“ Among the strongest arguments against a surveillance state is that it depends on the subjective judgment of its millions of employees (a) to be applied without over-reach or abuse, or (b) to exist at all. One 29-year-old has just demonstrated the second point. Edward Snowden didn’t like the way the system worked, and so he has effectively blown it up.”
“ He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment. “Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world,” he says. “I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”
I’m mostly pro getting Swiss bankers drunk to identify gray market cash. And even if you aren’t: would you ever call this formative? Or really surprising? The fact that this is the only specific detail given by Snowden – a man who has abandoned his old life for Hong Kong and a tenuous chance at refugee status – feels odd to me.
“ Assume for a moment that some of these measures really have helped make our persons and property safer—are they worth it? Where and when was the public debate on whether they’re worth it? Was there no such debate because we’re not capable of having or demanding one? Why not? Have we actually become so selfish and scared that we don’t even want to consider whether some things trump safety? What kind of future does that augur?”
“ A Highland Park High School student is being charged as a juvenile after spiking a container of marinara sauce in the cafeteria lunch line with a fiery hot sauce that sent three people to the hospital, police said Wednesday. Now the school is installing a security camera in the cafeteria.”
“ The White House is defending the practice of gathering telephone records from American citizens while neither confirming nor denying a report that the National Security Agency is collecting records from Verizon customers.”
File under newspeak.