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Well Played

Charlie Pierce’s version is the most readable about the Washington Post release of Edward Snowden’s documents on an internal audit of the surveillance system.

In comments on Lambert’s post that mentioned “typographical errors”, I asked “Like typing in ‘Occupy Wall Street’ when it should have been ‘Omar bin Hassan’?” But Democracy Now notes typing 202 [DC area code] vice 20 [Egypt’s country code].

Abby Ohlheiser of The Atlantic Wire has the money quote from Obama’s Friday press conference:

And if you look at the reports — even the disclosures that Mr. Snowden has put forward — all the stories that have been written, what you’re not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs and listening in on people’s phone calls or inappropriately reading people’s emails. What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now, part of the reason they’re not abused is because these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC.

[Emphasis in the Atlantic Wire version]

I’m not claiming this was planned, but first you had the introduction of what the government was doing and could do presented in stages, at intervals, and wait for the government to respond. Then when you judge that they have dug a deep enough hole you drop this bomb.

People had to understand how large and intrusive the system is, before they could possibly understand the impact of all of these violations. This stuff was NSA internal, this wasn’t shared with FISA, or Congress, or anyone else. They broke the prime directive of any organization, military or civilian, “Don’t make your boss look bad!” Oh, yes, they also broke rules, directives, policies, laws, and violated the Constitution.

As Charlie Pierce notes, this does settle the question as to whether Edward Snowden is a whistleblower, because this was a very big whistle that was blown.

August 16, 2013   6 Comments

Tropical Storm Erin – Day 2

Tropical Storm ErinPosition: 18.5N 34.5W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: Northwest [305°] near 16 mph [26 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph [ 65 kph].
Wind Gusts: 50 mph [ 80 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 70 miles [110 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1006 mb ↓.

Currently about 715 miles [1150 km] West-Northwest of the Cape Verde Islands.

It is back to tropical storm strength at 10PM CDT.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

August 16, 2013   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Erin – Day 2

Wrong, That’s Not What Happened

The BBC technology reporting is normally much better that this: Washington Post, CNN and Time websites hit by pro-Assad hackers. For a short period of time if you clicked on some of the links at those sites, your would be directed to a web site of the pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army (SEA).

What SEA did was run an e-mail phishing scam on the employees of Outbrain, a content recommendation service that supplies a plug-in that suggests links related to articles. Using the account and password information supplied by Outbrain employees who weren’t paying attention, the SEA changed the software to redirect people to their site.

It took Outbrain a couple of hours to repair the software and change everyone’s account name and password. Based on past experience, the employees will be cautious for at least the rest of today, and maybe even tomorrow, but by Monday it could happen again.

August 16, 2013   Comments Off on Wrong, That’s Not What Happened

Friday Cat Blogging

Froggie Speed Nomming

Friday Cat Blogging


[Editor: Knowing that the others will appear as soon as I leave the area, Froggie works on getting as much of the ‘Mixed Grill’ as possible.]

Friday Ark

August 16, 2013   2 Comments