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Spooky: How NSA's Surveillance Algorithms See Into Your Life 211

SmartAboutThings writes "A quite scary talk show with former NSA employees — now whistle blowers — Thomas Drake, Kirk Wiebe, and William Binney reveals that the NSA has algorithms that go through data gathered about us and they can basically 'see into our lives.' And this seems to be going on especially since the Patriot Act has removed the statutory requirement that the government prove a surveillance target under FISA is a non-U.S. citizen and agent of a foreign power." Binney's HOPE keynote has more detail on how the NSA watches people.
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Spooky: How NSA's Surveillance Algorithms See Into Your Life

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:17AM (#40749049)

    Back in the 90s pgp and widespread up public key crypto were going to be the next thing. Never caught on . But I am sure even the NSA doesn't have to power to decrypt the volume of a fraction of the populations communication if they were to use crypto regularly and even mundane communications

  • Aurora suspect. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Albert Schueller ( 143949 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:17AM (#40749055) Homepage

    The Aurora shooting suspect left a digital path a mile wide indicating he was up to something nefarious. NSA didn't see that coming. I don't thing their reach is as pervasive as people fear.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:22AM (#40749141)

    Yeah he's really good about protecting our liberties, like abortion and freedom of speech. Your beloved messiah is a corporate tool just like the others, wake up and smell the bullshit.

  • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:25AM (#40749183)
    You mean like Obama ended war? How about how he vetoed unlimited detention? When will people get that there is no substantive difference between the two parties? The slogans may be different, but the actions are the same.
  • Re:I know I'm safe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:27AM (#40749219)

    ... because I post as Anonymous Coward.

    You think so. But we already have determined from your posting time, choice of words, habit to begin the text in the title, and habit of posting on Slashdot, together with some general internet traffic analysis and certain correlations the nature of which are top secret, who you are and where you live, and have increased your threat score (the number which tells how much of a threat we consider you to be) to reflect this activity of yours (people who think they are safe are of course more dangerous).

  • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:28AM (#40749237)
    They do not even read it now. Just warehouse it for later. So with encryption, they would do the same, and only crack it to show what a bad person you were when they needed to.
  • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:29AM (#40749269)
    Also, that would only hide what your were saying, and not who you were saying it to. Those connections are the more important data.
  • Re:I know I'm safe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by azalin ( 67640 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:37AM (#40749419)

    ... because I post as Anonymous Coward.

    Well actually ... No. Unless you only use TOR, have a completely locked down (no, java, no javascript, no flash, adblocked, ghosted,...) browserr, randomly change screen sizes and your typing habits and have a computer so secure it, should not really be able to connect to the web at all.
    If they want you, they will. All you can do is make it hard enough, that they'll go for the easier ones first.

  • by durdur ( 252098 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:44AM (#40749535)

    But it is true both parties have supported an unprecedented (at least outside of major wars) expansion of executive branch power and a consequent reduction in civil liberties. There isn't any significant push back from Congress, or from the Judiciary, despite publicized abuses and the fact that the domestic spying apparatus is probably illegal under current law.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @11:29AM (#40750205) Homepage

    Tell that to gay people in the military. Or to people getting unemployment that otherwise wouldn't. Or the people who got a job due to the stimulus package. Or the people who have health insurance now that couldn't get it a couple of years ago.

    I get that the differences between Democrats and Republicans are not as big as their similarities (FWIW, I'm voting for a third party candidate this year), but there are some real differences that change people's lives for better or worse.

  • by moeinvt ( 851793 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @11:37AM (#40750383)

    Ron Paul is a corporate tool?

    Yeah, that explains why the corporate-owned MSM gave him so much positive coverage and why the PAC supporting him was awash in cash from corporations and other wealthy donors. Ron Paul was THE little guy's candidate and the sworn enemy of the banking cartel and the MIC.

    "your right to swing your fist stops where my nose begins".

    That's why we have a TORT system. Do you think BP and Exxon were forced to pay for all of the damage they caused with their oil spills, or did the government step in as middle man, "settle" for a flat fee and then distribute the funds based on some bureaucratic application and claims process?

    The government stands between you and the polluters for sure. But who's being protected from whom?

  • by Roujo ( 2577771 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @01:19PM (#40752177)

    AFAIK the Slashdot editors didn't censor your posts, as they can still be seen on your user page [], along with here [] and here []. However, they might have decided that it wasn't good enough to be featured on the front page, as happens with countless other submissions. You might disagree, but that's just how Slashdot works: curated content.

    As for the supposed impossibility to post that story anywhere, it was posted on Reddit [] and actually made the front page of the Technology subreddit. Soulskill even gave his point of view on the matter [] in the comments. I don't know where you see that conspiracy of yours, but I don't see it at all.

  • by quintesse ( 654840 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @02:14PM (#40753075)

    Oh yes, let's have MORE court cases! Especially the ones where it's this low-wage single mother going up against a multi-billion dollar company, those always turn out well. In the movies at least.

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.