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08 June 2013

Comments

Russ Steele

I find it most interesting the Obama’s Data Mining team could find every citizen that was a potential voter in the 2012 election, but Obama’s CIA data mining was unable to find and stop the Boston Bombers. The question is were they looking in the same “big data files”, with direct access to servers farms at Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo and Facebook, but were more focused on finding voters than finding bombers. Apparently the same data mining software is used in both cases, according to the guy that wrote it. And, that software was not written under the Bush Administration, it was an Obama administration project.

Russ Steele

Is this the PRISM Data Base that Maxine Waters is spilling the beans on?

Maxine Waters: ‘Obama Has Put In Place’ Secret Database With ‘Everything On Everyone’

"The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before
in life," Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday. "That's going to be very, very powerful," Waters said. "That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it's never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They're going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can't get around it. And he's [President Obama] been very smart. It's very powerful what he's leaving in place."

Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=49a_1360284775#PE8DOORbvJ6y5mmV.99

Ben Emery

Once again George you mistake what is being said. I and most of us on the true left are saying what took you so long to start caring about these things that are going on, not it was Bush's fault. Bush started or morphed them into something distorted of their original intent on many of these programs and policies. It was wrong when his administration was doing it but I was told I hate America for pointing it out by those on the right while it was going on. Now that Obama is doing it you guys have your panties in a bunch and can't even accept it we agree with you on Obama's policies and programs.

Steven Frisch

So Russ, are you implying that the Obama administration used NSA data mining projects to identify voters in 2012? Or just that the software was the same? Or that similar procedures to process data and understand potential threats to national security were not used before 2008?

Do you agree with George's statement above: "To that we can add the fed’s recent and massive purchases of guns, (anti-personnel) ammo, MRAPs, …, the launch of FEMA Corps, and the reported construction of its nationwide ‘facilities’, all for the putative defense of the homeland. Now how again do you spell S-T-A-S-I?"

Do you think we have a new STASI on our hands? Is the President using the national security apparatus to secure personal power? I am just trying to get straight exactly what you and George are getting at here?

Or is the sowing of doubt, suspicion and fear the real goal; coming right to the edge of saying the President is a dictator, without having to actually say it, and defend the statement?

I am wondering where one draws the line. I mean it seems to me that you and George were kind of in this business of using systems to assess and 'defend' national security most of your professional careers. During that time there were many critics of the US national security apparatus. Seems like the line gets drawn based on the political affiliation of the resident of the White House to me.

I am no fan of the use of data mining by US national security agencies against US citizens, just as I do not support the use of drone attacks against US citizens, the use of torture, or the use of domestic wire tapping and surveillance without probable cause. I believe that both Dianne Feinstein and Lindsay Graham are dead wrong here, and that these programs should be stopped immediately. Domestic surveillance should be possible only with clear probable cause and the direct order of a court, after the presentation of evidence, or in very rare cases should be available to domestic law enforcement agencies under court supervision. My position on this has been consistent, regardless of the resident of the White House, and it seems like the position of many people here, like Paul and Ben, has been too.

That is the difference between you and George and many others; we hold our position based on Constitutional principles, you hold your based on the political ideology of the perpetrator in question.

Steven Frisch

Now I expect the regular disclaimer, "I did not say that".

Steven Frisch

Russ Steele | 08 June 2013 at 07:01 AM

To think that politics will not use the same technologies that Visa and Google use every day, or that one can put the data mining genie back in the bottle after the fact, is evidenced by the fact that the Republican National Committee just hired the top data mining expert from Facebook to run their data in 2014-2016.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/05/gop-hires-chief-technology-officer-from-facebook/

This may be the only time I will ever use The Blaze as a source, only because I know without it the Walt's of the world will say it is a New York Times lie.

Russ Steele

Steven,

Did you read Maxine Waters?

Steven Frisch

Russ Steele | 08 June 2013 at 07:38 AM

Isn't it obvious that I read Maxine Waters?

