Sunday, June 16, 2013

NSA story turning into bad sitcom

The supposedly explosive leaks of Edward Snowden are turning out to include a lot of hot air. The Guardian is now reporting that the U.S. government eavesdrops on the Russian government (it would be worrisome if that were not the case) and that the U.K. listened in on delegates from various countries at a G20 summit (meh). C-NET reported, incorrectly, that the NSA had admitted to listening in on domestic phone calls without warrants, and then fiddled with its headline and added an update in an attempt to fuzz over the falsity of the original story. (Meanwhile, Scientific American, my former employer and C-NET's partner, maintains the original story and headline on its front page.)

Valid concerns about privacy and civil liberties are getting buried under a blizzard of ill-informed hokum and paranoid conspiracism of left and right, mixed with propaganda victories for the Chinese and Russian governments (and who knows what information Snowden is giving Beijing). The development of this storm of b.s. has been tracked adeptly at Little Green Footballs.

And of course, Rand Paul is still erupting with gibberish.
This doesn't surprise me. Paul is the guy who demanded the abolition of the Energy Department without having a clear idea of what the Energy Department does, and who brings up Hitler and hyperinflation without knowing what he's talking about there either.

UPDATE 6/17 12:17 PM: Recommended: "A Catalogue of Journalistic Malfeasance," by Joshua Foust at Medium. 
UPDATE 6/17 4:23 PM: Also recommended: "Snowden, Intelligence, and History," by John R. Schindler.

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