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The Most Evil And Disturbing NSA Spy Practices To-Date Have Just Been Revealed

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.

 

The man-in-the-middle tactic can be used, for instance, to covertly change the content of a message as it is being sent between two people, without either knowing that any change has been made by a third party.

 

- From Glenn Greenwald’s latest article: How the NSA Plans to Infect Millions of Computers with Malware

 

The latest piece from Greenwald and company on the unconstitutional spy practices of the NSA may represent the most dangerous and disturbing revelations yet. It’s hard for shadiness at the NSA to surprise me these days, but there was only one word that kept repeating over and over in my head as I read this: EVIL.

As a quick aside, Greenwald points out in the quote above how spam emails are used by the NSA to bait you into clicking dangerous links. This is a timely revelation considering I received one such email yesterday from a friend of mine. The email was sent to a wide list of let’s say “liberty-minded people” and webmasters associated with very popular sites. The link seemed shady so I texted him to ask if he had sent it. He hadn’t.

Earlier this week, during a talk at SXSW, Edward Snowden pleaded with people to use encryption. While he admitted if the NSA targeted you individually they could almost certainly “own your computer,” he stated that if people use encryption on a massive scale it makes the NSA’s attempts to monitor everyone at the same time much more difficult.

Apparently, the NSA is well aware of this threat. Which is why we now know that the agency has been dedicating significant amounts of taxpayer dollars toward an attempt to infect millions of computers with malware in an attempt at “industrial-scale exploitation,” which would lead to them “owning the net.”

As Mikko Hypponen, an expert in malware stated:

“The NSA’s surveillance techniques could inadvertently be undermining the security of the Internet.”

Move along serfs, nothing to see here.

From The Intercept:

Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process. 

 

The classified files – provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware “implants.” The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.

 

In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.

 

The implants being deployed were once reserved for a few hundred hard-to-reach targets, whose communications could not be monitored through traditional wiretaps. But the documents analyzed by The Intercept show how the NSA has aggressively accelerated its hacking initiatives in the past decade by computerizing some processes previously handled by humans. The automated system – codenamed TURBINE – is designed to “allow the current implant network to scale to large size (millions of implants) by creating a system that does automated control implants by groups instead of individually.”

 

Mikko Hypponen, an expert in malware who serves as chief research officer at the Finnish security firm F-Secure, calls the revelations “disturbing.” The NSA’s surveillance techniques, he warns, could inadvertently be undermining the security of the Internet.

 

It sounds like that is precisely their intent…

The NSA began rapidly escalating its hacking efforts a decade ago. In 2004, according to securet internal records, the agency was managing a small network of only 100 to 150 implants. But over the next six to eight years, as an elite unit called Tailored Access Operations (TAO) recruited new hackers and developed new malware tools, the number of implants soared to tens of thousands. 

 

The agency’s solution was TURBINE. Developed as part of TAO unit, it is described in the leaked documents as an “intelligent command and control capability” that enables “industrial-scale exploitation.”

 

Earlier reports based on the Snowden files indicate that the NSA has already deployed between 85,000 and 100,000 of its implants against computers and networks across the world, with plans to keep on scaling up those numbers.

 

The intelligence community’s top-secret “Black Budget” for 2013, obtained by Snowden, lists TURBINE as part of a broader NSA surveillance initiative named “Owning the Net.” 

 

The agency sought $67.6 million in taxpayer funding for its Owning the Net program last year. Some of the money was earmarked for TURBINE, expanding the system to encompass “a wider variety” of networks and “enabling greater automation of computer network exploitation.”

Your tax dollars at works slaves.

One implant, codenamed UNITEDRAKE, can be used with a variety of “plug-ins” that enable the agency to gain total control of an infected computer.

 

An implant plug-in named CAPTIVATEDAUDIENCE, for example, is used to take over a targeted computer’s microphone and record conversations taking place near the device. Another, GUMFISH, can covertly take over a computer’s webcam and snap photographs. FOGGYBOTTOM records logs of Internet browsing histories and collects login details and passwords used to access websites and email accounts. GROK is used to log keystrokes. And SALVAGERABBIT exfiltrates data from removable flash drives that connect to an infected computer.

 

The implants can enable the NSA to circumvent privacy-enhancing encryption tools that are used to browse the Internet anonymously or scramble the contents of emails as they are being sent across networks. That’s because the NSA’s malware gives the agency unfettered access to a target’s computer before the user protects their communications with encryption.

 

According to the Snowden files, the technology has been used to seek out terror suspects as well as individuals regarded by the NSA as “extremist.” But the mandate of the NSA’s hackers is not limited to invading the systems of those who pose a threat to national security.

 

In one secret post on an internal message board, an operative from the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate describes using malware attacks against systems administrators who work at foreign phone and Internet service providers. By hacking an administrator’s computer, the agency can gain covert access to communications that are processed by his company. “Sys admins are a means to an end,” the NSA operative writes.

But not all of the NSA’s implants are used to gather intelligence, the secret files show. Sometimes, the agency’s aim is disruption rather than surveillance. QUANTUMSKY, a piece of NSA malware developed in 2004, is used to block targets from accessing certain websites.

 

QUANTUMCOPPER, first tested in 2008, corrupts a target’s file downloads. These two “attack” techniques are revealed on a classified list that features nine NSA hacking tools, six of which are used for intelligence gathering. Just one is used for “defensive” purposes – to protect U.S. government networks against intrusions.

 

Before it can extract data from an implant or use it to attack a system, the NSA must first install the malware on a targeted computer or network.

 

According to one top-secret document from 2012, the agency can deploy malware by sending out spam emails that trick targets into clicking a malicious link. Once activated, a “back-door implant” infects their computers within eight seconds.

