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NSA

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The Snowden camp did itself no favors with its critics and skeptics by revealing information from a highly classified NSA document concerning the use of “Targeted Exploitation” a.k.a. TAREX against the People’s Republic of China in a story published by The Intercept. Basic story: undercover operatives penetrate PRC telecommunications companies to bug their products. I’m... Read More
Craig Murray caused quite a fuss in 2004 when, as UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, he openly criticized the systemic and severe human rights abuses of the Karimov regime.  He was publicly and pointedly stomped on by the British government, with the full encouragement of the Bush administration, for complicating Western access to the Karshi-Khanabad airbase... Read More
Since I pretty much made a meal out of this issue over on Twitter, I’m returning from 140-character land to the reassuringly logorrheic surroundings of my blog to share my thoughts on the Fred Kaplan think piece that made the case for denying clemency to Edward Snowden. I was rather bemused by the hosannas this... Read More
Gadzooks! They've cracked the iPhone!? If you're wondering how the NSA developed this fiendish capability, fingers are being pointed at Apple, but a trip through the Wayback machine suggests another possible culprit: From a 2011 article by Mark Elgan at Computerworld: Cellphone users say they want more privacy, and app makers are listening. No, they're... Read More
With RSA, a big and respected name (actually initials) in cryptography, currently getting flayed in the public press for taking $10 million from the NSA and, in return, embedding a dodgy, NSA-compromised random number generator a.k.a. DUAL EC EBRG in its products (RNGs help generate encryption keys; a compromised RNG yields a limited, more crackable... Read More
What rights do humans have? On a global scale, zip, actually. One of the by-products of an increasingly interconnected and interpenetrated world is that the difference between the way nations treat their citizens and the way they treat the rest of the world is becoming more apparent. The issue has been brought into sharp relief... Read More
I’ve come up with a new coinage FUSMAL, “Fucked Up on So Many Levels” to describe the NSA follies. I took note of the recent Washington Post poll which found that 60% of respondents believe that Edward Snowden’s revelations had “harmed U.S. security.” This represented an 11% jump over July, when 49% thought his revelations... Read More
Well, the guy who said this was full of crap: Actual situation, as per the Guardian today, the NSA honored its no-spy-on-five-eye pledge in the breach: Britain and the US are the main two partners in the 'Five-Eyes' intelligence-sharing alliance, which also includes Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Until now, it had been generally understood... Read More
The Internet has been good to me this day. I recently wrote a post on the (to me) unconvincing hero-splaining of the privacy commitments espoused by Google, Yahoo! Et al. in the wake of revelations of “MUSCULAR” NSA intrusions into their data backbones: Publish what? Evidence that Google's security is cracked? Or document Google's hyperbolic... Read More
Back in August, I e-mailed a Guy Who Knows Stuff: And he replied: But then I came across: Poked around a bit, came up empty, didn’t pursue it. Then, today, courtesy of Barton Gellman at the Washington Post,
Also, Snowden Derangement Syndrome and Andrea Merkel’s Phone
I have an article in the current subscription-only CounterPunch magazine on the NSA encryption follies. The takeaway from the article is that, thanks to fiddling by the NSA and its corporate partners, Internet security is a jury-rigged omnishambles. It’s as if the National Transportation Safety Board, with the garages and auto parts suppliers playing along,... Read More
The NSA war on Internet integrity [This piece appeared at Asia Times Online in a slightly different form on October 15, 2013.  It can be reproduced if China Matters is credited and a link provided.  This article is a companion piece to an article appearing in an upcoming issue of CounterPunch magazine, which discusses the... Read More
[Alert Reader pointed out the correct name for the Google Maps program as developed by the US government is "Keyhole", not "Keystone".  Herewith corrected.  Thank you, AR.] On the rational left, Edward Snowden is close to losing the support of Kevin Drum because the most recent revelation—that the government has all sorts of ways and... Read More
[This piece originally appeared at Asia Times Online on June 28, 2013.  It can be reposted if ATOl is acknowledged and a link provided.]  The main problem for Edward Snowden is that he ran away. That's not Edward Snowden's problem; it's America's problem. The idea that Edward Snowden decided to flee overseas in order to... Read More
[This piece originally appeared at Asia Times Online on June 21, 2013.  It can be reposted if ATOl is credited and a link provided.  Thanks to some missed connections during the editing process, in one passage in the ATOl piece, the Daily Caller is misidentified as the Daily Beast...and in another passage the Daily Caller... Read More
[Edited this post lightly for clarity/typos after I sent out the e-mail notice. Be warned!] First, why Hong Kong? My answer: Because he’s a spook. There has been no end of sniggering from the liberal Colonel Blimps that Snowden chose to reveal his identity in Hong Kong. As in (from the Twitter feed of a... Read More
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PastClassics
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The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?