How the NSA Spies on People - the interactive chart

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Thread: How the NSA Spies on People - the interactive chart

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    How the NSA Spies on People - the interactive chart

    Just move your cursor over the orange rectangle, and an explanation pops up.

    The NSA Spying Machine: An Interactive Graphic - Businessweek
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    "My problem with life is not that it is rational nor that it is irrational, but that it is almost rational." - G.K. Chesterton

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    VIP Member Array NONAME762's Avatar
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    Oh boy now I feel much safer.
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    VIP Member Array Patti's Avatar
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    Privacy laws are dead in the U.S.
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patti View Post
    Privacy laws are dead in the U.S.
    They have always been dead. You don't think folks (government folks) listened in on radio communications before? Went through our mail? Tapped our phones? It has always been like this to different extremes during different times. As soon as the telephone came out SCOTUS had to start ruling on what was protected and needed a warrant and what did not.

    We learned a lot about the history of the US and SIGINT since day one in my first MOS. The army use to intercept or do denial of service with the telegragh system in the 1800's. All for "national security". During J Edgar Hoovers reign it was atrocious.

    The biggest difference is there is more forms of communication now than their ever has been.

    One thing to remember is that most of any intercepts (legal or not) are not used live. They are used to go back and enhance an investigation. i.e email: is it being intercepted all of the time for every individual? No. Can it be? Probably but that is beyond the scope here. Can it be retireved later on? Most certainly (in most circumstances)

    The amount of data out there is phenonomal. But it still needs good analytical programs to decipher it.
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    Senior Member Array DaGunny's Avatar
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    That's why I only convey details of my plot for world domination over an encrypted tin can & twine interface.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patti View Post
    Privacy laws are dead in the U.S.
    Oh, they exist.

    It's just that nobody gives a damn about them, anymore. Leastwise, not those we hire to improve security and monitor threats.

    Unfortunately for everyone, there are additional anti-privacy laws that for such folks take precedence and are essentially all that's needed to sidestep the Constitution. The more things change, on that score, the more they stay the same.

    Suntzu's remarks, above, are spot-on. Since communications were anything other than spoken between two people next to each other, there have been ways explored to circumvent the privacy of such communications. And since SIGINT/electronics methods of gathering have come along, even two folks next to each other is no longer any certainty of privacy, in no matter how deep of a "hole" you're standing while speaking.
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    I think the difference is in the past we trusted the Government to not use the information they gathered in an inapropriate manner. Today we are finding the IRS refusing non profit status per direction from the ruling party. Then we see Information being used in campaigns that possibly were collected through government surveillance. Just my opinion but I think we have lost the faith we had and that leaves us a little paranoid.

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    I'm pretty sure DishFire is what happened the last time I tried to make a SouffleTrough. The kitchen walls looked like they were definitely not painted by picasso when the Souffletrough exploded, and FoxAcid is what I had the next morning after eating remnants of the DishFire.

    Cottonmouth was the results of anti-foxacid and angry neighbor is what I had from the horrifying smells emanating from the house and trashcan. I'm pretty sure I ran over happyfeet that same morning like a somberknave while dropping a co-traveler out of the jeep.
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    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova View Post
    I'm pretty sure DishFire is what happened the last time I tried to make a SouffleTrough. The kitchen walls looked like they were definitely not painted by picasso when the Souffletrough exploded, and FoxAcid is what I had the next morning after eating remnants of the DishFire.

    Cottonmouth was the results of anti-foxacid and angry neighbor is what I had from the horrifying smells emanating from the house and trashcan. I'm pretty sure I ran over happyfeet that same morning like a somberknave while dropping a co-traveler out of the jeep.
    But, you drive a Nova! When did you get a Jeep?

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    Senior Member Array cn262's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manolito View Post
    I think the difference is in the past we trusted the Government to not use the information they gathered in an inapropriate manner. Today we are finding the IRS refusing non profit status per direction from the ruling party. Then we see Information being used in campaigns that possibly were collected through government surveillance. Just my opinion but I think we have lost the faith we had and that leaves us a little paranoid.
    I would disagree with this. I don't think it was as much trust as naïveté. Companies have had large "data warehouses" for over two decades and have used them to understand trends, create profiles and use cases, and gain insight into specific people and behaviors. I'm sure that the Government has been doing the same for at least as long. The thing is that most people never considered what could be done with that simpler data and were therefore less concerned.

    Now we have "big data" and computer systems that can analyze and correlate "unstructured data" (things like this post), streaming data, spatial data (location, direction, speed, stops, etc.), social media (where people commonly overshare, as well as provide linkage that helps with profiling), email, text messages, phone calls, etc. People think that it is cool to share a photo on Facebook, but what many don't realize is that their location information is embedded in most of those photos. Tag someone or check-in and you have made it that much easier to "connect the dots." Think about how many people do this routinely every day without thinking twice about it.

    It's really only been the decade that technology (smartphones, GPS chips, Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn, high-end analytical databases, disk storage, RFID chips, hi-res satellite and drone images, etc.) has provided the ability to do this on a large scale and cost-effective basis. Anyone working in analytics has understood for many years what was possible - even before Edward Snowden spilled the beans. And technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, so things like Hadoop allow you to store nearly everything and find uses for it later.

    The problem now is that things like this are becoming common knowledge, and that leads to concern (and yes, paranoia). I don't know that people always had faith that the government acted in their own best interest (focusing more on special interest groups instead), but I would have to believe that few ever believed that their own government was spying on them (e.g., I'm nobody, so why would they care about me?) Now all that has changed.

    Now, here's the scary part to me (and something that many people are not aware of). "Stylometry" is a way to identify people based on their writing styles (formal vs casual, vocabulary and education level, commonly used phrases, sentence structure and idea density, misspellings and misuse, masculine vs. feminine, religious vs. secular, areas of knowledge, and much more). So, now take all of that data in Hadoop, run it through software to identify known people (such as on those social media sites), and then run it against other sites of interest (such as forums on firearms, survival, patriotism, etc.) and look for matches. While not easier than getting a subpoena to have a website release personal information (which is actually pretty common, too), it is far less public and likely just as effective.

    So, unless you are a Luddite or intentionally avoid most things Internet, there really is very little privacy. So, is it faith or naïveté?

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    Member Array Bigmac31391's Avatar
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    This is not new news. The govt. has been listening a very long time

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    Mail is safer, because it still takes a person to intercept it.
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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    Mail is safer, because it still takes a person to intercept it.
    True, but they scan mail now (addresses and return addresses), so even that can be monitored (unless you don't include a return address).
    "My problem with life is not that it is rational nor that it is irrational, but that it is almost rational." - G.K. Chesterton

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