Dear America, I Saw You Naked!

Confessions of an ex-TSA Agent.

This article is phenomenal – the work of a former TSA (Transportation Security Administration ) agent from Chicago O’Hare airport. The guy who scans your bags and operates the machines.

I was fascinated at his dismissal of Full Body Scanners (which I once defended), at his accusation that ‘random checks” were not just selective but political (random checks for Algerians but not Saudi Arabians), at his dare to say that most TSA agents hate their jobs, and at the lengths he goes to say agents violate the privacy of women. He has a blog, too (a WordPress!), called Taking Sense Away.  He is also writing a novel.  Check it all out.

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Your car? My car!

Reuters/Tony Gentile

When is enough, enough?

http://rt.com/news/remote-car-disable-eu-413/

The EU is considering mandatorily equipping of all cars sold in the union with devices, which would allow police to remotely disable engines, according to leaked documents….

Facebook decreasing in popularity with youth

Could Facebook be on the way out?

http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/facebook-is-dead-and-buried-replaced-by-simpler-networks-study-finds-20131228-300f7.html

Not surprised. Fads come and go. Perhaps my observations in Socialize Social Media! were wrong.

Striking Back Against Censorship

Copyright abusers do not realize there are bounds.

Well, there are bounds. There are always bounds.

Lux

 

The WordPress.com Blog

The mission of WordPress.com is to democratize publishing. We’re inspired every day by the ways creators use our platform to bring their voices to the world. Unfortunately, we also see many cases of censorship aimed at WordPress.com authors and users.

One area where we’ve seen a number of problems is the censoring of criticism through abuse of copyright law. Two recentcases of abuse really caught our attention and made us think that we needed to take action to fight back on behalf of our users and everyone who believes in the internet’s promise for free expression.

Censorship by DMCA

A common form of censorship by copyright stems from improper use of legal creations called DMCA takedown notices. The DMCA stands for the “Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” which is a US federal law that created a system for protecting copyrights online. The DMCA system works pretty well, but has a…

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Socialize Social Media!

http://nplusonemag.com/socialize-social-media

The argument is strangely appealing….

Al Jazeera in America

Whispers of Satan

In light of Al Jazeera’s recent debut in the United States, I figured I’d talk about my thoughts on this brilliant news network.I learned about this news network a number of years ago, but I didn’t start using it seriously until I found their app on the Android Market. I have since stopped using their app (if you need a news app, I highly recommend Huff Post), but I’ll be watching them on TV as much as possible now. I recommend you all read Al Jazeera’s saga as a news network on Wikipedia. They are a provocative news network that is unafraid to say what it needs to of who it wants to. But they are also “unbiased, fact-based, [with] in-depth news.” Their record proves it.

Al Jazeera was born in 1996 straight out of Qatari government funds. I will grant that the network is biased in favor of Qatar…

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“[Government is…

“[Government is] an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself.” –Ibn Khaldun

Ibn Khaldun was a medieval historian and historiographer.

 

He published a brilliant book called The Muqaddimah, I hope to read it soon. Problem is that it’s 1200 pages.

The Charlie Foxtrot Government

My grandfather came to this country as an immigrant. He spent several years in the educational system before moving forward into the American workforce. He came to this country seeking opportunities and he found them. He worked as an accountant and later an entrepreneur. He took the opportunities he had and used them to provide for my family.

America is seen to many as the land of opportunity. It has tendrils of influence across the globe reaching every continent and almost every country in the world. It is a economic and military force that isn’t easily controlled. It has the most complex intelligence network across the globe. Imagine the sheer complexity of this. The hub of communications, trade, globalization, culture, and the world centralized to one country. Of course, Europe, Asia, and Africa do heavily impact the world – they’re part of it – but when you look at the world from who has the most control over the world – the United States is the answer.

So much power for one country. So much control of the economic structure of the world. Imagine the pressure the House of Representatives must be in right now with the threat of defaulting. So much control over data in the world. Imagine the pressure on the NSA now that they are being exposed. Imagine the pressure on every decision the government makes.

