Of course I'd like to sit around and chat... but someone's listening in
September 26, 2015 5:24 AM   Subscribe

Fresh from The Intercept (that fearless vanguard of journalism helmed by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras): disturbing documents exposing the unfathomable reach of the United Kingdom's GCHQ in its quest for total awareness of global internet traffic. A hundred billion user actions logged per day. A "Black Hole" database of 1.1 trillion logs. Frightening programs like KARMA POLICE, MEMORY HOLE, and MUTANT BROTH that correlate the kilo-crore corpus -- IP addresses, cookies, forum posts, search histories, emails, and passwords all compiled and cross-referenced into a real-time "diary" that gives penetrating insight into the relationships, beliefs, and desires of every web user on the planet. Internal documents suggest only widespread encryption can threaten the regime -- a movement the UK is determined to subdue (previously).

Some highlights from The Intercept's surveillance reporting previously on MeFi:

  • "Micah Lee at The Intercept provides a deep and wide introduction to encryption (with a clever but helpful Romeo & Juliet framing device) then brings us all the way through the doorframe, past thinking or talking about it"
posted by Rhaomi (105 comments total) 103 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm speechless.
Nice collection of links.
posted by clavdivs at 5:32 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


You expect me to comment here?
posted by chavenet at 5:32 AM on September 26, 2015 [16 favorites]


I like Radiohead too!

You probably already knew that.
posted by adept256 at 5:38 AM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jesus.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:49 AM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Frightening programs like KARMA POLICE, MEMORY HOLE, and MUTANT BROTH that correlate the kilo-crore corpus

I have to confess that I always thought that Charlie's approach to program codewords in the Laundry Files was an amusing piece of dramatic license rather than an accurate reflection of working practices in the British intelligence community.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 5:52 AM on September 26, 2015 [18 favorites]


how about making https the default on mefi, rather than something you have to opt into?

(if you don't use https, go to your preferences on each device you use and select "use secure browsing" then save).
posted by andrewcooke at 5:55 AM on September 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


Hey, thanks for making me feel better about worst-case global warming scenarios this morning! At least those outcomes are an exit from shadow omniscience.
posted by postcommunism at 5:58 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


INFINITE MONKEYS, which analyzes data about the usage of online bulletin boards and forums.

okay props on that name though.
posted by postcommunism at 6:03 AM on September 26, 2015 [34 favorites]


Chronology is fascinating and the real time diary link is beyond my explains. Is it the...place/page were culled info is assembled for consumption?

Samuel Pepys indeed.
posted by clavdivs at 6:09 AM on September 26, 2015


Just thinking out loud, can they correlate when you're NOT posting? To go anonymous is more an exercise in PITA detail care, getting a series of empty laptops, sending messages from random starbucks or libraries with carefully husbanded encryption keys. But while doing that posting from a random location one would NOT be posting from home. Now that's a lot of blank space to create an association but in some ways it's not "big data" but just a giant sort problem....
posted by sammyo at 6:13 AM on September 26, 2015


I have a better idea.

Let's dismantle the organizations that are performing this surveillance.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:23 AM on September 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


On the positive side, at least there looks to be a lot of really good employment opportunities for CS majors for the foreseeable future.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:42 AM on September 26, 2015


I like porn too! Wait. Dammit.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:45 AM on September 26, 2015


Christ, what a bunch of patriots.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:48 AM on September 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


how about making https the default on mefi, rather than something you have to opt into?

I'm no computer security expert, but according to this https can be bypassed.
posted by get off of my cloud at 7:06 AM on September 26, 2015


Well I think this all sounds just great and the people behind it do too and uh nervous glance at camera long live the Queen!
posted by No-sword at 7:08 AM on September 26, 2015


"The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people."

