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Mon May 7, 2012, 05:53 PM

The NSA is building a massive data center in Utah to read every email you'll ever send.

Many of us are aware that little of what we say on social networks is really private. But you'd think your emails would be safe from prying eyes — especially those of your government. Not so, once the government completes work on a top-secret Utah data center reportedly built to spy on civilian communications.

The $2 billion facility, slated to be complete by September 2013, is allegedly designed to be able to filter through yottabytes (10^24 bytes) of data. Put into perspective, that's greater than the estimated total of all human knowledge since the dawn of mankind. If leaked information about the complex is correct, nothing will be safe from the facility's reach, from cell phone communications to emails to what you just bought with your credit card. And encryption won't protect you — one of the facility's priorities is breaking even the most complex of codes.

The good news (if there is any) is that the sheer volume of internet traffic and emails sent in a single day is far too much to be read by human eyes. Instead, the government will likely need to rely on complicated algorithms to assess each transmission and decide if they represent a security threat. So you're probably out of the government's earshot here... as long as you watch what you say.

more ways at the link:

The FBI maintains detailed files on numerous public, semi-public, and private figures.

Homeland Security is reading your tweets and Facebook status messages.

Your ISP may soon be required to keep files on what sites you visit.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/4-high-tech-ways-federal-government-spying-private-153556125.html

65 replies, 9992 views

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Reply The NSA is building a massive data center in Utah to read every email you'll ever send. (Original post)
cynatnite May 2012 OP
fascisthunter May 2012 #1
tanyev May 2012 #2
Generic Other May 2012 #8
LadyHawkAZ May 2012 #16
aquart May 2012 #46
cynatnite May 2012 #52
jp11 May 2012 #3
white_wolf May 2012 #30
KG May 2012 #4
IDemo May 2012 #13
Initech May 2012 #5
Auggie May 2012 #6
Agony May 2012 #10
Auggie May 2012 #48
whatchamacallit May 2012 #7
PufPuf23 May 2012 #21
whatchamacallit May 2012 #24
Selatius May 2012 #29
Generic Other May 2012 #9
Autumn May 2012 #11
KG May 2012 #12
IDemo May 2012 #14
FiveGoodMen May 2012 #20
IDemo May 2012 #22
Rex May 2012 #15
NCTraveler May 2012 #17
bluedigger May 2012 #31
NCTraveler May 2012 #35
bluedigger May 2012 #36
NCTraveler May 2012 #38
bluedigger May 2012 #43
bupkus May 2012 #37
NCTraveler May 2012 #40
bupkus May 2012 #42
kenny blankenship May 2012 #18
progressoid May 2012 #19
slackmaster May 2012 #23
KCS72000 May 2012 #63
slackmaster May 2012 #64
Odin2005 May 2012 #25
joshcryer May 2012 #26
Turbineguy May 2012 #27
Tierra_y_Libertad May 2012 #28
usrname May 2012 #32
longship May 2012 #33
davidthegnome May 2012 #34
Zalatix May 2012 #39
NCTraveler May 2012 #41
bemildred May 2012 #44
kenny blankenship May 2012 #58
bemildred May 2012 #60
BiggJawn May 2012 #45
woo me with science May 2012 #47
Robb May 2012 #49
jakeXT May 2012 #50
Mr Dixon May 2012 #51
EFerrari May 2012 #55
Comrade Grumpy May 2012 #53
Mr Dixon May 2012 #54
GeorgeGist May 2012 #56
BlueIris May 2012 #57
LiberalEsto May 2012 #59
sarcasmo May 2012 #61
DFW May 2012 #62
bhikkhu May 2012 #65

Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 05:54 PM

1. sick!

 

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 05:55 PM

2. And all the emails you've sent in the past will receive a complementary Mormon baptism.


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Response to tanyev (Reply #2)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:49 PM

8. BWAHAHAHAHA

Funny!!

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Response to tanyev (Reply #2)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:02 PM

16. !!!

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Response to tanyev (Reply #2)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:31 PM

46. What happens if we start listing fake ancestors?

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Response to aquart (Reply #46)

Tue May 8, 2012, 11:35 AM

52. As long as they're baptized, it doesn't matter. n/t

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:02 PM

3. If your message is really important you just send a raven.

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Response to jp11 (Reply #3)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:14 PM

30. Dark wings dark words.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:06 PM

4. settle down. sensible woodchucks know if ya haven't done anything wrong, ya got nothing to worry

about.

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Response to KG (Reply #4)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:58 PM

13. When I told a woodchuck co-worker about this,

he rolled his eyes and went immediately to Snopes.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:09 PM

5. Attention conservatives: this is your big fucking government!!!!

You really want to trim our deficits? Why don't we eliminate like 2/3 of the money we spend on defense every year - it's more like an extra 2 or three times what the rest of the world spends!! This is completely absurd - almost as much as those damn pat downs we have to endure at the airport.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:39 PM

6. Can they crack word substitution?

For example, instead of typing the word "bomb," I'd type "cupcake."



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Response to Auggie (Reply #6)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:54 PM

10. They just use a simple grammar checker fer that... don't ya know

I mean... "set the cupcake under the north tower"? come on! why would a normal patriot say that?

