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Information Land Mines

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Hocus Locus

Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 847
Location: Lost in anamnesis, cannot forget my way out

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:36 pm    Post subject: Information Land Mines Reply with quote

What Every Mama's Child Should Know About
With a special message to spooks, and their children
Revised: see note [3]


Hitomi flipped open a very small, very thin silver laptop. "Today I will present data from the last twenty-one days, correct up to twenty minutes ago. These will be findings from our joint project, ABRACADABRA Tree. The two visitors nodded. Kenner smiled in anticipation. As well he should, Hitomi thought. Nowhere else in the world could he see such a presentation, for Hitomi's agency was the world leader in the accumulation and manipulation of electronics data. Now images on the screens came up, glowing one after another. They showed what appeared to be a corporate logo: a purple tree on a yellow background, and the lettering ABRACADABRA TREE DIGINET.

This name ane image had been chosen for their similarity to actual Internet companies and their logos. For the last two years, ABRACADABRA Tree's network of servers actually consisted of carefully designed traps. They incorporated multilevel 'honeynets' established in both business and academic domains. This enabled them to track backward from servers to user with an 87% success rate. They had baited the net starting last year, forst with ordinary feed and then with increasingly 'juicy' morsels.

"Our sites mirrored established geology, applied physics, ecology, civil engineering, and biogeography sites." Hitomi said. "To attract 'deep divers', typical data included information on the use of explosives in seismic recordings, the tests on the stability of structures to vibration and earthquake damage, and in our oceanographic sites, data on hurricanes, rougue waves, tsunamis, and so forth. All this is familliar to you."

Kenner nodded.

"We knew we had a disseminated enemy, and a clever one. Users often operate behind firewalls, or used accounts with teen ratings, to imply they are juvenile pranksters or kiddie scripters. But they are nothing of the sort. They are well organized, patient and unrelenting. In recent weeks, we have begun to understand more." The screen changed, showing a list.

"Out of a mix of sites and discussion groups, our programs found the 'deep divers' clustered on the following category topics:
Caisson Seawalls
Cavitation (Solid)
Cellular Encryption

Controlled Demolition
Flood Mitigation
High-Voltage Insulators
Hilo, Hawaii

From Michael Crichton's book, "State of Fear". Yes, "Controlled Demolition" is really in there. Funny thing is, the story is not about 'the State', or fear of lightning or global worming or evil corporations and dire villany. And here in it we have this incredibly complex corporation doing incredible things...

What Crichton does not tell us though, is that you or I could do a lot of this on a shoestring budget with a credit card... and a few Google ad-words.

In the old days you could seal the lid on things by simple possession of a few easily obtainable items. A windshield, a coroner, the Zapruder film... let them talk! Any who really know where things are buried might be buried themselves. A Texas Suicide [2] is seldom necessary.

Not now. Raw facts, voices, media clips of events, it's all there, for anyone to put together. It's 'unmanageable''.

So you will want to identify those who are getting close. Lay in wait, set tripwires on the web -- build places that lure in clever folk in future generations... 'deep divers'... who happen to be uncomfortably close to making some intuitive but correct deduction. What to do when you find them?

For example, speculation on 9/11 is a real demographic and one would think there is safety in numbers. But when things quiet down and oppositional viewpoints galvanize, personal danger to individuals might increase.

Then again, a timely alliance with certain click-through corporations, like Western Union in wartime, might be able to roll in hundreds to millions of names. To do what with? Best just wait and see; it's all we can do.

For the first person to put certain things together, say two particular keywords that say 'uh oh bingo'... there will never be safety in numbers.

I imagine a clever high school student -- your own child -- whose term paper happens to leverage publicly available data to a provable conclusion in a way that is so brilliant and incontrivertible as would beg reexamination of 'the case'. In the tradition of Sherlock Holmes.

Some time before their paper is due they'll happen to meet someone on the Internet, someone a lot like them, who seems to be on the 'same page' and is quite willing to share and collaborate. Some day, a Sherlock Holmes will come along so seldom as to be diverted easily. Or fatally: some people might not have the time or patience for subtlety, bad things happen to teenagers all the time.

This is what is destined to happen when we as a people turn our backs on evidence that is right before our eyes, and do not distill to the bottom. If that's even possible

It is essential to devote such inertia as we can manage to ensure that dangerous mysteries, ones that come to our attention, are explored here and now, under 'our watch' Not just to achieve justice and balance, though that would be nice... one might do it to avoid the loss of innocent lives, taken by those who would seek to keep the worst of secrets secret in the most direct and inexpensive way.

In 1996 we saw legislation passed to begin the process of turning our telephone system into something Stalin would have been proud of. Up to one pecent (corrected, See note [3]) simultaneous intercepts of all telephone conversations in Metropolitan Areas? THAT IS NOT AMERICA. And in the FBI report that 'justified' such action, things were REDACTED. Not because they were secret I tell you. Because they were downright OBSCENE. Shame on us! Shame on me. 'Our watch'.

Some have even told me, "What matter how the towers came down? They're gone!" And they usually sign off before following the simple implication of demolition backwards.

I was a boy when my dad told me what a "Texas Suicide" was. A person has winked, maybe in this case, a bit of complacency in the right area "will protect you...."

I don't subscribe to that point of view.
We share the same technology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is that the spooks love their children too.

