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Surveillance in America: Dark arts, black hats

For those of us who have nothing to hide today, the idea that tomorrow’s leaders may be peeping at everything we do that we presume to be private is downright creepy!  Indeed, the so called leak scandal in DC today is giving more and more people some pause.

Imagine that we continue to allow the government to peek in on our lives with impunity.  Tomorrow, a government program that is partly privatized lands your most personal and private information in the hands of a leaker.  But that leaker does not leak to the general public, he or she sells or uses your information for personal gain.   The possibilities are no longer hypothetical.  It  all seems to be unraveling before our very eyes…

“‘WE WANT you to help us do this better,” asserted General Keith Alexander (pictured), the director of America’s National Security Agency (NSA), to hundreds of computer hackers at Black Hat, an annual information-security conference in Las Vegas on July 31st. General Alexander claimed that his agency’s mass-surveillance programmes had stopped 54 potential terrorist plots. He reassured the audience that their privacy was being protected. Still, there were a few heckles.

America’s spies have had a tough time since Edward Snowden, a former intelligence contractor, began leaking information that revealed the massive scale of NSA snooping. Indeed, just as General Alexander tried to charm the geeks, Britain’s Guardian newspaper published another leak by Mr Snowden. This one revealed a system called XKeyscore that lets the NSA glean emails, chats and browsing histories without specific authorisation. The intelligence agency confirmed the programme, but said it was lawful and essential.”

More via Surveillance in America: Dark arts, black hats | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, Culture Think, MashCrunchWired, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, political corruption, Political Economy, Political Facts and Fiction, political plots, propaganda and spin, Public Policy, Technology and You,

Surveillance: Spying in a democracy depends for its legitimacy on informed consent, not blind trust.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: analytics, Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, Culture Think, Government Works?, MashCrunchWired, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, political plots, propaganda and spin, Public Policy, Social Media, social protests, Technology and You, , ,

“Killer drones: Out of the shadows” or are they?

Technology is changing war but legal concepts and international law are not as mutable.  As governments and leaders enthusiastically move forward with technological efficacy, the legal morass and moral quandary caused by social, psychological and economic destruction promises to create new problems that may haunt us for generations.  But technology moves fast, corporate America knows how to package and sell it, and the American public is the last to weigh in.  Democracy is increasingly purchased in the ongoing divided American electorate and the internecine warfare election politics now represent.  Like the proverbial Pyrrhic victory, we crush and pick off our enemies as the facts of our deeds slowly leek out and we potentially stand in ubiquitous and unforgiving popular judgement at home and abroad.

We seem to be getting farther and farther away from “though shall not kill” and “violence begets violence”

At last we have a technological equivalent to hackers threatening social and economic information exchange where the government is “anonymous” and civilization itself is the victim.  It is legion, expect it…

“WHEN it comes to lethal drone strikes against foreign targets, America’s government and Congress should be aware that “what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”, says …”

via Killer drones: Out of the shadows | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Death and Dying, drone attacks, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, political plots, Political Violence, propaganda and spin, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, Technology and You, waging war, WeSeeReason, , ,

Israel and Gaza: Edging closer to war | The Economist

The Obama victory and the Arab spring have ushered in a new era for the Middle East as the extremes write the next chapter …  What’s next?

“IF THE latest round of violence between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamists who run Gaza, were to end this weekend, everyone involved—except for the families of the …”

More via Israel and Gaza: Edging closer to war | The Economist.

Filed under: Arab Spring, Blogosphere, Death and Dying, drone attacks, Election 2012, ethnicity in politics, faith-based, geopolitical, human offal, International Relations, Intolerance, Masacre, Mass Media and Public Opinion, Middle East Freedom, News, political plots, Political Violence, propaganda and spin, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, waging war, WeSeeReason, ,

The C.I.A After Petraeus : The New Yorker

The New Yorker looks at “the agency” with attitude and point of view… must reading for the intelligentsia interested in American intelligence…

“The office of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency sits on the seventh floor of the old …”

More via The C.I.A After Petraeus : The New Yorker.

Filed under: Blogosphere, News, political plots, Pundits, ,

Israeli Strike Kills Hamas Commander – WSJ.com

The WSJ reports as Middle East geopolitics burns …

“Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with artillery shells and about 20 airstrikes on Wednesday, killing Hamas’s top military commander and at least seven other …”

More via Israeli Strike Kills Hamas Commander – WSJ.com.

Filed under: Arab Spring, Blogosphere, Death and Dying, Middle East Freedom, News, political plots, Political Violence, waging war, ,

U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks – NYTimes.com

The United States and Iran have agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials, setting the stage for what could be a last-ditch …

More via U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Election 2012, Middle East Freedom, News, political plots, Political Violence, propaganda and spin, waging war, WeSeeReason, , ,

Syria’s civil war: The killing fields | The Economist

IS IT because America and Europe have tired of their own wars that they have started to turn their back on other people’s? The number of dead in Syria has passed 30,000. Some days over 250 bodies are added to the pile, which brings to mind Iraq at the insurgency’s peak in …

More via Syria’s civil war: The killing fields | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Death and Dying, Election 2012, faith-based, International Relations, Masacre, Mass Media and Public Opinion, Middle East Freedom, News, political plots, Political Violence, propaganda and spin, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, waging war, , ,

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