It is as though we've crossed a "Rubicon" and now worry about the consequences. Big Data, Surveillance, Algorithmic Analysis, NSA, etc, etc.
Now FaceBook confirms that up to six million users' personal data, even that which is not public, has been seen and or gathered by third parties. Many have argued those who post so much personal information willingly have themselves to blame when that data is hijacked, hacked, sold or used to either bug or defraud you.
A couple of experts are now saying that analyzing big data needs to be more effectively used by federal authorities. They contend the alleged Boston bombers history of viewing violent or terrorist prone on-line videos should have led to an interdiction before they acted out what they were thinking. Thought police?
Being a First Amendment advocate, I've been posting about this crunch since I entered the blogosphere.
The point is our privacy suffers, by our own hand, by commercial enterprises, by government agencies and by information pirates. It is just out there and all to easy to overlook or put out of mind. But like most things,it grows. What can, what should we do about it?
Those of you who appreciate the satire of Jon Stewart
know he is off this summer, directing a film in the Middle East. Well, he's made an interesting appearance.
Imagine the sun flowers basking in that super star!
A red letter day indeed for our youngest cat, Miss Joy.
She's a type of "mutt," of a generous mix of bloodlines, small, vocal, a bit timid but adorable and can manifest a great contented purr. However she has been confined to the cone as she heals from a throat tear inflicted by a large and menacing neighbor cat.
This was her sad gulag state the last few days.
Today the cone is gone as she continues to mend.
She seems quite pleased, though she had developed an ability to scratch at that cone with a drummers precision.
Since they've got the data, why not create an algorithmic analysis to interdict and then shut down all of those phishers, scammers, identify thieves and that Kenyan who wants to give you 1.3 million dollars.
While rounding up and tracking terrorists, the NSA and FBI should find these internet hustlers who steal, extort and are at their best, annoying. Then let the CIA or Cyber Command send a counterstrike that evaporates their illicit program and network, melts their computers and shocks the scammers into the next county. Then maybe Seal Team 6 can capture them and paint a red bulls eye on their forehead.
Well, at least the first part of that eh?!
peace, love & dirt
LIVE OAK 25
25 years of Father's Day Weekends at Live Oak Music Festival.
People who came first as children are now volunteers of the KCBX event that is quintessential California.
Music, sun, friends and good vibes under the beautiful
oaks near Lake Cachuma.
The logo quilt was a hot item in the silent auction.
Entertainment and grins and just doing your thing.
Owing to California's wine culture, there are amenities the old festivals may not have had.
I watched as one of the performing musicians tuned and played the first guitar in the left rack. She made it sound great. She ended by smiling and saying, "this thing would make me crazy."
Later, another of the players had R2D2 sounding pretty good. It would have rocked the Star Wars cantina.
Those live oaks shelter a lot of great memories and have heard some extraordinary music.
The big yap yap now over the NSA disclosures at least
has people talking.
And there is a lot of that going around.(Friend and reader Beverly noted, the bovine above is not a bull. Indeed, as a careful look will inform you. But just sort of go with it) A question is, How do we want it? What are the boundaries?
Are we willing to give up liberty to feel safe? The conversation is needed and all of us, from voters to the intelligence community, need to weigh in.
I'm hung up on a couple of points. Why is so much of our top clearance, security and intelligence work being done by private contractors? When and how did we decide to job it out and for who's benefit? We are now paying private sources more money to do work that should be the exclusive franchise of US Government employees.
Eisenhower had it right about the "military-industrial complex." The modern codicil is "intelligence-industrial." So a high school drop out, army wash out, can get hired by the CIA and get clearance and then quit only to be hired by a private contractor, paid reportedly a $ quarter million a year and have his ticket punched so he can purloin some of our most secret and sensitive information. Yea, that's intelligent isn't it! Where are the adults?
It's not an easy riddle. Americans voluntarily give up more private and specific data to social media, banks, in online purchases and e-mail than what the NSA has gathered in bundles. Private business knows more about you than do the spooks and some in the intelligence community can't figure why that is, or why the current flap.
Intelligence and security people reason they've been tasked with keeping us safe from harm and in their mind they cannot have too much information. But in the old days raw and irrelevant data got purged. Now files are kept forever. Is that right? It's another choice we have to make.
The panel of Judges who guide the intelligence community in their acquisition of data also need to be heard from. It would be good for the Republic to hear the mind set and thinking of those who frame these vitally important considerations.
And a word about Snowden as a leaker. As a one time investigative reporter I could bore you with countless details about how a whistle blower or leaker helped get information to the public. In my experience there were many instances where the public good was served. Examples-an elementary school being built over a "forgotten" hazardous material dump, a grand jury being used to punish political enemies, mental patients being poisoned by inept or non existent medical supervision in over or wrong medication, Ku Klux Klansmen working on a city payroll as a result of extortion, managers of public housing selling material meant to improve housing projects out of the back door and profiting huge sums, a KGB officer trying to infiltrate a public office holder's staff, security breaches where some of this nation's most deadly nerve agent is stored, toxic poison leaking into a public water resource.
I would not have been able to get that information onto the public agenda, had it not been for state, city and federal employees getting information to me-data, records, documents that had been buried, hidden, over looked, forgotten or in some cases "destroyed."
In my own little footnotes to history, our work prompted investigations, prosecutions, regulations, new statutes, and informed conversations.
We all would be well served by a robust conversation now about privacy, safety, expectations, propriety, and who should be minding our secrets.
There's a great thought, attributed to both Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. I'm comfortable with quoting them both-
"Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either!"