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Last post Author Topic: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.  (Read 146595 times)

IainB

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #400 on: October 28, 2013, 08:33:30 AM »
...Lying is part of everyday diplomacy of negotiating conflicting demands; we all do this in our daily realities, so it's unrealistic to expect that somehow politicians should never ever lie. ...
_________________________
Hahaha. Very droll. I rather like that. A rather revealing and self-defining statement about one's personal standards and integrity. Were you overdue for confessional, or something? The question would presumably have to be: Is it a true statement or a false one?    ;)
@dr_andus, would you by any chance be an advocate for "post-modern science" as well? You would seem potentially well-qualified.

In other news...there's a good summary of salient current events on the current ripple effect (more like a tsunami) of SnowdonGate at the Grauniad, here:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Leaked memos reveal GCHQ efforts to keep mass surveillance secret
Exclusive: Edward Snowden papers show UK spy agency fears legal challenge if scale of surveillance is made public
    James Ball   
    The Guardian, Friday 25 October 2013 18.45 BST   

GCHQ fears a legal challenge under the Human Rights Act if evidence of its surveillance methods becomes admissable in court. Photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA

The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has repeatedly warned it fears a "damaging public debate" on the scale of its activities because it could lead to legal challenges against its mass-surveillance programmes, classified internal documents reveal.

Memos contained in the cache disclosed by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden detail the agency's long fight against making intercept evidence admissible as evidence in criminal trials – a policy supported by all three major political parties, but ultimately defeated by the UK's intelligence community.

Foremost among the reasons was a desire to minimise the potential for challenges against the agency's large-scale interception programmes, rather than any intrinsic threat to security, the documents show.

The papers also reveal that:

• GCHQ lobbied furiously to keep secret the fact that telecoms firms had gone "well beyond" what they were legally required to do to help intelligence agencies' mass interception of communications, both in the UK and overseas.

• GCHQ feared a legal challenge under the right to privacy in the Human Rights Act if evidence of its surveillance methods became admissible in court.

• GCHQ assisted the Home Office in lining up sympathetic people to help with "press handling", including the Liberal Democrat peer and former intelligence services commissioner Lord Carlile, who this week criticised the Guardian for its coverage of mass surveillance by GCHQ and America's National Security Agency.

The most recent attempt to make intelligence gathered from intercepts admissible in court, proposed by the last Labour government, was finally stymied by GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 in 2009.

A briefing memo prepared for the board of GCHQ shortly before the decision was made public revealed that one reason the agency was keen to quash the proposals was the fear that even passing references to its wide-reaching surveillance powers could start a "damaging" public debate.

Referring to the decision to publish the report on intercept as evidence without classification, it noted: "Our main concern is that references to agency practices (ie the scale of interception and deletion) could lead to damaging public debate which might lead to legal challenges against the current regime." A later update, from May 2012, set out further perceived "risks" of making intercepts admissible, including "the damage to partner relationships if sensitive information were accidentally released in open court". It also noted that the "scale of interception and retention required would be fairly likely to be challenged on Article 8 (Right to Privacy) grounds".

The GCHQ briefings showed the agency provided the Home Office with support in winning the PR battle on the proposed reforms by lining up people to talk to the media – including Lord Carlile, who on Wednesday gave a public lecture condemning the Guardian's decision to publish stories based on the leaked material from Snowden.

Referring to the public debate on intercept evidence, the document notes: "Sir Ken McDonald [sic] (former DPP [director of public prosecutions]), Lord Goldsmith (former AG [attorney general]) and David Davis (former Shadow HSec [home secretary) [have been] reiterating their previous calls for IaE [intercept as evidence].

"We are working closely with HO [Home Office] on their plans for press handling when the final report is published, e.g. lining up talking heads (such as Lord Carlisle [sic], Lord Stevens, Sir Stephen Lander, Sir Swinton Thomas)."

Carlile was the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation in 2001-11, and was awarded a CBE in 2012 for his services to national security.

Another top GCHQ priority in resisting the admission of intercepts as evidence was keeping secret the extent of the agency's co-operative relationships with telephone companies – including being granted access to communications networks overseas.

