Currently viewing the tag: "NSA"
  • Any excuse to post this, in the years to come.I recently discovered the adsorbing Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog. Its author, an academic, invented various incarnations of a NukeMap, in which you can use Google maps (or Google Earth, for those not saddled with a Chromebook) to see the effects of various atomic bombs — from Hiroshima to the full, unused iteration of the Tsar Bomba — on various cities.
  • The author also wrote a “Why Nagasaki” post yesterday, which is soft on the whole thing, but is enlightening as to the debated motivations of those involved in nuking the shit out of that bonus city.
  • The Onion said it best on Nagaski.
  • I am reminded of the time a few months back where I asked my would-be engineer friend to explain why nuclear stuff is measured by half-life. Drunk friend fluctuated between condescending over-explanation to poor, sweet liberal arts majors, and baffling science attacks (to poor, sweet liberal arts majors). Somehow it eventually made sense, but God knows I couldn’t explain it.
  • Once-classified US government footage of rebuilding Hiroshima.
  • Matt Novak’s sweet Paleofuture blog seems to have wandered over to Gizmodo.
  • Cato’s Julian Sanchez was deliciously sassy on Chris Hayes on Friday, talking NSA and Obama press conferences. And The Guardian‘s Spencer Ackerman was himself, and was therefore great. And Robert Gibbs said the word debate so. many. times. and it was terrible.

Five non-link tweets I have recently favorited, for your enjoyment:

Today’s video(s):

Willie Watson, the lamented and departed member of Old Crow Medicine Show, singing “High Dice Blues/Shooting High Dice” with guitar that sounds exactly like the Mississippi Sheiks version of the song. Check ’em both out:

I love the Mississipi Sheiks so much. But you would know that if you have been listening to my radio show, now tragically nearing its end.

 

Today’s video:

Old Crow Medicine Show playing “Sewanee Mountain Catfight” off of their most recent album. This is a ridiculous song that sets my toes tapping. The killer fiddle helps. Fiddle usually does.

  • ob2Obama (via the CIA?) to send ‘small arms, ammo’ to Syria. Guess that “red line” counts after all? Or is it a super distraction from the various scandals plaguing the White House? Not saying they wouldn’t have done it anyway, just saying now seems like a terrific time for a distraction.
  • Edward Snowden seems to not have had security clearance access to the files he snagged; he also used a USB drive, which is a big NSA no-no. That’s some safe-sounding data, y’all.
  • Obama ’80 percent worse than Bush on medical marijuana’
  • More on that bullshit from LA Weekly
  • Somebody tell Bill Maher and Rolling Stone, okay?
  • Fascinating Telegraph UK piece on what happens when you disown conspiracy theories and Trutherism [h/t: Austin Petersen]
  • And for more on paranoia and conspiracies, check out Reason’s Jesse Walker being interviewed by VICE’s Harry Cheadle. These two awesome writers discuss Walker’s forthcoming United States of Paranoia, which I have been looking forward to for like two years.
  • Oathkeepers founder Steward Rhodes supports Edward Snowden
  • But libertarian 101 staple John Stossel writes a baffling piece on how we have bigger things to worry over than NSA spying.
  • And Cato’s Roger Pilon and Richad A. Epstein wrote an appalling editorial that waves away the spying while managing to ipply that everything about USA PATRIOT was open and above board.
  • But thankfully there’s Red Eye‘s true-Scotsman Andy Levy, who gave a great response to David Brooks’ “oh noes, cynicism! Wah!” column on Snowden. Watch.

Today’s video:

The great North Carolina fiddler Tommy Jarrell playing my favorite murder balled of the moment, “Poor Ellen Smith.” Rumor has it that Jarrell learned the song from his father, who in turn learned it from the killer of Ellen Smith himself. I hope that’s a true story, I don’t care if it isn’t.

Yesterday’s piece, in which I speculate, probably too soon, over whether Snowden is more sympathetic to certain folks than was Manning.

Today Edward Snowden, a former computer analyst for the CIA recently employed at the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, voluntarily revealed his identity as the source of The Guardian and The Washington Post‘s massive scoops about the NSA’s PRISM program, as well as its system of logging the metadata from every single call made from Verizon phones (and Sprint and AT&T, turns out).

Snowden fled to Hong Kong on May 30, and was interviewed there on June 6 by Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald. In the interview he is amazingly well-spoken about the principles surrounding his decision to leak top-secret documents.Until late last month, the 29-year-old seems to have had a comfy life in Hawaii with a girlfriend and a $200,000 a year job with Booz Allen. But the reported Ron Paul supporter who voted for “a third party candidate” in 2008, wasn’t interested in keeping that level of coziness while possessing information that he believed the public has a right to know.

“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under,” Snowden told Greenwald.

Snowden also seems eerily resigned to the likely consequences of his actions — namely that he may never see his home country again, and that government officials may come for him at any time.

The rest over at Antiwar.

  • eagle_circle_bigThe Washington Post‘s exclusive story on PRISM, the NSA/FBI program that allows those agencies to tap into the servers of nine of the biggest internet companies in the U.S., including Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. (Not Twitter, it seems!) The awkward NSA powerpoint leaked to WaPost can be found here.
  • Gleen Greenwald’s Guardian exclusive on how Verizon is forced to hand over its customers metadata — meaning which numbers call which numbers, for how long, and the location of the nearest cell tower. Here’s the official leaked document.
  • It’s not just Verizon, it’s also AT&T and Sprint.
  • Greenwald going on MSNBC, being a sexy patriot and telling the government to come at him, bro.
  • The New York Times had an amazing, withering editorial that used to say that the Obama “administration has lost all credibility.”
  • And then they wussed out, notes Gawker.
  • Amazing detail from the previously more-awesome editorial: Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, the author of the PATRIOT Act, is worried about the NSA. His laughable and infuriating statement can be found here.
  • Radley Balko is even a better poet than I am!
  • Ann Coulter has no principles.
  • Reminder that Thomas Drake was another (former) NSA employee who leaked information. Even the people in the scariest agencies sometimes realize that something is awry. This is a strange concept for a libertarian to comprehend.
  • In other weirdly positive government news, Sens. Mark Udall and Ron Wyden tried to tell us something was amiss. I suppose they’re inherently sell-outs for taking that job, but at least they’re pushing back.
  • On the other hand, Udall still can’t confirm anything that was leaked in the last few days.
  • Jerry Tuccille muses on the madness of internal immigration checkpoints. I still don’t understand why they’ve been upheld by the Supreme Court.
  • Man Tazered by police while he struggled to save his son from a burning house. The baby died.
  • Michael Tracey on Alex Jones, Bilderberg, and the GOP welcoming the crazies.