Steven Frisch

By the way, I know many of my fellow travelers are going to hate this idea, but I actually think that in the long run the only way to combat the ability to collect data on organizations and individuals and use it to influence their behavior is going to 'radical transparency".

"Radical transparency is a phrase used across fields of governance, politics, software design and business to describe actions and approaches that radically increase the openness of organizational process and data. Its usage was originally understood as an approach or act that uses abundant networked information to access previously confidential organizational process or outcome data." From Wikipedia.

The technological genie is out of the bottle, the power of networks to collect and analyze data is so powerful today and so ubiquitous, that there is really no going back.

Eventually 'radical transparency' is going to reach the individual, and the only way to have data about oneself not be used a cudgel against you is to control and disclose it yourself. The data that shows that an individual is gay, or a [gasp] Democrat, or has diabetes, or has a bad credit score, or was late on their taxes, or is traveling in Iran, or was an employee of Raytheon, is already out there, and can only be used to embarrass someone if they allow themselves to be embarrassed, or if someone else gives a damn about it.

Consequently if people don't allow themselves to be controlled by others opinions of their behavior they overcome the threat of disclosure.

I know that is a pretty radical concept; but then I love the gay man who stands up and says, "screw you, I am proud of my decisions" so much more than the Republican Senator who solicits sex in a bathroom and advances legislation that criminalizes his own behavior, and so do most Americans.

This may well be the social revolution that comes about as a result of Ray Kurzweil's 'singularity' that has been so well documented by George.

Barry Pruett

Frisch says: "I am no fan of the use of data mining by US national security agencies against US citizens, just as I do not support the use of drone attacks against US citizens, the use of torture, or the use of domestic wire tapping and surveillance without probable cause."

Barry says: "Can I get an amen?"

Account Deleted

I find it amusing that we conservatives are supposed to catch up with our enlightened brethren on the left with regards to big brother spying on us and menacing our freedoms. Left is more govt and right is less govt. There are certainly nuances and exceptions, but there is a central thread in all of the conservative posts here. You can not ask for more govt and then expect that govt to not in any way abuse that power. The folks that wrote the Constitution knew that humans do not change in their general behavior. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It has been ever thus since the beginning. As soon as you have a govt that dispenses goods, you have a govt that controls you. If you cede personal protection solely to the govt, it controls you. You can not have it both ways. There is as well, the problem of balancing protection of citizens with over-reach by those given the power of protecting. Advanced technology has brought us the double-edged sword of the ability to track criminal elements morphing over into the temptation to expand and misuse it for political gain. We can go back in American history and find horrible examples of govt intrusion and spying on innocent citizens. Hoover held sway in Washington for decades by holding dirt on everyone he could. Clinton's first action was to install 2 goons in the White House to go through the FBI's files on almost 1,000 folks in Washington. Wilson pushed through the Sedition Act of 1918 and misused it to crush any opposition to his war policies.
Bush and Obama are just continuing a long line of extending the govts power. It must be stopped, or we will descend into a totalitarian nightmare.

Gregory

Scott, if you give up all pretenses of retaining a shred of privacy and give everyone access to all of your beliefs, affiliations, friends, economics, intent, etc, we won't ever have to worry about big bro.

Can't say I'm surprises our resident majoritarian wants all out in the open; so much the better when the majority has a whim about what they think should be illegal or immoral.

Steven Frisch

Greg, it would be convenient if you could tell the difference between a philosophical idea, like the idea that eventually we will all face radical transparency, and a specific comment, such as my statement that Barry quoted above.

I am under no illusion that many people would agree with me that radical transparency is the wave of the future; I merely stated it to point out that the attempt to hold back technological advancement is akin to standing in the face of a flood. If we want to control technology in the future we can do it, just as we can control totalitarianism, but it will take new law, civil society, development of a moral and ethical code to accompany it, and adaptation to changed circumstances. I am no 'majoritarian' here: I support individual liberty.

