Tag Archives: Edward Snowden

The NSA and Kevin Bacon…

Since we’ve returned to caring about being Surveilled…

Let’s climb into our time machine and travel all the way back to 2013, when we told you so.

An unprecedented, at least to me, move by No Such Agency has brought the Director to an open briefing on Capital Hill.

So I’m listening.

But, there are two things which I would like to hear…

Mr. Alexander is very careful to remind everyone paying attention, which appears to be very few, that the NSA does not listen to the content of these calls collected under this program.

I’d like to focus on the “…under this program.” part of his repeated statement and reassurance.

There are many programs within all government operations, many of which overlap. This is practiced for various reasons. Some of them funding, some of them compartmentalization. Some, simply because of turf and time on scene.

So, I would like to hear someone ask; “Mr. Director, is anyone at NSA listening to the content of the calls collected, or reading the e-mail and text messaging?”

Another aspect I find interesting is the “connection to a known, or suspected terrorist” requirement Mr. Alexander has reassured us exists prior to looking at your information.

On this I bring up Kevin Bacon. Yes, the actor.

There exists a mathematical formula which connects us all.  It has been around for 80 years but has recently been popularized through something called the Kevin Bacon Game.

Six degrees of separation, a theory developed by Frigyes Karinthy in the year 1929, proposes that an individual is only six connections away from any person in the world.

Read the last five words in the above sentence again.  “…any person in the world.”

That would include Terrorist A-holes.  Yep… if you’re just catching up, YOU are separated by the most horrible person on earth by only 6 degrees.

The exploration of the degrees of separation between individuals communication, or connections, is called “spidering“.

So, my next question would be; “Mr. Director, how many degrees of separation from the suspect do you find acceptable to explore?  In other words, do you stop at say Two?  Four?  Six?”

Because stopping at “Six” means they have given themselves the authority to Spy on “…any person in the world.”  (Even “Five” should make most of us physically ill… “Three” only marginally better.)

There is also the issue of freely denying that anyone can listen to your phone calls.  I have seen this in practice first hand… when a suspect is apprehended, say a burglar, the police cannot legally go through his cell phone.  Yet… they do.  What “legally” means is whatever information found there is not admissible in court.  It does not mean that some amazing physics come into play preventing the very action of going through the person’s cell phone.  Remember folks, words mean things.  The world becomes much clearer when you listen carefully.

Finally, I am intrigued by what is considered “civilian” over-sight.  In this case, the “civilian” oversight is being performed by ex-military appointees.  One might ask, is this a difference without a distinction?  I understand the argument could be applied to the President on down, but those are elected positions.  I would like to hear someone explore how Civilian oversight has any impact after the person performing that service has retired from a Government entity.  In other words, once you’ve completed serving the Government Mission for many years you can take Retirement and then serve the Citizens interest by overseeing the very programs you may have been associated with the day before.

While I deeply respect those in the military as a rule, it does not change the fact that many of the most horrid Statists known to man have come directly from there.  Seems like the checks and balances are not served in a way that is as reassuring as possible… at least to me.

It will be interesting to view the transcripts of this hearing once complete.

My overall feeling here is They are intentionally missing the point… as They know Domestic Spying IS the point, not catching Foreign Terrorist A-holes.

The Red Herring is the reiteration that all the information being used is Public and available to Private Companies, so No Problem.  It is a blatant attempt to blur the definition of Public as it is meant.  In this case, Public means out in the open… not Government Property.  The fact the information is available to PRIVATE companies is irrelevant.  If this information is truly “out there for all to see” then the Government should not need to demand it from any Private entity.  But it is not… and the Government sees fit to use their power to compel certain Private entities to supply it to them.

