say.
Firstly - On HN people do bash the media, but its based on the context of the conversation.
So on a discussion on wikileaks, very few people are going to make the side jump to criticizing the other media channels.
In mainstream discussions, there's a pattern of discussing WL bias against a baseline of whatever American mass media says. To repurpose a point from up-thread, that creates a situation where "how biased is WL?" is both a legitimate question and a misleading distraction.
If you want to create an informative media diet, you might ask "how biased is each source, in which direction?" You won't find objective truth, but asking that at least lets you curate inputs so that you won't have important information from any side go completely unmentioned. Lots of people I know do this, adding up equations like "NYT and Intercept both skew left, but one is largely pro-government and one anti-. BBC is moderately pro-government, but since it's a different government it reports US news better." Asking about Wikileaks is vital in that context.
If you want to distract from unpleasant facts, you might ask "How biased is Wikileaks in the direction of Russia?" And then the answer is treated as inherent bad - the more biased, the less attention should be paid. "All news is biased" is defeatism, but "all news is biased, how biased is Wikileaks?" is still manipulative because it ignores the magnitude of non-WL bias. I see that trick used a lot when US politicians and reporters cover Wikileaks, and it smuggles in an that we don't need to seek balance, just exclude a few too-biased voices.
Wikileaks has important biases. So does CNN. Wikileaks does important reporting. So does CNN.
Of course these are just two outlets. I don't mean to focus just on the two.
(Of the two I think Wikileaks would be the most missed, were it to disappear.)
My point is that it is incredibly important to discuss and take into account the biases of the outlets information is being published by. This is how I intended to discuss the bias of CNN and if you look you will see I brought this up under the context of the parent comments of my own. Namely, it is not quid pro quo.
If what is published is true, projecting motives in the publisher are an obvious attempt to distract from the message by questioning the messenger. The message is a fact, your interpretation of the messenger is at best guesswork, at worst fanfiction.
(I certain that more groups exist, but really, I can't name any others.)
No, people are worried about bias because the source could be selectively publishing truth with an ulterior motive, such as pushing a predefined agenda.
Propaganda is even more dangerous when it's true, but only tell people half the story.
In my city, the local Hearst rag often doesn't report on things that the city administration doesn't want published. For example, a city employee was indicted for killing a girl and burying her body on city property (probably while on the clock) and was on "paid suspension" (i.e. On payroll, not working) for two years. Awkward situation for the mayor.
The arrest happened on a Friday night. The story? Page 4, section B on Monday.
In a story like this Wikileaks thing, the context is missing. How are these things used? To what end? Snowden tried to provide that context.
Intelligence Agencies often use information to push their agenda. I don't see why it is different for Wikileaks which sees itself as one.
So instead I think the opposite is true- the fact she hasn't had major (true) scandals (Benghazi and emails we know are trumped up) means she is fairly clean. Yes, she has some flaws.
It is unbelievable to me that Mike Pence was using his own private email to conduct state business _while_ decrying Hillary. How hypocritical is it possible to be?
And re dirt on Hillary, this puts it into perspective. http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/12/25/14037576/t...
Sure, it was definitely a "vast right wing conspiracy" (Hillary's exact words) that threw up flags when she opened her first ever trading account with $1k, turned it into $1 million in less than a year with no experience, or understanding of the markets (she supposedly started trading futures on a tip from a friend) and then never did it again because it was stressful. I guess that same conspiracy group were trying to go after this irrelevant governor in Arkansas for the other scandals going on during his governorship.
Then when Bill became president the scandals continued. People like you and Hillary want to claim this is some vast conspiracy by the republicans but the question any critical thinker has to ask themselves is why? Clinton was the most conservative president since Reagan . Why on earth would the Republicans be out to get someone who's more conservative than most of their own presidential candidates? Like most conspiracy theories, it requires a great deal of faith in absence of evidence, motive or even logic.
What country is Benghazi in? What does the leader of that country have to say about how serious Benghazi is?
First off, I have no opinion on whether they are neutral.
That said, your argument imo doesn't hold much sway - not publishing something wrong, doesn't at all imply that they're not selectively publishing.
And while I agree that there's some interest as describing them as partisan, I also think that some of Assanges public statements make that really really easy.
What does the one thing have to do with the other? Just because you're truthful doesn't mean you're neutral, and nobody is seriously denying the authenticity of these files.
What, exactly, have we learned here other than a spy agency knows interesting methods of spying? I mean, of course it's interesting to see they use this or that vector, but that this technology exists isn't surprising in itself.
