Malcolm Gladwell writes a compelling take on the history of the Branch Davidians
and how their millennial Christian beliefs led to their ultimate confrontation with the FBI. "I came out the little driveway on the side of the building and got onto the main driveway that ran along the front of the building. As I turned the corner . . . one of the agents outside a tank started screaming at me to come over to him. My left ankle was all blistered, the skin was rolling off my hands, and my face was burned down the right side of my neck where the mask had been. I guess I took the mask off after I got out. It was kind of melting onto my face. . . . He was cussing me out, telling me if I made a false move he was going to blow my so-and-so head off. But he said: you’re gonna remember this day for the rest of your life. I thought: at least that is a true statement.
" [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata
on Mar 24, 2014 -
Stephen Colbert, as "Stephen Colbert" gave the closing keynote speech at the 2014 RSA Conference in San Francisco. While this speech has not been made officially available, it has been posted in its entirety to YouTube. Part 1, Part 2
[total length <20m] [warning - audience video of conference hall video screens -- content overcomes video shortcomings]
posted by hippybear
on Mar 10, 2014 -
About fifty years ago, the governor of Indiana received a letter complaining about obscenity in the lyrics of a rock'n'roll song, and passed that letter on to the FBI. For the following two years, FBI agents examined potential lyrics of the song (which were incomprehensible on the recording, partly due to the singer's braces) to find grounds for an obscenity prosecution. They ultimately failed, but produced a 140-page report, listing numerous possible obscene readings of what the lyrics could be, and in doing so, turned Louie Louie by The Kingsmen from a footnote into a bona fide rock'n'roll rebel anthem
. [more inside]
posted by acb
on Jan 23, 2014 -
"Maria Ridulph was 7 when she was kidnapped from a street corner in Sycamore, Illinois, on December 3, 1957. Her kidnapping and murder is the nation's oldest cold case to go to trial. It required family members to turn against one of their own and haunted a small town for 55 years. Even now, the case may not be over." CNN: Taken: The Coldest Case Ever Solved [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 2, 2013 -
The X-Files 20th anniversary reunion panel at San Diego Comic-Con
(Youtube) (Podcast version here
) (Summary and slideshow
), featuring Chris Carter, Vince Gilligan, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, Jim Wong, John Shiban, Howard Gordon and James Amann. sex scenes
, a third movie
are discussed. The Lone Gunmen
will return in Season 10
. The Guardian picks 13 best X-Files episodes
but somehow misses Jose Chung's From Outer Space
posted by Artw
on Aug 10, 2013 -
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored by the FBI and NSA, with Dropbox "coming soon."
So what can you do? Use some alternatives
. As Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo
, told NPR: "we made the choice to just not track people so there is nothing to turn over.
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 26, 2013 -
The identity of the hacker KYAnonymous aka KnightSec, who exposed the Steubenville rapists has been uncovered
as cybersecurity expert and aspiring rapper Deric Lostutter after being raided by the FBI
. If he is convicted for hacking-related crimes, he could spend up to ten years in prison, more time than the rapists. His story is here
and an interview here
. [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger
on Jun 10, 2013 -
Washington Post: NSA and FBI are mining data from nine major tech companies in formerly secret program.
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored, with Dropbox "coming soon". The program, called PRISM, is reportedly the most prolific contributor to the President's Daily Brief.
posted by brentajones
on Jun 6, 2013 -
Our American Pravda.
A provocative essay on the flaws of the American media by the editor and publisher of the American Conservative, Ron Unz
allusions to conspiracy theories
condemnation of Soviet spies (and a kind word for Joe McCarthy),
criticism of the FBI,
approving quotations of Paul Krugman,
fresh questions about the moral character of John McCain and his fitness for office,
disapproving descriptions of the Obama administration as "Bush's thrid term,"
and a broadside against the selling of the Iraq war calling it the "greatest strategic disaster in United States history." [more inside]
posted by Diablevert
on Jun 4, 2013 -
Death in Singapore
The body of a young US electronics engineer, Shane Todd, was found hanging in his Singapore apartment. Police said it was suicide, but the Todd family believe he was murdered. Shane had feared that a project he was working on was compromising US national security. His parents want to know if that project sent him to his grave.
posted by donovan
on Feb 19, 2013 -
"FBI files on Marilyn Monroe
that could not be located earlier this year have been found and re-issued, revealing the names of some of the movie star’s communist-leaning acquaintances who drew concern from government officials and her own entourage." [more inside]
posted by graymouser
on Dec 28, 2012 -
What does proper authorization to access a computer system mean?
Robert Graham of Errata Security writes about the recent conviction of Andrew Auernheimer (aka weev)
for “hacking” AT&T. Two years ago, weev discovered a bug
in AT&T's website that exposed the email addresses of customers with iPads. According to weev, the flaw was reported as per responsible disclosure practices by first informing AT&T before bringing it public. However the FBI investigated and arrested him under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). On 20th November 2012, he was found guilty
of identity fraud and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization.
posted by destrius
on Nov 21, 2012 -
Barrett Brown (previously
, researcher, and activist
formerly associated with Anonymous, was raided
at his Dallas home on September 12 and brought into Federal custody in Texas. Video and audio of the raid exist, as Brown was hosting a video chat at the time of the raid. (Brown's girlfriend was present during the raid and has published a partial account
.) Brown now faces indictment
on counts related to his comments about an individual FBI agent in three Youtube videos
he had posted in the day before his arrest, and to some of his recent tweets (including a retweet of a Fox News commentator's 2010 remark
about Julian Assange). [more inside]
posted by FrauMaschine
on Oct 7, 2012 -
hacking group claims to have released a set
of more than 1 million Apple Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) allegedly obtained from breaching an FBI agent's laptop
via a Java vulnerability. The group claims to have over 12 million IDs, as well as personal information such as user names, device names, notification tokens, cell phone numbers and addresses. There's a tool
to help you check if your device is in the list. [more inside]
posted by unSane
on Sep 4, 2012 -
"Though now almost forgotten, the case of “the Chickens and the Bulls” as the NYPD called it
(or “Operation Homex,” to the FBI), still stands as the most far-flung, most organized, and most brazen example of homosexual extortion in the nation’s history. And while the Stonewall riot in June 1969 is considered by many to be the pivotal moment in gay civil rights, this case represents an important crux too, marking the first time that the law enforcement establishment actually worked on behalf of victimized gay men, instead of locking them up or shrugging." [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Jul 13, 2012 -
Last year, Wired
reported that 'The FBI is teaching
its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”' (previously
The FBI pledged reform, but the materials appeared to be deeply embedded
. After the President ordered
a review, the FBI 'purged'
the documents from training materials.
Earlier this year Wired
reported that 'U.S. Military Taught Officers
: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 25, 2012 -
The Feynman Files.
For the first time, FBI records for Dr Richard Feynman have been released to the public
. They document the Bureau's apparent obsession in the 1950's with outing him as a communist sympathizer, and include notations from several background checks as well as interviews with his colleagues, friends and acquaintances.
posted by zarq
on Jun 6, 2012 -
"Planning to make a joke on Twitter about bombing something? You might want to reconsider: According to a report
from Britain, two tourists were detained and denied entry into the U.S. recently after they joked about destroying America and digging up Marilyn Monroe. That the Homeland Security Dept. and other authorities—including the FBI—are monitoring such social media as Twitter and Facebook isn’t surprising. That these authorities are willing to detain people based on what is clearly a harmless joke
, however, raises questions about what the impact of all that monitoring will be."* [more inside]
posted by ericb
on Jan 30, 2012 -