The NSA is spying on Angry Birds.
According to dozens of previously undisclosed British intelligence documents, government spies may be exploiting popular apps to get their hands on our personal data. And – they've been doing it since at least 2007. Smart phone applications collect an amazing amount of our personal data – like our age, sex, and location – and intelligence agencies were delighted to find what they called a “Golden Nugget” of information.
While the scale and the details of this program at not completely clear, these documents show that the NSA and its British counterpart routinely collect information from apps, and and the data can be as personal as a user's political alignment or sexual orientation. Once again, we learn through leaked documents that our personal data is being spied on, and that our privacy is under attack.
When other government spying programs have been disclosed, agency officials have argued that data collection is necessary to keep us safe. It will be difficult to defend this program, because it's unlikely that international terrorists sit around playing Angry Birds.
Americans and people around the world are already furious over government spying programs, and this news isn't going to make anyone feel more secure about using their phones. It's going to take a massive movement to end government spying without a warrant, and it looks like now even app developers are going to have to get involved in this fight.
Ha... NOW I know why those birds are so ANGRY!
With regard to tonight's State-O-the Union...
Jay Carney, when asked what Pres. Obama’s State of the Union would entail; ..”the need to rebuild and strengthen the middle class because the middle class has always been the engine of our economic growth because when the middle class does well, when our economy grows from the middle out instead of from the top down America does better and that’s really been the focus of His energies on domestic policies since...like I said, right around the time he began running for this office. It was the focus of so much of what he did in his first term and it remains the focus...” http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/white_house/jan-june13/sotupreview_02-12....
Good ‘ol ‘sold-out PBS’s Judy Woodruff asked not a question about trade policy or the TPP. Given what we’ve heard about Obama’s almost desperate desire to ram through TPP, this would seem to be a deliberate attempt to mislead the public into thinking the TPP will mean the “more jobs” and “more growth” Jay claims the Pres. is going to be outlining in his State of the Union, when in fact it is the opposite. Not only that, but apparently he wants to remind the country that “serious ‘entitlement’ reform, Medicare and S.S. are still on the table”...now THAT’S doing something to help the middle class!
President Obama; “We are not just going to be waiting for legislation to make sure that we’re providing Americans with the help that they need...I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone. I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions…that move the ball forward.” According to http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/01/14/obama-ive-got-a-pen-and-ive-got... , ‘He didn’t provide details on possible executive actions.’ So, congress finally agrees on something...the TPP will take this country down, so Pres. Obama is simply going to ignore them? If this is his course of action, I would think that overstepping congressional authority with regard to trade policy is treading on very thin legal ice! The overall tone of his message tonight seems to be the need for “all hands on deck”...a need for “Unity” (not that I'm not all for Unity...if it's sincere on BOTH sides...) the poor have to help too! Is the subtle message going to be; ‘don’t be so greedy, you’ll just have to learn to work for less’? As if the poor haven’t lost not just their shirts, but in many cases their underwear and their hides...
As for the Republican control of the House. The U.S. House election, 1952 was an election for the United States House of Representatives in 1952 which coincided with the election of President Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower's Republican Party gained 22 seats from the Democratic Party, gaining a majority of the House. However, the Democrats technically had almost 250,000 more votes (0.4%). This would be the last time the Republican Party won a majority in the House until 1994.
I have tried to give the NSA and our government (politicians) the benefit of trying to understand the need to pull private information in that might give us a heads up concerning foreign enemies and what they are plotting. I realize many think that is being naive and overly trustful of an agency and government bent on spying on everyone in and outside of our country. But, if what Hartmann is claiming is true and can be authenticated, it is time to pull in the reins of this agency and change what they are doing. Pulling this type of basic info has nothing to do with national security and terrorist factions who are plotting against us as a nation and our allies. If the NSA is actually going to the extent that Hartmann claims in his blog, it is time to neuter these guys and make them impotent in their attempts to spy on us and others outside of our physical borders. It appears I may have been wrong in my assessment of this agency and what its true reasons for gathering this type of information are. If Hartmann is wrong in his analysis of what the NSA is doing and the information he spreads on his blog is only rumor or hear say, (apparently he has not seen the whole of this info from the British when he states, “may be exploiting apps") he owes us an apology, big time. If he is right, it is time to get the hanging rope out and use it. One thing we have to remember when commenting on unconfirmed info on this show, Hartmann makes his living by sensationalizing info on his show and in his blog. And this is true for most, if not all, the commentators from Limbaugh to Hartmann and from Fox to MSNBC!! K.W.
