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The Internet Government United States

Majority of Americans OK With Warrantless Internet Surveillance (ap.org) 395

An anonymous reader writes: A new poll conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research gathered opinions on the U.S. government's surveillance of internet communications. The poll found that a majority of Americans, 56%, were in favor of warrantless surveillance. 28% explicitly opposed it. 67% of Republicans and 55% of Democrats supported the warrantless surveillance, while only 40% of Independents supported it. Americans under 30 supported warrantless surveillance much less than older Americans. Further, "The poll finds that for most Americans, safety concerns trump civil liberties at least some of the time. More than half — 54 percent — say it's sometimes necessary for the government to sacrifice freedoms to fight terrorism, while 45 percent think that's not necessary. On a more general level, 42 percent say it's more important for the government to ensure Americans' safety than to protect citizens' rights, while 27 percent think rights are more important and 31 percent rate both equally."
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Majority of Americans OK With Warrantless Internet Surveillance

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  • by ffkom ( 3519199 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:02PM (#51224113)
    to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. (Benjamin Franklin)

    Still very, very true...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:04PM (#51224123)

      The majority of Americans are morons...

      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:31PM (#51224281)

        Think of the average person. It's not hard, it's probably your coworker. Maybe your boss. Maybe the clerk at the store where you get your coffee. Picture this person. Mr (or Mrs) Average Joe or Jane.

        Then realize that half of the people out there are even stupider.

      • by LostMyBeaver ( 1226054 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @11:14PM (#51225195)
        The vast majority of humans are idiots. The difference is, Americans and Englishmen feel they have either a god given right or patriotic duty to basque in the glory of their own stupid.

        I have traveled to many countries spending a week here and a week there. Only three countries I've experienced have truly combined stupidity with arrogance to an extreme that I simply preferred my own company... and I don't even like myself.
        1) India : The worst... these people would lie to your face and not even know they had done so. But if it sounds good to them, they'll say it. It seems that they always assume you're either dumber than they are or that you'll dislike confrontation so much, you'll just do what they want to be rid of them. Outside India, I have almost never encountered this behavior from Indian people... except from the fools who spend an hour painting their social status on their foreheads each morning.

        2) US : Close second... this is a place where people glorify all forms of competition to such an extreme that they join religions, political parties, etc... as if they were teams and no matter how stupid their team might be acting at the time, so long as it's their team it must be right no matter how sane and logical the alternative is. 99% of the time, the US can be summarized as "Two wrongs don't make a right, but if your wrong and the other team is wrong, it's your patriotic duty to attempt to dominate the other team and force your wrong on them which in the end makes it right". America is most famous around the world for people who ask "How are you doing?" to be polite but don't bother waiting for an answer. On top of that, America sells the military as if it were a religion and that the soldiers are priests or acolytes.

        Where else can you go to in the world, at 18 years old volunteer to sign up for a job which trains you, feeds you, clothes you and places a roof over your head and then also provides you a stipend of disposable cash (ideally for savings, more likely for a car) remaining equal to or exceeding that available to someone who earns $55,000 a year with a university education. In addition, if you wear your military issued clothing everywhere you go, it's not only socially appropriate, but people will treat you like you're some sort of hero and give up business class seats and more to support their troops.

        Guys... military is a job... when you sign up, unless you're an absolute idiot (based on the topic of this conversation, most are) you're signing a contract with terms and conditions defining what you are responsible for and what you'll be paid. You have a clearly defined job. If you happen to end up on a battlefield presented with a choice of shooting someone or having them shoot you... or there are bombs bursting in air, this is not heroic... this is as stupid as being on the cast of jack-ass. If you're a fool who believes it's your god given duty to shoot the other guy who also believes it's his god given duty to shoot you, then you're better off sitting down for a cup of coffee and discussing where you went wrong in your thinking and maybe discuss sports or girls.

        Let's talk guns... in America it's a religion... a persons right to bare arms is such a fundamental right that to not have at least 5 weapons on you at a given time is simply un-American. What do you expect from a country where people glorify the wild west. I personally enjoy a visit to the shooting range on occasion where I get to try different firearms and spend money for the privilege of wasting extremely expensive bullets to punch holes in sheets of paper at long distances for some inexplicable reason. I can't see ever actually owning a gun as I have no need for one and I don't dislike paper enough to need to punch holes in it at home with NATO rounds. But Americans seem to collect them... it's important to them... their Declaration of Independence demonizes King George the III as a tyrant. This is hilarious because the exact same bullshit they do today. They started a war against an
        • What do you expect from a country where people glorify the wild west.

          Actually, from what little I've read about the "wild west", it was actually very common for town sheriffs to require everyone to check their guns at the police station while they were in town, instead of being allowed to keep them or walk around with them in public.

