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 The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people

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Vito

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PostSubject: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:38 am

In case y'all haven't been following the PRISM scandal that broke last week, here's an article about it from no less than the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html

The story linked above just focuses on the internet part of the Feds' spying. The original story by the U.K.'s Guardian focused on the phone spying...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order

...and only briefly mentioned that the spying program also "implemented a bulk collection program of domestic...internet and email records." Subsequent investigation has revealed that the internet and email spying has been going on for at least the past six years.

Microsoft was first to join* this spy ring in 2007, followed by Yahoo, Google, Facebag, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, and finally Apple (in 2012, October). Please note that the companies listed below are providing information that includes email. Here's one of the PowerPoint slides from the National Security Agency (NSA) that was leaked when the story broke:
    * To be fair, it's still not clear whether Microsoft or any of the other companies voluntarily participated in PRISM.

All of the companies listed above have denied participation in the PRISM program. Either they're lying (which is bad enough), or the Feds managed to infiltrate their data servers without their knowledge (which is far worse). Any way you cut it, this is menacing stuff.

Notice the "TOP SECRET" notation at the bottom right of the slide above. Get it? The Feds didn't want you to know they were spying on you. This is not a partisan political issue. Mr. Obama is just as guilty as his predecessor; Mr. Bush signed the law that made it "legal".

I leave the ramifications of this kind of massive surveillance of millions of private citizens to your imagination.

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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:06 pm

Orwell was only off by a couple of decades.

FWIW, I doubt most people are actually surprised, given the fact that this country is really nothing more than a fiscal machine that affords it's citizens civil liberties, not freedom.

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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:13 pm

That's disappointing.

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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:39 pm

Puff Daddy wrote:
...this country is really nothing more than a fiscal machine that affords it's citizens civil liberties, not freedom.
And the number of civil liberties it affords us declines daily, PD.

I think you've made the point elsewhere that the belief that we have freedom is a myth. The fact that so many people think they're "free" because they get to choose their rulers would be pretty good comedy if it weren't so tragic.

I remember an episode of Star Trek:TNG where Picard was gassing on about how the Federation "grants us these basic freedoms". Jean-Luc was generally a pretty enlightened character, but that wasn't one of his finer moments.

This business of the state granting freedoms is precisely the kind of mental malignancy that has mucked up the works. Freedom is supposed to be our birthright, not something the state grants in its infinite benevolence. That's the problem. If freedom is something the state can grant, then it's something it can also take away.

I'd say the clowns in Washington have been doing a pretty effective job of taking it away. They've been stomping it into the dirt for the last 224 years. Mad

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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:47 pm

The thought that anything we do over the internet is private is a very naive one, to say the least. E-mail, in particular, has always been a very public enterprise. Nothing of this is surprising, much less shocking. The only new thing (which could have been easily guessed by anyone giving it some thought) is that advances in number crunching hardware and in data mining technology make it all possible at a much larger scale.

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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:02 pm

Quote :
Orwell was only off by a couple of decades.

Little-known fact : The publisher refused to print his book until he agreed to re-arrange the title number to "1984" from his original "1948."
.........................
Military told not to read Obama-scandal news

Verizon phone records story off-limits to airmen

President Obama has said the outrage over the federal government’s decision to monitor citizens’ phone activity is all “hype.”

WND has received an unclassified NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) that warns airmen not to look at news stories related to the data-mining scandal. The notice applies to users of the Air Force NIPRNET (Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network), which is the only way that many troops stationed overseas and on bases in the U.S. are able to access the Internet.

The last line of the executive summary states:

“Classified documents regarding the Verizon phone record collection and court order have been identified as being hosted on publically accessibe Internet Web Sites, most notably "The Guardian" news site. Viewing and/or downloading these documents on Air Force NIPRNET could constitute a Classified Message Incident. Therefore, users are not to access these file [sic] for any reason (i.e. viewing, downloading, forwarding, etc)."

Actual order reproduced at http://www.wnd.com/2013/06/military-told-not-to-read-obama-scandal-news/
................................
Source: Washington's Blog

Government Built Spy-Access Into Most Popular Consumer Program Before 9/11

In researching the stunning pervasiveness of spying by the government (it’s much more wide spread than you’ve heard even now), we found a 1999 article by leading European computer publication Heise which noted that the NSA had already built a backdoor into all Windows software:

A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has revealed that special access codes prepared by the US National Security Agency have been secretly built into Windows. The NSA access system is built into every version of the Windows operating system now in use, except early releases of Windows 95 (and its predecessors). The discovery comes close on the heels of the revelations earlier this year that another US software giant, Lotus, had built an NSA “help information” trapdoor into its Notes system, and that security functions on other software systems had been deliberately crippled.