Scott, the use of technology to surveil seemed to be fine was it was U-2's and domestic wiretaps. There are no virgins in this room; all parties, conservative and liberal, democrat and republican, communist and fascist, Americans, Chinese and Jihadists, are in the same brothel here. The idea that conservatives support 'small government' is almost ludicrous to me, they were right there supporting big government all along, simply using different venues to advance it. There is no difference between the military industrial complex and the great society; both are big government.

Steven Frisch

Barry Pruett | 08 June 2013 at 08:59 AM

"AMEN"

Steven Frisch

I wait with baited breathe [sic for TJ] to see how this will get spun back to guns, climate change, or my personal history or salary as those who oppose 'data mining' furiously Google a connection!

Russ Steele

Steven,

Once your have participated in a "black ops world" you can never see your world in the same way ever again. Nothing is ever what it seems to be. If you want a flavor of that world check out this book on Area 51.

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen
http://www.amazon.com/Area-51-Uncensored-Americas-Military/dp/0316202304/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370712267&sr=1-1&keywords=area+51

This was in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, thinking about the technologic advances and just imagine what those "black ops guys and gals" could be doing today. Including some political ops as well.

Harper Reed, the chief technology officer for the Obama re-election campaign headed a team of a 100 data scientists, developers, engineers, analysts, and old-school hackers that transformed the way politicians acquire data and how it is used to destroy the opposition.

Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt helped recruit the talent, choosing the technology, and coach the campaign manager, Jim Messina, on the finer points of leading a large organization. Schmidt had a particular affinity for a group of engineers and statisticians tucked away in a darkened room of the Chicago Elections Office were the data mining too place.

You will note that Google was also a major player in PRISM. If there a connection? Well in today world nothing is what it appears to be. And, you thought google was just a search engine, when in fact it is a data collection system.

George Rebane

StevenF 950am - As you wait with breath "baited"(sic) or even bated, I will have to let the seven years of Ruminations with its thousands of posts and tens of thousands of comments answer your 731am. Your understanding and interpretation of my thoughts are your business.

Steve Frisch

Ah, thanksf for the correction on "bated" George. Unlike my cohort I do not find having my language usage appropriately corrected emasculating.

George Rebane

More interesting stuff is coming out on PRISM. Read what Russ Steele wrote here
http://youvotedforitblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/june-8th-2013/

and from Breitbart
http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2013/06/08/NY-Times-A1-Story-Wrongly-Credits-NSA-s-PRISM-for-Foiling-Zazi-Case

Steven Frisch

Russ Steele | 08 June 2013 at 10:46 AM

With all due respect Russ one would have to have been living under a rock if they did not realize that Googles business model is to aggregate and use data. As many here have pointed out over the years the network and the people in it are worth way more than the services purchased from Google.

Michael Anderson

[Michael, that kind of comment flies in the face of your carefully built visage; you can do better than that.]

Joe Koyote

So most folks in this room, regardless of political bent, seem to agree that there is something very wrong going on when our government invades our privacy. The problem worsens when this invasion seems to have been in collusion with some of the largest and farthest reaching global corporations on the planet. The only reason a government would spy on it own people is because someone is afraid of something. My question is just who is afraid of what and why?

Steven Frisch

Great point Joe.

Many people here asked for this. This is the result of over-reacting on the domestic front in the "war on terror". The expansion of these powers are a result of passage of the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act. Osama Bin Laden is laughing in his watery grave right now. Isn't asymmetric warfare a bitch.

I would strongly support wholesale repeal of the Patriot Act, and stripping the NDA of the powers allowing this activity. How many 'conservatarians' would agree?

Heck, the cost of the fear Joe is mentioning is worse than the fear itself.

George Rebane

JoeK 432pm - An excellent question and a point of return. I have tried to answer that question repeatedly during the RR years and most vehemently since Obama concluded his campaign in 2008.

Obama is the titular and existential leader of those folks who don't believe in American exceptionalism, and see our role in the global future only as compliant peer among the community of nations who conform to new global norms if not a global super-state. An economically vibrant, militarily strong America peopled by free and enterprising citizens cannot become such a compliant peer. I believe I was first to observe that Obama is the first POTUS who sees his presidency as a stepping stone to higher office.

