Morning Must Reads: June 7

In the news: your phone records, PRISM, U.S.-China summit, and John Dingell

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

379 comments
fitty_three
fitty_three

I commented yesterday on the issues relating to the CIA phone records seizures.  One of the things I mentioned was that domestically there are a lot of tebaggers that want to kill him.  The ricin letters from Texas are just one example of what must be many, many thousands of attempts on Obama's life:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/07/justice/ricin-letters-arrest/index.html

I wonder too how far those teabaggers or tebagger sympathizers in government are willing to go to try to poison Obmaa's current popularity?

Maybe a little treason, perhaps?

aside from that, I don't like the idea of phone records being seized, but I'm going to guess that if it hadn't been done, Obama would not have even lived out his first term, or possibly even the first election.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Charges laid on Ariel Castro, the Cleveland guy who held three women for up to a decade.  329 charges that is.  Almost as many as this thread has comments

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

TrollsRUS have the hots for SC?? 

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@sacredh 

I'm sure I shouldn't give him this much credit, but I am wondering if he would have legally not been able to leak to the press that this sort of thing was happening.  I mean, obviously he'd been told on more than one occasion and clearly this is important enough to him that he would've paid attention so it can't possibly be a case where he didn't know.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@fitty_three 

The most powerful use for phone records is network exposing.  You get a guy who is either working on a terrorist attack or not, and now you have a list of possible suspects, people who might've helped him plan, people who might've been feeding him instructions or intel or weapons or whatever.  It isn't actionable, but it gives you the starting point to begin digging.  If you dig enough, you might find other cells.  A properly structured organization of this nature has small cells with limited points of contact.  You don't just take out the cell, you identify the cell's parent and all the children under that parent cell.  Boom - you can gobble up massive terrorist networks.  It's why the liquid bombers got as close as they did - not because they were ever a threat but because three different agencies were trying to grab as many additional cells as they could.  The only reason they stopped the investigation and began rounding them up was because the plan called for the attack a week later - if they could've gotten another year, they would've taken it.

I'm not really worried about the Obama security side of this - the Secret Service doesn't need this power because they know how to find the crazy partisans (they're too stupid to actually build proper networks).  But the power to tear apart terrorist networks is an important power - especially since we're dealing with networks that believe the end fighter is expendable.  The terrorism war is an information and special forces war, not a general combat war.

notsacredh
notsacredh

fitty, this isn't about phone records, but this afternoon at work some yahoo was having way too much of a good time waiting to lock through. He had his trunks down, was taking a leak in the river and drinking out of a whiskey bottle. I went up and told him that he needed to show a little decorum. He started in asking me what I was going to do about it and shook his crank at me. I pointed up and he asked me what I was pointing at. Security cameras. Some days you just have to shake your head.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@forgottenlord Hopefully he'll get to see what it's like to be held against his will. For life.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@nflfoghorn Ah, your gov is taking a page from my gov's book. I look forward to the day when they're both gone.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout Yep Its not like there is a major Healthcare initiative happening at the same time.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@forgottenlord

I'm not so sure  Forgotten.  I honestly think that we don't know how Obama is managing to protect himself and his staff so well.  Since you're in IT, I have to bow to your much greater knowledge of what's going on, but Obama, despite the far greater number of haters, has managed to escape death, or even an actual attack.

I think many of our own hoe grown hate groups are able to conduct their affairs with greater efficiency that foreign groups, such as Al Queda - they evolved here - and your average hate group member is going  to be far better educated than your average Al Queda member.  These things could be a much deadlier combination as it's not only a polar bear in snow, it's a smart polar bear in the snow.

I'm convinced it's not because all the concerned departments are doing better or more of the same, it's because they are doing something different.  Beyond that, I'm not able to venture a guess.  

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@sacredh "Some days you just have to shake your head."

Which is exactly what he was doing... ;)

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh  

I hate 'em too., and we're going to have to resolve privacy issues.

But honestly, you don't realize that you were watching nature's water purifier in action?

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@sacredh You did assure him that the cameras did not have telephoto lenses and that, therefore, the identity of his Johnson was secure, tho' ? 

paulejb
paulejb

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout 

Really? What did Stephanie Cutter have to do with that? She was a White House flack with no healthcare experience.

ahandout
ahandout

@forgottenlord @ahandout Are you saying the Obama is bi?

It wouldn't surprise, since he is on both sides of every issue. 

His lie that all members of Congress were briefed on this is being exposed also.

President Obama’s explanation allows him to sound a nothing-to-see-here note that paints the programs as both prosaic and innocuous. After all, if all 535 members of Congress knew about them, how bad could they really be?

“These are the folks you all vote for as your representatives in Congress, and they’re being fully briefed on these programs,” said Obama. “And if, in fact … there were abuses taking place, presumably those members of Congress could raise those issues very aggressively. They’re empowered to do so.”

