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Drachen Jager
10-05-2013, 03:19 AM
I'm not entirely sure this is the right forum, but, if anyone's interested, freshly leaked documents show the NSA has been unable to crack the anonymizing software at Tor (https://www.torproject.org/). (no, not the SF/F publisher)

It's free and open-source.

King Neptune
10-05-2013, 03:26 AM
Only when I am looking into explosives and the layouts of federal buildings.

I wonder if they'll notice that.

The feds are not looking for me, so they almost certainly are not tracking my posts, but if I develop paranoid delusions, then I might look into getting that program.

Torgo
10-05-2013, 03:29 AM
For a few years I sat in an office within sight of MI6 and googled stuff about binary explosives and nerve gas etc for a book. (I have this book on my shelf as proof to show the NSA, who have clearly just archived this post. Hello! It was for a *fictional* spy thing, guys! Kthxbai)

Trebor1415
10-06-2013, 03:06 AM
Eh, I figure I'm already on enough Govt lists. What's one more?

Captcha
10-06-2013, 03:50 AM
I don't worry about the government, but I get annoyed by the advertisers. A few years back I wrote a book about a guy who died in a horse back riding accident, and for months afterward I was getting ads targeted at related products, including quite a few for a large animal crematorium! (Not something I was really shopping for).

M J Austwick
10-06-2013, 06:51 PM
I did have a brief moment's concern when I found myself googling "how to make sarin".

shakeysix
10-06-2013, 07:08 PM
Years ago I was looking for a big purple and red poppy that my grandmother used to grow in her garden. She used the seed for baking. She was Czech so I was looking overseas. I ran into a wall of spooky warnings, almost threats, about buying poppy seeds. My first reaction was "WTF? I'll plant what I want in my garden and screw the DEA!" My next reaction was --"Oh, well, it's only a flower. I'll stick with my Shirley poppies." --s6 ps--eventually I did find a poppy called "Pepperbox" from a catalog here in the US. It's not quite the same but hey, it's only a flower.

Amadan
10-06-2013, 07:15 PM
I don't worry about the government, but I get annoyed by the advertisers.


This is what I wish all the hysterical flibberdygidgetnutjobs would get through their heads.

The government does not care about you. You are not that interesting. The NSA is not reading your email or taking an interest in your Google searches.

It's the advertisers, with their tracking software and malware, and all the digital retailers who store your credit card and other personal info in easily crackable databases, that you should be worried about.

An identity thief is much more likely to ruin your life than the government.

King Neptune
10-06-2013, 07:29 PM
Years ago I was looking for a big purple and red poppy that my grandmother used to grow in her garden. She used the seed for baking. She was Czech so I was looking overseas. I ran into a wall of spooky warnings, almost threats, about buying poppy seeds. My first reaction was "WTF? I'll plant what I want in my garden and screw the DEA!" My next reaction was --"Oh, well, it's only a flower. I'll stick with my Shirley poppies." --s6 ps--eventually I did find a poppy called "Pepperbox" from a catalog here in the US. It's not quite the same but hey, it's only a flower.

Remember that if you cut the seed pod the sap that comes out is the same, because they are all just flowers.

shakeysix
10-06-2013, 08:22 PM
That is some weird sap--s6

Calla Lily
10-06-2013, 08:36 PM
I figure that a whole bunch of lights and pings happened when I Googled the Swedish translation of "pipe bomb" for Back in the Habit. :tongue

cbenoi1
10-06-2013, 09:18 PM
> The government does not care about you.

The NSA is the only government arm that truly listens to its citizens.

-cb

King Neptune
10-06-2013, 10:00 PM
That is some weird sap--s6

That sap, opium gum, is the stuff.

