In an earlier posting about “operators” (special forces/CIA) in Libya,[stderr] I posted a picture that I had saved from early in the rebellion there.
Content Warning: Torture, War Crimes, Medical Malpractice
A month ago I stumbled over the fact that Dr James Mitchell had written a book. So I bought a copy.
The origin of the expression “walking back the cat” is lost in the early cold war, but it refers to the process of decompiling and recompiling intelligence after a breach, usually caused by a mole.
Code Obfuscation’s really neat stuff. Or, it can be.
Continuation at a tangent to [stderr]
Tools like Palantir are the tip of an iceberg: a gigantic iceberg of data. In case you don’t know, when organizations like the NSA are talking “big data” they are talking “yottabytes.” i.e.:
The Pentagon is attempting to expand its worldwide communications network, known as the Global Information Grid, to handle yottabytes (1024 bytes) of data. (A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.) [wired]
I’m usually surprised by the coverage regarding NSA/CIA/FBI spying: there’s some stuff we definitely should be scared of, and there’s other stuff that I file under “so, what?”
For example, the fact that the US government has consistently ignored its own laws regarding wiretapping: nobody who has observed any government in action should be surprised by that.
I suspect that there is an optimal and a peak conspiracy size, beyond which it becomes nearly impossible to keep a secret.