Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 12, 2013

Tom Friedman's Argument For Scull Implemented Nanobombs

Thomas Friedman has the most logical argument on why acceptance of the government's infringement on privacy is necessary. Without that we might get another 9/11 and then, yes then, people could really press for government infringement on privacy. Wouldn't that be really bad?

To quote (slightly adopted):

I’m glad I live in a country with people who are vigilant in defending civil liberties. But as I listen to the debate about the disclosure of the government's global program for scull implemented nanobombs (SIN) designed to track and blow up terrorists, I do wonder if some of those who unequivocally defend this disclosure are behaving as if 9/11 never happened — that the only thing we have to fear is government intrusion in our heads, not the intrusion of those who gather in secret cells in Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan and plot how to topple our tallest buildings or bring down U.S. airliners with bombs planted inside underwear, tennis shoes or computer printers.

Yes, I worry about potential government abuse of a SIN program designed to prevent another 9/11 — abuse that, so far, does not appear to have happened. But I worry even more about another 9/11. That is, I worry about something that’s already happened once — that was staggeringly costly — and that terrorists aspire to repeat.

I worry about that even more, not because I don’t care about civil liberties, but because what I cherish most about America is our open society, and I believe that if there is one more 9/11 — or worse, an attack involving nuclear material — it could lead to the end of the open society as we know it. If there were another 9/11, I fear that 99 percent of Americans would tell their members of Congress: “Do whatever you need to do to, our headaches from scull implemented nanobombs be damned, just make sure this does not happen again.” That is what I fear most.

To imagine that some people pay to read such nonsense ...

Posted by b on June 12, 2013 at 8:46 UTC | Permalink

Comments

a clever logician could make you walk off a cliff

Posted by: brian | Jun 12 2013 9:14 utc | 1

But, don't you know Friedman is a brilliant journalist.

Posted by: Hilmi Hakim | Jun 12 2013 9:23 utc | 2

What if...

What if the US government is aware of some quick and easy way to a nuclear bomb, that would bypass many of the known obstacles to nuclear proliferation. They could never openly discuss the dangers, but would need to take preventative action.

That is the only rational explanation I can see for the emergence of the US totalitarian Surveillance State.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 12 2013 9:46 utc | 3

@1

Brian,

I hope you are not implying that Friedman is either clever or a logician...

Posted by: Base | Jun 12 2013 10:55 utc | 4

Seriously, people pay to read that?
I feel like I should be paid a massive amount of cash for the brain damage potential caused by all the lies and spin--perception management contained in that article

" but because what I cherish most about America is our open society"
I love being spied upon!

"The only thing new here, from a legal standpoint, is the scale on which the F.B.I. and N.S.A. are apparently attempting to cull anti-terrorism leads from that data"

"Apparently attempting to cull anti-terrorism leads" Interesting that he uses the word "apparently"

Apparently: Appearing as such but not necessarily

Well if Friedman says so..it must be true. LOL
But, he clearly knows it is not!

What happened in Boston? What happened was it in Oregon (christmas tree bomber) Times square.. all incidents intelligence linked of course, but... I digress

Oh and btw..with all this spying why is their continuing drug smuggling and pedophile rings
This should be all tracked and easy to curtail
But, those crimes and all the other 'terror' attacks continue on
Therefore the reasonable conclusion that can be drawn is the spying is not intended to stop terror, deter crime or generally increase safely. "Apparently"

The spying is to keep track of the people. To take the pulse of the people. Because what the government fears is a mass coming to life of the zombies
If it happens, there is not a dam thing they can do about it
And that is why they are spying on the people
Friedman's bullshit makes it obvious this is a hard sell: he is pushing fear like a drug dealers pushes his crack cocaine
Shameless

b: did you post this to raise my blood pressure ;)

Posted by: Penny | Jun 12 2013 11:23 utc | 5

Nanobombs in small boats? Or did Friedman's spell checker barf?

Maybe Friedman already has a skull implant directing his bizarre mental processes. Which makes him well paid and publishable...until the powers-that-be decide to designate HIM as a terrorist, in which case the end will be swift.

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 12 2013 15:13 utc | 6

Friedman's brain has turned to cotton, and the boll weevil of fascism is gnawing on it.

