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Here’s What The Richest Man In The World Thinks About Snowden And NSA Surveillance | Zero Hedge

Here’s What The Richest Man In The World Thinks About Snowden And NSA Surveillance | Zero Hedge.

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

So Bill Gates recently gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine. The vast majority of the interview focused on his philanthropic efforts, with a particular focus on poverty and climate change. However, several questions were brought up on illegal NSA surveillance in general, and Edward Snowden in particular.

His answers reveal one of the biggest problems facing America today, which is the fact that the billionaire class as a whole does not question or rock the boat whatsoever. They criticize only when it is convenient or easy to do so, never putting themselves at risk for the sake of civil liberties and the Constitution.

In mosts cases, this is due to the fact that they themselves are the characters pulling the strings of the political class in Washington D.C. So when it comes down to it, their policies ultimately become our policies.

It is also important to note that Microsoft was a particularly eager participant in NSA spying from the very beginning. For example, according to the following PRISM slide provided by Edward Snowden, we see that Gates’ company was the first to become involved. In fact, they were participating a full six months before Yahoo!, while Apple didn’t join until a year after Steve Jobs died.

What a tangled web we have weaved. Now from Rolling Stone:

Question: When people think about the cloud, it’s not only the accessibility of information and their documents that comes to mind, but also their privacy – or lack of it.

Gates: Should there be cameras everywhere in outdoor streets? My personal view is having cameras in inner cities is a very good thing. In the case of London, petty crime has gone down. They catch terrorists because of it. And if something really bad happens, most of the time you can figure out who did it. There’s a general view there that it’s not used to invade privacy in some way. Yet in an American city, in order to take advantage of that in the same way, you have to trust what this information is going to be used for.

Do they really catch terrorists because of it in London? Because in the U.S., the NSA chief already admitted that the entire spy program has stopped essentially zero terrorist attacks. It certainly didn’t stop the Boston bombings. So what are we giving up our privacy for exactly?

Question: Thanks to Edward Snowden, who has leaked tens of thousands of NSA documents, we are. Do you consider him a hero or a traitor?

Gates: I think he broke the law, so I certainly wouldn’t characterize him as a hero. If he wanted to raise the issues and stay in the country and engage in civil disobedience or something of that kind, or if he had been careful in terms of what he had released, then it would fit more of the model of “OK, I’m really trying to improve things.” You won’t find much admiration from me.

Sorry Billy boy, but we have had many whistleblowers in the past who went through the system and they ended up in jail or their lives were ruined. For example, the only person imprisoned for torture in the USA is the guy who exposed the torture program, John Kiriakou.

Question: Even so, do you think it’s better now that we know what we know about government surveillance?

Gates: The government has such ability to do these things. There has to be a debate. But the specific techniques they use become unavailable if they’re discussed in detail. So the debate needs to be about the general notion of under what circumstances should they be allowed to do things.

First of all, without the Snowden revelations, there would be no “debate.” As it stands, the intelligence complex and Obama don’t seem to have much interest in changing a single thing anyway.

Before Snowden proved us right, those who accurately claimed the NSA was doing all of these things were labeled paranoid conspiracy theorists. Moreover, how can anyone seriously defend these “techniques” in light of the recent revelations that show activities so egregious that security experts think they threaten the infrastructure of the entire internet?

Gates goes on to ponder…

Should surveillance be usable for petty crimes like jaywalking or minor drug possession? Or is there a higher threshold for certain information?Those aren’t easy questions.

How are those not easy questions? They are exceedingly easy questions for a civilized society. The answer is no. Unless you want to toss even more citizens in jail for non-violent offenses, because having 25% of the world’s prison population and only 5% of its population is not inhumane enough.

More from Gates…

The U.S. government in general is one of the better governments in the world. It’s the best in many, many respects. Lack of corruption, for instance, and a reasonable justice system.

Seriously, what country is Gates living in? I suppose when you are the richest man in the world it’s pretty easy to live in a bubble. He is so obsessed with the problems of the outside world and the fact that they are more corrupt than we are, that he is completely blind to the very dangerous trends happening in America.

What a joke.

The entire interview can be read here.

Here's What The Richest Man In The World Thinks About Snowden And NSA Surveillance | Zero Hedge

Here’s What The Richest Man In The World Thinks About Snowden And NSA Surveillance | Zero Hedge.