          If the US government chose to disarm the people and establish a true tyranny (not a "mamma took my playstation" kind but a real one) there is absolutely nothing even a town full

          • by Anonymous Coward

            "The main problem with this idea is the notion that the national guard, who are a bunch of citizen-soldiers (they're not full-time professionals), would willingly assault and oppress their own countrymen this way."

            Kent State down the memory hole, I see...

          • by firewrought ( 36952 ) on Saturday January 02, 2016 @01:32AM (#51225507)
            It's not unimaginable, given some of the incindinerary talk about Muslims/liberals/homos/SJW's. We did it to 100,000+ Japanese-Americans during WW2, and we did it various Native American tribes before that (despite declarations from the Supreme Court, in the case of the Cherokees). You can object that these were not instances of full-on, permanent tyranny (like North Korea), but they were brutal events for the targeted populations, prosecuted without objection from the majority of this supposedly freedom-loving populace. Remember that Rome itself transitioned to a dictatorship with the support of her people. Caeser treated his army well and the senate was increasingly seen as helpless to address the problems of empire. There are plenty in the US who would support arbitrarily trampling it the Constitution and democratic principles so longed as it helped their cause it made them feel a little safer from a handful of bad actors. This article merely reflects how naieve we are about the dynamics of power (especially our children, who grow surrounded by surveillance). Unfortunately, it looks like the continue continuous expansion of federal (and corporate) powers that's been occurring for there past ~90 years will keep accelerating upwards, with near unilateral support from across the political spectrum. The consequences will be severe.
          • The main problem with this idea is the notion that the national guard, who are a bunch of citizen-soldiers (they're not full-time professionals), would willingly assault and oppress their own countrymen this way

            Sorry for the Godwin, but if you study the propaganda techniques of the rise of the NAZI party, then you'll see how easy it is to dehumanise a segment of the population. Then think about the fact that we have a hundred years more study of human psychology and a hundred years better mass communication. If you think that it would be difficult to persuade the national guard that the godless commies / terrorist sympathisers / whatever need to be rounded up for the good of the country then you might want to st

            • The main problem with this idea is the notion that the national guard, who are a bunch of citizen-soldiers (they're not full-time professionals), would willingly assault and oppress their own countrymen this way

              Sorry for the Godwin, but if you study the propaganda techniques of the rise of the NAZI party, then you'll see how easy it is to dehumanise a segment of the population.

              I don't think that the USA could go full-nazi overnight, or even rapidly, while "hitler" and "nazi" are still insults. Remember, military suicides are at a high, and they're not even killing our own people, just bombing brown people for profit. If you point the military at the citizenry, you'll see suicides and desertions skyrocket. And a number of those deserters will join the "other" side, possibly with military equipment...

              • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

                And a number of those deserters will join the "other" side, possibly with military equipment...

                Which is why you won't see the heavy hardware come out until those who are on the fence have made up their minds. In the end, it will be 10% of the population toting 90% of the hardware, and 90% of the population starving or kept close to it. Once they're out of ammo, then what?

          • by Agripa ( 139780 )

            The main problem with this idea is the notion that the national guard, who are a bunch of citizen-soldiers (they're not full-time professionals), would willingly assault and oppress their own countrymen this way.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      • This applies to every country. Find a country that does not have the majority of its citizen acting stupidly or favoring stupid policies.

        Note that the "majority" here was 56%. If it had been 46% they wouldn't have said "majority" but it would still be stupid.

    • Liberty and Safety are not at two ends of a zero-sum sliding scale, wherein one must be sacrificed in discrete and equal units for the other. We can and should have a good measure of both, and it is government's charge to provide for the latter, while protecting (or, depending on your view, not infringing upon) the former. To say nothing of the fact that our very existence has been an exercise in the sacrifice of "liberty" for an orderly civil society governed by the rule of law, except in the fantasies of

      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:43PM (#51224319)

        Since I currently lack the time to write a complete answer to it, allow me to pick a single line from the whole text which, in my opinion, illustrates the underlying problem we're facing today:

        "To pretend that it's some kind of "people's victory" when a technical system renders itself effectively impenetrable to the legitimate legal, judicial, and intelligence processes of democratic governments operating under the rule of law in free civil society is curious indeed."

        Why is this touted as a "people's victory" in the first place? That alone shows that the problem runs far, far deeper than the question whether encryption or not is the key to more or less freedom and more or less danger. The core of the problem is that the people do not trust their government anymore to have their best interest in their mind. And that's a real danger. Far, far worse than any terrorist group could ever be.

        In the end, that was what fell the Communist regimes.

