Tag Archives: NSA

LesterLand

16 Oct

There is a political gridlock going on this week on Capitol Hill. One might argue it has been going on for some time. Lawrence Lessig uses a Lesterland analogy to explain how our political officials are elected, while Dylan Radigan fights to get big money out of politics. One thing is very clear : neither party is working to support the average American. They are paid by the largest financial backers in the country, those with the largest financial backing, and the Corporations that hold an ever increasing amount of cash.


The objective of the political figures today is to raise enough cash to get re-elected and to leave office with a much greater personal wealth than they entered office with. The objective is to achieve a bipartisan status quo.

“…they will say that gumming up the works is not part of the problem, it’s part of the solution.”

It is interesting that there is always bipartisan support when it comes to the war on terror, restrictions on civil liberties, and the continuous surveillance of US citizens by the NSA. But when it comes to running the government and developing policies that move the country forward, there can be no agreements.

Let Golfers Golf and Hackers Hack

17 Jun

As Justin Rose wins the 2013 US Open at Merion, becoming the first Brit to win in 43 years, more revelations become available about Britain’s equivalent to the US’s NSA.

In 2009, Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropped on telephone conversations and email communications between attendees of the G20 Summit in London. Four years ago, without (obviously) knowledge of this activity, targeted G20 attendees had their keystrokes logged so that their passwords could be captured, and their phone conversations were monitored. Rest assured, this was only being done so that the outcome of the meetings would be favorable to HMG, Her Majesty’s Government. This is not to be confused with some clandestine terrorist activity.

“The GCHQ intent is to ensure that intelligence relevant to HMG’s desired outcomes for its presidency of the G20 reaches customers at the right time and in a form which allows them to make full use of it.” Two documents explicitly refer to the intelligence product being passed to “ministers”.

To think that you can keep golfers from playing golf is equivalent to keeping hackers from hacking. It’s just what they do. So when The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, suggest that analysts (government hackers) cannot listen to phone calls without “proper legal authorization”, you have to ask, “What is stopping them?”

Your best bet is to remain calm, and accept the reality of the technological world we live in. If you have not disclosed enough personal information through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever already, your emails and phone calls can be tapped as necessary. Look at it like 40% of people in the US do today. You are just helping to provide information so that the government can keep our country safe.

You’re not going to stop the golfers or the hackers, even when sometimes they are the same.