Joe Koyote

"I believe I was first to observe that Obama is the first POTUS who sees his presidency as a stepping stone to higher office."--
Interesting idea. Obviously if this were true (and I can't deny that it is a possibility) then who are "those folks who don't believe in American exceptionalism." I hate to keep pointing fingers at the global corporatists because some people in here don't want to believe that is even a possibility and blow their tops every time they hear it, but....Who stands to gain the most from globalization? It certainly isn't some communist rice farmer or islamo-terrorist goat herder. The arrow keeps wanting to point at the global financial elite, some of whose families have held a controlling interest in the planet for centuries, that don't like the idea that population and resource pressures and the general education of people as a whole might ruin their game of Monopoly and extravagant life styles. Many developing nations are about to or are just now getting out from under the colonial yokes that we attempted to throw off 200 plus years ago. And by colonial, I really don't mean domination of one government by another, but rather economic and cultural domination by the elite of a nation over another. Jihad seems to me to be more about maintaining culture than about money, which is usually the case, so I think that is a distraction. Like milk, the corporatists seem to think that homogenization of culture in their image is the solution. It is easier to keep bacteria away from homogenized milk. The McDonaldsization of the planet.

Russ Steele

Oh NO the IRS Scandal Fall Guy Has Been Identified

IRS lawyer who oversaw conservative targeting is retiring and his Facebook page has been removed.

More at the Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/07/irs-lawyer-who-oversaw-conservative-targeting-is-retiring-and-his-facebook-page-has-been-removed/#ixzz2Vg1t7IHA

Do you think this was as high at it goes? Or, were these Obama minions just carrying our the political philosophy of their Dear Leader? Remember, after WWII there were no documents signed by Hitler linking him to the Holocaust. His minions knew what was required. The question is will we find documents liking Obama to the IRS harassment of the Tea Party and other Conservative groups, or will this be another case of the willing staff trying to impress the boss? “Look what we did.” Well, I have doubts since the IRS henchmen visited the White House 155 times, but then again it could have been more times, the White House has demonstrated it’s incompetence by loosing the visitors log notes. I guess they do not teach spread sheets at Chicago schools.

Account Deleted

Joe - you lefties always fall back on childish jealousy of others lifestyles.
"some of whose families have held a controlling interest in the planet for centuries, that don't like the idea that population and resource pressures and the general education of people as a whole might ruin their game of Monopoly and extravagant life styles."
I'm not concerned in the least with others personal possessions. If you have proof of law breaking, please bring it forth. "Families" don't spy on me and break down my door and haul me away. Govts do.

TheMikeyMcD

Barry Pruett | 08 June 2013 at 08:59 AM Amen.

I have every intention of turning into a ghost (technical hermit) once my wage earning years are over (I deleted my facebook account on IPO day). It is the modern day equivalent of "going John Galt." From the day I started using computers I assumed (correctly) that I was being watched- I consider no-privacy the 'cost' of the WWW.

Rand Paul seems to be the most level headed horse in Washington (I am a proud $upporter)

TheMikeyMcD

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." Thomas Jefferson

TheMikeyMcD

Here is Facebooks "privacy policy" in Zuck's words, LOL:

The Facebook in his dorm room:
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don't know why.

Zuck: They "trust me"

Zuck: Dumb fucks.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/well-these-new-zuckerberg-ims-wont-help-facebooks-privacy-problems-2010-5#ixzz2VgX9JUiu

Bill Tozer

Glad we all smell a rat. Despite what I personally think about most of the 4th Branch of Government, a majority of Americans like a free press. And we like our privacy, so much so that we are zealots about keeping our privacy from prying eyes. And we like a level playing field and so it seems the IRS and EPA scandals about going after Catholics and Christians and vets and folks who spout the Constitution of the United States is inherently wrong no matter which way the winds of Big Brother are a'blowin'.

