Monday miscellany



1. The SINGLE Most Important Step to Protect Yourself from Government Spying : The single most important step to protect yourself from government – or private – spying is to remember that your conservations might not be private when your cellphone is nearby … even if it is turned off.

2. NSA controversy boosts interest in ‘private’ Internet search engines : “Internet users are taking a fresh look at “privacy” search engines that do not store data or track online activity, in light of the flap over US government surveillance.”

3. The Biggest Ponzi Scheme In The History Of The World : “Did you know that you are involved in the most massive Ponzi scheme that has ever existed?”

4. Latest bird flu strain ‘kills more than a third’ of patients, Chinese researchers say : “More than a third of patients infected with a new strain of bird flu died after being admitted to the hospital earlier this year, Chinese researchers report in a new study.”

5. Jihawg Ammo: Pork-laced Bullets Designed To Send Muslims Straight ‘To Hell’ : “Angry about the idea of an Islamic cultural center opening near Ground Zero, a group of Idaho gun enthusiasts decided to fight back with a new line of pork-laced bullets.”

6. Government can use metadata to map your every move : “If you tweet a picture from your living room using your smartphone, you’re sharing far more than your new hairdo or the color of the wallpaper. You’re potentially revealing the exact coordinates of your house to anyone on the Internet.”

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Comments

  1. Regards #1,2,6: Universal lack of privacy is the price we pay for convenience of communications and easy information searches when using modern electric technology and living in a country that does not respect individual privacy rights. Unless you remove the battery from your cell phone, I-phone, lap top (?) or similar device so that it is truly dead, it can be used to triangulate your location and sometimes even to eavesdrop on you. Notice the little camera eye on the inside of your lap top’s cover — a bit of making tape makes it impossible for that camera to “see” you without your consent. If you have OnStar or a built-in GPS in your vehicle or some type of engine-kill anti-theft device, that also can be used to track your vehicle when you travel or are just parked somewhere. If you really feel it is dangerous for your communications to get swept up by NSA without a specific search warrant or for Big Brother to know your location, then you may want to go to a public use computer at your local library (and will need to show some else’s library card) or you can use a different acquaintance’s lap top each time you search the internet (while said acquaintance is asleep or otherwise oblivious to your use of his/her computer) or employ some other type of spycraft precaution and you may want to drive an old technology vehicle (a bicycle is good). You can go to ridiculous lengths for privacy and still miss a crucial step if you insist on using electronic communications and tracking devices.

    Regards #3: I suspect that paper money and coins are going the way of the dinosaurs and soon it won’t matter how much fiat money our federal mints print. Most of us now use electronic credits and debits for many of our purchases (debit card, credit cards, PayPal…). Which means Big Brother can cut off our financial assets (or wipe them out like they never existed) with a few clicks of a keyboard if we are suspected of being a bad boy or girl. Or just a prolonged grid-down situation can make all those bank credits and high credit card limits vanish. Many of the Gulf Coast banks did not have out-of-area data back-ups and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many local residents who fled out of state to safe areas had difficulty proving they had cash reserves in local banks. Of course if you are prepared to barter your goods and skills, it won’t really matter that much if your electronic financial assets get frozen or if they just vanish during a technology hiccup. And it is really hard for the Federal Reserve to devalue your skills and tangible goods (or for Big Brother to tax barter transactions).

  2. JP in MT says:

    I was reminded of the popularity of “e-money” yesterday. 2 20-somethings were coming out of the hardware store with their purchase when the Girl Scout asked if they’d like to buy some cookies. The guy said “I don’t carry cash. You ought to get one of those card swipes for your cell phone.” The adult there said “They just don’t understand, using a credit card cost money.”

    Because the fees are hidden from the consumer, they don’t realize that it increases the cost of everything they sell to used a credit/debit card. That increase, around 3% usually, is added to the cost of everything in the store. Several years ago, it was illegal to charge card customers more than cash customers because of this fee. That was the start of “cash discounts”. (A bill I’m sure had the full backing of the banking industry.)

    • JP, when someone offers to sell me something I dont want, or asks if I can spare some change I always tell them I dont carry cash. Its an easy out, at least right now.

  3. tommy2rs says:

    #5 I love the smell of bacon in the morning, it smells like victory….lol.

  4. Here’s another story that explains #6 in detail.
    Using Metadata to Find Paul Revere
    http://kieranhealy.org/blog/archives/2013/06/09/using-metadata-to-find-paul-revere/
    It gets a little bit detailed, but try and follow along the gist of the story, and you’ll get an idea how this works.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      OhioPrepper,

      Very interesting article, thanks for the URL.

      From the article:
      “We would not need to know what was being whispered between individuals, only that they were connected in various ways. The analytical engine would do the rest!”.

      Thinking about the gubermint storing every byte of electronic data in Utah and other places, I shudder to imagine the collection of my visited URL’s, blogs, email, credit cards, bank accounts, tax returns medical records and phone calls run through matrix folding software and what my profile looks like.

