Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 3,446
Number of posts: 3,446
After another thread this morning with the tedious "hate dragnet surveillance and you are a Randroid" premise I had a revelation that there might actually be an upside. There on the screen at the bottom of a thread is a DU ad for Ron Paul grinning at me.
After a moment of "huh?" I got it .... When several posters' whole argument is "you must love the Pauls" the word Paul comes up a lot. Same with the attempted broad brushing of Snowden. And that word frequency controls what ads are served.
So the most beneficial aspect to all the NSA apologist tarring of their opponents as libertarians ends up being that DU is now getting paid ad revenue from the libertarian party that might have went elsewhere more effectively!
So please. Carry on! Call me a libertarian because you can't actually discuss the issue of dragnet surveillance. It does end up serving a greater good that I can accept. You are still clueless however, I just find you somewhat more useful.
Posted by Pholus | Thu Jul 11, 2013, 08:07 AM (40 replies)
Remember the days of Total Information Awareness? With that cool Orwellian logo and "Yer either wit us or agin us?":
It is alive and well, at least 75% of it and probably more. Here is a scorecard. Please help me refind this list with what you know.
I started from the wikipedia article describing the program:
Then I searched to find evidence of the program still continuing. Codenames might come and go but buzzwords/jargon are forever. Just search google for the technology and add DARPA to cut down the commercial products offering the same things.
So how much of Bush's legacy are we dealing with and even defending here?
1) HumanID -- Continued
2) Evidence Extraction and Link Discovery -- Continued
3) Genisys -- Continued
4) Scalable Social Network Analysis -- Continued Given this at least...
5) Futures Markets Applied to Prediction (FutureMAP) -- Stopped?
Actually seems to have closed down.
6) TIDES -- Probably continuing?
Folded into Babylon's successor it would seem.
7) Genoa / Genoa II -- Continuing
8) Wargaming the Asymmetric Environment (WAE) -- Unknown, but this seems to apply
9) Effective Affordable Reusable Speech-to-text -- Certainlty
Siri came from somewhere.
10) Babylon -- Continued
11) Bio-Surveillance -- Continued
12) Communicator -- Possibly?
Posted by Pholus | Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:32 PM (8 replies)
That pretty much includes both foreign and domestic spying.
The tortured parsing of legal terms that justifies the current programs we actually are being told about is not in the best interests of our democracy. See Krugman's commentary on this week which basically explains there would be two ways to do domestic surveillance: in an open, limited "democratic" fashion in which the data collected is limited and the populace informed and in a closed, secretive "authoritarian" manner which is the opposite. We have so obviously chosen the latter route, with rumor and whistleblowers having to motivate the conversation instead of an open and honest discussion. This is not the way a democracy functions. I did not have a say, even one overwhelmed by popular opinion on the other side, in this matter and I resent that.
And once this data exists, it will certainly find new uses which we will not be told about up front. Yesterday the Washington post ran a story about drivers license photo databases. Originally created solely to prevent fraudulent use of the licenses, they are now being used to conduct "virtual lineups" of suspects and also being used to match surveillance video with facial recognition technology. This means every US citizen in that database, regardless of circumstances, are de facto suspects in police investigations now. So much for presumptions of innocence.
And even now, the facts about what is being done are still being hidden from us "in the name of national security." I see estimates of a trillion phone calls per year in the US. If each call has 80 characters of "metadata" (number called, duration, only a couple other things as we've been told), 80 trillion bytes would be 80 Terabytes/year. This "database" would easily sit 4-5 blade servers in someone's office. Furthermore if we are to trust what we were told just yesterday, only 300 numbers were targeted. My personal research data takes 20 TB so I can say with certainty that the project officially described is easily capable of being run out of a single office room on a single server by a team of 4-6 people.
So why do we need a bunch of new multi-billion buildings in Utah capable of holding 5 zettabytes (10 years of EVERYTHING by a quick pencil and paper calculation) if the program truly is this small? Why are there stories about the U.S. government being interested in all kinds of commercial databases? Why does a quick perusal of the DARPA website talk about opportunities to do "anomaly detection" in massive databases.
Nope, this is so obviously about more than a limited collection. Someone, somewhere made the successful sales pitch to these guys that you could build a system like the ones we see on CSI on teevee. When you know the name of the bad guy, press a button and on those massive floor to ceiling monitors on the "command center" wall up pops their picture and every significant bit of data ever collected on that person like you'd had a gumshoe on their tails for a decade. Worse, there are probably promises that you can take all that data, put it in a pot, wave a magic wand and out pops all the bad guys (people who don't fit the mean behaviors of the population). Once again, we are all suspects who will need to prove our innocence rather than them proving our guilt.
The problem is oversight at that point -- given that of those in "the know" have split opinions about whether oversight is sufficient I am not mollified. It is too easy to remember the massive misuse of the limited resources available in the 60's to ever think that this will not grow into stifling anyone who might become a threat to the power structure in place now. Already, both Snowden and DiFi outline procedures which seem to indicate that an individual analyst has a lot of query power on the data available. The potential for personal and systemic abuse is massive, the stakes and payoffs high so it *will* happen.
I love the quote from Orson Welles' movie: "The job of a policeman is only easy in a police state." By that criteria, what does big data represent?
Posted by Pholus | Tue Jun 18, 2013, 08:08 AM (3 replies)
I'm amused how you gunners love to describe yourselves as the "nonemotional, logical" ones even as you spew "truthiness" filled homilies such as this. So okay, Mr. Wile E. Coyote, Genius. You pointed at a year with 500 "successful" murders as proof that gun laws "fail every time." Of course, according to Crain's Chicago Business there were 7,400 illegal guns seized in the same period of time. Your assertion is unfounded but provable -- all you have to do is convincingly show that those 7,400 guns would not have increased the number of murders and it's YOU FTW!!!!! You can't of course. That's why you're full of bullshit here.
But I can't stop marveling at your your inductive masterpiece. It's the gundamentalist gift that just keeps on giving! Intellectual laziness is only my first charge against you. The second charge, sir, is nihilism. So let me trivially extend your argument to show you why it is unworthy of a passing score even in an InstandDegrees.com freshman comp class.
So you just took a list of murders and used them as proof that stringent gun laws don't work.
Similar arguments can be made:
So a handful of successful tax cheats mean tax laws fail, right?
And a handful of successful speeders do the same for speeding laws, right?
And a handful of successful pedos do the same for child sex laws, right?
And a handful of successful drug lords do the same for drug laws, right?
I henceforth dub your completely moronic argument "the Crowley" because you simply have tried to conclude that the existence of any crime means laws have utterly failed. So we have to go back on Mr. Crowley's version of what the whole of the law is. Of course, in our brief association I figure you actually would consider that a feature and not a bug. My advice, dude, is that "Mad Max" was a movie. A very old, very bad movie. Come out into the daylight once in a while.
And about your all-so-important rights you're mewling about. Your right to swing your arm ends at my face. Keep that in mind and we might get along. But the past years have shown that you guys are waaaaay too self-absorbed to keep your end of the bargain.
Posted by Pholus | Sat May 4, 2013, 07:48 PM (2 replies)
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