All of our information is not available, nor should it be available, to GOVERNMENT without direct legal cause, free of Constitutional restriction.  That is a very, very important distinction here in the “Freest Country on Earth”.  (Damn that Constitution is SO restrictive…  it tells them what they CAN’T do to us, but not what they CAN do to us…)

It’s amazing how quickly one sobers up when listening to our Spooks…  Unless you’re an elected representative in the room with them, then it appears you fall asleep. (You’ll have to watch the hearing to see what I’m typing about here.  I want you to watch, so I won’t ruin it by showing you.)

(Also! For the record, I love our Spooks.  But much of what they do should stay, or be returned to being, illegal… just in case.  I know this Borrows their argument about why they want to store all of OUR info… we might need their actions to have been illegal down the road.  That’s a real check.  And, they answer to us not the other way around.)

(061813)


Edward Who?

It struck me after only a few minutes of Watching Brian Williams in a Moscow meeting room that I just don’t care about Edward Snowden.

I really don’t.

I thought to myself “What if this guy were to come back to the U.S.?” and “What if this guy has spilled secrets to Russia?” and “What if a Giant Sexually Frustrated Purple Rhinoceros charged into the room and Raped this Guy?” with all the same answer of “So What?”

Even if the Rhino raped Snowden I don’t think I would have cared.

In the End,

It’s not about Snowden… it has always been about a Government that has become too powerful and unchecked.

It is about Privacy… Liberty… and Freedom of the Individual.

Your Freedom is directly correlated with your ability to remain anonymous.

Whoops.

So I have to believe this is all Political Theater!

(I’m being funny for those of you who follow along with my nonsense.)

Snowden did us all a service. But he is neither a Hero nor a Traitor. He’s just some dude who did what he thought was right.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if our Government was Full of people like that? People that did what they thought was right in terms of preserving our Freedoms and Liberties by making sure the very place they worked remained constrained and in check at all times?  Wouldn’t it be comforting if those in charge of keeping us safe spent more time protecting Us from our Government than protecting our Government from Us?

I know… I’m Drunk. The stupid Rhinoceros keeps making do shots… for some reason… It feels like he’s sitting too close…


“It’s Not our Mission to Spy on Everybody in The World.”

said the Outgoing NSA Director.

“We consider that Added Value.”

In Other News:  Clown Shortage Hits USA!

Teams of Recruiters sent to U.N.


Will Putin give us Permission to fly-over Moscow?

“We really need this!” – said James Clapper, NSA spokesperson.

Do you know how difficult it is to get a Reaper Drone inside the Garden Rings?

US has internal debate regarding using Drone to kill an overseas Terrorist.

General Clapper went on to explain; “While Killing Americans abroad has been the fantasy of many of those overseas for decades, particularly French Café owners… our position is if anyone is going to Kill Americans abroad it will be us damn it!”  The general also explained that things are not as easy across the pond as it is in the States; “I’ve been advised that doing whatever we want then acting like we didn’t know… and if that doesn’t work, Begging Forgiveness is not considered an actual policy.  Not to mention we’re afraid of the Russians unlike the American People.”

We’ve unsuccessfully been trying to reach Edward Snowden by Cell-Phone, Text and E-mail for comment…

(Update: The Administration has now declared their intended target is cooperating with Al-Qaeda… I wonder is this is similar to accusing Greenwald of selling leaked Snowden NSA documents so they can create illegality and thus reason to get him… so Snowden’s docs would have helped Al-Qaeda thus he is helping Al-Qaeda… right?  Just to clarify we have left messages to meet with Edward Snowden alone… in a wide open area.  Still no response.)


What Does it mean to be The Commander and Chief?

It means you do not have to make Requests.

Requests?  Requests?  We don’t need to make no stinking Requests!

It is rumored that President Obama is about to take the podium and Request the NSA no longer store the “meta data” it has collected from Innocent American Citizens through its’ Domestic Spying program. That is to say, he will not be Requesting the end to Domestic Spying… he’ll just be Requesting the material collected be stored for a shorter period to time and or by someone else.

Before I say “Why Bother?”… take a moment and think about that. I’ll wait.

Ready? “Why Bother?”