I see two possibilities: either this has caught the CIA on the hop, in which case everyone else will harden their security and the CIA will be less effective at gathering intelligence for a while, or the CIA has already moved onto better tools and is dumping details of its older ones to see who reacts and raise the technological stakes. There's no sure way for me to know if it's compromised or not, and the only predictable outcome is another leap in the diversity and capability of malware and another round of the cybersecurity arms race.
That the US government pays software companies to keep their products insecure . Why do you believe that they aren't spying on American citizens?
I have no opinion on whether they're spying on American citizens, I have always assumed they would do so sometimes in the course of spying on other countries' citizens. Foreign spies seek agents and unknowing assets in their country of posting so that just seems inevitable. So what?
I have to say that a lot of the response here seems very theatrical, albeit unwittingly so. Going back to the lock analogy, I'm sure the CIA has some of the world's best lock pickers and burglars on their payroll, but doesn't mean the CIA are trying to break into your house, does it? They could break into your house, if you embarked on an affair with a beautiful spy (or even a sort of frumpy one) they maybe would break into your house, but realistically they probably have zero incentive to do so right now.
It's really hard for me to give a shit about the CIA possibly-in-theory-maybe spying on people when you have government organizations like ICE actually plucking ordinary people off the street and putting them in detention centers where the normal rules of arrest and imprisonment don't apply.
There are significant barriers to the CIA picking the locks of everyone in the world's door, that don't exist when it comes to spying on the whole world. The analogy isn't meaningful.
The people ICE picks up actually committed a crime.
I've had a variant of all those jobs, so.. yeah. Don't project your hesitation to do physical labor onto other people.
How many music pirates have murdered someone this year? The point is still garbage, even in longform.
> I have long said, if the Mexican Rapture happened, you will starve to death....
That you consider this an actual point is a fucking joke.
So, exactly what are you doing now? Are you pulling lettuce?
[I am not attacking or berating you, but I want to understand.. so please educate me, I am not trying to be offenssive i Just disagree with you]
So, to my second point; would you be willing to compile data regarding those who work in the food service industry and determine what % of them actually feed people based on mexican heritage? I dont think this data exists, but happy to help find out...
This, really, is what immigration policy should be built around. I believe that youre emotional/passionate about the subject which is fantastic... let me change your view/or you mine, but yeah - we cant let emotions lead (which I can give you LOTS of information about how emotions are used to steer populations....)
Considering half of Americans pirate music I'm sure that there have been plenty of murders by pirates this year. But it would be stupid to go around arresting music pirates and claim we're preventing murders.
I understand them perfectly. If you want a discussion, try entering it in good faith, with someone who hasn't already expressed interest in avoiding the subject further.
It is a rare day when I agree with you, but I think you nailed it.
This is an effective honeypot move; Lets float some shit out there to flaunt some balls and see who reacts and how... WE ARE THE CIA, BECAUSE FUCK YOU, THATS WHY!!
They are above what we have speculated in the past...
LPT: If you have a device, ANY device, know that youre monitored...
During the elections I kind of wrote it off as them being prepared for Hillary and unprepared for Trump, but I have to wonder why they haven't run any leaks on Trump by now, considering how willing people seem to be to leak information. Where is his taxes? Where is the truth about his Russian ties?
I mean, take a stroll through the front page of Wikileaks and then tell me you don't wonder about the lack of Russian stories. Does Russia not have leakers?
The parties and their surrogates attempt to taint sources as biased and by proxy all content from the source invalid.
We now have data showing that the left tends to read both mainstream and left sources. While the right tends to live in their own little Fox-Breitbart bubble. This means that the right gets news from extremely biased sources with no anchor in reality. While the left tends to read and share a wider variety of media.
It's also been shown that the right is more likely than the left to distrust the fact-bearing mainstream media , because a strategy of the right, as in some authoritarian countries, is to generate distrust in media that they do not control.
So no, both sides do NOT do it equally. The right does way more to taint real sources like the NYT as biased.
 within mainstream I'd tend to separate profit-seeking and independent/family-owned media. But you can lump them together for purposes of contrast with GOP-donor-funded conservative media.
Are you asserting both parties are not guilty or one is more guilty than the other.
In any case I don't think what I said is untrue or was an attempt to mislead.
Note that "being neutral" is not at all the same as "publishing only things that are verified to be true".
What you choose to publish still has a lot of impact on whether you are neutral or not. Even some of the worst propaganda sites publish true things. The propaganda is in which part of the truth they publish and which not.
In Russian, the truth is "Pravda" and you know what it was. It was propaganda. Mostly it was quite true, just with a very specific view on truth.
Guess the phrase "lie by omission" doesn't mean much to you.
The truth is the most common source of bias in media is not telling out right lies but in deciding which truths to tell you. Its hard to believe that now given how much false information is being spread. But its still true. Propaganda is in the editing- choosing which stories get focus, which voices get amplified.