In June, the Guardian disclosed the existence of GCHQ's Tempora internet surveillance programme. It uses intercepts on the fibre-optic cables that make up the backbone of the internet to gain access to vast swaths of internet users' personal data. The intercepts are placed in the UK and overseas, with the knowledge of companies owning either the cables or landing stations.

The revelations of voluntary co-operation with some telecoms companies appear to contrast markedly with statements made by large telecoms firms in the wake of the first Tempora stories. They stressed that they were simply complying with the law of the countries in which they operated.

In reality, numerous telecoms companies were doing much more than that, as disclosed in a secret document prepared in 2009 by a joint working group of GCHQ, MI5 and MI6.

Their report contended that allowing intercepts as evidence could damage relationships with "Communications Service Providers" (CSPs).

In an extended excerpt of "the classified version" of a review prepared for the Privy Council, a formal body of advisers made up of current and former cabinet ministers, the document sets out the real nature of the relationship between telecoms firms and the UK government.

"Under RIPA [the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000], CSPs in the UK may be required to provide, at public expense, an adequate interception capability on their networks," it states. "In practice all significant providers do provide such a capability. But in many cases their assistance – while in conformity with the law – goes well beyond what it requires."

GCHQ's internet surveillance programme is the subject of a challenge in the European court of human rights, mounted by three privacy advocacy groups. The Open Rights Group, English PEN and Big Brother Watch argue the "unchecked surveillance" of Tempora is a challenge to the right to privacy, as set out in the European convention on human rights.

That the Tempora programme appears to rely at least in part on voluntary co-operation of telecoms firms could become a major factor in that ongoing case. The revelation could also reignite the long-running debate over allowing intercept evidence in court.

GCHQ's submission goes on to set out why its relationships with telecoms companies go further than what can be legally compelled under current law. It says that in the internet era, companies wishing to avoid being legally mandated to assist UK intelligence agencies would often be able to do so "at little cost or risk to their operations" by moving "some or all" of their communications services overseas.

As a result, "it has been necessary to enter into agreements with both UK-based and offshore providers for them to afford the UK agencies access, with appropriate legal authorisation, to the communications they carry outside the UK".

The submission to ministers does not set out which overseas firms have entered into voluntary relationships with the UK, or even in which countries they operate, though documents detailing the Tempora programme made it clear the UK's interception capabilities relied on taps located both on UK soil and overseas.

There is no indication as to whether the governments of the countries in which deals with companies have been struck would be aware of the GCHQ cable taps.

Evidence that telecoms firms and GCHQ are engaging in mass interception overseas could stoke an ongoing diplomatic row over surveillance ignited this week after the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, accused the NSA of monitoring her phone calls, and the subsequent revelation that the agency monitored communications of at least 35 other world leaders.

On Friday, Merkel and the French president, François Hollande, agreed to spearhead efforts to make the NSA sign a new code of conduct on how it carried out intelligence operations within the European Union, after EU leaders warned that the international fight against terrorism was being jeopardised by the perception that mass US surveillance was out of control.

Fear of diplomatic repercussions were one of the prime reasons given for GCHQ's insistence that its relationships with telecoms firms must be kept private .

Telecoms companies "feared damage to their brands internationally, if the extent of their co-operation with HMG [Her Majesty's government] became apparent", the GCHQ document warned. It added that if intercepts became admissible as evidence in UK courts "many CSPs asserted that they would withdraw their voluntary support".

The report stressed that while companies are going beyond what they are required to do under UK law, they are not being asked to violate it.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty and Anthony Romero Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union issued a joint statement stating:

"The Guardian's publication of information from Edward Snowden has uncovered a breach of trust by the US and UK Governments on the grandest scale. The newspaper's principled and selective revelations demonstrate our rulers' contempt for personal rights, freedoms and the rule of law.

"Across the globe, these disclosures continue to raise fundamental questions about the lack of effective legal protection against the interception of all our communications.

"Yet in Britain, that conversation is in danger of being lost beneath self-serving spin and scaremongering, with journalists who dare to question the secret state accused of aiding the enemy.

"A balance must of course be struck between security and transparency, but that cannot be achieved whilst the intelligence services and their political masters seek to avoid any scrutiny of, or debate about, their actions.