According to the evening news these are targeted strikes at known terrorists with little collateral damage. The thing is any male age 14 to 55 is presumed guilty. It is only women and young children who are considered sad mistakes and they are not counted.
posted by bukvich at 7:09 AM on September 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


Interesting list of links; thanks. For a minute there, I lost myself.
posted by Wordshore at 7:10 AM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wrote to my MP yesterday about the new Draft Communications Data Bill. I encourage anyone in the UK to do the same. Make sure to mention that you are a constituent.

These people are technically skilled, politically powerful, and morally blinkered, and that makes them a greater threat to democracy than some extremist randos.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 7:17 AM on September 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Let's dismantle the organizations that are performing this surveillance.

This is really the only solution, but it's unlikely to happen. Take a look at the tactics listed above. Retitle it "playbook for controlling a politician".

It doesn't matter if you're the most incorruptible senator in the world if an intelligence service can just drop some child porn on your hard drive.

That's basically where we're at now. Even if these organizations are themselves completely composed by people with the best of intentions (and I believe for the most part they are), it's clear that they're not ethically above destroying one person's career for the greater good of preserving their organization. After all, they're the A-team, the good guys, the delta squad, whatever.
posted by phooky at 7:22 AM on September 26, 2015 [16 favorites]


I have a better idea.

Let's dismantle
....


Yeah, except, hmmm, no going back.

As an example -- I saw an ad in a professional filmmaker magazine for something you can buy off the shelf now. A fair sized box/rack but a device for a small business. Forget the exact number but like 7 petabytes of storage. Probably not cheap but for a small business. My point? My point is there is no turning back, you can buy off the shelf real time facial emotion scanners. Just two examples of products I recently noticed without researching this topic. NSA level invasive technology is out in the wild. If it's not "no such agency" it'll be Target or ISIS or someone else. There's a new god out there, a meta-meta-Prometheus that has given us a new kind of fire.
posted by sammyo at 7:39 AM on September 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Wordshore: Interesting list of links; thanks. For a minute there, I lost myself.

I see what you did there.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:39 AM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Let's dismantle the organizations that are performing this surveillance.

That's never going to work, because the idea of being able to track and identify "bad actors" before they do something is far too tantalizing.

A better approach would be adding noise into the system. A noisemaker app that visits websites, leave comments, shop for things - essentially randomly, would salt their data with useless confounding junk. In fact, that's sort of an interesting AI problem. Doing it randomly would be useless sifting order out of randomness is dead easy. But doing it as a "NPC" AI that had some personality so that it wasn't random, and still wasn't real...
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:40 AM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


For a minute there, I lost myself.

Don't worry, the government will find you again. They're just here to help!
posted by lollusc at 7:40 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another debt we owe to Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras ...
posted by gt2 at 7:46 AM on September 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


Welp, time to enable the VPN full-time for all my devices.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:51 AM on September 26, 2015


The key to a good mutant broth is to simmer the turtle shells overnight in a slow cooker with a couple bay leaves. Add the salt later, it slows down the cooking process.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:52 AM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Great post as always, Rhaomi.)
posted by Drinky Die at 7:54 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've thought a while that the solution is to increase the noise to hide the signal. Using silk road or encryption makes people a target for further investigation (You've got nothing to hide if...) so the best way to hide is to level the playing field and make users indistinguishable. This means infecting every device on the entire internet.

User choice and control must be taken out of the picture. Senator Upstanding can only use the defense of "I don't know how those pictures got on my hard drive, maybe the NSA put them there?" if those pictures are also being put on EVERY OTHER hard drive, too.

And how to hide? If they are watching for dangerous political opinions, it doesn't help to continue posting those political opinions while also cramming the tubes with MLP fanfic. The noise has to match what they are watching for - it has to be dark, dangerous, subversive stuff. Smart fridges pinging each other anti-governmental screeds, and self-driving cars accelerating towards bus stations.

This would shut down surveillance. This would also shut down the utility of the internet. But, you know, it's had its chance. Maybe it's time for a new protocol to be invented. Something less easy to tap at a single access point. Something less identifiable on a mass scale. Something that allows people to protect their privacy while still communicating with those who wish to listen.