 

Consequently, the NSA has turned to new and more advanced hacking techniques. These include performing so-called “man-in-the-middle” and “man-on-the-side” attacks, which covertly force a user’s internet browser to route to NSA computer servers that try to infect them with an implant.

 

In one man-on-the-side technique, codenamed QUANTUMHAND, the agency disguises itself as a fake Facebook server. When a target attempts to log in to the social media site, the NSA transmits malicious data packets that trick the target’s computer into thinking they are being sent from the real Facebook. By concealing its malware within what looks like an ordinary Facebook page, the NSA is able to hack into the targeted computer and covertly siphon out data from its hard drive. A top-secret animation demonstrates the tactic in action.

 

The man-in-the-middle tactic can be used, for instance, to covertly change the content of a message as it is being sent between two people, without either knowing that any change has been made by a third party. The same technique is sometimes used by criminal hackers to defraud people.

 

“The thing that raises a red flag for me is the reference to ‘network choke points,’” he says. “That’s the last place that we should be allowing intelligence agencies to compromise the infrastructure – because that is by definition a mass surveillance technique.”

 

In many cases, firewalls and other security measures do not appear to pose much of an obstacle to the NSA. Indeed, the agency’s hackers appear confident in their ability to circumvent any security mechanism that stands between them and compromising a computer or network. “If we can get the target to visit us in some sort of web browser, we can probably own them,” an agency hacker boasts in one secret document. “The only limitation is the ‘how.’”

 

GCHQ cooperated with the hacking attacks despite having reservations about their legality. One of the Snowden files, previously disclosed by Swedish broadcaster SVT, revealed that as recently as April 2013, GCHQ was apparently reluctant to get involved in deploying the QUANTUM malware due to “legal/policy restrictions.” A representative from a unit of the British surveillance agency, meeting with an obscure telecommunications standards committee in 2010, separately voiced concerns that performing “active” hacking attacks for surveillance “may be illegal” under British law.

 

When even the GCHQ is questioning the legality of a surveillance program you know you’ve gone too far. Way too far.

Full article here.

 

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Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:47 | 4541543 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

and just think Mike voted for obama

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:57 | 4541583 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Awww. Thats cute that you think voting matters.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:01 | 4541596 Mister Kitty
Mister Kitty's picture

I want Obama to be my BFF.  Bitches.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:06 | 4541606 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

How many sock puppet accounts do you have on ZH so you can pimp your sorry-ass blog? If the Tylers find out, yer outta here.

http://www.zerohedge.com/users/dunce-0

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:14 | 4541634 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

When they want to take over the internet it won't be by infected emails.  It will be by infected Windows Updates, take over of all major internet "choke points" in and out of the country and implanted code that's probably already in most commercial routers.  In short, they'll nuke it from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure.

Frankly, it's probably already happened.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:26 | 4541661 Ralph Spoilsport
Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:53 | 4541753 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Just one more in a list of hundreds of reasons to avoid FaceFuk & other "Social Networking" sites like it.

FACE-FUKKED

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:12 | 4541803 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

I keep seeing these Google Shopping Express cars and vans around. Next up, the Google Milkman.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:16 | 4541812 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Bend over, it's time for your google milking.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:33 | 4541850 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Isn't it nasty how the aggregation, analytics-building, and selling of your information works kind of the same way milk, milk products, dairy, and the infamous "dairy products" (lololol) are made and sold?

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 05:46 | 4542131 Occident Mortal
Occident Mortal's picture

I think by now we get it.

 

They can blackmail anyone.

 

They can target anyone or anyone close to anyone and control them with blackmail.

Even if you are squeeky clean, they can blackmail your kids, your partner, your siblings, your parents, anyone. Or they can control people with power over those close to you. This is why privacy is important.

 

Creating a sprawling centralised database of everybodies secrets is a very bad thing to do, it is an insane weakness in national security especially when you can only assume that the NSA is crawling with Russian and Chinese spies. Every intelligence agency in the world is staffed with at least some double agents. To assume your agency staff are 100% loyal and are who they say they are is incredibly naive. That's why you avoid having a centralised system where a mere infanty private is able to download millions of diplomatic cables.

 

The funniest thing about Bradly Manning's wikileaks case was that the US appeared to think their cables were secure. and evenwent around apologising for the security leak. Every country in the world must have been laughing hard after that call as everyone has double agent of at least private rank in the US army and therefore free access to all this "secure" material.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:21 | 4542185 negative rates
negative rates's picture

We have met the enemy, and it is us. We must get rid of "they".

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 09:32 | 4542510 simplejustice
simplejustice's picture

Yeah, just like child porn showing up on your computer right after you make a political contribution to the wrong party.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:20 | 4541818 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

I remember being subtly mocked by some "really smart people" (but having others agree with me) when I first hypothesized that Facebook, Google & other search engines & social networking sites were essentially the ultimate data aggregator tools & efficient invaders of privacy ever developed, that intelligence agencies would never be able to resist commandeering for their ultimate purposes (and with an "ends justifies the means" mentality, with little'regard for due process, the constitution, etc.).

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:28 | 4541838 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

I thought facebook's NSA, spy feature that perpetuated the arab spring and other popular uprisings was one of the main income prodcers that made facebook a fundamentaly sound investment choice? :/

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 09:20 | 4542457 SamAdams
SamAdams's picture

End the Fed, you are obviously a tin-foil KUKOO...  Darpa had nothing to do with MyFace, and Zuckerberg is an unconnected prodigy that invented it all by himself, said the average USSA citizen.

Silver-smurf, your sarcasm is appalling... Thank G_d Facebook and Twitter were there to ring freedom in the Arab world.  It worked very well, as intended, said the Crown, Rockefeller, Bush and Saudi families.

 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:28 | 4541839 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

...would never be able to resist commandeering for their ultimate purposes. 

