The overall program, called mail covers, allows postal employees working on behalf of law enforcement agencies to record names, return addresses and other information from the outside of letters and packages before they are delivered to the home of a person suspected of criminal activity.
The information about national security mail covers, amid heated public debate over the proper limits on government surveillance, was contained in an audit conducted by the Postal Service’s inspector general last year. Although much of the information was public, sections about the national security mail covers were heavily redacted. An unredacted copy of the report was provided to a security researcher in response to a Freedom of Information Act request this year. The researcher, who goes by a single legal name, Sai, shared the report with The New York Times.
In a June 8 letter to Sai, the Postal Inspection Service — the Postal Service’s law enforcement arm — said it could not “confirm or deny the existence” of the national security mail cover program, even though it was mentioned in the audit.
“I think they should have to get warrants to get this information,” said Frank Askin, a law professor at the Rutgers Constitutional Rights Clinic who, as a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, successfully sued the F.B.I. nearly 40 years ago after the agency monitored the mail of a 15-year-old New Jersey student. “Law enforcement agencies shouldn’t just be able to go to the Postal Service and ask them to track someone’s communications. It raises serious First Amendment issues.”
The mail covers program is more than a century old, but law enforcement officials consider it a powerful investigative tool. They say that the program’s deceptively old-fashioned method of collecting data provides a wealth of information about the businesses and associates of its targets, and that it can lead to bank and property records and even to accomplices. Opening mail requires a warrant.
The Times reported last year that there had been abuses of the mail cover surveillance program. Interviews and court records showed that the program had been used by a county attorney and sheriff in Arizona to investigate a political opponent and to monitor privileged communications between lawyers and their clients, a practice not allowed under postal regulations. The county attorney was later disbarred, in part because of the investigation.
“Insufficient controls could hinder the Postal Inspection Service’s ability to conduct effective investigations, lead to public concerns over privacy of mail and harm the Postal Service’s brand,” the audit concluded.
There are credible reasons to believe that a full upgrade of every Bitcoin node might take a year, and actually running out of capacity would cause serious disruption. We should really have started before now. There are two people on the bitcoin-development mailing list with professional capacity planning experience and both think the process must start right now. Demanding it be delayed until some unspecified future date is not sound engineering.
Of the 5 Bitcoin Core committers, Gavin and Jeff support a fork but the other three appear to believe that any controversial hard fork is unthinkable, madness, reckless, should never ever happen and doing it would seriously harm Bitcoin, perhaps even fatally. If any of them are in favour of resolving via a fork, I haven’t seen them express that anywhere.
I know everybody is laughing about this Josh Duggar story. Oh, a DUGGAR on Ashley Madison, it's so rich! I wish more people would talk about Anna. I normally keep things light on Facebook, but let's talk about Anna. Let me tell you: Anna Duggar is in the worst position she could possibly be in right now. Anna Duggar was crippled by her parents by receiving no education, having no work experience (or life experience, for that matter) and then was shackled to this loser because his family was famous in their religious circle. Anna Duggar was taught that her sole purpose in life, the most meaningful thing she could do, was to be chaste and proper, a devout wife, and a mother. Anna Duggar did that! Anna Duggar followed the rules that were imposed on her from the get-go and this is what she got in reward- a husband who she found out, in the span of 6 months, not only molested his own sisters, but was unfaithful to her in the most humiliating way possible. While she was fulfilling her "duty" of providing him with four children and raising them. She lived up to the standard that men set for her of being chaste and Godly and in return, the man who demanded this of her sought women who were the opposite. "Be this," they told her. She was. It wasn't enough.
What is Anna Duggar supposed to do? She can't divorce because the religious environment she was brought up would blame her and ostracize her for it. Even if she would risk that, she has no education and no work experience to fall back on, so how does she support her kids? From where could she summon the ability to turn her back on everything she ever held to be sacred and safe? Her beliefs, the very thing she would turn to for comfort in this kind of crisis, are the VERY REASON she is in this predicament in the first place. How can she reconcile this? Her parents have utterly, utterly failed her. Think of this: somewhere, Anna Duggar is sitting in prayer, praying not for the strength to get out and stand on her own, but for the strength to stand by this man she is unfortunately married to. To lower herself so that he may rise up on her back.
As a mother of daughters, this makes me ill. Parents, WE MUST DO BETTER BY OUR DAUGHTERS. Boys, men, are born with power. Girls have to command it for themselves. They aren't given it. They assume it and take it. But you have to teach them to do it, that they can do it. We HAVE to teach our daughters that they are not beholden to men like this. That they don't have to marry a man their father deems "acceptable" and then stay married to that man long, long after he proved himself UNACCEPTABLE. Educate them. Empower them. Give them the tools they need to survive, on their own if they must. Josh Duggar should be cowering in fear of Anna Duggar right now. Cowering. He isn't, but he should be. He should be quaking in fear that the house might fall down around them if he's in the same room as she. Please, instill your daughters with the resolve to make a man cower if he must. To say "I don't deserve this, and my children don't deserve this." I wish someone had ever, just once, told Anna she was capable of this. That she knew she is. As for my girls, I'll raise them to think they breathe fire.
