NSA gathers data on social connections of U.S. citizens


shortformblog:

This is merely old information, rehashed with new and official information through more revelations reported by the NYTimes. It’s essentially to wake people up – we all use social networks – and to show how the government and the NSA collects our information that we share on social media, creating extensive maps and graphs. 

The NSA just wants to be your friend.

Friend the NSA.

Follow the NSA.

The NSA is following you.

NSA gathers data on social connections of U.S. citizens

NSA gathers data on social connections of U.S. citizens


shortformblog:

This is merely old information, rehashed with new and official information through more revelations reported by the NYTimes. It’s essentially to wake people up – we all use social networks – and to show how the government and the NSA collects our information that we share on social media, creating extensive maps and graphs. 

The NSA just wants to be your friend.

Friend the NSA.

Follow the NSA.

The NSA is following you.

NSA gathers data on social connections of U.S. citizens

Detaining my partner: a failed attempt at intimidation


This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism. It’s bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It’s worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they felt threatened by. But the UK puppets and their owners in the US national security state obviously are unconstrained by even those minimal scruples.

If the UK and US governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further. Beyond that, every time the US and UK governments show their true character to the world – when they prevent the Bolivian President’s plane from flying safely home, when they threaten journalists with prosecution, when they engage in behavior like what they did today – all they do is helpfully underscore why it’s so dangerous to allow them to exercise vast, unchecked spying power in the dark.

Terrible but as a friend pointed out to me poc get arrested and detained for no reason every day of the year. 

So this is terrible but we live in a terrible fucking world.

So that would be a reason to defy all of this.

Detaining my partner: a failed attempt at intimidation

Detaining my partner: a failed attempt at intimidation


This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism. It’s bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It’s worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they felt threatened by. But the UK puppets and their owners in the US national security state obviously are unconstrained by even those minimal scruples.

If the UK and US governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further. Beyond that, every time the US and UK governments show their true character to the world – when they prevent the Bolivian President’s plane from flying safely home, when they threaten journalists with prosecution, when they engage in behavior like what they did today – all they do is helpfully underscore why it’s so dangerous to allow them to exercise vast, unchecked spying power in the dark.

Terrible but as a friend pointed out to me poc get arrested and detained for no reason every day of the year. 

So this is terrible but we live in a terrible fucking world.

So that would be a reason to defy all of this.

Detaining my partner: a failed attempt at intimidation

Ex-Employer, Not Secret Spying, Triggered Police Inquiry of ‘Pressure Cooker’ Search | Threat Level | Wired.com


An update on that pressure cooker and backpack google search story

Ex-Employer, Not Secret Spying, Triggered Police Inquiry of ‘Pressure Cooker’ Search | Threat Level | Wired.com

Ex-Employer, Not Secret Spying, Triggered Police Inquiry of ‘Pressure Cooker’ Search | Threat Level | Wired.com


An update on that pressure cooker and backpack google search story

Ex-Employer, Not Secret Spying, Triggered Police Inquiry of ‘Pressure Cooker’ Search | Threat Level | Wired.com

Ex-Employer, Not Secret Spying, Triggered Police Inquiry of ‘Pressure Cooker’ Search | Threat Level | Wired.com


So, a little update from earlier.

Life is so complicated.

Ex-Employer, Not Secret Spying, Triggered Police Inquiry of ‘Pressure Cooker’ Search | Threat Level | Wired.com

Ex-Employer, Not Secret Spying, Triggered Police Inquiry of ‘Pressure Cooker’ Search | Threat Level | Wired.com


So, a little update from earlier.

Life is so complicated.

Ex-Employer, Not Secret Spying, Triggered Police Inquiry of ‘Pressure Cooker’ Search | Threat Level | Wired.com

pressure cookers, backpacks and quinoa, oh my!


You know, just surveillance and all that and having your door knocked down because of web searches.

You know, the usual.

pressure cookers, backpacks and quinoa, oh my!

pressure cookers, backpacks and quinoa, oh my!


You know, just surveillance and all that and having your door knocked down because of web searches.

You know, the usual.

pressure cookers, backpacks and quinoa, oh my!

Meet the NSA’s New Data Centers: Russia, China, and Venezuela


The surprising locations of the servers… reportedly include China, Ecuador, Russia, Sudan, and Venezuela. In short, the NSA has managed to either place or gain access to servers in a collection of countries that are deeply hostile to the United States. Put another way, computer technicians in every one of those countries are probably combing through their systems right now to figure out ways to boot out the NSA.