So, yeah, use surveillance as the gasoline to burn it down. The ashes will make a great fertilizer.
posted by rebent at 7:55 AM on September 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


You expect me to comment here?

"No, Mr. Chavenet! I expect you to die!"

*starts lasering a gold slab*

Seriously, this is awful but I honestly don't know what people can realistically do about it. The population and governments run on fear and thus has it always been.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 7:58 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


The sun never sets, eh?
posted by infini at 8:00 AM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


This quote from the ODNI's General Counsel shows the playbook for making sure this stuff never goes away:
Although “the legislative environment is very hostile today, it could turn in the event of a terrorist attack or criminal event where strong encryption can be shown to have hindered law enforcement.” There is value, he said, in “keeping our options open for such a situation.”
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:10 AM on September 26, 2015 [3 favorites]




I'm surprised Anon hasn't struck on the idea of sneaking child porn onto politicians and corporate computers en masse. It would bring chaos.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:25 AM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Does anybody know if the double tap drone attacks have been abandoned? Google fetches me no hits from after 2014 on the first two pages. I don't know if the Be Powers came to their senses or if writing about double tap drone attacks gets you blackballed or if they were made up to begin with or what.
posted by bukvich at 8:26 AM on September 26, 2015


"The ashes will make a great fertilizer."

That'd make a cool title.
posted by clavdivs at 8:27 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


This stuff is interesting from a research methodology perspective. The diary generator is essentially automating what would usually be time-intensive ethnographic work. In fact, nearly all of the data collection described in the article is seeking to get at findings that would typically be collected through qualitative methods, although it's obtaining that data through an algorithmic approach instead of person-to-person observation (which, I suppose, you would call 'traditional' intelligence work). It reminds me a bit of a method that's becoming vogue in the information studies field, called trace ethnography, where you apply the 'trace' data (meaning things like meta-data) to ethnographic research questions and data analysis approaches.
posted by codacorolla at 9:00 AM on September 26, 2015 [5 favorites]




It's all very well us getting all hot and bothered about what those dreadful security agencies are up to; the fundamental problem is that most of the world stands squarely with John Oliver.
posted by flabdablet at 9:25 AM on September 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Does anybody know if the double tap drone attacks have been abandoned?

On the contrary, it sounds like our Gulf allies have adopted these tactics in Yemen.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:30 AM on September 26, 2015


the idea of being able to track and identify "bad actors" before they do something is far too tantalizing imaginary
posted by Sys Rq at 9:36 AM on September 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


So now we know the answer to the question "Does anyone read the comments down here?"
posted by chavenet at 9:46 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


So now we know the answer to the question "Does anyone read the comments down here?"

Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and you want me to read Youtube comments.

- Marvin, the paranoid android
posted by adept256 at 9:53 AM on September 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


Two computers and a surveillance truck.
posted by clavdivs at 9:56 AM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


related - wikipedia was in court friday fighting against nsa crap - http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/25/wikipedias-lawsuit-against-nsa-internet-vacuum-has-first-day-in-court.
posted by andrewcooke at 10:05 AM on September 26, 2015


@get off my cloud I'm no computer security expert, but according to this https can be bypassed.

That's about HTTPS protection of cookies being bypassed in a limited set of circumstances, not a problem with the protocol in general.
posted by Candleman at 10:13 AM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Two computers and a surveillance truck.

Walked into a bar.
posted by infini at 10:15 AM on September 26, 2015


two computers, one truck
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:39 AM on September 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


> That's about HTTPS protection of cookies being bypassed in a limited set of circumstances, not a problem with the protocol in general.

One problem with the protocol is that the owner of any of those root certificates can man in the middle TLS. They're supposed to be trustworthy, but it's a long list. Also, if someone gets access to your device or coerces you to install their cert (e.g. employer or snoopy govt.) they can MITM you.

