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Old 07-08-2013, 10:19 PM   #41
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That sums it up for me.

For a while I was terrified of Google. What do they want all that information for? It must be something bad, right? Then I realized that they're not the least bit interested in the skid marks on my underwear. Really, they're just trying to do amazing **** before anyone else does, and that's mainly because, as consumers, we expect them to deliver amazing ****. So now, I still have a gmail account, but I don't use it to discuss my terrorist plans. I also don't worry about the fact that they know the GPS location of the wireless router at my house. In the end it doesn't hurt me at all (let me repeat: it doesn't hurt me at all) and if it makes amazing **** possible, then I'm glad to help.

Likewise with the Government. We all expect them to protect all 'Mericans. We demand that they get their act together WAY more than every bad guy on the planet and thwart any terrorist efforts before the terrorists even make the plans.

But we're not willing to pay anything for this?

Personally, I do not feel threatened knowing that it's public record that I called Jack Handy on Thursday and talked for 15 minutes. There's no reason for me to feel threatened; the phone company has had that information since the very beginning of telecommunications. It's not an invasion of privacy if there was nothing private to begin with.

I'm not throwing my hands in the air and saying "WTF!, let's just party!" As the citizens it's our job to police the police, but frankly I'm more frightened by the hysterics of people that can't distinguish between public and private and real and imaginary.
This is not an issue of "I have nothing to hide". I don't think you quite understand whats at stake here (or was at stake, depending on your prespective).

Let me give you a very realistic situation:

- My parents came here from Egypt. Its standard procedure to be afraid of your government. Something as simple as expressing your disagreement with a policy or your dislike for a particular government official can get you jailed, tortured, killed, etc. When they left, to come here its not because they had to something to hide, but because they wanted the FREEDOM to express themselves in a reasonable manner, without fear of repercussion (and also work opportunities, but that's not the current point of discussion). Under any government with a dragnet monitoring like what is described in PRISM, Verizon, and the fiber optic tappings is not one that is conducive to such an environment.
- Add in that in our current situation, if you share any opinion that maybe tied to terrorism you can be charged with "material support" (among other bogus charges) and sent to jail for 15+ years. Hell, you don't even have to agree with Taliban/Al Qaeda, all you have to use are keywords that are associated with these topics. You can say well "I ain't no terrorist, nor do I like dem bitches" and thats fine. But what happens when the next group/topic that falls in disfavor includes you? or more people close to home? Will it be so easy to dismiss something like this? Because this very ****** real.


Lets consider a hypothetical situation:
- Lets consider for a second the amount of data the NSA has. With their relational databases they can draw connections between people through communication as many jumps deep as they feel like(ie you call this guy, who is fb friends with this other guy, who called Mr. X). Most of the time only 2-3 jumps will be useful, so lets take 3 jumps away. Say a particularly charismatic, but very people friend politician ("Mr. Good Politician") decides to run for president. He is honest, preaches about hope and doesn't vote along party lines, but instead votes for what he believes is best for the people (like Obama, but nothing like Obama). Mr. Incumbent, doesn't like the challenge, so the NSA digs deep to find **** on him through the relational databases. They get Mr. X and have the right price to get Mr. X in on board with a smear campaign to get "Mr. Good Politician" out of the way.

I am not saying this is done, nor do I claim to know the future. But I doubt anyone here won't agree that Gov't abuses its powers to its best ability. This is obviously hypothetical and totally unfounded on any current events (except maybe General Petraeus, but I don't think so. And only in that he suffered from unwarranted electronic searches on his e-mail, not that he is a great guy or anything), but it does make you think. Maybe there are more malicious uses for this than "find out what **** I have". I am not worried about today and I have nothing to hide either, but I am worried about tomorrow and next year. This will NOT turn out well for us (ie people).

Last edited by Seefo; 07-08-2013 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:20 PM   #42
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Well, the good news I guess is my cell phone plan has been automatically upgraded to the

Friends, Family, Government plan with unlimited voice and data cloud storage for $49.99/month....

I guess the longtime question is now answered..

Verizon: Can you hear me now?
Well, apparently, yes, very well... loud and clear...
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:24 PM   #43
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The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


A couple of points here:

One is that this article offers protection against UNREASONABLE searches and seizures, and the constitution as a whole leaves to the US Supreme Court the duty to interpret, among other things, what is reasonable for any given context. The key idea to understand here is that NOT ALL searches are unreasonable.