Ms. Jones, we love your resume. We see you have been to Princeton, Harvard, Stanford and Yale. However, we found a picture of you blowing a donkey in Tijuana on your Facebook page. Do not worry, this does not preclude that you do not get the internship...no, no, no....I would just like you to...give me a reason..why you are the best candidate for the JOB. 

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 03:46 | 4546845 o2sd
o2sd's picture

Ms Jones: Picture yourself as the donkey.

 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 05:06 | 4542102 Perfecthedge
Perfecthedge's picture

Ooooh, noooo....the NSA will read all the comments made by my fake 18 year old girl on Fukbook!!! Are you serious? And what about my other 10 fake personas? Will they all go to Gitmo for selling web cam shows?

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 09:29 | 4542503 General Decline
General Decline's picture

Corrupt data is useless. Flood it all with trash, I say.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 08:24 | 4542301 sleigher
sleigher's picture

Time to batten down wireless?  Nah...   Get rid of it all together.  Only use an OS like debian, or even better Tails.  encrypt absolutely everything and only ever use TOR.  Even if you go through all that, they still own whatever they want.  They can still get in the PC, 3G in the CPU, and get your keys.  At least Tails covers your tracks when you shutdown.  Wipes memory.  It is something at least.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:29 | 4541684 ghengis86
ghengis86's picture

~12 years ago in my 'Murcia red team/blue team days, some 'tin foiler' told me the government could use your computer to spy on you with their microphones and webcams. I laughed and ridiculed them. Man, was I a douche.

Conspiracy theory, meet conspiracy fact yet again.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:38 | 4541707 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

In the Windows 95/98 days, we were turning on the webcams and mics of any user who was on IRC and didn't know about things like Gold scripts. Good times.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:39 | 4543488 ultramaroon
ultramaroon's picture

Back Orifice made it so easy. And it, like the NSA QUANTUM plugins, had what CODC called "BUTTplugs": Butt Sniffer (protocol analyzer, natch), Butt Trumpet (e-mails the target's IP to the operator), and Saran Wrap and Silk Rope (which bundled BO with "legitimate" programs and installed BO when you ran the bundle).

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:26 | 4542725 Doubleguns
Doubleguns's picture

I hope your not laughing at those who say they can turn on your mic and camera on your cell phone too!!!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 05:55 | 4542134 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

Your point about Windows updates is a good one.  It'd be astonishing if the people in charge of this spyware program hadn't thought about those already.

It's not the whole solution, but surely anyone who cares about privacy should realize by now that the first step is: Don't use Windows!

Mac OS X, being Unix-based, is much more secure -- though you're still trusting that Apple themselves haven't been compromised, knowingly or otherwise.

Linux can be better still, though it requires a bit more technical skill.  It'd be great if a few of the main Linux distributions were to take advantage of the post-Snowden fallout: put some effort into making their systems' default settings as secure as possible, provide privacy tools that make strong cryptography reasonably easy to use, and then publicize the fact far and wide.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 06:43 | 4542152 Mad Muppet
Mad Muppet's picture

And how many damned anti-virus updates do you get? Seems like mine updates about twice a week. Pile on from .gov? Seriously, how many flaws can there be in an OS that it needs to be updated weekly, forever?

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:20 | 4542696 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

I'm guessing you're using a Windoze OS...

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:44 | 4542218 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

I don't see changing operating systems as a viable long-term solution.

I think that changing/replacing the gubmint is the only potentially viable long-term solution.  Difficult to accomplish with a populace that is asleep.  I would think that it would then be necessary to liquidate the NSA and start from scratch.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:50 | 4543561 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

Well, that'd be a preferable solution, certainly, but a bit harder to implement.  Changing your OS is entirely under your own control.

Snowden's comments about encryption were telling.  Basically, if the NSA/GCHQ/grey aliens are out to get you specifically, you're in trouble no matter what.  But if you're simply trying to preserve what little is left of your private data and communications, encryption at least keeps you out of the main dragnets.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 08:27 | 4542312 sleigher
sleigher's picture

Tails.  It is what you are talking about.  Maybe not exactly but I think it is as close as you are gonna get.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:29 | 4542741 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

That's the idea, definitely.  Will have to try it out.  Thanks for the link!

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:16 | 4541644 One World Mafia
One World Mafia's picture

Write it in and skip the electronics.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:00 | 4541591 maskone909
maskone909's picture

Yep. They really betrayed our trust.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:57 | 4541765 JohnnyBriefcase
JohnnyBriefcase's picture

This would have required some intial trust.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:17 | 4541790 balolalo
balolalo's picture

ASSUME everything online or connected is compromised and under control/monitor or can be if "warranted" by "someone". 

In the end, being afraid/paranoid is what they want you to be.  You are more profitable that way.  

TPTB know understand when the masses aren't afraid is when TSHTF, the jig is up, the bubble pops, and chaos follows.  And more often than not it ends as an opportunists bazaar.... at the expense of the people.  Money buying itself back in.  

Exhibit A: Egypt .... Exhibit B: Kiev .... Exhibit C: ???

The true way forward out of this dystopian police state is not let that faze you and still speak the truth and call them out on their BULLSHIT.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:25 | 4541930 Superdude
Superdude's picture

What if Sowden et. al., were just making this stuff up? They're not plants, Sowden really worked for the NSA and then quit or ate shit. Either way he proves cred to Greenwald with NSA tags, then starts talking all kinds of shit. Turns out, punk gets lucky and some shit is really going on. Sowden keeps spewing tales and Greenwald keeps reporting other parts. Thing is, this is such big news now NSA cannot confirm or deny that what Sowden is saying is actually true, and he's nail gun proof because NSA will be implicated in his death. If NSA couldn't do all this awesome shit, they'd look weak at a time when apperance is all Merica has. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:55 | 4542239 Landrew
Landrew's picture

So which part of the program do you work for? The trolling was last weeks info.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:22 | 4542708 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"He knows not the peace of Landrew!"