"The milky fluid that seeps from cuts in the unripe poppy seed pod has, since ancient times, been scraped off and air-dried to produce what is known as opium. The seedpod is first incised with a multi-bladed tool. This lets the opium “gum” ooze out. The semi-dried "gum" is harvested with a curved spatula and then dried in open wooden boxes. The dried opium resin is placed in bags or rolled into balls for sale."

http://www.deamuseum.org/ccp/opium/production-distribution.html

"Also the raw Opium from the Pepperbox poppy is pretty easy on the lungs without purifying it.."
https://www.autoflower.net/forums/f66/papaver-somniferum-opium-poppy-growing-1273-4.html

GingerGunlock
10-06-2013, 10:19 PM
Well, the government sometimes cares about you and is listening: Pressure cookers, backpacks, and quinoa oh my! (https://medium.com/something-like-falling/2e7d13e54724) (there was a thread on it in the current events section around the time it happened).

But, right now, the government doesn't care about anybody. So.

shakeysix
10-07-2013, 12:18 AM
Neptune--I know. I suspect that my grandmother's heirloom poppies might have been contraband but who knew back in the Leave It To Beaver days? It never crossed my mind until the warnings not to purchase popped up. I still sometimes worry that I am on the DEA's suspected drug kingpins of Stafford County, Kansas list--s6

King Neptune
10-07-2013, 12:36 AM
Neptune--I know. I suspect that my grandmother's heirloom poppies might have been contraband but who knew back in the Leave It To Beaver days? It never crossed my mind until the warnings not to purchase popped up. I still sometimes worry that I am on the DEA's suspected drug kingpins of Stafford County, Kansas list--s6

I won't tell you the actual facts about opium, but all poppies are pretty much the same.

jaksen
10-07-2013, 04:48 AM
I used to talk to a lot of young men online re. a certain kind of music I enjoyed. (It was popular mainly with young men in northern European countries; I kid you not.) Anyhow...

Shortly after the events of September, 2001, I was talking/texting with a Dutch friend online. I happened to be near an air base at the time, and I started telling him about all the flights in and out of the base - practically non-stop, huge transport planes, and he suddenly...

Says, 'No more about this. Tell me no more. We have no idea who might be listening to us or reading our messages.'

We then got back to the topic at hand, what new releases we liked and who was playing at what concert where.

My young Dutch friend was smarter than me.

Canton
10-08-2013, 11:04 PM
Does big brother care? I'm not sure that google searches would trigger a hunt for you, but they'd definitely know all your searches if they ever had outside cause to be looking into your life. that's my opinion.

Myrealana
10-08-2013, 11:10 PM
I have often told my husband that if Homeland Security ever saw my Internet history, I'd get locked up until the end of time.

But no, I don't actually "worry" about it. Or even do more than make the occasional joke.

Torgo
10-08-2013, 11:40 PM
Does big brother care? I'm not sure that google searches would trigger a hunt for you, but they'd definitely know all your searches if they ever had outside cause to be looking into your life. that's my opinion.

That seems to be the way it works, yes. They appear to be archiving unimaginable quantities of data in order to sift it as required.

jjdebenedictis
10-09-2013, 05:47 AM
I suspect that my grandmother's heirloom poppies might have been contraband but who knew back in the Leave It To Beaver days? It never crossed my mind until the warnings not to purchase popped up. I still sometimes worry that I am on the DEA's suspected drug kingpins of Stafford County, Kansas list.A friend of mine in university once had to have a discrete chat with his (first generation, Italian immigrant) dad after Papa started ranting, again, about how some bastard in the neighbourhood kept cutting the heads off his poppies just before they bloomed.

After the chat, Papa ripped all the poppies out, never planted them again, and never mentioned them again.
Shortly after the events of September, 2001, I was talking/texting with a Dutch friend online. I happened to be near an air base at the time, and I started telling him about all the flights in and out of the base - practically non-stop, huge transport planes, and he suddenly...

Says, 'No more about this. Tell me no more. We have no idea who might be listening to us or reading our messages.'Slightly off-topic, but in keeping with the drug talk--another guy I knew in university mentioned that, in the months after 9/11, he was able to buy the most mind-blowingly great weed for super-cheap.

