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The Loss of Trust Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 8:04 AM
Grasshopper

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I'm not sure how anyone outside the top eschelon of the NSA would know just what is being done with the data. There is no real oversight and there are ghost programs unknown to even the President. Have you listened to the Tice interview?

As for voting, the NSA fears no R or D. Those parties should be boycotted, IMO.
Post #1492796
Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 8:10 AM
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I'm not usually too fond of engaging in political discource, but here goes...

Replacing legislators is indeed part of our system, yes; but who they're replaced by isn't a matter of choice for the American populace, to an extent. Yes, we get to vote for our representatives and various other government officials, but what we don't do is determine who's running for those positions. There are barriers to entry for lawmakers, and those barriers filter out much of the populace. By the time votes are being cast, the eligible pool is down to a comparatively tiny group of people; if nobody in that group feels the way you do about the issues important to you, who do you vote for? Nevermind the ability for them to change their stance on something once elected, for one reason or another (for example, Hilary Clinton's push for government-funded healthcare, which mysteriously stopped after she was given several millions of dollars by pharmaceutical companies).

Beyond that, the Constitution is not an absolute defense of our rights. Yes, as it's written, it should be. But the Constitution is merely a sheet of parchment with fancy writing on it; as the document itself states, it's up to the populace to elect officials to carry out the will of the Constitution. If the people we elect don't care to do that, then it has no power. Officials can merely ignore the Constitution if they'd like; who will punish them? We do indeed have a system of checks and balances on power, but that operates with the idea that those checks and balances will be enforced. If nobody's willing to do so, what good are they?

As a recent example, the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned. This act was blatantly unconstitutional; it violated the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, which states that legal actions in one state are applicable to all states. Ergo, if you commit murder in one state, you're wanted for it everywhere, not just where you committed murder. Conversely, if you're married in one state, you need not apply for a marriage license in other states if you move; it's carried with you. However, DOMA stated that same-sex marriage is only applicable to the state the license was granted in. By the writing of the Constitution, that shouldn't have been possible; defying a central clause of the Constitution (and, truly, one that's necessary for law to have any meaning at all) shouldn't have happened. Unfortunately, nobody wanted to act against it, and it was put into law. From there, it took more than a decade to get it removed. If a law can violate the Constitution so fundamentally, yet exist for multiple presidential terms, it's clear that the protection on our rights only exists as much as lawmakers wish for them to exist.

Whew. And with all that, I'll climb down off my soapbox, I suppose. I agree that the NSA's conduct and invasion of privacy are quite quesionable, but as long as we're only given candidates that are compliant with them in our polls, there isn't much we can do to reverse the situation, aside from hoping someone more resilient comes along for the next election.




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Post #1492801
Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 8:12 AM


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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (9/8/2013)

Ugh. How long before we have people spying on our databases as well? A sad, sad, time.

What? You mean you think it isn't already happening?


Tom
Post #1492802
Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 8:35 AM


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dtevlin 55845 (9/9/2013)
You do need encryption for your business data, but the group you need to be wary of is China and Russia. They have a long history of economic espionage for their state owned industries.

So far as we on this side of the pond is concerned, most industrial espionage is conducted by Us companies, or by the Us border agencies on behalf of US companies, or by the NSA on behalf of Us companies; local industrial espionage (from within the EU,, whether the same country or not) is a close second; Russia and China come in somewhere later.

Lastly, the network component that NSA is most likely to target is your switch. Going after the core switch is the biggest bang for the buck, instead of piecemeal attacks on individual servers or components.

Why do you think people route everything through their core switch? In my experience, only extremely small companies do that.


Tom
Post #1492810
Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 8:45 AM
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L' Eomot Inversé (9/9/2013)
dtevlin 55845 (9/9/2013)
You do need encryption for your business data, but the group you need to be wary of is China and Russia. They have a long history of economic espionage for their state owned industries.

So far as we on this side of the pond is concerned, most industrial espionage is conducted by Us companies, or by the Us border agencies on behalf of US companies, or by the NSA on behalf of Us companies; local industrial espionage (from within the EU,, whether the same country or not) is a close second; Russia and China come in somewhere later.

Lastly, the network component that NSA is most likely to target is your switch. Going after the core switch is the biggest bang for the buck, instead of piecemeal attacks on individual servers or components.

Why do you think people route everything through their core switch? In my experience, only extremely small companies do that.


Subscribe to SANS. You will see very quickly that China is the leading attacker, but most of the EU is also attacking the US. I BELIEVE Britain has not been caught breaking into US installations, or at least not listed. Other than that, if a country has any Internet connection at all, you can believe they are doing it.

Some countries do it for national security reasons, some for economic advantages - but all that are capable do it.


Dave
Post #1492813
Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 8:51 AM
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hisakimatama (9/9/2013)
I'm not usually too fond of engaging in political discource, but here goes...

