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Year In Communications: NSA Revelations Overshadow Communications Breakthroughs

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the keep-talking dept.

United States 61

MacRonin writes "Communications news in 2013 was dominated by serial revelations of the National Security Agency's mass collection of data from major Internet companies and mobile carriers, leading to widespread cries of governmental overreach. But those revelations, based on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, were accompanied by remarkable advances in wireless communications. The Snowden documents also galvanized new efforts at making the Internet more secure and private. The folks at MIT Technology Review have their year-end rundown."

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Snowden Fuck Yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45786331)

Your momma's puffy brown nipples look like a pair of cocoa puffs which have sat in milk for a week.

But more to the point, have you ever seen any black people who work for the NSA?

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Snowden Fuck Yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45786349)

But more to the point, have you ever seen any black people who work?

FTFY.

They have dedicated a special page for them (5, Informative)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#45786439)

But more to the point, have you ever seen any black people who work for the NSA?

Not only they have African Americans who work for NSA, they have set up a special web page for them, and have dedicated a special wall panel to commemorate their contribution, inside the NSA building.

http://www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic_heritage/african_americans/ [nsa.gov]

But even more to the point - no matter what color of skin they have, - white, black, and all hues in between - those who work for NSA, if they continue to violate the Constitution of America, they are Traitors to the country !

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (0)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a year ago | (#45786657)

Which part of the constitution are they violating? Can you cite the passage or amendment?

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (2)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a year ago | (#45786679)

Which part of the constitution are they violating? Can you cite the passage or amendment?

For reasons of national security, that passage must be kept secret.

But you surely can trust the NSA's word about the existence of that passage.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#45787075)

Which part of the constitution are they violating? Can you cite the passage or amendment?

First see the intro

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now see Section 3.

Section. 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The purpose of the nation is freedom. The purpose of the NSA's actions is to oppose freedom. Therefore, those who perpetrate these actions are enemies of the nation, and those who support them are giving them aid; both groups are traitorous and the appropriate remedy is hanging by the neck until dead.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (3, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45787137)

The purpose of the nation is freedom. The purpose of the NSA's actions is to oppose freedom. Therefore, those who perpetrate these actions are enemies of the nation...

There is no direct connection (despite the Slashdot hivemind's assumptions) between surveillance and oppression. Even merely opposing freedom does not, in itself, make someone an enemy of the United States. In fact, as I recall, there are a few other goals for the country besides just generic liberty, such as "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, [and] promote the general Welfare". Of course, having to acknowledge multiple goals, which are all interpreted differently by the different branches of government, makes it harder to write vitriolic Slashdot posts calling for killing other humans.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (3, Interesting)

ewieling (90662) | about a year ago | (#45787513)

When a person is incarcerated they lose their privacy. The "right to privacy" may not be spelled out in the constitution but I think it is obvious the government considers taking away a person's privacy to be a form of punishment. The Constitution says the government may not punish the citizens without a trial.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45787683)

When a person is incarcerated they lose their privacy.

When a person posts on Slashdot, they send information over the Internet.

Clearly sending information over the Internet does not always mean that one is posting on the Internet. Be careful of begging the question. You'll need to actually prove that losing one's privacy is inherently harmful.

The "right to privacy" may not be spelled out in the constitution but I think it is obvious the government considers taking away a person's privacy to be a form of punishment.

Or it's a necessary part of certain investigations, with a sliding scale of how much privacy one can expect compared to how necessary it is. In fact, many high-profile cases over the past few decades have shown the need for additional privacy (which the courts have often granted) for those accused or convicted of a crime.

The Constitution says the government may not punish the citizens without a trial.

Where's that? The Fifth Amendment only prohibits taking "life, liberty, or property, without due process of law", but says nothing about generic "punishment". Other amendments (6 & 7) refer to which particular cases must have a trial, but also say nothing about any situation where there is no actual provable harm to the citizen.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45787733)

You'll need to actually prove that losing one's privacy is inherently harmful.

What exactly are you arguing for? Are you trying to defend the NSA? Do you really want to live in a glass house? Would it bother you if I (or anyone) installed surveillance equipment in every single part of your house with the intention of constantly reviewing all the footage, but not doing anything else with it?

