Tag Archives: Surveillance

Why Snowden blew the whistle

Snowden made a grave sacrifice for you, me, us.  He was a person who knew all about computers, electric telephones, all kinds of technology things and what’s going on with FaceBook and Yahoo News and blogs.

He knew when you look down the isles in grocery stores and see people squinting at cans, plastic bags, bottles in one hand, talking on cell phones in the other, the NSA was listening.  Recording.  Storing.  Every word.  Every background noise.  Preserving it for the future.

Snowden worried about that because every moment a million calls between the same sorts of people as those in the grocery store isles are also being recorded, listened to, stored, preserved.  Along with the background noises.

And Snowden knew at a visceral level that anyone who’d want to listen to those calls, record them, store them, could only be profoundly insane.  And anyone working for the profoundly insane person who conceptualized it would also soon be insane after being exposed to the prospect, the concept and the reality.

Snowden also knew countless millions of happy faces and inspiring thoughts fly around the internet every moment.  Billions of inspiring platitudes.  Trillions of “I heart my [fill in blank]” messages and touching pictures of puppies, kittens, and baby whales. 

Snowden knew no nation could survive the onslaught of such chaos except by trying to ignore it.   Listening, recording, storing it to preserve it for the future is the most dangerous activity in the history of mankind, and not only because it’s being done by sociopaths, psychopaths and otherwise osterized brains.  Noone, Snowden knew, in his right mind would ever even consider such a thing.

Snowden had to try to save the planet.

Old Jules

Don’t take any chances – CC all your emails and posts to the NSA

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Got to thinking last night before I slid off to sleep, “What if the NSA ain’t reading my emails and other stuff I write?  What if some get lost in the shuffle, or worse, what if they just aren’t interested enough to read mine?

How damned de-humanizing is THAT?

Sheeze!  Brought me spang awake with a start.  Those bastards might be going flaccid on the job, reading everyone elses’ stuff, but not mine.

I thought about it a while as I scratched niaid behind the ears, got up and took my third [under pressure] cold shower of the day, dried off and scratched Hydrox behind the ears pondering it.

Still felt insecure and de-machoed, so I kicked on the AC unit for a few minutes to knock the edge off the cold sweat I was breaking out in.

Okay.  First crack out of the box, this ain’t something I’m going to sit still for, ain’t going to tolerate it.  Those bastards are going to read my stuff whether they like it or not.  I’m going to put them on the list of CCs for all my emails, and if I can find out who my senator or congressman is, I’ll write them.

See if I can get a congressional committee started to get those guys from NSA in and test them, grill them hard to make sure they aren’t falling down on the job.

Piss me off.

Old Jules

Mongolian Yahooan Wildfire Treasures

Okala

Now that Yahoo’s decided to protect us by making us agree to let them read, store, and use all of our emails any way they want to there’s not much point going over there.  Except to find out whether the sky’s going to drop some moisture.  But when a person finishes looking at drawings of clouds on maps it’s difficult not to peek at what’s going on in Mongolia, or Bongobongoland.

For what it’s worth, things appear to be okay in Mongolia.

But there’s a huge fire or two raging in upstate New Mexico.  As nearly as I can figure the Jemez Mountains might be getting another round of flames.  They mentioned Valle Caldera and some ancient sites threatened, which might mean it’s threatening the western end of Frijole Canyon upstream from Bandera National Somethingorother. 

That old guy in Santa Fe, wossname, Fenn, who hid a box worth some money if he’s to be believed, probably has those mountains crawling with people who believe him.  From Santa Fe north to Alaska.  The ones who know it’s in Colorado and New Mexico should be able to accidently start a few fires for their troubles.

If I find the time I might swing up that way and pluck the box right out from under them just to keep the townies out of the mountains for their own good.  I was going to have Jeanne’s kids swing by where it’s hidden and snag it when they go that way this summer, but it’s looking as though they mightn’t make the trip.

I can’t swear to it, but I’m fearful I’ve drifted a bit from my original intent with this post, whatever that might have been.

Surveillance Weirdness

Saturday October 28, 2006  

 

This brave new century offers a lot of interesting twists and turns for the observant.  I was reading a blog this morning, someone ruminating over a friend request he’d gotten from someone, maybe in India.

I’d gotten a similar request yesterday, so it caused me to consider whether blogs aren’t being used by intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, both here and abroad, to find folks with particular sets of viewpoints.

For instance, I came across a blog the other day posted by a person who called himself something like ‘dope-smuggler’.  Hmmm, thinks I, is this for real?  The blog entries and photos all involved various aspects of the use of controlled substances.

Suppose I worked for DEA, I went on thinking.  Would I throw out a trot-line or two searching for folks who’d like to admit on blogs that they were felons?  I think I might.

Or suppose I worked for Mossad  (I think that’s the right spelling), the Israeli intelligence agency.  Would I like to know as many names and locations of people who held Nazi-like viewpoints?  Would I be equally interested in folks who rabidly approve of anything Israel might do?  Probably.

And so on.  But that’s not what this blog is about.

This blog is about what’s happened with surveillance technology and general nosiness, both of government and individuals.

The technology and availability of spying equipment with amazing capabilities and invisibility at a shockingly low price is out there for anyone.

At least it was shocking and amazing to me when I found myself moved to investigate the matter.

One day I’d been sitting at a blackjack table for about twelve hours, and when I got to my car in the parking lot my cell-phone rang.  I answered and was treated to hearing a long playback of my conversations at the game-table several hours earlier.  I thought back and recalled a guy who sat next to me for a while wearing an unusual fanny-pack he kept messing with, so I figured it was him.

But his motive for doing such a thing was a mystery, and how he happened to know my cell-phone number was one, as well.

That happened several times, the casino playback thing, but I only saw that particular person once, and when he took the chair next to me I asked him if he had his equipment with him.  “Oh yeah,” he answered with a laugh.  “I always carry everything with me.”  And left the table.

During the same time-period Jeanne was in New Mexico.  We were in the living room, me standing, her sitting across the room, having a conversation.  The land-line phone rang and I answered.  Similarly to the casino experience, I had a conversation played back to me, but this time it was the conversation Jeanne and I’d just had within the past five minutes.

Someone obviously had the capability to listen to what was said in my home.  But what’s intriguing to me is that they wanted me to KNOW they had that capability.

That happened a couple more times and I could never see any signs around the house of any microphone/camera, but it was obviously here.  From then until now I’ve gotten spam emails I don’t open, but with subject lines referring to something or other that’s happened in my life, said or done, recently.

Which confirms for me that I am one helluva interesting guy.  I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone would put that kind of effort, energy and expense into my life, but I do try to provide with them with some amusement in various ways.

Sometimes I figure it’s the rich neighbor kid, sometimes I think it’s the neighbor across the street next-door to my buddy, Wes, who’s generally known to be a negative busybody.  But that doesn’t quite fit the casino incidents.

I haven’t a clue. 

But after the first phone-at-home incident Jeanne and I went to a surveillance store and looked over what was out there on the open market.  After seeing it, I decided we live in a time when it’s useless to think there are any secrets, any privacy, if anyone’s determined enough to want to know, sick enough to be willing to put out a few bucks and plant a device.

Flattering, though, knowing that despite the fact I don’t talk to anyone but the cats these days unless I’m on the phone, I’m still one hell of an interesting feller.

Golly.

Old Jules