One open source implementation and a commercial one
posted by morganw at 10:41 AM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, and targeting cookies is important for disambiguating users. From the article:
If the agency wants to track down a person’s IP address, it can enter the person’s email address or username into MUTANT BROTH to attempt to find it, scanning through the cookies that come up linking those identifiers to an IP address.
posted by morganw at 10:49 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


With this level of surveillance, SSL is pretty much equivalent to the lock on your front door. It'll stop a casual break-in but if the governments wants in, they have the means to be in without anyone even noticing. Maybe there are a few exceptions where this isn't the case, but by and large it is so.
posted by feloniousmonk at 11:14 AM on September 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Your government at work play.

I wouldn't be surprised if the recent online support for Ahmed Muhammed and his clock have overloaded the target databases.

Still, you have to wonder if there's some easy way to get cleared off any watch lists... like visiting the NRA's website.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:19 AM on September 26, 2015


Given my history I assume I'm on a variety of government lists and post information online accordingly.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 11:25 AM on September 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


So they started off building lists of people accessing sites of interest (Islamist internet radio stations), and it evolved into a dossier of sites and social connections accessed by everyone. If they have Facebook-level technology, they can infer people's political leanings, sexual orientations and whether or not they're in a relationship and how stable it is, to name just three things. With machine learning and a rich source of longitudinal data, this can expand considerably. It should be possible to generate psychological sketches (of varying levels of detail and accuracy) from data, inferring, say, a person's motivations, fears, whether they have things to hide (and where to look for them), and from that, how to best influence them. By comparing the variations in data over time, it may be possible to infer whether somebody is under stress (sleeping fewer hours, phone accelerometer reports pacing/fidgeting), whether their schedule has changed in ways not correlatable with other data (suggesting that they may be planning something), and so on.

The end goal would be a deep state with the control of a highly efficient totalitarian regime but an almost undetectable lightness of touch; a state which can recognise trouble (i.e., disquiet over some deal or policy threatening to form into a protest movement), pinpoint the right actors and, with a precisely calibrated amount of force brought to bear, the storm on the horizon falls apart harmlessly; key people drop out or lose interest or suddenly have other things to worry about. (In a few cases, this would involve the spooks putting the hard word on someone, or revealing their visits to adult-baby cosplay websites to their spouse or something, though in most cases it would stop well short of anything like that. Some people would get luckier or unluckier in a way that distracts them, or through messages getting lost or altered, discord would break up any coordinating groups.

Ultimately, this could extend to a highly efficient “managed democracy”, giving the people what they “want”, i.e., enough to placate them and no more, without the inefficiency of indiscriminately catering to the masses as in a democracy. As long as the system's too complex and unpredictable for anybody to game (though, undoubtedly, folklore and superstition about how to game the system will abound), it could, theoretically, work well enough for the powers that be to justify building it, and justify it in high-minded terms as the ultimate Benthamite utilitarian utopia.
posted by acb at 11:51 AM on September 26, 2015 [23 favorites]




It seems, then, that a site that offers up information on what the US govt often does illegally or via court orders is itself MONITORED
posted by Postroad at 12:01 PM on September 26, 2015


Note (/warning): That Russel Means link is a docu that's narrated (and produced) by Alex Jones.
posted by el io at 12:31 PM on September 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Looking for naughty doings, and bits will always be more interesting than preempting bad actors. Stealing future patents, listening to celebrities in bed, turning on cameras at will, listening, listening, listening, the voyeurism and resultant profit, are too seductive, and aligned with root cause. The power, the illusion of power, the fear, the bluff, the bull, the theft, yeah.

Leave a great deal of your life, un-wired. It doesn't matter, they have mapped your kids. They are training your kids with the games you buy, the TV, the tablets, the programs at school. You ain't seen nothing yet. But you will. when they become strangers, and you are the other. Isolate yourself from it enough and then tune in, you will hear what appear to be perfectly normal people, spout crazy stuff, with that "true believer" look on their faces.