All the stuff that would normally have been smuggled to California wasn't making it over the Canadian border, and the crime syndicates were dumping product, trying to stay solvent.

CrastersBabies
10-09-2013, 08:06 AM
VPN!

Vito
10-09-2013, 08:47 AM
The only thing I'm worried about is Big Brother finding out that sometimes I crank up "Frampton Comes Alive" and dance around the living room with my house cat, Julie. Also, those awesome black boots in my closet that I wear only because they make me look taller. And then there's the time that I... :o

benbradley
10-09-2013, 09:42 AM
Tor and other such anonymizer programs only works if you're very sure you don't have a keylogger or similar program installed and running. It might not show up on malware scans, because ... because. (See the Rootkit story I link to below, especially the part about McAfee and Symantec.) And if that's true, it doesn't matter that the NSA can't decrypt TOR traffic. But they're probably saving it all regardless, with the idea that someday they will be able to decrypt it.

But then some unknown keylogger seems perhaps a little unlikely, because there are people who look for these things. Even if it's an actual part of Windows and is on the installation disk, people will look for outbound traffic from their computer that they didn't tell their computer to send. It's that type of person who found the infamous Sony Rootkit ("The only thing that makes this rootkit legitimate is that a multinational corporation put it on your computer, not a criminal organization. (http://www.wired.com/politics/security/commentary/securitymatters/2005/11/69601?currentPage=all)").

But still, you never know.

In the Apple ][ days, the ROM assembly source listings were printed in the back of the Red Book. Back then, a person could reasonably hope to understand all the code running on a desktop computer. Things have changed by several orders of magnitude since then.

This is what I wish all the hysterical flibberdygidgetnutjobs would get through their heads.

The government does not care about you. You are not that interesting. The NSA is not reading your email or taking an interest in your Google searches.

It's the advertisers, with their tracking software and malware, and all the digital retailers who store your credit card and other personal info in easily crackable databases, that you should be worried about.

An identity thief is much more likely to ruin your life than the government.
At least Adobe had their database encrypted, so it might not be useful to the thieves who stole it, depending on how strong the encryption is.

That seems to be the way it works, yes. They appear to be archiving unimaginable quantities of data in order to sift it as required.
They're recording everything (kinda like the Nixon tapes, but NSA has better backups, and they'll never lose 18 1/2 minutes of anything). But they care what you say if you use the right (or "wrong") set of keywords.

I've researched a little boy and a fat man. Surely they wouldn't want me reading that if it weren't right there on Wikipedia.

Nivarion
10-09-2013, 10:08 AM
At least Adobe had their database encrypted, so it might not be useful to the thieves who stole it, depending on how strong the encryption is.

In other news, the IT guy at Adobe hung himself when it was revealed that the password was "Ilikepie" resulting in billions of dollars stolen.

Haha, can you imagine the heads that would roll if something happened like that? It'd bleed us out the throat.

I'd probably loose my head if they stole my credit card like that.

Uhm, I'll be good and stop now.
Not because I want to. But because I'm all out of puns.

gingerwoman
10-09-2013, 10:11 AM
This is what I wish all the hysterical flibberdygidgetnutjobs would get through their heads.

The government does not care about you. You are not that interesting. The NSA is not reading your email or taking an interest in your Google searches.

It's the advertisers, with their tracking software and malware, and all the digital retailers who store your credit card and other personal info in easily crackable databases, that you should be worried about.

An identity thief is much more likely to ruin your life than the government.
Yup. I think governments would generally only be interested in your computer history after someone dies, and sometimes not even then (I mean Lori Drew was not even convicted of anything but a misdemeanor.) The other two things they would be interested in might be very extensive credit card theft involving a large business after it occurred, or child pornography otherwise they do not appear to care about anything. (They may also have some sinister interest, in their political opponents' activities, but that is another matter. )

King Neptune
10-09-2013, 04:38 PM
All the stuff that would normally have been smuggled to California wasn't making it over the Canadian border, and the crime syndicates were dumping product, trying to stay solvent.

