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realizm

NSA now able to compromise privacy safeguards on the internet, reports the NY Times

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It has been reported by the New York Times (article entitled: "N.S.A. Able to Foil Basic Safeguards of Privacy on Web") that the National Security Agency (NSA) is intensifying its efforts in cracking encrypted confidential data across the internet sphere , or circumventing the encryption of data using techniques which inserts vulnerabilities into protective measures set for the safekeeping of confidential data.  

 
They have so far were able to without hindrance break into sensitive data in industries such as in finance, trading, banking, healthcare, and on top of that are breaking into otherwise secure email accounts, internet social media mediums for social interaction, and of course digital phone call transmissions which for the most part are transmitted via wireless or IP hardwire connections on local area networks, MANs and WANs.
 
In some cases they were indeed able to accomplish this mostly by by means of supercomputer and sophisticated software technology often not privy to even the giants in the global IT industry, but also by obtaining search warrants from the US Courts, but in other cases do not, according to hints from the press, sometimes reportedly making underhanded maneuvers to sidestep and  mislead the US Courts. It is also known that they collaborate with ISP's and search engine providers by gaining permissions into certain ports for surveillance activities as revealed from the suspicions drawn from recent lawsuits as with the case concerning Google and Gmail.
 
Many internet users have been assured by providers that their confidential data will be kept confidential however in the wake of the latest leak this is obviously not the case.  
 
The NSA claims that they limit their searches to those cleared by screening as national threats in their top secret bullrun program. However nethertheless these efforts by the NSA to monitor the internet does indeed make many everyday law abiding internet surfers as well as those in various industries dependant on IT technology a bit uneasy with these latest revealed facts concerning the activity of the NSA.
 
it was demonstrated that the NSA's activity does not infringe on privacy laws prohibiting warrentless break-ins into email accounts according to this pdf document. However, in 2011 a federal judge seriously questioned the practices of the NSA in its claudestine approach to surveillance (which can be seen in this pdf document) stating that the agency is clearly violating the US Constitution and deliberately misleading the Foreign intelligence Courts.
 
Report from NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/us/nsa-foils-much-internet-encryption.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

Edited by realizm

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Why is anyone surprised by this ? From this country's earliest days the government has had the means to conduct surveillance on it's citizens. People sent mail through the  US Post Office with the expectation of privacy back in those days. The assumption was that the Constitution and/or Bill of Rights guaranteed your privacy. I have no proof but I would bet that the US government has intercepted snail mail, wireless (telegraph), and telephone messages since the War of 1812 up until the Spanish-American War and WWI. With the laying of underwater cables spanning oceans does anyone really doubt that the US, as well as the UK, France, Spain, and Germany, wasn't tapping into those messages way back then. With the World Wars and the Cold War and the espionage associated with those eras is there anyone who really believes the US government wasn't eavesdropping on many of it's citizens? Looking back through the history books it appears the government ( OSS,FBI, CIA,Secret Service), was applauded by the public for it's exploits. With the advent of the internet and cellular service worldwide what did people think the government would do? Online banking, Google searches, Facebook, Twitter, and the like. People knowingly put their personal information out in public view without reviewing the terms of service the provider has posted. Most people are worried about the "bad guys" compromising their info without thinking that maybe the US government might also be considered "the bad guys". People get upset today and scream about the Constitution and their rights. Ask a Native American, a Japanese internee, or a Black American about that. It all depends on how the courts, up to the Supreme Court, interpret your Constituional rights. The US Constitution didn't change it's wording between" Plessy vs Ferguson" and " Brown vs the Board of Education" but the court's interpretation did. Now we have secret courts doing the interpreting.Your "rights" are at risk. Carry on.

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I'm not saying I agree on NSA's stance or motives, but much of my activities online are already monitored heavily as it stands. Shit, as it stands corporations have a lot of my info from online. Take Google for example. I can only imagine how many documents that may be on record from them alone, searches, email, etc. Reality is only the most naive people should be truly in shock at this.

At any rate though, in my opinion, NSA is encroaching on people's right and as such they should cease their practices. Though that will never happen.

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The shock is this:

 

Since the days of the Civil War, WW1, Chinese Inclusion Act, Japanese Internment during WW2, and Afro-American Apartheid we would expect progressive change for the better in terms of the upholding of a citizen's constitutional rights within a reasonable period of time. But no, it's becoming the opposite, a reverse trend where  it is becoming apparent more and more that we are approaching an era where we could indeed become a police state instead of a true democracy. The signing of the USA PATRIOT ACT by George W Bush in the wake of the 9/11 attacks that the CIA turned a blind eye towards, and the DoD failed to stop despite the beforehand knowledge that this was to occur clearly reveals this alarming reality. With the signing of the PATRIOT ACT into law the president of the United States can enact a state of martial law with a signing of a pen, and override the US Constitution. Let alone overiding of any 'privacy rights' as it is with the internet provision within that law.

