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Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: NSA

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July 19, 2014 at 8:34 AM

U.S.-German relations: Stand for our principles that create world order

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…

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Comments | More in NSA | Topics: Edward Snowden, Germany, Jacob Heilbrunn

May 26, 2014 at 3:45 PM

NSA: Don’t expect government to stop spying

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…

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Comments | More in NSA | Topics: Edward Snowden, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Cour, House of Representatives

December 19, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Congressional members need to fight the self-serving practices of the NSA

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.

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December 17, 2013 at 7:30 AM

NSA spying through online games

Online trash-talking is not a legitimate threat

Dressed as a spy, activist, Ed Burenshaw holds a simualted recording device as he and others greet people as they arrive at the office of the United States Trade Representative, on Dec. 16 in Washington, DC. The activists are protesting the National Security Agency's (NSA) eavesdropping. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Dressed as a spy, activist, Ed Burenshaw holds a simualted recording device as he and others greet people as they arrive at the office of the United States Trade Representative, on Dec. 16 in Washington, DC. The activists are protesting the National Security Agency’s (NSA) eavesdropping. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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?

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December 12, 2013 at 7:33 PM

NSA spying reaches into people’s lives

Technology companies need to decide if it’s worth violating their users privacy to comply with agencies like the NSA

 National Security Agency (NSA) Director Gen. Keith Alexander testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities." (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

National Security Agency (NSA) Director Gen. Keith Alexander testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

As recent news reports have stated, the NSA has been monitoring people’s activities for a while [“U.S., Brits spy on fantasy gamers,” page one, Dec. 10].

Now even virtual massively multiplayer online game worlds have been breached by the agency, and there is no telling how much further the fingers of the NSA have reached into the average person’s life.

While monitoring the many facets of Internet communications in the interest of safety is a good purpose, the corruption of this interest that happens makes it a complete violation of people’s right to privacy. The biggest problem with the NSA’s monitoring is that it’s assuming that everyone is to blame. People who don’t have any history of criminal activity and are law-abiding citizens are being treated like suspects of a crime that hasn’t even been committed yet. The vision of the U.S. is freedom and liberty, but the NSA monitoring treats the American citizen like an animal that cannot be left alone because it’s going to do something bad.

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Comments | More in National Security | Topics: national security, NSA

December 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Internet firms’ reaction to NSA spying

It is about revenue because corporations are profit-generating entities

The National Security Agency tracks the locations of nearly 5 billion cellphones every day overseas, including those belonging to Americans abroad, The Washington Post reported Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

The National Security Agency tracks the locations of nearly 5 billion cellphones every day overseas, including those belonging to Americans abroad, The Washington Post reported Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

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.

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August 6, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden

Who is the enemy? Both Pfc. Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden have been accused of “aiding and abetting the enemy.” I’ve noticed that the powers that be are a little vague on who, exactly, this enemy is. Who is the enemy in the case of National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapping? Is it al-Qaida? No, they already know…

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Comments | More in Politics, Public safety | Topics: al-Qaida, Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden

July 27, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Nurse sues Obama over surveillance

What about Bush? Anna Smith has decided to sue the president of the United States for collecting data on her and everyone else. [“Idaho nurse sues Obama over surveillance program,” News, July 26.] At least this president has the oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Service Act court. I wonder where her outrage was when George W. Bush…

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Comments | More in Politics | Topics: bush, foreign intelligence service act, NSA

July 3, 2013 at 11:30 AM

The Fourth of July

A note to the NSA If you’re considering celebrating an old fashioned Fourth of July, please feel free to help yourself to this “All-American Reclamation of Independence.” “Unless we consent, it’s none of your bee’s wax!” Maureen O’Brien O’Reilly, Seattle Fireworks should be banned We have already been subjected to the booms and concussion of fireworks as early as June…

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Comments | Topics: america, fireworks, food

July 1, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Snowden antics detract from the issue of secret courts

Emphasis should be on the FISC Thanks to David Perez for his reasoned commentary on our government’s hunt for Edward Snowden. [“Guest column: Forget manhunt for Snowden, tell us more about secret courts,” Opinion, June 26.] Perez places the emphasis where it should be, on the failure of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to provide us…

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Comments | More in Politics | Topics: foreign intelligence surveillance court, National Security Agency, NSA

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