And I thought that 9/11 was totally evil.

Wilde_at_heart
10-09-2013, 04:52 PM
Does big brother care? I'm not sure that google searches would trigger a hunt for you, but they'd definitely know all your searches if they ever had outside cause to be looking into your life. that's my opinion.

The only thing I can think of that made the news recently was someone doing a search for pressure cookers, etc. that got them a visit from the FBI. However, it was their own employer who'd alerted them.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/08/01/google-pressure-cooker-get-a-police-visit-maybe-not/

As for Tor, it's not that anonymous. http://www.informationweek.com/security/privacy/fbi-admits-to-tor-server-takeover/240161327

At the end of the day though, Big Brother doesn't really care that much what the average person is doing.

RandomJerk
10-09-2013, 04:55 PM
Anti-anonymizing has been done for many years. It does not require keyloggers. "Privacy is dead, get over it" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NObTjstI6f4

gingerwoman
10-09-2013, 05:11 PM
The only thing I can think of that made the news recently was someone doing a search for pressure cookers, etc. that got them a visit from the FBI. However, it was their own employer who'd alerted them.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/08/01/google-pressure-cooker-get-a-police-visit-maybe-not/

As for Tor, it's not that anonymous. http://www.informationweek.com/security/privacy/fbi-admits-to-tor-server-takeover/240161327

At the end of the day though, Big Brother doesn't really care that much what the average person is doing.
Yeah so that was an employer spying on his employees use of his own computers so not really any government spying.
Not that governments aren't spying now on people but there would only be very specific things of interest.

The Otter
10-09-2013, 08:47 PM
The government does not care about you. You are not that interesting. The NSA is not reading your email or taking an interest in your Google searches.

There's probably no way I could find this now because I read it years ago and I don't remember the specifics, but there was a case of the Secret Service coming to someone's house and asking her questions because of a comment she made on Livejournal (yup, Livejournal, of all things). Apparently her comment was interpreted as a threat against the President, though it wasn't intended as such. This was during the Bush years. They quickly decided she wasn't a threat, but still.

The odds may be low, but I think it does happen. And yeah, that's kind of a different thing because it's not related to email or searches, but as far as the general question, "Is the government interested in your online activities?" I think the answer is, "Yes, if they perceive you to be a threat."

dangerousbill
10-10-2013, 01:37 AM
I'm not entirely sure this is the right forum, but, if anyone's interested, freshly leaked documents show the NSA has been unable to crack the anonymizing software at Tor (https://www.torproject.org/). (no, not the SF/F publisher)


The NSA says they can't crack the encryption.

What if Tor were owned and run by the NSA?

The barrel of paranoia is bottomless.

RandomJerk
10-10-2013, 06:22 PM
The NSA says they can't crack the encryption.

What if Tor were owned and run by the NSA?

The barrel of paranoia is bottomless.

TOR is neither owned nor run by the NSA. However, anyone can run an exit node.

WAR Wrestler
10-10-2013, 06:44 PM
CAPTCHA and GINGERWOMAN are right.
How come everyone is worried about the government, and there is no outcry that your freedom and security is being compromised by BIG Business.
At least you can vote out your government, but business has more control of our world then any government now.
Of course, big business runs the government now, so what’s the difference.

Torgo
10-10-2013, 06:46 PM
CAPTCHA is right.
How come everyone is worried about the government, and there is no outcry that your freedom and security is being compromised by BIG Business.
At least you can vote out your government, but business has more control of our world then any government now.
Of course, big business runs the government now, so what’s the difference.

Well, the government is supposed to be accountable to the people, so there's quite a significant difference right there.

LeslieB
10-10-2013, 09:10 PM
I so long for the days when NSA was known in LEO circles as 'No Such Agency'.

