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View Diary: How the NSA protects us from terrorists and cheating spouses (134 comments)

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  •  Blackmail (20+ / 0-)

    With so many NSA employees and subcontractors having access to this vast amount of material, some of it quite personal, I wonder that more people aren't expressing concern about opportunities for blackmail -- especially of politicians or those running for political office.

    This is a scenario that should concern anyone with a modicum of understanding of human nature.

    Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

    by coral on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 10:35:31 AM PDT

    •  Absolutely (13+ / 0-)

      Which maybe is how the NSA got so powerful and has been so successfully in avoiding real oversight thus far....?

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 10:56:35 AM PDT

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      •  It could be that. (7+ / 0-)

        It was common knowledge around town that there were House Democrats who feared that their affairs would be exposed if they didn't get on the Clinton impeachment bandwagon, but still...

        Especially on the Senate side - and you know from experience - those personalities feel pretty immune to criticism most of the time partly because of their six-year terms and partly because they've got huge egos.

        Personally, I think that a lot of this is due to ignorance about the technology and the potential for abuse that that technology holds.  

        The programs have been "sold" to a group of people - most of whom - do not really understand the technology or the power that they have given to the agency.  They see all of the "good" and haven't a clue what the potential for bad is.

        Meanwhile, the US Government is pushing all sorts of programs that aim to get more of people's data online - which all sounds very cool until you realize that it is almost like there will be no way not to have a digital trail in every aspect of your life.  

        Medical records online is one area where it looks great except that one wonders if one wants their medical records to be accessible to hackers whether they are government approved or not.

        Online education, which seems to be a big part of Obama's initiative to "improve" higher education (I disagree in concept and theory) - my college papers were between my professor and myself.  I have the original copies of the ones that I cared about.  There isn't a long trail of my wacky thoughts in college for someone to access 20 years later.

        Anyway, it is like we are being sort of set up to have a complete and trackable online life which I think is all great until you start to think about that in the context of the massive spying apparatus.

        Just some thoughts...

    •  Spitzer, Petraeus, and who knows (5+ / 0-)

      how many others.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:05:35 AM PDT

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    •  Contractors (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, lysias, JVolvo, anana, lotlizard

      Makes a bad situation even worse. If those doing the work are contractors (Snowden), working for contractors (Booz Allen) and have their positions by virtue of security clearances done by contractors (USIS) - just where in all that do we find a government entity to hold accountable?

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:20:09 AM PDT

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      •  And is it beyond the reach of organized crime, or (0+ / 0-)

        … a fanatical organized religious group, to operate a front company plausible-looking and well-connected enough to get such contractor jobs?

        That's all it takes for them to have access to all kinds of inside information and blackmail material too.

        Scientology successfully spied on the IRS, for example, and apparently gained bargaining power sufficient to force the IRS to grant it tax-exempt status.

        The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ☮ ♥ ☺

        by lotlizard on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:09:31 PM PDT

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    •  Tice has expressed concern but he doesn't get (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markthshark, JVolvo

      as much press

      Russell Tice

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:53:09 AM PDT

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