"The Guardian's decision to expose the extent to which our privacy is being violated should be applauded and not condemned."

dr_andus

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #401 on: October 28, 2013, 11:14:33 AM »
A rather revealing and self-defining statement about one's personal standards and integrity.

Not really. Just a sociological observation. Not all lies are created equal. We all tell lies as we negotiate our daily existences. You don't believe me? Try for a day not to tell a lie like in the movie Liar Liar. When your missus asks you the next time "Does my bum look big in this?", just go ahead and say yes and see what happens...

Stoic Joker

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #402 on: October 28, 2013, 11:47:40 AM »
When your missus asks you the next time "Does my bum look big in this?", just go ahead and say yes and see what happens...

Zoiks! Reminds me of the line from the movie Tommy Boy:
Q. Does this coat make me look fat?
A. No, your face does.

Truly, that level of honesty is bad ... Unless one likes sleeping in the sofa.

wraith808

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #403 on: October 28, 2013, 12:23:51 PM »
A rather revealing and self-defining statement about one's personal standards and integrity.

Not really. Just a sociological observation. Not all lies are created equal. We all tell lies as we negotiate our daily existences. You don't believe me? Try for a day not to tell a lie like in the movie Liar Liar. When your missus asks you the next time "Does my bum look big in this?", just go ahead and say yes and see what happens...

^ This.  :Thmbsup:

IainB

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #404 on: October 28, 2013, 01:25:33 PM »
Amusing report from Honest Reporting - 10/28/2013, which cuts right through the BS:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
...
3. It’s underway. The British phone hacking trial of Rebekah Brooks and Rupert Murdoch’s media lieutenants began at London’s storied Old Bailey courthouse. Chris Boffey sets the scene — and “waiting in the wings are 60 other journalists facing possible offences that came out of the hacking investigations.”

The royal baby watch mercifully ended after only a few days; this trial’s expected to last three months. Some headlines already refer to this as the trial of the century but the the self-serving hype really puffs up big media’s self-importance and newspaper sales. As far as phone hacking goes, the NSA is Murdoch on steroids.
;D

dr_andus

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #405 on: October 28, 2013, 01:52:27 PM »
Mark Urban of the BBC makes some interesting points that I was also wondering about:

Why has NSA failed to keep its own secrets?

Quote
...if the NSA is as powerful as its critics have claimed, why has it been so useless at protecting its secrets?

There are aspects of incompetence to it.

The latest revelations, about tapping world leaders phone calls, also leave one wondering what use the content of Ms Merkel's calls were to US policy makers?

The NSA has grown into a huge data-mining bureaucracy driven by its own organisational imperatives.

It pursues ever greater coverage, storage of data, staff and budget.

In many cases it does things because it can, rather than because somebody has asked whether the information is useful, whether it is worth the potential price if discovered, or whether the activity can actually be prevented from coming into the public domain.


Maybe one answer is that the US Constitution does actually work, so the government can't just silence journalists the way even the British govt is happy to do (see Miranda affair). And the Internet also works, being impossible to totally control and contain (which, after all, was deliberately modelled to be decentralised, as a way to deter the threat from another highly centralised power, the USSR).

The learning point here for Obama and the NSA is that just because you can do something, it doesn't mean you should, as the consequences of being found out deliver more harm than benefits sometimes (such as in the Merkel case).

IainB

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #406 on: October 28, 2013, 04:57:41 PM »
^^ Interesting quote - amusing too:
Quote
The NSA has grown into a huge data-mining bureaucracy driven by its own organisational imperatives.
It pursues ever greater coverage, storage of data, staff and budget.
________________________

It seems as though the BBC is talking about itself. To paraphrase:
Quote
The BBC has grown into a huge bureaucracy driven by its own organisational and political imperatives.
It pursues ever greater coverage, monopoly of propaganda, staff and budget.

A big difference is that the BBC actually seems to work much harder than the NSA at keeping its own secrets - e.g. obfuscating FOIA requests with massive legal defences.

dr_andus

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #407 on: October 28, 2013, 07:14:25 PM »
It seems as though the BBC is talking about itself. To paraphrase:
Quote
The BBC has grown into a huge bureaucracy driven by its own organisational and political imperatives.
It pursues ever greater coverage, monopoly of propaganda, staff and budget.

A big difference is that the BBC actually seems to work much harder than the NSA at keeping its own secrets - e.g. obfuscating FOIA requests with massive legal defences.

