When does 'whistle-blowing' become treason?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by SONAR-BENDER, Jun 13, 2013.

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  1. Having read about this latest Elmer (and others) who is now in hiding after 'exposing' NSA secrets etc, where does one cross the line between merely reporting unsafe work practices (like for example our NHS - allegedly) and outright treason?

    I read today how he has said that the NSA was hacking into numerous Chinese computer systems - well duh! But to have an experienced analyst come out and confirm this - got to be treason doesn't it?

    A nurse complains about bad patient care in a hospital - got to be alerting people to be aware, aka whistle-blowing.

    So in my book the Elmers should be hung, drawn and quartered, then imprisoned for life and the nurse should be given a Herbert Lott!
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  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Having been on the receiving end of relentless website hacking & spam (with huge inconvenience incurred) from Chinese operatives, I personally don't have a problem reciprocating the favour.

    That said, I do have a problem if the relevant agencies decide they can illegally hack into my personal details in the name of "security" as I simply don't trust them not to inadvertently pass on data to the ill disposed. If they can't play by the rules, the rules need changing, not ignoring.
  3. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Spys in spying scandal shock.

    If the disclosure has a negative effect on how a State's security and military establishment can operate, it's treason in my humble opinion. If the disclosure affects the maintenance of economic security, physical security and social stability ( all related) of the State, it is treason squared.

    I have no problem with UK and allied States gathering intelligence through the internet. If it identifies threats to individuals, groups or the State from individuals, groups or another State it is a good thing. I'd rather have my internet activity watched by NSA or whoever than some Eastern European or Nigerian civvy chancer out to fleece me or some dreadlocked, fcukwitted 'principled' hacking group closer to home looking to co-opt my computer into a 'denial of service' attack on some outfit they don't like.

    Having the State know ones porn preferences is a worry for some.
  4. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    If "They" as in the Government agency's can be trusted to hold on the the web info gleened on me or just pass it on to some highly selective porn sites then fine, I dont have a problem with state sponsored web snooping. If they are going to "Lose" it or flog it to some twat who'll try to sell me some double glazing because I might have said "My windows is shit" a couple of years ago then I'm not happy with them snooping.
  5. I knew a bloke who "No Fault Found" an odds on radio snag on a Friday cos he wanted to go weekenders!!

    Is this whistle Blowing?
  6. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    It would be interesting to know how many of those who have voiced their concern and disgust about the collection and retention of personal information by Government agencies and departments have store loyalty cards, mobile phones, credit agreements, etc., yet have no problems with commercial companies doing the same thing for "marketing purposes"..?
  7. I assume the Septics have their own version of the Official Secrets Act which anyone who works either in the Armed Services or for them is subject too. I don't recall there being any exceptions if you didn't like what you were being asked to do. Also, by saying you're a whistle blower rather than a traitor will not save your scraggy neck when you're up before the beak.
  8. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    From some US tech forums there is a split between hero and twat who broke his contract and now makes it bad for techs.

    Some have suggested that he may find that the big whamy comes from a break of contract court case by the Contractor. He has assets in the US and they are vunrable to seizure.

    The beauty of that route is he does not even need to be in the US for the civil court case to go ahead.

    I've often wondered why the OSA is not accompanied by a contract say "release a secret and you owe us £xxxxxxx"
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  9. Sounds like Mr.E. has had a crisis of conscience and is finding relief by vomiting all over the media.
    Treasonous for sure because he must have known the style of work he was getting into. If you don't have the constitution for everything involved in dealing with what must sometimes be a dirty business and very nasty people, don't get involved.Just nod a heartfelt 'Thank you' to those willing to get involved, often at great personal sacrifice, and be on your way.

    God knows how many poor bastards risking their necks for the rest of us are now compromised by his bleating to the press.

    As for the 'Civil Liberty' groups in the UK whittering on about phone call taps etc. they are a bad joke. To think any of our security agencies have the time or inclination to read the average level of crap on Facebook or listen to phone calls is laughable.
    Maybe the Liberty Liberals should **** off to places like China or South America and try opening their mouths there to get a good taste of 'Oppression'. You have to lose freedom to appreciate it's importance.

    I doubt the irony that it's possible to even criticise our security services outloud, has even registered with them.
  10. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    One thing I do find peculiar is that governments have the ability change the law to sanction government agencies hacking private internet data in the name of security but choose not to. They then cry foul if a private individual illegally hacks into a government agency. Very odd.
  11. So why do they want to store all that info, that as you say, won`t get read ?
  12. The actions of Elmer created a direct threat to national security, thus endangering the safety of a nation. Therefore, I believe it was a treasonous act.

