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Tag Archives: Spying

Will Trump Follow Flynn?

What’s worse? That Flynn discussed sanctions with the Russians and lied about it, or that Trump is now lying about what he knew about it? What I don’t understand is how incompetent do these people have to be? Flynn was freakin’ National Security Advisor, and before that was the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency […]

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Republicans for Bigger Government

The good news is Congress passed the $1.15 trillion spending bill that will keep the government from shutting down next week. How they did it is the bad news. First of all, it includes $620 billion in tax breaks, which will make our deficit worse. The really bad news is that new Speaker of the […]

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No to Transparency

As part of Obama’s effort to increase transparency and participation in government, the website whitehouse.gov allows people to submit petitions, and guarantees that if any petition receives more than 100,000 signatures, it will receive a response. It is somewhat ironic then that the response to a relatively popular petition was used to strike a blow […]

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Meet the New Boss

Same as the old boss! [sometimes I wonder if anyone else is old enough to get these references. –iron] © Rebecca Hendin Don’t you feel so much better now that instead of the NSA spying on you, they changed the law so that now the telcos will be doing the spying? So much for not […]

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Patriotic Filibuster

Rand Paul (R-KY) took to the Senate floor for 10 hours and 30 minutes to protest the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, which would continue the widespread spying on ordinary Americans by the NSA. There was some discussion about whether this actually constituted a filibuster under Senate rules, but at least he actually got up […]

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Not So Secret Anymore

The Second Circuit US Court of appeals has ruled that the NSA cannot perform mass surveillance of telephone records anymore. The legal analysis by the EFF is a short read and definitely worth it. But if you are too lazy to read that, here is the tl;dr version from BoingBoing: 1. When Congress gave the […]

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Turnabout is Fair Play

© Ben Sargent In light of revelations of widespread spying by the NSA (as revealed by Edward Snowden and others), it just seems a tad hypocritical of the US to accuse China of spying on US companies. The US tries to assert that the US spying on foreign companies in the name of national security […]

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How Lavabit the dust

Almost a year ago, Ladar Levison shut down his startup “Lavabit”, which provided secure and encrypted email services to almost half a million people, including some high profile users like NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. At the time, he wasn’t allowed to talk about what actually happened, only that a US court had ordered him to […]

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Thought Crimes

The Obama administration has issued a new policy directive that prohibits any government official from publicly discussing or even referring to news reports that are based on “unauthorized leaks” like the ones from Edward Snowden. That’s right, they can’t even acknowledge that the leaks exist. There already were laws that prohibited officials from confirming the […]

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Lies, Damn Lies, and the NSA

It is like an AA meeting where the first step is admitting you have a problem. Because until now our spy apparatus has been in denial. James Clapper lied to Congress about widespread spying on Americans. Former NSA head Keith Alexander denied it. Even Obama repeatedly told us that “no one is reading your emails […]

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Invasion of Privacy

© Tom Tomorrow Years ago I started writing a short story called “The Invasion of Privacy”. The plot was that a scientist had figured out how to focus “gravity waves” over a distance, so you could see a (black-and-white) image of anything going on anywhere in the world. Sound worked too, by measuring the vibrations […]

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Sacrificing Liberty for Safety

Benjamin Franklin said “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” It is thus with some sadness that we read two very well written articles found in a rather unlikely website — TechDirt. The article “Nancy Pelosi Admits That Congress Is Scared Of The CIA” […]

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Turn the Lights On

Whistleblower Edward Snowden followed up his (video) appearance at SXSW Interactive in Austin TX with a surprise remote video TED talk in Vancouver BC. According to Snowden “There are absolutely more revelations to come. Some of the most important [publishing] to be done is yet to come.” © Ann Telnaes

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Metadata Madness

© Matt Bors The fundamental problem with spying is that it assumes that you can trust the spies. Which seems like a system that is almost guaranteed to fail. Not only does absolute power corrupt absolutely (e.g., spies snooping on their love interests), but the “bad guys” we are trying to spy on have a […]

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The Commercialization of Privacy

© Tom Fishburne I have to admit that I purchased a Nest thermostat a few months ago, before there was any hint that Google was about to purchase them. I didn’t get the smoke alarm option. This comic might seem to have little to do with politics, but it is about privacy — a topic […]

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