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:25 | 4541931 Superdude
Superdude's picture

What if Sowden et. al., were just making this stuff up? They're not plants, Sowden really worked for the NSA and then quit or ate shit. Either way he proves cred to Greenwald with NSA tags, then starts talking all kinds of shit. Turns out, punk gets lucky and some shit is really going on. Sowden keeps spewing tales and Greenwald keeps reporting other parts. Thing is, this is such big news now NSA cannot confirm or deny that what Sowden is saying is actually true, and he's nail gun proof because NSA will be implicated in his death. If NSA couldn't do all this awesome shit, they'd look weak at a time when apperance is all Merica has. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:36 | 4542205 the tower
the tower's picture

All this "awesome shit" is not only done by NSA but also by private firms. If you can cough up the money then the world is an open book...

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:33 | 4542202 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

Protip: Never have a private conversation in the presence of a computer or cell phone.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:00 | 4541594 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

Unfortunately, this didn't start with Obama, and won't end with him. I think the intelligence agencies have taken on a life of their own over the years. Ike warned us back in the '50's. They just didn't have the technology back then.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:04 | 4541612 Luckhasit
Luckhasit's picture

Shit.  That never stopped Hoover and his fantastic warehouse of blackmail material. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 03:04 | 4542020 Cap Matifou
Cap Matifou's picture

Hoover also said:
"The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists."

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 06:58 | 4542164 mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture

What he should have said is:

"The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a monstrous conspiracy so evil he cannot believe it exists."

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:10 | 4541627 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

There used to be a joke about the CIA in the late 70s. It was something like "CIA is currently hiring operatives at all levels. If interested, pick up your phone and talk to the dial tone".

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:47 | 4541734 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

LOL!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:00 | 4542165 mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture

Radical, is that your shortest Zerohedge posting ever?

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:41 | 4542212 pies_lancuchowy
pies_lancuchowy's picture

today you don't have to pick up the phone.. just talk

tomorrow, I'll be enough when you just THINK

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:21 | 4541658 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Supposing the information in the article is accurate then what would stop the NSA from owning, everyone.  We know politicians and judges can be purchased.  Big business seems to be vulnerable.  Why not bankers and generals too?  I think the only question is if someone at the top of the NSA has figured out just how much power they really have and if they are willing to exploit it to the fullest measure.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:45 | 4541872 caustixoid
caustixoid's picture

BINGO!  If you can listen in to Jamie Dimon's/Warren Buffet's/Obama's/JCOS phone calls, do you not trump all other agencies/organizations?  Do you not now rule the world?

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:38 | 4542207 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

The ultimate frontrunning. Get inside a major trader'a head and find out what they are going to do before they do it.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 02:24 | 4541983 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

Already done, these assholes are into everything and everyone's business.

It's not who you know, it's what you know about who. Information is king, the shit they know.

He who controls the spice... BITCHEZ!

 

Soon.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 05:18 | 4542112 Flagit
Flagit's picture

 

I think the only question is if someone at the top of the NSA has figured out just how much power they really have and if they are willing to exploit it to the fullest measure.

 

well, mentality like this is certainly a start.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-15/man-charge-nsa-modeled-his-offi...

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 08:11 | 4542266 jerry_theking_lawler
jerry_theking_lawler's picture

Ever see the movie 'Swordfish'....do you think it was based on fact or fiction?

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:09 | 4541623 max2205
max2205's picture

Who could dream it would come to this all with fighting terrorism as the excuse....

 

 

It's over, no one can save us now.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:23 | 4541660 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Faith in the almighty will save you.  Not in this life of course.  This life is but temporary.  You are going to die.   Now cheer up.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:29 | 4541683 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Fred Nietzsche would be proud of you.  :)

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:31 | 4541846 Boxed Merlot
Boxed Merlot's picture

Nietzsche's dead...

 

...God

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 02:25 | 4541985 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

I'm feeling Montesquieu-ish.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 08:33 | 4542326 Hayabusa
Hayabusa's picture

Take your proselytizing elsewhere, this is a thinking man's forum and we do NOT believe in an imaginary diety like God, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, that Harry Potter et al are real etc.  Grow up and leave your childish "faith in the almighty" in the same place of disillusionment you left the easter bunny and santa.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:38 | 4543826 Zerozen
Zerozen's picture

You don't speak for all of us, and "thinking man" is probably the last thing I would use to describe an atheist. Tell me again how one proves that something doesn't exist?

Footnote: I'm not particularly religious.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 08:33 | 4542327 Hayabusa
Hayabusa's picture

Take your proselytizing elsewhere, this is a thinking man's forum and we do NOT believe in an imaginary diety like God, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, that Harry Potter et al are real etc.  Grow up and leave your childish "faith in the almighty" in the same place of disillusionment you left the easter bunny and santa.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:35 | 4542771 Doubleguns
Doubleguns's picture

Posted twice. Dumb and dumber. God works in mysterious ways and he is obiously working on you. LOL

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:44 | 4541726 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Who could dream it would come to this all with fighting terrorism as the excuse....

George Orwell.

 

My motto: "If you have nothing to hide... you're probably boring as hell and can't think for yourself, therefore I don't want to know you."

