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A Nice Backgrounder

Via Alfa Zog at Corrente, a long piece in the New York Times Magazine by Peter Maass: How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets.

In addition to explaining the process by which Edward Snowden arranged the release of the documents he had, there is a profile of the documentary film maker in the second year of her MacArthur Fellowship [the Genius Award] which provides her with $100,000/year for 5 years to create whatever she wants. One of her films won a Peabody Award, another was nominated for an Emmy, and a third for an Oscar.

She spent years dealing with the TSA’s ‘Special Screening’ line when returning to the US, so she has personal experience with the security state that the US has become.

After a few years, with the right people in charge, this is basis for a really good movie, better than Three Days of the Condor. Glenn Greenwald is playing a supporting role; Ms Poitras is the interesting person.

Update: You can’t get there from here. The New York Times is experiencing a major DDOS [distributed denial of service] attack and their servers are not reachable. I’m sure USCYBERCOM has leaped to its defense reports that it suffered a self-inflicted wound as the result of a system software update.

August 13, 2013   7 Comments

This Really Useful, Right?

CBS has a Snowden Deflect today: Tech tycoon Larry Ellison on NSA surveillance.

Charlie Rose interviewing Oracle CEO Larry Ellison:

ROSE: Let me just hear you clearly. You were saying whatever the NSA’s doing is okay with me?

ELLISON: It’s great. I wish, you know, it’s great. It’s essential. By the way, President Obama thinks it’s essential.

It’s essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes that we just had in Boston. It’s absolutely essential.

First off, I don’t see where it was mentioned how much money Oracle makes from the military/industrial complex in software, training, and consulting [millions of dollars] and secondly, the system, as intrusive as it is, didn’t find the Tsarnaev brothers despite multiple red flags, including one from Russia’s FSB. I realize that someone who sells Oracle database software will have a hard time accepting this concept, but – it can’t be essential if it doesn’t work!

August 13, 2013   7 Comments