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Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage.

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I'm not too well up on American politics and current affairs, but I gather from this video (below) that there seems to be evidence that the US government is using the somewhat draconian ant-terror laws ...-IainB (November 17, 2013, 04:01 AM)
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Now I know why the little bastards have got into the pantry recently ... I've been targeted by the USA.

I'm not too well up on American politics and current affairs, but I gather from this video (below) that there seems to be evidence that the US government is using the somewhat draconian ant-terror laws ...-IainB (November 17, 2013, 04:01 AM)
--- End quote ---
Now I know why the little bastards have got into the pantry recently ... I've been targeted by the USA.
-4wd (November 17, 2013, 11:37 PM)
--- End quote ---

Is that a problem with mice, or rats in the pantry?

Ripples - relevant interesting headlines from around the world. Now nothing surprises, where once one might have been hugely surprised. Perhaps a glimmer of hope here and there, but mostly it looks like what you might usually find when you turn over a flat stone that has been lying on top of the ground for a while - all those wriggling, writhing, creeping and crawling things trying to scurry away from the light.
This seems to look like corruption on a grand scale, and the demand for more of it is apparently coming from the US government and several other totalitarian states/governments. This is a picture of our potential future, if we want/accept it - the new normal for "freedom".

* Schneier tells Washington NSA broke Internet’s security for everyone | Ars Technica (Who'da thunk it?)
* Internet architects propose encrypting all the world’s Web traffic | Ars Technica (That'll be the day!)
* “We still don’t encrypt server-to-server data,” admits Microsoft | Ars Technica (How did that not happen?)
* The NSA asked Linus Torvalds to inject covert backdoors into GNU/Linux. (How would we know whether the backdoors were now in place?)
* Private firms selling mass surveillance systems around world, documents show | World news | The Guardian (Surveillance becomes ubiquitous - a public utility mandated by the State.)
The more that is progressively revealed on this, the more it seems to substantiate that what Snowden did was arguably a genuinely selfless act of whistle-blowing. This corruption, which is so wrong and on so many counts, needed to be shown up for what it was/is. One wonders if one would have had the courage to do the same if one had been in Snowden's shoes, and how one might have coped with it.

 LOL from Techdirt, 2013-11-25:
Eric Schmidt Claims Google Considered Moving Its Servers Out Of The US To Avoid The NSA

Yeah, right.

The opening post for this thread says:
So it begins. ...
-40hz (June 22, 2013, 10:10 AM)
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And what has ensued seems to have had all the elements of a sort of pantomime:

* Some of the panto has been full of shock, a slowly-building level of surprise and scariness:
e.g. it having been heralded in the Dotcom fiasco, then the stunning revelations regarding the incredible scope, extent and reach of the legalised and illegal NSA and other nations' SS surveillance, with hastily cobbled-together government legislation to retrospectively legitimise and reinforce the legality of that activity and even extend its reach further still (in US NSA, UK GCHQ, NZ DCSB); visits from SWAT teams - men with guns and helicopters - and threats of violence and punitive retribution, intimidation and destruction of property.

* Some of the panto has drawn us into the drama of political damage control, hypocrisy and finger-pointing:
e.g., accuse and condemn the messengers (The Guardian) for terrorism or something, and the protesters/whistleblower(s) (Dotcom, Snowden, Jeremy Hammond), yet always ignore the message.

* Some of the actors have superbly acted out seemingly downright moronic behaviour which has also been scary in its implications:
"You can't have your privacy violated if you don't know your privacy is violated." - a US Representative, one Mike Rogers.

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* And now, in what might be leading up to the dénouement, we are all treated to a skillfull display of Brian Rix type farce by the British (who are always good on humour):
UK Parliament Makes A Mockery Of Itself Interrogating Guardian Editor
from the sad dept
The UK Parliament is presenting itself as a complete joke. Rather than looking into controlling the GCHQ (the UK's equivalent to the NSA), it has instead held a hearing to interrogate and threaten Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger for actually reporting on the Snowden leak documents and revealing the widespread abuses of the intelligence community. The hearing included the insulting and ridiculous question: "do you love this country?"
    Committee chair, Keith Vaz: Some of the criticisms against you and the Guardian have been very, very personal. You and I were both born outside this country, but I love this country. Do you love this country?