To my eyes, Wikileaks seems to be cherrypicking and giving passes to others. The timing of the leaks has been nothing short of convenient, which makes me suspicious. That's my opinion, though. I have nothing to back it up and I wouldn't even try to prove it.
But, hey, we're speculating here.
There's this mythology of "never publishing a falsehood" that's repeated in a meme-like din within the WikiLeaks context, but even if it is correct, it does not preclude selective publishing of the truth, or political timing, misdirection.
Anyways, having watched the output of this black box over many years, even if I believe that black box were built with the best of intentions, I can no longer trust that the machine is altogether acting in good faith.
The editorial discretion of a mere two billion dollars in Russia-Syrian transactions, for example, omitted completely by Assange as reported by The Daily Dot, make the man highly suspect as an objective purveyor of leaked materials received.
As the US intelligence community seeks to investigate Trump, the Trump-aligned WL begins dumping on the CIA. Trump will begin whining about the "Deep State" even more. Prepare for another week of whataboutism.
Can we go back to just calling them "facts"? A statement can be true or false, but a fact is true.
You're playing into the idea that there are "false facts" or "alternative facts." There aren't. Those are lies or errors.
> Alternatively, fact may also indicate an allegation or stipulation of something that may or may not be a true fact, (e.g., "the author's facts are not trustworthy"). This alternate usage, although contested by some, has a long history in standard English.
I don't even know how to respond to some folks here. You really think it's impossible to use facts to construct a narrative that is untrue?
Come on now. We're better than this.
What? That's completely unrelated to what I said, which is simply that the phrase "true facts" is redundant.
> people with any level of sophistication in their thinking can understand that. I don't even know how to respond to some folks here.
I wrote just two lines of text to express a simple thought using basic vocabulary. The fact that you misunderstood my comment so thoroughly, and yet with such extreme condescension, is simply spectacular.
We should be above abusing the word "because". Honestly that shit is jarring.
If they were neutral you'd see big releases of Russian secrets, etc.
And I'd have to disagree that leakers have it easy in the U.S. For example, if Snowden comes back he's facing life in prison and the trial they've offered him isn't exactly what we would call a fair trial. My understanding is the only concession they've offered him is a promise not to execute him.
He'd get a closed trial and no due process. Snowden's trial would not look unfamiliar to a Russian at all.
Also, US responses to Manning and Snowden seemed rather shady.
Also, wasn't it this same establishment media that worked with WL to leak Snowden's documents? So why was WL needed at all since the media ultimately did the publishing that people saw in that case?
People might forget that WL depended on "media" to actually publish the documents as WL has not always been the sort of household name it is now. They were just the agent now they're a publisher and a PR agent all in one.
Also, Snowden specifically didn't work through Wikileaks, because he didn't want a mass leak, but rather substantive and "responsible" reporting. Wikileaks just helped him find refuge in Russia.
With regard to Snowden, I think the right thing to do is offer him a free and open trial. If U.S. officials are unable to offer him due process and a fair trial then the charges should be dropped. We need to get out of the habit of violating basic principles (the right to due process is one of these). Offer the guy a trial or drop the charges. Right now the offer on the table is he comes back and they'll throw him in jail, then an administrative judge will hold a private, secret proceeding, then rubber stamp the decision to throw him in jail. That's anything but due process.
This opinion is independent of my thoughts on him and what he did.
Oh now it's coming back to me, didn't the NYT's totally fuck up the responsible part? I think they inadvertently revealed that the U.S. was using one of these tools in Afghanistan during the time it was being used on the ground? I might have this wrong.
A common accusation by the FSB, that PP were CIA backed. Any proof at all of that claim?
There is a lot of leaks on Russia in the media. No one actually cares anymore since it's mostly corruption stories and everyone is already knows there is a lot of corruption there.
Here is the last corruption story on prime minister Medvedev: https://navalny.com/p/5255/
Also, are there ever leaks on the scale of Snowden? I'd say the lack of a Snowden level incident isn't damning as that's a high bar for sure. Jesus. That dude put it all on the line.
There was a massive smear campaign against him on all major government controlled mass media where they were blaming him to be an US agent and also a corrupt person.
The only reason Putin has good approval rating now is because he managed to convince the majority of TV owners in US conspiracy.
And Ukraine crisis, sanctions, ISIS, and oil price drop did actually convince majority of Russians in that.
So as long as people blame US Putin is safe.
One similar thing I see here in US: when facts are too painful and too obvious - blame another country.
Which proves the point of above, Russia kills people for infowarfare and the US does not.