 

The CIA and NSA administrators are clearly aware of this and use this as their playing card to sidestep the jurisdiction of their actions for the sake of 'national security'.

 

From an US defense analyst standpoint there is yet another danger with the NSA's practices: The fact that there's always a 'backdoor' with such policies with the US  intelligence agencies that creates vulnerabilities. Historically it has happened many times where we had double agents working within the CIA structure with bad results. The current policies set out by the NSA creates an equally real danger of double agents (i.e malicious hackers who are enemies of the state, who are posing as NSA agents) working against US interests encroaching upon sensitive national data.

Edited by realizm

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The shock is this:

 

Since the days of the Civil War, WW1, Chinese Inclusion Act, Japanese Internment during WW2, and Afro-American Apartheid we would expect progressive change for the better in terms of the upholding of a citizen's constitutional rights within a reasonable period of time. But no, it's becoming the opposite, a reverse trend where  it is becoming apparent more and more that we are approaching an era where we could indeed become a police state instead of a true democracy. The signing of the USA PATRIOT ACT by George W Bush in the wake of the 9/11 attacks that the CIA turned a blind eye towards, and the DoD failed to stop despite the beforehand knowledge that this was to occur clearly reveals this alarming reality. With the signing of the PATRIOT ACT into law the president of the United States can enact a state of martial law with a signing of a pen, and override the US Constitution. Let alone overiding of any 'privacy rights' as it is with the internet provision within that law.

 

The CIA and NSA administrators are clearly aware of this and use this as their playing card to sidestep the jurisdiction of their actions for the sake of 'national security'.

 

From an US defense analyst standpoint there is yet another danger with the NSA's practices: The fact that there's always a 'backdoor' with such policies with the US  intelligence agencies that creates vulnerabilities. Historically it has happened many times where we had double agents working within the CIA structure with bad results. The current policies set out by the NSA creates an equally real danger of double agents (i.e malicious hackers who are enemies of the state, who are posing as NSA agents) working against US interests encroaching upon sensitive national data.

Realizm you bring out things that today's average American either has no knowledge of, or conveniently ignores. I've always loved reading and military history somehow became a favorite of mine. Much of what we have at the present is the natural progression of hardware AND software since the '70's or so. As long as Texas Instruments, Sony, IBM, Microsoft, Apple and the like have kept us "entertained" or AT&T, Bell, Verizon, and Sprint have kept us "in touch" they've also laid out a grid or blueprint that can be exploited by someone. As long as it was "our government" doing it to "them" there was no outcry from the public at large. The few who did bring up points were ridiculed as "conspiracy nuts" or tin-foil hat wearers. I, too, shook my head at some of those theories. The problem is that "our government" seems to be doing it to "us" as well as "them" these days so people are lashing out at the national security apparatus in this country. As a Black man who came of age in the sixties I'm tempted to shrug my shoulders and laugh at the average Joe and Jane. When the government spied on the Civil Rights movement back then it was OK because they were "commies",outside agitators,or "THEM". Now the right wingers have started to squeal because it's not only "THEM" who are being screwed but all of "us". All I can say is "too bad" and welcome to the club. My rant. Carry on.
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Trainman and Realizm, you two have easily become my favorite posters on this board.  I can't write my posts nearly as well thought as you two do.  You've repeatedly managed to expand my opinion into words that better describe what I want to say. /end fan letter

 

Anyway, none of this surprises me.  I've always operated on the internet under the impression anything I say or do is being monitored.  I just hope I'm already in my grave when the inevitable disaster from all this occurs.

Edited by Urbanfortitude
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Realizm you bring out things that today's average American either has no knowledge of, or conveniently ignores. I've always loved reading and military history somehow became a favorite of mine. Much of what we have at the present is the natural progression of hardware AND software since the '70's or so. As long as Texas Instruments, Sony, IBM, Microsoft, Apple and the like have kept us "entertained" or AT&T, Bell, Verizon, and Sprint have kept us "in touch" they've also laid out a grid or blueprint that can be exploited by someone. As long as it was "our government" doing it to "them" there was no outcry from the public at large. The few who did bring up points were ridiculed as "conspiracy nuts" or tin-foil hat wearers. I, too, shook my head at some of those theories. The problem is that "our government" seems to be doing it to "us" as well as "them" these days so people are lashing out at the national security apparatus in this country. As a Black man who came of age in the sixties I'm tempted to shrug my shoulders and laugh at the average Joe and Jane. When the government spied on the Civil Rights movement back then it was OK because they were "commies",outside agitators,or "THEM". Now the right wingers have started to squeal because it's not only "THEM" who are being screwed but all of "us". All I can say is "too bad" and welcome to the club. My rant. Carry on.

