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If you look across the spectrum of data coming across our feeds, you begin to get a very clear picture of what is going on.

The age of information works both ways… It opens the world to you about everything that is going on. You literally can access to 88% of the world from your hand.

But also through that same open door, it allows the world to see everything that goes on with you.  Granted, there are 7 billion people and the chance they want to find out about you is small.  But if they ever did, your profile is up for sale. Someone, somewhere is going to choose money over morals and hand it over.

Most of us are not criminal and don’t have crimes we are running from. But everyone has a late bill paid, or two.  In today’s world, that late bill can cost you dearly with a lost opportunity you otherwise would have had.  Higher rates today are being paid by you, for something that cost “no one” “nothing” 6 and a half years ago.

Because technology is still newish for most of us, we accept such as necessary for business. We were too busy enjoying its fruits to worry about the aftereffects our indulgences will bring us the following day after.

Now we have reached that point, it seems. And particularly with the political season upon us, we get daily reminders that even benign innocent items in ones past, can be twisted in certain ways to cause us lots of pain and consternation.

My disheveled opponent bought some Tinactin in 2006…  You contracted Athletes Foot, didn’t you?  You were so disorganized in your hygiene behavior that you literally allowed a FUNGUS to grow unmonitored, unrestricted, and unopposed so long, that you had to get medication for it… Tell us why Mr. Disorganized,  should we then take your word over what you say you will do to solve these complicated global problems?  When you can’t even take care of a foot fungus by practicing basic hygiene? ”  (Ted Cruz was the template for that; could you tell)

Never mind that around 15% to 25% of people are likely to have athlete’s foot at any one time… (That’s one out of four on the high end, one out of 6 on the low end.)

But whether any accusation is true or not, if it resonates, then reputational damage is done to the person simply by just being the object of such an accusation. Their time must be diverted to address the issue, which of course takes time away from focusing on issues that really do matter and are far more important.

We are in a world ruled by distortion gamesmanship.  I was so saddened to see that even Hillary has stepped into it now, (being hard on accusations–loose on facts), now that Sanders got a surprising jump in Michigan.  Today one is gamed to distort ones opponent first and often.

Like this guy here... right or wrong he wears the effect of the sucker punch in Fayetteville NC he never saw coming….  Today, he who was punched then escorted out the building, is absolved of all crimes. His puncher has been arrested and I guess (he must have waved off his right to an attorney) is still bragging to all who listen how wonderful it was to cave in a black person’s face.

But by the time that comes out. our attention is long gone and we are hard pressed to remember it… All we do remember is that someone hit someone who based on our previous beliefs, either did or did not deserve it. But that person hit, has this episode virtually attached to his computer-collected profile now until he dies. It’s there for future employers, future co-workers, even future in-laws to exploit to their advantage.

Is this what we bargained for as we rushed headlong into the information age?

Yet it can be fixed fairly easily; you just have to overcome the power of Big Money to make it so.  No you won’t put the genie back into the bottle.  Instead, you capture the genie, then make it pay for the mischief it has done.

Which means you open up information gatherers to lawsuits…. Currently they are protected.  But you allow them to become victims of huge settlements whenever their information goes against what 12 random people sitting on a jury think should be moral and proper.

In doing so, you put the trust back between us and our machines.  Because I really don’t mind if I’m tracked at 1:15 pm March 11th driving though Chik Fil A’s drivethru to pick up some grilled nuggets and delicious waffle fries. (Ok, damn it, I got an Oreo Shake too, IT WAS SMALL!!!!)  as long as I know that no matter who knows about it, it can never be used against me because if it is, I too become part of the upper 1`%…

When we reach that point, we are back where we were when growing up, where our spinster neighbor knew everything about us from peaking out the curtain, but would never tell anyone because she’d then be ostracized for being a spinster neighbor who peeked out of curtains, which in our town was the kiss of death.

The result is that we didn’t do anything really illegal because on that she could tell, but it didn’t hold us back from having fun because there, our secrets were safe….

So if corporations are today allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence election campaigns because they allegedly are “people” too and have certain inalienable rights,  DOES IT NOT STAND ALSO, that they should be accountable for all the unlimited amounts they damage and harm others? With that new badge of citizenship, shouldn’t they also have certain “inalienable” responsibilities?