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:45 | 4541870 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

They are concerned because eventually the criminals and bad guys will have the capability making the internet not safe anymore and in so trying to control and blackmail people your enemies get the information also and in turn open up our system to being subverted.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:15 | 4542989 rotagen
rotagen's picture

Do like I do, allocate 1/64th of a second every day to worrying about these pinch-butt govt. drones with Buzzcuts, no upper lip, pencil-necked pinheads.  If you wanna know what I mean just look at the new head of the NSA.  Then spend the rest of the day laughing at their pitiful wasted lives. But remember, pride of knowledge is most difficult to discard, and it must be discarded.  Siddharameshwar.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:49 | 4541549 Wen_Dat
Wen_Dat's picture
The Most Evil And Disturbing NSA Spy Practices To-Date Have Just Been Revealed

Shit we already knew

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:48 | 4541736 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Shit we already presumed.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:34 | 4541851 DIgnified
DIgnified's picture

I stopped referring these things as "presumptions' after the nonsense I've read regarding the 2008 DNC convention.  Its been non-stop confirmation ever since.  2012 legalization of propaganda made seeing whats going on easier.  Just looked at what the mouthpeces were spitting out, and assumed the opposite.  

Theres simple formulas; to figure out who to listen to (Mouthpiece bashing X then X=Something Worth Checking Out); to figure out who a terrorist is (Citizen angry with Govt w/a western central bank=Terrorist/Citizen angry with Govt w/o a Western central bank = oppressed dissident); to figure out who is a propaganda source (News media outlet + employee with family in the admin, = Propaganda).

 

 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:04 | 4541899 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

No, RM is right.  What we know is that the NSA is spying on all sorts of shit that it shouldn't.  What we are still learning is all of the different ways that it is doing this, and the methods are where the presumptions come in. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 02:27 | 4541989 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

You lost me at "2008 DNC convention". Sorry just saying...

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 08:28 | 4542315 DOT
DOT's picture

I got lost at the '68 Convention. Damn good thing!

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:51 | 4541559 pods
pods's picture

Just what I wanted to read before hitting the sack.

I can only hope that this shit hits the courts and backfires on their asses.

Who will believe that anything nefarious on your computer wasn't planted there?

pods

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:03 | 4541602 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Honey, why do you have so many porn sites on your favorites? 

Fucking, NSA, Honey. I told you about these guys...remember? 

That's right...I forgot. 


Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:24 | 4541664 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Yeah that excuse is wearing thin.  Got any more ideas?

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:36 | 4541702 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

1. Somebody hacked our Wifi. 

2. My buddy likes Asian porn...but he can not watch it as his house. So, I offered to help. 

3. I meant to search for kitty and pussy came up instead. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:07 | 4541902 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Having openly shown my friends things like "Death By Horse Cock," I'm not too worried about excuses here. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:15 | 4541911 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

4. Ok, I admit it, honey. The porn is mine. I repent. However, at least I do not have anything on my computer with chicks being impaled by equines. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:41 | 4541945 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

LOL - But whoever said it was a chick?

 

It's another two girls one cup type video.  It is a lot more fun to show to other people than it is to watch.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:09 | 4541619 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Courts? haha.  They ruled Obiecare a tax which is unconstitutional, but what difference does it make at this point.  We need more rope.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:11 | 4541628 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

ROPE 2016

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:14 | 4541640 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Breaking News, Reuters. 

Senator Rope, Independent, has been arrested after child pornography found on his hard drive. 

Next! 

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:45 | 4541730 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Rope and Chains 2016

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:50 | 4541742 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Breaking News, Reuters 

Congresswoman, Chains...Independent, found dead with multiple stab wounds to chest. At this point, the case is being ruled a suicide by county cororner Dr. Fuckstick McCunt. 

Next!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 02:33 | 4541993 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

I wonder what kind of shit they are dangling in front of the traitorous criminal Feinstein that she's so butt hurt all of a sudden.

Bitch.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:42 | 4542811 Doubleguns
Doubleguns's picture

PODs when the IRS floats an idea that they were hacked and that is why the tea party was singled out ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING could be now floated through court. 

 

No sir the child porn was planted there by the govt courtesy of the NSA. I did not write that email the one I wrote said nothing about shooting anyone. Nope, I never heard of her and never sent her a picture of my junk and I have never heard of Carlos Danger. This has serious implications for anything copied, down loaded or retreived from your computer from this day forward. 

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:51 | 4541560 starman
starman's picture

Dear NSA and employees I truly wish deth to all you sick motherfuckers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:29 | 4541671 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Careful about up arrowing this post above. The NSA will automatically download malware to your computer if you approve this message.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:51 | 4541749 underman
underman's picture

Come and get me. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:06 | 4541786 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Or child porn

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:52 | 4541565 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

It only becomes important when someone is being targeted for fudge packing video's. 

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:53 | 4541567 Vagabond
Vagabond's picture

It makes little sense to me that Edward Snowden's revelations are getting released in slow spurts like this... as if to optimize the story's ratings.  Is this a divide and conquer strategy?

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:56 | 4541579 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Behind the US constitution as drop back. 

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:20 | 4541649 Tom Terrific
Tom Terrific's picture

Gradual release of the documents is extremely smart of them to do.  If they were released en mass 8 mo ago then everyone (at least the sheep) would have forgotten about them by now.  Release over an extended period of time keeps the issue in the public eye for as long as they have material to release.  This is EXACTLY what is needed to effect change (if there is any chance of it).  It allows the public and the IT community to digest the gravity of it as each peice is released.  Additionally it is the only responsible way to release it.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:26 | 4541670 Vagabond
Vagabond's picture

Are you sure they aren't boiling the frog?

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:37 | 4541703 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I was wondering about innoculation and building up immunity to noticing the disease. But if it is real, this would be the way to go about it.

They will leave the best shit for last if that is the case.

Keep em commin'!

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:49 | 4541741 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

The last nugget to be revealed is that Michelle is a man.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:52 | 4541752 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

"That's not a First Lady, it's a man, baby!"

