From Pine View Farm

Old N(SA)ews 4

In Japan Times, Gregory Clark says there’s not much there there in the fuss over the NSA’s internet vacuum cleaner’s indiscriminately sucking up signals and that, furthermore, the only folks who didn’t know this sort of stuff was happening are folks who don’t pay attention.

He suggests that the real danger is corruption of the public discourse through the use of misinterpreted or twisted information. A nugget:

“Group-think” is now openly blamed for the Iraq disaster. Criminal collusion would be the better word.

Over Iraq, bogus reports of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear ambitions (the “mushroom cloud”) and phony al-Qaida links (by a regime dedicated to suppressing al-Qaida?) were all fed into that “twilight world” to call for an attack that today no one even tries to justify.

As the U.S. and U.K. try to dig themselves out of the current diplomatic mess created by their runaway spy agencies, both like to insist they have not used spy information for economic gain. But that is untrue; business information is a major target for all such agencies, especially since it usually falls into the easily code-breakable category.

Read the rest.



  1. George Smith

    November 2, 2013 at 10:53 am

    The white upper middle class paid this no mind when it was being built. Now people who know nothing about network security post the stories to their Facebook pages and it’s just another thing to show how worked up and outraged you are, in a shallow do-nothing way. There isn’t anything to be done, anyway, not domestically. There’s no way to roll back the national security megaplex because the powers in control won’t have it, they’re beyond oversight and coercion. Internationally, it may be a different matter, depending on how many other leaders want to institute broad changes that disengage with the US in the long term. No one ever wanted to pay attention to the little people who wrote about national security issues, too hard, not enough celebrity oomph.

  2. Frank

    November 2, 2013 at 11:25 am


    ‘cept cyanide is more reliable for simple at home DIY murders.

  3. George Smith

    November 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Think you meant this for the ricin beans post. Cyanide is probably still of interest in suicides. Years ago I kept track of my blog page hits with Google Analytics and since I’d been writing about chemical weapons and small scale terrorism. At the beginning of the war on terror the Bush administration and DHS bought the idea that al Qaeda could put efficient cyanide bombs in the subway, so much so DHS made a mock-up of what they thought one would look like, and I wrote about it. But my page data showed there was an inordinate interest in it from many places that went beyond the transient news topic, and I partly ascribed it to people Googling for information on easy ways to suicide in lieu of gunshots. It certainly wasn’t terrorists. 

  4. Frank

    November 2, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    That will teach me to click “reply” to a comment in the Dashboard!