And "non-western" countries probably go further if their technological capacity allows it. If you are not being spied on by "somebody" it is because no-one could be bothered or they havent got around to it yet, not because any law protects your privacy.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Nathan" <>
To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" <>
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2013 12:01 AM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] NSA

On Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 5:53 PM, Matthew Walker <> wrote:

What surprises me is that anyone is surprised by any of this information.

It's one thing to have suspicions and theories about it; but if the third
party is constantly denying the allegations and with no recourse there's no
point in getting angry. Now that we have reasonable doubt, I hesitate to
call it proof, we can start making tremendous amounts of noise.

~Matt Walker

I think that's just naive. Of course it was always denied until it
became impossible to deny it. That's how these things work. But I have
honestly assumed for many years that virtually everything transmitted
over almost any electronic medium was collected and analyzed in some
way. That appears to be the case, and in fact, I expected them to have
gone further than they have. It seems that most of the data they
collect is wiped within 3 days; that the data itself can only be
analyzed under a fairly specific set of minimization rules after the
approval of a senior executive in the administration, that the rules
are drawn from generally accepted 4th amendment jurisprudence, etc.

The cynic in me is also convinced that virtually all Western countries
do the same sort of thing, if probably on a smaller scale. I would bet
all the money I have that at a minimum the French, the English and the
Germans maintain roughly similar intelligence gathering programs. But
of course, they will deny it until it becomes impossible to deny it.

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