Hm, I'm not sure what you're getting at with comparing the two. If you don't like the BBC, at least you can switch it off... I'm not sure the same can be said about the NSA...  ;)

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #408 on: October 28, 2013, 07:29:39 PM »
A rather revealing and self-defining statement about one's personal standards and integrity.

Not really. Just a sociological observation. Not all lies are created equal. We all tell lies as we negotiate our daily existences. You don't believe me? Try for a day not to tell a lie like in the movie Liar Liar. When your missus asks you the next time "Does my bum look big in this?", just go ahead and say yes and see what happens...

I think you'd be surprised. I tell my wife exactly what I think and she appreciates it. I don't have to lie.

But in the case you outlined, the subtext is more along the lines of, "This makes my butt look a bit big, but I'd really appreciate it if you'd simply compliment me so that I feel better." The actual words are merely a small portion of the communication.

But even if we tell white lies in our daily lives, that doesn't excuse black lies in public office. Public office doesn't have that subtext communication that we have in our more intimate conversations with those close to us.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #409 on: October 28, 2013, 08:05:37 PM »
A rather revealing and self-defining statement about one's personal standards and integrity.

Not really. Just a sociological observation. Not all lies are created equal. We all tell lies as we negotiate our daily existences. You don't believe me? Try for a day not to tell a lie like in the movie Liar Liar. When your missus asks you the next time "Does my bum look big in this?", just go ahead and say yes and see what happens...

I think you'd be surprised. I tell my wife exactly what I think and she appreciates it. I don't have to lie.

But in the case you outlined, the subtext is more along the lines of, "This makes my butt look a bit big, but I'd really appreciate it if you'd simply compliment me so that I feel better." The actual words are merely a small portion of the communication.

But even if we tell white lies in our daily lives, that doesn't excuse black lies in public office. Public office doesn't have that subtext communication that we have in our more intimate conversations with those close to us.


But, in the context of those negotiations, even if they are allies, they are jockeying for advantage.  That might be mutual advantage, but if it's not, that's ok too in many cases.

In bargaining and bartering and all such interactions, the truth is not as much of a consideration in the things that the person that you're bargaining with is telling you than your own truth and perceptions are.

Renegade

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #410 on: October 28, 2013, 10:14:03 PM »
In bargaining and bartering and all such interactions, the truth is not as much of a consideration in the things that the person that you're bargaining with is telling you than your own truth and perceptions are.

Say I'm selling my car to you and there's an issue that I'm aware of AND THAT I BELIEVE TO BE/VIEW AS A SERIOUS PROBLEM. If I disclose that to you, I am acting in good faith. If I don't disclose that to you, I am acting in bad faith.

To you, the issue may be far less serious or completely unimportant. But that doesn't change the nature of acting in good faith.

As a flip-side example, let's say the cigarette lighter doesn't work in the car. And let's pretend that I don't smoke. It's likely then that I wouldn't give it a second thought, and wouldn't mention it to you when selling the car simply because it's not something that I normally think of.

However, if you smoke, then it becomes more important. But that doesn't mean that I acted in bad faith by not telling you. Now, if I know that you smoke, and I know that the cigarette lighter doesn't work, then I have a duty to act in good faith and tell you that it doesn't work.

While the "truth" of a matter may be blurry, that doesn't excuse anyone from acting in bad faith.
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wraith808

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #411 on: October 28, 2013, 10:26:29 PM »
"Trust, but Verify."

Why is that maxim such a powerful statement?

True, there does have to be a certain level of trust.  But lying by omission is still lying- but not necessarily bad faith.  So having a budget of $500 on a purchase, and not telling the other person your true budget or telling a different budget and driving a hard bargain based on that, prepared to if it comes to the wall to increase that amount... is that lying?  Or good bargaining tactics?

Do you lay everything on the table?  Trusting that the other person will do the same?  Or do you do your own due diligence and drive the hardest deal possible?  Where does that line lie?  True, you shouldn't deal in bad faith... but what's bad faith to one person isn't necessarily to the other.  Especially when you're dealing with different cultures and different aims. 

It's not as black and white as it may appear, IMO.