The question of whether it's "inherently harmful" is completely different from the question of whether what the government is doing is constitutional, and anyone with a brain knows that it isn't.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45787907)

What exactly are you arguing for? Are you trying to defend the NSA [c2.com] ? Do you really want to live in a glass house? Would it bother you [c2.com] if I (or anyone) installed surveillance equipment [c2.com] in every single part of your house [c2.com] with the intention of [c2.com] constantly reviewing all the footage, but not doing anything else with it?

I'm arguing for a logical discussion, rather that one steeped in bias and knee-jerk reactions. To that end, I've taken the liberty of highlighting the fallacious arguments in your statements.

The question of whether it's "inherently harmful" is completely different from the question of whether what the government is doing is constitutional, and anyone [c2.com] with a brain knows that it isn't.

Ewieling's claim is that surveillance is unconstitutional because it's a punishment. However, there are two questions to that claim that need proving: that surveillance is a punishment in itself, and that such a punishment is prohibited by the Constitution. I would accept "harmful" as a substitute for "punishment", but that's not proven, either.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45788283)

I'm arguing for a logical discussion, rather that one steeped in bias and knee-jerk reactions.

Really?

To that end, I've taken the liberty of highlighting the fallacious arguments in your statements.

And you did a damn poor job of it, I think

The first one doesn't even apply, as it was a question (of your intentions) and I wasn't comparing you or anyone else to any such thing.

The second is just absurd. People have opinions, and I was asking you for yours to see what you really want. That is not a fallacy.

The third... again, that's absurd. Analogies are not by themselves fallacious. They are useful for getting people to realize that their beliefs are filled with inconsistencies, or for helping to explain something. I intended to do the former, or at least get you to think about it.

As for the fourth one, again, it was an analogy to see how you'd respond. Since you seemed skeptical that violating someone's privacy is inherently harmful, I intended to see how far you'd go with that. Again, not a fallacy.

And since it's a scenario of my own creation, and since I thought of it for a specific purpose, it's not an "oversimplification" (subjective) of anything.

The last one was not an appeal to popularity. For one thing, I believe people with brains are in the vast minority. Second, it was more of an insult than an assertion that something is correct because most people supposedly believe it.

In short, I think you need to stop seeing fallacies in random places where they don't exist. Interestingly enough, you used a few straw men while trying to spot nonexistent fallacies.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45788501)

I'm pretty sure you're just trolling now. I might as well kill some time, though.

My goal is to establish the provable facts, not to defend or accuse anyone. By questioning my intent while invoking the NSA's name, you're distracting from the issue in exactly the same manner as a comparison to Hitler. The name now evokes an emotional response, undermining any logical evaluation.

Again, my goal is a logical progression, not anyone's opinion. Asking my personal opinion of the matter is also distracting from the question at hand (which, I note, is still unanswered), as is the oversimplified analogy which lacks the defining "mass" characteristic of "mass surveillance".

That is, in fact, one of the open questions regarding the NSA's surveillance. It has been established that targeted detailed surveillance of an individual requires a search warrant, but it has also been established that widespread general observation does not. Widespread detailed surveillance is new, and it's not yet clear how it should fit into the existing legal framework.

Unfortunately, law and logic do not often factor into discussions. Rather, anyone asking for a valid argument is merely insulted [c2.com] .

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45788579)

I'm pretty sure you're just trolling now.

I think the same of you.

By questioning my intent while invoking the NSA's name, you're distracting from the issue in exactly the same manner as a comparison to Hitler.

The issue is what I make of it, and since I didn't do any such thing, linking to that was just downright silly.

Again, my goal is a logical progression, not anyone's opinion.

When you say something like that about a subjective matter (what qualifies as "inherently harmful"), you're going to get an opinion no matter what.

as is the oversimplified analogy

Not an oversimplified analogy. I responded to this: "You'll need to actually prove that losing one's privacy is inherently harmful." Since the matter is subjective, I put forth a situation where your privacy is violated to see how you feel about that.

Rather, anyone asking for a valid argument is merely insulted.