The populous uproar over data mining is friggin legal. A judge said so. No one has challenged it on Constitutional grounds, but as for today a judge said it is legal. I for one am glad we are concerned.

The conservatives have been very worried about the erosion of personal liberties since Obama took office. Most all of this bull pucky going on has little to do government's role, but a hell of a lot to do with winning the last election. Sure, National Security issues (data mining) has everyone in an uproar lately, and it isn't even the tip of the corrupt ice berg. But, National Security issues are the exception to the rule considering all the hanky panky going down. The current norm is expansion of power, expansion of Big Brother and hell to pay if you don't toe the I Love Obama line. The nail that stands up will get pounded down.

To be fair, the libs were screaming bloody murder as the Patriot Act passed while the Twin Towers were still smoldering. And Nixon had his enemies list. The libs were screaming "its not Constitutional" and rumors started that George W was going to suspend the Constitution and stay in power after his 2nd term had expired. I heard the same thing about Tricky Milhouse Nixon as well. Never happened.

But, this is different because Obama is skewing the Patriot Act to take it to levels George W would never even consider. Nixon had his enemies list (NY Times, commies, long haired dope smoking draft card and flag burning Yuppies), but is was tiny in comparison to what the IRS did and does. Heck, even when Obama was just a candidate, Joe the Plumber got audited and his personal records published by a state worker. Boy, you could smell this coming a mile away. Pretty words and all did not disguise one ounce of Chicago style politics.


The problems as facts come out is that more people have a distrust of out pubic servants than ever before. Timmy G crafted the repeal of Glass-Segal while Chairman of the New York Fed. Reverend Wright is a racist. Van Jones became an non appointed person of vast power with no accountability. There were more special czars than Cabinet members and they have more power. And they all can't recall any event that happened 10 minutes ago. Shit, they fired the head of the IRS and he wasn't even on board during the time frame when donors to conservative groups where targeted. They threw him under the bus and indeed eat their children to preserve their power. Power, power, power in the guise of being the Great Defenders off the powerless. Make me long for the simpler shenanigans of Richard Milhouse Nixon.

George Rebane

JoeK 602pm - Joe, I really do think you have your sights on the wrong guys. It beyond simple to identify the people who don't believe in American exceptionalism and have been teaching that to our kids for two generations now. What are the politics of the people who argue that America was evil from the gitgo, never got better, and in the 20th century became the source of all the world's ills? You can even see a good sample of that in the tens of thousands of comments that populate this blog.

BillT 1008pm - I have not been able to put my finger on any subsequent evidence that Nixon formulated or even knew of the 'political enemies list' that was assembled by Colson, Bell, and Dean. His impeachment investigation exonerated him of such a list assembled by his WH subordinates. Has something new come to light beyond the popular media having successfully labeled it 'Nixon's Enemies List'?

Joe Koyote

George-- 10:49 -- I tend to " follow the money trail" when looking at anything because money equals power and power corrupts. I think that once a person acquires enough money to buy all the material things life has to offer, the continued acquisition of money is about acquiring power. I call it the "Kilroy was here" syndrome. It is human nature to try and justify one's existence and leave your mark, so that at least, in your own mind, your life mattered more than road kill. Some people think building monuments to themselves (buildings, economic empires, art museums to hold their own collections, etc.) does the trick, others think a legacy of good deeds does it, yet others don't care at all. If the monied interests who exercise control over the global economies are not the culprits, then who is? Who stands to gain or lose the most from a global government? I don't see self-proclaimed enlightened individuals (socialists, communists, jihadists) seeking global harmony and equality or fighting Satan, as having enough political or economic power to do much of anything besides complain or engage in acts or terror. There is not going to be an invasion and take over of America by a foreign entity from without or within. How many millions of troops would it take? The only real fear is fear itself and the resulting actions like spying or preventative military strikes that come out of fear. We are being shoved down that path now but, again, who is doing the shoving and why?

