It's at I'm afraid to say what I want to say about the topic online.
(Meant as words of understanding, not criticism.)
But if everyone censors themselves out of fear, then that's much more effective of a power for a government to have, since they barely have to do any censorship work themselves. They just need to set examples every now and then to remind people "what's waiting for them" if they dare try to expose the truth.
I've said it before around here - the most dangerous thing is not the dictator himself. He can be removed if, and only if, the population itself has a free spirit and viciously opposes him, until they remove him.
But the real threat is when part of the population starts believing in the dictator's "ideals" and principles, and defend his actions "for the good of the people", and the other part is too scared to say anything anymore. That's when a dictator can rule in "peace", for a long time, and so will his successors, because then, for "his kind", the environment is very "welcoming".
Here's a good example of the opposite of self-censorship, and what everyone should be doing:
Laura Poitras for example is routinely questioned for hours on entering or leaving the US, just because she made a film about Iraq. She is no danger to the US, she is not a terrorist or associated with them any more than another journalist, and yet she is harassed for her views, even before she interviewed Snowden. I believe Jacob Appelbaum is another example.
She's quite high profile, but I personally know of at least one other case of someone being detained every time they crossed the border - an ordinary apolitical person living in the US, stopped every time for hours simply because of where they were born or their name, they were never sure which. It was so frequent that they gave up living/working there.
There is a distinction here to make though; I don't think it is inherently wrong to refuse entry to the U.S./question any person who is not an American. It is not clear why that should be the case ever. (I say this as a person who found the visa system to enter the U.S. profoundly annoying.)
On the other hand, refusal of entry to American citizens is a whole different issue.
I never said that; just because I don't think a system is wrong doesn't mean that I think it is right. I am saying that the system is broken. It however is a complicated system; I don't see any possible way of making it magically better.
I am pretty clear that the U.S. can decide however it wants to to allow entry to its soil. For example, the visa process when I traveled was atrocious; yet for most Europeans under a visa waiver program, it becomes easy. It is easy to claim discrimination or complain; however, I am not a voter, there is no lobby out there complaining about why the visa process for non-Europeans is so awful.
Also, the U.S. is not special in this process. A white American traveling to Europe faces way less hassle than someone else who doesn't have the right ethnicity or the right passport does.
Most of you are becoming aware of the process when people you can relate to are being affected; my point is that this has been happening for decades with no domestic opposition to the process.
AFAIK Jake Appelbaum is a US citizen.
They can't actually refuse entry to citizens, but they sure as hell can interrogate/threaten/harass/etc. I know Jake's been harassed a bunch of times at the border (and had his laptops/phones/etc stolen under the guise of searching them - they get to keep them for 48 hours to forensically image but then never give them back).
It's happened to me, too, and I'm not even on any of these lists, I just choose not to answer any of the voluntary questions they ask of everyone coming in. Anyone who values their freedom and has watched the excellent Don't Talk To The Police video will do the same, and will meet with similar harassment and abuse.
Cops in the USA are real dicks, especially the super-"patriotic" border cops, and they can and will make your day really terrible if you don't do exactly as they say (even if you have the legal right not to).
Both the NCC and the Interception Centres set up under RICA have virtually unlimited power and access, in fact every service provider is required by law to install the equivalent of Verizon's Room 641A which feeds data real-time directly to an Interception Centre.
We do know that the OIC carried out 3 million interceptions between 2006 and 2010 and the implication has been that at least some were live.
The biggest problem at the moment though is the NCC, which the Matthews Commission found regularly conducted warrantless bulk interceptions and environmental scanning. Unfortunately the Matthews Commission's recommendations went nowhere and from what I'm hearing the NCC has even fewer internal controls on what it monitors within our borders.
I just wish South Africans would have as much outrage about what happens locally as they do for what the NSA does.
1. Decentralized (real p2p, no central servers)
2. Encrypted communication
3. I'd even add: Easier to set up than encrypted email:
Install -> Exchange "certificates" -> Done.
IMO, it's currently the best way to communicate.
When I was asked to make this address I wondered what I had to say to you boys who are graduating. And I think I have one thing to say. If you wish to be useful, never take a course that will silence you. Refuse to learn anything that implies collusion, whether it be a clerkship or a curacy, a legal fee or a post in a university. Retain the power of speech no matter what other power you may lose. If you can take this course, and in so far as you take it, you will bless this country. In so far as you depart from this course, you become dampers, mutes, and hooded executioners. -- John J. Chapman
Retroshare is nice, but can't be used to talk in public as a member of the public with other members of the public. I mean, a few friends talking freely behind closed doors? Even dictatorships have that.
Don't take this wrong, I know you meant to point out a cool program, and I'm not having a go at you or anyone seeking technical solutions for this.. but I think this is a social/political problem, and ultimately needs to be deal with as such, if we're ever to achieve anything real.
If talking freely is risky, because we're still in the stone age in so many ways, then I want the risks, not to shut up.
> a few friends talking freely behind closed doors? Even dictatorships have that.
But I feel that I do not have this across the Internet! It is good to be able to talk freely behind closed doors, too. This is why RetroShare seems to solve an important problem for me :)
Imagine if the zebras instead had watched in horror as the first few "pioneers" got mauled... prodding each other saying "your turn", until all of them were too weak to be able to cross, even as a herd, and the crocodiles simply came out of the river and dragged them into it (which is exactly what would have happened, because the reason they cross rivers is that there is nothing left to eat on their side of it).
Not that I consider humans herd animals, or that I want to other humans who prey on humans so much that I would cast them as a different species. But I still think there is a lesson for us in there, too. Cowardice, as rational as it may seem, simply doesn't pay in the long run. Until we learn that, we're stuck.
I found RetroShare worthy of its own submission, given today's climate: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5983913
If the next time I visit the US I have my laptop confiscated, my luggage searched or have my entry denied, so be it. I'll know that's because the US no longer welcomes free speech and plan my future travels and career moves accordingly.
I'll add that, if that ever happens, it'll be a sad day for me. I still have faith a country founded on principles rather than ethnicity or geography means something. I'd like to keep that faith, if possible.
When I exercise my fifth amendment right to silence when I am questioned upon attempting to re-enter my home country, I get arrested and harassed and threatened for hours and hours.
The phones are all tapped, the cops rule everything, and all of the basic rights we were told we had are now exercised only at the mercy of the military rulers.
A few years ago I went back to the US to visit the crypto museum (incidentally, right across the street from NSA in Fort Meade). It was my first trip to the DC area and the first night I got in, I went over to the Jefferson memorial. A sign on the pathway approaching the dome warns visitors that due to federal law, firearms are prohibited on the grounds.
Jefferson would be proud, I'm sure.
[note to non-US citizens: It's basic right #2 in the USA that people can own and carry firearms.]