WAR Wrestler
10-10-2013, 09:57 PM
My point Torgo,
Government are accountable to the people,
Who is business accountable to, except their profit?

WAR Wrestler
10-10-2013, 09:59 PM
LeslieB,
The NSA, was a secret, or little known agency.
Now that they are known, wonder if there is another agency out there, that we do not know about, and maybe they are doing things that the NSA would not even dream about doing!

The Otter
10-11-2013, 12:37 AM
Businesses, at least in theory, are supposed to be accountable to the law. They get away with a lot, and I think it's appalling how much power big corporations have, but still, businesses don't have the power to arrest or incarcerate people.


LeslieB,
The NSA, was a secret, or little known agency.
Now that they are known, wonder if there is another agency out there, that we do not know about, and maybe they are doing things that the NSA would not even dream about doing!

That's kind of what I'm worried about. It seems like even the NSA is not really accountable to anyone; there's another entity that's supposed to be watching over it, but they basically seem to approve everything it does.

Checks and balances only work when there's transparency and accountability. It seems like there are large sections of the government that have no obligation to tell anyone else (either the public or elected officials) about what they're doing. When we find out what they're doing, it's usually just because someone leaked information. And yes, some amount of secrecy is necessary for them to accomplish what they're trying to accomplish, but when no one is watching you, power becomes very easy to abuse. It's that imbalance that worries me; these are people who have access to all kinds of information, but no one knows much about them.

JournoWriter
10-11-2013, 05:41 AM
If you think novelists' research is interesting, you'd shudder to see a journalist's search history. I practically had to scrub my cache with soap while reporting on a particularly awful child sex abuse case a few years ago.

Maxinquaye
10-11-2013, 06:32 AM
The government does not care about you. You are not that interesting. The NSA is not reading your email or taking an interest in your Google searches.

You never ever get to decide what is interesting about you, and what isn't. Corporations can't arrest you and imprison you and deprive you of your life. Government can.

benbradley
10-11-2013, 07:23 AM
LeslieB,
The NSA, was a secret, or little known agency.
Now that they are known, wonder if there is another agency out there, that we do not know about, and maybe they are doing things that the NSA would not even dream about doing!
There's at least one entity that has seriously crossed over the lines of what it was supposed to be doing - I (vaguely) recall several scandals involving the CIA.

And in the 1990s was the big rumors of Echelon, an alleged international spy organization that recorded and saved every phone call, fax, and all Internet traffic. What existed back then was probably more rumor than fact, but most or all these things are being done now.

If it's technically possible to do something, someone will do it, regardless of privacy or legality. It's like the Manhattan Project: "We MUST do it because THEY might be doing it."

Nivarion
10-11-2013, 08:26 AM
It is a comfort to note that there are three hundred million Americans, all of them are making phone calls, text messages, google searches and internet posts every day.

There are only so many government employees, and only so many in the NSA that they physically can't look at everything that we do. Even with computers to sort out the fluff, they still have too much to look at to spend more than a few seconds at a time looking at you.

And unless they see you trading emails with Afghanistan and those emails include words like bombs, infidel, attack or the like, you'll probably not be of much interest.

Jamesaritchie
10-11-2013, 06:17 PM
It is a comfort to note that there are three hundred million Americans, all of them are making phone calls, text messages, google searches and internet posts every day.

There are only so many government employees, and only so many in the NSA that they physically can't look at everything that we do. Even with computers to sort out the fluff, they still have too much to look at to spend more than a few seconds at a time looking at you.

And unless they see you trading emails with Afghanistan and those emails include words like bombs, infidel, attack or the like, you'll probably not be of much interest.

The computer programs that do the looking can search millions of e-mails and texts per hour, looking for key words. They can even get context from full sentences.

Believe me, they have all the time they need.