Lets take a look at how the government responds. The House of Representatives are still arguing about a bill that was passed years before. The American People approved of it. The system is flawed and we have politicians that don’t care about what the people say, so they’re going to keep arguing until the very last second. The pressure will be too great and will force their hand. Either that or the debt defaults. Its their choice, either they end their charlie foxtrot arguments or the economy ends up in a charlie foxtrot. How about the NSA?

(Just a side note: I love talking about the NSA. It really gets me going. So I’ll try to keep myself from saying too much. I’ll talk more about the NSA in another post.) The NSA keeps “protecting the country” by reading your emails because you’re a terrorist. And of course since the media is a giant charlie foxtrot, the NSA barely gets any attention anymore. So now they have even more data about what type of porn you like. Isn’t that wonderful?

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the charlie foxtrot government we have today. The land of opportunity that was once what this country could be is now the land of invasion, despair, and disaster for everyone.

Nero Lucifero

Google never forgets.

Image

What is the difference between Google and the NSA? The NSA spies on the world and people of the United States for “national security.” Google on the other hand doesn’t spy on anyone. They do however control the worlds largest search engine (Google Search), the worlds largest email provider (Google Mail), the worlds largest online database of user documents (Google Drive) , a database of your calls and text (Google Voice/Talk), the videos you’ve watched (Youtube), the Internet you use (Google Fiber), the cellphones you use (Android OS) (FYI they know almost every wifi Password in the world if you synchronize your wifi passwords with Google). They know who your friends are (Google+), the books you read (Google Books), your thoughts and ideas (Blogger. Even though you use WordPress, Google knows.). They have your pictures (Picasa), they know where you’re going (Google Maps), they know how much money you have (Google Wallet). They know how busy you are (Google Calendar), they know where you live (Google Maps once again), and they know the type of house that you life in (oh look, Google Maps). They know how you think, what you like, and who you are. And guess what, Google wants to drive your cars.

So, yeah. Google doesn’t spy on anyone.

The scariest part of this is that we give our information to them willingly. You don’t see anyone protesting against Google absorbing all of our data. You only see anti-NSA protests. I’m not saying the NSA isn’t a problem. I’m saying we look at everything. We should analyze where we put our information and make sure that we have complete control over it. Google has control over it. The NSA has control over it. Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, IBM, and every other major technology company has control over it. We, the people, need to regain control over it.

Europeans seem to be less trusting of Google. They raised their fist to Google’s invasion of privacy until they had more time to look over their Privacy Policy. The European Commission attempted to created a new privacy proposal know as the “Right to be Forgotten”, but sadly it was vetoed. At least they tried. However Americans (you know this is going to be good) just clicked dismiss when Google notified them of the changes in Privacy Policy. Now that’s what I call progress.

Going back to what the difference between Google and the NSA is, I would have to say not much. Except for the fact that the NSA (for the most part) uses your information to make sure you’re not going to blow up a bomb and Google… well Google puts your information through algorithms, processes it in ways you nor I will understand, and produces profits. Nice big fat juicy profits.

Remember that every time you fight for your rights or your privacy or well anything. The NSA and Google (and probably Facebook) knows. And they’ll never forget.

Nero Lucifero

Verizon vs Net Neutrality

So I was perusing the internet when I saw an article on Arstechnica: “Verizon’s bid to kill network neutrality law goes to court Monday”. I was furious. Our ability to think, to see, to hear, to type, to participate in the world of information is fundamentally part of every human being. We are genetically coded for it. We are intelligent enough for it. So what does Verizon want to do… kill it and stop net neutrality from ever seeing the light of day. The courts are deciding whether the FCC can impose net neutrality. Sigh so much for our freedoms. Hopefully the courts will decide in favor of the FCC (and in our favor) so that we can still browse our collective knowledge. Hopefully.

Forbes’ article on it!