        A government that does not have the support of its people is eventually doomed to fail. When a request like "Don't ask what your country can do for you" is met with a "yeah, right, fuck off", you have a problem. And a problem that is far, far more serious than any suicide bomber could ever present.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          At the end of the day my friend this is exactly what the government is doing with these systems. They are finding ways to quiet dissent, including how to shape public opinion. All that analysis isn't just for "finding" terrorists. I would bet the farm it is also used to analyze what we are thinking, and speaking about to see how best effectively to shape our conversations. Sad, few people see this part.

        • "The core of the problem is that the people do not trust their government anymore to have their best interest in their mind. And that's a real danger. Far, far worse than any terrorist group could ever be."

          BULLSHIT. People should ALWAYS view government with suspicion and always be vigilant that it doesnt run away, its literally the price of freedom. The People can exist without the current government, the current government cannot exist without The People. No one should be idolize a government, its a le
          • What you're looking for is 'Trust but verify' which is how citizens should view their gov't. You can't distrust them about everything or we'd be boiling a LOT of water coming out of the taps...
        • by FrozenGeek ( 1219968 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @09:20PM (#51224747)
          Keep in mind that nothing man-made remains constant. Today, we may have a government run entirely by people we trust, and can trust, without reservation. But we don't know that that will be true next year. Or 10 years from now There will always be people who will seek power for their own benefit.. That is why we ought never to give government any more trust or power than is absolutely necessary.
          • by arth1 ( 260657 )

            Today, we may have a government run entirely by people we trust, and can trust, without reservation.

            We may? Then, why don't we?

            • It's a hypothetical conjecture. That is, if someone is a true believer in some ideology then they should not become so blinded to it that they cede too much power to their government when it is in power because that government won't remain in power. And in America this is a mistake that happens too often. It is easy to give power to the government but very hard to claw it back again.

              Governments should always govern assuming that all citizens are equal, even the ones who didn't vote for it.

          • There will always be people who will seek power for their own benefit.. That is why we ought never to give government any more trust or power than is absolutely necessary.

            1) There will always be people who will seek power for whatever reason. The less power government holds, the more they can gather before trying to take it over. A weak central government has harder time tyrannizing me, true, but also makes easier for the local strongmen to do so instead.

            2) My definition of "absolutely necessary" includes

        • The problem is that government has extended their "legal, judicial, and intelligence processes" way beyond what would be allowable with proper judicial oversight. "Investigating" everyone is a huge over-reach of the government's mandate. Instead of mass surveillance, the funds should be better directed to actual investigations. Of course, that requires spending on people, not machines, and the corporations that provide those machines and the associated services would not like that.

          If the government wants t

        • by ZeroWaiteState ( 3804969 ) on Saturday January 02, 2016 @12:46AM (#51225417)
          I read their study methodology. A couple of things:
          • They interviewed about 1000 people, which is supposed to be statistically representative of roughly 250 million people.
          • Of the people they requested to complete the survey, roughly 2/3rd's of them did it via the web, which would have been by far the quickest way to do a survey, even with a smartphone. 1/3 instead chose to complete the survey by a telephone call.
          • There was no information regarding whether there was a correlation between people who were okay with computer surveillance and people who don't use a computer. Given the way the study was conducted, it is reasonable to assume a number of people who responded were not comfortable using a computer to do the survey.
          • They broke their respondents into two age groups, one 18-30 and another 30-anything else, and then averaged positive opinions across the entire age range. So, we don't know if people age 60+ had a different opinion on the matter. We are left to infer that they don't.
          • They only selected households with at least 2 adults, so single adults that weren't cohabiting weren't consulted.
          • The question, as framed, asked about "government analysis of internet activities and communications", which is more vague and has less emotional content than "surveillance". Given that their admitted margin of sampling error is 4% (not even taking into account subgroups, which is pretty much the point of the article), differences in wording becomes relevant.

          The only thing I saw worth noting in the article is that Americans find terrorists to be scary.

        • In the end, that was what fell the Communist regimes.

          What fell the Communist regimes is that Lenin got the brilliant idea of trying to build a post-capitalist economy in a country that had not actually gone trough - or even started at - capitalism yet, and that the ideals of classless society, democracy and even basic human decency could and should be sacrificed for this goal. Of course the end result was an utterly delusional dictatorship which had as much to do with Communism as Religious Right has with

      • TL/DR;

        When the government won't eve disclose what they THINK the law currently says, there is clearly a problem in the system.

        That a government can by all current evidence directly violate the CONSTITUTION and nobody has any legal recourse because until you can get the party committing the crimes to admit they are committing the crimes it legally isn't happening...that's a loophole the size of a certain federal district.

