That statement is a perfect example of the real problem with the US government and many journalists. They don't see the actual spying as the cause of all the backlash - it's all Snowden's fault for telling the world.
Even history is taught like this.
Teaching is a narrative.
Media is a narrative.
Examining the root causes rather than the narrative fabric is rational. Most governmental actors are either intentionally or ignorantly not rational in this respect.
When put that way it is quite clear that Snowden is not anymore at fault than media or people.
The fact that the US can and has used its warrant powers to force US companies to comply with spying directives is a bigger problem.
The fact that the US is stopping US companies talking about how often secret warrants are served is a bigger problem.
The fact that the US has subverted security processes put in place by US companies is a bigger problem.
The only thing these companies weren't allowed to report was the number of NSLs and FISA requests they received, but now they can in broad ranges of 1000.
That would be consistent with their rationalization for muzzling the tech companies who give up our data.
After all, the bad guys now know where not to store their data. Heck let's just have the government take over internet and shut down all private websites. Total information control. That'll stop terrorism!
There, full circle.
The statement contains no judgement either way.
Sounds like you're the target market for Glenn Greenwald's new news organization.
This is essentially the same as the Creationist's stated desire to "teach the controversy". Rubbish. Show the evidence and say what it adds up to.
To even decide to report on an issue in the first place is to take a stand on its value. News organizations are doing the public a disservice in stopping there.
The entire notion of journalism without any sort of position, biases, or editorialize is absurd. Nothing but a completely raw and unfiltered datastream of everything that I receive could possibly qualify, except that of course would not longer be journalism of any sort.
To ignore that ideal is where journalism turns into "entertainment" and "propaganda".
Take global warming, for example. Many media outlets seek to present an "unbiased viewpoint" on that issue by reaching out to climate-change deniers in addition to climate-change scientists who believe in global warming. But that ignores the fact that climate-change scientists who support global warming outnumber climate-change scientists who deny it by something like 400:1. But that ignores the fact (principle, actually, technically this isn't a fact) that science isn't decided by majority vote, it's decided by looking at the data and the evidence.
The actual facts in the global warming debate is that we've recorded these temperatures at these locations across the globe, and they appear to be rising over the last century. But that's not what people are interested in: the "story" is "Are humans causing it? What can we do about it? What will happen next?"
To be clear - the only fact involved is the measurement of at a particular time at a particular station. The temperature of the world as a whole, and trend in temperature over a century, is a matter of interpretation and analysis, not pure fact. All sorts of statistics needs to be applied to clean the data, adjust for changes in station location, adjust for the growth of urban heat islands, etc. To see an example of the debate over these adjustments - http://climateaudit.org/2010/12/26/nasa-giss-adjusting-the-a... - changes in adjustments can have a large impact on the resulting graph.
Even calling it a story is well, telling a story. Presenting in terms of two sides further frames as a kind of dramatic fiction.
There is nothing wrong with all this and it makes news interesting and sometimes even edifying. Adam Curtis is an example of somebody who very blatantly selects and uses dramatic technique in order to shine light and show new perspectives on contemporary history.
The danger is in kidding yourself that it could be any other way and that there is some kind of objective and balanced position which reasonable folk hold - that's how people get manipulated, usually against their interests and sometimes in awful ways.
By that logic it is logically impossible to ensure fairness in a judicial system. Should we then just give up and tell judges to do what they want instead of striving for the ideal of due process under the law?
Since you bring it up, that a court can't be completely certain is of course one of the main arguments against the death penalty - plenty of faulty convictions that we know of to back that up.
There's a much bigger difference though and that is that news outlets are mostly in private hands and usually quite openly run an editorial line. How would you feel about Murdoch or the Koch bros running the judicial process if you are certain the press are and will remain so even-handed? N.B. I'm not even saying this is necessarily a bad thing wrt journalism, just not to be fooled that it is something else (and which it often purports to be). Any adult should know that it's both foolish and dangerous to believe what you read in the press.
Because every story has exactly two viewpoints, with the truth somewhere in between?
It's certainly easy to end up thinking that, and that's yet another reason reporting "both sides" is actively harmful.
That doesn't mean there is no editorial slant.
What we typically hear on modern mainstream media is reprinting of PR. Regardless of agenda, there is no understanding.
