Jacob Heilbrunn’s guest column is alarming [“The German-American breakup,” Opinion, July 16]. As a World War II veteran and Seattleite who dropped everything in 1952 to help Germany re-enter the modern world, then stayed on in diplomacy to help develop the new European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty, I feel as if it…More
The bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to address the NSA’s bulk collection of American phone records mentions halting the collection of “to and from” data from American landlines [“House passes curbs on NSA phone surveillance,” Politics, May 22]. Why the heck are we still arguing about landlines? Most Americans stopped relying…More
While I generally support President Obama, his position on Edward Snowden sure puts him on the wrong side of history [“2 newspapers call for clemency for Edward Snowden,” News, Jan. 3].
World opinion increasingly hails Snowden as a hero, and it’s become quite clear that this is how history will view him. The president really needs to do an about-face on this one or risk future generations putting him in the same mental folder with the likes of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Both parties need to join and support the USA FREEDOM Act
Thank you for the Editorial, “Cut down big brother” [Opinion, Dec. 17].
Even the intelligence-connected independent White House panel favors controls on NSA surveillance.
Shame on those who would join Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., to codify the limitless, secretive and self-serving practices of the NSA.
Everyone in Washington state’s delegation to Washington, D.C., must be held accountable for their support — or nonsupport — for the USA FREEDOM Act, the bipartisan House and Senate bills to dial back the NSA’s overreach. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, has joined Reps. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, and Rick Larsen, D-Everett, to be a co-sponsor.
Online trash-talking is not a legitimate threat
The NSA is wasting time and money spying on online games such as World of Warcraft [“8 Internet firms unite in call to rein in U.S. spying,” page one, Dec. 9].
My main problem with this issue is how the NSA will tell the difference between actual threats and mindless trash-talking. There is a lot of trash-talking that goes on in these online games and it is impossible to be 100 percent sure that what someone says is a legitimate threat or not. Will the NSA start arresting everyone who makes threatening comments? Will children, teens and adults be jailed because of a sarcastic threat they made, just like Justin Carter was for his Facebook post?
It is about revenue because corporations are profit-generating entities
The Times’ article on the reaction of Internet firms to Edward Snowden’s revelations missed a critical detail [“8 Internet firms unite in call to rein in U.S. spying,” page one, Dec. 9].
It is true that telecom operators have not joined Internet companies in actively lobbying Congress for public controls over NSA spying. The article attributes this to a more libertarian ideology among new tech firms versus a more pro-government ideology among old tech firms.
There is a much less abstract explanation for this difference in behavior. Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, etc., derive large portions of their income from international markets. So their bottom line would be threatened by other governments encouraging the use of open-source software (like Brazil and Venezuela have), or the European Union and/or the Mercosur trading block in South America promoting local alternatives to Gmail and Yahoo.