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Act On Total Information Awareness 55

pberry writes "The EFF Action Center has two new alerts (1, 2) on stopping "Total Information Awareness." TIA is a collection of DARPA-funded initiatives that are very scary. The project is headed by Admiral John Poindexter and has no implementation guidelines thus far. In other words, it is misguided to say that these tools will be used in any particular way, but it is clear that if they do what they say they will, America could be a very scary place to live."
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Act On Total Information Awareness

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... should I grab my ankles now and wait for the cops to show up?
  • Easy No Brainer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @03:50PM (#4846368) Homepage Journal

    The only way to halt TIA is to overwhelmingly convince a lot of people that they would be hurt if TIA were implemented.

    However, abuses of TIA by bureaucracies and, indeed, by corporations, are a slow creeping disease that impacts only a small percentage of the population.

    The question is: when the abuses grow to the point where a lot of people do disagree with them, will those people have the power to change what they see wrong?

    By that time, however, disagreement with TIA will be viewed as "aiding and abetting terrorists" and could be accompanied by suspension of various rights, particularly voting.

    People don't seem to care if they get a cure that's worse than the disease.

    • Hmmm... Well, I've worked with similar systems in Chicago. Used to work in climate controlled server room which 'monitored' a 10,000 user network.

      The truth of the matter is that the watchers are typically bored to death with what they are doing, and automate the process, because 99% of human activities are actually rather benign and boring. Interesting note: something like 50% of internet traffic at major universities is pornography related... (Hold on to this though for a moment).

      The question is: when the abuses grow to the point where a lot of people do disagree with them, will those people have the power to change what they see wrong?

      Interesting question. OK, my guess is that it will have a lot to do with whether or not the abuses affect the people's ability to access sex, drugs, and rock and roll. If pornography, pharmaceuticals, and napster aren't affected, then the TIA will probably be able to function pretty close as it is designed.

  • The EFF has been slashdotted! I wonder if this happens to them often? If someone gets in, please post news letters or mirror them please.
    • Very sad. While it's great to hear lots of people want to do something about this, it's not so great to hear we've prevented anyone from doing anything about it, at least at this very moment.

      Either that, or the spooks are using it as an excuse to shut them down....

  • I live in Argentina. Since you said America, I guess I should be scared too, right?

    Hmmm...
  • Hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by happypizzaguy ( 325415 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @04:04PM (#4846482) Homepage
    I found this [darpa.mil] to be pretty interesting.
    The logo really sums up their motives nicely.
  • Text of (1) (Score:2, Informative)

    by RgnadKzin ( 594150 )
    TAKE ACTION! SEND A MESSAGE

    Total Information Awareness: Public Hearings Now!

    This may sound like science fiction, but Total Information Awareness (TIA) is a *real* threat to your civil liberties. TIA is a Defense Department project that is creating a range of technologies for a surveillance society.

    If TIA continues, the government will effectively have wiretaps, dossiers, and tracking devices for every American citizen. Urge Senator Orrin Hatch (likely to be the next Chair of the Judiciary Committee), to hold public hearings!

    December 9, 2002

    The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch
    United States Senate
    104 Hart Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510

    Your U.S. representative

    Dear Senator Hatch,

    I am writing to express my concern regarding the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Total Information Awareness (TIA) project. Senator Dianne Feinstein has asked that you, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, permit either the Technology and Terrorism Subcommittee or the full Judiciary Committee to hold oversight hearings on TIA. I strongly urge you to do so because TIA will, if implemented as planned, destroy our privacy and civil liberties.

    TIA proposes several technical thrusts, including an effort to compile and search thousands of public and private databases. Undersecretary of Defense Pete Aldridge has publicly stated that TIA will involve "discovery of connections between transactions -- such as passports; visas; work permits; driver's license; credit card; airline tickets; rental cars; gun purchases; chemical purchases -- and events -- such as arrest or suspicious activities and so forth."

    Further, TIA's "Bio-Surveillance" program will collect data from grocery store sales, pharmacy databases, school absentee databases, animal surveillance networks, and veterinarian and health care records. The ability to aggregate commercial and government data on a citizen's purchases, communications, medical records, and relationships may represent a seductive arsenal of weapons for law enforcement, but it also raises the specter of a surveillance society. Moving in this direction would represent a dramatic shift in government policy and gravely threaten our civil rights.

    Data mining or "dataveillance" is not the only Orwellian aspect of TIA; it also invests heavily in the development of biometric surveillance technologies like facial, iris, expression, and gait recognition.

    In a troubling fit of cynical irony, reliance on biometrics is bad for civil liberties in both imperfect and perfect implementations. If the system makes mistakes, it will falsely identify innocent people. If it is "perfect," I fear that it will usher in an age of ubiquitous surveillance because of its passive nature. Neither scenario is acceptable. A society in which everyone's actions are tracked is not, in principle, free; such a society stands in opposition to the conceptions of freedom that Americans hold most dear.

