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RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Politics & Religion » Edward Snowden and you: liberty or blissful ignorance?

View Poll Results - What do you think about Snowden's actions?

It needed to be done - the government is overstepping its bounds. 25 92.59%
His actions were illegal -the programs are in place to combat crime and we don't need to fear them. 2 7.41%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

Default Edward Snowden and you: liberty or blissful ignorance?

June 11th, 2013, 20:48
I am simply appalled, disgusted, & disappointed that roughly HALF of Americans feel it's ok that the Government has been, in secret, building a database for every single citizen to "combat terror." Then you have articles such as this one that actually go so far as to accuse Snowden, the former NSA employee turned leaker, of being the one at fault in this entire charade.

I've been so overwhelmingly shocked by a country's willingness to forego their constitutional rights in the name of security. Do people not realize that such programs can only increase in size and scope?

Disappointed.
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June 11th, 2013, 21:54
Well, I am German, but I voted anyway since this is an issue close to heart for me. I was born in Eastern Germany, and though I was a kid at the time, since my father escaped before reunification I know the oppressive feeling when "walls have ears". Today, our private sphere extends into the internet, and I do not want my children to grow up in a world were big brother government is not merely fiction and privacy a thing of the past.

I am all for the government limiting some freedoms, e.g. those of corporations to pollute the environment, I am for taxes being paid to build infrastructure and support health care and education, and I am not for an ubiquitous and unchecked right to bear firearms. But just as the state must set some limits to protect the people from themselves, its own power must be checked for a healthy society to exist where people can pursue their liberties without fear of oppression. The US are overstepping these bounds because of fear, sadly. I understand why they do it, but they lost perspective.

Also, obviously Edward Snowden broke national law, but in this case clearly followed higher ethics. He should be admired, not persecuted.
Last edited by coyote; June 11th, 2013 at 22:09.
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June 11th, 2013, 21:58
I understand that security is important, and I support that law enforcement needs tools to investigate also in cyberspace. But these measures have to be openly discussed in a democratic society, and have to have the support of the people in an open discussion. Not implemented in secret, with "control" only decided by the very people that implement the system.
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June 12th, 2013, 01:12
From the Guardian interview

That access, along with the almost three years he spent around CIA officers, led him to begin seriously questioning the rightness of what he saw.

He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.

"Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world," he says. "I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good."
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June 12th, 2013, 04:24
My current view which is not fully formed is that I think it may not fully illegal what he has done. Is it illegal to expose unconstitutional activities performed by the US government? In all likelihood it is by current interpretation of the law and the Supreme Court will likely never rule on it even if given opportunity. I think what he has exposed is not a surprise to me especially after warrant-less wiretaps but is effectively illegal search of all Americans and therefore unconstitutional regardless of the hoops they force themselves to jump through.

What actually bugs me most is the attitude toward foreign persons. Basically, anyone not a US citizen is effectively fully unprotected and we do not seem to care. The US has sunk to a new low when it is not trying to uphold rights for all humanity and has engaged in us-vs-them mentality like we would expect from our worst enemies. (Of course there is nothing new here and was folly to believe anything but the worst of the government.)

Anyway I've seen a lot of people putting their heads in a hole and saying something like "I have nothing to hide; they can search my emails, house and car anytime they want. I totally trust my government and its employees to do the right thing."

This guy states something close to my view better than I do here.
Last edited by figment; June 12th, 2013 at 04:36.
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June 12th, 2013, 05:00
The poll choices aren't really worded properly.

Technically, there is absolutely no choice here as the law of the land is clear and Snowden violated it by divulging classified information. Since he's a civilian contractor, he can't even hide behind the "enemies foreign and domestic" clause. End of discussion.

That obviously doesn't capture the issue here. While I'm probably far more willing to allow authorities to sift thru my life in the interest of security than most of you lefties, I have some real heartburn with such a blatant violation of the constitution. Given our national history of civil disobedience, Snowden's actions can be justified even though they are undeniably illegal. Of course, even in a "righteous" battle, the point of the spear usually doesn't make it.

I'm really looking forward to the logical gymnastics coming from the Obama-bots as they try to defend their messiah. He knew, he's admitted he knew, and he's defended the decision. Not much wiggle room left.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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June 12th, 2013, 10:45
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
I'm really looking forward to the logical gymnastics coming from the Obama-bots as they try to defend their messiah. He knew, he's admitted he knew, and he's defended the decision. Not much wiggle room left.
EVERYONE should be appalled that (a) in the government reaction to 9/11 we did exactly what everyone said 'would let the terrorists win' (i.e. massive government police state build-up) (b) none of it has gone away.

Actually I find it more interesting to see all the right-wingers who were all 'rah rah patriotism, combat terror, you can't be against this if you have nothing to hide' when it was shown just how deep the Bush administration had gone in this area (i.e. none of this is really new), who are all now 'OMG this is awful'.

It WAS awful, IS awful and always will be awful.

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June 12th, 2013, 10:59
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
EVERYONE should be appalled that (a) in the government reaction to 9/11 we did exactly what everyone said 'would let the terrorists win' (i.e. massive government police state build-up) (b) none of it has gone away.

Actually I find it more interesting to see all the right-wingers who were all 'rah rah patriotism, combat terror, you can't be against this if you have nothing to hide' when it was shown just how deep the Bush administration had gone in this area (i.e. none of this is really new), who are all now 'OMG this is awful'.