Amadan
10-11-2013, 07:21 PM
If anyone bothered to actually read anything written by anyone who actually knows a single effing thing about what they are talking about (which admittedly, on the topic of "TEH EVIL NSA IS READING YUR EMAILZ!11!!!!!11!!!!!" is a vanishingly small number) you would know that there is no evidence that the NSA is, in fact, reading your emails, there is a lot of evidence that they are not, and that there are entire organizations dedicated to auditing whether or not they are doing things they are not supposed to be doing.

Now, granted, much of this auditing is a "black box" not accessible to most citizens (or even politicians), so there is a problem in that reassurances boil down to trusting the government when the government says it's not doing anything evil. (More accurately, trusting one branch of the government when it says another branch of the government isn't doing anything evil.)

More transparency would be a very good idea - and a necessary measure, IMO.

But ye gads you people.

Pop quiz: do you actually know what "metadata" means? Without Googling? How about FISA? Do you know anything about it other than "It's that thing that lets the NSA spy on you?"

No? Then stop warflblarging on about how the government is sending up red flags if you type "fertilizer" into a search engine, or browse books about travel in the Middle East.

It's illegal for the NSA to be doing anything that's been suggested in this thread. Not just slightly against regulations, but people-go-to-jail-for-this illegal. Now, if you believe that NSA employees are immune to the law and casually wipe their butts with the Constitution, go on and believe that. Maybe you also believe that the FBI routinely plants evidence and arrests people and holds them without trial in secret prisons, and cops gun people down in the streets with impunity. I would say your view of reality is wildly inaccurate, but some people believe the moon landings were faked too.

And to forestall the "But but but!"s, yes, no doubt there exist NSA employees who have violated the law. When they get caught, they are punished. Just like there are FBI agents and cops who have abused their power. When they get caught, they lose their jobs and/or are prosecuted.

Your notion of NSA employees as black hats cackling as they read your emails and monitor your shopping on Amazon.com is the stuff of very bad spy thrillers, not reality. For one thing -- one more time, kids, say it out loud with me: that's really, really, extraordinarily and not at all ambiguously lose-your-job-lose-your-security-clearance-and-maybe-even-go-to-jail illegal. Government employees are no more fond of losing their jobs and going to jail than anyone else.

And for another: You. Are. Not. That. Interesting. It takes a lot more to make you "interesting" than deviant reading interests.

The Otter
10-11-2013, 08:41 PM
Your notion of NSA employees as black hats cackling as they read your emails and monitor your shopping on Amazon.com is the stuff of very bad spy thrillers, not reality.

I don't think that anyone's suggesting this is the case. No one has implied that the governments listens in on random people's phone calls or read their emails just for the lulz. That would be silly.

But there are concrete, real-life examples of things happening to people because the government was spying on them--like a couple getting put on the Do Not Fly list because they sent an email (a completely innocent email asking a question about religion) to a Muslim priest who the government suspected of being involved in something terrorist-related (which the couple didn't know about). Again, I'm admittedly just relying on memory because trying to find this article again would take like an hour, and again, this was during the Bush years so you could say things are different now, but really...does anyone doubt that stuff like this still happens?

Yes, there are rules and procedures they follow, etc., but the government does spy on and us and it does impact the lives and rights of ordinary citizens, and even if the risk is low that something will happen to you specifically, it's still a risk. This isn't even a controversial idea, it's common knowledge at this point. Even if they're mostly looking at metadata, at some point they have to zero in on specific points or else it would be useless as a tool for stopping terrorism, and zeroing in on specific points means they will be looking at specific people who may or may not actually be terrorists.

If someone wants to take basic precautions like using an anonymous browser, that strikes me as reasonable. And trying to paint anyone who's concerned about this as a paranoid twitchy-eyed extremist isn't really fair.