    TIA itself may be several years in the future, but other government data-mining programs like the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System II (CAPPS II) are much further along. There have been reports that "watch lists" connected to the existing CAPPS are harming innocent air travelers. I expect that technologies developed in TIA will be tested on the data that will be accessible through CAPPS II.

    These programs raise serious legal issues, statutory and constitutional. Never has the question "who watches the watchers?" been more important. This is not a partisan political issue. I urge you to support oversight hearings on TIA. Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Your signature will be added from the information you provide below.

    Actions to Take

    Total Information Awareness: Public Hearings Now!

    Total Information Awareness: Tell Congress to Cut TIA Funds!

  • Many people think that Osama bin Laden could not possibly have found support from other Arabs without the anger that comes from the U.S. government supporting the killing of Arabs in Palestine. If you are a U.S. citizen, you should know that you contribute over $900 of your money for every man, woman and child in Israel for the purpose of buying U.S. weapons from U.S. weapons manufacturers, so that they can make more profit. You contribute that amount every year. This policy is bad for Jews, it is bad the Arabs, and it is bad for U.S. citizens. Giving money for weapons to a country involved in a conflict is like throwing gasoline on a fire. There are always people who want to kill others and destroy property; for them it is like an adult video game.

    See my article about this: What should be the Response to Violence? [hevanet.com] The article needs updating, but there are many links to important, well-respected news sources.

    If you don't begin taking action now, the hidden forces inside the U.S. government will take over completely.
    • If you don't begin taking action now, the hidden forces inside the U.S. government will take over completely.

      Ah yes, that would be the Great Zionist Conspiracy to conquer the world.

      According to your own site there are nearly as many muslims (5 million) in the US as there are jews (6 million).

      Perhaps the US tends to lean heavily towards Isreal's side because they fit the model of "the good guys" a lot better than their opponents. Going into a store and blowing up random families puts someone solidly in the "bad guys" catagory. The Isrealis are far from perfect, but it looks like their general intent is to hit weapons / combatants.

      There are biased stories on both sides but I really loved the one about an Israeli shell killing a couple of school kids. Turns out there were some rocket launchers in a schoolyard. Only "bad guys" would set up rocket launchers in a school yard. Then the Israelis take out the rocket launchers. The next day some kid finds an unexploded shell at the site and shows it to his buddies (real swift). Dead kids. It's a tradgedy, but I sure don't blame Israel for it.

      Trying to take out someone who is attacking you and accidentally killing random people sucks, but is understandable. Trying to kill as many random people as you can is a BadThing and doesn't win any sympathy for any legitimate complaints you may have.

      Hypothetical - what would happen if every single Israeli weapon vanished and all their soldiers took up knitting. Would there be peace? They would be exterminated within days. Nations have declared they will settle for nothing short of complete extermination.

      Now turn it around, all Israel's opponet's weapons vanish and the soldiers take up knitting. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see them going on a killing spree. I get the impression they'd be relatively reasonable.

      Sometimes I think the best solution is to pay everyone on both sides to move somewhere else and nuke the whole region. It would almost be cheaper than the foriegn aid and military spending.

      -

      • Arguing about who is right in the daily battles obscures the underlying reality. Once again, the Jews are doing something they have done many times in the 3,200 years since Abraham, they are getting themselves killed. What do you think will be the outcome when the 14 million Jews (total) in the world get into gun battles with the 1.1 billion Muslims? Do you know that the Christian fundamentalists have a tradition that all Jews will be killed or converted? Why do you think the U.S. gives money to the Jews so they can buy U.S. weapons? They are accomplishing exactly what they plan. The Jews will arrange their own deaths. (Do you think that Christian fundamentalists are any more Christian than Muslim fundamentalists are Muslim?)

        The fact is that the land of Israel was populated with Arabs before the Jews came. Arabs were moved off the land to make room for Jews. That's the underlying problem.

        There is nothing about being Jewish that depends on land. Being Jewish is something of the heart and head. Albert Einstein said this, and I agree.

        I'm not Jewish, and no one in my family is Jewish. However, I have respect for the ancient books. "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole of the Torah. All else is commentary." - Hillel

        For the last 30 years I've been trying to teach myself to be a social theorist. It is impossible to predict the affairs of humans, even for someone who has studied 30 years. However, it is at least a plausible theory that the Jews are arranging once again to be victims. What number holocaust will this be? The fifth? The tenth?

        My Jewish friends are the least streetwise people I know. They continue a tradition of thousands of years. It would not have required much insight, during those hysterical times, to know that it was dangerous to draw a crowd. Jesus Christ, a Jew, could have gone to the closest centurion and told him, "I recommend giving to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. My ministry is not of this world." "I am not trying to take power away from the Roman government." But he didn't do that, or didn't do it enough, and he was killed.

        Osama bin Laden's main complaint is U.S. support for the House of al Saud. He wants Saudis to determine their own fate. Logically, U.S. citizens must support that, or vote to return the U.S. to the British Empire.
        • Arguing about who is right in the daily battles obscures the underlying reality.

