Re: Who watches the Watchmen?
Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:21 pm
I'm the exception. Woo!
Also, very reasonable and rational decision. Nice.
Also, very reasonable and rational decision. Nice.
Hold on to your butts.
Source: XKeyscore source code: Tor users are selected and monitored by the NSA as extremists (heise.de via Google Translate)According to the source code will be labeled as extremists in XKeyscore users when they search the internet for anonymizing tools like Tor or Tails, thanks to the global monitoring of search queries.
Consider the latest leak sourced to Edward Snowden from the perspective of his detractors. The National Security Agency's defenders would have us believe that Snowden is a thief and a criminal at best, and perhaps a traitorous Russian spy. In their telling, the NSA carries out its mission lawfully, honorably, and without unduly compromising the privacy of innocents. For that reason, they regard Snowden's actions as a wrongheaded slur campaign premised on lies and exaggerations.
But their narrative now contradicts itself. The Washington Post's latest article drawing on Snowden's leaked cache of documents includes files "described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained" that "tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted are catalogued and recorded nevertheless."
The article goes on to describe how exactly the privacy of these innocents was violated. The NSA collected "medical records sent from one family member to another, résumés from job hunters and academic transcripts of schoolchildren. In one photo, a young girl in religious dress beams at a camera outside a mosque. Scores of pictures show infants and toddlers in bathtubs, on swings, sprawled on their backs and kissed by their mothers. In some photos, men show off their physiques. In others, women model lingerie, leaning suggestively into a webcam ..."
The FBI—which is listed as the “responsible agency” for surveillance on the five men—has a controversial record when it comes to the ethnic profiling of Muslim-Americans. According to FBI training materials uncovered by Wired in 2011, the bureau taught agents to treat “mainstream” Muslims as supporters of terrorism, to view charitable donations by Muslims as “a funding mechanism for combat,” and to view Islam itself as a “Death Star” that must be destroyed if terrorism is to be contained.
John Guandolo, a former FBI counterterrorism official who takes credit for developing a training program for agents on the “Muslim Brotherhood and their subversive movement in the United States,” told The Intercept that he participated in investigations of some of the individuals whose email accounts were monitored. Echoing the “red under every bed” hysteria of the McCarthy era, Guandolo believes that “hundreds” of covert members of the Muslim Brotherhood are active in the United States, that some of them have succeeded in infiltrating the Pentagon, and that CIA director John Brennan is a secret Muslim.
AP wrote:The U.S. government is rapidly expanding the number of names it accepts for inclusion on its terrorist watch list, with more than 1.5 million added in the last five years, according to numbers divulged by the government in a civil lawsuit.
About 99 percent of the names submitted are accepted, leading to criticism that the government is "wildly loose" in its use of the list.
The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.
“You know, it is important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had,” Obama said. “And a lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.”
While working on this book, I became aware of a number studies conducted after Watergate, research with well-tested findings by psychologists and economists who examined risk-taking and decision-making by people in a “loss frame”—that is, a situation in which none of the options is good. Study after study demonstrated how decision-making becomes remarkably illogical in conditions like that which the president faced in Watergate. Nixon, who boasts during the recorded conversations of this period of his prowess as a poker player, initially tried to bluff his way through the scandal with small bets. As he kept losing, however, the more exposed he became, and the more he was inclined to risk. Nixon’s defenses were, in effect, a series of increasingly bad bets.
Even when he clearly had the '72 election in the proverbial bag, he and his men were still willing to cast ethics aside and even hijack campaign donations that might have gone to elect more Republicans, just to run up the score and extract some vengeance from anyone who'd ever opposed or faulted him. It was the "them or us" mindset that ultimately became self-destructive.
Years after Watergate, I worked on a TV show where the producer/showrunner had a seething hatred for The Network. Every third sentence out of his mouth was about how inept and treacherous The Network was and I found myself not only on staff but within a kind of "bunker mentality" founded on contempt for those outside the bunker.
Within this environment, if you somehow failed at your assignment, it was not acceptable to go to the producer and say, "Sorry, I couldn't do it." What you had to say, as everyone learned, was: "I had it working but then those assholes at The Network sabotaged me." That was not only acceptable but it endeared you to the producer. You were part of the team, having spilled blood in the war that he fought day and night on the show…and sometimes in his mind.
I watched this for a few weeks with the nagging feeling I knew it from somewhere and then it hit me: The Talent Coordinator blaming The Network for not being able to book Charo was like the Nixon White House Aide blaming The Press for his inability to carry out some presidential order. (The Nixon by Nixon documentary on HBO includes an excerpt from the tapes with Nixon saying over and over, "The press is the enemy! The press is the enemy!") One of the reasons Nixon hated his enemies so was that he was always willing, maybe even eager to believe they were screwing him.
There's a quote from some famous general about how to key to success in battle is to neither overestimate nor underestimate your enemy. You can get killed making either mistake, though underestimating is usually the greater error. In the entire tale of Richard M. Nixon, I've seen only one moment when he seemed to buy into that. It was that moment in his farewell speech where he said goodbye to the White House staff before flying off to exile. He said…Always remember that others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.
That sounds like an admission that he'd done just that but I wonder. With Nixon, you always had to wonder.
The documents, roughly 1,500 pages worth, outline a secret and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle by Yahoo to resist the government's demands. The company's loss required Yahoo to become one of the first to begin providing information to PRISM, a program that gave the National Security Agency extensive access to records of online communications by users of Yahoo and other U.S.-based technology firms.
The ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review became a key moment in the development of PRISM, helping government officials to convince other Silicon Valley companies that unprecedented data demands had been tested in the courts and found constitutionally sound. Eventually most major American tech companies complied, including Google, Facebook, Apple and AOL. Microsoft had joined earlier, before the ruling, NSA documents have shown.
It's quite long, and it's a transcript of a lecture (with slides), but it's well worth persisting. In particular, do not give up before you get to the explanation of the term "parallel reconstruction" and see what certain agencies are using it for.
Then in PINWALE, they say, "content select from dictionary terms." This would mean, "My guys use these terms." Like if you remember the DHS term list of things, like "pork" was one word in there.
Idiots. So if you send an email home to your wife and say, "Honey, let's have pork tonight for dinner." You got sucked up by DHS. That's kind of idiocy-- it's called dictionary select.
This is like a Google search. This buries you in data, you can never get through this. It's a waste of time.
So but they're calling it getting greater or higher capability getting information, this is absurd. This is how you bury your analysts. And the same gets down here with MARINA and you know, and it's the same thing, and then down bar and the XKEYSCORE that means it goes into all the databases, pulling out the keywords and all that, everything all together. And so now you're really dumping on your analysts. So these are all idiots. And these are the engineers doing it, so.