Another point to consider is the question of WHAT is protected. Is the NSA searching your person? Are they coming into your home and seizing your ****? Are they sifting through the contents of your hard drive (modern equivalent of "papers")?

Nothing in the constitution assures the privacy of communications.

I am sure I don't need to link this for you, but for anyone else interested...
Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:09 PM   #44
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This is not an issue of "I have nothing to hide". I don't think you quite understand whats at stake here (or was at stake, depending on your prespective).
I'm familiar with the fallacy of the "I have nothing to hide" argument. That's not where I was going, though I think I can understand how that interpretation might be made.

What I'm saying is that we became spoiled by easy anonymity when the lack of technology made it, well, easy. But it was not anonymity that was necessarily guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. It just happened to be cheap and easy, so we grew accustomed to it and now we're reacting when it seems to be slipping away. Don't get me wrong: it's right to react. We should react. We NEED to react, but we need to react intelligently and rationally.

We need to cling to our rights, but we need to take the time to figure out exactly what those rights are first.

Let me offer an example that you probably won't like at all, but hopefully it will help get my point across. Eventually.

Suppose I could produce a detailed report of all the places you visited on any given calender day. Maybe 17 October 2012. You left your house at 7:32am, drove north on South st. Stopped at the Flip-n-Trip mini-mart at 7:37. Bought a 32oz cup of coffee and two Kit Kats, then continued north.... It goes on like this for the entire day. And any (every) other day.

Have any of your rights been violated by my collecting this information? I'm claiming no. I expect you to object, but I'm asking you to wait a little before you do.

What we need to do is take another look at what rights we really expect, and what we plan to demand. We need to stop, take a deep breath, and do the hard work that our forefathers did when they wrote the Bill of Rights in the first place. But we need to do it in the present context, which they tried very hard to foresee, but couldn't fairly be expected to. My expectation is that no changes to the written document will be required. It's beautiful the way it is. It's our expectations that need work.

Note: it's only 10pm on the east coast, but I need to sleep so that I can be productive tomorrow, and then I might not be able to respond first thing in the morning....
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:40 AM   #45
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Fools run the government; sick foreign policy
Their words sound valiant; but their hands are green
Unending quest for power; Taxes that make us slaves
Don't believe a word of it; ignore the fucked up things they say
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:31 AM   #46
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I haven't had a chance to read through in entirety, or listen to the podcast at the root link, but here is some more fodder for discussion:

NSA Whistleblower: NSA Spying On – and Blackmailing – Top Government Officials and Military Officers | Washington's Blog
NSA whistleblower Russel Tice – a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretapping – told Peter B. Collins on Boiling Frogs Post (the website of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds):


Tice: Okay. They went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things–they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial. But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. All kinds of–heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House–their own people.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:55 AM   #47
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Pretty much this. Believe it or not, it's very easy for your **** to get hacked by anyone. So you should use a secure means of communication/etc.. no matter what, because you never know who is listening. This is possible to do a number of ways, if you actually care about your privacy the effort would be worth it.
Using VPN/Encryption for your traffic will just get the NSA to store your data forever. This was recently covered as part of the "leaks". (I guess it depends on if you believe it or not).

Plus, we have already seen that VPN providers will rat you out with enough government pressure. They have a business to run and it sure as hell won't run if they are in jail.

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Nothing is "secure" but there are ways to be untraceable if you just take a little time to learn how. It is not even very difficult or technical. I really don't engage in behavior that I feel compelled to hide so I don't need to know how to bounce my connection off of servers in 7 different countries that don't give the NSA access but this is easily accomplished. What you say might not be private but your identity can be.
There is no way to be "untraceable" (I maybe nitpicking here, so I apologize if you meant that figuratively). You can you use many proxies, and encryption and Tor and it is still traceable.

Previously Tor would be a good bet, but now they can and have gone after relays to find information about individuals.

If you like i can dig up articles on all this.


I think encryption is a good way to go, but its really a band-aid when data is saved indefinitely.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:59 AM   #48
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There is no way to be "untraceable" (I maybe nitpicking here, so I apologize if you meant that figuratively). You can you use many proxies, and encryption and Tor and it is still traceable.