The first discovery of the new NSA access system was made two years ago by British researcher Dr Nicko van Someren [an expert in computer security]. But it was only a few weeks ago when a second researcher rediscovered the access system. With it, he found the evidence linking it to NSA.

***

Two weeks ago, a US security company came up with conclusive evidence that the second key belongs to NSA. Like Dr van Someren, Andrew Fernandez, chief scientist with Cryptonym of Morrisville, North Carolina, had been probing the presence and significance of the two keys. Then he checked the latest Service Pack release for Windows NT4, Service Pack 5. He found that Microsoft’s developers had failed to remove or “strip” the debugging symbols used to test this software before they released it. Inside the code were the labels for the two keys. One was called “KEY”. The other was called “NSAKEY”.

Fernandes reported his re-discovery of the two CAPI keys, and their secret meaning, to “Advances in Cryptology, Crypto’99″ conference held in Santa Barbara. According to those present at the conference, Windows developers attending the conference did not deny that the “NSA” key was built into their software. But they refused to talk about what the key did, or why it had been put there without users’ knowledge.

A third key?!

But according to two witnesses attending the conference, even Microsoft’s top crypto programmers were astonished to learn that the version of ADVAPI.DLL shipping with Windows 2000 contains not two, but three keys. Brian LaMachia, head of CAPI development at Microsoft was “stunned” to learn of these discoveries, by outsiders. The latest discovery by Dr van Someren is based on advanced search methods which test and report on the “entropy” of programming code.

Within the Microsoft organisation, access to Windows source code is said to be highly compartmentalized, making it easy for modifications to be inserted without the knowledge of even the respective product managers.

Researchers are divided about whether the NSA key could be intended to let US government users of Windows run classified cryptosystems on their machines or whether it is intended to open up anyone’s and everyone’s Windows computer to intelligence gathering techniques deployed by NSA’s burgeoning corps of “information warriors”.

According to Fernandez of Cryptonym, the result of having the secret key inside your Windows operating system “is that it is tremendously easier for the NSA to load unauthorized security services on all copies of Microsoft Windows, and once these security services are loaded, they can effectively compromise your entire operating system“. The NSA key is contained inside all versions of Windows from Windows 95 OSR2 onwards.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Spying_on_Americans_before_911%3A_NSA_Built_Back_Door_In_All_Windows_Software_by_1999/26532/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:08 pm

Source: Lee Rogers, Blacklisted News

It is now painfully obvious that James Clapper the Director of National Intelligence when testifying before the Senate this past March blatantly lied when asked by Senator Ron Wyden if the NSA was involved in collecting data from the American people. Clapper flatly denied that the NSA was engaged in these types of domestic surveillance activities. What makes the situation such a joke is that the Obama regime is not focused on the fact that Clapper lied to the Senate which in of itself is unlawful. Instead they have been more focused on determining the source of the leak that exposed these broad abuses of power. This is probably not surprising considering that this is a regime that rewards corruption by promoting people involved in all sorts of questionable activity. The promotion of Susan Rice as Obama’s new National Security Advisor is a perfect example of this considering her involvement in spreading bogus Benghazi related talking points. On the other hand, the Obama regime has severely punished a variety of whistleblowers who have dared to expose any wrong doing.

At least the Obama regime won’t have to spend much time and energy trying to identify the whistleblower as this person who leaked these documents has already come forward publically. At his own request the Guardian revealed his identity as Edward Snowden a 29-year old Information Technology specialist who has been working at the NSA for different contractors including Booz Allen Hamilton and Dell. Snowden had previously worked at an NSA office in Hawaii but boarded a flight to Hong Kong a few weeks ago where he has stayed since turning over these documents to the media. He expects that he will never set foot on U.S. soil again and may possibly seek political asylum in a country like Iceland. The Guardian interviewed Snowden over several days and has recently posted an interview transcript that provides more detail on the abuses he became aware of and why he decided to come forward as a whistleblower. In the interview Snowden confirms that the NSA has the infrastructure that allows them to intercept almost any type of data that you can imagine from phone records, e-mails to credit cards. He also reveals how the U.S. government is engaged in hacking systems everywhere around the world and how the NSA has consistently lied to Congress about their activities. There is little doubt that Snowden is thus far one of the most important whistleblowers to come along in the 21st century and he will likely face retaliation considering the vast reach and capabilities of the U.S. intelligence community.