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 12 2013 15:30 utc | 7

Friedman's a funny guy he should be a comedian. He shouldn't even be allowed to write on toilet paper!!! This guy is the biggest friggin tool. He's just a scarecrow for the man. American's we the people have an open society but we also want to be left the hell alone. It's bad enough we gotta pay taxes to fund wars and oppression worldwide, we have Tommy Friedman living the high life and telling us to "eat cake". Well off with his head I say.

Posted by: Fernando | Jun 12 2013 15:31 utc | 8

what the hell is a scull implemented nanobombs?

Posted by: clubofrome | Jun 12 2013 16:10 utc | 9

" I believe that if there is one more 9/11 — or worse, an attack involving nuclear material — it could lead to the end of the open society as we know it."

Same 'logic' was used by 'Law Scholar' Geoffrey Stone (obama advisor?) during interview at

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/12/is_edward_snowden_a_hero_a

the administration must feel there is a soft spot in the majority of public. The MSM is surely doing its share to shape the public opinion.

One has to wonder, despite all the whip cracking on whistle blowers, they keep coming out of the woods!! This must be scaring the crap out of the elites, despite the sad fact that most americans have already been assimilated into a nation of Borgs.

Posted by: Rd. | Jun 12 2013 18:10 utc | 10

"the administration must feel there is a soft spot in the majority of public. "

using 9/11 as an excuse..

Posted by: Rd. | Jun 12 2013 18:17 utc | 11

" I believe that if there is one more 9/11 — or worse, an attack involving nuclear material — it could lead to the end of the open society as we know it."

Begin the countdown, then. We know what is coming, when is the only question.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 12 2013 19:01 utc | 12

Hasn't anybody figured out yet that years before actual disabling dementia or senility sets in, the finer parts of thinking, like oh, compassion, ability to reflect on probable consequences, the ability to not succumb to unreasoning fear, the ability to face facts, the ability to control impulses, a desire not to be a hypocrite, lotta stuff like that goes first.
And affluent men are living longer and longer. Wonderful, we're ruled by a aging dementocracy.
I admit, that doesn't explain Obama, but I think he's just a chump. To put it familiar terms, America's military and intelligence communities along with corporations, are the schlemiels and Obama is fated to end up the schlimazel.

Posted by: Mooser | Jun 12 2013 20:46 utc | 13

"What if the US government is aware of some quick and easy way to a nuclear bomb,"

You go steal one, or buy one. That danger has been there since the first nuclear arsenal was produced. Almost all the dangers they froth about have.

Posted by: Mooser | Jun 12 2013 20:51 utc | 14

@RD#10 " I believe that if there is one more 9/11 — or worse, an attack involving nuclear material — it could lead to the end of the open society as we know it." Ah, that has been done!

Fact check: The US used of atomic bombs against Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki - the ONLY use of nuclear weapons by one country against another. A even planned to det on the 'Fracking' Moon to end the Cold War the idiots!

Concure with Penny ‘Oh and btw..with all this spying why is their continuing drug smuggling and pedophile rings’ and add ossibly all that ‘Spying’ made them come to the conclusion that the 3 million inmates already jailed is only 10% of the criminals they have running amok, and all bunk beds are booked and the best way to deal with it is let 'shooters' go on spree's, although the monthly gun deaths don’t count since the 3 letter acronym machine NRA, FBI, CIA, BSA, TSA etc, etc, etc must find (Or project that they are) the least common denominator to perpetuate the fear, not what is ‘actually’ US degrading its society, Muppets!

T. Friedman, ‘ a silver spoon comic writer’ - He has characterized his high school years as "one big celebration of Israel's victory in the Six-Day War." - Thus his obvious journalistic lean. He married (Ann) into serious money; Bucksbaum family's assets at $4.1 billion. But that hit chapter 11, the GGP collapse marked the largest real estate bankruptcy in U.S. history. Glenn Greenwald, writing for Salon on July 25, 2012, commented: "His status among American elites is the single most potent fact for understanding the nation's imperial decline." Huh! - But they bounced back, (As they do); he is the wealthiest report on the street, but not from his writing, just connections pushing his quips.

