Member since: Fri Aug 1, 2008, 07:40 PM
Number of posts: 5,726
Number of posts: 5,726
Are you one of those radical lefties who believe in free love? Well, the NSA has a special weapon against you.
None of the six individuals targeted by the NSA is accused in the document of being involved in terror plots. The agency believes they all currently reside outside the United States. It identifies one of them, however, as a "U.S. person," which means he is either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. A U.S. person is entitled to greater legal protections against NSA surveillance than foreigners are.
Stewart Baker, a one-time general counsel for the NSA and a top Homeland Security official in the Bush administration, said that the idea of using potentially embarrassing information to undermine targets is a sound one. "If people are engaged in trying to recruit folks to kill Americans and we can discredit them, we ought to," said Baker. "On the whole, it's fairer and maybe more humane" than bombing a target, he said, describing the tactic as "dropping the truth on them."
Or how about bringing Occupy radicals or NSA hostile politicians under control? J. Edgar Hoover did this, and had the elected government in his palm by doing it.
Is stopping terrorism (and drugs) worth the measures we're taking? Police kill eight times as many people per year terrorists do. Since 2001, they're killed more people than the number of US deaths in Iraq.
Also, I can't forget the irony that mischief by the US intelligence community is what brought terrorists on us to begin with. If it weren't for the CIA and NSA and such, we wouldn't need the CIA and NSA. They perpetuate their own existence to protect us from the wrath from what they did yesterday.
Posted by caseymoz | Thu Nov 28, 2013, 01:04 PM (7 replies)
Call me pessimistic, but I doubt the people who did this (Tea Partiers, the Kochs, the GOP) can get themselves together enough to stop this. Yes, their popularity will plunge, but that only means that they'll try to hold on more dearly to the one "bargaining chip" or advantage they have. That is, the fact that they can make or break the world economy. To anybody who's desperate, that's going to seem like a lot of power, and once they give it up, they'll have nothing. They'll have no prospects for staying in office, and the conservative ideology will be as out of fashion as the Hitler mustache.
They're going to try to get something out of this, anything to make it less than the total defeat it has to be. And, yes, I believe they'll take the world economy down trying to do it. It's not like even the Koch Brothers can afford to lose this.
I'm afraid this is going to be the 21st century's version of World War I, where everybody's trapped in their own bad decisions.
Posted by caseymoz | Tue Oct 8, 2013, 01:22 PM (12 replies)
A few things about the FISA court that I didn't realize. First, the Judges are all chosen by SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts. All of them except one are Republicans.
Second, there's no confirmation, no oversight of these guys.
Third they're making Supreme Court-size decisions in secret, affecting all of us, that can't be appealed.
Fourth, often these decisions are not contested, it's unclear whether the people they concerned are even given the chance.
This goes against every principle of justice.
Posted by caseymoz | Tue Aug 27, 2013, 05:42 PM (2 replies)
To My Personal NSA agent,
I hate to keep complaining, but you've made another mistake.
I made reservations for a trip to a Convention in September, but I made them for the wrong day. So, I had to change the reservations, it cost me $20 and a trip to Greyhound to correct it.
How could you possibly let me do that?
This is just your latest cock up. Your mind has really been wandering recently. I admit I don't have the most exciting life, and you probably sleep through most of it, but you must have some alarm that tells you when I'm about to make a misstep. So what's wrong with you? You have that metadata stuff, and those metastatistics. You have my profile. You have enough to create a Sim of me and run Chuck Sim through my whole day before I live it. Probably dozens of times. So you ought to be able to correct my mistakes before I make them. I mean, why do I pay taxes?
You made another error earlier in the day. People on Facebook wished me a happy birthday all day yesterday. I was very thankful to all of the well-wishes, but who told Facebook it was my birthday? It wasn't me; it had to have been you. I bet you thought I'd appreciate it. Look, when I call and make doctor's appointment or correct one of your errors on my bankcard, they always ask me for my birthday. That's important personal information, and you just took liberties with it. One thing I was never going to talk about in my blog was my birthday. I felt so smart hiding it.
Then you overcompensate. When I put up a post thanking you for blabbing it to Mark Zuckerberg, my post comes right down. Was that necessary? I know it wasn't in good taste, on the big Z's own website. I was a little sarcastic with you and the Z, but why should the whole post come down? I thought if I went overboard, you'd just redact parts of it the way you intelligence people always do.
We just need a few adjustments, and I know I can get comfortable with you spying on me. I tend to look at the bright side, if you're going to record all my emails and phone conversations on the impossible chance that I'll become a terrorist, the least you could do is keep me from screwing up my life any further.