    Not to mention the signing of the "Official Secrets Act" (or the American equivalent) deems it illegal for him to release any classified information he has been privy to. He has breached the terms of his vetting and thus broken the law.

    I agree, he should be hung, drawn and quartered.
  13. 1) How has he endangered the safety of a nation ?
    Anyone with half a brain cell should be aware that what they put in the ether is not secure, despite which ever privacy setting is selected.

    2) I`ll ask again, why is info being stored that no one will ever look at ?
    It won`t be stored for free, so someone (me and you) are paying for the storage. If its not being looked at real-time, it can only be used as an historic record. Its the virtual worlds rounding up of friends and family if you mis-behave.
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  14. OK, substitute economic and strategic interests for "safety"; GCHQ 'monitored' foreign politicians' computers at G20 London summits - Telegraph I'm sure we can all imagine numerous good reasons, not all sinister or prejudicial to the Countries/individuals involved, why that action would be desirable. Publicising it for the entire Universe to see is, as I see it, most prejudicial to our national interests and wellbeing.
  15. What has actually been done here? Someone has confirmed what most of us already suspected - Big Brother is (making a half-arsed attempt at) watching you.

    There are certain presumptions being made here, two of which are contradictory if not mutually exclusive. Assumption one is that the average proto-terrorist is an obliviot who will chatter freely on digital communications be they emails, texts or voice data calls. So, now that he / she / it has seen the blaze of publicity surrounding this so-called whistle blower, they are suddenly going to find different ways of communicating that cannot be spied upon, subverting the security of our nation as they plan the next major atrocity via the cunning use of flags. Aye, right.

    The other presumption is that they are super-smart Bond-esque villains who, having been tipped off that the ether may not be a safe haven after all despite their aliases and encryption methods, will find a super-smart countermeasure that will flummox the lumbering Western intelligence services as they plan the next major atrocity via the cunning use of their very own untappable communications using their personal space station in geostationary orbit over the Earth which they put there on the back of the North Korean satellite launch, bwaha-ha-ha. Aye, right. And if they had been that clever in the first place, perhaps they wouldn't have been leaving a trail to be followed (unless it was a false trail, those foxy devils . . .).

    This chap has broken a legal covenant based on his own ethics and morals proving to be counter to what he found he was involved in. A criminal act has therefore been committed. But making out that this is worse than someone breaking into your house and stealing your telly or an embezzler who has defrauded his company and has been caught out is a bit OTT.

    Fact is, we are unlikely to be less safe than we were 12 months ago on the basis of this revelation. But what we should be more worried about is the apparent lack of concern (acceptance, even) to the continual whittling away to our right to privacy, although I do firmly believe that we live in a society where there is always a bias towards proportionality through rational debate and effective checks and balances. What we need to ensure is that any powers we, as the people, confer on the government of the day to carry out surveillance activities will be targeted and effective in deterring and where necessary prosecuting those who actively work to undermine the security and safety of our nation.
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  16. Thereby hangs the problem. Where do you draw the line. What could be deemed to be necessary snooping and at what stage does the snooping become an intrusion into privacy.
    The reason there is a secrets act is because we don't want our enemies or potential enemies to know what we know. If we are going to make light of any transgressions of the secrets law and say "oh well no harm done" it will only embolden others to do the same. Being a traitor should not be treated as a minor infraction such as speeding down the High Street and excusing it because no one was run over or injured.
  17. The crime of treason particularly refers to threatening directly or indirectly the life of the sovereign or putting the sovereigns life in direct danger. Whistle blowing on a subject that directly affects the sovereign would constitute treason. Therefore I would guess not many whistle blown topics would raise this charge.

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  18. Its not snooping, its gathering, for no purpose.
    Just the same as John Kiriakou in The Reluctant Spy, when he details the container of documents, written in Arabic, sent back to the US from Iraq, that nobody will ever read. Found, gathered, shipped, stored, and for what purpose ? Only difference is one had permission from the CIA to publish the gathering operation.
  19. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Those who have worked in or for intelligence gathering operations are aware that not all intelligence is information, and not all information is intelligence. Depending on the 'gathering' parameters or whatever filters have been set up it may be necessary to "lift and sift", whereby you don't know what you have obtained until you have collected everything. Look at the documentation seized by SEAL Team Six during Op GERONIMO; the operatives had no time to consider what to take or not to take, so it was decided to lift everything.

    And as those of us familiar with that particular community will know, what is black is sometimes white and what is white is sometimes black, and every shade in between. This is a very competitive and intense industry, with many internal and external political battles being fought by various agencies, so we have to consider the true agenda of this story: not why it was allowed to occur, but who was aware that the "whistleblower" - a contractor - was going to disclose the information to the media, and why did they permit him to do so?
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