It's naive and dangerous to think that the NSA's actions are unique. Nearly every developed nation on the planet has a similar intelligence arm which isn't as forthcoming about its procedures for requesting and gaining access to service provider (and ultimately corporate) data. As stated in the ITIF report, German intelligence has the G10 act which let's them monitor telecommunications traffic without a court order.
The fact of the matter is that the IT services market is a part of our portfolios because it provides capabilities we value either against IT or business metrics. And it's highly likely these values are worth more to you than the potential risk you think your company faces due to government surveillance. And if your company is a prime target for government surveillance, you are probably being watched from within your own firewalls right now.
... you can take actions yourself to protect your data from prying eyes when using these services. A quick tip: bring your own encryption. If you hold the keys the governments can't get to your data by going through your service provider.
Instead it's about shifting data into a legal domain in which you hope to hold someone to account for intrusive spying.
A non-US entity has zero chance of ever holding the government and agencies of the USA to account. And we're also aware that US companies can be forced by the US government or agencies to access data held (by them) overseas.
But we do have some chance (fractionally above zero, I'm not deluding myself) of holding our own governments and companies within our legal domain to account.
None of it is a substitute to encryption, but this isn't solved through tech alone.
Since surveillance budgets probably track military spending, there are probably many places where surveillance is as ineffective as their military.
But your bottom line is correct: "If you hold the keys the governments can't get to your data by going through your service provider."
Not only are those wise words for users, enabling that way of working, and making security an easy verifiable default is going to be the only way to heal this problem for US tech companies. And they have been slow to get started.
Not only are those wise words for users, enabling that
way of working, and making security an easy verifiable
default, and, is going to be the only way to heal this
problem for US tech companies. And they have been slow
to get started.
Depending on where you want to draw the line it would not be a stretch to say that an advertising company like Google would be eliminating their entire revenue stream by implementing such a system.
These companies don't bother with products that have such a niche market. There are plenty of smaller companies that do though, so I don't see anything to complain about.
Yeah, they've already disabled getting new instances. If you have free Google Apps, you're basically on borrowed time.
This is like comparing a pee wee football to the NFL.
If anything intelligence is something that's easier for other states to do as long as you're willing to be less capable than "I could plant a SCADA malware that would slightly affect UF6 production in an airgapped network, in a way that would be irreversibly destructive before it could be detected".
For the rest of what they do, the resource investment costs are far lower than fielding a "real" military, and it's even much easier to find quality amateurs and train them up to professional standards since you don't need 100,000-man armies to have an impact. That's the unpleasant reality of automation for the U.S.; it levels the playing field for the rest of the world.
VUPEN doesn't work in a vacuum after all; I'd be willing to bet the French state itself has quite capable cyber surveillance, attack, etc. capabilities.
This was the bit in the Times article that was significant to me.
It will go higher. Then, when people have a choice of veriably secure gear and services from non-US companies, we will see a decline in the "they all do it" posts here.
> Despite the tech companies’ assertions that they provide information on their customers only when required under law — and not knowingly through a back door — the perception that they enabled the spying program has lingered
Nobody cares if data leaks are intentional or legal. When China was suspected of backdooring routers in 2012 I don't recall anyone caring if it was intentional by the Chinese Tech Companies, or the legality of it if it was intentional. The Congress issued a report saying :
Chinese telecommunications companies provide an opportunity for the Chinese
government to tamper with the United States telecommunications supply chain. That
said, understanding the level and means of state influence and control of economic
entities in China remains difficult. As Chinese analysts explain, state control or influence
of purportedly private-sector entities in China is neither clear nor disclosed.34
The Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party, experts explain, can exert
influence over the corporate boards and management of private sector companies, either
formally through personnel choices, or in more subtle ways.35
As ZTE’s submission to the Committee states, “the degree of possible government influence must vary across a
Recommendation 2: Private-sector entities in the United States are strongly encouraged
to consider the long-term security risks associated with doing business with either ZTE or
Huawei for equipment or services. U.S. network providers and systems developers are
strongly encouraged to seek other vendors for their projects.
In some way it does. The side effect of all this reporting is population getting increasingly and predictably more stupid (availability heuristic, for starters) AND stressed at the same time.
Television news, at least mainstream TVnews in USA, is a totally stress/fear inducer purposely delivered in the most dramatic and usually shallow way possible, so you stick around for the commercials and at the same time the elists influence the viewers' political decisions.
Almost everyone would be better off without it as it exists today.
A lot of things HN has claimed about NSA really can't be substantiated, and that DOESN'T mean that I have to believe the HN position by default.
