Is it ok? - NSA and Privacy

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Moody, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. The man stole highly classified information and put it out not just for the American people to see, but, our enemies aswell. (Where does the man who leaked high level intelligence go? To Russia. Of all the places to go.)

    You can justify it any way you want, but, his actions, first and foremost, are treasonous. Even if, in your eyes, you see what he did as good.
  2. Although the OP specifically refers to the NSA and places the context within an exclusively American debate, there is a broader theme and a larger diversity of attitudes towards privacy.

    The American legal tradition only extends as far as non-interference, not to prohibit government surveillance, so I don't understand why some Americans think their 'rights' are or have been violated. AFAIK there is no constitutional or statutory right to absolute privacy, and if there was everybody would become a criminal for the simple act of asking "What's your name? Where are you from? Where do you live? These questions are eliciting personal information that no-one attaches any importance to. Why is it wrong for our governments to have a record of the answers? If governments were not allowed to keep records on individuals then they simply could not function. No electoral roll, no tax registers, no registers of company directors, no births or deaths register, hence no passports, no schools registers, no judicial records, no crime reports, etc.

    The objection seems to be distrust of joining up these myriads snippets of information, but that is more suggestive of a low level of trust in your governments.

    Europeans have a different experience of privacy. Rights to a private life and confidentiality of their personal data are guaranteed in Statute law in each member state (in the UK the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Data Protection Act 1998). The Data Protection Act proceeds from the assumption that your personal information is sacrosanct and details how it can be stored and processed legally, and also includes important exemptions for data sharing for the prevention of crime, tax avoidance, and to protect public funds. This legislation applies equally to governments and commercial entities.

    And that for us is the important distinction. We don't mind governments collecting our data but we do object its commercialisation for private profit without our explicit consent. It's baffling why U.S. citizens seem so relaxed about that.
  3. I'm sorry but I think that's perhaps a little disingenuous. These judicial decisions derive from the well established protection of personal property in common law, not personal privacy.
  4. Following this line of logic, the Founders of the United States should also have turned themselves in, since they were all breaking British law.

    In fact, by today's standards, the Founders would be considered "terrorists."
  5. Even if you think is actions were treasonous, what about the NSA?

    They'd still be violating the rights of Americans if it weren't for Snowden's bravery.

  6. Literally no idea, I pay about as much attention to american politics as I do to my family- as little as possible
  7. The Supreme Court has ruled on many occasions that the Bill of Rights frames the right to privacy through the 4th and 5th amendments - the right to protection against unreasonable search and seizure and the right of protection from self-incrimination. These two rights together enumerate really what privacy is all about - the right to be left alone.

    The example questions you've asked can be asked by anyone, but the person being asked can simply refuse to answer, so there's no violation there because the right to privacy is preserved if the person being asked simply refuses to answer and isn't forced to answer.

    Again, the example questions you used are voluntary disclosures. No one is forced by the government to disclose such information.

    All these things are voluntary disclosures. Don't work, don't pay tax. You don't have to vote. Sure, you've got to have a birth certificate and death certificate, but that's not an invasion of privacy. Privacy is about behavior and thoughts. It's about the things you do throughout your life, not how you came into or left this life.

    It's a well-founded mistrust, as the government has used (and continues to use) its spying power to harm Americans.

    Actually, there's a growing number of people outraged by commercialized private data. The problem is that American government is corrupt. Special interests have enabled analytic companies to pilfer our data without consequence.

    Admittedly, the vast majority of people (not just Americans) simply are not invested in protecting their rights. Do Europeans read the terms and conditions every time they do an online transaction or download an app more than Americans do? I don't know. I do know that in general, there are lots of people out there who have never read any terms and conditions, let alone privacy policies of these companies. People just click "Agree" for every notice that appears on their device.

    Why? I don't know. But what I do know is that when you sit these people down and explain verbally exactly what they're agreeing to, they get angry. And that's happening more and more as people learn about what they're agreeing to. It's great that this awareness is increasing and I think eventually companies will have to update their terms and conditions to ensure that their customer data is protected, rather than monetized.
  8. My apologise for seeming to be too US centric, I did make reference to the UK's version of the NSA as well but I stuck with the example that the world is likely to know and, as an international community, discuss.

    However, your response is beautifully well thought out and I appreciate the work you put into this discussion. I don't profess to be an expert on any "Is it ok" questions but I look forward to more of your input as I keep these threads going :) as well as on this one!
  9. Are you actually thinking before you type I'm just curious. If you are then I guess ok. I mean we the american people like I stated before should know the government listens in on us. If you forgot scroll up. Its not new news. Obviously there is some people in the government breaks laws like ummmmmm on the top of my head Hillary Clinton.
  10. I would ask you the same question. I took the time to write you a thoughtful response that clearly showed that I read your entire post, weighed it's merit, and responded to it point by point.

    I would appreciate the same respect the next time you respond to me in this forum.

    If not, then this thread will change from an informative discussion to a reality TV-style circus show like Jerry springer where we just throw around insults and learn nothing and waste our time.

    That's not something I want to be a part of.
  11. Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!
  12. Oh, Jesus :lol:

  13. I just asked a question but that is funny and btw the supreme court is only supposed to interpret the law not make laws I could be wrong I'll have to look that up.
  14. @king,

    I would say that in general, it is better to know what you're talking about before you say something or form an opinion, which is ironic considering you just accused me of that very thing when you're the one making ill-informed statements.
  15. I did state I'll have to look into it so ummmmm yea
  16. Are you going to comment on the link?