Insulting someone is not by itself a logical fallacy, if that's even what you were trying to imply.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about a year ago | (#45789091)

Life, liberty, and property? So the no-fly list is unconstitutional because it takes away your liberty, right? I'm pretty sure getting accused in secret doesn't count as due process of law.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45790539)

Yes [techdirt.com] .

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#45788879)

The "right to privacy" may not be spelled out in the constitution

This is why some opposed the Bill of Rights, and why the tenth amendment was passed. To answer the ignorant Electricity Likes Me who thinks the NSA is peachy keen, the answer is "the fourth amendment." My papers and effects are online, and the government does not have the legal authority to inspect them without either my permission or a search warrant signed by a judge. Note the "fishing expeditions" by law enforcement have ALWAYS been condemned by the judiciary and no evidence collected by these means is not admissible in court.

This means that the NSA data collection may cause a terrorist to walk free because the government was too incompetent to do its job within its legal authority.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45789387)

Privacy had nothing to do with the opposition to the Bill of Rights. The main opponents of the Bill of Rights were the Anti-Federalists, who mostly wanted to have the Constitution remain objectionable so they could form a second constitutional convention to rebuild the entire thing. Some Federalists also opposed the Bill of Rights, but on the grounds that it was unnecessary as the states already held independent power.

Privacy didn't really enter the realm of law until the 20th century [umkc.edu] . Prior to that, privacy was generally simply expected to be nonexistent, as cities weren't really built to encourage privacy. Everyone in a community would simply hear or see what happened, and everyone would likely recognize everyone else of importance.

As for the "fishing expeditions", no, they haven't always been rejected. They're only rejected if the police want to search something that has been established to be within the realm of the Fourth Amendment, which does not cover anything done in public or given to a third party. The Fourth Amendment was, after all, originally written only to protect against British-style harassment by police officers, which would mainly be used to disrupt a citizen's life until they acquiesced to the officers' demands. The idea of a search that didn't disrupt daily life was never really a concern until more modern times.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45789729)

which does not cover anything done in public or given to a third party.

It does cover the latter. If it didn't, then it would mean that the government could essentially outsource its spying to corporations, which is neither desirable nor constitutional. I do not want to live in such a world, and either should anyone else. What courts have ruled is irrelevant; such practices are unconstitutional.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45790073)

Yes, that's exactly what it means, and that's exactly what was done. Telecom and data companies allowed the NSA to access the information that Americans willingly handed over. Despite your dismissal, it is indeed the Supreme Court's job to interpret the Constitution's applicability to particular situations, and they have not ruled on this one yet. You as an individual do not get to unilaterally declare something unconstitutional.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45791115)

Despite your dismissal, it is indeed the Supreme Court's job to interpret the Constitution's applicability to particular situations

The people in the Supreme Court are people with opinions, just like everyone else. They're also people in positions of power, but this does not make them automatically right. They've overruled themselves before.

What I have is the ability to form opinions. I may not have the authority to declare that certain practices are unconstitutional and force change, but I damn well will not accept something just because some judge says it's okay (it hasn't happened yet, of course, and hopefully it won't). Their interpretations can and have been wrong.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about a year ago | (#45789079)

None of those abducted and held in Gitmo have ever been convicted in a trial, not even the ones with US citizenship.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45794171)

What's worse, in a society where every response is recorded your choices and future can also be calculated. I know you might think you're unique but your habits define you. Better watch your 1st Amendment, our government to some extent can read our minds.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45787677)

There is no direct connection (despite the Slashdot hivemind's assumptions) between surveillance and oppression.

Direct? Technically not. However, if you take history into account--and only a fool wouldn't--you see that oppression almost inevitably follows this type of surveillance. Governments throughout history have abused their powers, and that's because governments are made up of imperfect, corruptible human beings that will abuse any power you give them. It is just silly to ignore this fact.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45787961)

you see that oppression almost inevitably follows this type of surveillance.

Please provide examples. I'm very curious as to which regime only became oppressive after implementing surveillance. All the history I can recall has shown that oppressive regimes like to use surveillance to enforce their already-oppressive policies, and sometimes enables them to expand those policies, but I don't recall any instances where the surveillance started the oppression.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45788219)

What is being said is that the surveillance will inevitably be abused. It's not that we're going to become corrupt because of the surveillance; it's that we're already corrupt and humans will inevitably abuse whatever powers they have. Since the NSA's actions violates people's freedoms (which is different from the question of what qualifies as "harm") and the constitution, the one you replied to was at least partly correct.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

crtreece (59298) | about a year ago | (#45790181)

you see that more oppression almost inevitably follows this type of surveillance.

