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Dickinson writes: "Clinton's Big Brotherish proposal was as troubling as it was vague. And it seemed stubbornly resistant to the reality that America's tech firms have shifted to powerful encryption - precisely in the wake of Snowden's revelations - as a way to reassure consumers around the globe that they are not tools of the American surveillance state."

'Hillary just terrified everyone with an internet connection,' Edward Snowden tweeted during Saturday's Democratic debate. (photo: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images)
'Hillary just terrified everyone with an internet connection,' Edward Snowden tweeted during Saturday's Democratic debate. (photo: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images)

Edward Snowden: Clinton's Call for a 'Manhattan-Like Project' Is Terrifying

By Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone

21 December 15


Clinton's Big Brotherish proposal at Saturday's Democratic debate was both troubling and vague

he Democratic debate Saturday night featured familiar themes: Bernie Sanders hit Hillary Clinton as beholden to Wall Street, Clinton hit Sanders as soft on gun control, Martin O'Malley had a tough time getting a word in edgewise — as this sad exchange with moderator Martha Raddatz demonstrates:

O'MALLEY: Martha, may I — Martha, may I...

RADDATZ: No, no, not yet, Gov. O'Malley.

O'MALLEY: Can I share this quick story?

RADDATZ: No, not yet, Gov. O'Malley.

O'MALLEY: Oh. All right.

The debate was notable for what was not covered: Just as at the most recent Republican debate, the moderators failed to ask a single question about climate change — as though the historic global accord reached in Paris last week never happened.

The questioning, instead, tilted heavily toward national security and the threat of ISIS. It was on this subject that Clinton issued a troubling call to arms for the nation's tech companies and government to join forces against encrypted private communications.

You might imagine that Clinton — of all people — would be sensitive to the liberty interests of hiding personal communications from prying eyes. This is the public servant, after all, who as secretary of state maintained a private email server — with the benefit to Clinton of being able to vet and delete her own communications before they became a permanent part of the public record.

In this context, it was troubling Saturday evening to hear Clinton's response to a question about the power of high technology to ensure privacy. Blasting "encrypted communication that no law enforcement agency can break into," Clinton said, "I would hope that, given the extraordinary capacities that the tech community has and the legitimate needs and questions from law enforcement, that there could be a Manhattan-like project — something that would bring the government and the tech communities together to see they're not adversaries, they've got to be partners."

The reaction from America's most famous privacy whistleblower was swift:

Clinton's Big Brotherish proposal was as troubling as it was vague. And it seemed stubbornly resistant to the reality that America's tech firms have shifted to powerful encryption — precisely in the wake of Snowden's revelations — as a way to reassure consumers around the globe that they are not tools of the American surveillance state.

More troubling: Clinton readily admitted she really didn't understand her own proposal: "I don't know enough about the technology, Martha, to be able to say what it is," Clinton added.

Tech companies like Apple have resisted calls to place a "backdoor" in encryption technology that would allow governments to peek at private communications, arguing that such a backdoor could equally be exploited by hackers and render the privacy protections useless.

"Maybe the backdoor is the wrong door, and I understand what Apple and others are saying about that," Clinton said, insisting nonetheless that a door was necessary: "I know that law enforcement needs the tools to keep us safe."

Clinton's remarks earned her the mockery of one of the top disrupters in Silicon Valley, who found her call for a door that's not a backdoor nonsensical: Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape and now a top venture capitalist taunted on Twitter, "Also we can create magical ponies who burp ice cream while we're at it." your social media marketing partner


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+108 # tswhiskers 2015-12-21 15:59
And here's ANOTHER reason to avoid backing Hillary. I sincerely hope that now the media will look more seriously at Bernie and not let this remark about back doors into private emails go unnoticed and unremarked. I hope too that Marc Andreessen will light some fires under techies who will also speak out against the dangers of spying on the public in the "interests" of safety. Orwell was a bit early with his novel 1984. If he'd named it 2014 he'd have nailed it.
+41 # Inspired Citizen 2015-12-22 05:23
The most effective way in the short term to "avoid" Hillary is to take the Bernie or bust pledge, so Revolt Against Plutocracy can use leverage next year during the primaries.
+29 # wrknight 2015-12-22 09:55
Quoting tswhiskers:
I sincerely hope that now the media will look more seriously at Bernie...
MSM definitely will not. MSM is really the "Corporate Media" and is terrified of Bernie's policies and the DNC has blackballed Bernie because he is an independent and not a loyal Democrat. Therefore both the corporate media and the DNC are suppressing his voice. Our only hope is for a true grass roots revolt against corporate media and the DNC.
+2 # Capn Canard 2015-12-24 17:42
I share your distrust of Hilary, but the MSM is not gonna break ranks and start to support a Sanders candidacy. No effin' way... Wall Street would be very upset. After, the MSM knows who butters their bread.
+2 # silverbullet 2015-12-21 22:45
You seem like a nice person, tswhiskers, but I'm afraid that hope is not really a good option here.
+75 # RGV.REG 2015-12-21 23:02
Are you kidding! Bernie is the only real option we have !
+19 # tswhiskers 2015-12-22 10:28
Thanks for the compliment to my character, but there is still online media e.g. Daily Kos, RSN. And Rachel Maddow has talked about Bernie fairly often too. After Saturday's debate I hope Clinton's hawkishness will make her less popular with the public if not the media. I hope too the his popularity will grow with minorities as time goes on.
+16 # ritawalpoleague 2015-12-22 11:26
Sorry, silverbullet, but with Bernie Sanders, the 'ocean of hope' vs. a 'ray of hope', hope (coupled with loads of hard work, courage, determination) is a very real and good option.

