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Why are people so welcoming to the filthy spies invading citizen privacy?

Army is created to do arguably worse things than spies. There are people who completely reject the idea of military - but the bulk of society tend to accept it as a unavoidable and tries to control it and make it least evil possible.

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.

Side note *The Army/Navy/Marines/Af/and Coast Guard share employees with the NSA. As in, close to half the NSA employees are D.o.D Military.

I really don't understand it, to be honest I think it's unbelievable. I'd say we, as in the IT community, shouldn't touch anything coming out of the NSA with a 10 feet pole, even if we're absolutely sure it's not some kind of morally dubious attack tool.

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.

Some of the are defending against other filthy spies.

Down With All The Filthy Spies!

Basically, it's filthy spies all the way down.

Grumping about it on hackernews doesn't really do anything either... it's the same as Facebook thoughts and prayers posts and clicking like to send well wishes to victims of the latest disaster. There is no better example of the IT community feeling strenuously about something and the general public just not caring than privacy. The Cypherpunks were tolling the privacy bell nearly thirty years ago and were on the cover of Wired, which is pretty mainstream for a topic like this. Nothing happened and without a very different mindset in the public I don't think anything ever will.

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?

>Dante: Yeah.

>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.

>Dante: Basically.

>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.

>Dante: So?

>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.

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