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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2013, 12:56 PM
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Re: PRISM

Technology and some computer algorithms just might save you or your fellow countrymen from some horrific acts of some untold crazy person.

No country is safe from the loons. If you could stop an act of terror, is it worth it? Too many billions of messages flying to really pay attention, only certain keywords or unusual traffic might prompt a look. If you don't like it don't like what the US might be doing, be glad your not in China or Russia.

Last edited by bwhhisc; 20th August 2013 at 01:00 PM..
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2013, 01:08 PM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha View Post
I repeat my point. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Assuming you can't control it anyway, or believe what anyone tells you is happening or nor, why bother getting into a bluster about it.
I think McCarthy proved that was not true.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2013, 01:18 PM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwhhisc View Post
Technology and some computer algorithms just might save you or your fellow countrymen from some horrific acts of some untold crazy person.

No country is safe from the loons. If you could stop an act of terror, is it worth it? Too many billions of messages flying to really pay attention, only certain keywords or unusual traffic might prompt a look. If you don't like it don't like what the US might be doing, be glad your not in China or Russia.
Yes, but unfortunately the Loons I fear most come from your country.

Frankly, I am a little dismayed at what is going on in Egypt and would like to know a little more about the level of US involvement. One minute we are restoring democracy, the next minute we have the US President backing off an association with a Military that has just seized power again after being bankrolled by the US for decades.

The problem is that there are millions of Muslim Brotherhood Supporters, most of whom were not extremist. At least they weren't until they were radicalised by the violence of the last few weeks.

One of the things that US needs to understand about democracy is that it has to respect the outcome. Recent episode suggest it has problems doing that it it in its own backyard let alone abroad.

Hounding whistleblowers around the globe does not bode well for the freedoms of the rest of us. Frankly, there is a very dark and dangerous side to the US adminstration and personally resent my country acting as their lackies.

If you allies shows that level of distrust, you can see why the like of Russia and China may not always see eye to eye.

Democracy is more than a badge as states from East Germany to North Korea have proven.
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Old 20th August 2013, 04:02 PM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubber Duck View Post
One of the things that US needs to understand about democracy is that it has to respect the outcome. Recent episode suggest it has problems doing that it it in its own backyard let alone abroad.
Agree with you on that, most American citizens want out of foreign meddling etc. but obvious our government can't get the message until we can change leadership in Washington. In this case, maybe they fear uncontainable escalation that could spread across the Middle East.

Last edited by Drewbert; 21st August 2013 at 12:29 AM.. Reason: quote code fixed
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2013, 04:43 PM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwhhisc View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubber Duck View Post
One of the things that US needs to understand about democracy is that it has to respect the outcome. Recent episode suggest it has problems doing that it it in its own backyard let alone abroad.
Agree with you on that, most American citizens want out of foreign meddling etc. but obvious our government can't get the message until we can change leadership in Washington. In this case, maybe they fear uncontainable escalation that could spread across the Middle East.
Yes, but the lesson of history is that most of the problems result from similar meddling in the past. Even if one avoids moral judgements past interventions have generally been counter-productive. Ask yourselves how many problems have countries like Switzerland experienced?
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Last edited by Drewbert; 21st August 2013 at 12:30 AM.. Reason: quote code fixed
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2013, 06:11 PM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwhhisc View Post
No country is safe from the loons. If you could stop an act of terror, is it worth it? Too many billions of messages flying to really pay attention, only certain keywords or unusual traffic might prompt a look. If you don't like it don't like what the US might be doing, be glad your not in China or Russia.
No, it's not worth it.

Acts of terror (in most developed nations) kill dozens, occasionally hundreds. In the very worst case in history, a few thousand people.

That's shocking, and profoundly regretful, but their real impact (except on the victims and their immediate family and friends) is the chilling effect they have on the ability of normal people to go about their regular, every-day lives free of "fear".

One of the biggest chilling effects is the total destruction of privacy that's being introduced through programs like PRISM (and previously Echelon and others).

The impact of such programs - and the consequences they bring - is felt by everyone. So you're forcing billions of people to cower forever under an ever more rigid, proscriptive Panopticon regime for the sake of (perhaps) saving as many people in a year as die in an automobile accident in a single day.

In other words, make cars 1% safer to drive and you'll have a much larger impact on the overall mortality rate of a country, with none of the side-effects.
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Last edited by Edwin; 20th August 2013 at 06:15 PM..
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2013, 06:20 PM
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Re: PRISM

This is extremely relevant to the discussion
http://www.infowars.com/statistics-s...-by-terrorism/
http://www.salon.com/2013/08/20/5_my...ner/singleton/
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Last edited by Edwin; 20th August 2013 at 06:23 PM..
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2013, 07:50 PM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
No, it's not worth it.

