Who watches the Watchmen?

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Brentai
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Brentai » Fri May 30, 2014 8:05 pm

Might also be helpful if the NSA could demonstrate that "the proper channels" aren't political if not actual suicide.

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Thad
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Thad » Fri May 30, 2014 9:56 pm

TA wrote:How exactly would one prove they've never received an email?


I'm not saying anyone should expect the NSA to prove a negative.

I'm just saying that this IS one of those cases where a responsible journalist should report this as a he-said/she-said situation, because unlike climate change this really IS one person's word against an another's.

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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Mothra » Fri May 30, 2014 9:58 pm

If anyone hasn't yet seen it, Frontline's United States of Secrets puts the entire thing into perspective, from Cheney after 9/11 to The Program to Snowden to now.

Every one of our leaders failed to do anything but persecute whistleblowers and expand mass surveillance for over a decade. Snowden did what nobody else in our government had the moral fortitude or courage to do, and he's a fucking 29 year old.

Regarding the "proper channels", he saw what happened the likes of the NSA's Thomas Drake when they tried to go through the proper channels, and did the only thing that actually worked.

I know it's long, but everyone needs to see that documentry, because holy shit.

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sei
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby sei » Sat May 31, 2014 4:55 am

"Proper channels" is an ad hominem and a red herring, balled into one, with a sprinkling of Captain Hindsight.
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Friday » Sat May 31, 2014 3:57 pm

Yep. Which I immediately recognized as such. It's not actually that hard to differentiate legitimate complaints about Snowden's behavior (what few, and flimsy ones there are) from the standard circus act governments do when they are caught red-handed violating the rights of their people.
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Mothra » Sat May 31, 2014 7:11 pm

It also makes plainly apparent the fact that, if the president (or vice president) issues an illegal order, nobody will stop him. Our government is not able to police itself.

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Thad
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Thad » Sat May 31, 2014 7:21 pm

For my money, "If the President does it, it's not illegal" beats out "I am not a crook" as the quintessential Nixon quote. In a single sentence, it sums up the entire worldview of one man and the governing policy of his entire administration.

It's a good thing nobody else has ever taken that view of the presidency since.

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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Mongrel » Sat May 31, 2014 9:05 pm

Thad wrote:It's a good thing nobody else has ever taken that view of the presidency since.


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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Thad » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:23 pm

Google releases alpha of End-to-End, an encryption plugin for Gmail.

Now, given Google's business model, I think there's every reason to mistrust anything it gives you with the claim that it will protect your private emails from being read by Google.

Which is why it's heartening that, right off the bat, they're releasing it as source instead of as a binary. Security experts are going to go through this whole thing with a fine-toothed comb before it's ever released to end users -- and once it IS released to end users, they can check whether the binary blob Google is distributing matches the checksum of the binary blob they compile themselves.

The two biggest problems with email encryption are (1) it's a bastard to set up and (2) it has to be set up by both the sender and the recipient. A simple browser plugin solves #1. It only solves #2 if both sender and recipient are using Gmail (and perhaps THAT'S where it fits into Google's business model -- it gets more people to sign up for Gmail), but it's a start.

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sei
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby sei » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:30 pm

#2 is eeeeeeeeeenormous. Signing up for shit like lavabit or lavaboom felt kind of pointless when most people contacted are on something insecure like GMail, hotmail, or (thanks for breaking mailing lists you cocksuckers) Yahoo! mail.

I think the major question to worry about here is how/whether encrypted GMail will be able to serve ads. Are they going to use JS to scrape the plaintext for keywords, which then provide ad context? I'm really eager to see the results of the analysis.
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Thad » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:27 pm

Mongrel wrote:


Speaking of which:

Secret Service wants Twitter sarcasm detector, and it needs to be compatible with IE8.

Unless they're being sarcastic and I missed it.

Via Stross:

Well now, here's the thing: automating sarcasm detection is easy. It's so easy they teach it in first year computer science courses; it's an obvious application of AI. (You just get your Turing-test-passing AI that understands all the shared assumptions and social conventions that human-human conversation rely on to identify those statements that explicitly contradict beliefs that the conversationalist implicitly holds. So if I say "it's easy to earn a living as a novelist" and the AI knows that most novelists don't believe this and that I am a member of the set of all novelists, the AI can infer that I am being sarcastic. Or I'm an outlier. Or I'm trying to impress a date. Or I'm secretly plotting to assassinate the POTUS.)

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Thad
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Thad » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:34 pm

CIA starts Twitter account with cute joke tweet: "We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet."

New York Review of Books responds with laundry list of reminders that the CIA is neither cute nor funny.

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Brentai
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Brentai » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:02 pm

A CIA Twitter sounds like a joke unto itself; so far it feels like the work of a particularly sarcastic and nonplussed MiB going total Nature Valley with it.

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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:25 pm

That reminds me of this fake CIA tweet which was making the rounds just a few days earlier:

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Thad
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Thad » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:28 pm

Ars: House votes 293-123 to cut funding for NSA spying on Americans

Well, THERE'S something you don't see every day.

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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Cait » Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:59 pm

Especially since it broke the mythical "Hastert Rule".

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Thad
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Thad » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:32 pm

Roll call.

Among only 29 Democratic "No" votes is my own Kyrsten Sinema.

If Walter gets the nomination, I might be voting Republican in November.

If Rogers gets the nomination, I'm going to have to vote for fucking Sinema.

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Thad
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Thad » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:21 pm

AP: Judge: No-fly List Violated Constitutional Rights

The U.S. government deprived 13 people on its no-fly list of their constitutional right to travel and gave them no adequate way to challenge their placement on the list, a federal judge said Tuesday in the nation's first ruling finding the no-fly list redress procedures unconstitutional.

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Thad
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Thad » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:15 pm

SCOTUS bans warrantless cell phone searches.

Unanimously.

"Modern cell phones, as a category, implicate privacy concerns far beyond those implicated by the search of a cigarette pack, a wallet, or a purse. A conclusion that inspecting the contents of an arrestee’s pockets works no substantial additional intrusion on privacy beyond the arrest itself may make sense as applied to physical items, but any extension of that reasoning to digital data has to rest on its own bottom," the court ruled.

The court added: "Prior to the digital age, people did not typically carry a cache of sensitive personal information with them as they went about their day. Now it is the person who is not carrying a cellphone, with all that it contains, who is the exception."

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Büge
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Re: Who watches the Watchmen?

Postby Büge » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:18 pm

Sounds like progress.

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