I don't know if this would be in the Russian interest to publish all these expensive zero day vulnerabilities, it would be in their interest to (continue to) use this stuff too.
these vulnerabilities will have to be fixed within some time (now that they are known). I wonder how long it will take for the spooks to get a new stash like this, this must be very damaging. I fear for Assange, the spooks will have a clear motive for demanding retribution against him.
I can't find one leak that's been damaging to Putin's agenda. That doesn't prove Russia is in control of the site, but it's curious that every single leak has been either damaging to the United States, other parties that have not had good relations with Russia or relatively inconsequential to either.
The fact that Assange cannot verify he produces the content of his site only furthers the probability of Russia having seized possession of it, given there exists no damaging information to Putin's regime. Would it not be better if those leaks were exposed along with everything else?
Many others have made the point that it is perfectly possible to lie with a collection of true statements.
It is also possible to be used in this context; that's where the phrase 'useful idiot' comes from. So Assange should be pure as the driven snow and be laundering manipulated documents, thereby giving them the imprimatur that you, among others, appear to grant great value. In fact, this is what I and others believe to at least occasionally happen with WL.
> which it has always been so far.
How do you know this? How do you know that 'truth' hasn't been shaded by blending observable facts with unverifiable ones or by omitting documents, or parts of documents? How do you know that everyone outside of WL insiders (loosely defined) is granted access to documents at the same time? I think there are still questions about Stone's access to the Clinton dumps.
> distracting from the real story here
Please. Everyone gets to pick "the real story" for themselves.
Says the 21 day old account with this single, highly upvoted comment.
There are millions of documents on Wikileaks. I highly doubt everything there is verified.
I have a feeling he tries to get to the Russian Embassy or Russia itself?
You can bet GCHQ and NSA know something and could tell you exactly if Assange is working with Russia or anyone else for that matter. At this point they have people inside the Embassy cleaning his bathroom and vacuuming the carpets.
Mr Assange repeatedly claimed that Podesta's gmail password was 'password' in interviews, which was false:
Compare that to Clapper, Director of National Intelligence stating for the record under oath that national intelligence does not have a surveillance operation targeting Americans in the homeland. That was a lie and one intended for testimony.
Assange here is just saying: Podesta's password is weak. It's hard for him to qualify that it was spelled "p@ssw0rd" rather than "password" during an interview.
The fact that you think saying "password" rather than "p@ssw0rd" disqualifies Assange as a lier goes to the heart of the anti-body reaction that nationalists have about hearing news that doesn't validate pre-existing opinions that they have about the nobility of their nation and its leadership.
The difference between "password" and "p@ssw0rd", while technically true, it is so pedantic it does not apply to the spirit of the conversation.
There is no Comey who has ever been Director of National Intelligence. I suspect you mean Clapper.
This is all conjecture, but this could be seen as a 'civil cyber war'. The Executive branch suffers from leaks, followed by an evisceration of the CIA hacking capabilities? Trumps love of the intelligence community is well known, and the scale of these leaks can be seen as a warning to the other agencies: the Executive branch will accept severe destabilization risks to protect itself.
Will be interesting to see if things escalate.
The timing, the target, and the vector of attack all line up very nicely.
So, no reason at all to assume anything particular changed, except that people want to assume something -- because Trump.
The 'incompetent' comes from an apparent disregard of thinking about the consequences of his actions. The 'blowhard' is self-documented.
The staff can let it fail and place the blame on a rival
The staff can fail, and distract the president
The staff can fail, and blame a convenient political opponent.
The staff can succeed, in a few things, but not the whole remit. They can then spin it as a success
The task could be very complicated and would require multiple steps to achieve it.
But finally, the reason this fails as an argument - is that gutting the security apparatus of the state when you control it, is absurd.
The assumption for this to be non-absurd, is that the CIA is working against the government, and the constitution.
If that was the case, then following the constitution and declassifying their arsenal was not necessary in the least.
Essentially, the theory can be disproved by contradiction/occams razor.
You haven't disproved anything. You've stated an opposing viewpoint.
I haven't seen any evidence that leads me to believe that someone in the administration leaked this to harm the CIA, but nothing you said came close to proving that that's not what happened.
>the reason this fails as an argument - is that gutting the security apparatus of the state when you control it, is absurd
Your entire argument rests on the assumption that the hypothetical administration leakers will come to the same cost benefit conclusion you did. I can think of limitless situations in which covertly injuring the CIA may appear to be worth it to people within the administration.
The administration doesn't appear to trust the CIA and it's entirely possible they view them as an enemy to be dealt with rather than an asset to be controlled. Again I don't think this is the likely explanation, but it's not so unlikely that you can just throw out "occams razor I'll accept your concession now."
The plans aren't his.
I wonder whose hand is really stuck in that sock puppet.
People assume this needs mastermind-level capability. It just needs motive and capability. All it takes is one CIA defector or a previously existing plant.