Sandlewould - Thanks for your comments today. There is no need for me to even make a comment concerning the TPP non-free trade agreement this president is trying to shove down our throats. Obama keeps claiming he wants to have a transparent White House and yet nobody is even sure what the hell his TPP legislation contains, and if this agreement will be so great for American workers, why have all the secrecy. From what I have read, it is the corporations that are helping draft this agreement. Free trade just means the corporations have even more freedom to ship more American jobs to cheap labor markets, as they have since Clinton pushed through NAFTA and the bleeding off of our jobs began. Everything Obama does is so his legacy will at least show something even if it means selling off of American jobs or what is left of them. The politicians were bribed to make sure the tariffs on goods from China were basically non-existent and look at us now. By the time American consumers have maxed out their credit lines and are in debt over their heads, new emerging markets will take our place in the consumption of these goods made in foreign markets and the corporations will continue to rake in their profits. How the hell did we ever let this situation evolve to the point it has? We have traded our manufacturing jobs for cheaply priced goods made in other countries. With the help of our politicians, we have screwed ourselves in the long run. And, the run is almost over for American manufacturing and the middleclass it helped to build. If Obama actually ignores congress and this agreement is signed into law, it is time to IMPEACH OBAMA AND SOON. K.W.
Clarification...according to Thom's guest, one of Obama's staff (name escapes), one of the executive orders he plans to sign may be a min. wage increase(if I heard him right). I seriously doubt, unless his hand is forced by an even more powerful and corrupt corporate influence than even I imagined, Obama would impose fast track via exec. order...I was speculating re. the TPP and exec. order...I REEAlly hope that does not turn out to be the case...
Obama's efforts to deprive us of our national soverignty makes him a prime candidate for impeachment. If that ain't high treason, I don't know what is. - AIW
I would like the citizens to be spying on our government and all connected corporate and lobbying activities:
Let us see their "private", hidden, and secret activities on public business and policies. It would be great to see what went on in engineering the Citizens United case and decision. For example, did The Kruel Koch Klan have any direct influence upon the 5 justices who supported the case?
Obviously the Trans Pacific Partnership is a perfect candidate for either spying or simply Total Transparency.
I know I'd love to see full disclosure the the Bush's secret energy policy.
We only get an occasional glimpse of the sorid and appalling truth of what elected officials are doing, thinking, and saying, like Mitten's 47% disparaging remarks. Let's here and see it all.
Quote ken ware:If Obama actually ignores congress and this agreement is signed into law, it is time to IMPEACH OBAMA AND SOON. K.W.
Ken Ware ~ Well said!
Quote Aliceinwonderland:Obama's efforts to deprive us of our national soverignty makes him a prime candidate for impeachment.
Aliceinwonderland - Seriously, AIW, aren't most of the Washington politicos "candidates for impeachment", including the SCOTUS 5?
Everyone - As far as the NSA snooping on our smart phone apps, we need to get some really talented app writers to produce apps that will back-hack the NSA and spill all their secrets. The only angry bird I see is the American Eagle, and he (or she) is looking really pissed!
If I became president (fat chance) I would set up a system whereby every non-intimate activity, regardless of security concerns, is streamed live to the internet through multiple channels - the ultimate transparent presidency. I challenge the next president to try to come close to that concept.
"stecoop", I agree; the SCOTUS 5 and maybe over half our senators & representatives should be impeached along with the prez. I was simply voicing my outrage at Obama's attempts to fast track the TPP, considering the awful things it would set us up for. But my suggesting impeachment for Obama was not meant to exclude all those other offenders who've been busy throwing us under the bus.
It'll be a freezing day in hell before I get one of those damn "smart phones". Yeah; "smart" phones for dummies!
If you run for office, you've got my vote. - AIW
sandlewood - I had to give up dinner while watching this pathetic lame, “LAME DUCK", President Obama, I hate trying to enjoy my meals while listening to a liar, and as usual he has given out only a half truth in hopes somebody is not listening carefully. The minimum wage he was talking about is with government contractors only. How many government contractors pay minimum wage to start with. He needs Congress to pass a bill raising the minimum wage nationwide. Here in California we have already started a process to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour within two years. Besides handing out gifts to his corporate bosses like TPP, this guy is over with. He is afraid of the Repub.'s in the House, so in this so called speech he did not mention anything of importance. He knows if he barks to loud, they simply will continue to do nothing. They, the Repub.'s, want this President to go down in history as not accomplishing anything in his eight years in the White House. They are doing a great job of it so far! So besides giving away more of our jobs to third world countries, this President has nothing to offer the American Public. I am not a Repub. so my disdain for this guy is from the heart of an ex-democrat... K.W. P.S. Well he has given us one thing, this is the first time I have seen every with the same point of view! ha.
