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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Iceberg tips and such or Living room perspectives from an easy chair

You read stuff on the net. One of the things I have come across was something about there being a forced back door in operating systems and motherboards by the NSA. Of course we can't believe everything we read on the net. 

Another thing I saw was something about browsers and antivirus programs that can block access to whatever the powers that be desire and the antivirus can be caused to not detect whatever the powers that be don't want to be detected.

We have no way of knowing if any of this is true. But we can often see the tip of the iceberg in small ways... 

"Microsoft says it plans to move ahead with a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government in June to affirm the right of businesses to disclose limited information about government demands for data made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In separate legal filings, Microsoft and Google challenged the gag order that typically accompanies FISA demands for customer data. The two companies asserted that they have a First Amendment right to publish the total number of FISA requests received and the total number of user accounts covered by such requests."

Gee, thanx Microsoft and Google, for doing something..
Where were the Champions of Justice when these requests first started coming to you?
I see. It's different now that you've been exposed to the public as cooperating in all this.
There is no doubt they are seeing this as harmful to their business, because users feel betrayed.

My fear is that they will allow themselves to be bought off through some sort of government contract or protectionism.
However, both companies are global players and have seen push-back from foreign governments, so any sort of payoff would have to outweigh that.
This is a great development. Let's hope it reigns in some of this nonsense.
They need to push for revealing MORE information. For instance, EVERY USER, who's account was
subject to such an order should be notified (after a suitable passage of time, 6 months seems right for most cases).

The government would have to offer up this fact in Discovery if someone was subsequently charged, why should an innocent person deserve less?

You read stuff on the net...the curtain gets pulled back by a Toto now and then...

Short summary: The NSA gives DEA agents "anonymous tips" on which vehicles to "randomly" stop. This is never mentioned in court.
Here's another one.
This time it's the courts saying that they don't have to show the evidence to the defendant or his lawyers. Not exactly the justice they taught in high school civics.
The solution, as always, is knowledge. Know who to support. Know who to vote for. Know what to write your congressman. Learn, and always assume that there is something you don't know so you have to learn more, and look behind the curtains.
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

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