‘Playground’ Privileges

July 10, 2013

nsa-snortHeavy ground fog this early Wednesday on California’s north coast as the middle of the work week looms and we get ready for the weekend.
One must think work is shitty if all one does is think of the weekend — right we are.

Last week, the NSA got totally-busted at the University of Wisconsin during a supposed recruiting session, one student asked: “So is this job for liars? Is this what you’re saying? Because, clearly, you’re not able to give us forthright answers.”

(Illustration found here).

Do these NSA clowns follow the news?

“The impression that I got is that they just built this professional culture where they’re very much in a bubble” says Jesse Stavis, who also attended the presentation.
For Stavis, the most shocking part was when a recruiter said that “the globe is their playground.”
“I think that it’s actually quite shocking not so much that they would think that, but that they would think that’s something to say in front of an audience” says Stavis.

Most-likely, at this point the NSA really don’t give a shit.
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou knows — he’s sent a couple of open letters to Ed Snowden in attempts to warn about ‘the authorities’ and how they work.
Via Firedoglake:

In the letter, Kiriakou offers advice to Snowden from his experience, suggesting that he “find the best national security attorneys money can buy.”
He suggests establishing a website for supporters to follow his case, get his side of the story and make donations to support his defense.
Also, he declares, “You’re going to need the support of prominent Americans and groups who can explain to the public why what you did is so important.”
He recommends reaching out to the American Civil Liberties Union, Government Accountability Project and other organizations like them who value individual freedoms and can advise him.
His “most important advice,” as he writes, is to “not, under any circumstances, cooperate with the FBI.”
Based off experience, he adds, “FBI agents will lie, trick and deceive you.
“They will twist your words and play on your patriotism to entrap you.”

Is this America?
This nation and the world are in a world of hurt. The land of the free is no longer and the wall of security and surveillance is way-more important than any kind of freedom — frightened men act like frightened men. The last few weeks of disclosures by IT guy Snowden has opened the doors (and windows) to a world closed off from reality and the only thing that seems to matter is having the world as a ‘playground.’
And this entire fiasco is bullshit.

Yesterday, in a lengthy post at washingtonblog, a bunch of security experts noted the bullshit — mass surveillance don’t work.
Top counter-terrorism czar under Presidents Clinton and Bush – Richard Clarke:

The argument that this sweeping search must be kept secret from the terrorists is laughable.
Terrorists already assume this sort of thing is being done.
Only law-abiding American citizens were blissfully ignorant of what their government was doing.

William Binney – the head of NSA’s digital communications program:  He set up the NSA’s system so that all of the information would automatically be encrypted, so that the government had to obtain a search warrant based upon probably cause before a particular suspect’s communications could be decrypted.
But the NSA now collects all data in an unencrypted form, so that no probable cause is needed to view any citizen’s information.
He says that it is actually cheaper and easier to store the data in an encrypted format: so the government’s current system is being done for political – not practical – purposes.

Israeli-American terrorism expert Barry Rubins: In counterterrorist terms, it is a farce. Basically the NSA, as one of my readers suggested, is the digital equivalent of the TSA strip-searching an 80 year-old Minnesota grandmothers rather than profiling and focusing on the likely terrorists.

NBC News reported 2 days ago: “I’ve never liked the idea of security vs. privacy, because no one feels more secure in a surveillance state,” said Bruce Schneier, security expert and author of Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Insecure World. “There’s plenty of examples of security that doesn’t infringe on privacy. They are all around. Door locks. Fences … Firewalls. People are forgetting that quite a lot of security doesn’t affect privacy. The real dichotomy is liberty vs. control.”

Terrorism expert Barry Rubins:

There is a fallacy behind the current intelligence strategy of the United States, the collection of massive amounts of phone calls, emails, and even credit card expenditures, up to 3 billion phone calls a day alone, not to mention the government spying on the mass media. It is this:
The more quantity of intelligence, the better it is for preventing terrorism.
In the real, practical world this is—though it might seem counterintuitive—untrue.
You don’t need–to put it in an exaggerated way–an atomic bomb against a flea.
The intelligence budget is not unlimited, is it?
Where should hiring priorities be put?

And on and on and on — the post is well-worth a read in total. It will make you scream, WTF!

And one way-glaring failure goes public today.
Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is to appear in a Boston courtroom for arraignment on 30 felony charges, including the deaths of four people, one an 8-year-old boy.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is confident about getting a conviction, he told the Boston Herald on Tuesday.
“We should lock him up and throw away the key.”

No Mr. Mayor, the key was needed before the bombing. Keep provoking the memory of Israeli-American terrorism expert Barry Rubins:

And isn’t it absurd that the United States can’t … stop a would-be terrorist in the U.S. army who gives a power point presentation on why he is about to shoot people (Major Nadal Hassan), can’t follow up on Russian intelligence warnings about Chechen terrorist contacts (the Boston bombing), or a dozen similar incidents must now collect every telephone call in the country?
A system in which a photo shop clerk has to stop an attack on Fort Dix by overcoming his fear of appearing “racist” to report a cell of terrorists or brave passengers must jump a would-be “underpants bomber” from Nigeria because his own father’s warning that he was a terrorist was insufficient?

All of the NSA’s playground privileges should be right-now and forever revoked.

Have a good middle of the week — Friday is now only hours away.

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