Many individuals within the Obama regime including Obama himself have claimed that this type of widespread data collection is needed to fight terrorism and is used for national security purposes. Even if we were to assume that the war on terror is real, this claim is ridiculous and absurd on its face. It would be one thing if they were collecting information based upon a specific criteria identified by legitimate human intelligence. Instead they are collecting indiscriminate amounts of information which makes it much more difficult to analyze and target anything that might indicate a potential threat. If the NSA’s goal is really to detect and target terrorism than all they are doing is making their job more difficult by vastly increasing the noise they have to filter through. Either the people running the NSA are incredibly stupid or the goal of this program is to establish the infrastructure necessary to centrally collect data from communications everywhere around the world.

Other evidence to support this notion is the fact that the NSA is building a huge new facility in Utah that is being designed to store an enormous amount of data. A Fox News report indicates that when completed the facility will be able to store billions of terabytes worth of information. It is hard to fathom how the NSA would need this much storage space unless it was being used to collect and store any and all communications.

The Obama regime has tried to justify all of this by saying that PRISM helped stop an alleged New York City subway bomb plot back in 2009. This has been proven to be factually incorrect as regular police work and help from the British were larger factors in stopping the plot. This is assuming you even believe the official story of this terror plot to begin with. The government and more specifically the FBI have manufactured so many fake terror plots that it is difficult to determine fact from fiction at this point. So with this said, there is really no proof that PRISM has even helped to stop any so-called terror plot. They are collecting information simply for the sake of collecting information with no probable cause or reasonable justification.

At this point it is an undeniable fact that the NSA has been illegally collecting information on the American people. For years what has been dismissed as conspiracy theory is now without question a conspiracy fact. It is laughable that Obama and his assorted cronies are even trying to defend this program as a useful tool to fight terrorists. It is more likely that this program is being used to help find people domestically who dislike the government and would potentially fight back against it. A striking similarity to what is depicted in George Orwell's dystopic novel 1984 where political dissidents are identified as thought criminals. A tool the NSA uses called Boundless Informant which counts and categorizes the information they collect shows that more data is actually gathered from domestic sources in the U.S. than from Russia. So based off of this one could argue that the NSA almost seems to view the American people as more of a threat to national security than the Russians.

The criminal activity from the Obama regime is so vastly transparent it has become a complete and total joke to anyone who is even remotely paying attention.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/NSA_Document_Leak_Proves_Conspiracy_To_Create_Big_Brother_Styled_World_Control_System/26579/0/0/0/Y/M.html

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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:28 pm

"Any society that would give up a little freedom to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." Benjamin Franklin
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:38 pm

All of this is really nothing new to anyone who has stayed aware of how the "government" we have in place has worked for the past 70+ years since the end of WWII. We just have opened "Pandora's Box" with our mad rush to the digital era and made it easier for these folks. Here's an article on this whole aspect of our acceptance of our loss of privacy due to our rush to have convenience in our lives. It's from the McClatchy news service:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/07/193356/few-options-for-online-users-to.html#.UbYM0swo4dU

Since we became the United Corporation of America, we gave up a whole lot more than we realized and as they say ".... we let Pandora out of the box and she's not going back in" . We have two choices, live with it or take it to the streets. Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:43 pm

Wet Dottle wrote:
The thought that anything we do over the internet is private is a very naive one, to say the least. E-mail, in particular, has always been a very public enterprise. Nothing of this is surprising, much less shocking. The only new thing (which could have been easily guessed by anyone giving it some thought) is that advances in number crunching hardware and in data mining technology make it all possible at a much larger scale...
I doubt that I'm any less cynical about the Feds than you are, Wet Dottle, but this goes beyond a naive belief "that anything we do over the internet is private". It's about either one of the following two conditions:
  1. That the "providers" named in the NSA documents (Microsoft, Google,...etc.) have been knowingly and voluntarily providing private encrypted communications to the NSA, and they're lying about it (which I don't believe, by the way), or...

  2. That the Feds have been surreptitiously hijacking those communications without the companies' knowledge.
As it turns out, know one knows for sure (yet), but it's beginning to look like the second case is most likely to be true.