We all know the answer!  WE, THE PEOPLE, need to open our informational gatherers to the potential of huge lawsuits for when they do wrong… By doing so, we do our very best to insure that very little wrong will ever occur in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have awakened this morning to news that the bill to curb the NSA failed to win its filibuster margin of 60 and proceed forward…

Do not be dissuaded. This is probably a good thing.  It was watered down considerably to get enough Republican votes to pass.

The good news, is that without renewal, in the next Republican Congress, it will expire if nothing is done to re-pass it.  And everyone knows, it is far easier for Republicans to vote “no” against weakening our defense against terrorism, than it is to vote “yes” to putting every American’s deepest private thoughts and spoken words on speaker phone.

The parts of the reauthorized Patriot Act which were interpreted to allow for the mass surveillance revealed by Snowden last year, expire midnight of June 1st of next year, if no action to reauthorize them is taken….

Had this bill been passed last night, they would have remained intact far longer.  As it is, next Spring there will not be enough votes in the House or Senate to pass a new Patriot Act based on the shake up that occurred in both houses this past election.

Released today, was information that the NSA was tapping Brazil’s Petrobras, the Brazilian oil giant partly owned by the state of Brazil,

These new disclosures contradict statements made as recently as today,  by the NSA denying espionage for economic purposes.  The disclosures were buried in the Snowden documents handed over to the Guardian, and Brazil’s Fanstastico.

“A top-secret presentation dated May 2012 is used by the NSA to train new agents step-by-step how to access and spy upon private computer networks – the internal networks of companies, governments, financial institutions – networks designed precisely to protect information.  The name of Petrobras – Brazil’s largest company – appears right at the beginning, under the title: “MANY TARGETS USE PRIVATE NETWORKS.”   Besides Petrobras, e-mail and internet services provider Google’s infrastructure is also listed as a target. The company, often named as collaborating with the NSA, is shown here as a victim..”

Additional targets include French diplomats, with access to the private network of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France; the SWIFT network, the cooperative that unites over ten thousand banks in 212 countries and provides communications that enable international financial transactions. All transfers of money between banks across national borders goes through SWIFT.

Petrobras has two supercomputers, both hacked, used mainly for seismic research – which evaluate oil reserves from samples collected at sea. This is how the company mapped the Pre-salt layer, the largest discovery of new oil reserves in the world in recent years.

The obvious conclusion one must make, is that information regarding the world’s largest potential oil deposits were leaked to US firms, allowing them to get to those exact spots,  before Brazil’s Petrobras could make their claims…

Unfortunately this will remain in the realm of speculation, because the Snowden documents do not describe what information was taken.  They just show evidence that the NSA was inside their computer systems browsing around. On those computers listed by IP’s in the Snowden documents,  were the details of each lot in an auction set for next month opening Brazil’s Libra Field, located in the Bay of Santos, part of the Pre-salt Oil Deposit.

The President of Brazil was also direct target of espionage.  She demanded explanations.  Lastly, another document obtained by Fantastico shows who are the spies’ clients – who gets the information obtained: American diplomats, the intelligence agencies, and the White House. It proves that spying doesn’t have as its sole purpose the fight against terrorism. On this list of objectives are also diplomatic, political and economic information.

In response, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence stressed “that the collected intelligence is not used “to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of – or give intelligence we collect to – US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”

The Brits were much more coy. declaring they do not comment on intelligence-related issues.

 

The document in question was an 86-page opinion the FISA court had issued on October 3, 2011.

In it the FISA court states that the action requested by the NSA was unconstitutional. The FISA court was of the opinion this information needed to be disseminated to the public.

The Justice Department was due to file a court motion in June in its effort to keep secret an 86-page court opinion that determined that the government had violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in unconstitutional spying.

So in a nutshell, we have the NSA committing an unconstitutional action.  We have the secret Federal court which incidentally only hears the NSA’s side of the argument, decide such action was NOT under the scope of the law, and was actually unconstitutional.  The court felt the public should know about this Constitutional violation, apparently because even they were shocked at its danger for democracy.

The Justice Department then filed suit to block the dissemination of knowledge to the American people, that the secret FISA court had determined that the NSA was going over and beyond its powers invested by the Fourth Amendment, and that it is therefore acting unconstitutionally.

So when our government does something unconstitutional and covers it up… what do we do?

Ironically, in East Germany, we have more privacy rights today than in the United States of America.