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

So Bill Gates recently gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine. The vast majority of the interview focused on his philanthropic efforts, with a particular focus on poverty and climate change. However, several questions were brought up on illegal NSA surveillance in general, and Edward Snowden in particular.

His answers reveal one of the biggest problems facing America today, which is the fact that the billionaire class as a whole does not question or rock the boat whatsoever. They criticize only when it is convenient or easy to do so, never putting themselves at risk for the sake of civil liberties and the Constitution.

In mosts cases, this is due to the fact that they themselves are the characters pulling the strings of the political class in Washington D.C. So when it comes down to it, their policies ultimately become our policies.

It is also important to note that Microsoft was a particularly eager participant in NSA spying from the very beginning. For example, according to the following PRISM slide provided by Edward Snowden, we see that Gates’ company was the first to become involved. In fact, they were participating a full six months before Yahoo!, while Apple didn’t join until a year after Steve Jobs died.

What a tangled web we have weaved. Now from Rolling Stone:

Question: When people think about the cloud, it’s not only the accessibility of information and their documents that comes to mind, but also their privacy – or lack of it.

Gates: Should there be cameras everywhere in outdoor streets? My personal view is having cameras in inner cities is a very good thing. In the case of London, petty crime has gone down. They catch terrorists because of it. And if something really bad happens, most of the time you can figure out who did it. There’s a general view there that it’s not used to invade privacy in some way. Yet in an American city, in order to take advantage of that in the same way, you have to trust what this information is going to be used for.

Do they really catch terrorists because of it in London? Because in the U.S., the NSA chief already admitted that the entire spy program has stopped essentially zero terrorist attacks. It certainly didn’t stop the Boston bombings. So what are we giving up our privacy for exactly?

Question: Thanks to Edward Snowden, who has leaked tens of thousands of NSA documents, we are. Do you consider him a hero or a traitor?

Gates: I think he broke the law, so I certainly wouldn’t characterize him as a hero. If he wanted to raise the issues and stay in the country and engage in civil disobedience or something of that kind, or if he had been careful in terms of what he had released, then it would fit more of the model of “OK, I’m really trying to improve things.” You won’t find much admiration from me.

Sorry Billy boy, but we have had many whistleblowers in the past who went through the system and they ended up in jail or their lives were ruined. For example, the only person imprisoned for torture in the USA is the guy who exposed the torture program, John Kiriakou.

Question: Even so, do you think it’s better now that we know what we know about government surveillance?

Gates: The government has such ability to do these things. There has to be a debate. But the specific techniques they use become unavailable if they’re discussed in detail. So the debate needs to be about the general notion of under what circumstances should they be allowed to do things.

First of all, without the Snowden revelations, there would be no “debate.” As it stands, the intelligence complex and Obama don’t seem to have much interest in changing a single thing anyway.

Before Snowden proved us right, those who accurately claimed the NSA was doing all of these things were labeled paranoid conspiracy theorists. Moreover, how can anyone seriously defend these “techniques” in light of the recent revelations that show activities so egregious that security experts think they threaten the infrastructure of the entire internet?

Gates goes on to ponder…

Should surveillance be usable for petty crimes like jaywalking or minor drug possession? Or is there a higher threshold for certain information?Those aren’t easy questions.

How are those not easy questions? They are exceedingly easy questions for a civilized society. The answer is no. Unless you want to toss even more citizens in jail for non-violent offenses, because having 25% of the world’s prison population and only 5% of its population is not inhumane enough.

More from Gates…

The U.S. government in general is one of the better governments in the world. It’s the best in many, many respects. Lack of corruption, for instance, and a reasonable justice system.

Seriously, what country is Gates living in? I suppose when you are the richest man in the world it’s pretty easy to live in a bubble. He is so obsessed with the problems of the outside world and the fact that they are more corrupt than we are, that he is completely blind to the very dangerous trends happening in America.

What a joke.

The entire interview can be read here.

China Strikes Back At US “Human Rights Violations”: Slams PRISM Spying, Droning, Gun Violence, Homelessness And Unemployment | Zero Hedge

China Strikes Back At US “Human Rights Violations”: Slams PRISM Spying, Droning, Gun Violence, Homelessness And Unemployment | Zero Hedge.