          We can debate "the underlying reality" if you like, but "the superficial reality" is that on one side you have suicide bombers targeting random families and on the other side you have police and soldiers trying to target the suicide bombers. Religion has nothing to do with it, most people are going to see one side as the bad guys and the other side as the good guys.

          the Jews are doing something they have done many times... they are getting themselves killed.

          the Jews are arranging once again to be victims.

          LOL! Are you trolling or is your belief system really so twisted that that seems rational to you? I'm sorry if that came out as a personal attack, I just can't see how anyone can think millions of people are secretly trying to get themselves killed. Expecially since you say It is impossible to predict the affairs of humans yet you suggest jews are are attempting a massive multi-generational feat of social engineering.

          Somehow I have the feeling you can give me a link to a full explanation of exactly how the jews got the Nazis to slaughter them. I'm sure it will be quite, ummmm, quite an interesting read.

          Christian fundamentalists... gives money to the Jews so... The Jews will arrange their own deaths.

          LOL. Another ludicrious religious conspiracy theory. The christian fundamentalist webs sites I've come across tend to be opposed to supporting Israel. It is the moderate "christians jews and muslims should all live together in peace" christians that support Israel. They aren't exactly fans of suicide bombers of any religion.

          The fact is that the land of Israel was populated with Arabs before the Jews came. Arabs were moved off the land to make room for Jews.

          If the jewish refugees showed up with guns and shipped people off in trains it's the first I've heard of it.

          I'm not an expert on history, so feel free to clear up any errors here: For the most part the current population of Israel was born there. I think that's enough to pretty much end it, but I'll continue. The people who immigrated to the area for the most part did so legally, right? It's not like they showed up with guns and broke in. They mostly bought homes, or bought land and paid to have homes built, right? Possibly some of them settled on unused land? (Even in that case, if it was the US they would gain rightful ownership of the land after some number of years.) At some point the vast majority of the population of the area decided modify their government and call it Israel. Pretty much every nation on earth has recognized that government.

          Are you suggesting that Israel shouldn't exist? Maybe several million people should be be "driven into the sea"? All Israelis? Or just the jewish ones? You did say they want you to kill them, right?

          There is nothing about being Jewish that depends on land.

          I agree. I really don't care what religion anyone on either side is. YOU keep bringing up religion over and over and over. And I'm quite sure that not everyone who immigrated to Israel was jewish. I bet some of them were even arab [gasp!]. They're all the same to me, arab Israelis, jewish Israelis, whatever. The fact that most of the population of Israel happens to be jewish mainly seems to be important to the people who want to wipe out Israel.

          I'd like to see the Israel government drop it's official religious support. The same goes for Iran, and over a hundred other countries. Hell, I'd like the US government do a better job of seperation of church and state. Have whatever religion you like, just don't force it on your neighbor. (Hillel, paraphrased.)

          Osama bin Laden's main complaint is U.S. support for the House of al Saud.

          I don't know much about Saudi government. Did the US overthrow the recognized government and install the current government? Or was the current government already the recognized official government?

          He wants Saudis to determine their own fate. Logically, U.S. citizens must support that

          Have free elections been blocked by the US? Or are you proposing a violent overthrow of the current government? If you're proposing violent revolution you have a pretty tough hurdle to overcome to persuade me, and you'd better have a pretty solid majority of the population demanding it. And even if I agreed with you that a revolution was appropriate, dealing with the current legitimate government would still fall into a grey area.

          -

          • You said, "I'm not an expert on history..."

            There is an excellent short book available online that explains the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. It was written by Jews who recognize that there was unfairness by Jews in the formation of Israel. The title is The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict [cactus48.com]. Here is a quote from the chapter called Conclusion for Jewish Readers [cactus48.com]: "We know it is hard to accept emotionally, but in this case the Jewish people are in the wrong. We took most of Palestine by force from the Arabs and blamed the victims for resisting their dispossession."

            The book says:

            "During the 1948 war, 750,000 Palestinians fled in terror or were actively expelled from their ancestral homeland and turned into refugees. The state of Israel then refused to allow them to return and either destroyed their villages entirely or expropriated their land, orchards, houses, businesses and personal possessions for the use of the Jewish population. This was the birth of the state of Israel."

            The Palestinians have, ever since, been living in refugee camps.

            Why does the U.S. government give huge amounts of money to an already prosperous country? An article written from notes of a speech by San Francisco, California, political science professor Stephen Zunes explains that U.S. weapons manufacturers sell weapons to both Israel and to Arab countries. The article, U.S. Aid to Israel: Interpreting the "Strategic Relationship" [thirdworldtraveler.com] says,

            According to Zunes, "The Israelis announced back in 1991 that they supported the idea of a freeze in Middle East arms transfers, yet it was the United States that rejected it."
            • The "750,000 palisinians expelled" response gets a seperate post. I'll tack it on after this one.

              An interesting point - the formation of Israel was not replacing an arab government. It was replacing BRITISH government. Yep, those damn evil jews were booting out British rule. Hmm, maybe that's why the US has sympathy for them LOL.

