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23 February 2013

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Fred

TTG,

I just watched the whole hour. Very informative. I certainly agree with that feeling of a loss of agency. I'm somewhat conflicted on deciding whether I should be concerned about the security state, or what the nanny employer, or insurance company, is going to do to me.

As an aside I enjoyed jacob's comment that if you're going to have a surveillance state going after people for guilt of association, you should at least have a few jerks in your phone book. As to the actual technology, I think I find it easier to saddle the horse than understand software. Any good primers for a laymen out there (relative to it security)?

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

"I'm somewhat conflicted on deciding whether I should be concerned about the security state, or what the nanny employer, or insurance company, is going to do to me."

No problem. You don't have to decide. Every one of those sons of bitches are out to control you, lie to you and/or take your money. A healthy dose of skepticism and situational awareness is your best defense. For specifics on IT security, just google how to secure your particular router, operating system, browser and email client. That also goes for your cell phone if you use those. There's loads of simple guides out there. If one guide gets too geeky, just look at another one. And stick to the horse and saddle when you can, the bastards can't hack or track an old paint.

Twit

Here is another session from the conference with three US Gov't whistleblowers (2 from the NSA and one from DOJ):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruhAbGGhQjE

A couple thoughts:
First, I found their stories profoundly disturbing and confirmation of many of my worst suspicions about the emerging surveillance state.

Second, I thought Bill Binnie's point about corruption is incredibly important. So many public servants have in the last decade sold out their sense of duty to become contractor millionaires that those that have not are not only the minority but also a target - not because they didn't drink the ideological kool aid (as was the case during for example the early Bush years, as COL Lang wrote about a while back) but simply because these subversives (formerly called public servants) threaten to upset the 'game.' He sums it up nicely that at the NSA it used to be about mission, people, organization, and self, in that order, and that now it's the exact reverse. From my experience it's very common now for people to talk about what's good for a public service mission in a way that also highlights what's in it for them (professionally, personally, financially, etc), even when I get the feeling they don't really believe it.

The contracting bubble will eventually pop , but we will be left with the corruption that it has wrought.

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