WAR Wrestler
10-11-2013, 08:42 PM
It is naive to think corporations cannot arrest you? You need to look into the history of our country a few years ago to see that. Many people, who tried to form unions etc, were arrested, beaten up or killed by police protecting the “interest” of corporations. Recently they did it to the people protesting on wall street in the guise of public safety.
Remember, the Supreme Court has ruled the corporations are people, so now they have as much right as you do.
Remember the golden rule, those that own the gold, make the rules.

Amadan
10-11-2013, 08:54 PM
But there are concrete, real-life examples of things happening to people because the government was spying on them--like a couple getting put on the Do Not Fly list because they sent an email (a completely innocent email asking a question about religion) to a Muslim priest who the government suspected of being involved in something terrorist-related (which the couple didn't know about). Again, I'm admittedly just relying on memory because trying to find this article again would take like an hour, and again, this was during the Bush years so you could say things are different now, but really...does anyone doubt that stuff like this still happens?

Sorry, but [citation needed]. Vaguely anecdotal stories like this are oft-circulated and very rarely grounded with actual verifiable facts. When they are run to ground, it almost always turns out that the situation isn't as reported.

Have people been erroneously/capriciously put on No-Fly Lists? Probably - but that's actually a different issue, and it does not follow that "The NSA is reading emails and putting people on No-Fly Lists because they emailed an innocent religious question to a Muslim cleric."


Yes, there are rules and procedures they follow, etc., but the government does spy on and us and it does impact the lives and rights of ordinary citizens.

Define "the government" and "spying." The police can get a warrant to tap your phones. That is government spying. If you are asserting that The Government is Reading Your Email, then [citation needed].


Even if they're mostly looking at metadata, at some point they have to zero in on specific points or else it would be useless as a tool for stopping terrorism, and zeroing in on specific points means they will be looking at specific people who may or may not actually be terrorists.

Do. You. Know. What. Metadata. Is?


If someone wants to take basic precautions like using an anonymous browser, that strikes me as reasonable. And trying to paint anyone who's concerned about this as a paranoid twitchy-eyed extremist isn't really fair.

I have no problem with people using anonymizers and encryption. More people should do that. Not just to protect yourselves from the NSA. (Hint: the NSA is not the only government agency in the world that is aware that the Internet exists. It might surprise you to know that other countries besides the U.S. are aware that the Internet exists, and that some of those countries have spy agencies of their own, and that some of those spy agencies are not constrained by the U.S. Constitution.)

The Otter
10-11-2013, 09:34 PM
I know what metadata is. The condescending tone isn't necessary; I haven't said anything rude. And yeah, I'm aware that anecdotal stories are not going to be taken as seriously, which is why I included the caveat.

I don't think the government is reading my email. But I think people in the NSA probably have at some point secretly read someone's email. I think that's a fair statement to make even without a list of citations (which are pretty hard to get when everything is shrouded in secrecy). If I am wrong about this and they are not under any circumstances allowed to look into any private information about someone without explicit permission from that person...well, then I don't understand why the NSA even exists or why the secrecy is necessary.

And yes, the government watching people is nothing new, this has been happening in some form or another for all of human history, but there are more tools now. More technology means more information available and more risk/potential for abuse/etc.

Honestly, I'm not sure if we even disagree on this or if you're just annoyed because I took issue with part of your post.

The Otter
10-11-2013, 09:39 PM
It is naive to think corporations cannot arrest you? You need to look into the history of our country a few years ago to see that. Many people, who tried to form unions etc, were arrested, beaten up or killed by police protecting the “interest” of corporations. Recently they did it to the people protesting on wall street in the guise of public safety.
Remember, the Supreme Court has ruled the corporations are people, so now they have as much right as you do.
Remember the golden rule, those that own the gold, make the rules.

Yeah, but that was the police doing the arresting rather than the corporation itself. And yes, police sometimes work toward the interests of corporations instead of ordinary people, but I think it's still an important distinction to make. Businesses, by themselves, don't have the legal power to arrest anyone.