Scott --7:37 --"you lefties always fall back on childish jealousy of others lifestyles. " there you go demonizing again.
""Families" don't spy on me and break down my door and haul me away. " True.. but they spend enormous amounts of money to get people elected who will appoint and/or approve people for jobs that will spy on you and haul you away and that seems to be the missing part of the puzzle that righties with blinders on don't get. Who was it that said "money is the root of all evil"? It wasn't me.

Bill Tozer

Dr Rebane, Nothing new has come to light concerning "Nixon's enemy list". It was tongue in cheek in comparison to them real evil doers in the current administration. Nixon himself did not go after anyone, but I always admired Chuck Colson's use of a bullet dipped in nicotine fired into the left eye for instant death before the target hits the ground, but I digress per usual. My mode of operation.

Nixon's enemies list was just left wing paranoia. When them good ole boys drew up a list and had Hoover keep an eye on a handful of them for awhile, it was nothing more than that. Like playing "what if" games.

That is why I went from a Nixon hater to an admirer of Nixon through the years. He loved this country enough that he decided to resign rather than put the country through the turmoil of an impeachment hearing, even though his lawyer looked at the charges and was confident he could beat the rap. Historians have repeatedly wrote that Nixon would have not been guilty of impeachment.

Compare that to today when real harm has been done to folks. Not just little things like having a black car tail you for a couple of days, but being hauled in for audits and your friends wiretapped. Drum up some BS conspiracy investigations and slander your name and your family's name. This current bunch would never dream of stepping aside, ever, ever for the good of the country. Just ask Rohm Emmanuel about who he likes to send dead fish to to make a point. Think I will have dead Great Lake trout on my Chicago Style Pizza.

Kind weird that Nixon keeps coming up in current discussions and comparisons. Kinda weird that Jimmy the Peanut Farmer has gone silent after Bush left office. No more bashing Gitmo or drones or overseas operations, eh Jimmy?

Gregory

"That is why I went from a Nixon hater to an admirer of Nixon through the years."

Never a Nixon supporter, I nonetheless as an adult I found respect for his decision to not tear the country apart by challenging the apparent theft of the 1960 election by the Daley machine in Chicago.

Gregory

I apologize for the excess "I". Deleting either one will create one of the sentences I was trying to write.

Bill Tozer

Go team Go!!

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/06/07/progressives-must-stand-with-new-york-times-against-obama/

Russ Steele

Why??

(CNSNews.com) – The IRS, currently in the midst of scandals involving the targeting of conservative groups and lavish taxpayer-funded conferences, is ordering surveillance equipment that includes hidden cameras in coffee trays, plants and clock radios.

The IRS wants to secure the surveillance equipment quickly – it posted a solicitation on June 6 and is looking to close the deal by Monday, June 10. The agency already has a company lined up for the order but is not commenting on the details.

“The Internal Revenue Service intends to award a Purchase Order to an undisclosed Corporation,” reads the solicitation.

“The following descriptions are vague due to the use and nature of the items,” it says.

“If you feel that you can provide the following equipment, please respond to this email no later than 4 days after the solicitation date,” the IRS said.

Among the items the agency will purchase are four “Covert Coffee tray(s) with Camera concealment,” and four “Remote surveillance system(s)” with “Built-in DVD Burner and 2 Internal HDDs, cameras.”

The IRS also is buying four cameras to hide in plants: “(QTY 4) Plant Concealment Color 700 Lines Color IP Camera Concealment with Single Channel Network Server, supports dual video stream, Poe [Power over Ethernet], software included, case included, router included.”

Finishing out the order are four “Color IP Camera Concealment with single channel network server, supports dual video stream, poe, webviewer and cms software included, audio,” and two “Concealed clock radio.”

Who is the IRS after now?

Russ Steele

It is Only Meta Data

It was just Meta Data (data about data)! What is the problem, it does not tell us any thing about you! Well maybe not. Here is an example of how meta data can be used to reveal some interesting information about you, especially if your name is Paul Revere.

http://kieranhealy.org//blog/archives/2013/06/09/using-metadata-to-find-paul-revere/

Billy Tozer

Didn't Candidate O slam Bush for tracking calls to and from foreigners coming in and going out of the US? Like calls from Sudan and the like.