        NOTHING they've done has worked. Boston bombers. San Bernadino. None of thes
    • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:46PM (#51224345) Homepage
      Careful, citizen. Quoting Benjamin Franklin has been identified as a common trait of extreme right-wing pro-Constitutional advocates. The correct line is to acknowledge that the government needs these powers to keep us safe from radical anti-government extremists. Citizen, do not make yourself suspicious, or associate with suspicious people. Quoting Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Patrick Henry, or other non-conformists may result in you being placed on a watchlist or no-fly list. War is peace! Freedom is slavery! Ignorance is strength!
    • by bug1 ( 96678 )

      And if your giving up "other peoples" essential liberty for your own safety...

      A story a few days ago said some groups who support eavesdropping are outraged when it happens to them.

    • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:55PM (#51224381)

      to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. (Benjamin Franklin)

      Still very, very true...

      A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago I thought the majority of Americans were not this fucking ignorant about history.

      I was wrong.

      • Five hundred years ago, very few people thought the earth was flat.

        Fifteen hundred years ago, people thought the Earth was the center of the universe, until Newton and Copernicus and others realized that the sun was actually the center. It wasn't until a hundred years ago that the modern view center-free view came about. Perhaps you're getting confused with the idea that the earth revolves around the sun?

        I realize this post is pedantic, but why are you quoting history in the first place if you don't know

    • 42 percent say it's more important for the government to ensure Americans' safety than to protect citizens' rights, while 27 percent think rights are more important and 31 percent rate both equally.

      So, 42 percent say that it's important to protect citizen's rights because it will keep them safe from the biggest threats to their wellbeing, 27 percent say that it's important to protect citizen's rights because rights are important, and 31 percent think rights need to be respected both for safety and and because rights are inherently important.

      Haha, just kidding, 42% are idiots and 31% are mentally challenged, plenty to force upon us the sacrificing of our safety against real threats for the illusion of

    • liberty-safety tradeoff doesn't even exist. Warrantless surveillance makes things less safe and not more.
    • to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. (Benjamin Franklin)

      That was easy for Ben Franklin to say, since his Liberty and Safety were never threatened. Being a wine snob and a scold who liked to hang around the Palace of Versailles, its easy to tell other people how to live and how to think.

      But to his credit, even at the very beginning, Franklin (and Jefferson, Madison, et al) knew that most Americans were grubby fucking morons who only wanted comfortable shoes and a warm p

    • Franklin wasn't talking about 1st amendment rights. He was talking about the Penn's family attempt to 'purchase' a favorable tax deal from the governor of Pennsylvania, and how the state government shouldn't give up its rights to tax citizens. The quote is about the government's rights over that of citizens, even the rich and powerful.

      Anyway, why do people 'earn' the right to deserve liberty or safety? It's a basic right of any human being, even people with different political views than yourself.

      Basical

    • Essentially what is happening is that the internet is being militarized and turned into another front with which to wage warfare against other countries. This isn't just a US phenomenon; it is happening in Europe and Asia as well. There's really a lot more to what is going on than simple surveillance of citizens. The capability that allows you to read existing communications is roughly the same capability that allows you to create new communications in place of existing ones. The ability to read emails
  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:07PM (#51224139)

    I suppose "technically" 54% is a majority, but it's not a landslide. Also, I wonder if wording of the questions and / or scenarios might change this number? Sure, most people want to fight "terrorists", but get into more detail about the invasiveness of the surveillance, and people might have different ideas.

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:29PM (#51224263)

      "Do you think that putting suspicious elements under surveillance to combat terrorism is acceptable?"

      It's all in the wording. Seriously, part of my degree required lots of statistics, I could probably come up with a question worded in such a way to prove that the people in the US want a Communist Regime badly.

      • "Do you think that putting suspicious elements under surveillance to combat terrorism is acceptable?"

        Asked like that, I'm ok with it. Suspicious people should be watched.
        The problem comes when you are watching people for political purposes, or for "love" purposes. There need to be safeguards against abuse (for example, warrants). Because we've already seen abuses like that.

        • "Do you think that putting suspicious elements under surveillance to combat terrorism is acceptable?"

          Asked like that, I'm ok with it. Suspicious people should be watched. The problem comes when you are watching people for political purposes, or for "love" purposes. There need to be safeguards against abuse (for example, warrants). Because we've already seen abuses like that.

          The sheer amount of people on the NO FLY list, and the battle that some take just to clear there name (few and far between), show you how messed the system is... you are possibly on a list, just for commenting on this thread :p

      • Here is the actual link to the survey: http://www.apnorc.org/PDFs/Sec... [apnorc.org]

        Question: As a way of responding to terrorist threats, do you favor, oppose, or neither favor nor oppose government analysis of
        internet activities and communications, including those involving U.S. citizens, without a warrant, to watch for suspicious activity
        that might be connected to terrorism?

        I don't understand this. What exactly is a respondent supposed to make of the term warrentless surveillance? I wholeheartedly support the government to analyze people's public twitter posts, and public facebook posts, and forums (including those that require subscription), and youtube channels. None of these searches require a warrant. So I would answer "yes I do support government analysis, without a warrant". Even though I strongly o

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:07PM (#51224143) Journal

    This is just another lie by the establishment to get people to accept our rights being taken away from us.

    • by Kergan ( 780543 )

      Or not... Quoting my American aunt: Why should I care? I've nothing to hide...

      (And yeah... little does she know... but that's her thought process.)

      • by 7-Vodka ( 195504 )

        Or not... Quoting my American aunt: Why should I care? I've nothing to hide...

        (And yeah... little does she know... but that's her thought process.)

        Great! Tell her I've been recording her in the shower and sharing it with my buddies. Also I couldn't help notice she likes to Monica Lewinski herself with a cigar while watching her pr0n. I mean I wouldn't complain, but it's right up the poop shoot and she makes a face like she ate a lemon when she orgasms.

        Pass on a message from her dermatologist for me: yes it is herpes. She must have caught it while she was married, from her husband from that one time he slept with a prostitute in Panama. I guess she

  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:08PM (#51224145)

    Security expert Bruce Schneier has been explaining for years that the "tradeoff" between security and liberty is a false one.
    It's put out there by politicians to justify a war on liberties.

    https://www.schneier.com/blog/... [schneier.com]

    Any "survey" or "poll" that requires comparing the two or claiming you must give up one to have the other has begged this question and is already false.

    E

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Security expert Bruce Schneier has been explaining for years that the "tradeoff" between security and liberty is a false one. It's put out there by politicians to justify a war on liberties.

      Except all he's doing is setting up a strawman and cutting it down. Nobody claimed that every loss of privacy would lead to gain in security. If that were true, they'd be cheering for Snowden reducing NSA's privacy. It's like asking "Would you be willing to pay more taxes to get more services from the government?", they're still able to raise taxes and deliver less. A rational reformulation would be "If it could provide you with higher security, would you be willing to give up some liberties?" Even the Foun

      • Except all he's doing is setting up a strawman and cutting it down. Nobody claimed that every loss of privacy would lead to gain in security.

        Except that you are the one with the strawman. He quotes Ed Giorgio, who was working with Mike McConnell, then director of National Intelligence:

        Giorgio warned me, "We have a saying in this business: 'Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.' "

        • Did you read the actual article giving the quote? Because ion my experience if one is not an expert in the field it almost never makes sense to conclude that some guy's take on a topic supported by evidence you haven't read is not bullshit.

          Let me give you the whole quote from the Ars article [arstechnica.com] that has the quote:

          "Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation," he said. Giorgio warned me, "We have a saying in this business: 'Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'"

          That could mean what you're saying, and that he thinks that he needs a database of 100% of everyone's communication or there's no security. It could also mean he wants some bureaucratic tool to search

  • Tyranny (Score:5, Interesting)

    by belrick ( 31159 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:10PM (#51224155)

    If only the US had some set of rules, encoded in a founding and fundamental document of some-sort, that limited the ability of the majority to commit tyranny on the minority through unfair legislation or otherwise.

  • by ickleberry ( 864871 ) <web@pineapple.vg> on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:11PM (#51224163) Homepage
    The fact that Trump is even a candidate has made me give up hope on that country for the forseeable future.

    *Everyone must have a job even if the things you're good at have been replaced by bots or outsourced to the Chinese. If you don't have a job you are derided as a scumbag

    *Tremendous poverty, everyone brushes it under the table because everybody is so opposed to the idea of people getting a free lunch

    *Nobody wants to give up driving their big automatic pickup to work, even if it can be proven they are causing global warming.

    *Nobody wants to give up their silly pea-shooter in case of Government aggression even if the government has much better toys that would make very light work of someone toting the said pea-shooter

    *Nobody complains about the government pissing away trillions of the aforementioned toys while people starve and die of curable illnesses.
    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      The fact that Trump is even a candidate has made me give up hope on that country for the forseeable future.

      The whiny political correctness, the safe space garbage, attacks on speech, progressives supporting it. They made Trump a candidate because he doesn't give a shit. Welcome to the bed that the progressive left created, so bad that even liberals are likely to vote for Trump.

      • The white working class's problems with the elite are way deeper then disgust at Progressivism. If it wasn't they'd be running into the arms of a guy who spent the past few years in DC fighting progressivism, rather then the one who invited the Clintons to his wedding.

        In particular the Right's insistence on spending the past few years demanding an end to Obamaism, without articulating a coherent and plausible alternative (note to morons: anything that involves Social Security cuts is roughly as plausible as

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          White working class? Man, it seems to be the working class in general at both parties. Look at how the DNC is acting now and their hissyfits, look at the hissyfits the RNC. Especially the entrenched on both sides, said working class has had enough.

      • by meglon ( 1001833 )

        The whiny political correctness, the safe space garbage, attacks on speech, progressives supporting it. They made Trump a candidate because he doesn't give a shit. Welcome to the bed that the progressive left created, so bad that even liberals are likely to vote for Trump.

        No. The victim doesn't make the criminal offender offend, and the liberals didn't make the fucking conservative bigoted fascists turn a worthless piece of shit autocratic dictator wanna-be into a candidate... the fucking right wing inbred, ignorant cowardly fascists did that all on their own because they're fucking idiots.

        There... i tried not to be "too PC" for you. Won't matter, some of the reich-wingers on here who complain about things being to be "PC" will come along and need a tampon and try to

    • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @08:16PM (#51224489) Journal

      I agree that it's depressing that someone like Trump can do so well in the polls, saying the things he says.
      But at the same time, I don't quite understand the relevancy of the points you listed here?

      *Everyone must have a job even if the things you're good at have been replaced by bots or outsourced to the Chinese. If you don't have a job you are derided as a scumbag

      America has a long history of encouraging people to get/keep a job. Traditionally, it's been the honorable thing to do, if one wants to be a productive member of society and not mooch of of the labor of others. Technology ALWAYS winds up changing around the type of labor worth paying humans to do. Historically though, it also winds up increasing the total number of available jobs. (For example, just think how many new careers were created with the advent of television. Think how many new jobs were created by the personal computer.) There is always some pain during periods of transition -- but people are remarkably good at adapting, if we're pushed up against a wall and forced to do so. We lost a LOT of jobs in manufacturing to the Chinese and others -- but there are still plenty of things to be done. Might need a little training or education to do them, but it's possible.

      *Tremendous poverty, everyone brushes it under the table because everybody is so opposed to the idea of people getting a free lunch

      I disagree with this assertion. Most people I know consider poverty a real problem. But the idea that government forcibly taking a portion of everyone's income to help these people out bothers me. Charity, by definition, is voluntary. If you can't comprehend or accept this, you may as well advocate all the poor holding up everyone else at gunpoint whenever they need something.

      *Nobody wants to give up driving their big automatic pickup to work, even if it can be proven they are causing global warming.

      Perhaps so, but can you blame them? Big pickup trucks aren't cheap. How will people be compensated for the loss of use of expensive vehicles they purchased, if you decide they're no longer allowed due to the climate change issues they help cause? The truth is, we don't yet have better solutions for the need for cars and trucks on our roads, or else we'd already all be using them.

      *Nobody wants to give up their silly pea-shooter in case of Government aggression even if the government has much better toys that would make very light work of someone toting the said pea-shooter

      This VASTLY oversimplifies things. People want guns for personal protection against other ever-day people who might initiate acts of violence. They also want guns for sport. Many of my friends enjoy going to a shooting range on weekends, and one even enjoys making his own ammo in his basement. When it comes to even government, situations vary. If we're talking about some sort of war against the government? Then, no... a fighter jet or tank is going to outmatch your rifle or handgun. But what about the no-knock warrants served in the middle of the night? The courts have upheld instances where police officers were shot by homeowners in these situations. The police knowing people could be armed helps level the playing field so they're kept honest.

      *Nobody complains about the government pissing away trillions of the aforementioned toys while people starve and die of curable illnesses.

      Sure they do! ALL the time. But you can throw dollar after dollar at a disease and still not have a cure. Often, money isn't really the primary barrier to solutions. We've had groups collecting billions of dollars over decades to find a cure for cancer but still no cure to be seen.

      • I agree that it's depressing that someone like Trump can do so well in the polls, saying the things he says.
        But at the same time, I don't quite understand the relevancy of the points you listed here?

        *Everyone must have a job even if the things you're good at have been replaced by bots or outsourced to the Chinese. If you don't have a job you are derided as a scumbag

        America has a long history of encouraging people to get/keep a job. Traditionally, it's been the honorable thing to do, if one wants to be a productive member of society and not mooch of of the labor of others. Technology ALWAYS winds up changing around the type of labor worth paying humans to do. Historically though, it also winds up increasing the total number of available jobs. (For example, just think how many new careers were created with the advent of television. Think how many new jobs were created by the personal computer.) There is always some pain during periods of transition -- but people are remarkably good at adapting, if we're pushed up against a wall and forced to do so. We lost a LOT of jobs in manufacturing to the Chinese and others -- but there are still plenty of things to be done. Might need a little training or education to do them, but it's possible.

        And historically a charge of Heavy Horse destroyed almost every infantry formation. Until Pikes became common. Then the push of Pike decided battles. Until guns got really good in the late 16th century.

        The current reality is that the elite (top 20% or so) manage to fire a bunch of working class schmucks, replace them with Chinese, and the working class guys end up with shittier jobs. Reeducation would work great, if we were fucking Denmark, and college was fucking free. But we're not. It's $10kish a year in

    • * We should sustain local (i.e. American) jobs, even if at subsidy, to keep a modicum of manufacturing, textiles and high technology available for our own purposes.
      * Lots of Americans owning weapons to fight against the government in an extreme scenario would be effective and repelling all-out totalitarianism. It's not just AR-15 vs. F-15.
      * Many people complain about the government pissing away trillions on shitty fighter jet replacements.

      Any more falsehoods?

    • Well, the demonstration of stupid I wouldn't disagree with, although you might not like my interpretation:
      "*Everyone must have a job even if the things you're good at have been replaced by bots or outsourced to the Chinese"
      Yes, it's not the REST OF US's fault that you majored in Russian Medieval Literature, or (worse) dropped out of free High School before you had marketable skills. If you don't take advantage of those things to GET marketable skills (and college is pretty much FREE if you're poor) that's

  • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:12PM (#51224173)
    I actually read the article and it is missing some key details, such as what is meant exactly by "Internet Surveillance". Do they mean simply looking at what's on the public Internet for suspicious activity, etc., or do they mean the power to compel service providers, ISPs, etc., to turn over private customer information or private data? There's a difference between looking at someone's public tweets, and reading their private e-mail messages. Was this distinction made clear in the poll questions when the surveys were taken? It's possible that the people who responded to the polling questions didn't really know what they were answering.
    • They only asked one question, and it was asked in as vague a manner as humanly possible. It's hardly surprising they got almost a 50/50 split. I doubt the survey takers even understood the question in many cases.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @07:13PM (#51224177)

    Cattle.

    Yes, I agree the government - at least if it's not nefariously self-serving, which I doubt, but let's assume... - WOULD have an easier time finding bad guys by violating fundamental rights. But they should NEVER have the right to do so, because fundamental rights are the last line of defense against tyranny and dictatorship,

    If the government has a hard time fighting crime and terrorism because they have to preserve individual rights, well, tough titties. That's their problem. People should never accept any debasing of their rights for the promise that their government will have an easier time keeping them safe. Those who think it's an acceptable tradeoff deserve to be carted off to the sheep pen.

    • Careful - that "individual rights" quote is just dog whistle racism. "Sheep pen" and "cattle" just make it worse. A powerful government doesn't lead to tyranny and dictatorship - that's what late-stage capitalism leads to. You know, what's happening now with Trump. Don't let your identity be associated with those types, adopt the correct line and save your own skin.
    • You know what else prefers safety over freedom?

      iPhone users?

  • By giving up privacy, you gain the ILLUSION of safety.

    • By giving up privacy, you gain the ILLUSION of safety.

      Perhaps the illusion of safety is just what is needed to counter the illusion of danger.

  • People who don't understand a medium and who don't use it don't give a shit about it.

  • I wonder how many of that 56% have convinced themselves that they're not the ones being watched: "Oh it's ok, they're not watching me, they're just watching the bad guys!" ?

    How to get the point to sink in that the watchers consider everyone as the bad guy?
  • The founding principles of the United States were intended to prevent the government from encroaching on our freedoms.

    When we voluntarily allow the government to encroach on our freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism, we are handing victory to the terrorists (and to the government, which is also a terrorist organization as it also gains power by fostering fear).

    I hope within the next few generations, when we collectively realize that we threw away our freedoms, that we can summon the same courage to fig

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Re "I hope within the next few generations, when we collectively realize that we threw away our freedoms, that we can summon the same courage to fight and sacrifice as our forefathers to get them back."
      The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution still works over any new laws, legal authorities, amendments, acts, special procedures that are offered as cover for "collect it all" bulk domestic collection.
      The new trick will be "emergency collection" pushed out domestically over decades for everyone :)
  • Majority of Americans OK With Warrantless Internet Surveillance

    We didn't ask them. We just... well, we just know, okay?

  • I'll bet some of those same geezers would scream if they came after their 2nd Amendment rights.

  • I'm not for it, fuck the rest of ya
  • Honestly, people in general are panicky dangerous animals.
    Most people would sell their neighbor to the FBI as terrorists if they though they could get money from it.