 

Indeed Trainmaster5, totally agree.

 

The majority of the American public are either unaware, or deliberately dis-acknowledges the scope of things within our own government, and I believe that is out of sincere fear.  On top of that because many are influenced by nationalistic propaganda with the intent to mislead others by use of the media and the schools. With the media the stereotype as you've stated, has always portrayed those who are astutely aware of the mechanics of the American government as nutcases so as to discourage others from revealing the truth about the status quo. With the schools they do not portray correct facts or make omissions on the truths concerning our history as a nation, nor do they correctly teach the art of critical thinking.

 

Unfortunately this is becoming especially apparent on the internet. If one on a popular media site even mentions such subjects with accuracy the user is frowned upon for refusal to be swayed by popular opinion, I would imagine out of psychological fear of first, the truthfulness of what is really going on with the world stage, second because of fear of retaliation from peers. 

 

I know why the news networks suddenly are publishing articles on the subject of the NSA from supposed 'leaks' which it is not because the NSA deliberately put this information in regards to their agenda out there. The CIA did this historically from the breakdown of the Berlin Wall, with the revealing of a hole called Area 51 in the 1990's which is my time when I grew up as a youth, with the retro trends of the day being based on your generation in the 60's, just as much as the 2000's were driven by the retro trends of the 80's.

 

It was revealed that the CIA deliberately put out there the hoax behind the so called 'Roswell Incident' the connection with Area 51 in the 80's into the 90's to hide the truth about that installation: It was a complex where weapons of mass destruction were secretly being designed and built in close cooperation with Boeing and Lockheed Martin to circumvent the Soviet threat during the Cold War. The history books proves this as genuine fact.

 

Such defense programs that were developed out Area 51 includes the U2 Spy Plane, the late F-117 Stealth Fighter,  and the B2 Stealth Bomber. When these planes were tested the CIA would use the false notion spread that Area 51 was used as a holding den for alien spaceships (laughable) as a cover up so as to keep the development of such weapons of mass destruction confidential to the public until the CIA revealed these weapons officially to the public in the 1990's. The F-117 in reality was actually in flight starting in the 1980's, not starting in the 1990's. The CIA decided to reveal the truth only because the Soviet Union was no longer a threat with the collapse of the former communist government ending the Cold War.

 

So coming back to the NSA: Why did the NSA decide today to reveal this previously top secret 'Bull Run' program through the White House Press Committee? Because first they know that they have a strategic advantage, second to instill fear into it's own American people it is supposed to protect among other reasons.

 

Instilling fear into the American public establishes control of the American public by leaving it in the dark only with tibits here and there. It becomes a shocking reality as one puts the pieces of the puzzle together.

 

In the 1990's in fact, the American public wasn't even aware that the NSA even existed in the first place. The NSA revealed themselves as a major intelligence agency in the millenium and this is in part to the ongoing Al Qaeda threat, Al Qaeda being a monster that the CIA themselves created in the first place, arming them with Stinger missiles and promoting the black market opium trade and even prostitution (keeping the Soviet soldiers drugged up and incapacitated) to circumvent the Russian MiL Mi-24 Hinds (the Soviet answer to the US AH-64 Apache attack helicopter) in the Soviet-Afghanistan war that started in the late 80's in the Middle East dubbed the Soviet Union's "Vietnam War".

 

It really makes one wonder just by musing on the facts recorded officially in the history books alone, what in the world is really going on here?

Trainman and Realizm, you two have easily become my favorite posters on this board.  I can't write my posts nearly as well thought as you two do.  You've repeatedly managed to expand my opinion into words that better describe what I want to say. /end fan letter

 

Anyway, none of this surprises me.  I've always operated on the internet under the impression anything I say or do is being monitored.  I just hope I'm already in my grave when the inevitable disaster from all this occurs.

 

Thank you, I'm glad you appreciate the posts and I'm sure Trainmaster5 equally appreciates your comment.

Edited by realizm

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Now that it comes to mind I just wanted to reinforce an additional point in reference to your initial post and my initial reply:
 

 When the government spied on the Civil Rights movement back then it was OK because they were "commies",outside agitators,or "THEM". Now the right wingers have started to squeal because it's not only "THEM" who are being screwed but all of "us". All I can say is "too bad" and welcome to the club. My rant. Carry on.