If nothing has changed since 911 (except whistle-blower information), why would anyone think that President Obama has the power to make any?
I am quite certain that the NSA has at least one full storage box of information on every single person born in this country since 1946, and now we have gone on to add every person who visits America for any reason - even vacationers.
And, since the age of computer data storage, all those paper documents have been data input so that at any given time for any reason our file data can be "called up" to satisfy any government official's curiosity. After all, the Bush Adm. had people listening in to the personal calls made from Iraq & Afghanistan service personnel to their lovers and their spouses. That was exposed on 60 Minutes, years ago! Why should we ever think that the more advanced our technology becomes, and the more adept we Americans become to using on-line resources to exchange messages and purchase a myriad of consumer goods, the NSA, the CIA and the FBI don't know anything about all the posts we've made, all the messages we've sent, and all the goods we've purchased - legal or otherwise? Scary? You bet. But I don't believe any elected official can stop this practice. The grid would have to go dark for a long time before we'd ever be free of this kind of surveilance. And without the grid, tell me: What would YOU do? Just bite the bullet, folks. It's a runaway train, cruising ever faster downhill, on a track that goes on forever. Perhaps we should look at the bright side for a change... Better Emergency Info when we're sick or in an accident; better knowledge of who should and shouldn't own weapons; better info on who's for us and who's against us.
But my time on this earth is growing ever shorter. This is a young person's fight, if there will ever be another one. I fought for womens' rights and Civil Rights in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and the first decade of 2000. The torch is passed. Go for it.
It's ok for the government to spy on any of us that they see fit (for any reason at all...they have long ago gone past requiring court orders and reasonable cause) but when the citizens spy on them they get really upset.
Holly wolly doodle all the day.
Ok, I'm trying to find out why my messages are being flagged as s p a m. I guess they don't like references to another site I've referenced c r y p t o m e period oh ar gee.
or maybe they don't want g u c c i f e r mentioned?
So, they no longer allow links to other web sites? The one I tried to reference a link to has nothing at all to do with commercialism but it might be a buggaboo to the fascist pigs who spy on us. Has the government gotten to thomhartmann too?
Quote Republicult:I would like the citizens to be spying on our government and all connected corporate and lobbying activities ...It's ok for the government to spy on any of us that they see fit (for any reason at all...they have long ago gone past requiring court orders and reasonable cause) but when the citizens spy on them they get really upset. [quote=cryp----]M----l L-----s L---l, who used pseudonyms "G-----r" and "L----- S-----" accessed email accounts and the Facebook of public persons, including SRI director George Maior, Colin Powell, Bush and Rockefeller family members and officials of the Obama administration. He subsequently disclosed to the public content of the correspondence via social networking, posting on personal accounts created specifically for this purpose... Hacker "G------r" claimed, in February 2013, theft of e-mail accounts belonging to members of the Bush family, correspondence disclosing personal affairs. In August 2013, "G------r" posted on his Facebook page a link to an e-mail correspondence between former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and PSD MEP Corina Cretu .
Sorry Palindromedary. The problem is that we have a filter in for 'Gucci' as people try spamming us with real or fake Gucci items, and you happened to use a word that included it.
We actually don't have any poltical filters at the moment.
Well, at least this part of my original message went through as long as I got rid of the links and certain names. Maybe not all links are prohibited...sandlewould got through with hers. But I noticed, the other day, that DAnnemarc's links were not clickable (not blue).
I've disabled that filter for the time being so you can post with your links, since they also include 'gucci'. If you see any posts selling Gucci stuff, please flag them. They may find this thread via a search engine and try to spam it.
Oh, thank you very much SueN, I was getting a little paranoid there for a moment (what else is new, eh?). ;-}
"We actually don't have any political filters AT THE MOMENT". Interesting! I know the government will put the heavy on web sites and then tell them that they can't reveal their government obstructionism to the public.
Quote Republicult:I would like the citizens to be spying on our government and all connected corporate and lobbying activities ...It's ok for the government to spy on any of us that they see fit (for any reason at all...they have long ago gone past requiring court orders and reasonable cause) but when the citizens spy on them they get really upset.