Acts of terror (in most developed nations) kill dozens, occasionally hundreds. In the very worst case in history, a few thousand people..
that's not a fair comparison. what you are comparing is the status quo.

A fair comparison would be to imagine what terrorist acts might be allowed to happen should there be zero surveillance of any kind. A dirty bomb/nuke would eclipse your reference to dozens, occasionally hundreds.

Unlikely? maybe. but relative peace of mind has a price.

Last edited by alpha; 20th August 2013 at 09:10 PM..
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2013, 08:19 PM
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Re: PRISM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War

Quote:
Associated Press 110,600 violent deaths March 2003 to April 2009
Costs of War Project 176,000–189,000 violent deaths including 134,000 civilians[1][2][3]
March 2003 to February 2013
Iraq Body Count project 112,667–123,284 civilian deaths from violence. 174,000 civilian and combatant deaths[4][5][6][7] March 2003 to March 2013
Iraq Family Health Survey 151,000 violent deaths March 2003 to June 2006
Lancet survey 601,027 violent deaths out of 654,965 excess deaths March 2003 to June 2006
Opinion Research Business survey 1,033,000 deaths as a result of the conflict March 2003 to August 2007
Classified Iraq War Logs[4][8][9][10] 109,032 deaths including 66,081 civilian deaths.[11][12] January 2004 to December 2009
The war on terror has killed 10 times more people than terrorism itself. The measures that are being taken thus don't work if success is measured in saved human lives.

The war on terror has killed even more americans(mostly soldiers) than terrorists managed to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...ualties_of_war

http://channels.isp.netscape.com/wha...die&floc=wn-nx

Quote:
Leading causes of death in the United States:
•Tobacco: 435,000 deaths, 18.1 percent of total U.S. deaths
Poor diet and physical inactivity: 400,000 deaths, 16.6 percent
•Alcohol consumption: 85,000 deaths, 3.5 percent
•Microbial agents: 75,000
•Toxic agents: 55,000
•Motor vehicle crashes: 43,000
Incidents involving firearms: 29,000 •Sexual behaviors: 20,000
•Illicit use of drugs: 17,000
If this were all rational and all about saving lives they would change gun laws and save far more people.

Last edited by 123; 20th August 2013 at 08:30 PM..
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2013, 09:37 PM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha View Post
tA fair comparison would be to imagine what terrorist acts might be allowed to happen should there be zero surveillance of any kind. A dirty bomb/nuke would eclipse your reference to dozens, occasionally hundreds.
There hasn't been "zero surveillance" for over fifty years, so that's just as unfair a comparison as anything else.

There is no threat level extant in the world today that justifies the big black hole that the NSA is building to suck in ALL data everywhere. Although they'd absolutely love you to think there is, as that provides the necessary "smokescreen" of legitimacy for them to do so...

Indeed, the world is no more dangerous than it was 3, 5, 10 years ago, nor is there any reason to believe it suddenly will be. Anyone who wants to get connected to anyone else for any reason already can, and has been able to for years and years. There's nothing "in the pipeline" to suggest that the world of the near or more distant future will be any more dangerous terrorism-wise than it is now.
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 20th August 2013, 09:41 PM
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Re: PRISM

Here's a quick quiz for you...

Excluding 9/11, how many deaths do you think there have been as a result of terrorism in the US in the last 29 years?

Scroll down to see the answer AFTER you've had your guess.
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The answer is: 491 deaths, or an average of just under 17 people killed per year. See
http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/terr...rror-rate.html

Did you get close?
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 21st August 2013, 05:11 AM
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Re: PRISM

Nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists are a serious threat, and a threat that will increase with time. So in that sense, the world 5-10 years from now will be more dangerous than the world of 5-10 years ago.

But that's not my biggest worry.

I'm old enough to remember the era of J. Edgar Hoover, who was essentially director-for-life of the FBI. He died in office at the age of 77; he had compromising material on everyone of importance in Washington, so no one dared force him to resign. Fortunately, he was content to run his law-enforcement empire; he didn't aspire to greater power.

You probably see where I'm heading. The greatest threat to our more-or-less democratic system of government is not a terrorist group armed with a nuclear bomb. It's a power-hungry director of some spy agency or other who succeeds in blackmailing his way all the way to the top. And with the surveillance tools available to him (or her), organized resistance would be just about impossible, once he secured his position.