 
There is indirect circumstantial evidence that suggests a very strong possibility that the creation of the Crips and Bloods was negatively influenced by the political efforts of J Edgar Hoover and the FBI Cointelpro program to in effect bring down the Black Panthers so as to disrupt the Black leadership that could have prevented these criminal gang formations to begin with, also to in effect to prevent a black political party from forming, as a cleanup following such incidents including the assassinations of Malcolm X (records state that it was at the hands of rival Islamic organizations but as to the validity of this is questionable as there is gaps in the details behind this) and MLK. This was indirectly discussed in the PBS documentary "Blood and Crips: Made in America" broadcasted in 2008 which is no longer on youtube because of "copyright infringement" and "account deletion".

 

The Crips according to my understanding was originally created as a black youth grassroots organization branching out of the Black Panthers during the violent era of the turbulent 60's (With the Black Panthers as you well know which goals were to eradicate the oppression coming in with black apartheid), according to archived records which are as of now heavily censored on the internet and restricted to books out of print, however the organization made its turn for its' worse and 'reinvented itself' from that original youth organization into the illegal drug trade, making it the notorious criminal gang it is today. The Bloods branched out of the now corrupted Crips organization as a result, and now the infighting and criminal activity is now clearly apparent. The proof is in the pudding.

 

I have met a legitimate surviving ex-member of the Black Panthers residing in Jamaica Queens in the distant past as a youth, this is why I know this.

 

As I write this I have to admit it takes a heck of alot of courage in revealing the dark aspects of modern US history on a public forum, but nethertheless I am doing so, due to my 'supposed' protection by the US Constitution as a citizen on the basis of 'free speech'. If Neo-Nazi organizations can freely post on the internet based on Constitutional protections without hindrance, and the internet watchdogs actually do not even bother nor care to intervene, then many others can do it too with the opposing viewpoint, but not by bias and prejudiced thinking, but with open-mindedness and educated minds, and a sincere desire to know the truth, in reference to the current state of things with the national status quo.

 

Edited by realizm

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The truth is we are coming closer and closer to a Nazi like state everyday..........

 

No, we aren't. Go away. 

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The truth is we are coming closer and closer to a Nazi like state everyday..........

 

Right, because America wants to rid the earth of other peoples and plow the land anew for the American master race...

 

While the NSA, Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, and other agencies have been aggressively recruiting former hackers for at least a decade or two, the one upside to the Snowden revelations is that these agencies are going to find it much harder to recruit top talent. Programmers in general tend to be freewheelers, especially those with more skill, and aren't very fond of the idea of working with the government in the first place. The revelations completely go against the programming ethos that exists, so they've just made their job that much harder, especially because no one stays at the top of the hacker/programming ladder for very long in this competitive field.

 

Every one with a background in computer programming knows that there isn't really a lot the NSA could use a 5 petabyte server in Utah for besides massive data mining. It was just better to not think about it.

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So is anyone sanitizing their online tracks because of this? I've been going back to old e-mail accounts archiving and deleting e-mails as well as pointing everything to one single e-mail to make things easier to track and manage.

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Concerning Gmail I do know this: When a message is removed from your trash, it is removed from your account BUT Google like any search engine provider backs up their data offline, so it may take up to 60 days to permanently 'delete' any stored copies. According to Google policy the reasoning behind this is to have multiple copies of users emails on hand in case of 'error or system failure.' In reality however the federal goverment requires companies to keep archived backup copies of emails for 6 (or is it 7?) years.

 

As the general saying goes: Wanna to ensure that the data is deleted? Pull out the server backups and smash 'em.

Edited by realizm
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Concerning Gmail I do know this: When a message is removed from your trash, it is removed from your account BUT Google like any search engine provider backs up their data offline, so it may take up to 60 days to permanently 'delete' any stored copies. According to Google policy the reasoning behind this is to have multiple copies of users emails on hand in case of 'error or system failure.' In reality however the federal goverment requires companies to keep archived backup copies of emails for 6 (or is it 7?) years.

 

As the general saying goes: Wanna to ensure that the data is deleted? Pull out the server backups and smash 'em.

It's nothing sensitive, otherwise it would be encrypted, but moving forward with privacy-conciousness in mind is a good practice. Knowing where you left bits of yourself and cleaning up after it is a good habit to develop if not for the privacy, simply for keeping things organized in under your control. I've got accounts on many websites spanning 10 different e-mail addresses, and I've only begun to cancel them or change the e-mail address to my one and only. Some sites fix the e-mail address permanently, so I'm basically forced to keep the e-mail address alive until that site goes out of service for good (forwarding all of the e-mails to my main address).

 

In the mean time, I'm going to find a cost-efficient way to run my own e-mail server on my own physical hardware. Xeon CPUs and Mini-ITX motherboards can now be married together, so it's viable to run a low-powered small-form-factor server for long periods of time (by the power of ECC memory, business class internet, and battery backup) without rebooting.

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