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[liberationtech] Spin alerts

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at
Mon Jun 10 21:49:24 PDT 2013

On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 4:03 PM, Todd Davies <davies at> wrote:
> Two issues that are tending to get conflated in the wider discourse about
> PRISM, Boundless Informant, etc. are:
> (1) Are these programs justifieid?
> (2) Was it justified to keep the existence of these programs secret?

(1) can't be answered in a vacuum of secrecy because— as almost anyone
who finds the program concerning would agree— a fundamental concept of
democracy is no one person or small group of people has the general
moral authority to make that kind of decision— absent some kind of
immediate exigency ... uh, which is really hard to argue for something
which has gone on so long.

And so absent (2) we can't even have the conversation about (1).  I
think these two points are less distinct than you think they are:  (2)
was the question Snowden needed to answer for himself so that the rest
of us would be able to even consider (1).

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