              U.S. weapons manufacturers sell weapons to both Israel and to Arab countries.

              Is that supposed to be proof that the US is anti arab or something? Would you be happier if the US stopped giving aid to arab nations? You jump through all sorts of crazy hoops trying to turn everything into a religious struggle.

              Why does the U.S. government give huge amounts of money to an already prosperous country?

              Well, one thing that happens to impress me is that for a "tiny backwater" country they produce a stunning amount of cutting edge research. They are the only democracy in the area. They are are a good trade partner. And they are threatened. The 1948 extermination attempt was pretty appalling, and the threat isn't completely gone. I'm sure the US state department can list several more reasons.

              Of course the only thing YOU can see is jews on one side and arabs on another.

              I challenge you: Try to immagine reversing the roles. A small mostly arab nation, a democracy, surrounded by several repressive jewish governments. And 7 jewish armies invade and flagrantly boast that they won't stop till every arab is dead. I certainly hope the US would give the arabs just as much support as it's given Israel.

              And jewish suicide bombers targeting random arab families would be denounced as terrorists. The arab police trying to stop the terrorists would be the good guys.

              For anything to be un-biased, fair, just, and right, you have to get the same answer when you reverse the labels. Christian, jew, muslim, buddist, atheist, mormon, jesuit, hindu, jain, sikh, pagan, baha'i, hare krishna, wiccan, taoist, arab, black, white, asian. You have to get the same answer when you swap the labels. I don't give a damn that most of the people in Israel are jewish.

              -
              • During the 1948 war, 750,000 Palestinians fled in terror or were actively expelled from their ancestral homeland and turned into refugees.

                LOL. Yes, they fled in terror. Who were they running from? Hint: it wasn't the jews.

                They were running from the INVADING ARAB armies. The invading armies even broadcast messages suggesting that arabs who stayed might be considered renegades.

                The 750,000 seems to be off, but it's not like a few hundred thousand will make any difference here.

                it is we who made them to leave... We brought disaster upon... Arab refugees, by inviting them and bringing pressure to bear upon them to leave
                - Haled al Azm, the Syrian Prime Minister The Memoirs of Haled al Azm, (Beirut, 1973), Part 1, pp. 386-387

                "The [Jewish] Mayor of Haifa made a passionate appeal to the delegation to reconsider its decision [to evacuate]"
                - The Arab National Committee of Haifa

                "[The Arabs of Haifa] fled in spite of the fact that the Jewish authorities guaranteed their safety and rights as citizens of Israel."
                - Monsignor George Hakim, Greek Catholic Bishop of Galilee

                "Every effort is being made by the Jews to persuade the Arab populace to stay and carry on with their normal lives, to get their shops and businesses open and to be assured that their lives and interests will be safe."
                - Haifa District HQ of the British Police

                Your claims the jews stole the land and expelled people really hurt your case. Not only was it false but I learned the Arab nations were guilty of exactly that.

                There were MORE JEWISH REFUGEES THAN ARAB REFUGEES. Their property WAS confiscated and they WERE expelled from the nations that had attacked Israel.

                Israel population surged after the war because it took in almost all of the refugees expelled from the nations that had attacked. Why don't we here about a jewish refugee problem? Because they became members of society and they moved out of TEMPORARY camps and into homes. Arabs who fled Israel to neighboring arab nations (NOT expelled) were put into refugee camps. These governments refused to give them equal rights and left them in miserable conditions.

                Since you seem to like conspiracy theories so much, here's a much more credible one:

                "Why are there still refugees from 1948, still living in refugee camps generations after the original displacement?
                The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don't give a damn whether the refugees live or die."
                - Ralph Galloway, former head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees

                You certianly don't see any hell-hole jewish refugee camps. Arab refugees simply would not be rotting in camps unless that's exactly where arab leaders wanted them. Repressive governemnts are causing arabs to suffer to further political ends.

                Did some shitty things happen? I'm sure they did, there was a WAR. And there were more displaced jews than arabs. The Arab nations proudly acknowledged they were the agressors.

                Both sides captured land in the war, and what happened? On the land captured by the Arab armies the residents were killed or expelled and the property siezed.

                On the land Israel captured the residents got to keep their land and stay. And you rally around the great injustice of their situation.

                -
          • Arguing about who is right in the daily battles obscures the underlying reality.

            We can debate "the underlying reality" if you like, but "the superficial reality" is that on one side you have suicide bombers targeting random families and on the other side you have police and soldiers trying to target the suicide bombers. Religion has nothing to do with it, most people are going to see one side as the bad guys and the other side as the good guys.


            It's not that simpe though. In their efforts to catch the bombers or would-be bombers the Israeli Army has invaded whole towns. In their effort to catch "the bad guys" they tend to kill a lot of noncombatants (see here [nytimes.com] for one example) and cause a great deal of death and detructon for the general populace (see here [nytimes.com] ). According to NPR the Israeli Army recently won the right to destroy the homes of any bomber's relatives as a punitive response, not the kind of thing that brings people to your side. So, in terms of killings obth sides has their share of blood on their hands, both sides have killed women and children. I would argue that at least on one level you have to stop playing tit for tat if you want to move forward and, at this point, arguing about "who started it" would involve going back to well before the Roman Empire.