In my old journalist days, I endured editor's orders, i.e. the mayor does not want us to let out what smog here in L.A. is actually all about. Instead of doing what I sincerely wanted to do and had been trained to do, when receiving my journ./communic ations degree, I instead got a vivid photo of the dreadful smog, and used the headline: SMOG, WHAT SMOG?

My point, today, we cannot and must not give up hope - word of mouth re. Bernie, and his years of true people serving and protecting, have ways of getting out, regardless of the lack of factual/non-par tisan coverage in today's 1% controlled 'mess media'. One more reason I put out the picture of the 'true Bernie', over and over again...

+1 # Anne Frank 2015-12-21 23:08
Jill Stein
+17 # Anonymot 2015-12-21 23:12
Sanders write-in.
+33 # jimallyn 2015-12-22 00:50
Quoting Anonymot:
Sanders write-in.

It will not be necessary to write in Bernie Sanders for President. He will win the primary.
+6 # tswhiskers 2015-12-22 10:30
Jill Stein will never get near the WH. Hers will be a wasted vote. Sorry.
+4 # RMDC 2015-12-23 07:20
Yes Jill Stein. It is amazing how much better informed about all issues Stein is than big party candidates like all of the republicans or even Hillary or Sanders. It would be nice to think that Sanders would choose Stein as a running mate. This would propel the Greens to main party status.
+6 # Jump Off Joe 2015-12-23 10:34
Jill Stein seems to have all of Bernie Sanders's DOD qualities, while having none of the bad ones, such as a bit of excess hawkishness. (Don't get me wrong; Bernie's a bloody DOVE, compared to Killery)

And, very unfortunately, Stein gets essentially zero exposure to the voters. .

But yeah, running as Bernies's VP-MOST EXCELLENT!
0 # Capn Canard 2015-12-24 17:46
Stein as a VP would be an excellent choice as she isn't beholden to the demands of Washington's game of beltway politics.
+27 # Anonymot 2015-12-21 23:17
The poor thing. She's dumb as a door knob and should be sent back to Arkansas. As SOS she proved her shallowness. Ego-blinded she simply has no grasp of the world beyond her girlfriends. If she gets the nomination from Wasserman Shillz I will organize a write-in Sanders campaign.
+1 # LionMousePudding 2015-12-23 00:18
No grasp of the world besides her girlfriends? We're not talking a home bound housewife here. This person was our secretary of state. She has more knowledge of the world in her pinky finger than you will ever have in your head.

I'm a Bernie fan through and through. And I also find this incident very troubling. She does not know what she is talking about when it comes to Internet surveillance. She should have been prepped better.

But attacking her in this disgusting sexist way does not help; nor does it make you look very smart.
+34 # jwb110 2015-12-22 00:01
Hillary is the wrong candidate for the job. The best she can do is lose the election for the right candidate.
+10 # RMDC 2015-12-23 07:22
The Clinton's still control the democratic party and many of its dedicated voters. But that is about all. Times have changed. The Clintons are no longer a popular force. I predict Hillary will lose to Sanders, in spite of the massive effort of the mainstream media to push Sanders out.
+50 # oakes721 2015-12-22 00:17
Using totally irrational AUTHORITY as an excuse to deprive people of our Basic Rights of Privacy in the name of 'keeping us safe' brings to mind McCarthy's 'secret lists' in his empty briefcase.
+25 # lfeuille 2015-12-22 00:56
She is really really dumb about technology. She seems to think there is some can of magic that can turn on and off encryption depending on whether or not someone is a terrorist or an ordinary user. I thought it was more embarrassing then scary. Doesn't she have any advisors that can tell her when she is being an idiot?