IainB

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #412 on: October 29, 2013, 01:18:58 AM »
...Hm, I'm not sure what you're getting at with comparing the two. If you don't like the BBC, at least you can switch it off... I'm not sure the same can be said about the NSA...  ;)

Well, I was not so much comparing them as showing how the BBC could be talking about itself, as paraphrased.

Some people (not me you understand), might say that they are both organisations that are apparently completely out of control, that are funded by a compulsory tax levied on the taxpayer (and in the BBC's case, extracted with threats and actual violence/intimidation), and that each in it's own way would seem to be variously oppressive/totalitarian, anti-democratic, operating sometimes illegally, and corrupt/corrupting (QED - including, for example, Savile affair, SnowdenGate). However, I couldn't possibly comment.

Some people (not me you understand), might go on to say that the ability to "switch off" the BBC is an illusory differentiation to the NSA at best, as, even if one does not view or listen to the BBC TV/radio broadcasts programs and propaganda, one is effectively obliged to continue to pay the tax to fund them and all of the BBC's other activities, and that the BBC has shown itself to be a monstrous statist anachronism and a blight on freedom and democracy.  However, again, I couldn't possibly comment.

Mind you, looking at what those people might say, one could suppose that they might be talking about the BBC or the NSA using much the same words, but this could be a coincidence, so whether it demonstrates for certain that the two organisations were similar could be a moot point.

IainB

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #413 on: October 29, 2013, 02:16:25 AM »
Amazing. Looks like direct threats are now being made by the UK PM to the Grauniad (and others), if they do not self-censor the SnowdenGate leaked material. Must be getting pretty desperate to gag them to do that.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
David Cameron Threatens Newspapers Publishing Snowden Leaks
Matthew Feeney|Oct. 28, 2013 3:08 pm

Credit: The Prime Minister's Office / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-NDCredit: The Prime Minister's Office / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-NDBritish Prime Minister David Cameron has made a scary statement about the publication of Edward Snowden’s revelations.

From Reuters:

    Oct 28 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday his government was likely to act to stop newspapers publishing what he called damaging leaks from former U.S. intelligence operative Edward Snowden unless they began to behave more responsibly.

    "If they (newspapers) don't demonstrate some social responsibility it will be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act," Cameron told parliament, saying Britain's Guardian newspaper had "gone on" to print damaging material after initially agreeing to destroy other sensitive data.

It is worth remembering that British officials already threatened The Guardian, which has been publishing stories relating to Snowden’s leaked documents, with legal action if servers containing copies of the information Snowden provided were not destroyed. Officials justified the move by claiming that Russia or China could hack into the servers and access the documents. Technicians from the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) oversaw the destruction of the servers last July, despite the fact that Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger had told government officials that copies of the information were stored outside of the U.K.

The news of Cameron’s comments come days after NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander said that “We ought to come up with a way of stopping” reporters from “selling” secrets.

Thankfully, it is unlikely that any government action in the U.K. is going to stop the information leaked by Edward Snowden from being revealed. As Rusbridger told British government officials, copies of the information is stored outside the U.K.

The latest NSA revelations have damaged the Obama administration’s relationship with some Europeans. It has been reported that the NSA monitored tens of millions of Spanish and French phone calls and that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone was targeted.

The reporting since the latest NSA news reveals that the U.S. government doesn't have its story straight when it comes to the NSA’s activities. After last week’s news relating to Merkel’s cell phone being targeted White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied that the Obama administration was targeting Merkel’s phone saying, “The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor.” However, reporting from the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper, based on information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, suggests that Obama did know about surveillance on Merkel’s phone, but that he only found out about the snooping in 2010 after being personally briefed by Gen. Alexander.

Whilst I consider that the shocking anti-democratic editorial religio-political bias of the Grauniad speaks for itself in many of its articles and propaganda over the years, I am impressed with the way they have stuck to their guns so far on this one (SnowdenGate).
It will be interesting to see what it takes to make them cave in. I gather that they have apparently been running at a financial loss for some time and have tried to diversify into other areas of alternative funding (e.g., running a coffee-shop), even apparently angling to get themselves the status as some kind of State-funded news organisation (a la BBC).
I can't see how sticking to their guns in SnowdenGate is likely to further their prospects for alternative funding via the government. The government is potentially fascistic enough to stomp on them with GBJ (great big jackboots) and wipe them out in the name of "security".