            The fact is that the land of Israel was populated with Arabs before the Jews came. Arabs were moved off the land to make room for Jews.

            If the jewish refugees showed up with guns and shipped people off in trains it's the first I've heard of it.

            I'm not an expert on history, so feel free to clear up any errors here: For the most part the current population of Israel was born there. I think that's enough to pretty much end it, but I'll continue. The people who immigrated to the area for the most part did so legally, right? It's not like they showed up with guns and broke in. They mostly bought homes, or bought land and paid to have homes built, right? Possibly some of them settled on unused land? (Even in that case, if it was the US they would gain rightful ownership of the land after some number of years.) At some point the vast majority of the population of the area decided modify their government and call it Israel. Pretty much every nation on earth has recognized that government.

            Are you suggesting that Israel shouldn't exist? Maybe several million people should be be "driven into the sea"? All Israelis? Or just the jewish ones? You did say they want you to kill them, right?


            The problem is that, to an extent the Israelis are doing that. The new "settlements" are not (all) going into completely empty space. Many of them are being created on top of palestinian villages that have been raized. See this article [iht.com] that was reprinted from the NY Times. And, as other articles have shown it's not just about the amount of land being occupied by taking strategic positions, and gaining control of water. For most Palestineans what is occuring is just a long protracted invasion, house by house and street by street.


            Osama bin Laden's main complaint is U.S. support for the House of al Saud.

            I don't know much about Saudi government. Did the US overthrow the recognized government and install the current government? Or was the current government already the recognized official government?

            He wants Saudis to determine their own fate. Logically, U.S. citizens must support that

            Have free elections been blocked by the US? Or are you proposing a violent overthrow of the current government? If you're proposing violent revolution you have a pretty tough hurdle to overcome to persuade me, and you'd better have a pretty solid majority of the population demanding it. And even if I agreed with you that a revolution was appropriate, dealing with the current legitimate government would still fall into a grey area.


            He did once and still does oppose the U.S.'s presence in Saudi Arabia and our support for the house of Saud. My understanding is that that is based upon two factors. Firstly, the House of Saud is a fairly repressive (and yet semi-secular) monarchy (see here [slashdot.org] for one example). Secondly, Saudi Arabia, like Iraw houses some major centers of Islamic culture, hisrory, and religion among them Mecca the biorthplace of the Prophet Mohommed and the location of his tomb.

            For some hard-core muslim fundamentalists, the idea that non-muslims would be in or around Mecca especially with the backing of a secular monarchy is abhorrent. This feeling runs paralell to the abhorrence that some fundamentalist christians and fundamentalist jews feel at the idea of anyone but them being allowed to govern the holy land.

            To get an idea of it take a look at the issues surrounding the Temple Mount [everything2.com] in Jerusalem. It is sacred to all three religions and has been the focal point of much of the strife in that area going back to well before the First Crusade.

            As this article [salon.com] shows Bin Laden has since broadened his scope a bit. And is now seeking legitimacy, and material support, for his war from many different sources besides the rich Saudis who've funded him in the past.
            • It's not that simpe though. In their efforts to catch the bombers or would-be bombers the Israeli Army has invaded whole towns. In their effort to catch "the bad guys" they tend to kill a lot of noncombatants

              Yes. Perhaps I didn't emphasize it enought, but I acknowledge they are FAR from perfect. My point was that that most Americans support the Israel side because when you compare how the two sides behave Israel comes a lot closer to fitting the role of the "good guys". Sometimes the "good guys" screw up. Sometimes they do bad stuff. But at least they TRY to get it right most of the time. They use police and soldiers and try to get the combatants. You may certianly complain about their laws, but at least they try to operate within the bounds of law.

              On the other side you've got people targeting busses, clubs, supermarkets - FAMILIES. They put rocket launchers in schoolyards. Under any reading of the geneva convention they are illegal combatants. They make no attemt to operate within any systems of laws. They aren't fighting a war, they just want to kill as many people as they can. These things aren't MISTAKES, this is exactly how they INTEND to operate.

              There are nearly as many muslims in America as tehre are jews, yet Americans in general choose to support one side over the other becaude one side looks sort of like the good guys and the otherside looks EXACTLY like the bad guys.

              arguing about "who started it"

              And nothing I mentioned above says anything who satrted it.

              you have to stop playing tit for tat if you want to move forward

              And a well regulated police force and a well regulated army (Israel) is capable of ceasing hostilities (the "good guys"), but on the other hand you have unregulated lawless splinter groups who just want to keep killing and killing (the "bad guys"). It's impossible to negotiate and compromise with them. Even if you give one group everything they want another group is going to want something different and keep attacking. Some of them just want to keep killing no matter what they get.

              It's like asking police and muggers to stop playing tit-for-tat.

              The problem is that, to an extent the Israelis are doing that.

