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Friday, July 12, 2013

The best blog post ever?

A friend to this blog directs our attention to what may be the single finest blog post ever written. Wish to hell I had written it. But if I can't claim authorship, I sure as hell can copy and paste large chunks.

Our subject today (as in the preceding post, which is also quite good, and in which I do my Colin Clive impersonation) is the surveillance state. You think you've heard it all? Think again...
For example, the government is photographing the outside information on every piece of snail mail.

The government is spying on you through your phone...and may even remotely turn on your camera and microphone when your phone is off.

As one example, the NSA has inserted its code into Android’s operating system … bugging three-quarters of the world’s smartphones.  Google – or the NSA – can remotely turn on your phone’s camera and recorder at any time.
The government might be spying on you through your computer’s webcam or microphone. The government might also be spying on you through the “smart meter” on your own home.

The FBI wants a backdoor to all software.  But leading European computer publication Heise said in 1999 that the NSA had already built a backdoor into all Windows software.

And Microsoft has long worked hand-in-hand with the NSA and FBI so that encryption doesn’t block the government’s ability to spy on users of Skype, Outlook, Hotmail and other Microsoft services.

(And leading security experts say that the NSA might have put a backdoor in all encryption standards years ago. … meaning that the NSA can easily hack into encrypted communications.)

“Black boxes” are currently installed in between 90% and 96% of all new cars. And starting in 2014, all new cars will include black boxes that can track your location.

License plate readers mounted on police cars allow police to gather millions of records on drivers...including photos of them in their cars.
A security expert and former NSA software developer says that hackers can access private surveillance cameras. Given that the NSA apparently already monitors public cameras using facial recognition software, and that the FBI is building a system which will track “public and private surveillance cameras around the country”, we can assume that government agencies might already be hacking into private surveillance cameras.

The CIA wants to spy on you through your dishwasher and other “smart” appliances.
Private contractors can also view all of your data … and the government isn’t keeping track of which contractors see your data and which don’t. And because background checks regarding some contractors are falsified, it is hard to know the types of people that might have your information.

And top NSA and FBI experts say that the government can retroactively search all of the collected information on someone since 9/11 if they suspect someone of wrongdoing...or want to frame him.

The American government is in fact collecting and storing virtually every phone call, purchases, email, text message, internet searches, social media communications, health information, employment history, travel and student records, and virtually all other information of every American.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the NSA spies on Americans’ credit card transactions.
Believe it or not, I've given you just a fragment of this incredibly important article. The list goes on and on and on. Lambert at Corrente coined the term "linky goodness" to describe a post heavy on HTML citations -- but in this case, the phrase "linky badness" might serve better.

If people only knew. If people only knew...
People know fine. The implications are unpleasant. People pretend not to know.

I don't think you can put backdoors into encryption standards, only into implementations thereof, and no-one seems to have been caught doing so as of yet. Just to tone down the paranoia a bit.

But to tone it back up again, they missed a big one:

They can see through your walls. Although they've been able to do that for a long time, contrary to what the commenters over there say. And they've been able to see anything displayed on a CRT or LCD in your home for decades.

Do you have a wi-fi router in your house?

"Destruction through the advancement of technology."
Do you watch "Person of Interest"? The show certainly doesn't seem "out there" anymore!
By peppering the post with links you hope to convince a reader that it's incredibly sourced and worthy of considering proved. It's a way to lay claim to rigorous scholarship without the bona fides.
Either people know, and don't care, or people know, and are impotent to do much.
Dig Grung: If a blogger does NOT show his cites, critics call him lazy, or even a confabulator. If a blogger DOES list all of his sources, critics call call him insufficiently scholarly. Apparently, a mere blogger doing research into so large a topic as government overrreach is not supposed to publish a single word unless he can get first-hand sourcing on camera from named sources.

Of course, I've read books from university presses whose footnoting looks a lot like what you see here (or would do so, if you arranged the HTML in footnote fashion).

Fuck you, Grung. How much do trolls get paid these days?
All of this is quite scary, but I wonder what are elements are missing for a totalitarian state to be successful? By successful I mean exist for some time. Total control of media, security, economy...etc. What is missing, what other shoes need to drop for us to beyond the threshold?

On a family visit to Montreal, my cousin asked me why the U.S. seems to be "broken", meaning the healthcare, education, and other major institutions that she has not a worry about where she lives. I said, " It's not broken, it works exactly how it is set up to work and it's only getting better. It's just not set up for regular folks like me to be safe and content down there, like you are up here."