There is literally too much stuff to understand, and trying to interpret it all, say the elementary curriculum; you don't have time.
posted by Oyéah at 12:56 PM on September 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Two, no three quick thoughts...

1) Given the Mike Klein deposition in EFF v. AT&T and the disclosure of optical splitters on the backbone copying all traffic to the NSA, yeah, *everything* is kept in you Permanent Record.

2) Given djb's discussion of compromises to contemporary encryption implementations at a fundamental level, *nothing* "encrypted" can be expected to be authentic or private.

3) We're fucked.
posted by mikelieman at 1:02 PM on September 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


During the '60s, of course, a sense that mainstream politics and culture were so corrupt led to the intentional communities movement, as people withdrew their consent for the mainstream by physically leaving the grid. Perhaps the solution to mass surveillance is something similar, only expressed in virtual terms: a mass disavowal of the internet and mobile phone culture, as it becomes ever clearer that the digital realm comprises the bars of our cage?
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:08 PM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Democracy has been pwned. I mean it has been slowly subverted since the rise of the military/industria/surveillance state that was erected during WWII, but now they have powers that the classic totalitarian regimes of the early 20th century could have only dreamed of.

a mass disavowal of the internet and mobile phone culture, as it becomes ever clearer that the digital comprises the bars of our cage?

Not to mention the ball cancer all of us men are going to be getting after about 30 to 40 years of carrying a cell phone in our front pockets.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:15 PM on September 26, 2015


I'm not here. This isn't happening.
posted by Chairboy at 2:31 PM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I fully expect that a site like Reddit is feeding me the headlines TPTB want me to see, so as to better manipulate my ideas about society, culture, economics, and politics. I would not be surprised if message threads were also similarly massaged.

Heck, I even find myself questioning videos like the Arab dude almost sliced by the falling pane of glass. It's all so unlikely, it seems more likely to be made-up.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:00 PM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


"It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. ... And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance." http://orwell.ru/library/articles/ABomb/english/e_abomb

The technology of mass surveillance tends to statism imo.

My conspiracy mind says that the motivation of nwo wanting a slave world is the threat of homemade GM viruses.

I think it's all beyond normal pay grades but I'm fascinated by the frog getting boiled.
posted by thoughtslut at 4:49 PM on September 26, 2015


It's really exciting to think of our nwo masters with some grand Minority Report style plan, but these are the same agencies that didn't predict the Berlin wall falling or the Arab spring. You can definitely retroactively frame or dig up dirt on nearly any single person, but predictive Foundation style analytics are still nonsense.
posted by benzenedream at 5:27 PM on September 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


benzenedream, glasnost was the great robbery of ussr. You are right, not only did we not predict it, we still think it was something that it wasn't. Arab Spring, I did a search and saw some scurrilous blog post that said CIA agents were in the photo inciting a mob. Total crap, but that's what I'm into. Some people get offended by conspiracy theories, so will leave off more comments in this thread.
posted by thoughtslut at 5:32 PM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Since folks are quoting lyrics, this one seems to be the most apropros:

Life in a Glass House

Once again, I’m in trouble with my only friend
She is papering the window panes
She is putting on a smile
Living in a glass house

Once again, packed like frozen food and battery hens
Think of all the starving millions
Don’t talk politics and don’t throw stones
Your royal highnesses

Well of course I’d like to sit around and chat
Well of course I’d like to stay and chew the fat
Well of course I’d like to sit around and chat
But someone’s listening in.

Once again, we are hungry for a lynching
That’s a strange mistake to make
You should turn the other cheek
Living in a glass house

Well of course I'd like to sit around and chat
Well of course I'd like to stay and chew the fat
Well of course I'd like to sit around and chat
Only, only, only, only, only, only, only
Only, only, only, only, only, only
There's someone listening in
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:31 PM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


And then I read the title of the fpp.....doh!
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:43 PM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


See what happens when you don't have total information awareness?
posted by Drinky Die at 7:52 PM on September 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


With machine learning and a rich source of longitudinal data [...] it should be possible to generate psychological sketches [...]

There's a big difference between doing that sort of thing as a predictive measure, and doing it when a subject has already been identified. It's possible that machine learning might stumble on a way of resolving this sort of problem, but a lot of the techniques I see described are basically graph analysis, which gets more difficult very rapidly as you increase the number of subjects.

Also, predictive techniques are really only useful if they have a minute error rate. I mean, if there are (generously) a thousand potential terrorists in the USA, and you have an error of one in a thousand (hah!), then you'll mis-identify 300,000 civilians as potential terrorists. That's an awfully huge amount of police resources to waste. This is probably why we've had a number of successful terrorist attacks in the USA, and the intelligence services have been unable to point to any that have been prevented by widespread surveillance.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:19 PM on September 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I would not be surprised if message threads were also similarly massaged.
Heck, I even find myself questioning videos like the Arab dude almost sliced by the falling pane of glass. It's all so unlikely, it seems more likely to be made-up.


I'm not even sure you said that.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:56 PM on September 26, 2015


The most alarming thing is, neither am I!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:02 PM on September 26, 2015


Perhaps the solution to mass surveillance is something similar, only expressed in virtual terms: a mass disavowal of the internet and mobile phone culture

Who is John Galt?
posted by flabdablet at 6:23 AM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe unrelated, but I've got a keybase.io account, and I've been trying to figure out what problem that solves. Now my various account profiles are linked together. So what?
posted by ctmf at 6:30 AM on September 27, 2015


well, i didn't know about keybase.io until just now, but afaict it's a source of public keys, associated with ids in public services. so the problem it solves is other people wanting to find the public key for an identity on some service.

given that, the answer to "so what?" is that, if you ever say anything interesting, then someone could respond with an encrypted message that only you could read. conversely, if you send someone a message, claiming to be the person behind a certain public identity, you can prove it by signing that message (the receiver can presumably verify that signature via the public key).

(on the other hand, you've also publicly linked accounts that you might otherwise have been keeping separate)

however, i'm curious how keybase knows that their info is correct. my guess is that it comes (only?) from the implicit web of trust in the invitation process for enrolment.
posted by andrewcooke at 7:58 AM on September 27, 2015


i guess an alternative answer to "so what?" is that somewhere the keybase ceo is saying "we see privacy as the next disruption and we're getting in on the ground floor. monetisation is something we're leaving 'til later - if we can win here then, as doorkeepers to the public key space, we have real leverage in the online markets of identity and communication."
posted by andrewcooke at 8:11 AM on September 27, 2015


It seems to me it proves that you once did control the twitter account, web site, or what-have-you as the same person with the keybase.io account. But that doesn't necessarily mean someone didn't walk up to my computer when I stupidly left it unlocked (or even just get my twitter password somehow) and post something for me. Unless I digitally sign every tweet or post or whatever. Which you can't do in 140 characters.

I guess you could have a separate signature log on your own webspace somewhere so anyone interested could verify things. Maybe keybase.io should have that feature - a signature log attached to the keybase user profile. Write a tweet in keybase, keybase posts the tweet to Twitter and the signature to your keybase signature log. Seems cumbersome, and only useful for people with the problem of being impersonated.
posted by ctmf at 8:21 AM on September 27, 2015


however, i'm curious how keybase knows that their info is correct.

It has you post a pre-determined message on your other accounts, then looks up and verifies the message before indicating they're you in keybase. The message must be a hash function of the username and some secret from keybase, so someone can't just copy/paste the same message on their own account.

