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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 18, 2009 3:34 AM. The previous post in this blog was Sometimes they do something sensible. The next post in this blog is Has anybody seen my suitcase?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Even when you don't hit "cc"

... there's a copy going out.

Comments (17)

Hackers have been doing it since the inception. The government is always slow on the uptake. Does it make me uneasy. Of course. But, it's the real world.

I think every American should start each email with, "Osama's right here. Let me ask him."

That'll keep 'em busy.

Can you imagine spending the day doing nothing but reading domestic e-mail? Monitoring thousands of addresses? Day in- day out. Would love to know the parameters used to decide which addresses to focus on. I'm talking to you big brother - get a life and leave my privacy alone.

Since no one else has piped up with the standard tired old phrase, I guess I will do it:

"If you aren't doing anything illegal, you have nothing to fear."

I don't think humans do most of the reading. They have pattern recognition algorithms that flag emails or cell phone conversations.

This is a strange, trying time if you're up on Capitol Hill, trying to wrap your mind around a snowball that's too big to stop. The intelligence community has all the chips, it doesn't matter who is president or what pawns are currently elected to congress. If this is the way it's going to be, maybe we have more in common with Iran's situation than we thought.

This isn't new news... ATT whistleblower, Mark Klein, made this evident in 2006.. There's also documents showing that the Bush administration sought broad access to phone and internet traffic before 911...even this article notes phones access as part of the info grab.. Considering all the people that do phone banking or have brokerage accounts, that involves entering your account and password info via the dial pad, should we be concerned that not only are the conversations captured but also the phone numbers associated with those calls as well as the acct # info and password info.. from what Ive read about this NSA program, all calls are recorded and should a person become a person of interest, then they can resurrect all call data and review it... In the mid 90's I knew a guy who worked for the phone company before it broke up. He became a consultant and did phone system installs for small companies. He told me one time that the graveyard shift at Ma Bell, used to listen to personal calls and put them over the loud speaker.. they apparently knew which numbers had a reputation for being juicy calls.. I only mention this because it shows that our data is only as secure as the people who manage it make it... Do you think that phone call activity which not only includes your number but the numbers you dialed as well as the account #s and passwords is really just between you and your financial institution?

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/04/70621

Of course computers do "most of the reading." Just like CCTV camera systems do "most" of the seeing where they're installed. It's the potential for abuse of the system that's the issue, like when some guy decides on his own for some reason to snoop on, say, an ex-President's email by having the computers bring those records up on his screen.

It's sort of like that idea to let bicyclists run stop signs. Works great if people follow the rules. If everyone could follow some set of rules, you could leave every intersection uncontrolled for cars, bikes, and pedestrians. But there's a reason there's stop signs in the first place.

Wow, Darrell, nice threadjack bait there -- I'll try to bring it back on topic by pointing out that the mentality that says that bikes shouldn't be able to treat stop signs as yield signs (which is not the same thing as "run stop signs") is the same mentality that says that we need to let spooks read all our mail to ensure our safety.

"If you aren't doing anything illegal, you have nothing to fear."

Many of my conservative friends always bring out that line in defense of domestic surveillance. So I reply with "then you don't mind if the FBI puts cameras in your home to monitor your activities." Funny how they don't seem to like the idea of that.

This is actually central to why I worried about President Bush so much. The spin from the left was that once he was gone these powers would be put back in the bottle.

I sincerely believe that Barack Obama would not have implemented some of them but once the powers are there, it is damn hard to get the government to relinquish them again. They become entrenched like the worst weeds in the garden.

This all-powerful executive model that Cheney and company worked so hard to deploy, destroyed freedoms that have been pried from governments over the course of eons.

These clowns actually undid things from the 15th century and worse. The Doctrine of Preemptive Strikes goes back to something called The Law of the Jungle. Attack anything at anytime if you decide it's right.

That's the tragedy of it. We are all - in our own way - control freaks. It's seldom that anyone voluntarily gives up control.

We lost a lot of freedom during the Bush years. We could elect Mother Theresa President and it will still be damn hard to get it back.

One petty little jab: To all those right-wing suck-ups who said this was about 9/11, take note: Bush and company went after all this BEFORE 9/11 so he really was a power-happy little dictator/moron.

Let's face it.. the constitution is being dismantled right before our eyes, all the while our politicians are beating their chest trying to claim they are patriots looking out for the people.. .. Hell, our elected politicians are nothing but lobbyists for the corporations that happen to get their positions by placing there best sides out for public vote, so we can choose who will mislead us the best... look at the mess this battle over healthcare reform is turning into. Tom Daschle was Obama's first choice to head the Dept of Health and Human Services... Daschles wife is a lobbyist for the health care industry... 76% of the people want a single payer option, but many of the politicians on both sides are saying no way... but I digress..

...the mentality that says that bikes shouldn't be able to treat stop signs as yield signs (which is not the same thing as "run stop signs") is the same mentality that says that we need to let spooks read all our mail to ensure our safety...

No it's not. In my analogy, the laws against domestic surveillance without warrants and the judicial branch are the stop signs. The bike riders are the intelligence agencies. The current domestic surveillance situation is equivalent to giving the bicyclists the right to ignore the stop signs when they feel it is warranted (technically, unwarranted, but you get the picture).

I was going to use an analogy of two mortuary students who a) ogle a cute dead girl or b) have sex with a cute dead girl, but I thought that would be a little morbid. Perhaps that wouldn't have riled you as much. Who knows?

Analogy can be a tricky thing. As Captain Hammer would say: "The hammer is my penis."

Pretty strained metaphors you create -- the unorganized citizenry doesn't put up stop signs or enforce the laws; the government does that. The "intelligence" agencies are much closer to the people who do traffic control than they are to individuals like us.

Bill McD, the Bush people would never have been able to go as far as they did without the bulk of the Democrats lock-stepping in behind them. Leon Panetta's chief counsel at CIA is the same guy who was the chief counsel for almost the entirety of the Bush years. He's never even been confirmed -- because Wyden put a "hold" on his confirmation two years ago -- but he's still got the job he had when he was approving the torture memos from Yoo and Addington for use at CIA (which was supposedly why he wasn't confirmed). Same guy approved the destruction of the interrogation tapes. Obama hasn't told Panetta to remove him. Panetta hasn't removed him. Nobody on the Intelligence Committees in the House or Senate's doing anything except remind people once in a while that they "stood up" and kept him from being confirmed.

But he's still been acting general counsel of the CIA for about as long as Bush was in office.

GAS:

And here I thought the Congress (which created the FISA laws limiting domestic surveillance in the '70s) and the judicial branch were parts of "government." My bad.

Government will be just as anarchic as lazy media types allow. I expect the CIA funds many of the lazy media just to keep them sloth-like. A few weeks ago we had almost a month of coverage a some granny in Europe who could sing well.Conclusion: American Idol and related spinoffs are the CIA.


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