Friday, November 1, 2013

And Here You Are All Worried about The NSA

With America's spy, Edward Snowden, letting out all kinds of info, some of info was that the NSA has figured out how to tap into the "cloud" between Google and Yahoo, allowing them to siphon information off this tap.  Folks are getting into an uproar about what they know.

Of course the NSA is looking for people who look to kill you by blowing up the planes or trains you're in.  So when the NSA hacks are reviewing data, more than likely, you aren't the target.  And when you become a non-target, you're forgotten.

And yet people choose to be in an uproar, now that they know.

But let's take a step back and think about this and the different aspects of this terrible infiltration into our private lives.

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For one, once you put some form of information out onto the web/internet, it is PUBLIC.

That means your instant chats, your emails, your social network posts, your blogs... everything is public.  You should understand that like your trash, once it leaves your house, it's in the public domain.

If you want it private, keep it off the public domain.

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Another point is that long before you discovered that our government is watching for bad guys, the internet providers themselves can and have been trapping your data for quite some time.  In one angle, it's called cookies on your own hard drive, and it's called server logs for any machine out there that helps you connect to the web.

Remember how shocked you were when you learned about the Tivo stats about Janet Jackson's nip slip?  Server logs helped collated that information. 

How do you think they manage to serve up ads that you don't mind seeing when you surf the web?  Via collated information off the cookies left on your computing device.

Another case in point, when I send an email from point A to B, that electronic transmission goes through (gets forwarded) several machines or servers before it gets where it needs to.  Out there in the wilds of the web.

I remember a few years ago when certain smartphones were discovered to be keeping location logs of everywhere you've been.  Heck I have Google (and other) utilities that break down my website visitor demographics to age, gender, income and education levels. I can see if you've landed on my site via desktop, laptop, or phone.  I can even break it down to phone model.  That's just the basic layer of info from cookies and like files on your PC/electronic device that they let me see.

Yep, it's not just the government.

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Let's also think about Google's (and everyone else's) efforts to collect your data.

Just the other day I discovered my Google Dashboard.  In that dashboard I saw that Google said I've sent x thousands of emails, they had all 600 of my email contacts, voice samples of me (from who knows where) and a bundle of other goodies they have access to.

And this is what they let out for you to see.

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And as the public gets antsy about what they now know, I wonder when they'll ponder the DARPA project called the IAO (Information Awareness Office), that started out around 2002.  This was a huge intelligence effort to watch for threats to the public.  And it collects massive amounts of data from several sources.  To be accurate, it was only in 2002 they decided to collate all the different databases already in existence, into one, easy to plunder piece of info.

Another great example is from FX's, The Americans.  In it they show the old-fashioned methods that intelligence angencies used to do to gather intel.  And on one knew.

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But folks enjoy being able to grumble about what they know.  But I always have to wonder what anyone has to hide?  If you put it out there, it's OUT THERE.  That was your call.  Like when you drive through an intersection with a traffic cam.

I've been impressed how many people complain about those cameras.  Me, I'd rather see the impatient as... folks getting tickets for running red lights.

In fact so many people have become accustomed to running red lights that the law now says that you can go on green, "When it's safe to do so."  Seriously.  Or that pedestrians have the right of way, when it's safe to cross.

And yet, that's what our society has become.  The folk who break the laws are the ones that bitch the most about them getting caught doing it.  And their behavior helps formulate the laws.

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In the end, I approve of all the eaves dropping.  It keeps me from getting blown up in an airplane or center punched by some ass who is in a hurry to be somewhere late.  (Who is probably texting at the same time too.)

But hey, this is all my own opinion and I say, get over it.  It's happened, it is happening and it will happen.

And to think, the NSA is the only intelligence agency that has to abide by laws, regulations and public review.  All the other agencies out there don't have to answer to anyone else's concerns as they freely perform their chosen focuses.

Last year over 2000 people died in terrorist deeds in overseas locations.  0 died in the U.S..  That NSA says that's not by accident, that no one died by terror acts on U.S. soil.

It sure is an interesting time we live in.
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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce