ha ha..my wife calls A2K my "imaginary friends"site...but she has never liked all the arguing my family does over facts and ideas so she was prejudiced from the get-go.
Quote:but she has never liked all the arguing my family does over facts and ideas so she was prejudiced from the get-go.
My wife does not like heated debates either.
No matter how often or seriously I argue and fight with anyone here...if I ever heard of that person facing a real crisis in life, I would feel horrible. I suspect many of us (probably most of us) feel that way. So none of us are really enemies.
Quote:No matter how often or seriously I argue and fight with anyone here...if I ever heard of that person facing a real crisis in life, I would feel horrible. I suspect many of us (probably most of us) feel that way. So none of us are really enemies.
I can remember becoming concern over Firefly when she stop postings for a time.
An I had turned for and gotten emotional support here for example when I had beloved pets on their last days on earth
You are right and thanks for pointing it out that as annoy as I can become at some of the posters here from time to time I bear no hate or ill will to anyone.
TorChat is a peer to peer instant messenger with a completely decentralized design, built on top of Tor's location hidden services, giving you extremely strong anonymity while being very easy to use without the need to install or configure anything.
TorChat just runs from an USB drive on any Windows PC. (It can run on Linux and Mac too, in fact it was developed on Linux with cross platform usability in mind from the very first moment on, but the installation on other platforms than Windows is a bit more complicated at the moment)
Tor location hidden services basically means:
Nobody will be able to find out where you are.
If they are already observing you and sniff your internet connection they will not be able to find out
what you send or receive (everything is end-to-end encrypted)
to whom you are sending or receiving from
where your contacts are located
General information about Tor
Guardian: NSA Leaker Snowden defends actions in live chats from hiding, via newspaper
BY KIMBERLY DOZIER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS JUNE 17, 2013 1:07 PM
WASHINGTON - Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency leaker, is defending his disclosure of top-secret U.S. spying programs in an online chat Monday with The Guardian and attacking U.S. officials for calling him a traitor.
"The U.S. government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me," he said. He added the government "immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home," by labeling him a traitor, and indicated he would not return to the U.S. voluntarily.
Congressional leaders have called Snowden a traitor for revealing once-secret surveillance programs two weeks ago in the Guardian and The Washington Post. The National Security Agency programs collect records of millions of Americans' telephone calls and Internet usage as a counterterror tool. The disclosures revealed the scope of the collections, which surprised many Americans and have sparked debate about how much privacy the government can take away in the name of national security.
"It would be foolish to volunteer yourself to" possible arrest and criminal charges "if you can do more good outside of prison than in it," he said.
The Guardian announced its website was hosting an online chat with Snowden, in hiding in Hong Kong, with reporter Glenn Greenwald receiving and posting his questions. The Associated Press couldn't independently verify that the man answering the questions was indeed Snowden.
Snowden was working as a contractor for NSA at the time he had access to the then-secret programs. He defended his actions and said he considered what to reveal and what not to, saying he did not reveal any U.S. operations against what he called legitimate military targets, but instead showed the NSA is hacking civilian infrastructure like universities and private businesses.
"These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target. Not only that, when NSA makes a technical mistake during an exploitation operation, critical systems crash," he said, though he gave no examples of what systems have crashed or in which countries.
"Congress hasn't declared war on the countries — the majority of them are our allies — but without asking for public permission, NSA is running network operations against them that affect millions of innocent people," he said. "And for what? So we can have secret access to a computer in a country we're not even fighting?"
Snowden was referring to PRISM, one of the programs he disclosed. The program sweeps up Internet usage data from all over the world that goes through nine major U.S.-based Internet providers. The NSA can look at foreign usage without any warrants, and says the program doesn't target Americans.
U.S. officials say the data-gathering programs are legal and operated under secret court supervision.
Snowden explained his claim that from his desk, he could "wiretap" any phone call or email — a claim top intelligence officials have denied. "If an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc. analyst has access to query raw SIGINT (signals intelligence) databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want," he wrote in the answer posted on the Guardian site. "Phone number, email, user id, cellphone handset id (IMEI), and so on — it's all the same."
The NSA did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. But Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said that the kind of data that can be accessed and who can access it is severely limited.
Snowden said the restrictions on what could be seen by an individual analyst vary according to policy changes, which can happen "at any time," and said that a technical "filter" on NSA data gathering meant to filter out U.S. communications is "weak," such that U.S. communications often get ingested.
Snowden defended U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning for his disclosures of documents to WikiLeaks, which he called a "legitimate journalistic outlet," which "carefully redacted all of their releases in accordance with a judgment of public interest." He said the WikiLeaks release of unedited material was "due to the failure of a partner journalist to control a passphrase," which led to the charge against Manning that he dumped the documents, which Snowden called an attempt to smear Manning.
Manning is currently on trial at Fort Meade — the same Army base where the NSA is headquartered — on charges of aiding the enemy for releasing documents to WikiLeaks.
Snowden defended his description of his salary as being $200,000 a year, calling that a "career high," but saying he did take a pay cut to take the job at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked as a contractor at an NSA facility in Hawaii. When Booz Allen fired him, they said his salary was $122,000.
"The U.S. government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me," he said.
Q: Is a court order necessary to query the metadata database?
Feinstein: Is a court order necessary to query—
Q: The metadata database under 215. An individual court order for each query.
Feinstein: A court order—well, I don't know what you mean by a query. A court order—
Q: To search the database.
