It must be spy on American’s week given posts on law enforcement asking for your cell data and how the NSA is going to expand its spying on Americans on a massive scale. Now we have this:
Cisco Systems told users of its new high-end home routers — in a roundabout way — they couldn’t use their routers for porn or to send certain types of e-mail and a whole list of other things. …
Last week, Cisco sent out an upgrade to the software that makes its routers work, called firmware. The upgrade affected two models, the EA4500 and the EA2700. Without asking, Cisco moved them to its “Cisco Connect Cloud” service. …
[T]he Cisco Connect Cloud Terms of Service forbids a whole bunch of things including porn, sending advertising e-mails — it won’t even allow you to “encourage any conduct” that would violate the law.
Wait, there’s more. Cisco reportedly [also] deleted a portion of [its] privacy statement that said Cisco would keep track of Connect Cloud customers’ “network traffic” and “Internet history,” ExtremeTech reported.
via Business Insider.
Does anyone think any company could have gotten away with this in the 1960’s or 1970’s? The outrage would have been tremendous.
We’re failing as a society to realize that it’s not polite to air our collective and individual dirty laundry. And we should be especially wary of sharing our family business with corporations that usually have a cozy relationship with the government.
This is very very very bad.
In addition to establishing Internet Freedoms and Net Neutrality we need to start a national discussion on Internet Privacy.
Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.
But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”
Like most Wired articles this one goes into incredible detail about how the government spy’s on you and me.
Frankly, it’s kinda terrifying. I wrote in an earlier post about how we’re at the point in time where Fahrenheit 451 meets 1984. The government now has all the data in needs to know everything about your life. All they have to do now is choose to control it… oh, wait. Check out the Obama health care bill.
Somewhere right now a government jack-booted thug is ordering a few rat masks.
In the first public accounting of its kind, cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a startling 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations.
The cellphone carriers’ reports, which come in response to a Congressional inquiry, document an explosion in cellphone surveillance in the last five years, with the companies turning over records thousands of times a day in response to police emergencies, court orders, law enforcement subpoenas and other requests.
We’re very close to the junction of Fahrenheit 451 and 1984.
There’s something too this:
There is a similar situation going on with gun control in the states. The argument is always”we need the federal government to control all guns because they travel from state to state.”
This is a common theme with people on the “Left.” They realize that their policies are horrible and people will react by leaving. So it’s always not enough to just destroy one state/country, they need to destroy the whole world.
Enter the UN. Note that this week the brain trust at the UN said that we need a global tax to help the poor.
Beware the globalists.
So I’m reading two stories (here and here) about a new law that will effectively outlaw Roll-Your-Own tobacco stores. It’s something I kinda follow because I always thought it was a decent business model (until the government outlaws your business) and another fine example of what steps people will go through to avoid taxes.
A tiny amendment buried in the federal transportation bill to be signed today by President Barack Obama will put operators of roll-your-own cigarette operations in Las Vegas and nationwide out of business at midnight. …
The machines are used by customers who buy loose tobacco and paper tubes from the shop and then turn out a carton of finished cigarettes in as little as 10 minutes, often varying the blend to suit their taste. Savings are substantial – at $23 per carton, half the cost of a name-brand smoke – in part because loose tobacco is taxed at a lower rate.
And I was thinking about how sad this was for all the people who work in this industry: the store owners, their employees, the folks who manufacture the RYO machines, their families, the companies who make the cigarette tubes, and the loose pipe tobacco makers, and all of the folks who work in packaging all of these things.
And then… in the comment section of the Law Vegas article I read this:
James Fliess Jul. 6, 2012 | 2:47 p.m.
Just a thought. My understanding, and maybe I’m wrong, is that cigarettes manufactured by these machines must cost (via taxes) as much as other cigarettes. How about this arrangement. The store sells the tobacco and supplies as they always have, but they do not have a rolling machine. A buisness next door does not sell tobacco or supplies, but it rents time on their rolling machine. Does it work?
Kudos to you Mr. James Fliess!!
Last year, nearly 1,800 Americans surrendered their citizenship. In a nation of 300 million folks, 1,800 émigrés is hardly a rush for the exits. But the recent trend is, nevertheless, intriguing. …
Who knows the exact reason why 1,800 Americans chose to leave last year — nine times as many as left four years earlier. Certainly, each one of them had their reasons. But like a corporate insider that sells his own stock, there’s one thing you know for certain about his motives: he is not selling because he believes the stock will go up. Maybe he doesn’t believe the stock will go down, but no one sells a stock they believe will go up.
via Business Insider.
I wrote about this before. Still no mainstream press on this issue.
Herman Cain has a new website complete with video. My first as so far favorite video is entitled Give a Lamb a Gun.
It’s a priceless quote from Benjamin Franklin.
The video is under 2 minutes… go check it out.
In the city’s most violent districts, police officers say, they may be assigned half a dozen jobs or more—covering everything from traffic accidents to assaults—at the start of a shift. Their watches are spent racing from call to call, while anything that requires investigation stacks up. Officers describe having to weigh whether to make an arrest. The process “downs” their car, taking it off patrol for a few hours or so, which leaves their beat uncovered and puts more pressure on their fellow officers.
Sometimes, they say, when it comes to minor offenses, they just look the other way.
via Chicago magazine – August 2012.
This is from a fairly long piece about Garry McCarthy but it’s this paragraph that struck me.
In Chicago No Report = No Crime. You have beat cops who are overworked / overloaded they and cannot focus on the little things. So what happens? They let some of the little things go because they have more important — higher priority — calls already waiting for them. When this happens the little things don’t get reported. It’s like the crimes never even happened.
Of course Compstat is at the center of this. It gives the Mayor and McCarthy the plausible ability to say things like, “Well overall crime is down.”