NSA

NSA's Surveillance Operations the Envy of Former Stasi Commander

Approaching Godwin's law territory

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berlin wall death strip also coming to a border near you
MrNeilYoung/Foter.com

In East Germany, the Ministry for State Security (known as the Stasi) became one of the most aggressive domestic surveillance agencies in world history, acting as "the shield and the sword" of the ruling Communist regime. Despite (or because of) its history, many former members and informants would prefer to defend the organization and their roles in it to coming to terms with its horrific nature. On the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (in 2009), East Germany's last leader told former East German border guards he regretted failing to save the country.  But now, some former members of the Stasi can look to America for inspiration that the spirit of their work is moving forward. From a McClatchy newspapers interview with Wolfgang Schmidt, a former Stassi department head:

Peering out over the city [Berlin] that lived in fear when the communist party ruled it, he pondered the magnitude of domestic spying in the United States under the Obama administration. A smile spread across his face.

"You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true," he said, recalling the days when he was a lieutenant colonel in the defunct communist country's secret police, the Stasi.

In those days, his department was limited to tapping 40 phones at a time, he recalled. Decide to spy on a new victim and an old one had to be dropped, because of a lack of equipment. He finds breathtaking the idea that the U.S. government receives daily reports on the cellphone usage of millions of Americans and can monitor the Internet traffic of millions more.

"So much information, on so many people," he said.

But even Schmidt sees the design flaw in the NSA's plan:

 "It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won't be used," he said. "This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect the people's privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place."

James Clapper might respond that the NSA isn't "collecting" that information because the director of national intelligence doesn't consider the gathered data "collected" until it's officially used, a semantic maneuver any neo-Orwellian would consider doubleplusgood.

"This is how a society destroys itself," one German activist who was targeted by the Stasi told McClatchy, referring to the NSA's surveillance operations as "bullshit."

Read the rest of the McClatchy piece here.

NEXT: Arrested 'Gang Members' To Be Compensated After Revelations That They Were Bullied Into Participating

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  1. Lean Forward, we need to hear what they’re saying!

    1. They are whispering about Operation Paperclip II.

  2. Vile neocon propaganda. The Stasi defended East Germany, the real Germany as supposed to the Americanized puppet West, from American Imperialist Aggression. Yankees were so aggressive (NATO, Korea, Vietnam, nukes, D-Day, COINTELPRO) they even had to build the antifascist rampart in Berlin to keep out the CIA saboteurs. A noble libertarian sentiment yes? And at least they cared about the poor unlike that statist traitor lapdog Merkel who starves the people through austerity while the NGOs and corporation feast from the backs of the oppressed working class proletariat. We need more East Germany and more Stasis to defend us from Amoronikkkan imperialism.

      1. Huh, I was thinking a flat A. That’s some pimp trolling.

        1. It seems like obvious sarcasm to me.

    1. Amoronikkkan

      Is this Finnish?

      1. I’m going with dutch. Afrikkanner…

    2. ahahaha, what a failure as a troll.

    3. Team America, FUCK YEAH!

    4. to defend us from Amoronikkkan imperialism.

      Looks to furren.

      How about

      ‘moron i kkkan

  3. national intelligence doesn’t consider the gathered data “collected” until it’s officially used

    Cool. Do they consider the gathered data “purged” when some citizen can prove that all copies of it have been truly destroyed?

  4. “It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won’t be used,” he said. “This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect the people’s privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place.”

    That quote (together with a note who said it) has to be sent to every lawmaker, governor, mayor and cabinet member in the US, along with the POTUS.

    It also has to be posted as a reply to every blogger who supports the various surveillance programs.

    1. Do you actually think any of them care?

      1. Yes, but maybe just not in the way I think you mean…

      2. So they know they have the green light?

    2. We have to have your information to protect it.

      We have to have control of your packets to make them fairly prioritized.

      We have to know your secrets to save them.

  5. “This is how a society destroys itself,” one German activist who was targeted by the Stasi told McClatchy, referring to the NSA’s surveillance operations as “bullshit.”

    Oh, our fiscal apocalypse will probably destroy us before the encroaching police state does.

    1. Uhh, green shoots. Everywhere. At least I’m told.

  6. “It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won’t be used,” he said. “This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect the people’s privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place.”

    Holy fuck, I agree with a commie on something. Has the apocalypse started yet?

  7. Whoa whoa whoa, what’s with the end of that article? Wasn’t there a post on here just the other day warning us not to reference Orwell since we don’t live in a 100% Stalinist state yet?

  8. You have to admit thats some crazy stuff man!

    http://www.Privacy-Web.com

  9. Information collected will be [mis]used. It always has, it always will.

    1. Your premise is flawed; you assume the state considers the data misused. It does not, no matter what circumstances precede.

      1. I also consider the data mine. Apparently, the premise of my entire existence is flawed.

        1. If you were a government official, such a statement would be true.

        2. If the data left the walls of your house, it’s now public and thus no longer yours.

          /SC

          1. I just died a little on the inside.

          2. I’ve been saying this for years.

  10. OT: Australians fight for R18+ rating system, hoping to keep the banners at bay.

    Australia says “fuck you”, bans video games anyway.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/artic…..anal-probe

    That why we said “fuck you” to your little background checks on guns. Because giving in a little, thinking that these little twats will go away is a fool’s errand.

    1. LOL…alien anal probe. I love it. Maybe I should get the game.

      1. I’ve never quite even understood Saints Row. Bunch of GTA-like scenes of guys dressed like Panda Bears whacking eachother with rubber penises.

        1. As I understand it it’s a crazier, more ridiculous version of GTA. Which sounds pretty good to me. I spent most of my time in GTA just stealing cars and getting stars, as many as possible.

