Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday beaver - Time for that annual physical

"It's okay little fella I'm from the NSA and this won't hurt a bit."

We thought the days of the Stosi and KGB interrogations were a thing of the past. Forget having your door kicked in at 2 am and your papers examined and seized. This is far more sinister. Without so much as a writ or even a "how do you do" our government has taken upon itself to be judge jury and executioner. You think I kid? Not only did our government have a completely flawed program but they set about to cover up their lies and mistakes as shown below. 

"The documents, provided earlier this summer to The Washington Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, include a level of detail and analysis that is not routinely shared with Congress or the special court that oversees surveillance. In one of the documents, agency personnel are instructed to remove details and substitute more generic language in reports to the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence."
"In one instance, the NSA decided that it need not report the unintended surveillance of Americans. A notable example in 2008 was the interception of a “large number” of calls placed from Washington when a programming error confused the U.S. area code 202 for 20, the international dialing code for Egypt, according to a “quality assurance” review that was not distributed to the NSA’s oversight staff."
It's understandable that no system is perfect but this was flat out incompetent. It's a safe bet that this information gathered is the basis of the "no fly" list and we've seen how well that's worked out. Six month old babies pulled from line because they had the same  name as some suspect. Or worse when the person is older and has no recourse to get their name taken off the list.
James R. Clapper Jr head of our intelligence acknowledged that the NSA violated the 4th amendment but Obama blocked any FOI request for that information. He (Clapper) later lied to congress saying that there was no breach of the amendment.
The sheer volume of calls intercepted in the last few years is cause for concern and no computer program could cull accurate information on a regular basis. You know as well as I trying to do what a google search comes up with when trying to find a precise name or specific item. The end result is almost never of great value and usually results in millions of irrelevant hits. The following being an example:
In dozens of cases, NSA personnel made careless use of the agency’s extraordinary powers, according to individual auditing reports. One team of analysts in Hawaii, for example, asked a system called DISHFIRE to find any communications that mentioned both the Swedish manufacturer Ericsson and “radio” or “radar” — a query that could just as easily have collected on people in the United States as on their Pakistani military target.
As this may seem like a minor inconvenience to some, after all what do you have to hide, the potential for error and the ramifications are immense. Just because your name may be John Smith would be of no consequence should you somehow be tied to an overseas call of less than honorable intention.

Bank fails later 
No fails this week guess everybody is on vacation.


BBC said...

I'll take the beaver holding the other beaver.

jim marquis said...

I wonder if the beaver is really blonde?

BBC said...

News worthy items are picking up, depending on what you call news worthy.

Roger Owen Green said...

At least we, presumably, know about Area 51.