"Moral Hazard: Showing you this page would only encourage you to want more pages."
"Speculative bubble: The page never actually existed and was fundamentally impossible, but everyone bought into it in a frenzy and it's all now ending in tears."
From my perspective now, it's apparent that Hell's Bells is, at its core, more than just a dated piece of Christian propaganda: The documentary is a piece of musical and cultural criticism, albeit one with vastly different criteria than most mainstream music publications [...] Holmberg is caught in a bind: To stress the high spiritual stakes in the war between God and Satan, Hell's Bells doesn't dare undermine the power of the devil's music, and therefore it can't help but play into these artists' pretensions, becoming part of the system they're rebelling against and in the process proving just as silly.
In its mission to "dust rock music for Satan's fingerprints" Hell's Bells does impart some critical techniques to its impressionable viewers, teaching them to listen carefully to even the most vacuous pop songs, to analyze their deeper messages, and to consider their worth and role in society. Unfortunately, these lessons don't go far enough: The documentary lacks any faculty for detecting irony, sarcasm, humor, or appropriation in rock music, so it can't teach viewers to identify these more sophisticated characteristics. If it could pass along these skills, viewers would do the rest themselves and maybe they'd be able to laugh at Dio's cornball theatrics and Bitch's tongue-in-cheek sexuality-- and thereby disarm their threat.
Instead, after offering its critical lessons, Hell's Bells instructs viewers not to use them at all, but rather to disengage themselves completely from popular/secular culture-- and, implicitly, from the practice of criticism. The documentary assumes that listeners won't have the fortitude and intelligence to discern rock's hidden messages or to consider any art with values different from their own. Instead of considering those ideas seriously, Hell's Bells tells viewers to disregard the art altogether as wholly meritless, even evil. This may seem like a minor point, but it's not that different from blanket condemnations that are levied today when people say they don't listen to rap music because it's violent and homophobic, or country music because it's conservative and complacent, or Christian indie like Sufjan Stevens or Danielson Famile because the artists are believers. Much like the Satanic Panic, such condemnations seems driven by the fear that you will become whatever you listen to.
No one can identify the exact search term or terms that led to the discovery of the Panetta Review. But a US official told VICE News that it could have been any number of search strings, such as Abu Zubaydah and waterboarding, referring to the CIA captive who was the guinea pig for the program. Such search terms, when typed into the Google search tool, would have resulted in all documents mentioning Zubaydah and the drowning technique to which he was subjected being made available on the Senate's side of the computer network. This would have included CIA cables, emails — and the Panetta Review.
Weaver, the researcher with the International Computer Science Institute, said the Google search tool used by the Senate and CIA on RDINet is what's known as "Google In a Box," an "appliance that Google makes that indexes and searches private data (in this case, on a disconnected network) but presents the familiar Google interface through a web page."
"Overall, the flow was CIA person looks at a document, decides if it's okay to share, and copies it into the shared folder," Weaver said. "The Google search appliance had read access to the whole fileserver and was misconfigured so that (at minimum) it allowed read access to the CIA stuff from the [Senate] side."
According to US officials knowledgeable about Jones's access to the Panetta Review, he was unaware he was not supposed to see the documents. The Senate staffers assumed the CIA and Centra contractors cleared the material and placed it into the Senate's folder on the Senate's side of RDINet for review. Although the CIA maintains the Panetta Review was off limits to the Senate Intelligence Committee because it was marked "deliberative draft," the agency had already provided the committee with thousands of other documents from the torture program that had identical markings, US officials said.
Jones made copies of the documents and shared them with four other congressional staffers who accessed them on their computers at the CIA facility. A copy of the Panetta Review was also printed and placed in the committee's safe at the Hart Office Building, where it remains. Senate staffers said they did this without alerting the CIA because they feared the CIA would destroy the documents or revoke access to them, as the agency had with other documents in separate incidents.
People are sick and tired of crappy software. And they aren’t going to take it any more. The proliferation of networked devices — the Internet of Things — is going to mean all kinds of manufacturers traditionally subject to products liability are also software purveyors. If an autonomous car crashes, or a networked toaster catches on fire, you can bet there is going to be product liability. Chrysler just recalled 1.4 million cars because of the vulnerabilities that Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek are going to be talking about later today. It’s a short step from suing Tesla to suing Oracle for insecure software… with all the good and the bad that will come of that.
I think software liability is inevitable. I think it’s necessary. I think it will make coding more expensive, and more conservative. I think we’ll do a crappy job of it for a really long time. I don’t know what we’re going to end up with. But I know that it’s going to be a lot harder on the innovators than on the incumbents.
