Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 8th Jun 2013 14:57 UTC
Legal And yes, the PRISM scandal is far, far from over. More and more information keeps leaking out, and the more gets out, the worse it gets. The companies involved have sent out official statements - often by mouth of their CEOs - and what's interesting is that not only are these official statements eerily similar to each other, using the same terms clearly designed by lawyers, they also directly contradict new reports from The New York Times. So, who is lying?
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Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sat 8th Jun 2013 15:49 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

We start to get into a gray area when companies start being blamed for complying with the law. They are compelled to provide this information by the Government of what is in some cases their host country. Surely a little slack can be afforded to the ones that did comply.

In addition, I find that what Google and others did to further the security of the provided information to be equally as noble. Just because they don't like what they're being forced to do, doesn't mean that they need to do it recklessly.

Twitter surprised me by refusing to comply, and I'd love to read some sort of statement or postmortem of this entire thing when the smoke clears. If true, it was majorly heroic from a moral and ethical standpoint. I'm interested in the ramifications of companies asserting more autonomy by pushing back against their host governments when it comes to data privacy.

Now, I instead would 100% like to direct the outrage at the Federal Government. From a practical matter, perhaps they feel justified in that they may have access to intelligence otherwise not possible without the wiretappings. Still, for me and many others this is a step too far.

If, as some put it, the goal of terrorism is to dismantle the freedoms of say Americans, then we'd be playing directly into their hand by having our own liberties eroded in the name of counter terrorism.

Americans have shown to put up with this BS in small dosages (think the TSA body scanners), but its much easier to express outrage over phone wiretappings and backdoors into Facebook.

For what its worth, I don't think the companies affected particularly like the fact that they're forced to do this. When stuff like this happens and documents leak out, we get major PR headaches for all affected.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by voidlogic on Sat 8th Jun 2013 16:03 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
voidlogic Member since:
2005-09-03

We start to get into a gray area when companies start being blamed for complying with the law. They are compelled to provide this information by the Government of what is in some cases their host country. Surely a little slack can be afforded to the ones that did comply.


Understandable and excusable are different. When it comes to things like human rights and civil liberties I expect people (and therefore companies) to to make the hard call and do what is right. What you are saying is just more supporting evidence of the banality of evil.

I'm not just talking about civil disobedience there. I'm sure the smart folks at many of these companies could work on engineering their products so that complying with these orders in a meaningful was be technically impossible and provide the government with no information.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by WorknMan on Sat 8th Jun 2013 18:59 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Understandable and excusable are different. When it comes to things like human rights and civil liberties I expect people (and therefore companies) to to make the hard call and do what is right. What you are saying is just more supporting evidence of the banality of evil.


Right. So you're running a large company, and the government comes to you and says, 'We need some information from your servers about Joe Sixpack, and by law, you must provide us with this information.' So, what are you going to do? Are you going to play the hero and get yourself thrown in jail, and your company possibly put out of business? I'm sure we could get a good debate going about whether such things should be legal, but the point is that they ARE legal, and businesses are legally obligated to hand this information over. So I personally don't hold it against them.

I'm not just talking about civil disobedience there. I'm sure the smart folks at many of these companies could work on engineering their products so that complying with these orders in a meaningful was be technically impossible and provide the government with no information.


The way I look at it, it's like the DMCA. If you're being requested for information and it happens frequently enough so that it's a pain in the ass to do it manually, eventually you'll come up with some way to streamline the process. Otherwise, it's probably costing you time and money, and slowing down the process. If you HAVE to do it anyway, might as well be quick about it.

Edited 2013-06-08 19:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3