        2. I didn’t know Warty and Epi were such prudes.

        3. Holy shit, I never had any interest in that game until you just described it. Sounds like my dream!

          1. Saints Row is like if GTA didn’t try bothering with all of that serious bullshit that it sometimes does when it feels like being pretentious.

            Also, you do not have a cousin in Saint’s Row.

            1. But then who do you go bowling with?

        4. Not to mention hooker assassin squads, gimps wandering the streets, and the ability to play as a female character with ridiculously oversized tits. What’s not to like?

          1. Plus, you can get a gun that causes sharks to jump out of the sewers and eat your target.

    2. That why we said “fuck you” to your little background checks on guns. Because giving in a little, thinking that these little twats will go away is a fool’s errand.

      Abso-fucking-lutely. I got so pissed at cunts like tulpa and toomey wanting to give an inch to these meddlesome fucks in a policy of appeasement.

      These people will not be appeased until they control every single aspect of your fucking life.

      1. These people will not be appeased until they control every single aspect of your fucking life.

        I’m sure they won’t be appeased even then.

        1. No they won’t, but if we don’t give up control in the first place ‘a hopin’ they’s a’ gonna go away, we can hang on a little longer.

  11. “This is how a society destroys itself,”

    That’s pre-9/11 defeatist naivete’ right there.

    THEY HATE US FOR OUR FREEDOMS!

  12. I agree with the Stasi here. He may be a commie, but he aint no idiot. We collect intelligence for the purpose of USING it. It doesn’t just sit in a box gathering dust (usually). At least with local law enforcement we have pretty strict rules about intelligence usage – how it can be used, prohibitions, and very strict rules on non-criminal intelligence (although the war on domestic violence has eroded this to some extent – see “verbal” DV intelligence).

    We don’t let the govt. collect intelligence on the theory that they will only use it against the bad guys. We protect one and all and set rules about the initial gathering of same. That’s rule of law.

    1. We don’t let the govt. collect intelligence on the theory that they will only use it against the bad guys.

      Sorry to say, but that’s pretty much precisely what we’ve been doing for the better part of a decade now.

      1. Well yea. I;m speaking normatively about how it should be, and at least how we (generally) do it on the local level.

        The feds otoh… (rolls eyes)

        1. HA HAH HA HA HA HA HAH HA HAH HAH! Oh, you’re serious.

          Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Collection Of DNA

          1. Substantial difference here. Collecting DNA based on probable cause of a felony crime (we also collect fingerprints for the same thing) vs. surveillance of activity of a private nature with no indicia of suspicion whatsoever?

            What possible analogy do you see here? You may think a warrant (or conviction) should be required for DNA collection, and that’s a reasonable argument, but collecting it pursuant to arrest is hardly analogous to warrantless intel collection of private activity.

          2. Don’t forget about the apparently totally OK, trust us we’re here to help, license plate readers.

            You know the ones that cops aren’t just placing at the immigration stops on the freeway but are driving around town and through residential neighborhoods with.

            Dunphy, I don’t hold with all the shit many of the posters giver you here, but you are totally wrong if you think the stuff regular law-enforcement is doing is under anymore of a safeguard than the crap collected by PRISM.

            Regular cops abuse DMV databases, IAFIS, NCIC, or any other “intelligence” tool.

            1. And regular cops are routinely fired and criminally prosecuted for misusing same. Feds aren’t.

              1. That’s a good one. I didn’t know you were such a comedian.

              2. And regular cops are routinely fired and criminally prosecuted for misusing same. Feds aren’t.

                AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA, best shit I’ve read all day.

      1. Hey, I’ll take it!

        1. -1/10

          smooches

    2. We don’t let the govt. collect intelligence on the theory that they will only use it against the bad guys.

      We might not let them, but they’ll do it anyways.

    3. Tell that to the NYPD. The cops who do surveillance in NEW FUCKING JERSEY without telling anyone in New Jersey.

      1. I’ve been the first to criticize the fucking NYPD. They are out of fucking control…

        and far from the norm. The shit they do is fucking scary.

  13. NSA = National Stasi Agency

    1. NSA = Now [worse than the] Stasi Agency.

      Ok, that was forced. I swear I had something for this…

  14. You knobs are taking this all the wrong way. A member of an internationally-recognized authority on the subject is congratulating the US on its initiative and drive, thus contradicting the notion that the government is incompetent. You’re just jealous that Bush never got a compliment like that from a foreigner with such a pedigree.

    Suck it, libertarians!

    1. It’s true. Obama has outdone Bush in conceivable way.

      1. No. Obama is Smart and respected the international community. Oh and gay marriage.

        1. *respected by the international community*

          1. They ought to recruit him like Von Braun.

  15. Been busy all day and this is the post I choose to read. Nice nut punch to end the day.

    1. It feels like this week was either all gay all the time or extra special nut-punching.

      Reading John freaking out over polygamy was pretty fun for a cap, though. I might just re-read it for some more lulz.

  16. One of the things few here really get is the Stasi was not the product of a culture alien to our own so there is nothing to worry about when our guys do it. They are very much like us. Communism is the most natural inclination of a people that value democracy and egalitarianism as much as we do.

    1. few here in the West

      I thought it out as I wrote, weird it declined to be typed.

    2. The differences between the government systems of the USA and the German Undemocratic Republic are rather significant.

      However, the authoritarian crap that is supported by a least a significant majority in the USA nowadays and in the GuDR back then is getting eerily similar.

  17. I’ll bet there is an updated, Americanized version of ‘The Lives of Others’ in the works.

    1. Not while a Dem is in office though.

  18. Sounds like some very serious smack to me dude.

    http://www.GetAnonz.tk

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