Renegade

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #414 on: October 29, 2013, 03:38:11 AM »
^ Hehehe! The answer to 1984 is...?

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Renegade

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #415 on: October 29, 2013, 04:06:40 AM »
True, there does have to be a certain level of trust.  But lying by omission is still lying- but not necessarily bad faith.  So having a budget of $500 on a purchase, and not telling the other person your true budget or telling a different budget and driving a hard bargain based on that, prepared to if it comes to the wall to increase that amount... is that lying?  Or good bargaining tactics?

Lying is lying. And perhaps lying is a good bargaining tactic in some cases. By the same token, stealing whatever you want when you can get away with it is good for your pocketbook. The end result doesn't change whether or not you are lying or stealing.

It's not as black and white as it may appear, IMO.

I think it is. And I think that the "gray area" argument is simply for people that want to gloss over lying when it's convenient for them.

Whether or not you think it is acceptable to lie has zero bearing on whether or not something you say is a lie. Similarly, who the speaker is has no bearing on the truth or falsity of their statements, i.e. culture is irrelevant to truth.

The question then is how comfortable people are with lying. Politicians are obviously extremely comfortable with it.

It's nice to make excuses that make us feel better about what we do sometimes. But I think it's likely better to simply recognize what we do for what it is, rather than try to rationalize. Otherwise, we are only lying to ourselves about our own lies. 

Ends do not justify means.

The question of "good/bad faith" is one of intention. That's something that is much more difficult to deal with.

But then, that's just my own take on it.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Renegade

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #416 on: October 29, 2013, 04:46:51 AM »
Ooops... I forgot to add: Fight fire with fire. ;)
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tomos

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #417 on: October 29, 2013, 01:25:32 PM »
Ooops... I forgot to add: Fight fire with fire. ;)

I'm not sure what you mean there, but for some reason I had the idea of drinking a lot of liquids, then--if you're a bloke anway--you're prepared in case you meet a fire.
No, I didnt even necessarily mean alcoholic liquids (sober here btw/fwiw).
Tom

dr_andus

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #418 on: October 29, 2013, 01:46:15 PM »
Good to see that Snowden's original actions are starting to have some real effect on the political machinery. All these developments appear to justify his actions: if he hadn't revealed all this, then unconstitutional and illegal activities by shadowy government agencies would go on unchecked. It will be increasingly more difficult for the US govt to argue that he is simply a criminal.

NSA: Dianne Feinstein breaks ranks to oppose US spying on allies

Quote
Feinstein's statement comes at a crucial time for the NSA. Legislation will be introduced in Congress on Tuesday that would curtail the agency's powers, and there are the first signs that the White House may be starting to distance itself from security chiefs.

On Tuesday morning, James Sensenbrenner, the Wisconsin Republican and author of the 2001 Patriot Act, will introduce a bill called the USA Freedom Act that will ban warrantless bulk phone metadata collection and prevent the NSA from querying its foreign communications databases for identifying information on Americans. Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who chairs the Senate judiciary committee, will introduce the bill's Senate counterpart that same day.

Also on Tuesday, the two most senior intelligence leaders are due to testify before the House intelligence committee.

Feinstein's shifting position was not the only emerging challenge confronting the NSA late Monday. A new disclosure from the Electronic Frontier Foundation added to the agency's woes by suggesting that it began testing means to gather location data on cellphones inside the US before informing the secret surveillance court that oversees it.

40hz

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #419 on: October 29, 2013, 02:01:06 PM »
Quote
David Cameron threatened on Monday to act to stop newspapers publishing what he called damaging leaks from former U.S. intelligence operative Edward Snowden.

"If they don't demonstrate some social responsibility it will be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act," Cameron told parliament.

More on this story over at Techdirt.


I'm wondering how many more heavy handed attempts will be made at derailing the revelations before somebody with access to the documents decides to do a preemptive mass data dump of the entire remaining collection?
 :huh:


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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #420 on: October 29, 2013, 02:10:09 PM »
The question then is how comfortable people are with lying. Politicians are obviously extremely comfortable with it.