There is also the point the jihadist have been using encryption for many years before Snowden blew the whistle, which she either didn't know or decided to ignore. This is not a sudden emergency that requires drastic action.
+13 # Radscal 2015-12-22 14:30
I suspect she well knows that the purpose of this "back door" and other privacy attacks is not to catch "terrorists," but to spy on regular citizens who may not be willing servants to Empire.
+24 # Promoting Peace 2015-12-22 00:58
Hillary is certainly scary in many ways, but still no where near as scary as the Republicant's. That being said, we absolutely need Bernie to win big and keep Hillary away from the Presidency, or even worse, someone from the Greedy Obstructionist Party. And, we need to win back many seats in Congress as well. I did get a big laugh out of the magical ponies who burp ice cream, which is so appropriate for the numerous candidates who are way, way, out there in fantasy land.
+8 # diamondmarge7 2015-12-22 02:59
Dear Anonymot: There has been a WRITE-In campaign for BERNIE for months now:RevoltAgain stPlutocracy.or g; u can access it there & is a much better promise of electing BERNIE than waiting until the last minute/way too late.
+25 # RMDC 2015-12-22 07:31
Hillary is a straight up neo-con. Neo-cons actually believe in an all powerful government. They are totally committed to military solutions to all problems. The military is the ultimate governing body for the neo-cons. A neo-con president like GW Bush was only a figure head president. the real power was in the military and its civilian Board of Advisors, which included people like Cheney or Richard Perle. Hillary is right on-board with these people and this theory of government.

In the end, Hillary is a lot like Jeb Bush. She would be a family legacy president, part of the Bush family dynasty. It was Pamela Harriman, Prescott Bush's business partner's wife, who discovered Clinton and brought him into the Bush-Harriman political machine. That's where Bill and Hillary remain.

Hillary is worse than most of the clowns running on the republican platform. At least most of them are independents. Cruz is just a wannabe. Trump is an opportunist.

Hillary and Jebbie are total CIA insiders. they are the candidates from the "Deep State" as Peter Dale Scott calls the secret unelected group of elites who actually run the US government.
+15 # RMDC 2015-12-22 07:32
If people get behind Sanders in the primaries and he can beat the stuffing out of Hillary, he will be the next president. The republican infighting has weakened them to the point of confusion. But if the democratic nominee is Hillary, a republican will win. Hillary has such negatives that she will unify the republicans.
+3 # Caliban 2015-12-23 02:17
The Pamela Harriman connection is interesting. Nice find.
+5 # RMDC 2015-12-23 07:53
I thought everyone knew of the Harriman - Clinton connection. It is quite well written about. The Bush-Harriman cabal was very powerful for most of the 20th century. The Harrimans lived in New York and were democrats, while the Bushes lived in Connecticut and were republicans. Party does not matter at that level. They were both imperialists.

here's a good video partly on the Harriman-Bush empire. the Clintons carry on the legacy, but in reality they are just hired operatives of the Harriman-Bush families.
+5 # ChrisCurrie 2015-12-22 08:57
History has shown so far that the most effective defense against terrorist plots is public tips regarding suspicious activities.
+12 # Radscal 2015-12-22 14:33
Most "terrorist plots" the FBI has busted were FBI stings. In many cases, the "terrorist" had no ability to plan or undertake an attack until some FBI agent or informant bribed them and provided the tools.
0 # Caliban 2015-12-23 02:00
Public tips are fine provided authorities pay attention to them--which they didn't before 9/11/01.
+4 # Radscal 2015-12-23 14:19
I don't buy into the "incompetence theory" of US "failures." People like Cheney, Perle, Feith, Dershowitz, Kagan/Nuland, Podhoretz and Netanyahu may be evil beyond the comprehension of people of good will, but they ain't stupid.

But I was raised being told that the Nazi and Soviet systems of glorifying snitches were evil. I still believe that.
+18 # tomtom 2015-12-22 09:10
I love the possibilities for America's future, with Bernie Sanders at the helm, it's only a matter of convincing frightened, doubting Democrats to unite behind him. Too many people aren't able to believe there are infinite other options to the Military's solution for peace. Those civilians we're killing are us!
+8 # futhark 2015-12-22 12:46
The military's solution for peace is really no solution at all. It is the same as trying to exterminate ants or cockroaches in an infested house by slapping them one-by-one with an old shoe or a newspaper. It is expensive, time-consuming and totally ineffective.

With the birthday anniversary of the Prince of Peace at hand, we would do well to consider applying his Golden Rule in international relations. Let's adopt a nonaggression or reciprocity policy in which the United States does not violate the sovereignty of foreign nations as long as they don't violate ours. When ISIS drones start zapping Americans in New York or California, there may be some justification for retaliation in kind.

I consider it an established fact that no genuine Middle Eastern group executed the 9/11 attacks, aside from possible Saudi and/or Israeli involvement. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were in no way justified by what happened on 9/11.