I would think securing inside intel on other government institutions would be pretty standard. How else can you check that they're not compromised by Russians ;)
I think this is irrelevant and distracts from the issue. You are trying to change the narrative.
If this is true, this is incredibly bad, and the CIA should be discredited.
What do you mean by "discredited"? If anything this gives a ton of credibility to CIA's rumored capability. Hell, it gives CIA so much credibility now that they can practically make up stuff and people will believe it by saying "oh they can bug everything, of course they found out about it".
Public trust is a PR problem and there are other people that manage it.
The CIA has access to the search history and phone call log of everything single American, and is blatantly breaking the constitution, and every single one of them should be arrested and sent to jail, for breaking the US constitution.
It is "their job", but it is also illegal and they should be sent to jail for treason.
You are correct, though, that it is completely expected that they have spy tools that blatantly break our constitutional rights.
There are other agencies like the NSA that are spying on Americans, but I've seen no evidence that the CIA is doing this.
It is the CIA's job to spy on other countries and that doesn't violate the constitution. Nothing in the leak so far says that the CIA is spying on Americans.
Put it this way, I have a Samsung TV and plan to do absolutely nothing about it. If I want something to be really private i discuss it outdoors or write it down by hand on paper. I'm kind of baffled about eh public and the media's inability to distinguish between the ability to carry out espionage and the targets against which it is deployed.
Just be sure not to put the TV in your bedroom.
> It's interesting to note that Julian Assange didn't demonstrate control of the wikileaks private key during his Reddit AMA 1 month ago
It's easy to see why Assange didn't oblige, compromised or not.
Minor note: the Reddit thread was from Jan 11th. This is relevant because Assange wasn't only asked to verify control of the private key. Assange hadn't appeared in public and skeptics wanted "proof of life." The Reddit comment, currently at 15K upvotes, even includes Assange's response with reasons that talk to the difficulty of maintaining private keys and avoiding taxing precedents like having to provide proof of life all the time. Again, compromised or not, I can understand why Assange wouldn't want to become conditioned to respond to every request for proof of life or locking down private keys.
I can't tell whether or not this is a joke. A) of course Reddit is manipulated and B) a single vote is within the range of background noise, not signal.
A vote don't mean shit.
Yes, they're building a narrative - by pointing out the crap the CIA has been doing. This is not unlike how the US used to point out human rights abuses by China, Russia, and so on.
If the "narrative" is accurate, then that's on the CIA.
1) what the material exposes
2) how it was obtained
3) why it was released
We should condemn (2) and (3) even if we condemn (1). That is, a properly functioning society shouldn't need to rely on leaks for corruption and abuse of power to be exposed.
At the same time, we should always respond to abuse of power and trust; to do so because we don't want to help "the bad guys" simply creates an environment in which such abuses are tolerated.
Similarly, we should not assume that any comment that we disagree with is a conscious manipulation by malicious actors; otherwise, I could just as easily argue that you have some ulterior motive to post your comment.
How do you figure? Abuse is just use you don't agree with. If everyone in control is perpetrating the abuse, the only way forward is leaking. See: the Snowden leaks.
Those in power have little incentive to restrict it. Leaks are very effective at letting people police their own government.
The Wikileaks Twitter handle just used a Fox News video as evidence for something.
You could say the man's gone insane, but the theory of these accounts and the WL org being subverted by a state power sounds more plausible at this point.
Julian has tons of enemies, but only one of them forced him to stay locked up for years.
And why NOT to undermine the CIA?
No, but I'm not American, and I know that 80% of the world has been royally fucked over (toppling governments, meddling, dictatorships supported) by the CIA, whereas few have had any issues with FSB (just/mainly their neighboring countries, and not the sweetest ones either).
At the time of USSR, yes, but not with Russia, which is, and will always be, a second player that just happens to have inherited nukes, so they can't be easily pushed over.
And same for China. Until now at least it was others who were the aggressors to China. I mean, the Senkaku Islands dispute? What's that compared to the hell that Japan created (and never recuperated or even really regretted) in Manchuria?
(All of those countries of course have disputes and issues with bordering countries and territories they claim as their own. But only the ex-colonial powers, the US and the diseased USSR harmed countries all over the world -- which can also be gauged by military bases presence).
(And concerning "territories they claim as their own", it takes a lot of "down-with-whataboutism-lalala-hands-in-the-ears" for US to point to Nepal and forget Puerto Rico, or for that matter Hawaii. And let's not go further back...)
>The entire world will suddenly love US and try to suck up to the biggest superpower?
Well, CIA is one of the main reasons the entire world doesn't love US.
Or rather, even in the developing world, people will love the country, the people, the music, the movies, the food, etc., but the foreign policies? Not so much...
