The New York Reach-Around

People who watch the surveillance state have known about this stuff since the early 1980s. My personal theory is that spooks talk to each other (as spooks do) and eventually word starts to leak; it’s too clever a scam to miss. Then, when a program becomes huge enough, there are tens of thousands of people using the data from it; it’s pretty easy to figure out where the data is coming from. I first encountered the international reach-around when I was at a conference and wound up talking to an interesting fellow who turned out to be a journalist that had been investigating the surveillance state for a very long time.

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More Spying on Spies

Strava’s heat map has made a lot of people step back and realize, “wow, there are side-channels to data.” Most of us in the computer security world have known that for a long time; some of us have spent our lives trying to stop such channels from happening; it’s a frustrating way to spend your life but, as Townes says, “it beats sitting around waiting to die.”

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Oh, This Old Thing?

Spook stuff fascinates me, because it’s the unwritten side of history; things that happen covertly can have huge impact, but are never publicly known. For someone like me, who is fascinated – maybe obsessed – with causality, spook stuff is a great cause of many things that we generally never know. Which means, our ability to understand the world around us is permanently compromised.

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Retro-Scoping the FBI

The retro-scope appears to now be part of the investigative procedure for any incident that has political implications. Because its time-horizon goes about -10 years (with some blurry images back to -20 years) the entire current crop of politicians grew up in a time before retro-scoping existed, so they do not fear the ‘scope, nor do they fully understand it. They will.

I did a google image search for “retroscope” and look at this beauty!

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The JFK Files and Emergent Conspiracy

The JFK assassination archive has been scheduled to be opened since 1992, when George H. W. Bush established a deadline for declassifying them. That is supposed to happen this thursday. Various people are speculating that it will drive conspiracy theorists wild, so I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity to be very wrong, by making some guesses what we’ll learn.

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Lies National Geographic Told Me: Trieste

This is part of a short series that I will try to drop over the course of the year. I grew up reading National Geographic and it wasn’t until I was well into my adulthood that I discovered that I had been absorbing subtle doses of propaganda along with the cool stuff that excited and inspired me. While you’re reading about this one, you may be thinking “What about PROJECT JENNIFER?!” and, if you are, don’t worry – I’ll get to that one eventually, too.

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