Does that make it a little more clear for you?

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45788547)

"There is no direct connection (despite the Slashdot hivemind's assumptions) between surveillance and oppression."

That's only because the oppression lags the tools.
You need a system in place for it to be abused.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#45787091)

Ok, The 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th
Possibly more, we don't really know what they've been up to so it's likely they've broken damn near all of them.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45787373)

The 6th? Really? When did the NSA start a criminal prosecution?

Once that prosecution was brought to an actual trial, who was denied a jury per the 7th?

Of course we must bring up the 10th amendment, because this is Slashdot, where we've forgotten that for the last hundred years of political history, national security has been a responsibility of the whole nation rather than the individual states.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#45791047)

The 6th? Really? When did the NSA start a criminal prosecution?

Once that prosecution was brought to an actual trial, who was denied a jury per the 7th?

I'm, of course, assuming that they were involved in this:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/al-qaeda-in-yemen/relatives-of-americans-killed-in-yemen-drone-strikes-file-suit-against-u-s/ [pbs.org]
which would violate both the 6th and 7th amendments
If you want to argue that they weren't involved, I can't say much. To me it just seems logical that they were.

Of course we must bring up the 10th amendment, because this is Slashdot, where we've forgotten that for the last hundred years of political history, national security has been a responsibility of the whole nation rather than the individual states.

"The amendment states but a truism that all is retained which has not been surrendered. There is nothing in the history of its adoption to suggest that it was more than declaratory of the relationship between the national and state governments as it had been established by the Constitution before the amendment or that its purpose was other than to allay fears that the new national government might seek to exercise powers not granted, and that the states might not be able to exercise fully their reserved powers" - United States v. Darby Lumber, 312 U.S. 100, 124 (1941)
i.e. all rights and powers not granted to the federal government in the constitution remain the rights and powers of the states or individuals. The point of the amendment is to cover "The unknown" The Federal government was not given the right to invade our privacy in the constitution, and now that it's something that's possible to take in near totality it's clear that governance of that privacy should be left to the states should the constitution allow it. Though I believe other amendments protect it from even the states.

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45787787)

Which part of the constitution are they violating? Can you cite the passage or amendment?

If the Fourth doesn't count, how about the Third: wherein troops are being quartered in the houses of US business. (Come to think of it, you can make an argument that CALEA - which requires telecom providers to build in provisions in hardware/software/firmware to ensure that Americans' telco gear is fundamentally insecure - is also a violation of the Third.)

Re:They have dedicated a special page for them (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#45789979)

I guess because they were oppressed for so long, they figured out all the in's and out's of doing it to others...

Re:Snowden Fuck Yeah (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#45787227)

In the NSA there is no racism, there is clasism. You have the "normal" people that must be watched, herded, manipulated, iied and considered with no rights, of which any vulnerability is exploited, every minor offense is collected for a potential future use, and every hot photo or video is shared for fun [go.com] .

In the other hand you have the favored ones that are untouchables, the aligned politicians, CEOs of collaborating companies, good part of the 0.01%, certain foreigners [globalresearch.ca] and people that buy their pertenence to that class putting enough money high enough, no matter which shady thing they are doing, even accidentally collected info is promptly discarded.

Uh, okay? (4, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | about a year ago | (#45786357)

This reads like: This bunch of corporate press releases haven't been getting as much attention as we'd like, so we'll mention Snowden, which is what seems to get attention these days, and then proceed to dump a list of the stuff we do care about.

It doesn't seem to be anything that exciting. Yeah, technology marches on. Somebody figuring out a way to get more bandwidth out of a cell tower is normal and expected. And I can't say I care that much since all this would do is to allow me to consume my tiny quota faster.

The more interesting bits about balloons and IETF proposing Tor already got discussed, so not like they got overlooked either..

