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[liberationtech] NYTimes and Guardian on NSA

Matt Johnson railmeat at gmail.com
Fri Sep 6 10:28:04 PDT 2013


Hello Shava,

You wrote: "...the president essentially struck down posse comitatus
in May, they won't know what you are talking about..." I don't know
what you are talking about either, but I am curious. Could you send a
link or two.


Thanks
-- Matt Johnson

On Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 5:00 PM, Shava Nerad <shava23 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Part of the tone is also adopted in order to wake the sleeping baby
> anti-intellectual giants either side of the pond.  The smart magazines can
> publish smart crypto articles, but mass market newspapers have to bring
> their audiences along, even the Times and Guardian.
>
> Very few stories even bother to explain what the NSA does or what its
> function in government is, which actually rather stuns me, because I find
> that when I ask the general public that question I find that most of them
> don't know what the NSA does for the government.  Most of them assume it
> works for the executive branch, but for the DOJ as part of the whole
> civilian/State/FBI sort of DHS bits, because those lines are so muddied.
> (And yes, I am conflating Justice and State on purpose there because it's
> been done in conversation with The (Wo)Man on the Street.).
>
> People don't know basic civics.  At all.  If you tell them they should be
> upset because the military is conducting domestic surveillance, they look at
> you like "what?"  "East Germany?"  you say.  "Stasi?" you say.  Blank looks.
> No history.  Those who do not learn from history, etc.
>
> If you tell them that they should be upset because the president essentially
> struck down posse comitatus in May, they won't know what you are talking
> about, but if you say, "Basically, if a local SWAT team decides they need
> backup in some kind of emergency situation and they can't get hold of the
> governor to call for National Guard?  They can call a local military airbase
> for an airstrike if they want to."   Then the people will decide you are
> cold stoned mad and a total tin hat.  "Sherman?"  you say.  And if they're
> from the south, they might go off in a rant, but they still won't relate it
> to current affairs or do anything.  But that is literally what the law says
> in the US now.  That's a bit beyond elementary civics, but it's a bit beyond
> what the press is reporting on here too.  Because the press doesn't really
> have much literacy in elementary civics or history either.  They seem to be
> drawing mostly on marcom majors these days.
>
> This is what the "attention economy" has done to us.  Our culture is a deep,
> nutrient rich ocean, full of wonders and cthonic monsters that can eat us.
> And we all surf.  Nothing below the surf-ace is important anymore.
>
> Yay.
>
> SN
>
> On Sep 5, 2013 3:31 PM, "Richard Brooks" <rrb at acm.org> wrote:
>>
>> Latest articles:
>>
>>
>> http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/us/nsa-foils-much-internet-encryption.html?emc=edit_na_20130905&_r=0&pagewanted=print
>>
>>
>> http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/nsa-gchq-encryption-codes-security
>>
>>
>> I find most of this (if not all) silly. They seem shocked that the
>> NSA does cryptanalysis. It would be nice if the newspapers had
>> people with some knowledge of the domain writing articles.
>>
>> --
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>
>
> --
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