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Mathematicians Push Back Against the NSA 233

First time accepted submitter Parseval (3632761) writes "The NSA and GCHQ need mathematicians in order to function — they are some of the biggest employers of mathematicians in the world. This New Scientist article by a mathematician describes some of the math behind mass surveillance, and calls on other mathematicians to refuse to cooperate with the NSA/GCHQ while they continue to surveil the entire population. From the article: 'Mathematicians seldom face ethical questions. We enjoy the feeling that what we do is separate from the everyday world. As the number theorist G. H. Hardy wrote in 1940: "I have never done anything 'useful'. No discovery of mine has made, or is likely to make, directly or indirectly, for good or ill, the least difference to the amenity of the world." That idea is now untenable. Mathematics clearly has practical applications that are highly relevant to the modern world, not least internet encryption.'"
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Mathematicians Push Back Against the NSA

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 27, 2014 @05:33PM (#46854763)

    lots of actual, you know, STEM luminaries, found ethics to be one of the most important things they worked on.

  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @08:13PM (#46855559)


    Not this again.

    The Bugs in Heinlein's Starship Troopers were NOT unintelligent. Not were "Brain Bugs" a product of stress - they were the boss bugs all the time. ,

    Note that you're probably thinking of the movie (again), and that what you're describing wasn't even part of the movie.

    In Mote In God's Eye, the Engineer subspecies (not caste) were NOT completely silent, they just didn't talk well. They also did NOT "not interfere with the controlling political caste", since the "political caste" (which wasn't a caste, it was a subspecies) was actually a hybrid (read: mule) of the Ruler subspecies and the Engineer subspecies.

"Life is a garment we continuously alter, but which never seems to fit." -- David McCord