Here’s a quiz. What do emails, buddy lists, drive back ups, social networking posts, web browsing history, your medical data, your bank records, your face print, your voice print, your driving patterns and your DNA have in common?
Answer: The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) doesn’t think any of these things are private. Because the data is technically accessible to service providers or visible in public, it should be freely accessible to investigators and spies.
And yet, to paraphrase Justice Sonya Sotomayor, this data can reveal your contacts with “the psychiatrist, the plastic surgeon, the abortion clinic, the AIDS treatment center, the strip club, the criminal defense attorney, the by-the-hour motel, the union meeting, the mosque, synagogue or church, or the gay bar.”
The DOJ pushes:
· Provider assistance provisions to require providers to assist with spying;
· Corporate immunity for sharing data with the government, for example giving AT&T immunity in its complicity with NSA’s illegal domestic spying and in CISPA, CISA and other surveillance proposals masquerading as security information sharing bills;
· And, not so much yet in the U.S. but in other countries, data retention obligations that essentially deputize companies to spy on their users for the government.
Globalization gives the U.S. a way to spy on Americans…by spying on foreigners we talk to. Our government uses the fact that the network is global against us. The NSA conducts massive spying overseas, and Americans’ data gets caught in the net. And, by insisting that foreigners have no Fourth Amendment privacy rights, it’s easy to reach the conclusion that you don’t have such rights either, as least when you’re talking to or even about foreigners.
People cheer when Google voluntarily delists so-called revenge porn, when YouTube deletes ISIS propaganda videos, when Twitter adopts tougher policies on hate speech. The end result is collateral censorship, by putting pressure on platforms and intermediaries, governments can indirectly control what we say and what we experience.
What that means is that governments, or corporations, or the two working together increasingly decide what we can see. It’s not true that anyone can say anything and be heard anywhere. It’s more true that your breast feeding photos aren’t welcome and, increasingly, that your unorthodox opinions about radicalism will get you placed on a list.
Make no mistake, this censorship is inherently discriminatory. Muslim “extremist” speech is cause for alarm and deletion. But no one is talking about stopping Google from returning search results for the Confederate flag.
Globalization means other governments are in the censorship mix. I’m not just talking about governments like Russia and China. There’s also the European Union, with its laws against hate speech, Holocaust denial, and its developing Right To Be Forgotten. Each country wants to enforce its own laws and protect and police its citizens as it sees fit, and that means a different internet experience for different countries or regions. In Europe, accurate information is being delisted from search engines, to make it harder or impossible to find. So much for talking to everyone everywhere in real time. So much for having everything on the Internet shelf.
Worse, governments are starting to enforce their laws outside their borders through blocking orders to major players like Google and to ISPs. France is saying to Google, don’t return search results that violate our laws to anyone, even if it’s protected speech that we are entitled to in the U.S. If you follow this through to the obvious conclusion, every country will censor everywhere. It will be intellectual baby food.
I blog regularly at hewhocutsdown.net.
"You cannot banish unreason simply by believing correct things."
"A Thousand Years Of Nonlinear History"
The Poverty Trap: Slack, Not Grit, Creates Achievement
Poverty is a trap children are born into: No child has ever chosen to be poor. Children have never caused the poverty that defines their liv
“The Most Dangerous Book I Have Ever Written”: A Commentary on Seventeen...
Seventeen Contradictions is the most dangerous book I have ever written. It is also the latest (and maybe the last) of a series of books tha
The Wire, "Lessons" The Anarchist Hero and the Powerless Police | The Wi...
A closer look at Omar's confrontation with the detail from "Lessons," Season 1, Episode 8 of HBO's The Wire.
Yes, You Can Have Both Crohn's And Ulcerative Colitis - Crohnology Blog
Readers and members of Crohnology know that we take the science of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis seriously. One of our goals is to help peo
On the Cult of Personality and the Tolerance of Rich People
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 7226 other subscribers. email addre
Not Even Close: The State of Computer Security (with slides) - James Mic...
In this bleak, relentlessly morbid talk, James Mickens will describe why making computers secure is an intrinsically impossible task. He wil
Be careful, your love of science looks a lot like religion - Quartz
Scientific beliefs can be as reassuring as religious extremism—but should they be?
The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t - The New York Times
In the digital economy, it was supposed to be impossible to make money by making art. Instead, creative careers are thriving — but in compli
Internet meme 'Deez Nuts' out-polls Walker, Fiorina, and Huckabee in Nor...
The latest Public Policy Polling numbers show a surprising presidential hopeful overtaking Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Scott Walker in
Crowdfunding Is Driving A $196 Million Board Game Renaissance
Albert Mach wants to help you lead a Viking clan. He wants you to compete for honor and treasure and the control of islands. He wants you to
An Anarchist Icelander Walks Into a Texas University . . . - Texas Monthly
What can an anarchist from Iceland teach America about politics? More than some might think.