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>U.S. surveillance problem

As long as people are willing to pretend that the problem is only the US and not the entire West colluding then the easier it is for these governments to continue.




Case in point, the Canadian government is currently building "the most expensive government building ever constructed in Canada" for CSEC (our version of the NSA) and vastly expanding their headcount:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-canada-s-top-secret-b...

And GCHQ has less significantly legal restrictions than most other SIGINT agencies.


I feel like the cost is always overblown about this building if you consider the fact that they are currently housed in a building originally designed for the CBC in the '60s and not for actual security work. Given the expansion of their operations and personnel, it only makes sense to create a new building (not coincidentally beside CSIS). And generally speaking, it's going to cost what it's going to cost. Yes it's a government building. Yes they've spent money on particular luxury items (identified as being used to increase social interaction). But if you want people working more effectively and efficiently, you're going to spend money to increase morale (just look at all the lavish spending at startups or ones that are even IPOing, they're all expenses that, at the end of the day, may not be good in the eyes of the shareholders. But they help employee morale).


> As long as people are willing to pretend that the problem is only the US and not the entire West colluding then the easier it is for these governments to continue.

This may be true to some extent. But let me provide an anti-thesis to the statement.

For nearly a century (or more) everyone has looked at the US to lead in reforms and at times reversing reforms. What happens in the US is often used as a model by world governments as a blueprint.

If the US citizens, corporations and the tech community in general could get the US to positively change the distopian outlook/direction we (the world) seems to be heading in, this change would trickle down to the other countries beginning with the Western countries that you aptly state are colluding together.


> For nearly a century (or more) everyone has looked at the US to lead in reforms and at times reversing reforms. What happens in the US is often used as a model by world governments as a blueprint.

In what respects? I can think of far more cases over the last century of the US lagging behind in reforms than taking the lead. In European politics, the US is more often channelled as the big regressive bogeyman (e.g. "we don't want US conditions, do we?") than somewhere to look to for reforms.

To the extent governments looks to the US, it is more often out of necessity due to the balance of power.

It's be fantastic if that changed and the US became a beacon of progress, but that will still take a lot.

In terms of surveillance, though, just getting the US pressure lifted would make local progress vastly easier.


You're defining the "last century" pretty narrowly. There have been a number of times when Europe has looked to the U.S. The U.S. rendered aid and assistance during its post-WWII reconstruction. It served as the sword and shield of NATO against the Soviet Union. U.S. economic liberalization and deregulation in the 1970's and 1980's was a model that Europe followed in the 1980's and 1990's.


I for one would like to include the other players,Corporate & private industry, with their collusion/lobbying/takeover of lawmaking added to the discussion. Don't forget, when the [Pick-An-Acronym &/or Pick-A-Branch] wasn't doing their own spying, [MaBell, AT&T, Axciom, MS, Dunn&B, Google, etc] were selling the data to them.

More relevant today than when it aired almost a decade ago...

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/persuaders/




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