Quote cryptome.org:Marcel Lazarus Lehel, who used pseudonyms "Guccifer" and "Little Smoke" accessed email accounts and the Facebook of public persons, including SRI director George Maior, Colin Powell, Bush and Rockefeller family members and officials of the Obama administration. He subsequently disclosed to the public content of the correspondence via social networking, posting on personal accounts created specifically for this purpose... Hacker "Guccifer" claimed, in February 2013, theft of e-mail accounts belonging to members of the Bush family, correspondence disclosing personal affairs. In August 2013, "Guccifer" posted on his Facebook page a link to an e-mail correspondence between former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and PSD MEP Corina Cretu .http://cryptome.org/2014/01/guccifer-arrested.htm And here are a whole bunch of these revelations by "Guccifer" previously released at cryptome.org: http://cryptome.org/2014/01/guccifer-cryptome.htm I'd say that Guccifer (or Little Smoke) is another "hero" to be put up there along with others like Aaron Swartz and Jeremy Hammond and Julian Assange and many more.
I wonder if Mark S had the same problem?
I don't recall ever having any filters for purely political reasons, and don't plan on it. Occasionally if we have somebody who spams the board with the same posts with the same phrases over and over again, we may filter to stop them doing that - whether we agree or disagree with what they are saying. Nobody has ever told me to filter for anything in particular. I just have the terms and condtions to go by, like veryone else.
Mark S spelled Bugs Bunny, Buggs Bunny, and thereby fell afoul of our filter for 'uggs' - we've had lots of spam for ugg boots.
So, if any innocent member finds themselves caught by the spam filter, the first thing is to try and work out what filter for something commerical they have accidentally fallen foul of. Though some are not obvious as they are in foreign languages.
No kidding? Thank you for that bit of releaving information. I guess all spam filters can't be perfect. I wonder if the NSA's Echelon dictionary computers work the same way?
For example, 'izle' means download in Turkish, I think, so if you miss a z out of a word like drizzle, you will be caught! lol I avoid filtering for words that normally occur in English.
Excellent advice! Put the paranoia back in the box and look for words we are trying to use that might be caught in spam filters as advertising. I was trying to narrow it down (using systemic omission) but it took up a lot of real estate.
I am sure their systems are far more sophisticated than anything we have.
It would not have saved you, but running a spell checker on a post that gets caught might give a clue as to where the problem lies.
And look out for regular expressions not that I know anything about them. ;-}
Quote SueN:running a spell checker on a post that gets caught might give a clue as to where the problem lies
Great idea! Thanks!
Narrowing down like you were doing is the only way, unless you have a clue which can help you home in on it. Unless you want to wait for me to read the spam report. Which I try to do at least daily, but occasionally fail, as poor Mark found out :(
Well, I sure appreciate your information. It is a big relief! And helps a lot in learning what it's all about.
Of course, one can easily imagine legitimate content using "Gucci", for instance, I might refer to the fact that Dick Cheney called Mikhail Gorbachev "Stalin in Gucci shoes". Do you think the appeal process for spammed posts could be expidited a little? One thing that happened with me is that one of my posts got flagged so then all of them did for that daily topic. Then if I went from that day's topic to another, subsequent or previous, day's topic my posts for that day's topic would be flagged by infection carried over from the first.
I would like to, once again, encourage any of our regular posters to volunteer as moderators although I don't have time myself.
It seems to me that most spammers will start spamming right off the bat, after having just registered. So, wouldn't it be better to apply the spam filter to newbies for...say...a trial period...blocking their posts if the spam filter thought it was spam. That would discourage most spammers...especially if the trial period was random. And I'm mostly talking about commercial spammers. Spammers would have a hard time determining when it was safe to start spamming. And after the trial period, send an alert that the spam filter caught a certain word that might be spam so other readers could determine if it is spam and have the opportunity to flag it themselves. Then the flagged post could be analyzed by the moderator and stricter actions taken if need be.
But, until then, if I am flagged by the spam filter, I will certainly look for any key word that might be interpreted as commercial spam.
Hmmm....spam is a commercial product isn't it? You know, ham in a can. I prefer the turkey spam myself.
These days we do catch most spammers before they get the chance to spam in public, so we are reducing the number of filters as we get a feel for which ones are still getting through.
Unfortunately sometimes non-political phrases like Gucci do get co-opted into political or other current phrases, and the balance between whether only spammers will use it, or ordinary members too, shifts.
In this case spammers have only used it about 170 times and it was an important part of the post, so I disabled the filter. Usually, though, members only get caught because of spelling mistakes and typoes, and I ask them to correct those and repost.