Everyone knows that when it comes to abysmal human right records, China is the perpetual whipping boy – in most cases rightfully so – of the US whose own “pristine” record of human rights violations in recent years has also been exposed as mockery, courtesy almost exclusively of one NSA whistleblower. Of course, the US has been far more tacit in how it encroaches on the rights of its own civilians at home, if not so much abroad where US drone strikes have killed and continue to kill countless innocent civilians

Today, China decided to strike back at the US with its own report on US “human rights.” In a nutshell, China launches a full frontal attack on the hypocrisy of the US, saying that “posing as “the world judge of human rights,” the U.S. government “made arbitrary attacks and irresponsible remarks” on the human rights situation in almost 200 countries and regions again in its just-released reports, the report says. “However, the U.S. carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems,” it adds. The report calls the U.S. tapping program, code-named PRISM, which exercises long-term and vast surveillance both at home and abroad, “a blatant violation of international law” and it “seriously infringes on human rights.”

Hard to argue with that.

Full report from Xinhua:

China on Friday responded to the United States criticism and irresponsible remarks of its human rights situation by publishing its own report on the U.S. human rights issues.

The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013 was released by the Information Office of China’s State Council, or the Cabinet, in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 issued by the U.S. State Department on Thursday.

China said in the report that there were still serious human rights problems in the U.S in 2013, with the situation in many fields even deteriorating.

Posing as “the world judge of human rights,” the U.S. government “made arbitrary attacks and irresponsible remarks” on the human rights situation in almost 200 countries and regions again in its just-released reports, the report says.

“However, the U.S. carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems,” it adds.

The report calls the U.S. tapping program, code-named PRISM, which exercises long-term and vast surveillance both at home and abroad, “a blatant violation of international law” and it “seriously infringes on human rights.”

The U.S. also faces rampant gun violence, according to the report. “In 2013, 137 people died in 30 mass killings, which caused four or more deaths each, in the U.S..”

The report also cites figures to show that frequent drone strikes by the U.S. in countries including Pakistan and Yemen have caused heavy civilian casualties.

The U.S. has carried out 376 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, causing deaths of up to 926 civilians, according to the report.

“The U.S. still faces grave employment situation with its unemployment rate remained high,” the report says.

Rates of unemployment for the lowest-income families have topped 21 percent. The homeless population in the U.S. kept swelling and it had climbed 16 percent from 2011 to 2013, it added.

“There are also a large amount of child laborers in the agricultural sector in the U.S. and their physical and mental health was seriously harmed,” the report says.

To date, the U.S. remains a country which has not ratified or participated in a series of core UN conventions on human rights, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, according to the report.

Obama finds brand-new way to spy on you

Obama finds brand-new way to spy on you.

Gov’t takes notes, uses information to prevail in court

Published: 18 hours ago

Plaintiffs in a case challenging the U.S. government’s programs that spy on innocent Americans have submitted a special supplement to the court, pointing out that the Obama administration has been caught spying even on confidential attorney-client communications – and then providing “false representations” to the court.

“After the … pleading was filed on Feb. 12, 2014, further disclosures concerning the government defendants’ abuses of the National Security Agency’s PRISM program … were revealed and disclosed to the public,” attorney Larry Klayman told the U.S. District Court in Washington.

“Specifically, James Rosen, one of the nation’s premier national security reporters and his colleague Laura Poitras, published an article in the New York Times last Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, entitled ‘Spying BY N.S.A. Ally Entangled U.S. Law Firm.’”

That posting, Klayman told the court, “revealed through documents provided to Risen and Poitras by whistleblower Edward Snowden that, contrary to the false representations of the government defendants in this case and to Congress and other courts, the overseas calls of lawyers such as Plaintiff Klayman are being intercepted and monitored.”

Help Larry Klayman with his class-action suit against Obama’s use of the NSA to violate Americans’ rights

Klayman brought his case to court late last year, challenging the NSA operations that detect and record data from telephone calls by Americans. In December, when Judge Richard Leon ruled the NSA’s mass collection of phone data was probably unconstitutional, he ordered the agency to stop collecting such data on Klayman and Charles Strange, the father of a Navy SEAL killed in action in Afghanistan.

