Some spying is probably unavoidable in the current world - and just like with the army we need to think how to control it and make it civilized. Getting on a high moral horse only makes the matters worse.
Fuck the NSA!
These assholes are hoping the OSS community contributes back to reduce our own privacy! wtf
> The government benefits from the open source community’s enhancements to the technology.
This being hackernews I'd like to turn the conversation to something more constructive: the idea of whether the coder doing the work is just doing a job or should feel culpability and suffer the consequences of working for "the bad guys" has probably come up in many places. Heck someone could probably write a Master's thesis on whether "Evil Scotty" in Mirror, Mirror was actually evil. I mean he did keep the torture booths running for Evil Kirk, but he also helped the good guys get back to their parallel universe.
So, seriously - do we feel the IT guys working at places like No Such Agency are forever unclean or are they just doing a job? Clerks never settled the issue...
>Randal: There was something else going on in Jedi. I ever noticed it till today. They build another Death Star, right?
>Randal: Now, the first one was completed and fully operational before the Rebel's destroyed it.
>Dante: Luke blew it up. Give credit where credit is due.
>Randal: And the second one was still being built when the blew it up.
>Dante: Compliments to Lando Calrissian.
>Randal: Something just never sat right with me that second time around. I could never put my figure on it, but something just wasn't right.
>Dante: And you figured it out?
>Randal: The first Death Star was manned by the Imperial Army. The only people onboard were stormtroppers, dignitaries, Imperials.
>Randal: So, when the blew it up, no problem. Evil's punished.
>Dante: And the second time around?
>Randal: The second time around, it wasn't even done being built yet. It was still under construction.
>Randal: So, construction job of that magnitude would require a helluva lot more manpower than the Imperial army had to offer. I'll bet there were independent contractors working on that thing: plumbers, aluminum siders, roofers.
>Dante: Not just Imperials, is what you're getting at?
>Randal: Exactly. In order to get it built quickly and quietly they'd hire anybody who could do the job. Do you think the average storm trooper knows how to install a toilet main? All they know is killing and white uniforms.
>Dante: All right, so they bring in independent contractors. Why are you so upset with its destruction?
>Randal: All those innocent contractors hired to do a job were killed! Casualties of a war they had nothing to do with. All right, look, you're a roofer, and some juicy government contract comes your way; you got the wife and kids and the two-story in suburbia - this is a government contract, which means all sorts of benefits. All of a sudden these left-wing militants blast you with lasers and wipe out everyone within a three-mile radius. You didn't ask for that. You have no personal politics. You're just trying to scrape out a living.
I mean there's an interesting question here because if (hypothetically) someone takes what is in their mind a moral high road and says "I will never hire an ex-NSA coder or sysadmin" then hopefully that person doesn't work for Facebook or Google, because really the difference isn't a matter of kind as much as degree, malware notwithstanding.