This week's Glenn Greenwald revelation
is that Britain's GCHQ JTRIG intelligence organization offers its agents and planners tools
with abilities to increase the search ranking of chosen web sites, “change outcome of online polls”, “masquerade Facebook Wall Posts for individuals or entire countries”, and accomplish “amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube).” [more inside]
posted by XMLicious
on Jul 16, 2014 -
But that didn't prevent
On the Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman and several members of her family and friends from being detained at a Canadian-US border while on the way home from a wedding. The story is all the more frightening as it details Sarah's inability to get any answers about policy from the Border Patrol, including the name of the officers who held her.
posted by Eyeveex
on Sep 23, 2013 -
If the NSA is able to break through banks' computer security, does that mean it solved the prime factorization problem?
The New York Times reported
recently that “the agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems.” Since banks' encryption codes rely on the fact that nobody knows how to find the prime factors of really large numbers, it could mean that the NSA has found a way to do that. Or it could mean that the NSA has simply gotten lots of banks to give up their information, or found other ways around their encryption. But if they've cracked this long-standing math problem, might the secret leak? What would be the effects?
posted by Sleeper
on Sep 12, 2013 -
Why Privacy Matters, Even If You Have Nothing To Hide
, by Daniel J. Solove
The nothing-to-hide argument pervades discussions about privacy. The data-security expert Bruce Schneier calls it the "most common retort against privacy advocates." ... To evaluate the nothing-to-hide argument, we should begin by looking at how its adherents understand privacy. Nearly every law or policy involving privacy depends upon a particular understanding of what privacy is. The way problems are conceived has a tremendous impact on the legal and policy solutions used to solve them. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Dec 9, 2012 -
From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader.
Jerry DeWitt is a former Pentecostal pastor in the evangelical parish of DeRidder, Louisiana who slowly lost his religious faith. Last Fall, he went public with his atheism, committing what he calls "identity suicide," and instantly becoming "the most disliked person in town." Since then, Mr. DeWitt's lost his job, his wife, his community and may be losing his house, but is still persevering and working
to help others
who find themselves in similar circumstances. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 27, 2012 -
Secrecy defines Obama’s drone war.
"Since September, at least 60 people have died in 14 reported CIA drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions. The Obama administration has named only one of the dead, hailing the elimination of Janbaz Zadran, a top official in the Haqqani insurgent network, as a counterterrorism victory. The identities of the rest remain classified, as does the existence of the drone program itself. Because the names of the dead and the threat they were believed to pose are secret, it is impossible for anyone without access to U.S. intelligence to assess whether the deaths were justified." [more inside]
posted by homunculus
on Dec 21, 2011 -
In Gitmo Opinion, Two Versions of Reality.
"When Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. ordered the release of a Guantánamo Bay detainee last spring, the case appeared to be a routine setback for an Obama administration that has lost a string of such cases. But there turns out to be nothing ordinary about the habeas case
brought by Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, a Yemeni held without charges for nearly eight years. Uthman, accused by two U.S. administrations of being an al-Qaida fighter and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, is among 48 detainees the Obama administration has deemed too dangerous to release but 'not feasible for prosecution.' A day after his March 16 order was filed on the court's electronic docket, Kennedy's opinion vanished
. Weeks later, a new ruling appeared in its place. While it reached the same conclusion, eight pages of material had been removed
, including key passages in which Kennedy dismantled the government's case against Uthman."
posted by homunculus
on Oct 13, 2010 -
The FBI has released their extensive files on US Senator Edward M. Kennedy to the public,
covering their relationship with him between 1961 and 1985. The seven files, totaling more than 2,200 pages of documents reveal
(among other things,) the perhaps unsurprising news that the late Senator received "scores"
of death threats
from radical groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, “Minutemen” organizations, and the National Socialist White People’s Party. The release was initiated by a Freedom of Information Act Request from Judicial Watch
on May 3, 2010, (Complaint pdf
) but the FBI gave the Senator's family the "rare opportunity" to raise objections before releasing the file
posted by zarq
on Jun 14, 2010 -
Secrecy no more?
The first major overhaul of the Freedom of Information act in years is awaiting President Bush's signature.
It will finally create an "independent" government agency to handle to disputes between records holders and information requesters. The passage of the act comes after, ironically, after an Arizona senator used a "secret hold" to block the bill. He was ferreted out
by a group of journalists.
posted by nospecialfx
on Dec 20, 2007 -
to gather information about Americans' phone records
--... the NSA had approached the company (Qwest) about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather information about Americans' phone records.
...Nacchio's account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests that the Bush administration was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 attacks have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless surveillance efforts. ...
-- The Administration's crimes and illegal spying on all of us and Quest's punishment for not going along with their plans.
posted by amberglow
on Oct 13, 2007 -
Loose lips sink ships!!!1 (There be images, some quite big here)
I suspect a lot of MeFi shares my obsession with propaganda
(and propaganda-style) posters
, both domestic and foreign
, as well as the photoshops
that the Something Awful
crowds generate. CoolGov has a link today to the Office of the National National Counterintelligence Executive
and their Anti-Espionage poster collection
. Some are great
, some are almost pure propaganda
, and some show how obsessed with secrecy
our government has become. That lead me to Google to look for posters on the *.gov
domains. Check out the posters for "Venemous Snakes of Afghanistan and Pakistan"
, or what the well dressed airmen
is wearing (*note the "Essentials"), posters from the NOAA telling you that "lightning kills"
, the Code of Ethics for Government Officers and Employees
, and this one telling GI's why smoking could kill them
posted by rzklkng
on Apr 18, 2005 -
The arrival of secret law.
Americans can now be obligated to comply with legally-binding regulations that are unknown to them, and that indeed they are forbidden to know.
This is not some dismal Eastern European allegory. It is part of a continuing transformation of American government that is leaving it less open, less accountable and less susceptible to rational deliberation as a vehicle for change.
posted by acrobat
on Nov 18, 2004 -
Classified documents posted, greeted with big yawn.
What I find interesting is... If these documents are so uninteresting, why were
they classified? It kind of bolsters my opinion that most secrecy in government is not unlike Calvin in his treehouse with the sign that says "No Grils". It's all an exercise in in-group, out-group dynamics, and has little, if anything, to do with National Security. Which means this is a big deal after all, if you think about it...
posted by aurelian
on Jul 24, 2000 -