Amadan
10-11-2013, 09:45 PM
And yeah, I'm aware that anecdotal stories are not going to be taken as seriously, which is why I included the caveat.

"I've heard that authors sometimes boil puppies for inspiration. I don't actually have any citations, but it's something to be concerned about."


I don't think the government is reading my email. But I think people in the NSA probably have at some point secretly read someone's email.

And cops have probably at some point tapped someone's phone without a warrant.


If I am wrong about this and they are not under any circumstances allowed to look into any private information about someone without explicit permission from that person...well, then I don't understand why the NSA even exists or why the secrecy is necessary.

The conditions under which the NSA is allowed to look at information concerning U.S. citizens are spelled out in detail in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Act).

The NSA's primary job is signals intelligence, directed against other countries.

WAR Wrestler
10-11-2013, 09:51 PM
Otter,
If they influence,(by money) the laws, and how the laws are enforced by the police, then whats the difference?
Corporations now run this world, they polute at will, and spy on you under the disguise of profits. AND THEY RUN THE GOVERNMENTS, and the agencies in those governments that we are talking about.

jjdebenedictis
10-11-2013, 10:51 PM
Otter,
If they influence,(by money) the laws, and how the laws are enforced by the police, then whats the difference?
Corporations now run this world, they polute at will, and spy on you under the disguise of profits. AND THEY RUN THE GOVERNMENTS, and the agencies in those governments that we are talking about.Maybe you could provide some evidence of this?

I mean, bad stuff happens, but bad stuff gets curtailed too.

Maxinquaye
10-11-2013, 11:39 PM
And to forestall the "But but but!"s, yes, no doubt there exist NSA employees who have violated the law. When they get caught, they are punished. Just like there are FBI agents and cops who have abused their power. When they get caught, they lose their jobs and/or are prosecuted.

I don't give a flying hoot whether NSA reads individual emails or not. I'm a foreigner so the NSA has decided to dragnet every scrap of data of entire populations in the entire world.

If you don't think that's bad, I don't know what to say to you. Yes, everyone is spying, but only NSA and GCHQ has redefined spying to mean that every single scrap of data every put online is a valid target. NSA isn't spying. They're conducting dragnet surveillance of entire populations and are denying them their privacy.

To be absolutely honest and frank, fuck that. Hope it all burns to the ground. I won't shed a tear. If you appoint me an enemy and an adversary simply for being non-American, and saying that my human rights does not matter, then I almost hope you will default. While we foreigners would suffer radioactive economic fallout, at least the epicenter of that blast would ruin the government that has made this decision. And maybe it would stop.

WAR Wrestler
10-11-2013, 11:56 PM
You want examples, just look at the influence of ALEC.
They go into a state, get their people elected, then add or change laws. Get rid of unions, lessen gun and enviromental laws.
And that is one group.
You cannot even get gun control laws passed after mass shootings, because of the NRA, and did you know, that every dollar spent in a gun or outdoors type store, 10 cents of it goes to the NRA from the corporations that make those products.

The Otter
10-12-2013, 12:30 AM
"I've heard that authors sometimes boil puppies for inspiration. I don't actually have any citations, but it's something to be concerned about."

Pretty much everything you've said since coming into this thread has been in the form of a sneer. I'm game for an actual conversation about this, but I don't think that's your goal here.

AW Admin
10-12-2013, 01:28 AM
Guys knock it off.

I do know what metadata is.

And I've also been served with subpoenas from federal agencies to provide user data based on users' search history and online activity.

Keep in mind that data in the aggregate is a different thing from data from a single source.

Combine user data, with TRW or map data or Amazon data or . . .

And no, it wasn't at AW.

But I think this particular conversation is over.

Y'all ought to know better than this; I'm expecting "I know you are but what am I" any damn minute.

Go read Bruce Schneier (http://www.technologyreview.com/news/519336/bruce-schneier-nsa-spying-is-making-us-less-safe/); he's a good guy and knows his stuff better than any of us.