Replacing legislators is indeed part of our system, yes; but who they're replaced by isn't a matter of choice for the American populace, to an extent. Yes, we get to vote for our representatives and various other government officials, but what we don't do is determine who's running for those positions. There are barriers to entry for lawmakers, and those barriers filter out much of the populace. By the time votes are being cast, the eligible pool is down to a comparatively tiny group of people; if nobody in that group feels the way you do about the issues important to you, who do you vote for? Nevermind the ability for them to change their stance on something once elected, for one reason or another (for example, Hilary Clinton's push for government-funded healthcare, which mysteriously stopped after she was given several millions of dollars by pharmaceutical companies).

Beyond that, the Constitution is not an absolute defense of our rights. Yes, as it's written, it should be. But the Constitution is merely a sheet of parchment with fancy writing on it; as the document itself states, it's up to the populace to elect officials to carry out the will of the Constitution. If the people we elect don't care to do that, then it has no power. Officials can merely ignore the Constitution if they'd like; who will punish them? We do indeed have a system of checks and balances on power, but that operates with the idea that those checks and balances will be enforced. If nobody's willing to do so, what good are they?

As a recent example, the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned. This act was blatantly unconstitutional; it violated the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, which states that legal actions in one state are applicable to all states. Ergo, if you commit murder in one state, you're wanted for it everywhere, not just where you committed murder. Conversely, if you're married in one state, you need not apply for a marriage license in other states if you move; it's carried with you. However, DOMA stated that same-sex marriage is only applicable to the state the license was granted in. By the writing of the Constitution, that shouldn't have been possible; defying a central clause of the Constitution (and, truly, one that's necessary for law to have any meaning at all) shouldn't have happened. Unfortunately, nobody wanted to act against it, and it was put into law. From there, it took more than a decade to get it removed. If a law can violate the Constitution so fundamentally, yet exist for multiple presidential terms, it's clear that the protection on our rights only exists as much as lawmakers wish for them to exist.

Whew. And with all that, I'll climb down off my soapbox, I suppose. I agree that the NSA's conduct and invasion of privacy are quite quesionable, but as long as we're only given candidates that are compliant with them in our polls, there isn't much we can do to reverse the situation, aside from hoping someone more resilient comes along for the next election.

I am no fan of the Clintons, but I have to point out that as crooked as they are and were, plenty of Republicans are in the same boat. As I said, both parties are liars and cheats, we tend to ignore it when our team does it.

As to the constitution, there are 18 enumerated powers for the federal government. The feds have no right governing marraige at all. Our federal government has no rights beyond those 18! Remember the civil war? The reason it was fought was over state's rights, but we allow our schools to tell us otherwise. We are back in the same situation today, except hopefully nobody has to go to war over it.


Dave
Post #1492815
Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 8:59 AM
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Warning: This is only related to the NSA in a very broad sense.

The earlier post moved to the area of States Rights versus federal power. Federal power must have its limits or "States Rights" mean nothing. States are another check and balance of power.

Now from my soap box... Why does the federal government have so much influence over the education of children? It is a parental or family matter first. City, state and nation have interests in all citizens. Do you think that each bigger organization knows better than a smaller organization just because it is big? The further you move from a unique child with unique needs, the closer you come to one-size-fits-all being the only size available whether or not it works.

Who is the NSA to decide that my privacy must be forfeited?
Post #1492819
Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 9:14 AM
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An informed and motivated electorate in a modern republic/democracy is arguably the best defense. Sadly, being the reformed idealist that I am, that gives me little comfort since I don't see a lot of evidence that such societies exist or at least not in the US. Information is power and people will always struggle for an edge so I'm not surprised at all this going on. However, I don't believe the level of competence at the NSA (or the CIA) warrants the fear it seems to evoke in a lot of people. Have you ever seen a government pay scale? Given the ludicrous sums of money the US spends on intelligence they should know what color Putin's underwear is going to be each morning before he does. I remember reading an article a few years ago about quantum entangled communications that were theoretically unbreakable. Anybody else know anything about this? If everybody had access to truly secure communications what might the implications be? Great topic.
Post #1492825
Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 9:17 AM
Grasshopper

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Could be one of the outcomes is automatic unquestioning of US government policy. I wonder why my 5 year old needed to say the Pledge before she understood what it meant. The NSA I must have our best interests in mind is an automatic response for many.
Post #1492829
Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 9:40 AM


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Stephen Frick (9/9/2013)
Steve Jones wrote that size does not matter. This misses a crucial point: government is force. Government has the exclusive privilege on legal use of force. Government is not like any "one" else.

If I steal your data, you may not legally come with a weapon and force me into your basement. The government can use a weapon and a prison against me.

Government is given the authority to use force to protect citizens from bad citizens. Who protects citizens from bad government?

What happens when the enforcer is a bully and misuses force?



True, and there are problems with the size of government and sheer power they wield, or is wielded by a few people poorly.

However my comment was the fact that individuals or small groups can perform similar attacks and cause the same types of impact in a way that was previously the domain of governments or countries. Now a few people could potentially create attacks at the same scale or effectiveness of governments.







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