It's in your interest too. If the public gets the idea you're spying, they're just more and more uncomfortable with it until they can't take it any longer. Maybe you think you've built up the police forces enough to keep this from breaking out into violence. I won't argue against that, now that agencies as remote to law enforcement as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have their own air reconnaissance and military grade armaments. Your bosses are certainly thorough. Nevertheless, it'd be far easier and cheaper if you emphasize the consumer service side part of your work. That way, people won't see it as an intrusion or, as some enemies have suggested, a total violation of the 4th Amendment. They need a vision of how your program can improve their lives. Make them think of you as guardian angels, not Big Brother.
However, if they need some riots and raids to fill those privatized prisons for slave labor, who am I to argue? You must fulfill your contracts.
So, pass that on to your superiors, and get on the ball. I really need my NSA agent to get my life right. So does every American in my socio-economic class, if they would only think about it correctly.
Give my best wishes to the rest of the office,
Posted by caseymoz | Fri Aug 2, 2013, 05:37 PM (2 replies)
Everything that makes a password strong is what makes it difficult or impossible to remember, and if you're over 50-60 years old, and you have accounts on eighty different sites, you're going to have to come up with a system or have weak passwords and/or nine or ten passwords for the whole group.
Maybe computer geeks find memorizing random symbols an easy thing, if so, that's only because they spend what is or becomes their "work hours" at it. People who have other professions are using computer devices because those purportedly make things easier. If those professional people are supposed to memorize page after page of random keyboard symbols, they wouldn't be using computers very much and a lot of computer geeks would be out of their jobs.
Maybe you trained yourself for those memory feats in high school or college, but the rest of us don't have time doing anything like it. You'd better hope you never get a concussion or have electro-convulsive therapy, because that ability is very actually fragile.
My opinion is if passwords are that much of a hassle, computer geeks better stop being arrogant SOB's about it and start trying to make it easier.
I have a system for managing passwords. It's not conventional, but they're all strong, and I don't have them memorized.
And I'll just add: websites and companies should practice due diligence about this, too. For one thing, I don't know why anybody should get away with brute force password cracking. If websites would limit the number of times per minute log ins can be attempted to something closer to the speed a human being could type it, that would neutralize brute force attacks. I know it presents its own attack issue (you can close a user out of an account by sending attempts), so it's not that simple, but I'm sure there are solutions. They should be thinking along those lines.
Posted by caseymoz | Thu Jul 25, 2013, 11:04 PM (0 replies)
. . . it's now confirmed that the US was behind this crap.
I remember just last Friday President Obama stating how Snowden was so yesterday, that he had too many important things to attend to be concerned about an issue plain-old law enforcement could take care of. Yes, law enforcement, like the US State Department, at the ambassador level.
As good as our government was at kicking itself in the nuts, I really wonder who planted the disinformation that Snowden was on the Bolivian president's jet? We will probably never find out, but I know Putin is probably laughing hardest.
It's probably one the the best practical jokes in the history of international intrigue. I don't think it's going to be the last one on us before this is over. The rest of the world is going to have a knee-slapping time making the great empire look like a bunch of buffoons over this.
And the US now deserves no less.
Posted by caseymoz | Fri Jul 5, 2013, 12:54 PM (1 replies)
"Homosexual sodomy" hehehe Now tell me about the flouradation of our drinking water!
I want to congratulate all LGBT people on this great victory today. I'll join you in celebrating June 26th every year as a great day in history.
I won't make any posts on more negative subjects today. Nothing to distract from your joy.
Posted by caseymoz | Wed Jun 26, 2013, 01:49 PM (0 replies)
From Daily Kos: other countries are not going to stand for this surveillance and are going to divert their Internet resources away from the US.
The world is looking at an international crisis -- as a result of Edward Snowden's description of an illegal data theft "Process" -- perpetrated against their own citizens. The US is engaged in ongoing criminal activity against their sovereignty. And they are scrambling to put a stop to it.
The United States can no longer be trusted, never, ever again.
This is a watershed moment that changes everything. You are witnessing an epic geopolitical shift that will profoundly effect the United States standing throughout the world. It will certainly affect your future.
Before this is over, the entire architecture of the Internet will be rebuilt. Here's why:
A huge proportion of all global Internet traffic flows through networks controlled by the United States. This is because eight of fifteen global tier 1 telecommunications companies are American owned -- companies like AT&T, CenturyLink, and Verizon. Furthermore, the social media services are also mostly provided by giants headquartered in the United States, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, and Twitter.
All of these companies are subject to U.S. law, including the provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act, no matter where their services are offered or their servers located.
Having the world's Internet traffic routed through the U.S. and having those telecommunications companies under its jurisdiction compromises the constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights of citizens of all other sovereign nations.