Re:Uh, okay? (4, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#45786375)

I also like how, apparently, we're calling it "mass collection of information", instead of "spying", now.

Re:Uh, okay? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45786409)

well.. according to the usa government it only becomes spying if one accesses the data.. ..for which they have "safeguards" against.

Re:Uh, okay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45786547)

well.. according to Apple/Google/AT&T/Verizon it only becomes spying if one accesses the data.. ..for which they have "safeguards" against.

It's the same definition you use for them and their staff. What, you think they are run by robots?

Re:Uh, okay? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45786639)

well the funny thing is that Apple/Google/AT&T/Verizon in USA can do anything they want with the data. aaanyyyything. since due to government defining it as theirs and not the customers(so that it isn't "secure in their" since it is not the customer holding the data..)... they could just sell the data about who you called to anyone they want, though none of them has been so bold yet(or at least haven't gotten caught publicly about it).

Re:Uh, okay? (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#45787249)

Is amazing how easy is for them to dodge those safeguards [theguardian.com] , even if there is no relation in 3th grade with anyone foreigner (what is already pretty hard).

Anyway, this is not just about spying, is also about control, in particular of the US citizens.

Re:Uh, okay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45786489)

I also like how, apparently, we're calling it "mass collection of information", instead of "spying", now.

What does it matter, neither of those are bad things.

What do you call this?
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/docs/history.html

Re:Uh, okay? (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#45787361)

I also like how, apparently, we're calling it "mass collection of information", instead of "spying", now.

A collection of books doesn't equal an education unless you read and understand them.

Re:Uh, okay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45787771)

Does a tree falling in the forest make any sound if no one is there to hear it?

Re:Uh, okay? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#45788521)

So if you're one of those creepy up-skirts dudes, it's all okay until you actually take the film out of your camera and look at it?

Re:Uh, okay? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#45790461)

Point, Seumas.

Re:Uh, okay? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#45794671)

Finally. All those years of shoe-mirrors has paid off!

Re:Uh, okay? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45786453)

Really /. has beaten this into the ground. And you make good points on the wording they choose to use about this.

Does anyone honestly believe that million/billion dollar internet companies are going to do anything to make people's privacy secure? It was bad enough they fooled some people with these FBI/NSA letters requesting information, meanwhile they were pretty much just giving these agencies anything and everything they wanted while using this "transparency" report to appear as if people have some sort of freedom from any random invasion.

No, no, no the only thing that is going to happen is the status quo, companies will use PR to mind f**k citizens. Politicians, and Washington in general, will do the same, were already reading stories coming out on how the NSA has been given more wide spread abusive go ahead from the White House. And meanwhile the NSA and other agencies will lock down everything preventing anyone even politicians (tho I think it is a safe bet they do not care anyway) from finding out what secret plans or programs they have, or the next wide spread abuse of power among these spying agencies.

With legalizing Marijuana, we may not end up enjoying it for to much longer, or anything for that matter, this country will have cameras everywhere, facial recognition, almost an immediate police presence because there will be algorithms written into the software/hardware to recognize when you are in a "bad act", thinking about going to a night club or raven, thinking of going out and doing a little drinking? Wrong put your hands on the car, you'll be seeing the judge. Your Honor you see the camera shows this girl is on drugs, and drunk after coming out of this night club, the blood test will prove the presence of !!! and of !!!..

Sorry but it is going to get to that point, it has already started with people being on the "wrong street" at the "wrong time".. People need to get there arrogance out of there ass and realize that while they "think" this would not happen, the fact the this country has continued to do things people didn't "think" possible, we continue to see how wrong we are.

Everyone has something to lose despite the ignorance of thinking they are not a stereo typical "criminal" or "terrorist".

Re:Uh, okay? (1)

Endymion (12816) | about a year ago | (#45792417)

We've been slowly moving in that direction for quite some time now. Often, when some of those small, individual steps have been noticed and discussed, the discussion tends to (understandably) focus on the declne itself and the problems it brings.

Unfortunately, this almost always ignores another slowly-amplifying aspect of the problem: the gradual conditioning (Pavlov-style) of the people responsible. Each time we - The People - allow abuse of power to go unpunished or a another roadblock placed in the way of our Rights, the politician responsible is trained to do it again. We are very slowly traiing our politicians to believe that nobody will actually stop them. Even worse, we reward some of it, such as when we give paid vacations instead of years-in-prison whenever the police beat somebody up.