Why Bother taking even a single second to address the American People with such a statement of DESIRE?

When you are the Commander and Chief you DO NOT NEED TO REQUEST THINGS BE DONE WHICH ARE UNDER YOUR DIRECT CONTROL. Sorry, didn’t mean to yell.  Seriously, I apologize.

In other words, President Obama does not need to Request:
Gitmo be closed.
Withdraw of Troops from the Middle East.
People be Fired for not Securing our Diplomats abroad.
IRS officials be Prosecuted for political targeting of individuals and organizations.
The Prosecutions of Voter Intimidation cases as well as Voter Fraud.
The Termination of those involved in Up-Arming Mexican Drug Cartels.
And…
Certainly not the end of the largest Domestic Spying Program in the History of the World.

Is this just more Propaganda designed to make the American People think he’s doing something about an issue he doesn’t poll well on?

I’ve referred to Machiavelli before… and I’ll do so again. Machiavelli told his Prince that he must tell his population whatever they wanted to hear while doing whatever he needed, or wanted to, in order to stay in power. (Yes, I’m paraphrasing… so makeaneffort to read any translation of The Prince. Then Discourses on Livy. Then Machiavelli in Hell. That’s a start. Then get back to me. I recommend it.)

This reminds me of Clinton.

Say a lot, do nothing.

Oddly enough, the President doesn’t seem to be making Requests when it comes to shoving Obamacare down our throats…

(As a note… the NSA’s signal capture and meta data scanning utilizing computational linguistic software has been going on WELL before 9/11.)

(Live Update:  President Obama states unequivocally that “elected officials have a responsibility to the Constitution”.  While I’m not sure what that means, it’s a start.  Secondly… and most interestingly, President Obama refuses to condemn Edward Snowden.  Why is this interesting?  Because he actually took a sentence of his speech to NOT condemn Edward Snowden.  He could have simply said nothing regarding Snowden’s act.  Very, very interesting indeed.  I’m sure that is probably being received like a Lead Zeppelin over at the NSA.)

(Live Update II:  Your Liberty cannot rely on you trusting the Government… “there are too many examples in history where that didn’t work”… so we are going to do a bunch of stuff you can never see.  Trust us.)

Here’s the reality folks, they are not interested in any limitation being applied to their spying on you.  They also do not have the ability to collect one signal and not the other.  They do not want to stop collecting information about you, your kids and everyone you know because they don’t know how.  They do not want to admit this to you.  They do not want to admit that the information can be, and has been abused as documented here and everywhere else… whip out your googler.  They have been collecting data since Bush I.  This is old, old, old… and all those who were trying to get your attention regarding this were, successfully, called “conspiracy theorists” and “nut jobs”.

So there you go.  The politicians Hate it when they are Not in charge and Love it when they Are.  It really is that simple.  And it really is about control.

So what do we do?

I recommend pouring a Martini.  Or, three.

(Holy Crap Update III:  “I know those always expecting the worst intentions of Government is frustrating”… “Nobody expects China to have an Open debate regarding their security processes.”  Aside from the fact that we don’t yet live in China… Holy Crap!  China Envy?  Seriously?  For the record, if I lived in China I would indeed expect open debate about State Security and Domestic Spying.  So the only meaning I can take away from this is the President is upset he cannot stifle his population’s desire to “openly discuss” such matters – damn it.  Stunning!)


Well as long as you Admit it…

It’s OK.

NSA looks at FAR, FAR more people’s data than previously disclosed.

So…

No Problem then.

We’ll just forget about all this and start going to movies again.

(Could the investigation of this Domestic Spying be why so many Governmental Department heads are suddenly “retiring”?)

 

 


Where in the World is President Obama?

President Obama attends Classical Gala in Rome.

After President Obama’s recent sighting on a flight from Moscow to Cuba, he makes a showing at the Vatican for a Classical Gala.  I guess anywhere but in the United States is the place to be… oh, and Kenya.  Anyplace but here and Kenya.