Here's an article that provides a plausible explanation for how the Feds could siphon off all of the information without hacking the companies' servers, and without planting a "mole" inside the companies (which sooner or later would be detected):
It's a long article, and it goes into some depth, but here's the hypothesis in a nutshell:

PRISM is essentially a next-step application of the same method that NSA was already caught doing in the Room 641A incident in 2006, wherein the Feds used a beam splitter on an Internet backbone fiber optic cable owned by AT&T. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported, it wasn't anything so trivial as a mere "wiretap" of Google, or Microsoft, ...etc.; it was a country tap — a massive interception of a huge portion of the Internet flowing in and out of the U.S.

There are two keys to pulling off such a massive hijacking of private data:
  • The Feds intercept the data on what are called "Tier 1 networks" — the companies that own the actual infrastructure that carries all of the world's electronic traffic. There are just over a dozen of them, and eight of them carry all of the traffic for the U.S. (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, CenturyLink, ...etc.) The Feds only have to get eight court orders to intercept every bit of U.S. communications, and every court order has a gag order attached...which is why Verizon's answer to reporters' questions was "No comment." That's what they have to say when they know about it, but they can't talk about it.

  • The Feds do the same thing to the Certificate Authorities (CAs) that issue the encryption certificates for the companies named (Microsoft, Google, ...etc.). That allows them to break the encryption. The CAs are under gag orders too, which means they can't tell the companies that their encryption has been compromised by the Feds...which is why the companies could honestly deny any knowledge of it. They were clueless.
Pretty sneaky. By stealing the data off the infrastructure trunk, there's much less exposure to leaking the fact that the hijacking is happening in the first place. In fact, the only reason this has come to light is because the whistleblower (Edward Snowden) was working for the NSA and decided to out the bastidges.

So, this is not just a case of everyday risks like hackers, malware, or any of the other hazards to which casual users who don't know their ass from a hot rock on security issues are routinely exposed. There are companies and organizations that spend massive resources on setting up secure networks. They are not clueless clowns surfing randomly and posting on blogs and bulletin boards, naively assuming that their communications are private.

In the case of Microsoft, Google, Apple,...et al, they have steadfastly refused to provide access to their users' data without a warrant issued by court order. There is no such warrant in this PRISM deal. The Feds aren't going directly to any of the companies involved. Instead, as the ZDNet article says:
Quote :
By tapping into the connection between the Tier 1 network and the edge connection, the NSA would be able to literally view and copy data transmitted over every single session from a user to an application in realtime, and then stored and processed appropriately.

You can't walk into, say, Apple's iCloud datacenter and install a wiretap. Apple would notice it. It would have to be done out of band: such as when the data leaves the datacenter and begins its journey on the way to the user sitting at home on their laptop or mobile device.
No one knew this was happening. Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Apple...none of them knew it. They were never served with a warrant, which is an abrogation of due process. It's not a case of naivete at all. It's a case of massive surreptitious spying and theft of private information by a Federal agency without the knowledge of the service providers who have been entrusted with the responsibility of securing that information for their users.

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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:37 pm

Vito,

You have a point, and I also find very disturbing what is going on regarding those warrants, court orders, and the gag orders that go with them. My real concern is the fact that such a thing exists. To whom those court orders are served is, at least in this case, of secondary concern. But a concern, nonetheless.

I'm going to sound like Yak, now. When something is posted on the Net it's like posting a note on a wall, open to everyone to read. We rely on encryption to assure that only those we allow can actually understand its contents. But there is an underlying and accepted risk, because there are no guaranties that unauthorized readers can't break our cypher. What Microsoft, Google, etc. are is simply keepers of the cypher. The likelihood that someone has the ability to break the cypher is high. And I'm talking not only about NSA, but also about other foreign agencies. Hence my thought that we shouldn't expect privacy from anything released to the Net.

Remember Osama's satellite phone, and how it was announced that it was being tapped by the US? He quickly ditched it and returned to the use of the old fashion courier, thus setting back our efforts to get to him by about 10 years. Paper and ink might be making a come back...
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:54 pm

I'm glad my favorite group of thinkers is talking about this. I don't watch the news, but I find this fascinating, because it has all happened before, and it will all happen again. Of course there is nothing surprising, but it's the blatant hand-in-hand relationships, forced or chosen, that has mainlined technology with keeping citizens (or do I mean "potential criminals/enemies of the state/terrorists"?) in line.