              I was talking about the immigration before Israel existed. Seems like they arrived legally. I was saying that Israel was formed legally, buy the will of the vast majority of the legal inhabitants.

              The new "settlements" are not (all) going into completely empty space.

              Ok, I took a look at your link about Hebron. I did some more googling. It seems that the the "jewish settlement" that didn't go into empty space went into a "palistinian" area that was built on the "jewish quarter" that was razed a few years before. Perhaps this is pro-Israeli bias, but I bet there was some sort of legal proceding that at least made an attempt at handling that land properly.

              I'm sure some of what's happening is unjust, but it seems for the most part they are trying to get it right. I have little sympathy for complaints of settlements in empty areas, and no sympathy for complaints of "invasions" of legally purchased land just because the willing seller was Palistinian and the willing buyer is jewish.

              Of course I don't support an illegal taking of land, and the Israeli police have forcibly removed "settlers" (more like squaters) who have tried it. It looks like a lot claims of are exaggerated, and when it does happen I do not support blowing up random people as a solution.

              [Bin Laden] oppose the U.S.'s presence in Saudi Arabia and our support for the house of Saud... Firstly, the House of Saud is a fairly repressive (and yet semi-secular) monarchy

              Yeah, I know. I thought I explained what it would take for me to give that position much credit - is the US support preventing a substantial majority of the population from installing a LESS REPRESSIVE and hopefully representitive government? Or is it just that Bin Landen wants to see a different repressive and unrepresentitive government take power? And I still wouldn't approve of Bin Laden's methods.

              Secondly, Saudi Arabia, like Iraw houses some major centers of Islamic culture, hisrory... some hard-core muslim fundamentalists, the idea that non-muslims would be in or around Mecca... is abhorrent.

              As the other poster said, "There is nothing about being Jewish that depends on land" and the same goes for any other religion. Just because I think Walt Disney was god's holy prophet and that Disneyland is a holy shrine doesn't mean it's ok for me to start killing people who have a legal right to be there.

              the issues surrounding the Temple Mount [everything2.com] in Jerusalem. It is sacred to all three religions and has been the focal point of much of the strife in that area going back to well before the First Crusade.

              And if they can't share it peacefully maybe we should (legally) buy out everyone who lives there and nuke it.

              Bin Laden has since broadened his scope a bit

              Chuckle, I'm sure Bin Laden's golbal warming concerns are deep and heart-felt.

              -
        • >My Jewish friends are the least streetwise people I know.

          Interesting. My (unfortunately few) Jewish friends are learned but not very streetwise.

          Just to get reflective, do Jews generally read slashdot or do they (sensibly) prefer to read or write useful (or should I say 'sacred') texts?

          >For the last 30 years I've been trying to teach myself to be a social theorist.
          I would love to hear the bluffers guide to that subject, or is it all so close to nostradamous as to be, oops cynical mode was winding up. I'll look up the faq on social theory Real Soon Now, as soon it is street wise to know that stuff.

          I am not as cynical as this rebuttal suggests. x 100
  • by rocketfairy ( 16253 ) <nmt2002@columbia. e d u> on Monday December 09, 2002 @04:26PM (#4846655) Homepage
    from http://www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/war17.html :

    "When John Pointdexter speaks, is there still that flashing sign above his head that says, 'ALERT: I am a lying sack-of-shit felon'?"

    Sure, he helped sell arms to Iran in order to fund right-wing terrorists in Nicaragua. Sure, he lied under oath to the public while doing it. But that's no reason not to, uh, give him the keys to one of the most comprehensive, militarized systems to spy on the entire citizenry of the USA with no judicial review whatsoever. After all, in this post-911 world, everything has changed.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      But he swore an oath, an officer's loyalty oath, to uphold and defend the precepts outlined in the Constitution of the United States of America. An oath he probably swore to God, how could we not believe him? Aside from that whole, I lied to use the power of the citizenry of the US to murder people and provide militant islamic forces with the latest in man portable missle technology thing of course.

      You've got to love republican logic: "Lying about who gives you blow jobs means you're unfit to be President. Lying about the fact that you essentially hire thugs to murder people because you don't like who runs their country, and got that money by selling advanced weapon systems to people who list among their intrests 'burning America in effigy' is the mark of a president great enough for mount rushmore. And anyone who lies for him, in the interests of concealing these illegal acts, is a hero, despite the oaths they took to never do anything like that."
  • If they do what they are trying to do it will not just affect the US. In fact it could end up making the whole world a scarrier place to live. Not to mention having allmost no personal privacy.

    It just makes you think.....
  • by 3-State Bit ( 225583 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @04:49PM (#4847070)
    Are you a patriot, or are you a terrorist?

    Because if you're not with us [citizenmagazine.com], you're against us [progressive.org].

    And if you're not a patriot, you're a terrorist.

    A patriot has nothing to hide from his [sic] Country. A patriot is glad, glad with all his heart to hear that his country is taking the initiative, a patriot supports the party -- if the party wants to know whom Sam or Sally is speaking with, let the party know. If the party wants to know where every Citizen is, what every Citizen does, what every Citizen knows, then let the party know.