IBM et al are still American companies, and until they're immune to American legislation (ie: FISA Section 702) then no-one will touch them with a fifty-foot ethernet cable. The location of the data is irrelevant.
The US Government will not budge on this issue, and they will happily throw the entire tech industry under the bus. Bailing out Silicon Valley and nationalizing as much as possible is very appealing, too.
You have a lot to learn.
For example Equinix is building large datacenter all over Switzerland. Swiss companies are blindly trusting them with their equipment. Equinix controls the keys and access to you racks and cages. They can get to your hardware with ease and surely will when is US government asks no matter what Swiss laws may say.
What I also find suspect is the amount of investment banks (never heard of any of them before) in these datacenters with large cages of machines. Are they really investment banks or a cover for machines where the NSA stores data. If they can monitor an entire nation for a month they have to store that data somewhere close when dealing with such huge data volumes.
It's to go back to the original end-to-end internet so I can run my servers on my premises.
That won't stop the NSA from targeting me specifically. But it makes the whole dragnet thing a lot harder when the data is coming from a million physically distributed sources instead of 1,000 sources in one datacenter.
I'm using Dropbox for now, but looking for alternatives. I wish there was a better alternative to email.
My wife and I have switched to Bittorrent sync. It's fast and you have the amount of storage that your computers have. We have one very low-power machine that is always on to assure that we can always sync.
Folders with important data are backed up using tarsnap.
I use seafile on a raspberry pi:
I would present to you that, while they will claim they were unaware of this potential, the reality is that they knew it, and accepted it, because what has been happening is a power play in a currently fairly quiet but still major shift in global power.
I've argued with my intel friends that they are off chasing bad guys OCONUS when the real bad guys are in DC, NY, and London, but now those same entities have a stranglehold on the intel agencies themselves (I mean, they always did, the original CIA guys were all Wall Street old boys in the first place, but now it's much worse in my opinion.)
Do we really think Hayden is the brain behind these moves? Or Hanlon's razor? No. The surveillance issue is a symptom of a much larger issue at hand, and until we take the discourse to that level there will be very little progress made. All three branches and the fourth estate are corrupted, which undermines our entire already weakened constitutional framework.
Now, the realpolitik they don't discuss with the public is that in the new globalized world of supranational entities the concept of national sovereignty is a lost cause.
My problem is that they made the decision to adopt this constitution undermining policy without even having a public debate about it.
The oligarchy have said, in essence: "The proletariat serfs are too dumb (from all the propaganda) to make informed decisions about their democracy, therefore, we shall placate them with gladiatorial political shows while we pull the strings from the shadows."
So thanks, NSA.
Early on, pretty much irrelevant -- VAT is the pain (and the cost of flying to the Bay Area frequently, the cost of moving, putting a bunch of my guns in archival storage, extra hassle in fundraising, ...)
I'll probably be back in the US or in non-Germany by the time of taking capital gains, so it's really just:
1) Taxes on business profits
2) Personal income taxes (which, since I don't take a large salary, can't be huge; roughly the same German rate vs. SF rate)
3) Social insurance/etc. net of services
SF, CA has absurdly high taxes (federal/state/local) PLUS higher effective taxes due to both high prices pushing income brackets up, and things like $2mm shitty condos being effectively a "tax" as well, and shitty services for the money (so you have to purchase private alternatives on top of paying taxes).
On #3 -- I am indifferent between spending $500/mo in increased tax vs. $500/mo on healthcare. For people with school or college aged children, education benefits in Europe seem to be worth a huge amount. There are intangibles like not having to walk over homeless people to get into your office in the morning, or piles of human feces on the sidewalk during the mid-afternoon.
Being able to hire awesome people (competing with Rocket, Soundcloud, and a bunch of 1-2 person startups, rather than with ~every startup in SV), and not having to put up with US immigration hassle for a non-US cofounder, makes up for a lot of it. "Branding" advantages of being a European company make up for the rest.
Your question is like asking, "How can I trust that Western Digital won't turn over the data on my hard drive they sold me?"
I suppose it's possible future revelations will show that all major software and hardware packages supported by US firms contain legally-mandated secret backdoors, but we're not that far down the rabbit hole yet.
Now they properly changed it to NSA spying as the cause.
If you didn't then that is unfortunate but hopefully they'll apply pressure to those that did.
Wouldn't IBM still be required to grant access even if the data is physically located overseas?