[cryptome] Re: Microsoft and the NSA

  • From: Al Zumpf <azumpf@xxxxxxx>
  • To: "cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 06:54:50 -0700

Pls remove me from this list. Thank you. 

On Jul 19, 2013, at 6:04 AM, John Young <jya@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Points most valid. Public discourse on national security
> is deficient. It has become a vast racket concealed by
> secrecy and ample economic rewards.
> As global threats dwindle there is more openness
> until the next threats, then return to greater secrecy than
> before as the national security racket further advances
> more than it retreated.
> The greater the racket the greater chances it will become
> corrupt, suffer from gigantism, internal fractures and factions,
> overweaning leaders and their supporting infrastructure of
> contractors and lobbyists, and disaffected minions who get
> fed up with the corruption of their bosses and a few bravely
> go public.
> As we see lately from a tiny number of honorable grunts.
> Amazing that there are not thousands among the several
> million of natsec feeders, perhaps only 1% of which contribute
> significantly to protection of the nation -- for the rest it is
> job protection, no joking matter, or for top natsec firms
> officers fortune protection, many of whom are ex-officials,
> a sick joke which should be criminal except lawmakers
> are beneficiaries. This is amply reported, customarily to
> no effect.
> DIY national security is no joke. Now impossible due to
> secrecy bloat and exclusion of the public from participation
> in meaningful ways. NatSec is now a bastion of scoundrels,
> and natsec news coverage is complicit. The worst offenders
> are the pundits, essayists, apologists and opportunists in
> academic and policy institutions who are actually covert
> contractors.
> Corrpution of insufficiently-checked power is well documented
> in historical studies of the rise and fall of powerful states. Secrecy
> is essential to preventing democracy.
> Anybody who has been a grunt in any of these anti-democratic
> organizations, mil, com, edu, org, is acutely aware of abuses and
> threats of punishment for disclosures -- insiders always the
> greatest threat to power. Let us hope the abused grunts will
> continue to now and then let us in on the latest iteration of
> public opinion manipulation. But expect, by "human nature,"
> most will pitifully believe they have a shot at upward mobility
> so long as national threats endure.
> This is not to ignore that disclosing natsec corruption can
> be a successful shot at upward mobility. Natsec industry
> rewards critics who do not go too far with disclosures and
> castigates those who do -- ie, compliant media constitutionally
> blessed in contrast to "conspiracy theorists." So we have a
> small sub-set of the industry which briefs selected outsiders
> with insider golddust at lunches, by leaks, by FOIA, by anonymous
> sources, by security confabs, by securitized contracts, by
> whatever means assures friendly oversight is as cooperative
> as loyal opposition.
> At 08:02 AM 7/19/2013, you wrote:
>> On 7/18/2013 7:59 PM, John Young wrote:
>>> ...its greatest enemy is its hyper-paranoia.
>>> National security is not about protecting the nation, its aim
>>> is to generate fear of its inevitable failure.
>> John, perhaps you are too pessimistic. I don't like the panopticon or the 
>> surveillance state. But with 7 billion people on the planet and the 
>> inglorious history of human nature, parts of the security programs may be 
>> needed. I would prefer that people prevent abuses of the National Security 
>> state and surveillance, rather than calling for its abolition.
>> Constructive criticism is needed and pointed questions must be raised. But 
>> in the end, it is not the nature of the State that is our primary concern; 
>> it is human nature itself. But both the behavior of both the State and the 
>> People give reasons for great concern.

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