Feinstein: To search the database, you have to have reasonable, articulable cause—
Q: Certified by a judge?
Feinstein: —to believe that that individual is connected to a terrorist group. You cannot—
Q: But does that have to be determined by a judge?
Feinstein: Could I answer? You may not like it, but I'll answer. Then you can query the numbers. The only numbers you have—there's no content. You have the name and the number called, whether it's one number or two numbers. That's all you have. Then you can get the numbers. If you want to collect content, then you get a court order.
Q: So you don't need a court order for the query itself.
Feinstein: That's my understanding.
That exchange punctured the government’s story. The official talking points, recited by Feinstein, emphasized the “reasonable, articulable cause” standard and the requirement of a court order to get a wiretap. What they glossed over was the disconnect between those two points. The NSA can search the database without proving anything to the court. To extract this confession from Feinstein, Ackerman had to ask his question six times.
If Feinstein’s answer is correct, then everything we’ve been told about the “lockbox” is a charade. Go back and reread what Clapper, Alexander, Feinstein, and Rogers told us. They said the court allows queries only after the presentation of specific facts supporting a particular basis. The NSA can query the data only at specific times under a very specific court-ordered approval process. It can look at the data only after showing a reasonable, articulable suspicion that a specific individual is involved in terrorism. It must prove that level of suspicion.
Those statements clearly imply that the court screens each data request. But it doesn’t. There’s no lock on the lockbox.
That hasn’t stopped current and former government officials from repeating the lockbox line. Yesterday Rogers used it again on Face the Nation. Dick Cheney, appearing on Fox News Sunday, backed him up. On Meet the Press, Michael Hayden, the guy who ran the NSA when it began collecting phone records, assured Rep. Bobby Scott, (D-Va.,) “The only way you can access the metadata is through a terrorist predicate.” When Scott asked, “Where is that written?” Hayden replied: “It's in the court order.” Really? Where’s the court order? When is it applied, and how?
If the court isn’t screening data requests, that leaves two possibilities. One is that nobody’s screening them. The other is that some other, unknown entity is doing it in a way that nobody has explained. Either way, the answers we’re getting are unacceptable. They betray privacy, public trust, and national security.
That mean that the Canadians and the South Americans and even the Europeans are having some of their traffic look at by the NSA with no US fourth amendment questions arriving.
Obama, the equal opportunity disappointer.
The New York Times
June 11, 2013
Blowing a Whistle
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
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 two government programs designed to track suspected phone and e-mail contacts of 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 lives, 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 privacy from a 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, privacy be damned, just make sure this does not happen again.” That is what I fear most.
That is why I’ll reluctantly, very reluctantly, trade off the government using data mining to look for suspicious patterns in phone numbers called and e-mail addresses — and then have to go to a judge to get a warrant to actually look at the content under guidelines set by Congress — to prevent a day where, out of fear, we give government a license to look at anyone, any e-mail, any phone call, anywhere, anytime.
So I don’t believe that Edward Snowden, the leaker of all this secret material, is some heroic whistle-blower. No, I believe Snowden is someone who needed a whistle-blower. He needed someone to challenge him with the argument that we don’t live in a world any longer where our government can protect its citizens from real, not imagined, threats without using big data — where we still have an edge — under constant judicial review. It’s not ideal. But if one more 9/11-scale attack gets through, the cost to civil liberties will be so much greater.
A hat tip to Andrew Sullivan for linking on his blog to an essay by David Simon, the creator of HBO’s “The Wire.” For me, it cuts right to the core of the issue.
“You would think that the government was listening in to the secrets of 200 million Americans from the reaction and the hyperbole being tossed about,” wrote Simon. “And you would think that rather than a legal court order, which is an inevitable consequence of legislation that we drafted and passed, something illegal had been discovered to the government’s shame. Nope. ... 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. ... I know it’s big and scary that the government wants a database of all phone calls. And it’s scary that they’re paying attention to the Internet. And it’s scary that your cellphones have GPS installed. ... The question is not should the resulting data exist. It does. ... The question is more fundamental: Is government accessing the data for the legitimate public safety needs of the society, or are they accessing it in ways that abuse individual liberties and violate personal privacy — and in a manner that is unsupervised. And to that, The Guardian and those who are wailing jeremiads about this pretend-discovery of U.S. big data collection are noticeably silent. We don’t know of any actual abuse.”
We do need to be constantly on guard for abuses. But the fact is, added Simon, that for at least the last two presidencies “this kind of data collection has been a baseline logic of an American anti-terrorism effort that is effectively asked to find the needles before they are planted into haystacks, to prevent even such modest, grass-rooted conspiracies as the Boston Marathon bombing before they occur.”
To be sure, secret programs, like the virtually unregulated drone attacks, can lead to real excesses that have to be checked. But here is what is also real, Simon concluded:
“Those planes really did hit those buildings. And that bomb did indeed blow up at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. And we really are in a continuing, low-intensity, high-risk conflict with a diffuse, committed and ideologically motivated enemy. And, for a moment, just imagine how much bloviating would be wafting across our political spectrum if, in the wake of an incident of domestic terrorism, an American president and his administration had failed to take full advantage of the existing telephonic data to do what is possible to find those needles in the haystacks.”
And, I’d add, not just bloviating. Imagine how many real restrictions to our beautiful open society we would tolerate if there were another attack on the scale of 9/11. Pardon me if I blow that whistle.
But if one more 9/11-scale attack gets through, the cost to civil liberties will be so much greater.