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Response to Agony (Reply #10)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:44 PM

48. Well, you'd have to change "North Tower" too ...

sheesh!

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:49 PM

7. Why are we letting our government do this shit to us?

Are we really just a nation of stupid assholes, who will let the government do whatever the fuck they want as long it's framed as "protection from terror"?

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Response to whatchamacallit (Reply #7)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:23 PM

21. It is not "our" government anymore and hasn't been for some time. nt

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #21)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:29 PM

24. Good point

And many DUers can't understand why some of us aren't all fired up for the election.

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Response to whatchamacallit (Reply #7)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:13 PM

29. No democratic republic can long endure without an informed citizenry.

An ignorant populace is as much an agent of tyranny as any charismatic type A personality with sights set on war, conquest, and control of everybody.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:51 PM

9. They gonna do spellcheck and correct our grammar too?

The least they could do.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:54 PM

11. Time to buy some carrier pigeons

or just stay offline.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:57 PM

12. massive DURec

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:00 PM

14. This image will be on a plaque outside the entrance:

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Response to IDemo (Reply #14)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:22 PM

20. That's not the face that's taking away our rights NOW...

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #20)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:26 PM

22. True, maybe just the words since that's been the sentiment for a decade..

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:01 PM

15. I for one welcome our new NSA overlords!

 

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:04 PM

17. I would like to read more about this.

 

If this is being set up to collect information on US citizens I have a real problem with it. It should not be constitutional. If if it is for non US citizens I have no problem with it.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #17)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:17 PM

31. I don't recall any citizenship questions when I signed up for my email account.

First pet's name? Check.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #31)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:42 PM

35. Why would there be a citizenship question on your email account. nt.

 

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #35)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:43 PM

36. So the government would know to stay out of it?

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #36)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:47 PM

38. Really?

 

I am going to take this a sarcasm.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #38)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:05 PM

43. You said you were okay with it if it was for non-citizens.

How do you think the government can tell the difference?

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #17)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:46 PM

37. You can read much more about this at this link

 

To this Wired News article from the Ides of March 2012:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1
The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

The NSA has become the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever.
Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”

For the NSA, overflowing with tens of billions of dollars in post-9/11 budget awards, the cryptanalysis breakthrough came at a time of explosive growth, in size as well as in power. Established as an arm of the Department of Defense following Pearl Harbor, with the primary purpose of preventing another surprise assault, the NSA suffered a series of humiliations in the post-Cold War years. Caught offguard by an escalating series of terrorist attacks—the first World Trade Center bombing, the blowing up of US embassies in East Africa, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, and finally the devastation of 9/11—some began questioning the agency’s very reason for being. In response, the NSA has quietly been reborn. And while there is little indication that its actual effectiveness has improved—after all, despite numerous pieces of evidence and intelligence-gathering opportunities, it missed the near-disastrous attempted attacks by the underwear bomber on a flight to Detroit in 2009 and by the car bomber in Times Square in 2010—there is no doubt that it has transformed itself into the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever created.


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Response to bupkus (Reply #37)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:50 PM

40. Thank you. nt.

 

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #40)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:02 PM

42. You're welcome. Enjoy the very frightening article. nt

 

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:07 PM

18. But computer algorithms couldn't POSSIBLY make a mistake

and by that simple erroneous assumption, or faulty piece of data, or unwarranted correlation, cause the government to mistakenly regard ordinary citizens as criminal or terror suspects. It could never happen that the government might populate a secret enemies list on which thousands perhaps tens of thousands of perfectly innocent people might be trapped, not knowing their "pre-suspect" status and unaware of how suspicions and ratings passed around from marketing corporation to alaphabet government security agency to credit bureau dogs their life and misshapes their destiny. People would never be scooped off the streets by unmarked vans belonging to obscure agencies and indefinitely detained in undisclosed locations, under unknown charges, fake names, and on the basis of unseen, unchallengeable evidence.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/07/anne-lenhart-cvs-arrested_n_1496927.html

When Ann Lenhart hobbled into her Dallas-area CVS pharmacy on crutches, her leg was engulfed in a large brace and she had a permanent IV line in her arm.

She was looking to fill a prescription for Norco, a powerful narcotic she'd been prescribed the previous month after shattering her kneecap while doing volunteer work in Haiti. (h/t The Consumerist)

Lenhart spent a night in the Dallas County jail while the police tried to contact her doctor, according to a local television station in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas. The following day she was released on bond and was charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, CBS 11 News reported.

The police eventually dropped the charges after speaking with Lenhart's doctor, who confirmed the legitimacy of the prescription but said he never received a call from CVS. A CVS representative told CBS that the company is "investigating how this unfortunate incident occurred and we are working to resolve the matter with Ms. Lenhart."

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:19 PM

19. The good news...

The good news (if there is any) is that the sheer volume of internet traffic and emails sent in a single day is far too much to be read by human eyes. Instead, the government will likely need to rely on complicated algorithms to assess each transmission and decide if they represent a security threat. So you're probably out of the government's earshot here... as long as you watch what you say.