It WAS awful, IS awful and always will be awful.
Pretty much what I have been thinking.
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June 12th, 2013, 11:24
Well… what surprised me is that a lot of people appeared surprised.

Facebook and google for example makes it clear that they are keeping all your personal information. The U.S. government haven't made it a secret that they are supervising internet either, even if they are not making it as clear as the swedish gouverment ( the FRA means that swedish gouverment can basically save and supervise everything, and they are telling clearly they do that, given that facebook is building it's data-center in Sweden… it also means Swedish gov, get all the Facebook info).

But anyway no surprise is there it is more or less already known information. They could as well have made it even more clear to avoid such a thing happening.

Either way Snowden is in the wrong, if you are working in a government function and sign papers to keep secrets for the good of the nation ( same thing appears for some of the wikileaks ). Sometimes there is a reason that something is KEPT secret, and the boss might not tell you in detail why, and revealing this could endanger a lot of people. He should have found another method for what he wanted to do.
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June 12th, 2013, 18:13
Originally Posted by Korplem View Post
Pretty much what I have been thinking.
Yep, typical politically motivated hypocrisy from the right.
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June 12th, 2013, 18:43
This issue should transcend traditional political bickering. Bush gave us the Patriot Act and Obama has expanded its associated programs.
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June 12th, 2013, 18:59
I can't vote - because it ain't happening in my country.

But if it did happen in my country, ppl would turn onto the government, not onto the whistleblower.

And the social networks… I really don't care. Never regged there, never will. Whoever is using those, whatever he/she got is well deserved.

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June 12th, 2013, 19:24
This sums up my feelings:



A lot of people have made an interesting comparison to Bradley Manning, but I think there is a huge difference. Snowden, at least to my knowledge, simply disclosed a program, that at best is unethical and at worst is a gross violation of the Consitutional right to privacy. At worst, Snowden indirectly put the population at risk because NSA may lose one of their tools for countering terrorist threats. Manning on the other hand, sent out actual documents that put lives directly in danger, everyone from his fellow soldiers to people that have helped the US. That is a HUGE difference IMO.

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June 12th, 2013, 19:25
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
From the Guardian interview
I don't really have an issue with that quote, that's asset gathering 101.

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June 12th, 2013, 19:43
Oh, really, it's OK to get someone arrested while endangering himself and possibly other drivers just to gain his confidence. I thought you had some modicum of morality.
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June 12th, 2013, 21:04
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Oh, really, it's OK to get someone arrested while endangering himself and possibly other drivers just to gain his confidence. I thought you had some modicum of morality.
He chose to get drunk (they didn't force feed it to him did they?)
He chose to drive (they didn't actually put him in the car did they?)
Did they arrainge the traffic stop (possible, but being that they were in another country, probably not)?

They merely took advantage of the man's short comings. I believe in personal responsibility

Now if they had framed him for murder or something, yeah, I'd have a problem with that.

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June 12th, 2013, 21:14
You do know that aiding and abetting a crime is a punishable offense in this country? How about taking responsibility for ones own effect on others? What a selfish and irresponsible point of view you have.
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June 12th, 2013, 21:17
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Well… what surprised me is that a lot of people appeared surprised.

Facebook and google for example makes it clear that they are keeping all your personal information. The U.S. government haven't made it a secret that they are supervising internet either, even if they are not making it as clear as the swedish gouverment ( the FRA means that swedish gouverment can basically save and supervise everything, and they are telling clearly they do that, given that facebook is building it's data-center in Sweden… it also means Swedish gov, get all the Facebook info).

But anyway no surprise is there it is more or less already known information. They could as well have made it even more clear to avoid such a thing happening.

Either way Snowden is in the wrong, if you are working in a government function and sign papers to keep secrets for the good of the nation ( same thing appears for some of the wikileaks ). Sometimes there is a reason that something is KEPT secret, and the boss might not tell you in detail why, and revealing this could endanger a lot of people. He should have found another method for what he wanted to do.
Yeah I don't use those partially for that reason and partly because they seem aimed at teenage girls. The fact it has taken root at all ages and walks of life is disturbing in its own right.

I'm sure you'll find that they compiled this list by taking people they don't like, adding their facebook friends, and their friend's friends as well. There was already a similar scandal about that kind of guilt by association. But how ridiculous is that?

Especially since the root cause is likely they were at some kind of protest or are in a union. Of course now there are paid activists too, but they are exempt they put out the messages that various interest groups WANT out there, not the ones they DON'T want - the guys putting those out go on a list for concentration camps.

These guys making these plans should get jail time.
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June 12th, 2013, 21:24
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
You do know that aiding and abetting a crime is a punishable offense in this country?
Given that no person in the history of the United States has been prosecuted for telling a friend "yeah, have another drink", I'd say you just tossed out a strawman.

How about taking responsibility for ones own effect on others? What a selfish and irresponsible point of view you have.
Not at all. I just think that the ultimate responsibility falls on the person who does the act, not those that goad him into it. I personally don't goad people into doing things I don't think they should do, but I'm not going hold a 3rd party responsible for someone else's decision.

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June 12th, 2013, 21:31
Really? even if they purposely convinced that person to commit a crime and put themselves and others at risk? You have a very irresponsible sense of right and wrong.
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