    Alan Rusbridger: We live in a democracy and most of the people working on this story are British people who have families in this country, who love this country. I'm slightly surprised to be asked the question but, yes, we are patriots and one of the things we are patriotic about is the nature of democracy, the nature of a free press and the fact that one can, in this country, discuss and report these things.

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Perhaps equally ridiculous: after UK Prime Minister David Cameron ordered the destruction of Guardian hard drives, urged the Parliament to start this very investigation and flat out threatened news publications for reporting on government abuse, folks in Parliament have the gall to suggest that it's Rusbridger who broke the law in sharing some of the Snowden docs with the NY Times? Maybe if Cameron hadn't done everything he could to try to stifle a free UK press, the Guardian wouldn't have felt the need to share documents with a competitor.
    Conservative MP Michael Ellis: Mr Rusbridger, you authorised files stolen by [National Security Agency contractor Edward] Snowden which contained the names of intelligence staff to be communicated elsewhere. Yes or no?

    Rusbridger: Well I think I've already dealt with that.

    Ellis: Well if you could just answer the question.

    Rusbridger: I think it's been known for six months that these documents contained names and that I shared them with the New York Times.

    Ellis: Do you accept that that is a criminal offence under section 58(a) of the Terrorism Act, 2000?

    Rusbridger: You may be a lawyer, Mr Ellis, I'm not.

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And from there it took a turn to the bizarre as Ellis started talking about how Rusbridger might reveal that GCHQ agents were gay. I'm not kidding.
    Ellis: Secret and top-secret documents. And do you accept that the information contained personal information that could lead to the identity even of the sexual orientation of persons working within GCHQ?

    Rusbridger: The sexual orientation thing is completely new to me. If you could explain how we've done that then I'd be most interested.

    Ellis: In part, from your own newspaper on 2 August, which is still available online, because you refer to the fact that GCHQ has its own Pride group for staff and I suggest to you that the data contained within the 58,000 documents also contained data that allowed your newspaper to report that information. It is therefore information now that is not any longer protected under the laws and that jeopardises those individuals, does it not?

    Rusbridger: You've completely lost me Mr Ellis. There are gay members of GCHQ, is that a surprise?

    Ellis: It's not amusing Mr Rusbridger. They shouldn't be outed by you and your newspaper.

    [Brief inaudible exchange in which both men are talking]

    Rusbridger: The notion of the existence of a Pride group within GCHQ, actually if you go to the Stonewall website you can find the same information there. I fail to see how that outs a single member of GCHQ.

    Ellis: You said it was news to you, so you know about the Stonewall website, so it's not news to you. It was in your newspaper. What about the fact that GCHQ organised trips to Disneyland in Paris, that's also been printed in your newspaper, does that mean if you knew that, information including the family details of members of GCHQ is also within the 58,000 documents – the security of which you have seriously jeopardised?

    Rusbridger: Again, your references are lost to me. The fact that there was a family outing from GCHQ to Disneyland … [CUT OFF]

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There was much more in the hearing, with multiple UK members of parliament making statements that suggest that they are ignorant of a variety of things, including how encryption works and the nature of a free and open press.

But, really, just the fact that they're spending time investigating Rusbridger in the first place, rather than looking more closely at what the GCHQ is doing, makes a complete mockery of the UK Parliament.

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Some people (not me you understand) might suggest that whilst there is evidently no shortage of totalitarian and moronic/idiotic behaviour superbly exhibited by the American government actors - who have apparently learned their parts very well - it pales into insignificance by comparison with the above exhibition of skills from the British government actors, and the Brits are much more funny overall because they use stacks of irony. However, I couldn't possibly comment.

An excellent panto.
Pass the popcorn. Priceless.


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