He once said, “I wrote a column supporting the CAFTA, the Caribbean Free Trade initiative. I didn't even know what was in it. I just knew two words: free trade.” This a person who interpret trade policy for many; and by his own admission actually knows nothing. I still remember his bit in the NYT on Kosovo, it was barbaric and with venom, again something he knew FA about – It is quite absurd and amassed 3 Pulitzer prizes and a OBE from my Queen, just shows you, anything is possible in the USA…

Posted by: kev | Jun 13 2013 0:57 utc | 15

That quote from Friedman should be a "classic" example of fallacious thinking, to be taken apart in school. As another commenter pointed out, the guy must be going senile - this moustachioed moron keeps begging the question of whether it is worth destroying any semblance of democracy in order to defend it, which is a variation on the "destroy the town in order to save it" kind of typically imperialist reasoning. It makes no sense any longer to try to argue with such scum: these people are just like the barbarians of old, trying to legitimize their thievish rule. Before they used the church, but these being neo-Liberals, they need to appeal to the intellect. Either they are toadies, deceiving with a cynical smile, or one of the chief criminals, so accustomed to getting his (or her) way he can't help believing his own bullshit. Friedman is clearly among the latter, but his is a particularly egregious example of the species, in that he's a proselytizing free-marketeer who owes all his wealth to his wife. A real, intelligent man would have taken the money, and driven the filthy rich b*tch and her family to bankrupcy, without even a hint of hesitation. A Great Man would have used that money to further the cause of the ancient Bacaudae, destroying her entire class and pushing them all into slavery.

Posted by: CIA_goat_farmers | Jun 13 2013 1:04 utc | 16

I don't want to read too much into this, but dud anyone happen to notice the rash of bomb scares and disaster drills following the leaks? All from yesterday, just google "hoax" or "threat" or "drill" under the news tab (use advanced search to limit searches to a time frame, I only did June 10th - 11th. There were so much of this shit, I only did a few pages each...

Maybe this is normal, I don't know. It's a cheap way to remind the herd about how dead we'd all be without massive government oversight. At the very least you see where all these billions in DHS dollars are going.

Threats

"Bomb hoaxes hit Princeton, Ga. Capitol, Va. airport"

"Non-specific bomb threat phoned in to UNH"

"Suspicious packages found in Oak Park Heights called hoax"

"FBI tries to identify Southwest flight bomb hoax caller"

"Another bomb threat at Morristown High School, names Friday as date"

"Suspect Arrested For Allegedly Making Bomb Threat To Thousand Oaks Business"

Drills

"Bio-hazard drill underway in San Francisco"

"Cops to hold drill at Westchester Community College"

"Disaster Drill at Santa Maria Airport"

"Police Hold Drill With Scenario of Terrorist Incident On Lake Ontario"

"Officers hold simulated school shooting drill at Altadena School"

"Rescue drill planned today at St. Augustine airport"

"Marines conducting aircraft mishap drill in Kaneohe, Kailua"

"Oswego Health's Mass Casualty Drill a Success"

"Chemical blast drill at Central girds responders for real-life disaster"

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 13 2013 1:05 utc | 17

Tom Friedman is the finest available example of how the press chooses the most pliable and vapid people for its most influential positions.

A thought wouldn't enter this guys head if it was lost and cold on a winter night.

He's the absolute polar opposite of a journalist. Pravda would have turned down his employment application from fear he was a CIA plant.

Matt Taibbi, from his NYPress days, absolutely has the funniest takedowns of Friedman's idiocy. I suggest anyone needing a laugh google (er... duck duck go) them.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 13 2013 1:15 utc | 18

I had a thought on these drills and stuff. Maybe I'm getting a little bleary eyed but...

If they are tracking all of our discourse, then certainly they have a huge map of attitudes towards terrorism. Could they know which parts of the community were more or less in need of a little tweak?

I'd be VERY curious to follow up on all these "scares" to see who, if anyone, was arrested (if they're tracking all of our calls well then it certainly shouldn't be too hard...) and what the outcome of the trial was.

It certainly works as a relatively harmless implementation of a "strategy of tension".

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 13 2013 2:01 utc | 19

@guest77#18, I did, it was a spike, just four I pick up in reading the morning news, stated as lock-downs to 'Suspect Bomb threats' but links we just static. Possibly the amount of people sending 'Keyword' email post E.S event has caused panic and heightened alert mode, the outcome is 'this' and it is also a huge economic and manpower strain. Just wonder if it could also be the push to gain more funds and make the Prism justified, I am sure any ‘catch; will from this day forward be attributed to Prism also… Whatever the case, it's still money in the chase...

Posted by: kev | Jun 13 2013 2:10 utc | 20

@20 Totally. I'd guess the justification. And that's a great point - I'll certainly be interested to see what the next anti-terror success is linked to.

