ugust 9, 2013
Crisis: Spying and lying, email service shut down, plan
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
   security deserve neither."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
    "All governments lie and nothing
    they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.

1. Your Government Spies on You and Lies About It:
     Now What?

2. Email service used by Snowden shuts itself down, warns
     against using US-based companies

3. Plan
About ME/CFS


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 Rosenfeld:

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 following disclosures 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 bits:

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.

This all seems true, as does the ending:
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 against
            using US-based companies

The other piece I found is again by Glenn Greenwald and in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
A Texas-based 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:
What is 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 fairly easy:
Secret courts 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:

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."

And I agree, while I guess that it is the same in Europe. Glenn Greenwald concludes, after considerably more text, somewhat optimistically:
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 in Dutch.

But for that I need to have slept properly, at least, for it is a fair bit to translate.

[1] 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 government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
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 quote from is quite pertinent.)

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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