Now our President calls tracking every US citizen a "minor intrusion." Yes, he was quick to remind us to discard any of that tyranny talk going around. Like Alfred E Newman "What, me worry?"

Data collection has been going on for years on the commercial side. Like when they ask your for your zip code at the gas pump when you put in your credit card. Those two pieces of infor can build a nice dossier on anybody. It is for ads and trying to sell ya stuff.

A humorous example of data collection happened at our beloved Wal-Mart. A young woman started getting coupons for Pampers and baby formula sent from Wal-Mart to her home. She lived with her Daddy. The enraged father called Wal-Mart to find out why his daughter was receiving this junk mail and he did not appreciate it one iota. Come to find out, because of the woman's change of shopping habits (buying cotton balls, certain types of beverages, etc) Wal-Mart knew she was pregnant even before the young woman knew she was with child.

But, this Meta Data is not for sending coupons for dill pickles. Its patterns of patterns of data, looking for the bad guys. If Google can process a few million of pieces of data in 1.4 seconds, think what the NSA can do with the capability to process trends of data in trillions of bits per second. Welcome to the tera world. I just hope I don't ever call a wrong number by mistake or have someone who knows someone who is associated with someone's brother accidentally miss dial and call me by mistake.

Billy Tozer

Mr. Steele: Perhaps the IRS needs those tiny bugs and cameras so they can find out who is saying they ain't going to buy an ObamaCare insurance policy, no way, no how. Those cameras could be just the thing the IRS needs to build a big fat conspiracy case against some conservative college students. After all, in these stagnant economic times, the IRS is hiring 15,000 new agents just to monitor ObamaCare compliance and they have to find something to do. What other explanation could be possible? Hope those tiny bugs hidden in plants are waterproof.

Hmmmm. Maybe, just maybe, they are going to go after tax cheating prostitutes and have the evidence stand up in court.

Russ Steele

Bill@10;31PM

The IRS canceled the procurement, the sun light was too harsh once the rock was turned over.

Russ Steele

I am amazed how little the press and government administrators at NSA understand about the ethernet and the power of a UNIX or Microsoft Systems Administrator. Edward Snowden was apparently a NAS Network administrator in Hawaii, and had total access to the network and all the tools on the network.

I worked for company that did Top Secret work for the government and had an internal network that was connected to the government secure network. I was one of the first people to work remotely, not on the secure network, and had an issue needing the expertise and approval of the systems administrator, who worked in the basement of a very secure building.

We seem to hit it off and had a great chat about the network and role of the systems administrator. It was noon time and the network was very active and he was demonstrating some of his analysis tools. What is going on I asked, it is noon, people are eating lunch. Yea, he said and watching porn, including some of the lady programers. You would be surprised what the “lesbos” watch at lunch, he explained. He admitted to knowing everyones secrets, but he would not be specific.

So, if Edward Snowden was a network administrator he had access to much more than his NSA government managers knew unless they had been trained as systems administrators. Michael Anderson is a systems administrator and he knows the level of systems access as a network administrator. He knows when the students are trying to watch porn, or hack the schools servers, or spoof the e-mail systems.

So, when the senior management claims that Snowden could not hack into e-mails, etc, use some caution, they do not have a clue what he could do, or could not do as a network administrator.

Michael Anderson

Thanks Russ. You are exactly correct. Most people have no idea what we do, the SysAdmin is still such a new job description that a lot of people don't understand all that it entails. When I am training new potential SysAdmins, the first thing I look for is how well they can keep a secret. When I first started out many decades ago, I was privy to layoff info. and found a close friend on the list. We hung out together for two weeks and I was a clam. It's just the way it is.

It sounds to me like Snowden had tremendous access. I concur with Russ that senior management is just doing damage control at this point.

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