Previously Tor would be a good bet, but now they can and have gone after relays to find information about individuals.
I meant from a practical standpoint. Communication over the net is traceable given no political barriers and unlimited resources but this is not the case. You would have to be one hell of a target for the NSA to spend the time and effort to trace a communication you made to be "untraceable".
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:16 PM   #49
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I meant from a practical standpoint. Communication over the net is traceable given no political barriers and unlimited resources but this is not the case. You would have to be one hell of a target for the NSA to spend the time and effort to trace a communication you made to be "untraceable".
I agree with you there. I am pretty sure if they really wanted your traffic that bad, they would install a camera in your face.

Or a keylogger, or trojan, or whatever they see fit.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:42 PM   #50
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Using VPN/Encryption for your traffic will just get the NSA to store your data forever. This was recently covered as part of the "leaks". (I guess it depends on if you believe it or not).
I'm not sure whether you're aware of this, but VPNs are not just for pedophiles, hackers, Richard Stallman and the chronically paranoid.

Just about every large company in business today makes exclusive use of VPN-based communication for *all* employee remote-access facilities. I myself have three different VPN accounts for three different companies with whom I do contract work.

Ergo: if the NSA is intercepting and storing all VPN-encrypted traffic which they encounter (which seems improbable, for domestic traffic at least), then they're going to have a hell of a time sifting through all of the quarterly margin analysis, procurement documentation and HR forms to find the one email that might possible be of interest.

To say nothing of the data analysis, just decrypting the entire annual VPN traffic load for a single Fortune 500 company is probably a bigger crypto attack than has ever been performed before. I'm not saying that the NSA will *never* have the computational resources to do this, but by the time they get around to it the data is going to be years old.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:48 PM   #51
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I'm not sure whether you're aware of this, but VPNs are not just for pedophiles, hackers, Richard Stallman and the chronically paranoid.

Just about every large company in business today makes exclusive use of VPN-based communication for *all* employee remote-access facilities. I myself have three different VPN accounts for three different companies with whom I do contract work.

Ergo: if the NSA is intercepting and storing all VPN-encrypted traffic which they encounter (which seems improbable, for domestic traffic at least), then they're going to have a hell of a time sifting through all of the quarterly margin analysis, procurement documentation and HR forms to find the one email that might possible be of interest.

To say nothing of the data analysis, just decrypting the entire annual VPN traffic load for a single Fortune 500 company is probably a bigger crypto attack than has ever been performed before. I'm not saying that the NSA will *never* have the computational resources to do this, but by the time they get around to it the data is going to be years old.
I can't say this strongly enough, but ^THIS.

Even my university crap requires VPN access for honest to goodness real security reasons. Hell, my cell is set up to VPN to my home network and have out-going traffic from there for internet access - it has nothing to do with paranoia or anything similar either, it's practical reasons.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:00 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I'm not sure whether you're aware of this, but VPNs are not just for pedophiles, hackers, Richard Stallman and the chronically paranoid.

Just about every large company in business today makes exclusive use of VPN-based communication for *all* employee remote-access facilities. I myself have three different VPN accounts for three different companies with whom I do contract work.

Ergo: if the NSA is intercepting and storing all VPN-encrypted traffic which they encounter (which seems improbable, for domestic traffic at least), then they're going to have a hell of a time sifting through all of the quarterly margin analysis, procurement documentation and HR forms to find the one email that might possible be of interest.

To say nothing of the data analysis, just decrypting the entire annual VPN traffic load for a single Fortune 500 company is probably a bigger crypto attack than has ever been performed before. I'm not saying that the NSA will *never* have the computational resources to do this, but by the time they get around to it the data is going to be years old.
Not sure that's the intention behind my comment. But I do understand what you are saying. I don't think there is a real requirement to decrypt all traffic, and there are creative and simple ways to separate business from user/VPN service.

Like I said, I am sure encryption works fine, but I doubt it works quite as well as people (and the media) are thinking.

Flame is a good example. Most tech savvy individuals outside of the crypto community probably didn't think that was possible today. Its expensive too, but hey, we are Humans. We will get creative I am sure, but this topic is a bit off from the original. The NSA collects a lot more data than this, and that's more worrying than them keeping encrypted data for future decryption.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:39 PM   #53
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VPN is nice. But in all honesty that won't stop a motivated hacker/government. Your tunnel is secure (for x amount of time based on the strength of your encryption at least), but point A and point B may not be.

But the whole point is 99% chance what you are doing isn't that exciting to a hacker/gov. Unless maybe we are talking corporate espionage or straight up espionage. No one cares about your emails to grandma.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:13 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I'm not sure whether you're aware of this, but VPNs are not just for pedophiles, hackers, Richard Stallman and the chronically paranoid.