We could start by inviting the Cubans to have a plebiscite over whether or not they wanted to continue hosting the U.S. Guantanamo naval base on their soil or alternatively invite Cuba to set up a corresponding naval base in one of the Gulf states. No, I don't think the latter would be politically possible, but it does demonstrate the absurdity of American exceptionalism.
+23 # Buddha 2015-12-22 10:08
I really wish Democrats would show spine and stand up to the entire narrative of fear the GOP and media spin, and stop feeding it themselves. Stop rationalizing erosion of our freedoms to "keep us safe", stop turning ISIS into a boogieman claiming they are some sort of existential threat to America. By turning to a Surveillance State, but being fearful, we are giving groups like ISIS the only real victory possible for them.
+7 # RMDC 2015-12-22 12:01
buddha -- you are right.
+7 # nancyw 2015-12-22 11:15
Martin O'Malley seems experienced, effective, and well-spoken. Why has he not caught fire with the American people? - Besides the media ignoring him. I like what he says. He's proven his leadership capabilities. Does he just not come on strong enough? Man enough? Mature enough? Someone help me out here!
+15 # RMDC 2015-12-22 11:59
O'Malley is being ignored for the same reason Kacich is. The media is now only interested in the extremity of the spectacle. Hillary gives that. So do Trump and Cruz. US elections are driven by the media's need for excitement. This is car crash news. If it bleeds, it leads. If O'Malley were to crash his car, he'd get lots of news attention. Remember how they ignorned Edwards until some woman came out and said she was sleeping with him while his wife was dying of cancer. Then it was Edwards wall to wall.
+8 # wrknight 2015-12-22 19:22
How about a Sanders/O'Malle y ticket. I'll drink to that.
+10 # futhark 2015-12-22 12:31
Climate change issues ARE national security issues. In terms of economic and human impact, climate change is a MUCH GREATER threat than any bunch of violent religious fanatics on the other side of the planet.
+5 # cordleycoit 2015-12-22 22:48
It appears that the media has all ready elected Clinton the grifter to office. These eunuchs are earning their Purina kissing body parts for the DNC. It would take a revolution to make the parties really try to solve real problems.
-11 # katela 2015-12-23 10:43
Who give a f*^k what Edward Snowden thinks about anything.
He's a traitor and a Glenn Greenwald puppet.
+2 # Ralph 2015-12-24 10:52
This is the electronic equivalent of the postal service demanding that we mail our correspondence in unsealed envelops. The mere fact that a candidate can suggest this without a serious uproar is an indicator of how far gone we are as a nation. People need to wake up fast.
+1 # elkingo 2015-12-24 13:24
Big total fusion of techieland and govt. is exactly the Orwellian recipe. And if there is a back-door, how then can the encryption remain encrypted? This eclipses even Georgie O - and enters the realm of Alice in Wonderland, where the queen (wasn't it) says a thing is so because she says it is.
0 # Robbee 2015-12-25 16:56
if i get this right - says - # Promoting Peace 2015-12-22 00:58 "Hillary is certainly scary in many ways, but still no where near as scary as the Republicant's. That being said, we absolutely need Bernie to win big and keep Hillary away from the Presidency, or even worse, someone from the Greedy Obstructionist Party."

- so, if the race boils down to hill or a zombie, we vote for the zombie? - that is not the point snowden is trying to make, sorry!

but i will concede that if you like how the zomblican congress has treated internet privacy in the past year of its majority reign, you should vote for a zombie prez
0 # Robbee 2015-12-25 17:09
zomblican troll alert! - says - # diamondmarge7 2015-12-22 02:59 "... There has been a WRITE-In campaign for BERNIE (RAN) ..."

- citizen, at long last! thanks! outs RAP! - Republicans Against Progress! - says - # Inspired Citizen 2015-12-10 18:10 "It's going to be #BerrnieOrElse the GOP. That's RAP's promise!"

- humbug! as says # Scott Galindez 2015-10-20 10:28 “Bernie needs enough delegates at that convention to win, not signers on a petition making an undemocratic threat.”

or, as says - Daily Kos - The privileged idiocy of 'Just let the Republicans win’, Laurence Lewis, Sunday Dec 13, 2015 - “Whenever I hear a self-described progressive say that we ought to let the Republicans win the presidency and thus force the Democratic Party to adhere to "our principles," my first reaction is to assume that the person speaking is but another privileged idiot: ... doesn’t live paycheck to paycheck, doesn’t have to worry about whether he’ll be able to afford his medical bills or whether he’ll have a roof over his head next month ...

"But privileged idiots apparently don’t remember recent history, and how well such petulance worked out in 2000 ... or don't care to understand what real suffering is!"

listen to bernie! DON'T pledge to, or write him, in! - go bernie!
0 # Robbee 2015-12-25 17:15
apologies to RAN - our good friends at rainforest action network - for my type-o

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