I'm just want to look for so I know when to call it George and learn to sing 'O, Canada' in french.
"Oh Yeah, where's your proof? What's your source?"
I don't have any.
"I didn't think so fraud!"

"Oh Yeah, where's your proof? What's your source?"
Right there in the article.
"You're trying to make your article appear authoritative by drowning me with info!"
Alex Jones has been out in front of this stuff for years.

I'm not defending him; not saying he's not ridiculously deluded about all manner of subjects; not saying that He isn't exhibiting symptoms of mild schizophrenia/sociopathy and not so mild God complex.

I'm saying he has been out in front of this stuff for years.
I've watched/read AJ for years, and I've never seen him, or his staff, do such an in-depth and comprehensive report on anything related to data collection as presented in the article posted above. And never in a manner that would give one an over arching view of the facts without the paranoia he tends to spout and cultivate.
The problem with AJ, Info wars, Prison Planet, in my opinion, is that AJ is so over the top that a majority of people tend to tune him out.

I agree with AJ on some of his points, heck many of his points, but his style is not conducive to, and is in fact harmful to, the information he imparts, and makes anyone who points to him as a reference appear foolish to most people more often than not.

In other words in my opinion: AJ is a buffoon, and much like Hal Turner and the weak ass sacrificial Liberals on FOX Spews, he is a product of the powers that be.

If he really was a threat to said powers why is it that he has plenty of money while more informative sites are constantly begging for money and struggle to exist?
By AJ's own reasoning wouldn't the ALL POWERFUL STATE crush him like a bug. Wouldn't Obummer kill him like they killed Michael Hastings?


Which raises a question as to why the US government may have believed Edward Snowden flew off on Evo Morales's plane.

Make that a French-manufactured plane, out of a Russian airport.

Can't the NSA keep track of stuff properly in foreign countries?

Do I hear people say that that's precisely what this is all about?

Well let's apply it to the story itself!

Possibilities include:

1) faulty premise; they didn't think he was on the plane at all, but wanted everyone to watch them flex their muscles, and they've given up on the idea of getting an embassy back in Bolivia etc. etc.

2) they thought he was on the plane because the Mighty Wikileaks Organisation is fiendishly capable at deception, and fooled them

3) they thought he was on the plane because another spooking-'n'-counterintelligence organisation, which has a lot of clout, which city is the airport in again? ah yes, Moscow...fooled them

The KGB is certainly a big player in this; or FSB and SVR as they're called nowadays.

Personally I go for 3 or 1.

A few hacks have noticed that one minute, the French government says how appalling it is that the NSA and its British sidekick spy on France, and the next minute, as soon as they receive the say-so from the US, they jump to attention and turn back Morales's plane, even if shortly afterwards they have to give a public apology to Bolivia.

Yes, that does make them look pretty pathetic.

But few have asked how the hell the NSA could have been fooled.

And few have noticed that while there have been stories about the US spying on 'Europe', there has been little or nothing about the US spying on Russia.

Funny that.

That suggests to me that that's the way the NSA, CIA, and KGB want it.

The Litvinenko case hasn't been reported much at all.

The late Boris Berezovsky, who died before he could give more evidence to the Litvinenko inquest, used to control Sheremetevo, by the way.

(I must mention that the term "cold war" has been used, including by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It always pisses me off when idiots think this ended in 1989, when anyone who has actually studied the subject knows that it ended in the early 1960s. It's as if détente, Apollo-Soyuz, etc, have been thrown down the memory hole. When Bobby Fischer was being persecuted by the US government - and there are similarities with the persecution of Edward Snowden - and also when he died, many were the media outlets which said the Reykjavik chess match of 1972 happened at "the height of the cold war". Fukkinng morans! Not that I blame Merkel for any of this. The poor woman looks as though she hasn't got a clue what's going on, because nobody ever tells her anything whatsoever of any importance. But I digress.)

And I repeat: Russia is a player in this.

It does make me wonder whether certain recent events have constituted Russian retaliation for Pussy Riot and associated western jazz played against Putin recently.

Don't let's underestimate the KGB.

Wikileaks certainly ain't what it seems.

As for Wikipedia, what clearer case is there of western 'soft power'?

Surely if anyone can outsmart the NSA it's the bloke who blew the whistle on them. He knows the score.


The ultimate unhackable format: paper.

It's like the NSA are Cylons, so the Russians are going all low-tech.
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