"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen


"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister


"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont


"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister


"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, October 26, 2013

NSA Spying

In Spy Uproar, ‘Everyone Does It’ Just Won’t Do
Diplomats at the United Nations on Friday said that Germany and Brazil, two of the countries whose leaders have been subjected to N.S.A. invasions of their communications, were drafting a General Assembly resolution that would seek to strengthen Internet privacy.

The diplomats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the drafting is still in the early stages, said momentum for the measure, begun in the summer, had been invigorated by the most recent disclosures of American eavesdropping. A formal resolution could be ready for consideration next month in what would be the first internationally coordinated response to the N.S.A. spying. Word of the German-Brazilian initiative was first reported on the Web site of Foreign Policy.

In Europe, where Ms. Merkel and Mr. Hollande demanded Friday that the United States open negotiations on a “code of conduct” that would limit surveillance, there is a sense that the steady stream of revelations may give them an upper hand. Ms. Merkel keeps repeating the phrase that the Americans must “restore trust.” One way the French and Germans intend to do that is to seek some form of inclusion in the inner circle of American intelligence allies, or at least for a deeper intelligence alliance.

Right now that inner circle, called the “Five Eyes,” consists of the United States and four English-speaking partners: Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Those partners agree not to spy on one another and to share in many of the United States’ deepest intelligence secrets, as the trove of highly classified documents made public by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor, makes clear.

But Europe’s demands may go further than a stronger spying relationship with the United States. The European Union wants to require American companies, led by Internet powerhouses like Google and Yahoo, to get the approval of European officials before complying with warrants issued in the United States seeking information, e-mails or search histories about European citizens. The European Union would slap the technology companies with huge fines if they failed to agree to those rules, meaning that the companies would be caught between two masters and several legal systems.

Those kinds of demands would have been hard to imagine during the cold war, when European nations relied on the United States for protection from the Soviet Union, and American spying and rule-setting were tolerated.

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