Just about every large company in business today makes exclusive use of VPN-based communication for *all* employee remote-access facilities. I myself have three different VPN accounts for three different companies with whom I do contract work.

Ergo: if the NSA is intercepting and storing all VPN-encrypted traffic which they encounter (which seems improbable, for domestic traffic at least), then they're going to have a hell of a time sifting through all of the quarterly margin analysis, procurement documentation and HR forms to find the one email that might possible be of interest.

To say nothing of the data analysis, just decrypting the entire annual VPN traffic load for a single Fortune 500 company is probably a bigger crypto attack than has ever been performed before. I'm not saying that the NSA will *never* have the computational resources to do this, but by the time they get around to it the data is going to be years old.
See, you are assuming they (the people writing this garbage) understand this. They don't. They assume if it is something that has to be hidden or protected, it has to be evil. (unless it is their stuff they are hiding or protecting)

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I can't say this strongly enough, but ^THIS.

Even my university crap requires VPN access for honest to goodness real security reasons. Hell, my cell is set up to VPN to my home network and have out-going traffic from there for internet access - it has nothing to do with paranoia or anything similar either, it's practical reasons.
Database queries are getting better and better. Systems are getting faster and faster. Storage is getting cheaper and cheaper.

Plus it helps to have a data center 5x the size of the capital. The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) | Threat Level | Wired.com

It is about storing everything until they need to dig up something. They could care less what you are saying right now. But in a couple of years when you become of interest, they will then sift through everything they have on you. And will easily be able to pin something on you because of our bloated and poorly written laws.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:06 PM   #55
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The NSA surveillance in and of itself isn't worrisome. Like most things, it's the greater context that scares the **** out of me. I'm baffled that any reasonable person can defend the extent of the government's surveillance.

-Given the far reaching nature of the surveillance (every phone conversation, most data transmissions, GPS data)
-Given that the government has shown their willingness to trample or ignore the constitution and bill of rights
-Given that this technology has already been used against political and personal enemies of the party in power

It seems a foregone conclusion that this abuse will trickle down to the common citizen.
As it stands RIGHT NOW:
Any citizen can be declared an unlawful enemy combatant, have their Habeas Corpus rights suspended indefinitely, be detained (and most likely tortured) indefinitely. This gives them an unlimited amount of time to sift through your every phone conversation and browsing session, until they find something to charge you with.

Possible? Yes
Probable? Not YET.
If that doesn't terrify you, I don't know what to say.




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Old 07-10-2013, 03:23 PM   #56
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As it stands RIGHT NOW:
Any citizen can be declared an unlawful enemy combatant, have their Habeas Corpus rights suspended indefinitely, be detained (and most likely tortured) indefinitely. This gives them an unlimited amount of time to sift through your every phone conversation and browsing session, until they find something to charge you with.

Possible? Yes
Probable? Not YET.
If that doesn't terrify you, I don't know what to say.
I try not to live in the What if's and what could be's. These risks have always existed. Governments can go from perfectly fine to incredibly hostile almost over night through radical regime changes. I guess my feelings on it fall on the line of take all the action you can to make it "stop" but don't actually expect it to stop. If the government actually starting taking people at random or using some other form of physical action to trample on your rights then that would be a much easier thing to stop by mass protest. This is all digital and cannot be seen. It is a very easy activity to hide and therefore will always take place.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:37 PM   #57
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Maybe more interesting to some people is the use of surveilance by private companies and the intersection of private firms and government agencies.

The Real War on Reality - NYTimes.com
Wow.

Nothing new in the concept of gov't and big biz being in bed. It's called Corporatism aka Crony Capitalism.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:14 PM   #58
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:39 PM   #59
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Technological history fascinates me. Pretty amazing what engineers could do without the benefit of digital IC's, opamps, Mathcad, and simulation software.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:04 PM   #60
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That machine, in particular, is a really amazing piece of work. Such an intricate combination of bleeding-edge electronic technology (PCM, FSK, companding...) PLUS a fantastically complex electromechanical system to precisely synchronize both the starting time and speed of two turntables across THOUSDANDS of miles while also compensating for transmission delay in *BOTH* directions (mega-accurate crystals synced to national frequency and time standards, driving servomotors with *hundreds* of poles).

Just incredible.

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