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December 27, 2005

Comments

"Perhaps I am a bit more skeptical than you."

Of what?

"...Maybe forcing terrorists to use encryption creates a traffic pattern that can help detect them...."

It's conceivable.

"It just seems like a lot of effort and a big sacrifice of principles for an unlikely return to me."

It certainly could be. I'm certainly utterly unwilling to surrender the principles without, just for starters, clear information on precisely what we're surrendering (and, yes, trying to maintain reasonable security, not just political "security" does make that difficult; but it shouldn't be impossible; the whole line about how "the terrorists" would now know that the U.S. government is trying to listen to them and spy on them, because of this leak, is one of the many of the more insanely ludicrous lines this Admin has ever put out, although "the AUMF authorized the President to do anything he wants, ever," is another recent contender).

Saying it's a boring subject of interest only to only DBAs and statisticians is, I'm trying very hard to do more than suggest, is very unuseful.

good thing i didn't say that, then.

liek it or not, i think "wiretap" is still a good word for what's going on. yes, it's wholesale and yes there is a new layer of automation between your call and the guys in fedoras, but when you get right down to it, it's still the government listening to your calls, without your knowledge or permission. the fact that a DSP is listening to your call, and not an actual person is a marvel of technology, and not a safeguard of privacy; that DSP is simply an inexpensive stand-in for a room full of patient people with headphones.

they're still listening to us without warrants.

The government must obey the law or there will be Obsidian hell to pay.

oh yeah? who's gonna enforce that "law" ? certainly not the government, which is perfectly happy to find justification for all kinds of things reasonable people would have never thought possible, four years ago.

so, be careful, next time you're talking to your friend overseas - you never know when you'll trip some NSA keyword-detector and earn yourself a one way ticket to indefinite detention in sunny Cuba, or maybe an extraordinary rendition. or maybe you can show me the laws that prove that'll never happen to you.

Gary: ... [skeptical] of what?

Of whether the furshlugginer thing even does any good.

I agree with you about the threat to our liberties, of course.

"...but when you get right down to it, it's still the government listening to your calls, without your knowledge or permission...."

Before I completely give up, may I ask then, does data-mining absent eavesdropping on phone calls strike you as unimportant, then?

And does eavesdropping on potentially every citizen of the United States, and maintaining massive files on everyone, with every credit purchase you've ever made, and every other bit of data available on your life, strike you as less important than wiretapping a few thousand specific phones?

I don't understand how or why anyone would minimize this, unless their goal was to defend the Administration, which is presumably not your goal.

I don't it's accurate to describe an apple as a seed, or a telephone as a telegraph, or datamining as "wiretapping," but we all see things and understand them our own way.

"Of whether the furshlugginer thing even does any good."

Did I say a word about what good or not it does or may do? (Not that there's anything wrong with speculating about what I might think, to be sure.)

ok, everyone. without looking it up, what are the five leading causes of preventable death in the US?

1) Heart attack
2) Cancer
3) Car accidents
4) Stroke
5) Flu

...goes and looks up answers...

Not bad at all, if I do say so myself.

...does data-mining absent eavesdropping on phone calls strike you as unimportant, then?

datamining absent eavesdropping is statistics. it's very important, and arcane.

I don't understand how or why anyone would minimize this...

nor do i.

ok, everyone. without looking it up, what are the five leading causes of preventable death in the US?

I think a better question is, what counts as preventable?

"...datamining absent eavesdropping is statistics."

So you've always been fine with the FBI keeping files on folks, so long as there was no wire-tapping, I take it?

The government can spy on you all it likes, so long as it's done via master switches, and parabolic mikess, and lasers bouncing off your windows, and portable bugs, and videotaping you, and not a guy in your basement. Because, newsflash, none of that is wiretapping.

I do now give up. Minimize the threat of datamining amd wholistic surveillance all you like (and presumably corporate datamining is also something to be copacetic about, and, of course the threat will remain static as of... whatever baseline you use).

We'll see what you think by December, 2006, let alone December, 2016, of what you've been saying here about how boring and unimportant this threat is.

Gary, the word in the quote you're responding to is "eavesdropping". Do you think that people don't consider things "done via master switches, and parabolic mikess, and lasers bouncing off your windows, and portable bugs, and videotaping you" to be eavesdropping?

gary, I don't think that cleek was minimizing what this is all about.

I remember when bar codes and special discount cards became available at grocery stores. There was a big uproar about how our shopping habits were going to be public records.

Well, it turns out that the Republicans have been using that data to determine voting patterns. I don't think there is anything really wrong with that, but the point is that this kind of data-mining can be used for all sorts of things, and not necessarily for the benefit of mankind.

Once "statistics" are gathered, tracing back to specific sources is probably not that difficult.

My brother and I are in frequent e-mail communication with a lot of not very flattering discussion of the current information.

A little over a month ago he visited China. Does that combination make him a potential target, and by association am I?

The potential for this to turn into something far worse than Orwell ever imagined is there.

I can understand the supposed security advantages, but then I also understand the healthcare advantages of never being in public. The cost of both may be too high.

"Gary, the word in the quote you're responding to is 'eavesdropping'.

Try the fuller context, please.

Did cleek's "liek it or not, i think 'wiretap' is still a good word for what's going on" contain ambiguity I missed?

Note that "wiretapping" is what people keep saying in these threads here (and all over the internets)-- just do a "find" on this thread, and start counting, before you give up out of boredom. Note what I've consistently been saying regarding "wiretapping" and "datamining."

If other people equate "wiretapping," and "eavesdropping," or switch terms mid-argument, well, again this is part of the confusion of terms and understanding I've been ranting about. But, again, the datamining threat is far larger than just eavesdropping, no matter that, of course, eavesdropping is a far larger threat than wiretapping.

This is precisely why I hate sloppy writing; it only causes confusion and misunderstanding.

I'm guilty of sloppy writing in almost every comment, of course. Surely I need not draw the syllogism.

So you've always been fine with the FBI keeping files on folks, so long as there was no wire-tapping, I take it?

huh ?

We'll see what you think by December, 2006, let alone December, 2016, of what you've been saying here about how boring and unimportant this threat is.

are you quoting me while responding to someone else ?

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