Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear - The Latest Snowden Leak Is Devastating to NSA

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thinbluemime2
Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear - The Latest Snowden Leak Is Devastating  
to NSA Defenders
Conor Friedersdorf Jul 7 2014
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/07/a-devastating-leak-for-edward-snowdens-critics/373991/


The agency collected and stored intimate chats, photos, and emails  
belonging to innocent Americans—and secured them so poorly that reporters  
can now browse them at will.





Consider the latest leak sourced to Edward Snowden from the perspective of  
his detractors. The National Security Agency's defenders would have us  
believe that Snowden is a thief and a criminal at best, and perhaps a  
traitorous Russian spy. In their telling, the NSA carries out its mission  
lawfully, honorably, and without unduly compromising the privacy of  
innocents. For that reason, they regard Snowden's actions as a wrongheaded  
slur campaign premised on lies and exaggerations.

But their narrative now contradicts itself. The Washington Post's latest  
article drawing on Snowden's leaked cache of documents includes files  
"described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained" that "tell  
stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health  
crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and  
disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders  
who were not targeted are catalogued and recorded nevertheless."

The article goes on to describe how exactly the privacy of these innocents  
was violated. The NSA collected "medical records sent from one family  
member to another, résumés from job hunters and academic transcripts of  
schoolchildren. In one photo, a young girl in religious dress beams at a  
camera outside a mosque. Scores of pictures show infants and toddlers in  
bathtubs, on swings, sprawled on their backs and kissed by their mothers.  
In some photos, men show off their physiques. In others, women model  
lingerie, leaning suggestively into a webcam ..."

Have you ever emailed a photograph of your child in the bathtub, or  
yourself flexing for the camera or modeling lingerie? If so, it could be  
your photo in the Washington Post newsroom right now, where it may or may  
not be secure going forward. In one case, a woman whose private  
communications were collected by the NSA found herself contacted by a  
reporter who'd read her correspondence.

Snowden defenders see these leaked files as necessary to proving that the  
NSA does, in fact, massively violate the private lives of American  
citizens by collecting and storing content—not "just" metadata—when they  
communicate digitally. They'll point out that Snowden turned these files  
over to journalists who promised to protect the privacy of affected  
individuals and followed through on that oath.

What about Snowden critics who defend the NSA? Ben Wittes questions the  
morality of the disclosure:

Snowden here did not leak programmatic information about government  
activity. He leaked many tens of thousands of personal communications of a  
type that, in government hands, are rightly subject to strict controls.  
They are subject to strict controls precisely so that the woman in  
lingerie, the kid beaming before a mosque, the men showing off their  
physiques, and the woman whose love letters have to be collected because  
her boyfriend is off looking to join the Taliban don’t have to pay an  
unnecessarily high privacy price. Yes, the Post has kept personal  
identifying details from the public, and that is laudable. But Snowden did  
not keep personal identifying details from the Post. He basically outed  
thousands of people—innocent and not—and left them to the tender mercies  
of journalists. This is itself a huge civil liberties violation.


The critique is plausible—but think of what it means.


I never thought I'd see this day: The founder of Lawfare has finally  
declared that a national-security-state employee perpetrated a huge  
civil-liberties violation! Remember this if he ever again claims that NSA  
critics can't point to a single serious abuse at the agency. Wittes  
himself now says there's been a serious abuse.

The same logic applies to Keith Alexander, James Clapper, Michael Hayden,  
Stewart Baker, Edward Lucas, John Schindler, and every other anti-Snowden  
NSA defender. So long as they insist that Snowden is a narcissistic  
criminal and possible traitor, they have no choice but to admit that the  
NSA collected and stored intimate photos, emails, and chats belonging to  
totally innocent Americans and safeguarded them so poorly that a  
ne'er-do-well could copy them onto thumb drives.

They have no choice but to admit that the NSA was so bad at judging who  
could be trusted with this sensitive data that a possible traitor could  
take it all to China and Russia. Yet these same people continue to insist  
that the NSA is deserving of our trust, that Americans should keep  
permitting it to collect and store massive amounts of sensitive data on  
innocents, and that adequate safeguards are in place to protect that data.  
To examine the entirety of their position is to see that it is farcical.

Here's the reality.

The NSA collects and stores the full content of extremely sensitive  
photographs, emails, chat transcripts, and other documents belong to  
Americans, itself a violation of the Constitution—but even if you disagree  
that it's illegal, there's no disputing the fact that the NSA has been  
proven incapable of safeguarding that data. There is not the chance the  
data could leak at sometime in the future. It has already been taken and  
given to reporters. The necessary reform is clear. Unable to safeguard  
this sensitive data, the NSA shouldn't be allowed to collect and store it.
                                            
ShoeChucker
Since the "need" for such surveillance began with 9/11/01
I suggest Ed reveal what he has heard about how it really happened.
Controlled Demo and all.
I would like to know why Dick sat on the air defenses around D.C. for 55 
minutes after the WTC was hit. It seems he was representing Halliburton.
www.ae911truth.org/
                                            
thinbluemime2
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, The Pentagon , Monday, September  
10, 2001
http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430

"Some might ask, how in the world could the Secretary of Defense attack  
the Pentagon in front of its people? To them I reply, I have no desire to  
attack the Pentagon; I want to liberate it. We need to save it from  
itself."




Five Eye-Opening Facts About Our Bloated Post-9/11 "Defense" Spending
http://www.truth-out.org/article/item/1348:five-eyeopening-facts-about-our-bloated-post911-defense-spending#14047830365521&action=collapse_widget&id=8354289
                                            
thinbluemime2
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, The Pentagon , Monday, September
10, 2001
http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430

"Some might ask, how in the world could the Secretary of Defense attack
the Pentagon in front of its people? To them I reply, I have no desire to
attack the Pentagon; I want to liberate it. We need to save it from
itself."




Five Eye-Opening Facts About Our Bloated Post-9/11 "Defense" Spending
http://www.truth-out.org/article/item/1348:five-eyeopening-facts-about-our-bloated-post911-defense-spending#14047830365521&action=collapse_widget&id=8354289