Showing posts with label NSA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NSA. Show all posts

Friday, November 7, 2014

Big Data Might Tell on You!

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Air/wireless television and radio are losing ground and in their place are a host of services that come with strings attached. If you pay a subscription fee, like Hulu on cable or HBO on satellite, then there are strings attached to your viewing preferences that ultimately lead to someone or something.

Of course, agents of Uncle Sam have better things to do than to sit around and monitor what you watch. But in this world of Big Data--where government and corporations seek to intercept, gather, collect, save, and analyze any and every type of available data, whether it resides on metallic, fiber, or radio waves--it's all there long after you turned that set off and gone to bed.

The other day, Linda, my wife, asked me to look into an air/wireless antenna for local channels as we've gone exclusively to Internet-based programming. Despite the fact that I, personally, was trained by Channel Master, not to mention two electronic trade schools and a techie father, I had to give some serious thought as to 1) where I might find such an animal these days, and 2) how/where we'd attach such an antenna to our house as we live on a lake in an association that may very well forbid outside antennas.

Is it all that important that no one know the television and radio stations you tune into? At first glance it would appear the answer is "No, not really." But in a nation such as this that is increasingly losing it's footing on Christian values and traditional American culture, no one can say for certain who or what the political climate will one day be. If all the authorities have to do to ascertain if you're a Christian is go back and review your viewing/listening preferences on cable/satellite television/radio.... well, I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.

So, what's the answer to the progressively hostile, police-state mentality we now see unfolding before us? Isn't that the underlying reason why we would even worry about our viewing/listening data? The problem isn't the data, and it's not even the fact that someone might collect all that data. The problem is what government will do with that data when the wrong people are in power--like the current administration.

Let me give you a little example by way of recent revelations about the NSA spying on Americans. All the while the press is telling the American people that it's the NSA, here we find out that the NSA has an accomplice--the President of the United States.

The Obama administration quietly got a court to undo U.S. surveillance limits on the use of intercepted phone calls and emails, The Washington Post reported.

The 2011 reversal of a 2008 restriction let the National Security Agency search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, the Post said, citing newly declassified documents and interviews with government officials. (read it)

So when you turn on pornography, or you turn on a Christian station on an Internet TV/Radio station, remember that someone someday may decide to use it against you, and it will be right there in Big Data indefinitely just waiting for them. Do you have to change that dial? Nope, but you at least deserve to know what the possibilities are. However, for those who might like to change their viewing habits, like how they get their TV/radio programming, you might want to look for an air antenna. Try looking at http://www.antennaweb.org/

Happy watching.


For the serious researcher:
ToganX.Info

Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Report Outlines Extent to Which NSA is Spying on Society

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Spying has never been a pretty business. Those who do it for a living eventually accept it as a necessary evil. I suppose we should also--that is if we're really concerned about terrorism on this nation's soil.

With all of that said, however, it's obvious that there must be constraints in place that seek to prevent those who actively monitor society from misusing and abusing this technological power; and might I add that this tremendous power resides with the smallest of the small among those who work in the intelligence business.

Recently a report was released by the National Security Agency (NSA) that outlines its own spying activities.

The U.S. government on Friday for the first time released data on the scope of some of its most sensitive foreign intelligence-gathering efforts, saying that it had targeted nearly 90,000 foreign persons or organizations for surveillance through U.S. companies last year.

The release of the “transparency report,” issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, follows an order a year ago from President Obama to declassify and make public as much information as possible about certain sensitive surveillance programs.

Warrantless Wirepapping

One of the issues that sticks out when reading the Washington Post story is that of "warrantless" surveillance on the part of not only NSA but other intelligence-gathering entities across the board.

It was in 1952 when NSA was established. As part of the military establishment, NSA's mission then, as it still is today, is to affect surveillance against foreign targets to assure the integrity, security, and safety of these United States of America.