One problem with this position is that it does not acknowledge that the daily work of a politician consists of negotiating conflicting demands from opposing interests, while the world is constantly changing around them. Something will always look like a lie from someone's particular position, and opponents will be more than happy to point those out to exploit them for their own particular political interests.

This doesn't mean that barefaced lies are always OK. But asking politicians to always only tell the truth and only the truth is a highly unrealistic demand that no one is actually capable of doing in their own lives either. Perpetuating such unrealistic expectations by saying that "all politicians are liars" undermines the democratic process because it breeds cynicism and simply turns people off politics and they stop voting and they get even more disenfranchised. There will never be such a thing as a politician that 100% always tells the truth as it is. That is only possible in an alternate Platonic world or maybe in Heaven.

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #421 on: October 29, 2013, 02:19:19 PM »
There is a big difference between spurious omission and answering a simple yes or no question incorrectly. The first simply allows one to hold back a few cards ... And the other is a flat out lie.

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #422 on: October 29, 2013, 02:32:16 PM »
There is a big difference between spurious omission and answering a simple yes or no question incorrectly. The first simply allows one to hold back a few cards ... And the other is a flat out lie.

This.

Personally, I'm bad at either, which is the reason that I hate to bargain, and hate to barter.  I just set what I'm interested in and say it... and if the person hedges or tries to bargain, I walk away.

That isn't to say that I question the morals or approach of anyone who does it differently.  I'm just aware that people are good at that, and are able to do that with proficiency, and alter my approach correspondingly.

Diplomacy is a question of degrees in a lot of cases, and coming to such a common ground.  You may respect someone that is open, earnest, and honest on a personal level.  But that person will not make a good diplomat IMO.  You have to be able to walk that line between your country's interests, and bargaining in good faith.

IainB

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #423 on: October 29, 2013, 05:50:18 PM »
/rant on
Could we please either drop or move to a separate discussion thread the irrelevant discussion in this thread that has arisen regarding the defending/arguing/rationalising/reinforcing or self-justification, or whatever, of our moral belief system in human honesty and integrity in society?
It is becoming a tedious distraction.
Whether one believes or is of the opinion, or whatever, that honesty and integrity are vitally important in a person's character, or in society generally, or not, that's just fine. However, and though I could be wrong, of course, an argument over the rightness/wrongness of the belief would seem to have two-fifths of ¼ of sod all to do with the thread Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
/rant off

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Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.
« Reply #424 on: October 29, 2013, 10:38:15 PM »
However, and though I could be wrong, of course, an argument over the rightness/wrongness of the belief would seem to have two-fifths of ¼ of sod all to do with the thread Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.

You're right. This is straying off topic.

So last bit in a spoiler. ;)

@dr_andus
The question then is how comfortable people are with lying. Politicians are obviously extremely comfortable with it.

One problem with this position is that it does not acknowledge that the daily work of a politician consists of negotiating conflicting demands from opposing interests, while the world is constantly changing around them. Something will always look like a lie from someone's particular position, and opponents will be more than happy to point those out to exploit them for their own particular political interests.

Perspective isn't particularly important to whether or not someone is lying.

For example, if I really believe that the Earth is flat, and I tell you that, I'm not lying; I'm merely mistaken.

However, if I believe that the world is flat and I tell you that the world is spherical, then I am lying, even if what I say is correct.

This goes back to good/bad faith and intentions, which is a very muddy topic. i.e. It is nigh impossible to absolutely ascertain someone's intentions with complete accuracy.

This doesn't mean that barefaced lies are always OK. But asking politicians to always only tell the truth and only the truth is a highly unrealistic demand that no one is actually capable of doing in their own lives either.

I understand what you're saying.

Perpetuating such unrealistic expectations by saying that "all politicians are liars" undermines the democratic process because it breeds cynicism and simply turns people off politics and they stop voting and they get even more disenfranchised.

Hehehe! Good! The sooner we're done and finished with government the better. ;)

We don't need a ruling class. It hasn't worked out well for people for thousands of years, and it's still not working out well. Why do we continue down the same path and always expect different results? That's insane.

There will never be such a thing as a politician that 100% always tells the truth as it is. That is only possible in an alternate Platonic world or maybe in Heaven.

Their level of honesty doesn't even remotely approach a level that could be considered "mostly honest". So why do we continue with it? It's not rational.



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