      I hope to fall into the category of “wandering idiot with no discernible goals”.

  5. Since spy technology is so ubiquitous and all, avoiding it can lead to having an odd profile as a privacy-seeker. (i.e. using encryption makes the feds look at your communications harder).

    Trying to have privacy and then contacting anyone is like trying to maintain sterile hands and then accidentally touching your face. And most people will unknowingly identify themselves several times a day, getting caught on camera, being tagged on FB, using a bank card, driving past one of those RFID readers, calling someone, etc. You are already somewhat profiled along with everyone you know.

    So since you can’t hide the signal, add noise to the signal.

    There are two ways to cover one’s activities when not using privacy.

    The first way is to have plausible explanations for your whereabouts. I just caught a young man in hop hop clothes loitering behind my workplace. It’s a warehouse/industrial kind of place, he had no apparent business being there. But if he had had a hard hat and a clipboard, or was in a suit with a realtor business card, or if he were mowing the grass, I might have not even questioned what he was doing back there. Cops call this “profile” and “signature”. His profile was the hip hop clothes. His signature was he was standing around doing nothing behind an industrial building. If you are up to something, make sure your profile is one that explains your signature. This could be temporary, or you could actually go into business as whatever your cover will be, and make it a little more substantial/enduring. This is what spies do: they have cover jobs as ambassadors, or performers, or whatever gives them a plausible explanation to be where and with whom they need to be with.

    The other way is to make a gadzillion red herrings.

    In order to not get caught on camera as you, you could wear a good disguise. Stage makeup that alters the shape of your face may help here, but make it look real. This may be rather expensive – a good wig can cost $600, for example. But, maybe you don’t need it to be that good, depending on the quality of the cameras. You can change into your disguise in, say, a busy office building or mall’s bathroom. The sheer number of people going in and out would help cover your transformation, as long as nobody witnessed you transforming.

    Those LED ball caps are a stupid idea in my opinion. They scream “privacy nut”.

    For electronic red herrings, you could change your alter ego’s cell phone every so often and stick the old one to someone else’s car with out of state plates at a rest stop, use a lot of different email addresses and change them every day or two, send erroneous emails to other sock puppets, establish “addresses” for an alter ego by sending away for junk mail offers in 5 or 6 different states, use a different computer (laptop, and find open wi-fis by driving around) than your normal one for your fun and games, etc.

    I think it’s necessary to still maintain a “normal” core life that doesn’t intersect with the red herrings. You also don’t want to make any sudden changes to it to look more “innocent” (i.e. erasing all your Facebook posts or whatever). This is a big red flag that someone is preparing to “go underground”.

    One last thought: there are computer programs that purport to be able to identify someone by their writing style. They can tell, for example, when someone is trying to impersonate someone else, like that guy who sent the ricin bean paste letters and tried to frame another guy with it, or that lady who wrote threatening “gun nut” letters and tried to make it look like her ex. The Unabomber was identified by his brother partly by his writing style. So perhaps the less you write in your alter ego, the better. (says the prolific writer with a pseudonym).

    • I’m not advocating committing crimes, just for the record. Just used these criminals as an example, since the criminals are the only ones we actually hear about the feds using this technology on.

  6. Patriot Dave says:

    #1&6 cell phones. All cell phones report in and keep contact with the nearest tower in order to be able to receive and send calls. even when you are not talking.
    “Obama hastened to reassure Americans that “nobody is listening to your phone calls,” ” technically correct, but still a lie. They use computers to “listen” and analyze data.

    #3 Ponzi. This one beats the social security ponzi scheme.

    #5 pork ammo. Just the fact that they are available may be a deterrent. You don’t necessarily have to shoot one. They will not know who does or does not have one and will not want to take a risk. Now, if only there was something to scare politicians. garlic and elections don’t work.

    • I don’t think the pork ammo will do anything to jihadis’ morale. They’re allowed to break their taboos if it suits the purpose of jihad, so getting shot with a pork bullet is probably no never mind to them. What the pork ammo WILL do is possibly label anyone who buys it and leaves a paper trail, as a hater. I guess it could improve the morale of people fighting jihadis, in a twisted kind of way.

      It’s just a publicity stunt on the part of the ammo maker.

  7. axelsteve says:

    I wish that I was smart enough to encrypt a file of my church psalm book . Let tdl minions figure out how to hack it open and see what they find.Also encrypt pictures of my dogs when they were puppies.

    • Scan each page (or find it already digitized somewhere), then use a free program like Cute PDF to turn the images into a PDF. Then encrypt it using TrueCrypt or GnuPG (TrueCrypt is easier to use). Both programs are free (That is, GnuPG is free and TrueCrypt has a small-capacity free version) Or you could just encrypt the whole folder of images, without turning them into a PDF.

  8. axelsteve says:

    I wonder if the lords prayer would be thought as sedition by the regime since it is asking for gods kingdom over the worlds kingdom