Limitations on how this is accomplished have been imposed on NSA over the years since its inception. This includes:

  • The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, passed in 1968 by the Congress.
  • Executive Order 12036, effected by President Carter in 1978 that acts to prevent "electronic surveillance directed against a United States person abroad or designed to intercept a communication sent from, or intended for receipt within, the United States except as permitted by the procedures established pursuant to section 2-201".
  • The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), also passed in 1978.
  • In 2001, the passage of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which established clear standards for how telecommunications providers are to provide wiretapping information to government (The Implications of the Digital Telephony Act of 1994).
  • Also in 2001, John Yoo, former George W. Bush administration official, essentially gives the president authority to approve anti-terrorism tactics, including warrantless wiretapping.
  • A year later, in 2002, President Bush authorized NSA to conduct warrantless wiretaps on both foreign concerns and U.S. citizens in country through a secret executive order.
  • About a year later President Bush disclosed the existence of his secret wiretapping program to the Congress and later in the year the New York Times publishes a story that informed the public of its existence.
  • Etc...

In Conclusion

One of the reasons why all of this wiretapping is necessary is the openness of this nation. We let any Tom, Dick, or Mary enter through air travel and for the past two decades we're trying to affect "reasonable immigration laws" that essentially seek to negate common sense by allowing, again, every Tom, Dick, and Mary to cross the U.S./Mexican border w/o any meaningful rules and regulations.

Until this nation get serious about buttoning up our border and limiting air travel entry to only those who really need it, I won't believe for one moment that any of this makes sense. How can you seriously tell the general public with a straight face that all that can be done is being done by way of anti-terrorist tactics when you allow the Southern border to remain open?

The bottom line here is this: the Federal Gov't must enforce its own border laws before it can be taken seriously.


For personal security information and products,
visit www.OhioHootOwl.com.

Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Judge Napolitano On NSA Spying

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The NSA has always been one step ahead technologically. This is not new, it's been going on for a long time. Most of us who have been yacking about it were usually looked on as conspiracy nuts. Now, the chickens have come home to roost and the general public is now aware.


Copyright©2013/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Edward Snowden Reveals His Motivication for Disclosing NSA's Domestic Intelligence Gathering Efforts

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Recently it has come to light that Uncle Sam is creating an audit trail of all communications in and outside of the United States.

Surprisingly, everyone acts as though this is the first time that Uncle has monitored the population's electronic communications en masse. The fact is, back in the 1990s, we learned of a SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) program called Echelon that essentially did the same thing, only using another nation's intelligence officers to do the spying.

US CIA leaker Edward Snowden, an infrastructure analyst for CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), offers some thoughts as to why a young man with so much to lose still chooses to disclose what NSA (National Security Agency) is doing by way of massive monitoring of domestic communications.

Snowden says that his worst fear is that even after disclosure, the American public will do nothing to change things--that everything will continue on as if he hadn't made this huge sacrifice. Honestly, his career is over, perhaps his very life. And yet most of us in this nation have no idea as to what the implications is of the information that Snowden has given us. Worst yet, most of us don't even know this young man's name and most of us don't even care about what he has told us.

In time, more Snowden's are going to surface, especially as NSA becomes even more power hungry and intrusive in their intelligence gathering practices.

If you are one of those people who could give a rat's rear as to what Snowden has chosen to share with the world, despite the life-changing nature of the information he's leaked, then you need to look in the mirror. You need to give some serious thought to who you are, what you are, and what you have become.


Copyright©2013/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

Subscribe

Be sure not to miss each and every blog comment by subscribing to my email service. Every time I publish a comment or an update, you will be the first to know. To sign up, enter your email address in the email subscription box on the top right of this page. Thank you!

About the Author

Al Colombo is a former trade journalist in the physical security and life safety markets. His 28-year career includes the title of Associate Editor with Security Distributing & Marketing Magazine and Technical Editor with Security Sales & Integration. His freelance work has also appeared in Security Dealer & Integrator, Locksmith Ledger, National Locksmith, Security & Life Safety, Alarm Installing Dealer, Electrical Contractor Magazine, and The Electrical Distributor, in addition to writing promotional copy for Honeywell Life Safety, Digital Monitoring Products, Home Automation Inc., Camden Door Controls, and numerous websites throughout cyberspace. To contact Al Colombo, click here.