We've been asking people to become moderators for years.
Mark, so far as I know, all of your posts should not have been affected just because one was. For example, Palindromedary was able to keep trying to post, and those posts that did not contain the world Gucci got through before I disabled the filter. Has anyone else experienced this?
With the exception of the recent spam filter flag, I believe that the spam filter on this web site has worked very well. After the several years that I have posted here, this was really the only time that I've been flagged. I've seen other blog web sites that were plagued with spammers. In which case my own internal spam blocker goes into effect...I skip right over them like my mind blanks out when I detect commercials on TV or in the Movies. Are there really readers out there who would be taken in by this unwanted commercial advertising that it would make it worth it for a spammer to even bother?
I had a problem with the fuel level being erratic and showing incorrect fuel levels in my vehicle and suspected the fuel level sender in the gas tank. I pulled it out and saw the problem right away. The double sliding variable resistor..potentiometer had one tiny little brush that had worn away and was not making good contact with the slide surface. I even verified that was the problem with an ohm-meter.
I went to the auto supply store for a part...they said I would have to buy the whole fuel pump assembly at $299. I said "never mind!" He said "but it's guaranteed for the life of the vehicle!". Yeah, right!
So, anyway I fixed the part myself by pressing out the plastic float swivel to gain access to the two brushes and then bent the little contact finger more so that it makes contact with the slider surface. It works just fine now...and I saved over $300. And that was just for a part from a non-dealer. That part would have been a lot more at a dealer and they would have charged for labor too.
The point being that these merchants believe that we are all a bunch of ninnies who are so helpless and dumb enough to be suckered in by sales hype (like "guaranteed for the life..") that we will easily part with our money.
And that "guaranteed for life", if you read the small print, doesn't mean what most people are led to believe it means. It's just a marketing gimmick.
When I tried to repost a comment that had been caught in the filter, it got caught again and all subsequent posts were caught and even on other day's topics or pother daily blogs if I went to them immediately after trying to repost. On the daily blog I was initially turned back from I could never post again, with or without "Bugs Bunny". Usually I got the form to fill out to explain why my post isn't spam (which seemed to get the circular file) but other times I was simply told I was not authorized to post.
BTW, I just now got caught in the spam filter again because I used my original spelling of Bugs Bunny. When I changed it it went through.
Strange. If you had been really unlucky and used another filter word in your post, that would have shown up in the report if you tried to post it without Buggs. So, unless you used another word that had uggs in, then I am baffled.
Often the spam is not aimed at us at all. What they want to do is have as many different sites/pages pointing at their site at the same time, so that Google thinks it is a very popular site and puts it at or near the top of the list when somebody is searching for, say, Ugg boots. SInce their immediate target audience is the Google bot and its ilk,it does not matter to them necessarily if their message is a load of rubbish and/or of no interest to anyone on the forum.
And while we now have quite a few traps to catch many of them for us these days, so not a lot gets through, in the past I sometimes had to delete literally 100s of spam posts a day manually. And while they generally did the actual post manually, they had more or less automated creation of loads of accounts to post them with, and the word/phrase filter was sometimes the only way to stop them signing in and posting more spam for the same product faster than I could find and delete the posts and ban the accounts. I think you would soon have got fed up wading past them. Some discussions had far more spam than genuine posts.
No kidding? It's not about us..but about getting Google's bots to jack up the spammer's popularity...is that related to SEO? sneaky! Itsy bitsy Spider, climbing up the spout....
Yes, it is part of the dark side of SEO. Sometimes companies do not realise that their SEO supplier is cheating this way, or they say they don't when we contact them.
This kind of spam is the most voluminous and the most automated, but sometimes that makes it easier for us to automatically block them. It is a continual war.
Irrelevancy of a post is a good first step to recognising possible spam - so don't click on links from such posts - though some of them get round this by copying a line or 3 from an earlier post in the thread, or even a whole article from elsewhere on the web, and just inserting their (often irrelevant) link in the middle or at the end. It's also a good idea to ignore posts in Vietnamese, North Korean or any other foreign languages. Also, any posts which are in poor English - because of software to spot duplicate posts, they may take an article and either machine translate it to another language and back or use a thesaurus program to substitute words, so that it is no longer an exact copy - I've not bothered to find out exactly how. The result is mangled English. If in doubt, just report the post, please.
Pursuant to my post of yesterday, let's have Elizabeth Warren give the Progressive Caucus rebuttal tonight amidst the three conservative efforts at coherency.