Friday, June 14, 2013

A Friday Rant!

It's been quite a week! Almost exhilarating since Project Greenwald was finally implemented. For months, the activist, claiming to be a journalist, has been quietly sifting through thousands of classified documents. Classified documents that were gathered in a dragnet executed by one Ed Snowden. Snowden turned over the product of his indiscriminate data capture program to Glenn Greenwald. Glenn performed the arduous task of searching the vast amounts of data for information relevant to his cause, or as we often call it, "evidence". Hmm, that sounds a lot like the alleged activities of the NSA, nothing surprising here folks. In the spirit of transparency, Glenn is withholding most of the data.

Okay, I've had my fun, but there is a nagging point in there. In all fairness, the WaPo has untold amounts of data unreleased as well. That privacy stuff is catchy, huh?

I'm going to link an article that I find most pertinent. Please share the link on Twitter from the source. But before I do that, I want to say that Chris Hayes is not an "evil-doer" nor is he a willfully ignorant hipster enamored with the ideal of a civil liberties Utopia. I like Chris, I can tolerate his show and I apologize to tweeps for using him as a punching bag through the week. There are two issues that I find repulsive, however. One is this new movement to blur the lines between activism and journalism. It's a movement with many players, but among the leaders "du jour" are Scahill, Moore and Greenwald. Fine, they want to play that game, but when Chris Hayes lends them credibility on MSNBC? I find it repulsive. I get tired of the one-sided coverage of a one-sided "debate". And by one-sided debate, I mean to ask, "Why are you letting Corporations get away with "secret" data mining?" Data MINING, not a data search based on known quantities or defined parameters or warranted legal concerns. Data MINING or even espionage by Corporations is apparently fine and dandy, if my only source of news is MSNBC. While Rachel Maddow has also focused on the one side, at least she has made the decision to drop Project Greenwald from the "top stories" into the "updates". Ultimately, my point is to say that activism is NOT journalism and we can do better, MSNBC can do better. The second issue is much more complicated, but it can be summed up with one word, "Obamabot". this word is filled with so many repulsive implications it is astounding that ANY legitimate Pundit or Politician would associate themselves with Greenwald on this issue alone. And who can forget the infamous "Nun rape" incident? By the way, "Obamabot" implies subhuman intelligence...think about it. While Ron Wyden may be struggling and stumbling in his zeal to attract a younger demographic, he's been careful to keep a distance from Project Greenwald. However, Merkley and Ellison wanted "all in", until it's revealed they both CHOSE to miss the briefings on these programs. I'm pretty sure their schedules are suddenly too full for attention-getting interviews on the topic for at least a little while. rant is done. Thanks for your time. Now, here's that link I promised:

PRISM isn't Data Mining

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Don't Tap Me, Bro!

Glenn Greenwald got a "scoop" from one of his loyal readers...make that a few scoops. Whether he will continue his "drip, drip" strategy or opt for a "dump", Glenn has some shiny objects to share. He's been "working" on this scoop for about 2 months, but he's been an activist for much longer than that. While the Media has quickly toned down interest and the NSA is reclassified as a sideshow, I'm having a difficult time with moving on to more important issues. I keep hearing the words my good "virtual friend" Karoli would often tweet, "This is why we can't have nice things".

When the news of a 7 year old NSA program "broke", I literally reacted with "Well, duh". To my dismay, I witnessed good people I had long assumed were at least borderline tech-savvy, lose their collective shit. For many, "metadata" had an entirely new meaning..."Monster Data". Data so huge, so intrusive, so personal, so everything awful that the last straw had been pulled and the proverbial camel's back had not only been broken, but doused in jet fuel, burned into ash and thrown violently into a garbage heap along with our freedom, liberty and the US Constitution.

Regarding motivations, ideologies and personalities, I'll leave that for another time and place. Regarding the legality, constitutionality or morality, I'm not here to denounce or pronounce the NSA tactics. What I cannot shake is the concern that the issue of "data collection" and storage will fade once again into the ether as politicos rush to sweep the Patriot Act, the NSA and the difficult questions raised off the front page. The internet and the cell phone are many "things" to each one of us, but most of all they are "digital". They are "data". And we share a LOT of data. Sometimes we are offered a special "secure" web page to share our data, but most often we are not. There's a reason. And you know what I find most surprising in all of this hair-lighting outrage? No one has bothered to ask why ALL web pages are not "Secure". I won't be surprised when they understand why and only then can we move forward with an adult conversation about metadata, national security, privacy and the lifestyle choices we all have to make.