"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
1. Your Government Spies on
You and Lies About It:
2. Email service used by Snowden
shuts itself down, warns
against using US-based
Again I did not sleep enough and again there isn't much Snowden-related
or crisis-news, so this is a short Nederlog.
There are two pieces reported, one on the spying the government does
while it lies it doesn't, and the other about an email service that
shut itself down, and there also is one - small - plan.
1. Your Government Spies on You and Lies
About It: Now What?
The first today is from AlterNet and is by Steven
It starts as follows:
Now that Americans
know the federal government domestically spies and lies about it—thanks
to a litany
of “misstatements” by top officials that have been debunked
by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden—very big questions emerge about
what kind of country we are going to be.
Unfortunately, it doesn't
quite live up to its title or first paragraph. But there are some good
This all seems true, as does
These and other examples
[I take for granted - MM] confirm a security state run amok. They're
accompanied by a battlefield mentality and militarization of local
police, which we see infiltrating
protest groups, forcibly breaking
up protected First Amendment speech, and treating
protests like combat zones, all of which was already happening before
Snowden’s disclosures about the digital dragnet.
But even as Times
runs reports titled,
“Spy Agencies Under Heaviest Scrutiny Since Abuse Scandal of the ‘70s,”
there’s little evidence that Congress is willing to rein in what looks
like a cyber version of 1950s McCarthyism, where
a paranoid federal government searched for a menace everywhere.
Meanwhile, at the
top of national security pyramid sits Obama, who has canceled a meeting
with Putin over Russia allowing Snowden to stay there, rekindling Cold
War memories. And over what: unmasking a 21st-century dragnet that
would make Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy smile.
But it doesn't answer the
question the title posed, which was also a bit large.
2. Email service used by Snowden shuts itself down, warns
using US-based companies
The other piece I found is again by Glenn Greenwald and in
This starts as follows:
encrypted email service recently
revealed to be used by Edward Snowden
- Lavabit - announced
yesterday it was shutting itself down in order to avoid complying
with what it perceives as unjust secret US court orders to provide
government access to its users' content.
It is rather difficult to get
any clear understanding of what is involved, for the following reason:
particularly creepy about the Lavabit self-shutdown is that the company
is gagged by law even from discussing the legal challenges it
has mounted and the court proceeding it has engaged. In other words,
the American owner of the company believes his Constitutional rights
and those of his customers are being violated by the US Government, but
he is not allowed to talk about it. Just as is true for people
who receive National Security Letters under the Patriot Act,
Lavabit has been told that they would face serious criminal sanctions
if they publicly discuss what is being done to their company.
Even so, the conclusion is
issuing secret rulings invariably in favor of the US government that
those most affected are barred by law from discussing? Is there anyone
incapable at this point of seeing what the United States has become?
Here's the very sound advice issued by Lavabit's founder:
And I agree, while I guess
that it is the same in Europe. Glenn Greenwald concludes, after
considerably more text, somewhat optimistically:
This experience has
taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a
strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against
anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to
the United States."
One of the most
remarkable, and I think enduring, aspects of the NSA stories is how
much open defiance there has been of the US government. Numerous
countries around the world have waved away threats, from Hong Kong and
Russia to multiple Latin American nations.
The reasons I said this is
optimistic are that the NSA is quietly continuing its policies, in
secret; that Congress is not showing many signs it will stop it; and
that normally the strongest win, in the end, and as is, the strongest
are the NSA and the US government.
The plan I had
and have, that was scrubbed by my sleeping too little, is to translate
my "Over terrorisme" (= "About
terrorism") of October 29,
2005 - almost eight years
ago, written in the days of Nedernieuws - since that was rather
prescient, and was referred to lately several times by me, while it is
But for that I need to have slept properly, at least, for it is a fair
bit to translate.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, that the governors do not
rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
It is more proper
that law should govern than any one of the
citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the
supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to
be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I
from is quite pertinent.)
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: