jaabe 3 months ago

It often amazes me how little Snowden changed. I mean, surveillance and targeted misinformation campaigns is worse than our worst dystopian fiction ever imagined, but no one really cares.

It’s getting worse too with more and more anti-encryption laws and centralisation.

That being said, since the Snowden information isn’t changing the world, then I can’t really fault anyone for not wanting to pay for hosting it.

  • nimbius 3 months ago

    https://prism-break.org would beg to differ.

    Signal was created and enjoys popularity as a high security messenger thats easy for average users to adopt. Google upped their certificate sizes in response to snowdens releases. less trust was placed in NIST/NSA partnerships with technology and several weaker ciphers were outright rejected from the kernel for lack of transparency. Hell, theres an entire laptop manufacturer that sprung up due to it. https://puri.sm/

    TLS adoption on websites also increased markedly and the HTTP2 spec made it mandatory. TLS1.3 PFS was also much more voraciously fought for, one could argue.


    • acct1771 3 months ago

      Laptop and phone manufacturer.

      People are more serious about encrypted communications, as well. Matrix.org and Riot are enjoying great growth right now.

  • fouc 3 months ago

    Before Snowden, the extent of surveillance was only suspected, there were the occasional whistleblower, but there was nothing definitive enough to tie it all together, there was a lot of uncertainty and it felt very much in the realm of conspiracy theories.

    After Snowden, we now know with greater certainty that the surveillance is truly far reaching and more multi-faceted than we could've imagined.

    • jdp23 3 months ago

      True. Still, I agree with the GP poster: very little has changed as a result. The USA Freedom Act had some improvements but also made some things worse; FISA Section 702 was renewed without significant changes in early 2018.

      Before Snowden, civil liberties activists (including me!) used to say "If people knew the extent of mass surveillance, they'd be up in arms - and we'd see some real changes." But no.

  • tru3_power 3 months ago

    I totally agree with this. Personally I think the reason for this is because a lot of people don’t really comprehend what’s going on and can’t visualize the level of surveillance that’s actually already in place (they don’t see physical cameras/microphones everywhere).

    • slg 3 months ago

      That viewpoint seems a little condescending. Maybe people can comprehend exactly what is going on and simply don't care. The type of people who frequent HN will quickly dismiss the "you have nothing to worry about if you have nothing to hide" argument, but it is still the belief held by a wide swath of normal citizens. Many people are perfectly fine with some faceless government entity knowing who they are talking to if that decreases their odds of dying in a terrorist attack by a tiny percentage. I also have yet to see anyone in our tech circles able to clearly establish a link between this surveillance and a negative impact on the day-to-day life of the average American voter. If you want people to make this issue an political priority, you need to do a better job than just appealing to abstract ideals and slippery slope arguments about future dystopias.

      It is the same thing with Facebook. It isn't necessarily that people don't know the sacrifices they are making to their own privacy by using Facebook. It is that the utility people get out of Facebook is more valuable to them than any abstract idea of privacy. You need to show people the real world repercussions if you want them to change their behavior or beliefs.

    • e12e 3 months ago

      > they don’t see physical cameras/microphones everywhere

      Rather, they don't understand that cellphones that all of us provides that, along with GPS tracking etc.

      They see the cameras, but they do not understand the implication...

      • markovbot 3 months ago

        Except they don't see cameras. I've started pointing out surveillance cameras to my more normie friends, who are frequently surprised.

        • noir_lord 3 months ago

          You should see the horror on the faces of co-workers when I explain how data aggregation works personally against them.

          A lot of it is how you explain it in a way that relates to them.

          You can get through to none-techies but you have to couch it in a way that resonates.

          People are slowly changing as well, ironically Facebook seems to be the one that is making more people slowly question whether putting their entire life out in public is worth it.

        • hatchershoes 3 months ago

          I've found this to be the case as well. There's an enormous amount of surveillance technology that over the last ~3 years has sprung up on buildings, streetlights, traffic lights, and highway poles. I try to talk to people about these things, but they've often never seen them. When pressed, they say "it's probably for traffic". When pointed out, they shrug. They might say, chuckling, "they're watching you" as if it's silly and meaningless to consider. Finally, there's "so what are you gonna do about it?"

    • lern_too_spel 3 months ago

      I think most of the reason is that many people who post online got Greenwald's misreporting of the NSA documents (OMG, PRISM can access anybody's emails), while the public in general got the less sensational facts about what the NSA was actually doing.

      • DoctorOetker 3 months ago

        this is a good argument to publish the full bulk unredacted Snowden archive then

  • upofadown 3 months ago

    Encryption on the internet is now more or less the norm in the form of https connections and end to end encrypted IM clients.

    The problem was not solved in a political way so as as result it is being solved in a technical way instead. Much more progress needs to be made but progress is occurring.

  • rdtsc 3 months ago

    > It often amazes me how little Snowden changed. I mean, surveillance and targeted misinformation campaigns is worse than our worst dystopian fiction ever imagined, but no one really cares.

    I think things did change, but for the worse. Every time something like this is exposed, it's a decision point. If nothing is done by the public or those elected by the public, the perpetrators learn a valuable lesson, namely that they can probably increase the intensity of their surveillance without much worry and needing to hide. In a way it's relief for them.

    Sure some programs were burned and exposed but they can just go and rename them and continue on.

  • 908087 3 months ago

    The only real change I saw, is that people who used to call anyone who suggested the type of mass surveillance Snowden uncovered was going on "tinfoil hatters" changed their deflection to "everyone knew that, I have nothing to hide".

    • lern_too_spel 3 months ago

      The only domestic "mass surveillance" program in Snowden's dumps was phone metadata collection, which everyone did know about since 2006. https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-n...

      The sensational parts of Greenwald's reporting were not supported by Snowden's documents or any other documents. Anybody who parrots those claims will rightfully be called a tinfoil hatter.

      • mxd3 3 months ago

        What? Really? Can you provide any context on embellishments by Greenwald?

  • hugh4life 3 months ago

    Snowden left the US in mid 2013... that was a much different world. There was much less open antagonism between the US and Russia(and China). And it's this great power antagonism that explains why things have gone backwards.

  • peteradio 3 months ago

    The actions associated with the dystopian fiction are there but not the dystopia ... yet. I don't see the dystopia outcome as inevitable either but that can creep with an impossible weight to counter if the powers want it.

  • chaostheory 3 months ago

    > It often amazes me how little Snowden changed.

    I strongly disagree. For one thing, it's changed Silicon Valley's view on advertising based business models. It's also made the public much more aware of how their data is being used, which has changed and will further change the stock price of many companies.

    I can also see him indirectly helping bring about the GPRD

  • Zooper 3 months ago

    People's interests being misrepresented by their allegedly representative government is not the same as no one really caring.

  • tome 3 months ago

    It think it was a great shame that anything was released regarding surveillance outside the US. It made it far to easy to dismiss the leaks as the actions of someone who wants to damage America.

driverdan 3 months ago

Is anyone else disappointed by what The Intercept turned into?

When it was formed I expected it to be an honest, unbiased journalistic effort that would expose people of different backgrounds to uncomfortable truths. Instead it turned into editorials and blogging, with most posts filled with strong, obvious bias that would never pass the editors at most mainstream publications. Their biases are so strong and clear I'm sure they scare away at least half of the political spectrum.

It's too bad because the topics and facts they report on are important and interesting. There's no need for such strong bias.

  • petty_griper 3 months ago

    It's clearly agenda-driven reporting, but it's that agenda is also very clearly rooted in the facts they report.

    Ironically, I think you may dislike it because it's exposed you to an uncomfortable truth, which is that some political agendas are rooted in facts and others are not.

    • driverdan 3 months ago

      You're wrong, I agree with most of their opinions. I don't like the way they present them with appeal to emotion, speculation, and opinion woven into their reporting. It's unnecessary and a turnoff to those who don't share their opinions who might be otherwise swayed by the facts.

  • hannob 3 months ago

    You want unbiased journalism. I hate to tell you, but there is no such thing.

    • MrZongle2 3 months ago

      You're right, but there's a difference between journalism that attempts to be objective and present all sides of a story.... and the tabloid-level partisan garbage that is presented by major media outlets today.

      For a while, The Intercept looked like it was going to be a breath of fresh air.

      • acct1771 3 months ago

        If you hide your bias, I can't judge it as easily.

  • mr_spothawk 3 months ago

    The podcast is a great source of interviews with thoughtful individuals with whom i don't always agree 100%.

    • driverdan 3 months ago

      I tried the podcast but it was worse than their publications. The episode I listened to started with a poorly done parody making fun of Trump. That's not journalism.

      • jammygit 3 months ago

        I think I listened to one where they made fun of the nsas internal philosophy newsletter in a way that... made a good argument, but that was in bad taste. I didn't finish the episode

  • Bartweiss 3 months ago

    I'm intensely disappointed with The Intercept, but that's a relatively small piece of why.

    I certainly recognize what you mean, they could fulfill both their journalistic and political agendas with half the editorializing and bias. I honestly can't tell whether it's a conscious choice to draw readers with a non-traditional style or just a side-effect of operating outside the usual structures of journalism, but either way it does their writing no favors. Picking up staff like Sam Biddle suggests it's the latter, and these are simply people without much capacity to restrain themselves.

    But what's even more damning to me is seeing The Intercept's record on due diligence and source protection. I was sympathetic on this for a long time, since critics like Lawfare were so quick to make speculative (and technologically ludicrous) accusations. But across Juan Thompson's stories, the Reality Winner debacle, and Kiriakou and Hickman's exposure, it's become increasingly hard to understand the The Intercept as a competent player in these leagues.

    I'm glad it's out there, and it's still doing some good work on investigative stories like AT&T data tapping, but I can't shake the sense that operating genuinely outside the establishment tends to bring inescapable flaws along with the good stuff.

  • beart 3 months ago

    I agree with you 100% and I no longer am willing to read any Intercept articles at all.

    For me, it isn't specifically that the articles are bias (they are). What really turns me off is that the writers can't seem to get the hell out of the way of the story. Every article is just steeped in the writer's personal opinions to the point where it feels more like ranting than news.

  • blablabla123 3 months ago

    Yeah a lot of stuff there seems to be a bit extreme, despite some really well researched articles or even original investigations that you won't find elsewhere. Also it's not sympathetic at all that they exposed an interviewee of one piece.

  • kaila 3 months ago

    I was hoping I wasn't the only one.

    There are occasionally good pieces on important topics, but I'm no longer willing to slog through the long line of headlines that repeat some variation of "[Politician] did [something you should hate him/her for]" in order to read them.

    I'm with you on the bias. I want information, and I'll make my own decisions. However, maybe it is better when news outlets are overt with their biases. It's a little more disturbing to me to think of someone reading something they believe is unbiased when it's simply subtly biased.

  • gcb0 3 months ago

    while they were doing exactly what you wanted then to do in the early days, did you supported them in any way?

peterkelly 3 months ago

I think that given the lack of reforms among five eyes governments in the aftermath of the disclosures (and in fact examples of laws making things worse), an appropriate course of action would be to dump the entire archive, unredacted, for public consumption.

  • mtgx 3 months ago

    Not only that, but the 5 Eyes alliance pushed through laws that would legalize much of what was uncovered before anyone got any "bright ideas" to start prosecuting the spies, or before the public started asking for such actions.

    Now, they can lay back and say "look, it's all legal now" (even if much may still be unconstitutional).

wtmt 3 months ago

From Glenn Greenwald’s tweet [1], which is quoted in this article:

> “Both Laura & I have full copies of the archives, as do others. The Intercept has given full access to multiple media orgs, reporters & researchers. I've been looking for the right partner - an academic institution or research facility - that has the funds to robustly publish.”

Now this news doesn’t sound all too bad. We probably need more people to host it and/or make it available as torrent downloads. Even if interest has reduced, there could still be more knowledge to gain from it.

[1]: https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1106015482598043648

  • dsr_ 3 months ago

    There's really very little funding requirement, unless what Greenwald is looking for is a salary for himself. I bet the Internet Archive would be happy to publish it immediately.

    • Shank 3 months ago

      So, I think a real issue is that it's not made clear how this archive exists. In Citizenfour, it was made clear that Snowden specifically gave the documents to journalists for the purposes of responsible disclosure and reporting. There was the suggestion of publishing the archive in public with all data, but that was shot down as it was too risky in Snowden's eyes.

      So the archive is mostly a huge collection of documents that have to undergo editing for opsec reasons, so as to not endanger actual people or reveal enough that it might go from "journalism" to "espionage" that warrants a greater release.

      I don't believe the full archive was ever public. Instead, it was privately held and being maintained by people for research and publication. The Intercept winding this down signifies they no longer care to sift through or maintain the documents. That means that the editing part is gone, and they won't devote further resources internally to it. The decision to host the documents isn't the issue -- moreso the maintenance, reporting, and sourcing.

      • dsr_ 3 months ago

        That was nearly six years ago. Secrets should have lifespans, and governments are notoriously bad at ever deciding that a secret should be released.

  • dplgk 3 months ago

    The billionaire-funded pet project can't fund it?

908087 3 months ago

I think we would have had a much better chance of seeing Snowden make a difference had he "happened" during a republican presidency. Many sports team style democrats I knew who were flipping out about surveillance during the last Bush administration quickly switched over to "having nothing to hide" and calling Snowden a traitor because "their team" was in office at the time.

People rarely seem to have any actual principles they're willing to stand by when tribalism comes into play.

lern_too_spel 3 months ago
  • insickness 3 months ago

    Greenwald is one of the last remaining journalists out there who sincerely criticize both the left and the right. While I disagree with a lot of what he writes, I give him a huge amount of credit for it.

    • lern_too_spel 3 months ago

      Ann Coulter also criticizes both the left and the right. Credit should be given to those who can do so intelligently and egolessly, and neither Coulter nor Greenwald pass that bar.

    • jammygit 3 months ago

      I used to like him. A few years ago though he said some things about Sam harris that were sensationalist and untrue.

      Its a little tedious to compare his assertions to actual positions or rebuttals, but it left me feeling pretty disappointed in Greenwald for the carefulness of his thought (I'm assuming he wasn't being deliberately obtuse to be dramatic)

    • _Codemonkeyism 3 months ago

      Greenwald is a political activist.

      • dictum 3 months ago

        Not to comment on Greenwald personally, but how can you (outside of very cynical nihilism) analyze political/social activities and relationships in depth and not be, to some degree, an activist yourself?

      • petty_griper 3 months ago

        Everyone is a political activist, even people just going about their day. The only difference is the degree to which you're honest with yourself and others about it.

      • acct1771 3 months ago

        Good journalists have to be, it seems.

        • _Codemonkeyism 3 months ago

          No. This is the sign of our times. And I might follow you, I might join your club if you're an activist, but I will not read your news site and pay for it if I want news. Activist opinions are free today.

  • ahoy 3 months ago

    Not that I really care about Glenn Greenwald one way or another, but do you think criticism of major media isn't a worthwhile thing?

    • lern_too_spel 3 months ago

      He focuses entirely on MSNBC talking heads that he feuds with, not on actual news reporting.

      Criticism of talking heads is easy and not newsworthy.

      • leesec 3 months ago

        Lol "Entirely".

        He runs a news organization and puts out constant publications/podcasts/etc on things that are not just criticizing talking heads.

        • lern_too_spel 3 months ago

          Entirely may be an exaggeration. I should have said mostly. His recent articles list on The Intercept support that.

      • ahoy 3 months ago

        I just skimmed Greenwald's bylines and here's some recent media crit that isn't about msnbc

        https://theintercept.com/2019/02/03/nbc-news-to-claim-russia... (about nbc)

        https://theintercept.com/2019/01/20/beyond-buzzfeed-the-10-w... (about multiple outlets, lots of wapo)

        https://theintercept.com/2018/11/29/cnn-submits-to-right-win... (about CNN)

        I'd say at a glance there is slightly more crit of MSNBC than other major news outlets, but doesn't that make sense given the intercept's left-libertarian leanings? Of course they don't think brietbart or fox is doing good reporting. So bad in fact that it's not even worth commenting on.

        • vidarh 3 months ago

          The Intercept is nowhere near left-libertarian. Left-libertarianism is a strand of socialism (you'll find left libertarians spanning from anarchists and communists/libertarian Marxists to more moderate socialists), and the origin of libertarianism.

          Here is the first left-libertarian, and anarch-communist criticising Proudhon for being just a moderate anarcist and liberal, rather than libertarian, and segueing into a rant against property rights:


          • ahoy 3 months ago

            I was being imprecise, but I don't think we're ever going to finish arguing about categorizing the different strains of left politics.

            I should have described them as "left of center w/ an emphasis on personal rights and privacy".

            • vidarh 3 months ago

              I don't think people will finish arguing about that either, but in this case "left-libertarian" at least has a clear enough definition to make it clear that the Intercept is not it.

              > I should have described them as "left of center w/ an emphasis on personal rights and privacy".

              I don't know if I agree with this either, but at least this is close enough to be arguable.

        • lern_too_spel 3 months ago

          > So bad in fact that it's not even worth commenting on.

          The real reason is that Greenwald isn't feuding with Fox News's political commentators. He is a frequent guest on their shows.

          • pdeuchler 3 months ago

            This is possibly the laziest critique of Greenwald out there


            • lern_too_spel 3 months ago

              Are you looking at the same link that you posted? Most of those comments are supportive of Fox News.

              That is possibly the laziest link posting I've ever seen.

              • fouc 3 months ago

                Of the first 8 comments, it appears that 3 are critical, 1 is supportive, and 4 are neutral/factual.

                [critical] It took demand of Canada's Government for @FoxNews to finally delete false tweet blaming Muslims for mosque attack

                [neutral] Isn't it a little strange to constantly rail about "state TV" when it comes to RT & Fox and then hire CIA Directors & General as your "news analysts"?

                [critical] You can announce on MSNBC that Putin may have ordered Trump's attack on Assad & then scoff at Fox & Fake News

                [neutral] "One giant Fox News" - how Wagner Moura explains to his American friends what the dominant Brazilian media is like

                [supportive] Kudos to Fox News' @KirstenPowers asking Trump about Ailes & getting amazing answers http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/08/01/ailes-trump...

                [neutral] Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage - major backer of both BREXIT & Trump - joins Fox News as a contributor

                [critical] Starting now: coverage of the greatest and most orchestrated governmental threat to free speech in the US: legally imposed Israel Oaths (a story self-professed free speech crusaders at Fox News have thus far refused to cover, because doing so might offend their viewers)

                [neutral] When Reagan transmitted the treaty to the Senate in 1988, he said it was necessary to prosecute all torturers, and allow no justifications for its use. Might be worth reading to Fox News guests, and ex-CIA officials defending Gina Haspel http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=35858

                • lern_too_spel 3 months ago

                  You skipped over the very first tweet where he suggests watching his Fox News appearance, which is supportive.

                  > [neutral] Isn't it a little strange to constantly rail about "state TV" when it comes to RT & Fox and then hire CIA Directors & General as your "news analysts"?

                  False. This is critical of MSNBC's hires, and supportive of Fox News and RT.

                  > [critical] You can announce on MSNBC that Putin may have ordered Trump's attack on Assad & then scoff at Fox & Fake News

                  False. This is critical of MSNBC and supportive of Fox News. He is scoffing at MSNBC's scoffing at Fox.

                  That flips your numbers around.

                  • fouc 3 months ago

                    Fox & Fake News. He's calling Fox fake news by association though.

                    Seems likely he's equally critical of MSNBC & Fox?

                    P.s. the tweets that I listed were the first bunch that showed up for me, didn't see a tweet above them (such as the one you mentioned).

                    • lern_too_spel 3 months ago

                      He's saying, "Fox & Fake News" sarcastically to mimic what MSNBC would say.

      • cwkoss 3 months ago

        MSNBC is rapidly devolving to the Infowars of the left. I think criticism is entirely founded and important: some people still think MSNBC is an unbiased and accurate source.

  • gthtjtkt 3 months ago

    I think his criticism is justified and very well substantiated. What makes you think it's nothing more than a "petty feud"?

antihero 3 months ago

Is there a raw archive available?

gigama 3 months ago
  • hombre_fatal 3 months ago

    That's only cheaper if anyone decides to host it on their nodes, too. Might as well just seed it with bittorrent.

rfugger 3 months ago

I feel like the advent of Trump has taken some of the urgency out of tearing down the worst parts of the national security infrastructure, and probably removed that as a possibility while he's around, since he seems to only want to destroy what is good and functional. It's like not being able to worry about chronic back pain because you're bleeding to death.

  • s_y_n_t_a_x 3 months ago

    If you're talking about what the media perceives as a threat, yes.

    They run negative coverage 24/7 on a single person, even for positive events, instead of real journalism about things that are actually destroying our democracy, like increased surveillance.

    • mrguyorama 3 months ago

      Are you arguing that Trump is not attempting to destroy American democracy?