So now we have a problem on our hands: we've taught some people that they are above the law. We've taught that the risk of being caught is so close to zero that such concepts don't apply to them. When you have people that no longer fear reprecussions, there is no incentive for them to change. An argument could be made that it would even be a rational decision, given how reliable the historical record has been.

I strongly suspect that we won't see real change until this feedback-loop has been disrupted. Once the usual human level of fear has been re-established, we could see improvments quite quickly, but it has to be real - they have to truly fear that they could be held accountable for their own actions, in some way.

Hypothetically, there are a number of ways such a fear could be created. Traditionally, things like "being voted out of office" and "jail" have been used to decent effect. While I really wish such things were still realistic goals, I fear we have left those opportunities behind in the distant past.

Unfortunately, I fear there only one thing left that can break through the years of conditioning: the sight of one of their peers losing their head to the Guillotine[1] the angry mob constructed for the occasion. It might only take one - fear of that magnitude can shift attitudes amazinly fast. As a pacifist, though, I loath the idea[2] of such a tool could be necessary. There's still time for the players involved to choose one of the better alternatives.

As time goes on, the probability of some person(s) snapping and deciding to "fix" this mess French Revolution style is sounding far more realistic than a bunch of politicians suddenly ignoring years of conditioning and flipping sides, all on their own...

[1] : or the modern substitute
[2]: ...and really really really hope I am wrong about this

No shit (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year ago | (#45786373)

Google pushed its high-speed fiber and TV service in Kansas City, and expanded elsewhere; evidence emerged that the result was better prices and faster speeds in those markets.

Increased competition leads to better consumer offerings and lower prices.
You don't say.

In general, there is plenty that the dominant Internet providers can do to provide better deals without much effort, she says. Cable companies like Time Warner Cable and Comcast have the technical capacity to speed up service, and also plenty of room to lower prices, given the estimate from one analystâ"Craig Moffet of the Wall Street firm Bernstein Researchâ"that they typically make 97 percent profit margins on Internet services.

In other words: the average consumer is paying the "fuck you" price.

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45786683)

It depends on what the analyst means by "profit margins", but I have to believe he really means operating profit without accounting for the investment cost. Big difference.

Citation needed? (0, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45786627)

The Snowden documents also galvanized new efforts at making the Internet more secure and private

Excuse me, but Snowden didn't create anything. He stole them from the NSA. This is false attributation. Shame on you, Slashdot! You're a news organization for crying out loud -- can you at least get your facts marginally correct? The NSA is the owner of those documents, not Snowden.

actually (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45786687)

the american taxpayer is the owner. the nsa is only an entity that the us taxpayer completely funds and owns - if there were no american taxpayer to provide funds for the nsa, then nothing would be owned. that's the point of the whole snowden protest - beacuse people like you are too blind to realize any true fundamental problems with the system, but instead insist on arguing over stupid shit like which of the elderly rich white men in the usa technically have top secret access to the taxpayers paid for information.

a complete re-haul and transparent oversight of the NSA is needed to redefine your concept of ownership to explicitly state that taxpayers own this information. any attack on the USA should be publicly stated as soon as it's known. oh that's right, all of that is bullshit - the entire organization is corrupt from the NSA to their CIA counterparts. many psy ops have been had to achieve these successes an implant the mind control you've been given to defend an organization such as the nsa. individuals in the military industrial complex need to perpetuate the war myth forever to enrich themselves. these people are protected, but their invincibility breaks when you do not comply. it starts with a change in mentality though, and part of it is not believing the bullshit lie of 'national security'.

the notion that 'national security' can be a scapegoat for anything and everything confidential is now considered unacceptable by the people who pay the bills. now if only the docile , weak minded, enslaved people realize they don't have to comply when someone says "do it for national security!' which has been exposed as a farce. when you state the nsa owns anything, you are literally complying with your own enslavement. because you perpetuate the myth that you have no power, and that only a cabal of rich old guard white men can dictate who enlightened with knowledge and who is not. Slashdot did a good job in sticking with this new idea of thinking - unlike yourself.