So here's the dilemma: If our spy agencies are too weak, we risk losing some of our cities to nuclear-armed terrorists. But if our spies are too effective, and not carefully monitored, they may seize all power, and not let go.

If we're lucky, we'll find some compromise and muddle through.

Avtal
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 21st August 2013, 06:35 AM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
Here's a quick quiz for you...

Excluding 9/11, how many deaths do you think there have been as a result of terrorism in the US in the last 29 years?

Scroll down to see the answer AFTER you've had your guess.
..
.
.

The answer is: 491 deaths, or an average of just under 17 people killed per year. See
http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/terr...rror-rate.html

Did you get close?
And Japan. What are the figures from Japan?

Are they higher?

Or and they lower, and if so does this imply they have been doing a lot more spying than the US?
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 21st August 2013, 02:14 PM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwin View Post

The answer is: 491 deaths, or an average of just under 17 people killed per year. See
http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/terr...rror-rate.html

Did you get close?
491 seems a bit high. The cited list apparently includes the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which which killed 168 people, but was an act of domestic terrorism. It also lists 218 people in the US killed by terrorism in 1999, but I can't figure out which incident(s) he is referring to. Any ideas?

Avtal
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 21st August 2013, 03:36 PM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avtal View Post
491 seems a bit high. The cited list apparently includes the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which which killed 168 people, but was an act of domestic terrorism. It also lists 218 people in the US killed by terrorism in 1999, but I can't figure out which incident(s) he is referring to. Any ideas?

Avtal
Was there not some kind of mysterious plane crash off the Eastern Seaboard?

Guess rather than admit the planes were unsafe, they blame it on it on Middle East Terrorists.
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 21st August 2013, 03:37 PM
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Re: PRISM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EgyptAir_Flight_990
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old 22nd August 2013, 02:55 AM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubber Duck View Post
Thanks, that looks like the reason for the 1999 numbers. But I don't think I'd consider the victims of the crash to be victims of terrorism, in that there doesn't seem to have been an ideological motive.

Even Japan has suffered at least one terror attack, from a domestic source: Sarin_gas_attack_on_the_Tokyo_subway. Norway as well, of course. So avoiding overseas "adventures" doesn't buy you immunity from terrorism.

Anyway, my conclusion, based on past statistics, is that we would save a lot more lives by redirecting the NSA's budget, spending it instead on finding ways to cut down on medical errors in hospitals, or on making automobiles (or automobile drivers) safer.

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  #58 (permalink)  
Old 22nd August 2013, 08:18 AM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avtal View Post
Thanks, that looks like the reason for the 1999 numbers. But I don't think I'd consider the victims of the crash to be victims of terrorism, in that there doesn't seem to have been an ideological motive.

Even Japan has suffered at least one terror attack, from a domestic source: Sarin_gas_attack_on_the_Tokyo_subway. Norway as well, of course. So avoiding overseas "adventures" doesn't buy you immunity from terrorism.

Anyway, my conclusion, based on past statistics, is that we would save a lot more lives by redirecting the NSA's budget, spending it instead on finding ways to cut down on medical errors in hospitals, or on making automobiles (or automobile drivers) safer.

Avtal
Saving is one of those False Friends in English. It clearly has a different meaning in your language than ours.

The Fed is considering raising interest, because if it doesn't then the market willl do it for it and just make it look stupid.

It is considering reducing the amount of Bond that it buys. Is that because the Obama administraion is cutting its budgets, not a bit of it, but refusal to increase the debt limit by the GOP in the House means they cannot borrow as much even if they want to waste money on the NSA etc. Additionally, the banks have now already junked all the mortgage back securities that are likely to go pear-shaped on the FED. Are we talking about reducing the rediculously huge amount of money that has been created not just buying up government but just about any form of crappy debt issuance you can imagine? No, we are only tentatively talking about not buying quite as much, and then probably only because there is not so much available. Even the Chinese and Japanese will eventually taper the rate at which they are dumping US debt.
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old 24th August 2013, 01:09 PM
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Re: PRISM

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Do you feel safer now?
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Last edited by yanni; 24th August 2013 at 01:11 PM..
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  #60 (permalink)  
Old 27th August 2013, 04:37 AM
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Re: PRISM

Quote:
Originally Posted by yanni View Post
.
Do you feel safer now?
No... there aren't any drones.

Avtal
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