    A patriot believes. A patriot is the opposite of the dissident.

    A patriot does not support laws that allow terrorists, those who do not believe in the strength [alternet.org] and ideals [alternet.org] of our country, to hide behind anonymity [freenetproject.org]. A patriot does not support anarchy [thenation.com], the total chaos that results when you allow dissidents to mess with public awareness [newsweek.com], to spread [alterneto.org] their lies [disinfo.com] about our country [indymedia.org].

    And a patriot does not call for public hearings, checks and balances, handcuffs to hold the hand of Justice, to keep our men [sic] in uniforms -- who believe -- from doing what they believe in, what Americans -- real Americans, not bleeding-heart-liberals need for their protection.

    A patriot does not question [politechbot.com].

    You're either with us, or against us.

    If you're not a patriot, you're a terrorist.

    I guess I'm a terrorist.
  • by QuietRiot ( 16908 ) <cyrus@80d. o r g> on Monday December 09, 2002 @05:04PM (#4847342) Homepage Journal
    Encrypt your emails people. Encourage your friends to do the same. Help them get the plugins [geocities.com] setup, get keys made, and get them a copy of your public key. Put public keys on an keyserver [keyserver.net].

    Keep your data out of the databases. Use cash, ask marketers to remove your name from their lists. Use cash. Use cash. Use cash.

    If you've got a "shoppers club" card with your name attached to it. Give it up. Cut it up. Get another one - without your real name and address.

    Encrypt [sourceforge.net] your IM traffic with others that are capable. Put SSL [openssl.org] on your web server.

    Adopt IPv6. Setup IPsec on IPv4/v6 connections. Use SSH (duh!). Get an anonymizer.com [anonymizer.com] account. $30 bones for a year. You can get a 6-month free trial if you sign up as a member of the EFF [eff.org]. $25 bones. You get a sticker. Spend a little more and you get a hat or a T-shirt. Do it. [eff.org]

    If you've got flash, watch this [markfiore.com].

    No need to contribute "useful" data to the databases, right?

  • lock up everyone who doesn't have security clearance.

    If we can't save freedom, can we at least put it out of its misery [hazardfactory.org]

  • by The_Guv'na ( 180187 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @06:00PM (#4848137) Homepage Journal

    It's been almost completely concluded that 9/11 happened because of US Intelligence failures.

    Yeah, an intelligence failure like this? [whatreallyhappened.com] Or this? [wsws.org] Or this? [disinfo.com] Or this? [truthout.org] As opposed to the US Gov planning to invade Afghanistan before 9-11, to get a nice fat oil pipeline in there, and thus pissing off Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia being the country that almost all the highjackers came from, and the country funding Al Q'aida (sp?), and... err... the country supplying a very large portion of the USA's oil needs.

    This TIA thing is research into how to improve it and prevent another 9/11.

    War is good for business; there's arms manufacturers to please. George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four has a good explanation, written by "Emannuel Goldstein"(sp?). It is also a nice handy tool to crush dissent. A simplistic example would be the way Ford in the UK filtered out [bbc.co.uk], with the help of the government, "subversives" from job applicants, for fear of union activity. Now we all know how much the US Corporate Government loves worker's unions!

    It has nothing to do with spying on anyone. And everything to do with spying on everyone, collectively. Googling for dissenters, if you will.

    Try this: The disinfo quiz. [disinfo.com] And this: The ACLU Quiz. [aclu.org]

    The only intelligence failure in this world is that of the people happy to just sit on their lazy ignorant arses and be spoonfed the "news" by their governments and Big Corps, instead of taking a few minutes to find out what's really going on.

    Sorry if I've hurt anyones delicate idealistic feelings, but it has to be said.

    Ali
  • Maybe this projects site didn't like getting slashdotted and their fighting back? Within 10 minutes of hitting refresh and this submission coming up slashdot became EXTREMELY slow and unresponsive. The EFF articles died first (I still can't get in) This stayed up about 30 minutes with only 4 posts. Other sites are just fine and my wife is playing her online game so I know it's not my connection (at least not to all of the web).

    Or I could just be paranoid. In any case I just copied the letter for Warren hatch above, modified appropriately, printed out several copies, and collected 4 signitures so far.
  • by robkill ( 259732 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @06:14PM (#4848332)
    Sen. Dianne Feinstein is pushing for public hearings against TIA and for cutting its funding!?!? This is the same woman who walked out on testimony by Phil Zimmerman and Bruce Schneier during the crypto debates, absolutely refusing to listen to them. Color me shocking blue.
  • by zeda ( 415 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @06:26PM (#4848486)
    How is this different from a really huge IDS? Shouldn't they just be modifing snort?

    And is the Cisco patent going to stop the government from using regexps?
  • by Garry Anderson ( 194949 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @06:50PM (#4848778) Homepage
    Why has NOBODY asked the Security Services the following? I have posted this argument several times before.

