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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 55,364

About Me

I'm still living... Twitter: @glitchy_ashburn

Journal Archives

Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. -- 73 years young today


Seriously? Y'all couldn't be bothered to make a Biden Birthday thread?

Happy birthday Vice President Joe Biden! Pictured here in 1968 aged just 26.


Do they really do this to tourists in Vietnam?

From our Vietnam trip: our guide popped out of a VC tunnel to jokingly scare the vets. Dad yelled at him for 10 min.


Evidently conservatives only want the fuckable Syrian refugees



What Role Did Encryption Play in Paris?

Glenn Greenwald has seen the big picture in Paris. With 129 people dead, terrorists still at large, and ISIS crowing over the carnage, Greenwald has jumped on the real problem: Someone, somewhere might think the Edward Snowden leaks had something to do with an attack to which our signals intelligence was blind.

"It’s of course unsurprising that ever since Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing enabled newspapers around the world to report on secretly implemented programs of mass surveillance, he has been accused by 'officials' and their various media allies of Helping The Terrorists™," Greenwald writes in a lengthy tirade over at The Intercept. "The implicit premise of this accusation is that The Terrorists didn’t know to avoid telephones or how to use effective encryption until Snowden came along and told them. Yet we’ve been warned for years and years before Snowden that The Terrorists are so diabolical and sophisticated that they engage in all sorts of complex techniques to evade electronic surveillance."

I actually agree with Greenwald that one cannot blame the Snowden revelations for what happened in Paris—at least not yet, and probably not ever. The simple reason is that we don't yet know what surveillance countermeasures the attackers really took, and—just as importantly—we don't know what surveillance countermeasures they would have taken had Snowden not blown all of the programs he exposed. The most one can blame Snowden for is making it far more likely that terrorists could undertake an attack like that in Paris without having their communications intercepted and decrypted.

Just as one cannot attribute any specific weather event to climate change, it's not responsible—absent very specific evidence of terrorist tradecraft—to attribute any specific terrorist event to Snowden.

The more interesting question is what, if anything, the Paris atrocities can teach us about the "going dark" debate and encryption. Unlike the specific role of the Snowden revelations in informing the tactical choices of the attackers, this is a matter on which we can expect information to develop. Specifically, we can expect to learn whether the attackers were using encrypted channels of the type FBI Director James Comey has been warning about for the past year. And we can expect to learn as well whether the attackers avoided specific channels where they believed surveillance was possible.


#SnowdenEffect... Good to see Greenwald has a singular focus on what's really important in the Paris attacks, and that is protecting the image of his meal ticket...

Assange just needs to admit he's Assad's personal PR flak

and end the charade.


German on trial accused of giving CIA 200 secret documents

A former employee of Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency who is charged with treason gave the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 200 secret documents, prosecutors said at the start of his trial on Monday.

The arrest last year of the man, identified as Markus R., cooled relations between Berlin and Washington, close allies during the Cold War and afterwards, and followed revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) snooped on Germany.

The 32-year-old man, who has suffered from a disability since early childhood that affects his mobility, is accused of passing information to the CIA from 2008 until mid-2014 in return for at least 95,000 euros ($102,000).

He received the money from a handler named as Craig during meetings in Salzburg and other Austrian cities, prosecutors said. "At the BND I had the impression that nobody found me credible," the defendant told the Munich court. "With the CIA it was different. One could prove himself."

Read more at Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/16/us-germany-spying-trial-idUSKCN0T51QP20151116#9g8fd6FJ1iRvGGbT.99

If he had the foresight to call himself a "whistleblower", he'd be a hero...

Belgium’s home affairs minister says ISIL communicates using Playstation 4

The day after terror attacks in Paris left at least 127 dead and some 300 wounded, attention has turned to Belgium. Several arrests were made in Belgium today (Nov. 14), and a black Volkswagen Polo with a Belgian license plate had been spotted on the night of the attacks near the Bataclan theater. Police have raided a Brussels neighborhood where three of the eight attackers are believed to have lived.

More fighters have joined ISIL from Belgium, per capita, than any Western nation. Belgian federal home affairs minister Jan Jambon has previously described Brussels as a weak link in the fight against terror. Speaking at a debate last week, he said:

“The thing that keeps me awake at night is the guy behind his computer, looking for messages from IS and other hate preachers.”

Jambon also reportedly warned of the growing use by terror networks of the PlayStation 4 gaming console, which allows terrorists to communicate with each other and is difficult for the authorities to monitor.

“PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp,” he said.

The gaming console also was implicated in ISIL’s plans back in June, when an Austrian teen was arrested for downloading bomb plans to his PS4.


'Twerk-Off' Preceded Woman Jumping from Party Cruise Ship: Friend

A "twerk-off" dance contest preceded a woman jumping from an EDM party cruise ship during the 2015 Mad Decent Boat Party late Thursday off the coast of Cuba.

Speaking exclusively with NBC 6, Graham Hansen, who knows the woman, says he spoke with a mutual friend of theirs who was also on board that cruise.

"She and some other girl who was calling herself the twerk queen were having a twerk-off, " Hansen told NBC 6 via phone. "Twerk queen started twerking on her (the missing woman's) boyfriend, and it caused some sort of issue between the two of them."

The woman reportedly jumped from the ship not long after the dance contest escalated. Hansen says their mutual friend on board the ship is "completely and totally mortified."


How Gun Traffickers Get Around State Gun Laws

In California, some gun smugglers use FedEx. In Chicago, smugglers drive just across the state line into Indiana, buy a gun and drive back. In Orlando, Fla., smugglers have been known to fill a $500 car with guns and send it on a ship to crime rings in Puerto Rico.

In response to mass shootings in the last few years, more than 20 states, including some of the nation’s biggest, have passed new laws restricting how people can buy and carry guns. Yet the effect of those laws has been significantly diluted by a thriving underground market for firearms brought from states with few restrictions.

About 50,000 guns are found to be diverted to criminals across state lines every year, federal data shows, and many more are likely to cross state lines undetected.

In New York and New Jersey, which have some of the strictest laws in the country, more than two-thirds of guns tied to criminal activity were traced to out-of-state purchases in 2014. Many were brought in via the so-called Iron Pipeline, made up of Interstate 95 and its tributary highways, from Southern states with weaker gun laws, like Virginia, Georgia and Florida.


(Cross-posted to the gungeon)
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