This is an interesting angle on the latest of Edward Snowden’s revelations.

Meet the NSA’s New Data Centers: Russia, China, and Venezuela

Meet the NSA’s New Data Centers: Russia, China, and Venezuela


The surprising locations of the servers… reportedly include China, Ecuador, Russia, Sudan, and Venezuela. In short, the NSA has managed to either place or gain access to servers in a collection of countries that are deeply hostile to the United States. Put another way, computer technicians in every one of those countries are probably combing through their systems right now to figure out ways to boot out the NSA.

This is an interesting angle on the latest of Edward Snowden’s revelations.

Meet the NSA’s New Data Centers: Russia, China, and Venezuela

The Case for Rage and Retribution


This was written for Time magazine by the journalist Lance Murrow two days after 9/11. 

I can imagine he was still impassioned after what happened, given that Time has offices in New York. 

I’ve pulled out a few choice quotes.

  • For once, let’s have no fatuous rhetoric about “healing.”

 

  • Let America explore the rich reciprocal possibilities of the fatwa.

 

  • A policy of focused brutality does not come easily to a self-conscious, self-indulgent, contradictory, diverse, humane nation with a short attention span

 

  • America needs to relearn a lost discipline, self-confident relentlessness–and to relearn why human nature has equipped us all with a weapon (abhorred in decent peacetime societies) called hatred.

 

  • It’s a practical matter, anyway. In war, enemies are enemies. You find them and put them out of business, on the sound principle that that’s what they are trying to do to you.

 

  • America, in the spasms of a few hours, became a changed country. It turned the corner, at last, out of the 1990s. The menu of American priorities was rearranged. The presidency of George W. Bush begins now. What seemed important a few days ago (in the media, at least) became instantly trivial

 

  • The worst times, as we see, separate the civilized of the world from the uncivilized. This is the moment of clarity. Let the civilized toughen up, and let the uncivilized take their chances in the game they started.

 

By all means read the whole article. It isn’t much longer than the sections I extracted it’s just that these particular extractions and the article as a whole are terrifying and mark in many ways the emotions that allowed for the surveillance state that we now live in.

 

Always best to watch out for those trick emotions no matter what the awful thing that has been done to you or your country.

 

As Gore Vidal said, “Goebbels never pulled it off that well.”

The Case for Rage and Retribution

The Case for Rage and Retribution


This was written for Time magazine by the journalist Lance Murrow two days after 9/11. 

I can imagine he was still impassioned after what happened, given that Time has offices in New York. 

I’ve pulled out a few choice quotes.

  • For once, let’s have no fatuous rhetoric about “healing.”

 

  • Let America explore the rich reciprocal possibilities of the fatwa.

 

  • A policy of focused brutality does not come easily to a self-conscious, self-indulgent, contradictory, diverse, humane nation with a short attention span

 

  • America needs to relearn a lost discipline, self-confident relentlessness–and to relearn why human nature has equipped us all with a weapon (abhorred in decent peacetime societies) called hatred.

 

  • It’s a practical matter, anyway. In war, enemies are enemies. You find them and put them out of business, on the sound principle that that’s what they are trying to do to you.

 

  • America, in the spasms of a few hours, became a changed country. It turned the corner, at last, out of the 1990s. The menu of American priorities was rearranged. The presidency of George W. Bush begins now. What seemed important a few days ago (in the media, at least) became instantly trivial

 

  • The worst times, as we see, separate the civilized of the world from the uncivilized. This is the moment of clarity. Let the civilized toughen up, and let the uncivilized take their chances in the game they started.

 

By all means read the whole article. It isn’t much longer than the sections I extracted it’s just that these particular extractions and the article as a whole are terrifying and mark in many ways the emotions that allowed for the surveillance state that we now live in.

 

Always best to watch out for those trick emotions no matter what the awful thing that has been done to you or your country.

 

As Gore Vidal said, “Goebbels never pulled it off that well.”

The Case for Rage and Retribution

Surveillance Blowback: The Making Of The US Surveillance State, 1898-2020


We’ve always been watched. 

It’s time to watch back.

Or something more eloquent and pro-active than what I just wrote…

Surveillance Blowback: The Making Of The US Surveillance State, 1898-2020

Surveillance Blowback: The Making Of The US Surveillance State, 1898-2020


We’ve always been watched. 