What about Nepal?
I'd ask for sources for this claims... but I'm really afraid for the outcome.
If you really believe in all of this... it's extremely disturbing.
Of course I don't expect these things to be taught in school history programs there, but come on.
Just some random, well know items one can find within 10 minutes...
In the English speaking world, North and South America are considered 2 separate continent, and the single word American is universally understood to refer to citizens of the United States of America.
We have referred to ourselves as American for over 200 hundreds years and we are the only country with the word America in the name.
In the English speaking world, there is no continent called "America" there is only North America and South America. If you want to refer to both we would normally say "The Americas" or maybe "The New World".
Since there is no "America" commonly used in English other than the country, there is for all practical purposes, no ambiguity.
Use is what gives language meaning, and if you look at the numbers "American" is almost always used to mean a resident of the US. Attempting to force a fix on a perceived issue is never going to work.
By the way prescriptivists have been trying to force manufactured demonyms on us for years and none of them have ever become mainstream.
I've met several South Americans who insist that they are "American", but after investigating further, even in South America, the word "American" is almost never used in English to refer to people who come from what we call North and South America.
When you think about it why would anyone want to refer to themselves as basically coming from the Western Hemisphere? There is no shared language, no shared culture, no shared government. It would be like saying "I'm from The Old World", when that applies to people from France, China, and Zimbabwe.
It's pretty much a useless distinction. And language use patterns back that up.
It does invalidate the original meaning because no one uses America to refer to that landmass anymore (in English). Common use is what determines the meaning of language.
"Nice" used to mean simple or foolish, "Silly" used to mean blessed, and "Awful" used to mean worthy of awe--modern usage patterns have invalidated their original meanings in modern use.
>I understand that it's not ambiguous to many people, but it's ambiguous in my own mind because I do think of "America" as applying to the entire land mass.
And I think of Columbia as an alternate name for the US. It doesn't mean I'm going to get on a Colombian Spanish language forum and start making up new demonyms for them.
Mexico City, Mexico.
Belize City, Belize.
Panama City, Panama.
Djibouti City, Djibouti.
See also: BRICS & recent political turmoil in Brasil, Ukraine
Combined with their propensity for assassinating dissenters and journalists, there is less willpower to resist the fascism.
It's to the point now that things like this improve Putin's poll numbers, not hurt them.
Have you watched news in the US recently?
You mean have I watched the non-state controlled media from a widely disparate number of sources offering wildly disparate assessments of current events along a dramatically huge spectrum?
Have you watched Russian news, ever?
If you think American News and Russian (or Chinese) news are comparable, I don't know what to tell you. It's beyond ignorance at that point.
P.S. In Russia, there isn't any dissent. Like the major media in America, they are dissenting from the current government.
Do you understand that what is happening in America -- mass media dissent -- is literally impossible in Russia?
Aside from the constant pressure and threats, and the constant military presence around its borders, few in Russia would give a flying duck what the US does. Seriously, why don't people just get a passport and try to talk to people around the world to see what they actually think?
Have you done this? A lofty goal.
We have a tradition of paying more attention to international affairs in this here parts (Europe at large) -- and being quite more mindful of geography and history in general. With the US the only international affairs that people talk about is mainly the current enemy du jour or philanthropic cause. And it's not like they know a lot of the background of those things (or even basic elements of them) when asked.
Not to mention we are actually learning/speaking foreign languages and even reading foreign movies and media (the people at large: not e.g. some art-cinema watching hipsters).
A European online would read US media AND his country's media. And often of 1-2 other countries where he shares a language or speaks their language. An American? Not so much from everything I've seen and read.
This is also very true in Asia. If you turn on a TV where I am, there are channels from all over in many languages. There are the big US news networks, BBC, RT, France 24, other news networks from China, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, etc. We get cheesy Indian and Thai dramas and horrible 80s cop movies from China that are remarkably similar to horrible 80s cop movies from the US. The last time I watched TV here (I don't own one) I saw an interview with Slavoj Žižek on a European network.
I am of the same mind as you that US citizens would benefit tremendously from exposure to more outside media.
Just check how many Russian political groups, organizations, events and "NGOs" a single US body, the National Endowment for Democracy (funded by the U.S. Congress through the State Department) openly lists as funding:
And here's an example of crude double standards, either never put forward (since few in the US even know anything of the history of those regions, short and long-term, and just repeat what they read, about an innocent country victimized by those Russian bullies), or ignored by invoking "whataboutism":
A border state to Russia has its elected government toppled and a group of various opposition powers (including neo-nazis) comes to power with strong anti-Russian sentiments. This state has areas with huge populations of Russian ethnicity that don't like the new situation and feel threatened. Russia moves in to those places to protect them. And they're called all kinds of things for it, get sanctions and embargoes, etc. Meanwhile, the US can invade 3 countries they have no borders and no business with -- and no population of US ethnicity living there -- in the span of 10 years, with BS pretexts like WMDs, and leave hell-holes of fundamentalist and civil war behind, plus hundreds of thousands of deaths, and that's a-OK. Or some "self-critique" and crocodile tears is enough to forgive it, but what Russia did in Crimea is unforgivable.
