Here’s a really good example of why, basically, governments fucking suck.
Ars Technica reports that the House intel bill adds an additional $75 million to increase internal security and prevent future whistleblowers.
So here’s why this fucking sucks. It sucks because it’s probably not a bad idea to increase internal security. Snowden was great in that when he totally destroyed internal security, he then released information in the public interest in perhaps the most responsible way he could have. Wonderful. But there’s no particular reason why he had to make the use he did of the information he got — he could presumably have given away or sold secrets, or otherwise made selfish or ideologically horrible use of the information he had, and the powers he had.
It really does make sense to increase internal security. But also, your response to a whistleblower revealing massive unconscionable programs is going to be at least partially to make sure that future whistleblowers can’t inform the public of anything. And the only real way to cut this Gordian Knot is to not have this kind of massive, abusable concentration of private information in the first place.
The same problem is writ smaller and larger across our society. And it’s just not going to happen on a widespread level that we’ll reduce the concentration of information, power, and money that the government has.
So, what fucking sucks about government is not that it made the more-or-less locally responsible decision to increase NSA security. What sucks is that government put us into this place to begin with.