I wonder if the Boston Bombings had anything to do with Snowden doing the release? Obviously Boston made clear that this absolutely massive program was less than fool proof. I do wonder about that. (That's another reason I think pure false flags are unlikely - it makes the current hugely costly systems look like failures)
__________

"remind the herd about how dead we'd all be without massive government oversight" That's sarcasm of course, when I looked again it looked maybe no so clear.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 13 2013 2:23 utc | 21

Looks like a cover-up, playing legal games. This could be a fix, delay tactics - Former Justice Department prosecutor Larry Klayman amended an existing lawsuit against Verizon and a slew of Obama administration officials Monday to make it the first class-action lawsuit in response to the publication of a secret court order instructing Verizon to hand over the phone records of millions of American customers on an “ongoing, daily basis.” This will just be a huge chump change chase with far to many applicants, thus taking years, post Obamas term, is this a 'fix'. On that note In 2012, Klayman filed on behalf of a Florida resident an unsuccessful challenge to Barack Obama's placement on the primary ballot and claimed that the latter is not a natural-born citizen. Was he part of that to win or play it down?

Posted by: kev | Jun 13 2013 3:59 utc | 22

Here is the class action Case 1:13-cv-00851-RJL; http://torrentfreak.com/images/PRISM-class.pdf

Posted by: kev | Jun 13 2013 4:06 utc | 23

An antidote to Friedman: Pepe Escobar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTOyM3l3SXY

Published on Jun 11, 2013


his episode of Critical Insights we were joined by Asia Times roving journalist, Pepe Escobar. Pepe broke down the genesis of the ongoing conflict within Syria, Western and Israeli Involvement in Syria, as well as how the West is financing known terrorist "rebels" throughout Syria. Mr. Escobar also detailed the background of the NSA spy program known as Prism and what the long term implications are for US citizens (and the world in general), if these tactics continue. This is a must watch interview riddled with critical information the Western (US) corporate media routinely suppress.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 13 2013 12:05 utc | 24

Friedman(suck on this)might be the poster boy for the banality of evil quote.

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 13 2013 14:27 utc | 25

Friedman's big fear is another 9/11? Has anyone told him about the wars around the world since 9/11? Has anyone mentioned to Friedman that people in Yemen's biggest fear is the daily 9/11 that is the US drone strike?

There was a time when no one in Yemen had any interest in attacking the US, and I think the US actually did NOTHING to make that happen, and that in itself does not spark a neurotransmission of curiosity in Friedman's head?

Not a single "nanothought"? It must be nice not to have anything in your brain to spy on.

Posted by: anon | Jun 13 2013 14:48 utc | 26

The South China Morning Post from Hongkong has a good running roundup of news about Snowden. Snowden has shown some stuff to the SCMP reporter on U.S. attacks on Chinese computers. It seems he will be pretty save in Hongkong :-)

Posted by: b | Jun 14 2013 9:41 utc | 28


@b, Yet this Cyber War would cause the US economic mayhem, and kill US economic growth, the ‘Cloud' would be ripped down, small groups will make VPN in greater numbers, the US would lose its global dominance and the seat as the police/controller of the internet. Community groups would in turn be providers, no more centralization. It would still be able to be global, the only move would be a massive shift to private sectors, underground movement, independents, in fact it will be like old times, but with great visuals and decent apps. You are only variable if connected, this shift will make millions of independent connections, not interrelated, but all related content. If a nod is breached, it is shut down, that simple.

I don’t think a Cyber War is a economic gain, in fact a huge dampener to the US economy. It is a cashless society, one reliant on internet protocols, tools and communication and the www. Take Asia, websites are generally Corp, no SME even bothers, life goes on without it, GSM is king, the same goes for Africa, S. America, in the US this is reversed, Corp's do have sites, but just as a must have, its the distributors that do the leg work and all via web based systems, on the Social media front, the www is the be all or end all, again in developing Nations, GSM (SMS) is not only cheap, but king. The kicker is that in terms of technical ability, i.e. programming, scripts, hacking, the US lags as a population, where China, India, Russia, and a few others this is not only a hobby, but part of daily life, so the US has the ‘dependent’ user who has limited technical knowhow V's a huge army of technical users. This is also a cost factor, defending breaches would just perpetually escalate, if would be the largest budget crisis the US would ever see - The West loses this battle…

Posted by: kev | Jun 14 2013 9:58 utc | 29

Maybe someone smart has asked this Q before, and maybe someone else, smart or not, attempted to provide some sort of an answer, but :"Why didn't Snowden do a Wikileaks-like "full and Open Disclosure" by releasing all of the documentation on the net for anyone and everyone to check out for themselves?"

rather than giving it to the usual bunch of MIC-mouthpieces & gatekeeping-clowns @ The Guardian etc etc.