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:00 | 4541773 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

So where dem babies come from???!!! (shockface)

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 09:45 | 4542559 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

central casting.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:18 | 4541796 BlackChicken
BlackChicken's picture

Jon Rappaport has been all over this since day one of Snowden; I think he is right saying something (a lot of something's) don't add up here.
A link to the latest article about his thoughts:
http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/is-edward-snowden-lying/

There is allegedly a turf war brewing between the CIA and NSA. Just yesterday we hear about hagstein finding out the CIA has been poking around and her outrage over it (but not when done to 'us' little people). Now we have fresh info on the NSA again being complete asswipes with our rights again. This is just getting wierder by the day.

If you are using tax payer money, to circumvent rights you swore to fight for and defend, YOU are a terrorist. Period. Want to find the really bad guys who hate America and its remaining freedoms? Just look in the mirror and try not to vomit.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 02:35 | 4541996 Tom Terrific
Tom Terrific's picture

Confirmation of 911 being a false flag would be the ultimate icing.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 09:18 | 4542461 Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

Confirmation of 911 being a false flag would be the ultimate icing.

^THIS

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 09:19 | 4542468 AE911Truth
AE911Truth's picture

Already is confirmed by physical evidence.
Oh, you meant confirmed by the government criminals?
Who cares what they say.

Http://www.911Truth.org

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:25 | 4542717 Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

Agreed. This however may be the only thing that makes people pick up the pitchforks besides going hungry. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:01 | 4541777 UselessEater
UselessEater's picture

sure feels like conditioning a state of helplessness and resignation while life goes on.

The boiling frogs scenario with an obssessive focus on the NSA - in reality it goes beyond the NSA, beyond the 5 Eyes, straight to the same masters with controlling interests in global corporations, NGO's & national governments.... that tiny wealthy minority which is so fearful of the 7 billion majority wrenching economic independance and liberty from that minorities intergenerational theft and control of resources.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 02:38 | 4541998 Tom Terrific
Tom Terrific's picture

No, I'm not sure, but without the leak I believe we would be worse off.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 08:40 | 4542347 Hayabusa
Hayabusa's picture

Boiling the frog?  That ship has sailed and is now plural.  Release the info in small pieces?  Sounds like the gubmint... like they know best when, what and how much

information those of us out here can take at one time.  Obama, Washington.... and Snowden et al are all selling us short out here.  Release it all or don't release it

at all or I withdraw ANY support I would have otherwise offered.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 08:40 | 4542348 Hayabusa
Hayabusa's picture

Boiling the frog?  That ship has sailed and is now plural.  Release the info in small pieces?  Sounds like the gubmint... like they know best when, what and how much

information those of us out here can take at one time.  Obama, Washington.... and Snowden et al are all selling us short out here.  Release it all or don't release it

at all or I withdraw ANY support I would have otherwise offered.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:35 | 4542772 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Death by a thousand cuts...

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:31 | 4541689 WhyWait
WhyWait's picture

I've wondered about that, but I think it's good.

First the files are all being screened to remove the names of agents who could be exposed and hurt, which takes time.  Should Snowden's agents be doing that?  It's a good question, but that's who Ed Snowden is, at least not until he's gotten kicked in the teeth enough to get really, seriously mad. 

Second the purpose of the leaks is not just exposing practices but generating a national, an international conversation about what the NSA, the Security State, the Empire are doing.  Could we have handled this all at once?  I think not.  The media would have picked out what they thought were the most important points, we would have chewed on them for a month or two, and then this issue would have disappeared.

These measured releases over time are allowing each issue to be taken up and examined, with far fewer being overlooked.  Step by step more peope are brought into the larger conversation. And our minds are being prepared for the next one. Gradually the sense of overwhelm is lifting, and we can look at these things as "OK, that's awful, but interesting."   Slowly, step by step, the focus is shifting to how do we shut this monstrosity down.

Even the latest outburst by Nancy Pelosi - yes, certainly she's a contemptable hipocryte for making a big deal about them targeting her and her committee, after all the excuses she made for the NSA, after all her looking the other way as they targeted everyone else.  But that's still a win!  

The scoundrels are turning on each other!  The fabric of their seemingly water-tight empire is starting to shred!  This national conversation on the NSA and spyingt goes on and on, with one new revelation after another, one constituency after another reaching the outrage threshold, and it's generating the kind of pressure in which the NSA's defenders are starting to crack!

Do you think that could have happened if Snowden had just dumped all his files on a public server?

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:39 | 4541706 Vagabond
Vagabond's picture

It seems too good to be true.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:04 | 4541781 WhyWait
WhyWait's picture

It does. I think it's good, but yes, maybe too good.

Stay skeptical my friend.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 02:38 | 4541999 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

We all know the score here... most are done talking about it, the criminals need to be removed.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:07 | 4541788 UselessEater
UselessEater's picture

And I have not found any indications that anything has/will change from these revelations other than some unlikely claims Brazil will start their own internet and it to will do no evil.....

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:11 | 4541795 Drifter
Drifter's picture

"The scoundrels are turning on each other!  The fabric of their seemingly water-tight empire is starting to shred!   "it's generating the kind of pressure in which the NSA's defenders are starting to crack!"

Wishful thinking nonsense.  Daydreaming.   Or just plain dreaming.

Those "scoundrels" and their "defenders" aren't feeling any pressure at all, they know Americans are sheep just making lot's of noise, just whining and complaining, and that's all they'll ever do.

When zerocare didn't spawn an armed revolution, that's it, nothing else will.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:47 | 4541874 WhyWait
WhyWait's picture

So your standard is an "armed revolution"?  The people are sheeple because they don't want to start shooting?  Many are veterans.  They've seen war up close and personal.   Many are ready to fight again if they have to, but they're not so crazy as to want to unleash that on their homes and neighbors.

But real revolutions mostly aren't violent, at least not until counter-revolution or foreign invasion forces it on them.  Even our own wasn't!  This belief that a revolution is a war, a belief enshrined in the multiply-amputated version of history we're taught in school,  is one of the biggest things holding us back.