Heck, every second Evil Plotter / Crazy ex-General etc in action movies is still Russian, 25+ years since the end of the Cold War...
Some moar stuff:
Oh, now I understand where your position on conscription  comes from.
Russian info space, apart from this "protecting russians from nazis" war propaganda, is also full of serving-your-country/patriotism propaganda. And it's ridiculous how far reaching it is. Some russians even take pride in not hiring people, who didn't serve. So, this is where your views come from.
Only I'm not a Russian. And apart from occasional checking out of RT (as I do of Guardian, Al Jazeera, NYT, BBC, and dozens of other outlets, being a reading junkie) I don't have any exposure to the "Russian info space" (whenever that means, probably a derogatory word for "their" media and websites, who obviously aren't as worthy as yours).
So there goes the BS theory. As if only Russians, and propaganda victims of some "info space" would ever be patriotic.
In fact, visiting the US, one has the impression it's the most patriotic place on the western world.
Nowhere in Europe do we have as many (or any at all, for that matter) flags front and center, or BS "support our troops" stickers on our cars, and heart-felt soap opera news about our "heroes". Or so uniform support of wars, from all sides of the parliament. And our Presidents and PMs seldom talk to God.
(Oh, and referencing a different thread on conscription etc -- a little stalky).
Here's the thing, that's exactly it. Patriotism doesn't come from nowhere, it's part of government propaganda. And if someone is influenced by it, he either would reject conflicting views from other propaganda sources, like from the enemy, or would reject his government's propaganda and would stop being patriotic.
So, I don't believe you.
Sorry, I've not realized before, that your job is to spread Russian propaganda.
And talking with Kremlin people is pointless, since they're on the payroll and they need to push their agenda.
Also, Snowden says they look real so far because they contain elements only a cleared insider could know. https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/839159736977227777
I think you're really overstating things here.
While Turkey's military may have mounted coups to restore secular order in the past, that's a peculiarity of their history. To think that the CIA, FBI, or NSA would serve a similar role in the U.S. is unrealistic. The times I can think of off the top of my head that they've gone against the law it hasn't been to the people of America's benefit, to say the least.
Besides of which, it's not even a reasonable comparison. The intelligence agencies aren't comparable to the military. If God forbid there were a coup in the U.S. it would involve the military, and they would probably be following Mattis, who is on Trump's side at the moment.
Lastly, come back to me when Trump is rewriting the Constitution and jailing journalists and judges by the thousands. Until then, this comment comes across to me as either paranoid hysteria about the U.S.'s situation or tragically belittling Turkey's.
Reddit has been beyond terrible the last year and it didn't recover post election. There always used to be a bias but you could usually drill down into some good back and forths in the comments, now you will only find that if it even exists in heavily downvoted posts along with troll posts.
The Reddit front page has always been terrible. Maybe it was once terrible in your favor, but that doesn't really matter.
Ever since it became popular, it has been the best place to influence millions of people and forge opinions.
So... what's the concern of people? The video seems to be clearly him, not under duress, and current. What more could someone want? If he weren't in control of wikileaks surely he would say something.
>surely he would say something
These aren't exactly reassuring statements, at least not to me.
For someone who so often revels in the authenticity of their work, why is the backlash so fierce when their own authenticity is questioned?
China and Russia immediately come to my mind. China has been influencing american public opinion in more than subtle ways. Hollywood movies are forced or incentivises to show china is positive light. Any material manufactured in China is forced to adopt Chinese world view for example China secretly forces printers to make changes to how Taiwan or Tibet is mention in the books. NN Taleb's recent book face the same issue.
The problem with CIA or US Government in general has been they have long stopped using american ideas of freedom, transparency to their own advantage while being transparent and accountable to public. Constant lies, optimising for dubiously useful goals, financial mismanagement etc. has made them less credible and very correctly so.
I bet the next thing CIA would try to get Assange killed and facts suppressed only making themselves less and less credible and reducing freedom in the country.
When John Kennedy appeared on television during Cuba missile crisis the American public to a large extent believed their president. After what Bush did in Iraq I think American public will not trust another President like that even in the face of a real crisis.
I think that is how nations probably fail.
Uh... welcome to /r/conspiracy....