My greatest faith these days is not that the Limbaugh set would suddenly all gain degrees in Physics 101 and, reexamining the collapses and the complicit trail of pre and post-behavior, see that they have been the fools, do a polar shift and turn on their 'massahs'. Of all mobs in history those are the ugliest to behold.

Count to a hundred and think again, before one joins a lynch mob. Good advice in 1964, good advice today. Maybe there was complicity in 9/11 in a place you did not expect. But do not stop digging until you run out of possible angles, or time, or both. It's not always just one more layer deep, you know?

Sad to say, both parties seem capable at the moment of crowning a King.

No... it's the Americans who have been asked to spy on Americans who I am putting my smartest money on. Once I might have (and perhaps should have) become one of you. Too late: I became a 'Postman' instead.

Their homes are all around on the beltway and off, and they are (undisputably) among the most intelligent critters on Earth.

Where I'm driving at best paraphrased in that era-moving song of Sting. I truly believe there are enough spooks out there who are just as nauseous at the prospect of reading my DOMESTIC email, as they know I, as an old-school Internet system administrator, would feel reading theirs.

Or their kids'. I started a Freenet and an ISP... I have run an ISP. And I have never peeked into anyone else's email without direct immediate consent. Even then, not without nausea. Why? Because It is just too damned easy... in the same sense that pulling a trigger is easy. So I have intentionally programmed myself this way. It's possible if you try.

If you pick up a gun you won't hold it by the trigger. As an administrator, I won't pick up your account by its email. Same thing.

Small, unremembered acts of privacy... are the only concievable way to make a world that is becoming more like a dangerous city every day... more like a small town again. A better place to raise our children. Of course you may believe that once you have buried every last enemy in unmarked graves, there will be peace -- if it works, this time.

Your enemies have been thinking the same thing. Perhaps they're ready to talk.

When you finally realize you're building a bad world to raise kids, nothing else matters.

I will uncover as many kernels of truth as I can, for as long as I am able. Even if there is no justice... no resolution... perhaps, seeing my abandoned (yet eerily identical) answer to a riddle, might send some young term paper writer on to another subject. Yesterday's news.

Until the next magic bullet comes along.


[1] State of Fear, by Michael Crichton.
Amazon: Why did I have to RETYPE this 'fair use' portion to help you sell books? But thanks anyway, I lent out my copy.

[2] More on "Texas Suicide" (Getting rare on the web. Hmm. Pages dying from 'natural' causes...?)

[3] NOTE: 10% CORRECTED TO 1%, Brain fart.

My statement regards FBI's stated capacity for "domestic wiretapping", which is its own world (sort of, now), separate from "NSA domestic warrantless snooping" which is self explanatory. As an administrator of computer systems I apply a strong sense of "presumption of eventual use" philosophy, best explained by the quip, If you Build It They Will Come, or Come Up with Reasons Why It Is Necessary to Use It (or Lose It). The application of Reasons over time no doubt a mixture of circumstance, happenstance, political stance and things which just seem to happen, who'da thunk it. Stalin, if he was on the CALEA board, coould make a very convincing presentation. Charts. Circles and arrows.

The 1% represents a 'maximum', since I am honest and rational I choose to completely ignore the figure of 0.5% labelled 'actual', if it had any reason to justify its existence there would be NO NEED for one called 'maximum'. What fools these mortals be.

CALEA says, "The CALEA accreditation process is a proven management model." In terms of Democracy, I liken this whole approach of 'centralized patch-through surveilance' as dumping sacks of sugar on every street corner; then issuing city ordinance, state law, and fedral laws that make it unlawful for ants to approach it. When they do, the actions of the ants are kept quiet to avoid erosion of public confidence. Eventually there are ant trails everywhere and everyone just steps over them; it will be unlawful to even acknowledge the ants' existence.

I do not fault Ceasar, who is fulfilling destiny. I curse and vow to oppose the stupid bastards who are polishing his empty throne in anticipation of his arrival, shutting Government so that none outside will see Ceasar when he does approach it. Paintings of J. Edgar Hoover hanging in the foyer; Saddam's mushroom cloud indeed. Who'da thunk it.

Locus's Fall 2006 weather roundup: GOP flurries, unusually elevated and coincidental events, even unspeakably horrid tragic unprecedented events, all strangely serving to hastily galvanize opinion: child molestation and pornography and sexual abuse being a 'clear and present epidemic', with the underlying objective to ease the pressure on justification for wiretap and access to Internet and, (because they are conveniently becoming inseparable) the telephone. By next spring, postal mail may be the most private communications medium due to its wide outreach and (analog) volume. Who'da thunk it??

Text remnant of the original outrage.

Dorothy Denning suggests that "... underestimating maximum requirements could pose direct harm to the public safety and effective law enforcement." I counter that the inverse (overestimating) has a far reaching and more damaging effect.

MEMORANDUM OF AMICUS CURIAE: The FBI's notice of capacity requirements for telephone surveillance does not comply with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, because the notice fails to state clearly what the "actual" capacity requirements on carriers are. Just one salvo in an ongoing (and complex battle...

Hocus Locus
'The Postman'
Protégé of Hermes Thoth Trismegistus, Master Builder
"Shoot the messenger. What an idea. Same old shit, new millennium."
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