This will end.
The rest of the world will not stand for it.
It's a simple fact and an economic black swan for the US.
So far as I can tell, none of this is being reported in the press. It makes sense, however, that other countries would be extremely pissed about this. They seem to agree on two things: one is, they're not going to allow their Internet backbones to be controlled by the US. The second is, they're going to do their best to screw us.
And, no, the US can't stand alone if the whole world is against it. The loss of commerce in coming years is going to be incredibly damaging. This may truly be the end of our government system.
We should have never allowed agencies like the NSA to continue to exist after the Cold War. That was our first mistake. The second was ever allowing George W. Bush to become a candidate much less get into the White House.
And when the dust settles, history is going to be rough on President Obama.
Posted by caseymoz | Mon Jun 24, 2013, 06:31 PM (15 replies)
Headline on Cnet:
NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants
National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too.
The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."
If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.
Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA's formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.
Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler's disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.
The disclosure appears to confirm some of the allegations made by Edward Snowden, a former NSA infrastructure analyst who leaked classified documents to the Guardian. Snowden said in a video interview that, while not all NSA analysts had this ability, he could from Hawaii "wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president."
Hmm. Warrantless surveillance. Any apologies to Greenwald or Snowden, yet?
BTW, the article did include this:
AT&T and other telecommunications companies that allow the NSA to tap into their fiber links receive absolute immunity from civil liability or criminal prosecution, thanks to a law that Congress enacted in 2008 and renewed in 2012. It's a series of amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, also known as the FISA Amendments Act.
In case you forgot the surprise the day the Senate approved that law, then Senator Obama voted for it, leaving his supporters at the time stunned. I know I was. But we all forgave him. Most have probably even forgiven and forgotten. But I didn't forget.
I think that was his signal to the telecoms and the intel agencies that he was on their side. I can't think of anything else that could have been.
Posted by caseymoz | Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:37 PM (17 replies)
I've been under treatment for depression for years. What I tell my psychiatrist and counselor now is that prospects for the entire world depress me.
I grew up reading science fiction and had an optimism about the future. I had a negative self-worth, but I had optimism that the world itself would improve. I mean, we had put people on the moon, we had that energy crisis, but fusion energy would come along, the problems with nuclear energy had not become so explicit, at least not with me. When global warming was first hitting the news, it seemed that could be handled. Nationally. We had just had Vietnam, but seemed our nation had learned its lesson from that. There was the Cold War, but it seemed that would either be worked around or would destroy the world suddenly. Thinking about the future was a matter of the two systems learning to live harmoniously. Racial relations appeared to have nowhere to go but improve. There was certain anti-intellectualism and anti-science undercurrent in this country, but that didn't appear to have any legs. The gap between rich and poor wasn't a chasm. The military industrial complex was a problem, but it seemed to have a cause with national defense, and at least it employed a lot of people in technical positions, and it was a driver behind science.
I look at it today, and it's all worse. And I can trace back the point where it began to become worse to the day we elected Ronald Reagan. Before that, we had the canker of Richard Nixon, but all of the worst people in the Reagan administration had cut their teeth under Nixon.
The optimism, if not the actual prospects became better in the late '90s. Communism was over, and it seemed the world improve. Then the dot com and telecom crashes hit. And if that didn't disillusion my generation enough, George W. Bush was arbitrated President, consequently followed by 9/11, with all of the barbaric and oppressive measures to follow.
And wouldn't you know, they date the uptick in boomer suicides back to about the time of the dotcom crash. I bet it became much worse during Bush's first term.
Now, Global Warming is all but at hand. This culture is not going to move the population into space; in fact, physics has screwed us. Moreover, nothing has fixed the energy problem, and we have corporations running and ruining the planet. Bolshevistic communism has ended, but the military industrial complex has run amok and has turned against us. Moreover, the government spies on us wholesale, and has turned into a system that has to be called fascism in every way except subtlety. The only good thing I could name: the Internet. But that has consequences, because if the government doesn't show restraint (and ours doesn't), it becomes the best surveillance tool in history. Meanwhile, with overpopulation, depletion of resources, global warming, and general degradation of the environment, it's questionable to me that humankind will survive another millennium.
I could go on, but I'll sum up by saying when I graduated high school, this is not the world and the nation I thought I would see in my fifties. Part of it was just bad luck, but a lot of it is we just blew it. I think if I would have known when I was sixteen what I would see now, I probably would have committed suicide then.
It's depressing, even crippling. I keep going through antidepressants, escapism, focusing my attention on problems I can solve, and generally turning my attention away from the big picture when I have to.
Posted by caseymoz | Thu Jun 6, 2013, 06:35 AM (1 replies)