    Ask Security Services in the US, UK, Indonesia (Bali) or anywhere for that matter, to deny this:

    Internet surveillance, using Echelon, Carnivore or back doors in encryption, will not stop terrorists communicating by other means - most especially face to face or personal courier.

    Terrorists will have to do that, or they will be caught.

    Perhaps using mobile when absolutely essential, saying - "Meet you in the pub Monday" (human bomb to target A), or Tuesday (target B) or Sunday (abort).

    The Internet has become a tool for government to snoop on their people - 24/7.

    The terrorism argument is a dummy - total bull*.

    INTERNET SURVEILLANCE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STOP TERRORISTS - THAT IS SPIN AND PROPAGANDA

    This propaganda is for several reasons, including: a) making you feel safer b) to say the government are doing something and c) the more malicious motive of privacy invasion.

    Government say about surveillance - "you've nothing to fear - if you are not breaking the law"

    This argument is made to pressure people into acquiescence - else appear guilty of hiding something illegal.

    It does not address the real reason why they want this information (which they will deny) - they want a surveillance society.

    They wish to invade your basic human right to privacy. This is like having somebody watching everything you do - all your personal thoughts, hopes and fears will be open to them.

    This is everything - including phone calls and interactive TV. Quote from ZDNET [zdnet.com]: "Whether you're just accessing a Web site, placing a phone call, watching TV or developing a Web service, sometime in the not to distant future, virtually all such transactions will converge around Internet protocols."

    "Why should I worry? I do not care if they know what I do in my own home", you may foolishly say. Or, just as dumbly, "They will not be interested in anything I do".

    This information will be held about you until the authorities need it for anything at all. Like, for example, here in UK when government looked for dirt on individuals of Paddington crash survivors group. It was led by badly injured Pam Warren. She had over 20 operations after the 1999 rail crash (which killed 31 and injured many).

    This group had fought for better and safer railways - all by legal means. By all accounts a group of fine outstanding people - with good intent.

    So what was their crime, to deserve this investigation? It was just for showing up members of government to be the incompetents they were.

    As usual, government tried to put a different spin on the story when they were found out. Even so, their intent was obvious - they wanted to use this information as propaganda - to smear the character of these good people.

    Our honourable government would rather defile the character of its citizens, rather than address their reasonable concerns.

    The government arrogantly presume this group of citizens would not worry about having their privacy invaded.

    They can also check your outgoings match your income and that you are paying enough tax. What do you think all this privacy invasion is for? The War on Terrorism? You poor dupe. All your finances for them to scrutinize; heaven help you if you cannot account for every cent.

    The authorities try make everything they say sound perfectly reasonable.

    e.g. Officials from US Defence Department agency have said that they want, "the same level of accountability in cyberspace that we now have in the physical world".

    Do government currently keep records of everything that you touch in the physical world to analyse?

    No they do not - So then, is that the same level of accountability?

    They wish to keep an electronic tag on you, like some kind of animal. Actually it is even worse than this - like some pervert sex offender that they have to keep track of. Would any person of intelligence call that accountability?

    Do not believe the lies of Government - even more of your money spent on these measures will not protect us from terrorists. Every argument they use is subterfuge - pure spin.

    In UK, the RIP Act is unjust - dim-witted ill-informed MPs believed governments 'experts'. Remember - they will get everything about you, your phone calls, emails, TV viewing - everything.

    Americans - the Total Information Awareness plan, USA Patriot act and Homeland Defence - you are more technologically aware, are you really that easily led?

    I cannot stress enough - all your personal thoughts, hopes and fears will be open to them. I know from experience, as fact, they have no morals and will purposefully twist this information to use against you. I have documentary evidence of this - actual government agency case notes. Should government take legal action to deny that they pervert how personal information is used, then these documents may be viewed in a court of Law.

    P.S. The United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization and the United States Department of Commerce are hiding the simple solution to trademark and domain name problem. The solution was ratified by honest attorneys. Please visit my site [wipo.org.uk] - not associated with United Nations WIPO.org. The United Nations WIPO deal with these conflicts - but are without honour and too cowardly to directly answer my easy questions (as are the US DoC).
  • EPIC has the system description here:
    http://www.epic.org/privacy/profiling/tia/t iasyste mdescription.pdf

    It doesn't look like rocket science to me. Nor does it look like "just an idea".
    This is as good a blueprint as could be.

    What do people (esp ISP's and ecommerce types)
    think about the infrastructure? Anything look familiar?

    Bear in mind that if DARPA does not build it, then
    the various marketing groups will. It's only a
    matter of time and it probably cannot be stopped.

    It might, however, be possible to influence the
    degree of "fairness" with which it is applied. Will it only watch immigrants, felons, sex
    offenders, arabs, blacks, jews and poor women or
    will Rich White Men be watched too?

    Different kinds of justice, what works efficiently and what is "fair". If there is an issue for
    the /. community, that NO ONE ELSE UNDERSTANDS,
    this database surveillance is it.

Parallel lines never meet, unless you bend one or both of them.

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