The only real protection we have is anonymity in the masses. "Cyberspace" has billions of residents, and so long as you're not doing anything wrong, your head probably isn't going to get bonked by the digital mallet.

"That isn't the point."

True.

However, most people, generally speaking, aren't doing anything wrong, so they have nothing to worry about. That means it's perfectly okay for them to stand up and complain there's something very wrong here--and they ought to do that. It won't take long for infrastructure to become pure framework, where all one has to do is change what is "right" and "wrong" over the internet to creep a little further into privacy issues. That's how government and power works in modern times--it creeps. Little by little. Regulation by regulation, or signed-off Presidential method.

People should be pissed and concerned about this. "Transparency" is an abused buzzword for spin-doctors, but it's true: the less we know, the more they have. The end.

(...and keep looking...)
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:28 pm

jocolor wrote:
In the case of Microsoft, Google, Apple,...et al, they have steadfastly refused to provide access to their users' data without a warrant issued by court order.

Washington's Blog wrote:
Andrew Fernandez, chief scientist with Cryptonym of Morrisville, North Carolina . . . found that Microsoft’s developers had failed to remove or “strip” the debugging symbols used to test this software before they released it. Inside the code were the labels for the two keys. One was called “KEY”. The other was called “NSAKEY”.

Fernandes reported his re-discovery of the two CAPI keys, and their secret meaning, to “Advances in Cryptology, Crypto’99″ conference held in Santa Barbara. According to those present at the conference, Windows developers attending the conference did not deny that the “NSA” key was built into their software. But they refused to talk about what the key did, or why it had been put there
That was 14 years ago.

(?)

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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:37 pm

I had a conversation today with friends in which it was agreed that the Feds have access to all phone, internet and email, and credit card transactions. They also said that the drones are ready for installation.

When MLK was targeted the FBI had to install wiretaps at one location after another; not anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:59 pm

They more than probably access this and all forums.
They more than probably are especially tracking this thread, other "private" conversations and all news stories about the rollout of spying.
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:24 pm

The NSA, FBI, CIA etc. have been playing spook crap both domestically and foreign since they all were established. NSA since Truman established it and every administration since has followed suite. We talked about all this back in the '60s but were branded as "Communists" and freaks. The only thing that's changed in all this is the type of technical tools available to them today and how the social habits have changed and allow the use of the technology. Like I said before, things aren't going to change in the United Corporation of America unless we take it to the streets. The old USA we all still think we live in was founded on revolution and blood and sadly it might need to happen again to get it back. But maybe Verizon can make an APP for that Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:41 pm

Probably the best post you've made to date, Monbla.

Meanwhile, it's nice to assume "everything is read," but they really don't read everything. Consider the glut of what is out there, and the team of people reading--it just isn't done. Well, perhaps the Rubber Room, because most of the software used highlights buzzwords and repeated use of them, per IP, and that's how they narrow down long-winded discussions on wedding planning forums versus places that teach the common rabble how to make explosives.

No one really cares what you did last weekend, unless it was testing the structural integrity of lengths of pipes, caps and sharing maps of mall exits.

Crap, now this thread is being read. *sigh*

Sorry guys.
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:32 pm

Quote :
We know what happened in the case of QWest before 9/11. They contacted the CEO/Chairman asking to wiretap all the customers. After he consulted with Legal, he refused. As a result, NSA canceled a bunch of unrelated billion dollar contracts that QWest was the top bidder for.

This CEO's name is Joseph P. Nacchio and TODAY he's still serving a trumped-up 6-year federal prison sentence for quietly refusing an NSA demand to massively wiretap his customers.
http://12160.info/page/in-2001-the-nsa-contacted-the-ceo-of-qwest-joseph-p-nacchio-and-s

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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:35 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:24 pm

The statement that we have nothing to fear as we've done nothing wrong is flawed as the Federal government decides what's wrong. With all the information they have they hang anyone of us on any number of pretexts. They're already doing this.
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:50 pm

alfredo_buscatti wrote:
The statement that we have nothing to fear as we've done nothing wrong is flawed as the Federal government decides what's wrong. With all the information they have they hang anyone of us on any number of pretexts. They're already doing this.

Yes. Everyone's already said exactly this.
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:23 pm

Since the goobers in the congress couldn't wait to pass the "paaaaatreeeaaaht" act to proootiiiict da hoooooomelaaaaand I've assumed they where looking and listening. My man Russ Feingold spelled it out very clearly in 2001! I'm enjoying the very strange bedfellows this is making. For me the President has spelled it out better than anyone else I've heard. It's a tightrope a bad day could turn this issue 180 degrees fast Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:48 am


This is the reason for the 2nd Admendment.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

"Hunting" was not a consideration.
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sand18f

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Location : Southern Appalachia
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:55 am


Does this seem familiar?