Re:Citation needed? (4, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#45786789)

> Excuse me, but Snowden didn't create anything.

Excuse yourself; then go look up "galvanized" and consider meditating upon what the difference is between "creating something" and "galvanizing new efforts". Generally if you want to dispute a claim that wasn't actually made, its best to not quote

Makes the shilling for the surveillance state far less obvious.

Re:Citation needed? (2)

bmimatt (1021295) | about a year ago | (#45786827)

Furthermore, whatever has been invented/improved this year is that - 'invented' as in 'here already' and if valuable enough, unlikely to disappear anytime soon and the time will come to discuss and dissect. Snowden's revelations, on the other hand, seem to be affecting more people right now than any new inventions that and as such tend to take a larger share of the collective mind share.

Re:Citation needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45788853)

Excuse yourself; then go look up "galvanized"

Done --- so, this Snowden guy got in trouble for applying zinc coatings to ferrous materials for increased corrosion resistance?

Re:Citation needed? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#45788949)

No no no, wrong definition, try this one: "To stimulate or shock with an electric current."

Makes so much more sense that way doesn't it?

Re:Citation needed? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45786843)

Fuck off, fascist cunt. You are the enemy of the people. We are now monitoring you.

Overshadowed or overhyped, but not remarkable. (3, Interesting)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a year ago | (#45786981)

I read TFA. There was not one advancement I would consider to be "remarkable". I would argue that some were really developed before 2013 as well. Of course, throw something about Snowden or the NSA in there, you'll get a few folks to read it. The NSA headlines also overshadowed everything else not worth reporting on.

Really, MIT Review, I don't care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45788295)

Having read the article, which is basically a combination of PR articles of multiple large companies, I have to say, is that all that MIT review wants to call "breakthroughs"?

No I am not saying they are not improvements. But who cares? What are these bandwidth be good for? Consuming your monthly quota in ten minutes? Asking the consumers to pay more? Who really needs these stuff? Given that these days there are no really breakthroughs anyway, MIT review has to try to stay relevant by catching more attention, so they keep generating fake breakthroughs, where this article is just another of it.

I used to read MIT review, but not any more, given that they do not publish anything novel for maybe several years already.

coincidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45788957)

I guess it's just a coincidence that a job posting for the NSA showed up on this /. post. It's also funny that they're using DICE to recruit.

http://www.dice.com/jobsearch/servlet/JobSearch;MERCURYDCSP=sWJhS8PMdrdcTRvzQJ5sQ66QNWTR0rKJH6T9DsvvlBLr3fJ2R8DW!687681033!470566295?op=302&dockey=xml/9/0/9049caf8d76e135ed7fc8576fa6c0ef9@endecaindex&source=19&FREE_TEXT=&rating=&src=19&CMPID=AF_SD_UP_JS_AV_OG_WG_&utm_source=Slashdot&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_content=&utm_campaign=Advocacy_Ongoing

Here are the technical highlights of the person and experience they're looking for:
* top level contributor on mission critical 24 by 7 SIGINT production systems
* Voice or video processing systems / multiple audio and video formats
* Transcription systems
* Field deployable voice processing systems / multiple audio formats
* Average ingest storage, content search and retrieval of 500GB/day or more of multilingual text
* Distributed Peer to Peer content storage and retrieval systems with more than 500 nodes.
* Metadata indexing, metadata summarization, content and metadata data mining, visualization and analytics.

Along with some of the bullshit requirements:
* 15 years developing within a CMMI level 2 or NSA Way process
* 5 years "wrapping" legacy systems or components as Web Services
* 7 COTS and GOTS products
* cloud storage
* 6 system engineering for one of: Windows .NET, or, Solaris, or Linux OS.
* 10 years project management on NSA projects.
* Current TS/SCI with Polygraph required.

If you're interested, just say the words "Merge Olympus Vibrate Caller Fixated" while on your cell phone. They'll be in touch.

Bonus CAPTCHA: eligible

Putting a Cortex M3 in a phone is a highlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45793987)

Does anyone know why putting a microcontroller in a phone to handle sensor input is so novel as to be mention in an end of year review?

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