Leon ruled that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, contains no language expressly barring any third-party challenges to FISA court orders. That meant that Klayman’s clients had standing to bring such a lawsuit and dispute the constitutionality of the NSA spying program, something the government disputes. That’s also when Leon also ruled the government had likely violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Klayman’s lawsuit was filed after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed a FISA court order that allowed the government, under a provision of the Patriot Act, to require Verizon to provide data on all calls made on its networks within the U.S. and between the U.S. and a foreign country.

Klayman has also filed class-action claims on behalf of all U.S. citizens who are Verizon subscribers, saying the government has violated their First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.

He previously told WND, “This is a further attempt to keep information about the biggest violation of the Constitution in American history from the American people. It’s an outrage.”

In an interview with the Daily Beast, James Clapper, director of national security, said the problems largely could have been avoided.

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but I will. Had we been transparent about this from the outset right after 9/11 – which is the genesis of the 215 program – and said both to the American people and to their elected representatives, we need to cover this gap, we need to make sure this never happens to us again, so here is what we are going to set up, here is how it’s going to work, and why we have to do it, and here are the safeguards … we wouldn’t have had the problem we had.”

Klayman said the Obama administration has the perspective of “heads I win, tails you lose,” and its attitude is “we control all the information and the American people be damned. They don’t have rights.”

“It’s important for the American people to see how the government treats them and views them. We’re nothing more than rabble,” he said.

In the newest motion, Klayman noted the New York Times report documented, “The list of those caught up in the global surveillance net cast by the National Security Agency and its overseas partners, from social media users to foreign heads of state, now includes another entry: American lawyers.”

The report continued, “A top-secret document, obtained by the former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that an American law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States. The disclosure offers a …. specific instance in which Americans were ensnared by the eavesdroppers, and is of particular interest because lawyers in the United States with clients overseas have expressed growing concern that their confidential communications could be compromised by such surveillance.”

Klayman told WND that he has been involved in such business transactions himself over the years.

“Plaintiffs are submitting this supplement to give the government defendants notice of this newly revealed information so they can address it, if they so desire, in any responsive pleading,” Klayman wrote to the court. “It is thus clear that standing exists, as it does with telephonic metadata. In any event, discovery in this case will bear out the accuracy of the disclosures contained in the New York Times, and even without discovery at this stage of the proceeding with regard to the government defendants’ partial motion to dismiss, the allegations of the Second Amendment Complaint – notwithstanding what has now come to light in the New York Times disclosures – must be accepted as true.”

A copy of the Times report was included in the filing, and it explained that the government of Indonesia had retained a law firm for help in trade talks, and “the NSA’s Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, notified the agency that is was conducting surveillance of the talks, including communications between Indonesian officials and the American law firm, and offered to share the information.”

The Times reported, “The NSA is prohibited from targeting Americans, including businesses, law firms and other organizations based in the United States, for surveillance without warrants, and intelligence officials have repeatedly said the NSA does not use the spy services of its partners in the so-called Five Eyes alliance – Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand – to skirt the law.”

It continued, “Still, the NSA can intercept the communications of Americans if they are in contact with a foreign intelligence target abroad, such as Indonesian officials.”

The government has been arguing that the case should be thrown out.

But Leon, in the most recent hearing, refused a request from Department of Justice attorney Marcia Berman.

Leon had already ruled in December that the National Security Agency had probably violated Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure with its PRISM program.

The Justice Department has argued that if the trial proceeded, “Further litigation of this issue could risk or require disclosure of classified national security information, such as whether plaintiffs were the targets of or subject to NSA intelligence-gathering activities, confirmation or denial of the identities of the telecommunications service providers from which NSA has obtained information about individuals’ communications, and other classified information.”

But that’s exactly the point of his lawsuits, Klayman said. They were filed to find out the details of the programs and whether the government, in its alleged pursuit of information about terror activities, has been violating the constitutional assurances of Americans’ privacy.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/02/more-government-spying-uncovered/#gaTbaDK6eUAtHgMy.99

US politicians back Prism spying programme – Americas – Al Jazeera English

US politicians back Prism spying programme – Americas – Al Jazeera English.

 

Prism: Everybody Was in on the Act | Zero Hedge

Prism: Everybody Was in on the Act | Zero Hedge.

 

Secrets and Lies » Golem XIV – Thoughts

Secrets and Lies » Golem XIV – Thoughts.

UK spies trawl 600m communications a day – Europe – Al Jazeera English

UK spies trawl 600m communications a day – Europe – Al Jazeera English.

 

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