Read "The First American Revolution, Before Lexington and Concord" by Ray Raphael.  Then let go of your contempt for the "sheeple" and prepare to catch the wave.  That fire in your heart?  We all share it.  

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:14 | 4541916 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Yes, there were several years of contempt for what the UK was doing to the colonists. 

 

Also, for people who want an armed revolution, ask yourself this question:  Where was your last meal produced?

 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 09:41 | 4542547 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

You don't need an armed revolution.

Just shut down the comms and data centers.

If you are a romantic, I guess you could go with "Jihad."

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 06:51 | 4542160 Drifter
Drifter's picture

Nothing less than armed revolt physically arresting everybody in DC (physically removing them from office) will change this govt. 

I'm not alone in this view.  I see many comments on ZH about "guilliotines" and similar extreme actions.

But it won't happen of course.  Americans just don't have it in them.

So bottom line, this govt will never be brought back under the constitution.  I believe we're heading to full out communism.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:23 | 4541828 WhyWait
WhyWait's picture

Another reason: as the Federal Government gets more and more freaked out, as their pressure on 4 million Federal workers and contractors with Security Clearances, over a million with Top Security clearances, continues to build, all of those workers are reading these revelations too!  Even if they don't dare share their thoughts with their co-workers or even their spouses, they can't help thinking and feeling.  You can't just shut that off.  And new resolves are surely forming in their hearts. 

Maybe one revelation really gets to someone, the next to someone else. The strain of resisting the steady barrage of revelations takes first one to a decision point, the next to another.  

The cumulative effect of escalating repression will be an explosion, an outpouring of non-compliance and truth-telling from our public servants.  We haven't heard from them yet, we haven't seen it, but it must be so.

One more stream feeding into the great river of rebellion that's coming.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 04:54 | 4542092 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Drip
...

Drip

...

Drip

...

Chinese water torture for the PTB.

No wonder they were so unhappy with Mr snowden

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 06:10 | 4542138 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

Very well said, WW.

To add to that:  As the Snowden revelations continue to mount up, the family and friends and neighbours of these government workers may start to ask them some hard questions, and to draw back or even shun them if they are seen to be evasive, or apologists for statist repression.

Belonging and approval are very basic needs.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 06:57 | 4542162 Drifter
Drifter's picture

There is no "river of rebellion" coming.   Forget it.  

Just a river of bitching and complaining, which the internet has made possible in a way never imagined.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:09 | 4541908 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

Great post.

I think we have to also stop looking at these revelations solely as a spectator sport and everyone aware needs to get politically active to restore liberty.

The narrative should start to branch to a real criminal investigation, accountability, punishment and never-ending vigilance.

 

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.~ Mahatma Gandhi

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:06 | 4542170 Drifter
Drifter's picture

Liberty never has been restored politically. Never.  Ever.

Bloody revolution is the only thing that has ever done it, and no, it won't happen in America.

America will be the first communist nation where the people have 400 million guns.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:56 | 4541571 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Where is Gabriel (John Travolta) from the movie Swordfish when you need him?

 

He'd stop this modern day Carnivore(tm) program butt cold!

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:15 | 4541641 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

It was Hugh Jackman's character who was l33t h4xor. Travolta came off as a scientologist disguised as a pimp.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:55 | 4541574 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

And along the same lines: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/homeland-security-...  I'm guessing I won't need to have a prostrate exam done in the future.  I can just ring up the NSA and ask them if there's anything up my ass I should know about, seeing as they've been in there for a few years...and I'm hoping Obiecare picks up the phone call.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:42 | 4541716 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I loves me some Krispkritter but I gotta do it...

"prostrate exam"

Do they like, make you lie down on your face and worship them during the exam?

I'm a woman so I don't know about these things. Edumacate me!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:25 | 4541832 Boxed Merlot
Boxed Merlot's picture

Do they like, make you lie down on your face and worship them...

 

 

That's the position one assumes afterwards, kinda like a muslim and the call to prayer, trying to get the 32psi colon bloat to return to regular atmospheric pressure.  One sure wouldn't want all that air to escape vertically ya know. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 08:53 | 4542373 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Ms, my understanding is that you're face down, facing away.  Not sure though, I only do PSA tests(bloodwork) currently.  Friends who've had them say were put under for the procedure after enduring a fast period and some sort of 'cleansing' drink to evacuate everything in the preceding 12 hours.  Not something I would put on my bucket list so I'm hoping the new crop of testing methods make the old 'roto-rooter routine' obsolete...

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:55 | 4541576 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

i have a fairly sophisticated security program somebody please tell me i am not wasting my money

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:02 | 4541600 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

Well it depends, are you using Cisco or Juniper routers or Dell servers?  If you are, rethink your security.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:03 | 4541605 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I have a webcam shot of you naked, sitting in a bean bag chair, eating Cheetoh's, surfing ZH...and OMG, is that a picture of Miley Cyrus naked on a wrecking ball on your desktop?  You sick pervert!  Just kidding...you're fine.  And besides, it's not your money, the IRS has discovered you've been selling Photoshopped naked pics of Justin Bieber on your Ebay account and they want 45% of everything you own. IRS representative Ben T. Dover will be 'in touch' shortly. Please place your hands on the wall and repeat 'I am a meat popsicle.'  

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:28 | 4541677 Vagabond
Vagabond's picture

meat popsicle was a great finish.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:49 | 4541739 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

Yeah...too bad Korbin Dallas didn't use it.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 08:58 | 4542396 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Guilty! and the Cheetoh's bit was borrowed from Ron White.  Now I want to watch that again just to see Milla nekked...that's one good thing that came out of the Ukraine.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:38 | 4541700 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

The NSA command and control suite sounds a lot like modern managed security suites.  You can translate a lot of it function for function, just substitute the smaller task specific programs (log grabber = data vacuum).