    • > Majorit of americans are stupid as well.
      Exactly why we need more democracy.
    • Honestly, people in general are panicky dangerous animals. Most people would sell their neighbor to the FBI as terrorists if they though they could get money from it.

      So what we need is
      1. MOAR NEIGHBORS
      2. PROFIT!

  • are easily-led fools - in many cases, intentionally so. I'm not really sure the lofty, albeit for most only hypothetical, goals of what the US should be is worth trying to save. Save it for who? The misogynists? The racists? The mouth-breathing open-carry folk? The greed-is-good crowd? The pants-wetting helicopter parents that want their offspring to remain weak, vulnerable, and dependent for all their lives? I think I'll just be an Internal ex-pat from here on out.
  • First of all: I recognize that it's entirely possible that this entire survey is utter and complete bullshit, totally fabricated, as part of a campaign of propaganda to convince more people to just give up and stop complaining about being treated like criminals or animals in a zoo by their own government.

    Assuming for the moment that it's legit: What we see is the end effect of a comprehensive campaign by the government and by corporate America to indoctrinate the younger generation from birth to accept the idea that 'privacy' is wrong and bad and only bad people seek it. From an early age they've had it pounded into them that they have to 'share' everything or they're not being nice. Then when they're old enough social media takes over, further reinforcing the idea that you should share every aspect of your life, even with people you really don't know. Once thoroughly primed, it's not much of a jump from that to the idea that America has to be protected against the Big Bad Terrorists, and the only way to do that is to watch everything that everyone does 24/7/365. Of course Corporate America loves this too, because they can datamine the living fuck out of every single citizen that way, cradle to grave, sell the data to the highest bidder, and then target products at individuals based on the personal profile they generate from the data. The only thing left is Minority Report-style 'pre-crime' arrests, and Big Religion getting a hold of all your surveillance data, too, so they can use their millenniums-old terror techniques to keep citizens in line and behaving the way they want them to, under fear of burning in Hell for all eternity. Thanks so much, American citizenry, you're doing a great job of fucking up everything for everyone and destroying what this country was supposed to be about in the first place.

    • by paazin ( 719486 )
      Maybe you missed this:

      Americans under 30 supported warrantless surveillance much less than older Americans.

      Only a third of Americans under 30, but nearly two-thirds 30 and older, support warrantless surveillance.

      It's the younger generation that is calling bullshit on this so it doesn't exactly fit with your "these millennial kids are idiots" theme.

  • The one thing they never ask in these surveys is if they would mind if the government looked at their internet history. People are okay with giving up freedom because they assume it is other people's freedom. It's easy to say the government should look through people's internet traffic because you assume you are a good person so the government would never have a reason to look through your internet traffic. But when you ask them specifically if they are okay with it happening to them they have to actually t

  • The majority of Americans are morons.

    (although I am sure the same apathy exists in many countries currently under wide-scale surveillance)

    "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about." *facepalm*

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about."

      I find it interesting that this statement is actually entirely true, but only by virtue of a false hypothesis.

      Because of course, everyone has something to hide, but not because they have necessarily done anything wrong, rather because some things are simply private.

      After all, most people where clothes in public, but this is not because there is anything necessarily wrong with their body.

      My point being that something does not have to be nece

  • by labradort ( 220776 ) on Friday January 01, 2016 @10:10PM (#51224949)
    The thing that pisses me off about the view of "I've got nothing to hide, spy away", is that it isn't about you, or me. The problem with domestic spying is that it provides a secret police tool to whomever is in power at the moment. Watergate was wrong legally, and also violated our sense of fair election practices. People knew there was a principle close to democracy which was being violated by Richard Nixon and his pals when they intended to secretly tape record a meeting of Democrats. Any secret spy apparatus can be abused by someone in power to remain in power. Just imagine if the opposition's moves, information and political strategy are always known to the group in power. It provides a huge strategic advantage to the group having access to this information. By the very nature of the spy activity, the use of it for political advantage never need be reported. There are two pillars to a free and democratic society. One is the freedom to vote based on your views. The other is the fairness of the political system, which includes open access to media, no tampering with the vote, etc. The spy powers in the hand of one ruling party destroys the fairness of the political system.
  • I think most people expect the government to know everything that happens online - seeing as all the hackers and Russian mafia and so on do. The thing to remember is that warrantless searches are not allowed in court - even as a reason to get a warrant on someone. So unless their surveillance gives them a way to catch you in the act - to arrange for a witness to be there when you commit a crime, a witness who doesn't know about the surveillance - then it doesn't really matter, does it?
  • I have a hard time believing that they're actually THAT dumb.

    As such, I feel that whatever study did this either was badly planned, executed and processed. Or they just happened to pick up a exceptionally rare pocket of dumbness in their sample group.

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