Yeah, that is good news.


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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:27 PM

23. Everyone should install PGP or GPG, or at least learn Navajo

 

Bright morning turtle running, working under blooming mesquite tree.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #23)

Tue May 8, 2012, 06:08 PM

63. what if a file was encrypted twice.

encrypt a file with pgp v 1.0 and the resulting scramble was encrypted with another different algorithm, how could it possibly be decrypted, since the first decryption would not yield any recognizable words.

just a thought.

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Response to KCS72000 (Reply #63)

Tue May 8, 2012, 08:55 PM

64. You may be right. I don't grok cryptology.

 

It's a hard subject.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:32 PM

25. Read ALL of them? Good luck with that!

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:56 PM

26. Hey, I was told that the US should become more like Cuba.

I thought this would be a good thing!

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:03 PM

27. I'll have to make mine ultra-ultra boring then

instead of just boring.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:08 PM

28. They're spying on us to protect our freedoms. Kinda like screwing for chastity.

 

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:18 PM

32. I actually don't send out so many emails

 

and I hardly receive that many from people of interest. If NSA can kindly go through all the incoming email and get rid of the spammy kind, I would be so grateful.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:30 PM

33. Good! Let 'em have all the spam! Better yet...

Let's send all our SPAM to the NSA. Maybe they'll protect us from the insidious Nigerian scam...

My friend, I crave your indulgence. My brother won the Nigerian Lottery for a million dollars...


That, I would go for.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:36 PM

34. Interesting

As someone with nothing to hide, I don't really care what they read of my personal information or whether they listen in on my phone conversations. That is - I don't care if the intent really is to protect this Country. It is not what information is being viewed that concerns me as much as WHO is viewing it. Can we really count on every agent working in the facility, with access to this information... to use it for legal and honest purposes? Sure, about as much as we can count on every cop and fed to be absolutely honest, law abiding and without personal, private agenda.

This is damned dangerous. I'm not sure I like this brave new world we're living in...

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:47 PM

39. Jam their system. Make sure you have the "bad words" in every email you send.

 

If a million Americans do this it will melt their entire system down.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:54 PM

41. If this is a federal initiative.

 

How is it going forward under President Obama. He is the commander and chief.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:16 PM

44. Good, they can hire a biliion monkeys to read them all too.

Or maybe they could train pigeons.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #44)

Tue May 8, 2012, 02:55 PM

58. Loyalty Quotient and Terror Quotient will be assigned to each citizen/ resident by computer.

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Response to kenny blankenship (Reply #58)

Tue May 8, 2012, 05:31 PM

60. Bring it. nt

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:22 PM

45. I pity the fool that has to read mine...

Poor fucker'll die from boredom...

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:34 PM

47. This is what happens when we keep pretending everything is okay

and that the betrayals are coming only from the OTHER party.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:52 PM

49. Secrecy is a funny business.

If this could be done, at least in the manner described. wouldn't you expect it to have been done already?

Were I to be in the business of looking for terrorism in emails, I'd be sure to let everyone know how I was going to do it. Or at least how I'd prefer they think I intended to do it.

Funny business.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 10:59 AM

50. STELLAR WIND: NSA program spied on "hundreds of millions" of Americans, says Thomas Drake

"In effect, the United States of America was turned into the equivalent of a foreign nation for the purpose of dragnet electronic surveillance, on a very wide scale."

video link
http://www.privacysos.org/node/632

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 11:08 AM

51. IMO

It is almost certainly already complete and whatever is being reported is a day late and a dollar short to include the systems capabilities. Classic bait and switch, under report system capabilities and misrepresent it’s completion date.

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Response to Mr Dixon (Reply #51)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:21 PM

55. You're right about that.

Total Information Awareness turns out to have been a pretend start up of what they were already doing. Amy Goodman had an hourlong presentation on this last week, iirc.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 11:46 AM

53. Didn't we use to have something called the Fourth Amendment?

 

Remember this: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

So how are they seizing my emails without a warrant or probable cause?

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #53)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:16 PM

54. IMO

Didn’t that last president say the constitution was just a piece of paper? Come on do you really think you can govern a country in 2012 with a document from 1789? We Might as well start advertising Pong and the latest technology. All we can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 01:34 PM

56. Top-secret, eh?

Snort.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 02:31 PM

57. It is no longer necessary to ask whether fascism is coming. nt

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 05:28 PM

59. Obviously the solution is to counter

 

by sending out zillions of emails every day. In other words, smother them in drivel.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 05:37 PM

61. Didn't the Xfiles have a season revolve around data collecting?

I think the one they did started from when you were born.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 05:43 PM

62. One way to mess them up

Start or end each FB message or email with Allah or some such word. It will get picked up. Then discuss Aunt Murgatroid's recipe for cream of asparagus soup, and pity the poor National "Security" case officer who is trying to figure out what the words "cream" and "asparagus" REALLY mean.

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Response to cynatnite (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 09:01 PM

65. They can read mine if they want, but that's got to be the worst job in the world

imagine the boredom, imagine the boatload of daily trivial pointlessness, imagine the never-ending influx of useless stuff to go through. Pity the bastards...

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