A bill of particulars documenting the king's "repeated injuries and usurpations" of the Americans' rights and liberties.[74]

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
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PostSubject: Re: The PRISM Scandal - Feds spying on millions of people   Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:03 am

alfredo_buscatti wrote:
The statement that we have nothing to fear as we've done nothing wrong is flawed as the Federal government decides what's wrong...
Truth. ^^^

And the hell of it is that the "standard" of rightness (such as it is) that they use to decide what's wrong is completely arbitrary. It changes with the political climate, and in any case it's virtually certain to do violence to rational and moral principles. In fact, that's the problem in a nutshell; political law is not based on any absolute principles.

Wet Dottle wrote:
Vito,

You have a point, and I also find very disturbing what is going on regarding those warrants, court orders, and the gag orders that go with them. My real concern is the fact that such a thing exists....When something is posted on the Net it's like posting a note on a wall, open to everyone to read. We rely on encryption to assure that only those we allow can actually understand its contents. But there is an underlying and accepted risk, because there are no guaranties that unauthorized readers can't break our cypher. What Microsoft, Google, etc. are is simply keepers of the cypher. The likelihood that someone has the ability to break the cypher is high. And I'm talking not only about NSA, but also about other foreign agencies. Hence my thought that we shouldn't expect privacy from anything released to the Net...

OK, WD...I see what you're saying now. We're talking about two different things.

Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that the quality of an encrypted connection is governed by the strength of the encryption key. That varies all the way from no encryption at all to the current standard "strong encryption", which uses the RSA 2,048-bit key-based algorithm. (Of course, larger keys are possible, but not necessary...as you'll see in a moment.)

Obviously, a non-encrypted connection provides no protection whatsoever. Weak encryption is better than nothing at all, but a dedicated amateur can break a 512-bit key with enough computing power (and no life). The 1,024-bit key hasn't been broken yet, but it was deprecated starting in 2011, and will be obsolete by the end of 2013. RSA as well as the world's leading number theorists are convinced that NSA will break it within the next decade, but not with a brute force attack, which is what yer outlaw crackers would use.

The RSA key doesn’t use a straight cipher, which is trivial to break. Rather it uses a complex algorithm that requires massive computing power and a very long time to break the key. It took a six-institution team of scientists and a shitload of computers a couple of years using very sophisticated factorization to break the 768-bit key in 2009—something yer average outlaw isn't capable of doing. It would take about 1,000 times as long to break the 1,024-bit key using the same hardware and factorization, so it's not likely that some jerk in Smolensk with a bank of desktop machines is going to break it any time soon. Anyhow, anyone who hasn’t switched to a 2,048-bit key by now had better do so. I switched my mail encryption to 2,048-bit a couple of years ago.

Now, it seems that you’re talking about people posting or communicating using weak encryption. There’s no question that they’re naive if they think weak encryption can protect them. But it’s important to differentiate between weak encryption and the current strong encryption standard. Breaking the 2,048-bit RSA key-based encryption is NOT a trivial matter. It's way beyond the ability of the NSA, let alone the outlaw crackers.

To give you a feel for the strength of 2,048-bit encryption (I'll spare you the math), it would take one of today's desktop computers approximately 6.4 quadrillion years to break the key. That's roughly 500,000 times the age of the universe (13 billion years). Assuming NSA has the world's fastest supercomputer (currently ~10 petaflops), that would cut the computing time by a factor of 2x105, which would bring it down to about 2.5 times the age of the universe. So, if NSA started working on breaking the key at the beginning of time (as we currently understand it) they'd still have another 19.5 billion years to go.

That's why they bully the CAs into coughing up the key and then slapping them with a gag order. They can't break it, so they resort to naked coercion. That's the stock in trade of the state; it's legalized thuggery. So, yeah...that part is not surprising; it's what they do best. I guess the people who are "shocked" are those who thought their precious Democratic Institutions™ weren't capable of such behavior.

For my part, I'm just incensed that they're actually doing it. But surprised? No. But then, I long ago wrote off any possibility of fixing the mess through any kind of political action—and for the record, that includes violent overthrow of the existing system. I'm not interested. It's not a solution.

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