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Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

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Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby manoletters » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:36 pm

I remember the 1970s, when hearings were held on Capitol Hill, in "response" to revelations that the National Security Agency had been eavesdropping like crazy on Americans' phone calls and surreptitiously opening and reading our letters for more than two decades. Not to mention the malfeasance of the CIA and other agencies. One result of the nation-wide outrage was the 1978 establishment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court, supposedly as a guard against warrentless spying by the "Intelligence Community." Well, the FISA Court has served as a kind of star chamber all along; its real function was only to facilitate these monstrous invasions of privacy. During the Bush years, things went from bad to worse, with FISA's 11-judge panel meeting regularly in a vault at the "Justice Department" (it still does) to approve very extensive wiretapping. It's such a blasted "Kangaroo Court!"

According to FISA provisions, in order to spy on American citizens, a warrant of sorts is required - 72 hours AFTER the surveillance begins! During the George W. Bush regime, the FISA Court turned down a mere FIVE requests to spy on the citizenry, to the best of my knowledge. Yes, I was disheartened, when Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian informed us of the latest enormous "monitoring" efforts. But shocked I was not. Sadly, I cannot believe anything is going to improve anytime soon, what with Obama's spirited defense of the indefensible. And the underwhelming apathy, overall, of the American citizenry. Still, I'm in complete awe of Glenn Greenwald for bravely publicizing this. I only hope he manages to emerge unscathed!

Most Americans, apparently, aren't too worried about giving up more of their liberties. Most Americans seem extremely happy to exchange what's left of their rights for that most elusive and illusory state of affairs. The tens of millions of severely misguided among us call it "Security."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/ju ... ni=Network front:network-front full-width-1 bento-box:Bento box:Position5
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby snoqueen » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:09 am

A link off that link brings us to Richard Stallman, long longtime privacy advocate with the highest of credentials, who reminds us cloud computing is as much a privacy risk as anything out there:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/20 ... d.stallman

A good reminder. Your business and personal documents, along with your personal messages, are not in your own hands once you place them in the cloud.
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby Meade » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:44 am

"Nobody is listening to your telephone calls."
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby Stella_Guru » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:19 pm

Meade wrote:"Nobody is listening to your telephone calls."

Not sure why anyone would believe anything being said out of Washington D.C. at this point.
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby johnfajardohenry » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:55 pm

snoqueen wrote:A good reminder. Your business and personal documents, along with your personal messages, are not in your own hands once you place them in the cloud.


Amen to that, Snoqueen. I have never seen the benefit to cloud computing. Leaving aside the privacy issues, storage is so cheap that there is no reason to keep all your own files yourself. You can buy a 2 terabyte hard drive the size of a cigarette pack for under 100 bucks. It plugs directly into a USB. Buy 2-3 and get in the routine of backups. Leave one drive always at a relatives or friend's house for added safety.

If paranoid, encrypt the backups.

NEVER, EVER, NEVER use Facebook or allow anyone else to use Facebook on any computer that has any of your personal stuff on it. Facebook does read these files. Even if you tell it not to. If you really must use Facebook, use an old computer with nothing on it but a browser and use it only for Facebook.

And, if you have a laptop with a camera, always cover the camera with a piece of tape. It can be accessed without your knowledge. Posting hacked webcam pics is a popular sport. Even caused a suicide in NJ a year or two back when a gay guy's camera got hacked.

John Henry
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby david cohen » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:02 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:Even caused a suicide in NJ a year or two back when a guy's camera got hacked.

John Henry


Fixed that for you...de nada.
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby johnfajardohenry » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:10 pm

Blue highways are becoming Bluetooth highways.

Have you seen these in Wisconsin yet?

Image

If not, they are coming soon to a road near you. Tens of thousands have been installed across the US. A number of them here in PR.

The ostensible purpose is to monitor traffic and help improve flow.

They have a Bluetooth sniffer that senses anything with a Bluetooth like your phone, I-Pad, laptop, MP3 player, car radio and reads the device's MAC address.

The MAC is then transmitted wirelessly to a database. A few miles down the road you will pass another sniffer, your MAC is grabbed and compared to see how long it took between sniffers.

It is all anonymous and so on for your protection. That may even be true at present.