I guess it does make the "verified" status (blue check mark thing) the services do redundant. If everyone knew the keybase account was the real ctmf, they could verify my twitter account was the same ctmf and not a fake. Not that I have that problem.
posted by ctmf at 8:32 AM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another debt we owe to Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras ...

we should also add Chelsea Manning
posted by bitteroldman at 11:06 AM on September 27, 2015 [5 favorites]






Snowden's on Twitter and Jack was his first follower.
posted by infini at 2:32 PM on September 29, 2015


From Homunculus' last link:
Metadata+, a free app that catalogues fatal drone strikes by the United States, was pulled from the App Store this morning. Users were alerted via a notification that said the app was removed because of "exceptionally crude or objectionable content."
The "crude or objectionable content" is apparently nothing more than the information from this Twitter stream; i.e., date, location, number of victims, and a link to a news report. This is the sort of thing that deserves to parodied or lampooned, but I don't have the heart to do so. And what recourse do we have. We want our apps and our games, we can't buck Apple. And it's not as if the US government wants us to think seriously about its military adventurism. Will the news services bother reporting these things, if Apple implicitly desires their suppression? What if a newspaper carried the same information on its dedicated application? And how many more things are being suppressed, which we don't even know about?
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:38 PM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


And how many more things are being suppressed, which we don't even know about?

Probably quite a bit. When's the last time you heard about the "secret wars" being prosecuted in Africa? or the Phillipines?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:20 PM on September 29, 2015


I mean we have several drone bases in Africa and you never hear about any of those drone strikes do you? Doesn't mean that they aren't happening.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:20 PM on September 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Point. Coincidentally, I was reading a biography from WW2 and it was remarkable how people followed the course of the war - and how they could follow it, even under wartime censorship restrictions. That couldn't happen nowadays, of course: even the number of US operations is classified!
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:48 PM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Soon, they'll peer deeply and realize they're looking up their own orifices.
posted by infini at 3:42 AM on September 30, 2015




Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:12 AM on October 1, 2015


"The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people."

According to the evening news these are targeted strikes at known terrorists with little collateral damage. The thing is any male age 14 to 55 is presumed guilty. It is only women and young children who are considered sad mistakes and they are not counted.


And now there's this: A hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz was badly damaged early Saturday after being hit by what appears to have been an American airstrike. At least 19 people were killed, including 12 hospital staff members, and dozens wounded.
posted by homunculus at 11:48 AM on October 3, 2015


But the bots thought all that French tweeting was highly suspicious activity.
posted by infini at 1:16 PM on October 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Does anybody know if the double tap drone attacks have been abandoned?

On the contrary, it sounds like our Gulf allies have adopted these tactics in Yemen.


Drone strikes in Yemen? What drone strikes in Yemen?

This Man Wants Apology For Drone Strike He Says Killed His Family. The U.S. Won’t Admit It Happened.
posted by homunculus at 10:26 AM on October 4, 2015 [3 favorites]








Imho, #‎Intelexit‬ deserves an FPP for their drone ‪leaflet drop over an NSA facility in Germany.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:18 PM on October 6, 2015




Imho, #‎Intelexit‬ deserves an FPP for their drone ‪leaflet drop over an NSA facility in Germany yt .

Go for it!
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on October 6, 2015




New thread on the strike on the MSF hopsital.
posted by homunculus at 8:18 PM on October 7, 2015




And in other GCHQ news: GCHQ's exploding doughnut threatens to ooze into innocent field
posted by homunculus at 8:20 PM on October 7, 2015




Government Likens Ending Bulk Surveillance to Opening Prison Gates

... but in a bad way.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:43 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Top-secret documents published by The Intercept reveal how GCHQ and the National Security Agency have targeted Wikileaks and "the human network that supports Wikileaks", with tactics ranging from covert surveillance to prosecution, targeting The Pirate Bay and Anonymous, urging countries to file criminal charges against Julian Assange, and secretly logging visitors to the Wikileaks website."

Five years confined: New Foia documents shed light on the Julian Assange case
posted by homunculus at 2:36 PM on October 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


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