Where did we go wrong?  It’s all Patrick Leahy’s fault.  He got soft after standing up to the Joker in The Dark Knight and so now he isn’t standing up for Americans. Guess he figured he’s done his share.

The Daily Kos puts together a great list.  This was the first time I’d seen everything on one page, some of which I’d missed over the weekend, and it deserves wide spread viewer ship. Some excerpts:

1. The NSA lost a huge court battle, and was found to be acting unconstitutionally by the Secret FISA Court. The Obama administration is keeping this judgement secret, even though the secret court said, secretly, that it should be public and produced to all America. Even Congress has been denied the secret decision from the secret court, keeping this judgment secret about how the secretive NSA violated your and my rights…

2. The NSA not only gathers and keeps data on your web and emails, it also tracks every single phone call of every single American.

3.  The Obama mistreatment of whistleblowers far exceeds anything that the Cheney Bush administration ever did. Snowden’s fear of returning to this country doesn’t seem all that farfetched, given how Bradley Manning was tortured.

4.  The Obama administration continues to lie to the American public, insisting that congress is fully informed about FISA and the NSA, despite every congressman and senator who answers the question, denies that they are getting any information from them.

5.  Cloud computing providers report that their international business is crashing. Various bar associations must examine whether lawyers can even use cloud computing for their offices, because of the great probability that their data is being access and scrutinized by the feds – which causes every cloud computing attorney to be violating their oath to keep the attorney client privilege intact.

6. Those intimately involved with FISA, repeatedly allege that daily, constant, and comprehensive domestic spying on 320,000,000 Americans has resulted in absolutely no actionable data that could catch terrorists or prevent terrorism.

7. Remember the original Patriot Act Color Coded Threat Alert?  It took 8 months, but even conservative critics began to notice that any rise on color assessment board (which looked like it was designed by a TV game show producer) had nothing to do with actual, viable threats, but rather, it was raised anytime and every time that the Cheney Bush Administration faced a potential political nightmare.

And so today… Sunday August 4th, Embassy closings galore in every Muslim country.

Hmmmm. (I bet the absence of any attempt will be touted as being the result of secret phone tappings by the NSA that were disallowed by the FISA court but were done anyways… )  Let’s see how the spin comes out on Monday.

The NSA does not yet have your passwords.  We know this because today word broke they were asking internet providers for them.  Whether this was for one or two suspects, or passwords for all the data they collect, no one is yet saying.

All the internet providers said no, thank goodness.   This will have to go through Congress now if it ever is to take place.  Perhaps with this revelation, it is the proper time for another House defunding bill to be proposed against the NSA… After all, how many attempts have been made to defund Obamacare or Planned Parenthood?  Unlimited. 

If the government is able to determine a person’s password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user!

Government orders demand not only a user’s password but also the encryption algorithm and the so-called salt,  A salt is a random string of letters or numbers used to make it more difficult to reverse the encryption process and determine the original password.

Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google all confirmed they would not divulge this information. Not responding were Apple, Facebook, AOL, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast so you may have already been compromised.  There is a good chance these little companies don’t have the clout to stand up to government requests.

The big companies resisted the government’s requests by arguing that “you don’t have the right to operate the account as a person,” 

 

Silicon Valley’s role in US government surveillance has triggered public anxiety about the internet, but it turns out there is at least one tech company you can trust with your data.

Xmission, Utah’s first independent and oldest internet service provider, has spent the past 15 years resolutely shielding customers’ privacy from government snoops in a way that larger rivals appear to have not.

The Electronic Freedom Foundation called it a model for the industry….

And speaking of the EFF, yesterday a Federal judge allows the case Jewel Vrs NSA to go forward into a real court. There is nothing secret about the Constitution the judge said. Either this practice is legal or it isn’t. A court will decided.

Evidence in the case includes undisputed documents provided by former AT&T telecommunications technician Mark Klein showing AT&T has routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA. The case is supported by declarations from three NSA whistleblowers along with a mountain of other evidence. The recent blockbuster revelations about the extent of the NSA spying on telecommunications and Internet activities also bolster EFF’s case.

It appears Edward Snowden tipped the balance. This has been held up 5 years because it supposedly was too secret for trial.

It is clearer now that the biggest benefactors for the NSA spying were commercial enterprises. The Obama administration went along with the Bush plan and accelerated it, primarily to give American companies a heads up, and keep jobs here.  It worked too.

