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[liberationtech] Boundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data

Nadim Kobeissi nadim at
Sun Jun 9 09:53:00 PDT 2013

On 2013-06-09, at 11:49 AM, Katrin Verclas <katrin at> wrote:

> +1000 on Nadim's comment who is not always that civil either.

It's absolutely right that I also sometimes can get riled up or passionate.But they key word there is "sometimes".  Some on this list are just almost *always* like that like it's an acceptable form of behaviour. It's not — it's bullying and oppression. It's stepping on people's throats. And it has to stop.

The amount of abuse I took as a new professional in information security a year+ ago was so intense that I had to start seeing a shrink. Many of the people behind that abuse are on this list. Some need to understand the limits between productive discourse and debate and what, quite frankly, amounts to nothing more than wagging your genitals at others.

I am neither white or from a privileged background. I actually immigrated to Canada due to my family losing its livelihood thanks to Israeli bombings. And yet even though I've been through a lot, even I still find the abuse and disrespect propagated by some in this community to be hard to handle, even when it's directed at others.

When I sent my first email complaining about this, I got many encouragements in private from people who didn't speak out in public because they were afraid of having "their throats jumped" upon. I wish they would join me in making their concerns public. Why do I always have to be the one to say what's on everyone's mind?

This list isn't about shaming stupidity. It's about educating stupidity. It's not about teaching people the "guts" they need to be "up to the task of liberating". No one here has the authority to teach strangers about what they can and can't handle. Stop being so arrogant, egotistical, apathetic and near-sighted. It's about damn time this list, and this community, started being professional and respectful.

I'm sick and tired! Those who continue being abusive bullies should be called out. I understand a lot of them still contribute a lot of valuable information and debate (and I admire them for it,) but we need to separate the two facets.


> If you notice who speaks on this list- it's geeky men. And not just speak but flame at times and engage in silly meta discussions best filtered out. 
> The discourse on this list, in general, does not encourage truly thoughtful discussion nor does it invite diverse voices. That might be lost on people like RK but it's not lost on the many "others" here who are not speaking.  Liberation isn't just for and by the few white men spouting off here more often than not. Might be worth keeping in mind when posting. 
> On Jun 9, 2013, at 10:08, Rich Kulawiec <rsk at> wrote:
>> On Sun, Jun 09, 2013 at 09:45:31AM -0400, Nadim Kobeissi wrote:
>>> I don't agree with x z (and rather agree with you), but I'm really tired of just how aggressive and rude you always are on Libtech. 
>> First: you've got to be kidding.  I've never seen a single message on
>> this list that goes past about 2 on a 10 scale.  (Not that I'd mind
>> seeing things that go higher: I really do enjoy quality flamage.)
>> Second: stupidity, in all forms, fully deserves to be slapped down --
>> hard.  I expect that if I say something stupid here (and if I haven't
>> already, eventually I will) that I'll get hammered for it.  Good.
>> I should be.  Because I would rather endure the pummelling and the
>> possible embarassment than persist in being wrong.  (Or worse,
>> making someone else be wrong too because they think I'm right when
>> I'm most certainly not.)
>> Third: anyone who can't handle the exceedingly gentle discussions here
>> (which are, generally speaking, held between people who are *all on the
>> same side*, at least in a philosophical sense), is really, really not
>> up to the task of "liberating" anything.  Because doing so will require
>> going up against people who will do far more than just type a few mildly
>> caustic words in an email message from time to time.
>> Jacob's contributions here are among the most cogent and useful.  I don't
>> care how "aggressive" and "rude" he is (and I don't think he is at all,
>> by the way), I care if he's right -- and he has an excellent track record
>> of being so.
>> ---rsk
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