NO - not hard to believe... but interesting the unveiling we are seeing now...
forgive all typos as my fingers are experiencing the chilling effect ( my hands are cold... makes it hard to type)
my thinking is, everyone keeps things private. its fairly probable that there is as much damning info on most other orgs. in the context of wikileaks role in the 2016 election, im sure the RNC would look just as bad if they had all their dirty laundry aired. to my mind, you must consider the consequences and context when leaking, and for that reason i think wikileaks was highly unethical and they are partially culpable. there is no way assange wasnt aware of the motivations behind the leaks. so, to me, he hasn't been impartial- its a sin of inaction, not action.
a third, and minor point- when assange was last interviewed on bill maher, he struck me as very careful with his words, and very talking point ish. sounded just like a politician. wouldn't give any play to bill's questions about putting thumb on the scale for trump. not much there, but weird for someone who purports to be even minded, rational, fair and pure to behave like that.
Oooor, you know, the knee jerk reaction is to downvote you because it's an unpopular opinion. Even I had it for a brief second before I realized 1. You may be right; 2. I don't really give a shit.
I'm going to be wildly speculative here. Let's assume that the timing of this release helps the Trump administration and smears the US intelligence apparatus writ large. There's only one person on his team who has displayed the forethought, intelligence, and capability necessary to do something like this. Jeff Sessions obviously isn't. Bannon, while an effective and shrewd minister of propaganda not this sophisticated.
There is, however, one person who thinks twelve moves ahead like a chess grandmaster. I wonder what, if any, Peter Thiel's role is in all of this
Keep in mind, it also very clearly serves the CIA's interests to suggest that Assange is compromised, so people should take those who push this idea with perhaps greater skepticism than they do Assange himself.
Also, control of a private key only demonstrates control of the machine on which that key exists, so it is not definitive proof of anything. It is possible Assange's machine was wiped or hacked, or that the person in control of that machine was killed or taken out of play. There have been multiple mysterious deaths associated with Wikileaks in the past couple years. It is conceivable that Assange never was in control of the private key and that one of those people was, in which case it makes perfect sense that he can make multiple convincing videos but not produce that specific key.
Finally, the question of whether Wikileaks is "neutral" (whatever that is supposed to mean) is not particularly relevant given their implacable record of truth in reporting. The leaks are most likely completely true, and as new information, should be evaluated independently/objectively.
As someone who has read a few histories of the CIA, I can say that anyone who is their enemy is my friend. Their worldview and approach to international action has caused mass human suffering on the world stage for decades, usually in the name of protecting things like unfair trade agreements, destroying unionization efforts & democracy, and eliminating political affiliations that are not in the perceived interests (in terms of world hegemony) of the US government. In popular media this is portrayed as a "necessary evil", but in reality it is a sociopathic service to power that degrades the soul of all humanity.
Syria is probably the most recent example. The CIA was envisioning an eerily similar scenario to the one that is playing out right now...in 1986.  I encourage you to read up on their origins and history, it is a fascinating if extremely unsettling story.
 - https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP86T01017...
I'm still really surprised no one questions the Snowden narrative. A man who earned $200k a year, worked remotely in Hawaii with his smoking hot wife, suddenly decided he has a conscience, either collected data slowly over time or did a massive data dump and released all this information to Greenwald and Der Sepgiel. Then he flees to Russia where he openly tweets against Russian policy.
Unlike many other stories, there were no where near the level of government denial. Media outlets ate it up without looking into any of it.
I really feel like Snowden was an intentional leak, either to show the NSA could proclaim their spying abilities and no one would be able to stop them, or they wanted to profess they had capabilities they don't actually have.
In either case, the US government is still spying relentlessly, creating war zones and expanding military powers. People say I'm a "tin foil hat conspiracy theorist" when I say that the CIA most likely created ISIS to destabilize Syria.
It's not crazy, it's what the CIA has been doing for decades. The 1973 Coupe in Chile, Bay of Pigs, School of the Americas, Iranian Contras .. the list is as long as you want to make it.
You should question each "leak."
People did question it -- he was getting spy accusations as soon as Russia let him in, but then they looked at the actual documents and realized that Snowden is irrelevant as far as the content is concerned. You don't need Snowden's motivations to interpret any of that.
What benefit does it serve you to suddenly get all of your enemies and frenemies to suddenly change all of their communication methods to avoid the NSA? You're spying on them without them knowing about it -- that's exactly what you want!
Also Snowden ending up in Russia has never seemed suspicious to me - where else could he go that would protect him from both legal and clandestine extradition?
Facts are important if you want to promote your theories/wild fantasies.
Maybe there's some alternative motive we're missing - but I doubt it was to prove they couldn't be stopped even after exposal.