A full upload to the net of ALL documentation would keep every one as open and honest as possible.

Instead what we get is a miserly drip-feed of . . . . nothing much at all.

The Gatekeepers have coyly, almost flirtatiously, hinted at the supposed existence of "much much worse" things than those already revealed.

All theatre as far as I can see. To be spun-out as long as possible.

Anyone here that didn't already presume that various Gov'ts have virtually full-access to just about everything that happens on the net? Personally I'd always presumed that should they chose to focus on any one particular series of data-transmissions they would have little trouble legally or technically in getting full-access to anything they wanted.

The basic story about this sort of magic-key software has been circulating for years now.

Posted by: nobody | Jun 14 2013 10:09 utc | 30

The media start digging. Some explosive stuff from Bloomberg:

U.S. Agencies Said to Swap Data With Thousands of Firms


Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said.
...
Many of these same Internet and telecommunications companies voluntarily provide U.S. intelligence organizations with additional data, such as equipment specifications, that don’t involve private communications of their customers, the four people said.

Makers of hardware and software, banks, Internet security providers, satellite telecommunications companies and many other companies also participate in the government programs. In some cases, the information gathered may be used not just to defend the nation but to help infiltrate computers of its adversaries.
...
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft (MSFT) and other software or Internet security companies have been aware that this type of early alert allowed the U.S. to exploit vulnerabilities in software sold to foreign governments, according to two U.S. officials. Microsoft doesn’t ask and can’t be told how the government uses such tip-offs, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.
...
Some U.S. telecommunications companies willingly provide intelligence agencies with access to facilities and data offshore that would require a judge’s order if it were done in the U.S., one of the four people said.

In these cases, no oversight is necessary under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and companies are providing the information voluntarily.
...
Intel Corp. (INTC)’s McAfee unit, which makes Internet security software, regularly cooperates with the NSA, FBI and the CIA, for example, and is a valuable partner because of its broad view of malicious Internet traffic, including espionage operations by foreign powers, according to one of the four people, who is familiar with the arrangement.
...
Even strictly defensive systems can have unintended consequences for privacy. Einstein 3, a costly program originally developed by the NSA, is meant to protect government systems from hackers. The program, which has been made public and is being installed, will closely analyze the billions of e-mails sent to government computers every year to see if they contain spy tools or malicious software.

Einstein 3 could also expose the private content of the e-mails under certain circumstances, according to a person familiar with the system, who asked not to be named because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter.

Before they agreed to install the system on their networks, some of the five major Internet companies -- AT&T Inc. (T), Verizon Communications Inc (VZ)., Sprint Nextel Corp. (S), Level 3 Communications Inc (LVLT). and CenturyLink Inc (CTL). -- asked for guarantees that they wouldn’t be held liable under U.S. wiretap laws. Those companies that asked received a letter signed by the U.S. attorney general indicating such exposure didn’t meet the legal definition of a wiretap and granting them immunity from civil lawsuits, the person said.

Any non-U.S. company is well advised to work with no USA software or hardware as such is likely to be bugged by the NSA and other services. It will take years but these revelations will be quite damaging for U.S. business.

Posted by: b | Jun 14 2013 14:41 utc | 31

Secret Court Ruling Put Tech Companies in Data Bind

FISA requests can be as broad as seeking court approval to ask a company to turn over information about the online activities of people in a certain country. Between 2008 and 2012, only two of 8,591 applications were rejected, according to data gathered by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit research center in Washington. Without obtaining court approval, intelligence agents can then add more specific requests — like names of individuals and additional Internet services to track — every day for a year.

Posted by: b | Jun 14 2013 16:07 utc | 32

Like I said earlier - The Snowden snow-job is all just theatre for the credulous and easily distracted (oh look over there! . . . shiny things!!)

Snowden and the war between the CIA and the Pentagon

"Did someone help Ed Snowden punch a hole in the NSA?" by Jon Rappoport:
"Snowden worked for the CIA. He was pushed up the ranks quickly, from an IT position in the US to a posting in Geneva, under diplomatic cover, to run security on the CIA’s computer systems there.Then, Snowden quit the CIA and eventually ended up at Booz Allen, a private contractor.

