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Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Metaphysical Logic Of Spying

How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet
By Steven Levy   01.07.14   6:30 AM
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and the other tech titans have had to fight for their lives against their own government. An exclusive look inside their year from hell—and why the Internet will never be the same.

On June 6, 2013, Washington Post reporters called the communications depart­ments of Apple, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and other Internet companies. The day before, a report in the British newspaper The Guardian had shocked Americans with evidence that the telecommunications giant Verizon had voluntarily handed a database of every call made on its network to the National Security Agency. The piece was by reporter Glenn Greenwald, and the information came from Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old IT consultant who had left the US with hundreds of thousands of documents detailing the NSA’s secret procedures...
A good article and an excellent example of how "good intentions" transform themselves into authoritarianism and oppression. There is not a huge divide between democracy and dictatorship, rather it is but a single step in the wrong direction in the garden of forking paths, and everything is changed.

There is also a charming metaphysics about spying and surveillance.
Since the NSA cannot release too much information, it can claim that everything it does is not only necessary, but it is efficient in that it has resulted in numerous terrorist plots and cabals being broken up.

Only it cannot be proved, because the data which would prove the case are still classified information.

So we believe on faith.

The propositions of the NSA are assigned Truth on a basis which cannot be examined. It is Faith, and it is Faith of the most degraded type, for it has as its focus an omnipotent human power.

The politicians may say "war on terror" all they wish, but we are not in a war in any sense of the term which existed until 2001.
There is need for many anti-terrorist activities, but they do not constitute a war.
Because War has been accepted as a reason for the suspension of the right of habeas corpus, for one thing, and we are seeing right now the "inspired" and inventive combinations of policy in Guantanamo, where non-Americans are held for decades, and drone strikes overseas against some who are American citizens.
The necessities of war require extraordinary sacrifice what we normally see as our rights and just due. The name "war" should not be allowed to justify an unprecedented power grab by a department of government never even imagined by the Founding Fathers.


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