No software package will make you secure.  You have to practice secure computing and even then you are likely to get owned if targeted.  Real security experts will tell you that you cannot truly secure a computer and its data without destroying them.  It's all about reducing exposure and vulnerability and increasing detection and whatever flavor of the month theory according to the so called experts.  It's interesting how many of the so called experts have reacted with surprise to many of the Snowden revelations.  These are the people behind your security programs.

Did your security program boast of its ability to protect you from the NSA?  Probably not.  If the security software companies are like other technology companies, they rolled over a long time ago.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:14 | 4541905 MrPalladium
MrPalladium's picture

There are distinctions to be made. If these malware insertions are succeeding it is because McAfee, Norton and Symantic are allowing them to succeed and of course Microsoft builds its operating system to make commercial spying and data mining easy. And therein lies the problem. Covering up all the holes in Microsoft's deliberate swiss cheese requires additional software and systems overhead.

Kaspersky, the Russian outfit, says they block all threats, especially from the govenment. I had kaspersky flag as malware and block an exe file in an update to Nero burning software that would have transmitted data on what I was burning over the internet without my knowledge. In otherwords Kaspersky is independent enough to focus on conduct and the nature of outgoing transmissions and protect you from comercial software that will transmit data that you are working on as well as government intrusions. Kaspersky has a program called "system watcher" which will pick up changes in your system, such as unexpected data transmissions out of your machine as a result of malware implants, and then go to the source of the malware and track down the files responsible. System watcher can slow down your computer considerably, but you can disable that aspect of the software if it becomes too burdensome. I also use AVG free anti virus (Czech Republic) on one of my machines and it has become very agressive lately, picking up files that I would not expect were malware. The free version is quite effective and I would not trust any U.S. antivirus company and I would avoid entirely any antivirus packaged with a new computer.

That said, there is a little thing I learned back in the day at "Benning school for Boys" called "radio silence." The principle applies to computing as well. Get in the habit of disabling you internet connection when you are working on projects that do not require you to transmit or receive data over the net. Keep it turned off most of the time. Disable any built in web cam and use a USB web cam, and keep it unplugged at all times when you are not actively using it. Same with a computer (typically a lap top) with a built in microphone. Turn the friggin thing off!!

If you use Firefox install addblock to minimize incoming an outgoing traffic while you surf.

Ninety percent of security is simply staying disconnected from the net.

But with "radio silence" discipline and Kaspersky, you are going to be difficult for NSA to penetrate except with man in the middle and man on the side attacks that usually require expensive hands on human effort.

BTW, I do not have any investment in or other connection with Kaspersky and I am a DHS precheck (unsolicited by me, and not a frequent flyer) so I do not think they would be terribly interested in this boring old man, even though I think our government is criminal to the core.

 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:15 | 4541920 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Great advice. I got in the habit of disconnecting the Ethernet cable back in the 90s. I have a small wireless network now for the kids iJunk and I power down the wireless router except when needed.

Stay away from any Norton product. Absolute crap.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 06:01 | 4542135 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

@MrPalladium

Sound advice all round. The NSA get zero Byte from Me webcam on the grounds that there is none to send from. Ditto mic.

Disabling eth0 connex is good advice but I remember this experience from 2002: "I (personally) started up a brand new box with NO eth0 and NO wifi station being set up for its use. Pretty quickly I received a 'TY for registering Winows' which the XPSP1 OS had seemingly self performed using a non available neighbouring wifi across the road." True story.

I haven't used Nero for a decade - good prog, but I moved on to K3B and dvd::rip pretty much as soon as I discovered their existence.

@Ralph Spoilsport

I tried Norton precisely once. The shit tried to seriously alter my system and came off within the hour. Had to reinstall the OS too. Yet another reason to join the TuxBrigade.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 06:16 | 4542142 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

Absolutely!  Why put up with utter crap like this?

Why anyone still uses MSFT products is a complete mystery to me.

(OK, to be fair, they do make a decent wireless mouse.)

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 07:32 | 4542200 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

(OK, to be fair, they do make a decent wireless mouse.)

I've used wireless rodents too, but not theirs on price grounds. I have since reverted to using wired vermin in the last 5 yrs to remove another area of potential vulnerability.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:44 | 4541724 nowhereman
nowhereman's picture

Sorry, you're wasting your money.

Be ever vigilent my friend, and don't be averse to occasionally reformatting your hard drive.

Your computer is tool you own, don't let it own you.

If you have, must have files, make a backup, the 1TB drives are inexpensive.  Don't use the cloud, you are asking for trouble.

Only buy a laptop with an optical drive (CD,DVD, Blu-ray) A lot of laptops for sale these days don't hve one.  Pay attention.  Get your programs on DVD, keep a hard copy.

Pay Attention, and you can prevent bad things happenning to you.  So called security software makes you complacent, it is expensive and doesn't work against these threats. PAY ATTENTION.

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 22:56 | 4541580 caustixoid
caustixoid's picture

Soon they'll have the data-storage capacity to turn on every cellphone mic and webcam and store it all.  I used to worry about it being used against me later if I came on their radar, but another poster here said they can just plant kiddie porn on any computer if they really want to take someone down. 

Whew, did I feel relieved then.   I mean if you've done nothing wrong, you have no fear of false pedophile charges against you.  Carry on NSA!

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 23:12 | 4541631 krispkritter
Thu, 03/13/2014 - 01:39 | 4541941 MrPalladium
MrPalladium's picture

You can get software that will search image and graphics formats for percentage skin tones which you can then nuke with a freeware program such as Eraser. But most important, you must use freeware Ccleaner or a commercial package such as as Milshield to secure erase your browser cache every day. The only easy way for them to inject kiddie porn onto your computer is through the browser. Clean it at least daily. Also, clean your registry with ccleaner and the MFT file frequently with something like Winhex.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!