He was assigned to NSA, where he stole the secrets and exposed the NSA.The CIA and NSA have a long contentious relationship. The major issue is, who is king of US intelligence? We’re talking about an internal war.Snowden could have been the CIA’s man at NSA, where certain CIA players helped him access files he wouldn’t have been able to tap otherwise."

"NSA leaker: are there serious cracks in Ed Snowden’s story?" by Jon Rappoport

"Did the CIA give the NSA documents to Ed Snowden?" by Jon Rappoport

Posted by: nobody | Jun 14 2013 19:43 utc | 33

posted this already but it had 3 or 4 links in it and was disappeared by the system.

So here it is without links:

As I said earlier, the Snowden snow-job is all probably just more of the usual theatre, for the credulous and the easily distracted (oh looky over here!!! . . . Shiny Things!!)

Snowden and the war between the CIA and the Pentagon

"Did someone help Ed Snowden punch a hole in the NSA?" by Jon Rappoport:

"Snowden worked for the CIA. He was pushed up the ranks quickly, from an IT position in the US to a posting in Geneva, under diplomatic cover, to run security on the CIA’s computer systems there.

Then, Snowden quit the CIA and eventually ended up at Booz Allen, a private contractor. He was assigned to NSA, where he stole the secrets and exposed the NSA.

The CIA and NSA have a long contentious relationship. The major issue is, who is king of US intelligence? We’re talking about an internal war.

Snowden could have been the CIA’s man at NSA, where certain CIA players helped him access files he wouldn’t have been able to tap otherwise."

"NSA leaker: are there serious cracks in Ed Snowden’s story?" by Jon Rappoport

"Did the CIA give the NSA documents to Ed Snowden?" by Jon Rappoport

Posted by: nobody | Jun 14 2013 19:49 utc | 34

And click here if you want to get at the links for the post above

Posted by: nobody | Jun 14 2013 19:50 utc | 35

xymphora DOT blogspot DOT com/2013/06/snowden-and-war-between-cia-and-pentagon.html

Posted by: nobody | Jun 14 2013 19:51 utc | 36

Reading Friedman gives a good indication of what the current state of thinking in Washington is and what kind of criticism the current establishment allows.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 14 2013 21:11 utc | 37

@Nobody #30 - ""Why didn't Snowden do a Wikileaks-like "full and Open Disclosure" by releasing all of the documentation on the net for anyone and everyone to check out for themselves?" - Because he did not want to 'compromise security' knew that would be a crime, and he needs a bargaining chip(s), why do you think he is not hauled in, the dont know if he has put in place release mechanisms in case of that eventuality, so they must gig first. Even Wikileaks does not disclose everything, it is also selective.

Posted by: kev | Jun 15 2013 0:03 utc | 38

A good read by John Le Carre: The influence of spies has become too much. It's time politicians said no - John le Carré on secret courts, surveillance and the excessive influence of the CIA and MI6 on democratic institutions

Long piece - short explanation. The meta-data the PRISM program catches is used to filter through the raw data the NSA captures directly from the wires. It can thereby read the content of emails etc on the raw stream.

Secret to Prism success: Even bigger data seizure

In that way, Prism helps justify specific, potentially personal searches. But it's the broader operation on the Internet fiber optics cables that actually captures the data, experts agree.

"I'm much more frightened and concerned about real-time monitoring on the Internet backbone," said Wolf Ruzicka, CEO of EastBanc Technologies, a Washington software company. "I cannot think of anything, outside of a face-to-face conversation, that they could not have access to."

One unanswered question, according to a former technology executive at one of the companies involved, is whether the government can use the data from Prism to work backward.

For example, not every company archives instant message conversations, chat room exchanges or videoconferences. But if Prism provided general details, known as metadata, about when a user began chatting, could the government "rewind" its copy of the global Internet stream, find the conversation and replay it in full?

That would take enormous computing, storage and code-breaking power. It's possible the NSA could use supercomputers to decrypt some transmissions, but it's unlikely it would have the ability to do that in volume. In other words, it would help to know what messages to zero in on.

Whether the government has that power and whether it uses Prism this way remains a closely guarded secret.


Posted by: b | Jun 15 2013 14:22 utc | 39

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