But as Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) complained to Attorney General Eric Holder during a Thursday hearing, the idea that Congress has been “fully briefed” on these programs is coming as news to many of the lawmakers themselves.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/congress-nsa-prism-intelligence-briefing-92438.html#ixzz2Vnbi1aon

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@ahandout

I know you can't stop thinking about Obama (to the point that even a comment about Rand Paul must be about Obama), but listen: he's married, has two beautiful children.  Let it go.  Move on.  There's other fish in the sea.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@forgottenlord 

A lot of information to process on the it side - I understand it reasonably well. I seems that the harvesting of parent / child comm links is very important as a tool to be used in mitigating terrorism.

I think though that our hate groups have evolved toward lone solving in order to avoid leaving a fat data trail. I have no doubt that Timothy McVeigh was only ostensibly kicked out of the militias he joined. There are strong ties that still exist between the GOP and what used to be called 'the patriot movement'.

I'm not saying that the mainstream GOP has any involvement, but I am saying that there is indirect as well as direct involvement by some of some of the fringe who happen to be within the GOP. Many teabaggers and NRA crazy are  all for seeing Obama killed. For every case we hear about, it's anyone's guess how many have been put in motion. 

In that case, I think that the phone records might be helpful.


forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Sorry, one other thing I forgot to mention: IP spoofing.  I mentioned that you can't read contents of what email's getting sent to who - you can't always find out who's reading what either.  So the NSA might be able to track which email addresses and which IPs are sending emails to Al Queda's inboxes, but anyone with remote awareness is going to use an IP spoofer.  How those work is you basically call some server in Russia (or some other country) and ask it to resend every message you're about to send - so you send the request for the website to Russia which passes it on to Google or Hotmail or whatever which sends the data back to you via Russia.  As far as Google or Hotmail are concerned, Russia sent the email.  As far as NSA or FBI are concerned, they can trace it back to Russia but they can't take it to the next level which gets them back to an American ISP - a thousand connections go into Russia, a thousand come out and now you get to play a matching game, hooray (they might not even be able to do that - it's not in the US or a US aligned country).  As long as you don't access those accounts when not spoofing, your identity remains hidden (a member of Anonymous got caught earlier this year when he forgot to spoof - Anonymous members are always spoofed as a general rule)

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@fitty_three

From a technical perspective, the release of PGP in the mid-90s pretty much shuts down most communication monitoring - PGP controls all point-to-point communication and until very recently, had no known way of being broken because the underlying RSA architecture wasn't broken (RSA works by having a private and public key - you encrypt using the public key and decrypt using the private and there's no way to do the reverse - pass the public key around, hold onto the private one, and your information is secure.  Only problem is processing power.  PGP uses RSA to pass a message-specific key for a different algorithm - can't remember which one but it's a standard one that can't be broken by known methods - that has lower processing requirements.  Because the key is secure, nobody can break the code.  Recently, though, there was a study suggesting that RSA private keys might be spoofable - they're still working on that.)

The real benefit for foreign groups is far more basic: phone lines.  The Secret Service has been able to get wiretap warrants for a long time against known hate groups - and hate groups are almost always known because they recruit from the community.  No matter how sophisticated they are, they're being monitored.  Then the next problem is lone wolves - and those guys are never sophisticated and they use public forums and chat rooms to find their kin - areas that are considered public spaces and thus fair game for the NSA, FBI and Secret Service to be monitoring at any time they feel like it (I mentioned this week about the kid who was throwing DDOS attacks all around and got caught because he predicted in a chat room that CNN would be next - same deal).

Terrorist groups don't have a central point that can be tapped.  The FBI doesn't have a recruitment point that they can monitor - well, these phone lists might come close, but nobody is stupid enough to call Zawari's personal cell phone to ask him if they can join.  Therefore, you're monitoring the aforementioned secure point-to-point online communication methods.  Doesn't help you too much.  So you don't know when a cell was created, where it was and what it's doing - or even if it was created - until you get some secondary piece of information.  Once you've found the idiot that accidentally leaked, you can then backtrack to it, and begin pulling apart the cell piece by piece - which is what these phone records are for.  While Domestic Hate groups you monitor for years to find the one month they go dangerous, these are groups you have to pull apart fast because by the time you've found them, they might be well on their way to an attack.

notsacredh
notsacredh

kbang, I got a call this morning from some guy (guess who) wanting to apologize. He started out with "I don't know if you remember me but...." and I countered with "Bald head? Circumcised?".



 

notsacredh
notsacredh

Cutest? Ding ding ding! We have a weiner!!

retiredvet
retiredvet

Maybe. But if the contest is "cutest" I'd win hands down.

notsacredh
notsacredh

The jerk in me wanted to take mine out, shake it at him and go "Haha. I win".

notsacredh
notsacredh

kbang, the cameras have motion detectors and zoom in on anything that moves. It's a pretty sophisticated system. It's not like they're hidden or anything. They're everywhere.

paulejb
paulejb

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout 

She was and is a political hit woman and a proven liar.

Google "Stephanie Cutter lies" and you get 55,900,000 hits.

paulejb
paulejb

@mantisdragon91 @paulejb @ahandout 

What would the IRS have to do with communications strategy, Bugs? The head of the IRS is supposed to be like Caesar's wife when it comes to politics. The fanciful tale from the White House is falling apart.

It is also true that Stephanie Cutter is a proven liar on a number of subjects.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Poor Handy it must be hard to struggle for attention in the shadow of a bigger more annoying Troll.