Wednesday, July 31, 2013





(Post on Bradley Manning from June this year: Pour Encourager Les Autres)


mike said...

“The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It's people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages” Banksy

“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” David Mitchell

“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.” Ernest Hemingway

“Behind every great fortune there is a crime.” Honore de Balzac

“The first person who, having enclosed a plot of land, took it into his head to say this is mine and found people simple enough to believe him was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would the human race have been spared, had some one pulled up the stakes or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: "Do not listen to this imposter. You are lost if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one!” Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks - those are exactly the right fit! :-)

Here's another, this from Howard Zinn

“I was astonished, bewildered. This was America, a country where, whatever its faults, people could speak, write, assemble, demonstrate without fear. It was in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. We were a democracy...

But I knew it wasn't a dream; there was a painful lump on the side of my head...

The state and its police were not neutral referees in a society of contending interests. They were on the side of the rich and powerful. Free speech? Try it and the police will be there with their horses, their clubs, their guns, to stop you.

From that moment on, I was no longer a liberal, a believer in the self-correcting character of American democracy. I was a radical, believing that something fundamental was wrong in this country--not just the existence of poverty amidst great wealth, not just the horrible treatment of black people, but something rotten at the root. The situation required not just a new president or new laws, but an uprooting of the old order, the introduction of a new kind of society--cooperative, peaceful, egalitarian.”

― Howard Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times

mike (again) said...

From Bloomberg:

"Imagine the government passed a law requiring all citizens to carry a tracking device. Such a law would immediately be found unconstitutional. Yet we all carry mobile phones.

If the National Security Agency required us to notify it whenever we made a new friend, the nation would rebel. Yet we notify Facebook Inc.(FB). If the Federal Bureau of Investigation demanded copies of all our conversations and correspondence, it would be laughed at. Yet we provide copies of our e-mail to Google Inc. (GOOG), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) or whoever our mail host is; we provide copies of our text messages to Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), AT&T Inc. (T) and Sprint Corp. (S); and we provide copies of other conversations to Twitter Inc., Facebook, LinkedIn (LNKD) Corp. or whatever other site is hosting them.

...This partnership manifests itself in various ways. The government uses corporations to circumvent its prohibitions against eavesdropping domestically on its citizens. Corporations rely on the government to ensure that they have unfettered use of the data they collect."

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks - Good on him for that! Some would say "did he complain 10 years ago when The Patriot Act was passed? That's pertinent, but I'll take whatever's on offer now from whomever. Now is what we're dealing with - with all the even newer technology available now improved even from what it was then - and not forgetting new stuff that's almost certainly coming in the future.

There are some excellent comments beneath the article too - I've only read the fist page of them but will go back later and read on. This is part of a longer comment by "Jimbo 701":

Two or so decades ago when electronic communications and e-commerce were in their infancy Americans had the option to accept the terms and conditions or use, or reject them and do things the old fashioned way. Nowadays that option is gone. If you don't want to sacrifice your privacy, you're not going to use a credit card, a cell phone, or engage in any form of e-commerce. You're not even going to be eligible for discounts on things like food and other necessities. This is wrong.

Americans need to understand that their data is, in fact, theirs, regardless of claims to the contrary. We have to recognize that when the deal to trade access for privacy was struck decades ago, Americans had the option to walk away. That option is almost non existent today and trading privacy for access has become a requirement for living in our society, which is also wrong.

Remember, your personal information is a "thing" no less than your car, your home and the clothes on your back, and NO ONE has the right to use your "stuff" without your explicit permissison. Also, your information has a monetary value to THEM so YOU should be compensated for its use IF you decide to let them use it. Finally no entity has the right to deny you the access the the things you need to function in a technological society i.e electronic communication, ecommerce and the like. It's a restriction on your right to the "pursuit of happiness" outlined in the US Constitution, your right to privacy and your right to be treated with basic human dignity....
(Jimbo 701)

A comment later argues with the point that we own our data.
It's a sticky point. I'm with Jimbo though.