It’s time to watch back.

Or something more eloquent and pro-active than what I just wrote…

Surveillance Blowback: The Making Of The US Surveillance State, 1898-2020


The Secret police—the NSA, the CIA, et al—are by their very nature antithetical to those ideals, because openness and transparency about rules are essential to democratic public justification, and therefore to the legitimacy of state power. What must be secret cannot be fully democratic. One may well worry whether we can afford such a demanding standard of legitimate government in such a dangerous world. Perhaps we cannot. Perhaps it is foolish to be too good. But in that case we need to be clear-headed about it, and understand that secret police are a straightforwardly anti-democratic concession we make to a dangerous world. And we ought to accept that any strengthening of the powers of the secret police—especially the secret strengthening of the powers of the secret police—is a further blow to democracy and the legitimacy of our laws. The NSA’s digital dragnet is a silent coup. The filibuster is rain on election day.

The Economist (via azspot)

It does pose the question though, does The Economist think that the world is dangerous enough to give secret police free reign?

Surely the world can never be that dangerous and, if it is, perhaps time would be better spent working out why it is so dangerous and going someway to addressing those problems.

Would it be unusual to suggest that most people want a ready supply of food, water, shelter and human connection? That they want to do meaningful work that gives them self respect and the feeling of being a valuable member in the society in which they live? That they want freedom from persecution and torture and the right to engage and decide the things that affect them, their family and their community in a way that allows them to retain dignity and hope?

I guess I’ll never be a writer for The Economist because I just feel I don’t understand how the world really works.


The Secret police—the NSA, the CIA, et al—are by their very nature antithetical to those ideals, because openness and transparency about rules are essential to democratic public justification, and therefore to the legitimacy of state power. What must be secret cannot be fully democratic. One may well worry whether we can afford such a demanding standard of legitimate government in such a dangerous world. Perhaps we cannot. Perhaps it is foolish to be too good. But in that case we need to be clear-headed about it, and understand that secret police are a straightforwardly anti-democratic concession we make to a dangerous world. And we ought to accept that any strengthening of the powers of the secret police—especially the secret strengthening of the powers of the secret police—is a further blow to democracy and the legitimacy of our laws. The NSA’s digital dragnet is a silent coup. The filibuster is rain on election day.

The Economist (via azspot)

It does pose the question though, does The Economist think that the world is dangerous enough to give secret police free reign?

Surely the world can never be that dangerous and, if it is, perhaps time would be better spent working out why it is so dangerous and going someway to addressing those problems.

Would it be unusual to suggest that most people want a ready supply of food, water, shelter and human connection? That they want to do meaningful work that gives them self respect and the feeling of being a valuable member in the society in which they live? That they want freedom from persecution and torture and the right to engage and decide the things that affect them, their family and their community in a way that allows them to retain dignity and hope?

I guess I’ll never be a writer for The Economist because I just feel I don’t understand how the world really works.

Functionally Literate – Quote.


‘”If you want  to keep something a secret, publish it.” Once in print, information is often filed, forgotten, or dismissed. Publishing a secret takes away its cachet and causes it to be overlooked.’

Hiding the Elephant – How Magicians Invented the…

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Functionally Literate – Quote.


‘”If you want  to keep something a secret, publish it.” Once in print, information is often filed, forgotten, or dismissed. Publishing a secret takes away its cachet and causes it to be overlooked.’

Hiding the Elephant – How Magicians Invented the…

View Post

Functionally Literate – Quote.


‘”If you want  to keep something a secret, publish it.” Once in print, information is often filed, forgotten, or dismissed. Publishing a secret takes away its cachet and causes it to be overlooked.’

Hiding the Elephant – How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learnt to Disappear, Jim Steinmeyer (2003)

Many views on Edward Snowden and what he has done are smeared all across the internet. As a small, but I think relevant aside, I’m reading a book about the history of magic. The above quote seems rather apt given the fact that a book called The Puzzle Palace, written in 1982, detailed the then overreach of the NSA. What little did Mr. Bamford know about how much further their grasp would extend. Give it some time and I’m sure Mr. Snowden and his revelations will be forgotten too as we move onto the more pressing concerns of The Voice and chaturbate.com. Magicians and Illusionists know a thing or  two about human nature, I think. It is how they make their daily bread.