But suppose they want to put out a BOLO on you. Your cellphone carrier will be able to match your MAC to your phone. Now as soon as you pass the sniffer, the database can recognize your MAC and put out a message "John Henry just passed sensor 7322 headed east"

Encouraging, right?

Here are the two big vendors:

http://www.postoaktraffic.com/

http://trafficcast.com/products/view/blue-toad/

Here is the Houston TX website describing how it works.

http://traffic.houstontranstar.org/blue ... tooth.html

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

John Henry




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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby johnfajardohenry » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:15 pm

david cohen wrote:
johnfajardohenry wrote:Even caused a suicide in NJ a year or two back when a guy's camera got hacked.

John Henry


Fixed that for you...de nada.


Thanks.

I thought about not putting the "gay" in there and decided that it was relevant. He was not known to be gay, and the video was of him with another man. The video from the hacked camera went public and the embarrassment about being outed caused the suicide.

Story is here http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/ar ... e9eb16.171

John Henry
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby Sandi » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:28 pm

snoqueen wrote:A good reminder. Your business and personal documents, along with your personal messages, are not in your own hands once you place them in the cloud.


Nor is your private information private if you use google. Google is tracking you and collecting your personal information.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFRSaw0CFeE

Using Facebook isn't any better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP3fsXAADAo

It is nice to see both left and right come together here when it comes to privacy.
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby Meade » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:03 pm

Sandi wrote:It is nice to see both left and right come together here when it comes to privacy.

Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times in 1971, described Snowden as "a hero" and that he has "been waiting for him for 40 years".[8] Similarly, American conservative political commentator Glenn Beck said he was "the man for which I have waited", and had earmarks of "a real hero".[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:33 pm

Glenn Beck represents the conservative voice. Got it.
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby johnfajardohenry » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:35 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Glenn Beck represents the conservative voice. Got it.


Glenn Beck is a conservative?

Is this something new?

I've not paid much attention to him in the past 4-5 years but he used to be pretty adamant about claiming to be a libertarian.

When I used to pay some attention to him he always seemed to me to be pretty libertarian and not particularly conservative.

Has he changed?

John Henry
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby wack wack » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:45 am

johnfajardohenry wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:Glenn Beck represents the conservative voice. Got it.


Glenn Beck is a conservative?

Is this something new?

I've not paid much attention to him in the past 4-5 years but he used to be pretty adamant about claiming to be a libertarian.

When I used to pay some attention to him he always seemed to me to be pretty libertarian and not particularly conservative.

Has he changed?

John Henry


The lines between libertarian and conservative are quite blurry today, but you're correct, Beck is a libertarian. More importantly, he seems to be mentally ill. That's not a character or partisan shot, it's an honest assessment. A sense of reality seems to elude him these days.
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby johnfajardohenry » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:48 am

I am beginning to wonder about this guy Snowden who is leaking all this NSA info to the London Guardian. Could he be a US government plant? It just seems odd that he would have access to all this stuff and be able to get it out of secure facilities.

If he is what he claims to be and the info is what he claims it is, the US has some pretty massive security problems.

1) How did he get access to all the info? Most of it would seem to be the kind of stuff that is pretty compartmentalized. He should have had access to only a very small piece of the pie yet he seems to have had access to everything.

2) How did he get copies out of the facility? Computers in these facilities usually have no USB ports (no thumb drive) or CD burner. Cellphones are usually banned. Outgoing access is usually pretty well locked down. You get searched entering and leaving for any electronic devices like a USB key etc.

So how did he get the data out, assuming that he had access to it in the first place?

I can't think of any plausible explanations unless he was doing it at the direction with the cooperation of the agency.

I can't think of any plausible explanations why that would happen.

I can think of an implausible explanation why but it is so bizarre I hesitate to mention it.

John Henry
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Re: Massive spying: through a Prism, darkly

Postby wack wack » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:54 am

Regarding Snowden's access to secure information, according to some former NSA guy interviewed on one of the cable shows last night, the explanation is pretty simple: this guy had more access because he worked at a smaller office with less employees. He was required to do more.

Had he been in Washington or Virginia, he never would've had the access, but the preferred degree of compartmentalization isn't possible in smaller offices.
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