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Liberal Outrage


PRISM allows the National Security Agency (that should be changed to the "National Surveillance Agency") to collect the data. It would naturally follow that they would also have a program for searching through all that data.

A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
"I, sitting at my desk," said Snowden, could "wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email".

US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden's assertion: "He's lying. It's impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do."

But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

XKeyscore, the documents boast, is the NSA's "widest reaching" system developing intelligence from computer networks - what the agency calls Digital Network Intelligence (DNI). One presentation claims the program covers "nearly everything a typical user does on the internet", including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as their metadata.

Analysts can also use XKeyscore and other NSA systems to obtain ongoing "real-time" interception of an individual's internet activity.

This newest bit of information comes just as senators like Ron Wyden are pressuring the intelligence community for an explanation. Hopefully, this will make it even harder for them to placate the upset politicians and public with empty assurances about how responsibly and legitimately they're snooping into our lives.

It's a fairly long article, but i highly recommend reading the whole thing to fully experience the horror and outrage.

By min | July 31, 2013, 7:33 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

I Thought of Transmetropolitan

He's using the Google Glass like Spider Jerusalem used his glasses. It's pretty kewl when the present catches up with the future.

"When there's a wall of police firing plastic bullets at you, and you're running through a wall of tear-gas, having your hands free to cover your face, while saying 'OK Glass, record a video', makes that recording process a lot... easier," says Tim Pool.

Pool has been using Glass for his livestreaming coverage of recent protests in Istanbul, Cairo and Brazil for Vice in 2013, but he's been doing what he calls "mobile first-person" journalism since 2011, and the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York.

Ofc, the downside of that is the necessity of such a device to record abusive police actions, dystopia being the other side of the future.

By min | July 31, 2013, 10:47 AM | Comics & Liberal Outrage & Science | Link

Almost literally priceless

Matthew Yglesias has an interesting/sad article up about a 99 year old minimum wage janitor and there's a line in there about how the company could replace the guy with a part time leaf-blower and save money, but they don't want to hurt the old man. And Yglesias suggests hiring the leaf-blower and using the savings to pay the old guy a pension. But the company would never do that because workers don't share in a company's productivity gains, as i've written previously.

You have to love Yglesias' line "The ability to pay a guy minimum wage for decades and come away from that feeling like you're the good guy in the story is every bit as much priceless as the ability to wake up every morning and feel like your work is vital and necessary."

By fnord12 | July 23, 2013, 11:14 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Keeping us safe

Pretty amazing news over the weekend from the Snowden leaks showing that the US has been bugging European Union offices and "monitors Germany as closely as it does China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia". The good news is this could derail TPP negotiations. Germany is very angry.

By fnord12 | July 1, 2013, 8:49 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Write civil rights upside down and then cross out every letter

Now that the Supreme Court has thrown out the Voting Rights Act, Slate publishes a pre-VRA literacy test that Louisiana used to keep black people from voting. I know i couldn't get every answer right in the 10 minutes allotted but as Atrios says, the real issue is that you were graded by a white poll worker so it really didn't matter.

It's also worth noting that the literacy test wouldn't pass the literacy test. See question #30 for example.

By fnord12 | July 1, 2013, 8:41 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

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