One can’t argue with success. But one can find how American businesses were co-opted to assist the NSA.  From the Guardian, the following, allegedly from Snowden himself.

• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;

• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;

• The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;

• Microsoft also worked with the FBI’s Data Intercept Unit to “understand” potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;

• In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

• Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a “team sport”.

it is revealing that the beneficiaries of the Patriot Act and probably one of the reasons it has been intact long after terrorism faded offshore, are the exact same who are suing each other left and right, using the anti-piracy laws as their barrage.  It appears that laws are not for people anymore; they are for corporations.  It is corporations who want the US to fund listening posts for every American word and sentence.

The only way to fix that, is to divide the corporations Teddy-Roosevelt-style, thereby giving We, the People a little more clout.  …

I’m trying to put all your ideas together into one package. So, let me get this right… All you are asking is for, is a country where:

1) There is no universal healthcare.
2) Few entitlement programs.
3) Low Flat Tax System.
4) Faith based Government.
5) A deep reverence for God.
6) Extremely strict rules against abortion.
7) Marriage has already been strictly defined as between man and woman.
8) Homosexuality is a sin, and illegal.
9) Dress Codes are strictly enforced.
10) Tattoos, piercings, baggy pants, are banned.
11) Has the Death Penalty which they aren’t shy about using.
12) Strong private school system with religious focus.
13) Widespread dependency on oil and natural gas drilling.
14) Growing nuclear program
15) Nonexistent environmental nuisances
16) Culture that promotes family and stereotyped roles for men and women.

I’ve endeavored to put all your values on one page. I share your frustration because today, ever since 2008, it seems like America is moving further and further away from these values.

But you don’t have to be frustrated anymore. I have looked far and wide and have discovered a place already in existence that has those values in place, and more. If you sorely long for those values above, it is sincerely a place where you and your family would be very happy.

It is Iran.

You don’t have to pay me. I don’t need any commission. Just glad to help a fellow Delawarean out…. No problem.

It is time to fight back.

Predatory lawsuits are the next thing corporate America is trying.

You get a call from a lawyer that says you were looking at copyrighted porno on the internet, and you didn’t pay for it.. someway, somehow.

You will be taken to court and it will cost you $10,000 in damages as well as $6-7000 in court costs… However…(there is always a however) if you pay to this lawyer who is calling you right now, a fee of $2,000, he will make this whole thing disappear; he knowing that you have learned your lesson, will no longer partake of illegal activity….

This lawyer is counting on these three things…..

One, the threat of an award of statutory damages and attorney fees
Two, that the plaintiff has no knowledge of their lawful rights.
Three, that the stigma of porn will cause the plaintiffs to settle.

Basically the corporation uses the discovery process to gather IP addresses and then shake down those people behind those addresses.
Incidentally, the court where the discovery takes place, often has no jurisdiction over where the recipient lives…

In an exact case, AH Holdings LLC, filed discovery in Washington DC, and received over a 1000 IP’s… They could have easily paid a service to track down the IP’s for them. But, that would have cost tremendous amounts of court costs to go after 1000 individuals wherever they supposedly committed the crime of watching free porn.

Instead, armed with the IP information(only 28 lived in the jurisdiction filed), their legal arm began to extort those recipients, even though they did not have the jurisdictional authority to do so..

So……

How do we fix this problem long term?

We make the internet a copyright free zone… No lawsuits over copyright infringement if the product is digital in nature…..

The legality comes down to this question. Is the internet a business or is it free speech?

If we decide it should be corporate, then let’s regulate it. But if as a people, we decide it is free speech, then hand off… For over 136 years Americans have used the telephone… We paid our phone bill and what we said over the phone was ours, it was free… If we wanted to spoil the ending of the new upcoming Batman movie, ..”Dad, you gotta see it, here is what happens…” we did not have a lawyer extorting us with attorney’s fees for telling copyrighted information…

I don’t know about you, but…. today all we do is communicate with digital information. We send links, we copy and paste, we click here, we click there, we like, we comment, we post, we twitter, we facebook, we take pictures of the advertisements on Time Square and send to all our friends…

That is what we do….

Voice is no longer our prime means of communication. We have evolved… It is time our laws catch up to the reality of our world.

Everything on the internet needs to be free… Period… Make your damn money elsewhere…..

End of Argument.

ADDENDUM: Elect no political legislator who does not subscribe to a totally free internet.

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