Jul. 9th, 2013

guardians_song: A Fire Dragon from Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken. (Fury)


Welcome to 1984: US Government Employee Edition.

The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.
Federal employees and contractors are asked to pay particular attention to the lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors – like financial troubles, odd working hours or unexplained travel – of co-workers as a way to predict whether they might do “harm to the United States.” Managers of special insider threat offices will have regular, timely, and, if possible, electronic, access” to employees’ personnel, payroll, disciplinary and “personal contact” files, as well as records of their use of classified and unclassified computer networks, polygraph results, travel reports and financial disclosure forms.
But even the government’s top scientific advisers have questioned these techniques.
Those experts say that trying to predict future acts through behavioral monitoring is unproven and could result in illegal ethnic and racial profiling and privacy violations.

“There is no consensus in the relevant scientific community nor on the committee regarding whether any behavioral surveillance or physiological monitoring techniques are ready for use at all,” concluded a 2008 National Research Council report on detecting terrorists.

Although agencies and departments are still setting up their programs, some employees already are being urged to watch co-workers for “indicators” that include stress, divorce and financial problems.

All departments and agencies involved in the program must closely track their employees’ online activities. The information gathered by monitoring, the administration documents say, “could be used against them in criminal, security, or administrative proceedings.”
“We have not found any silver bullets,” said Deana Caputo, the lead behavioral scientist at MITRE Corp., a nonprofit company working on insider threat efforts for U.S. defense, intelligence and law enforcement agencies. “We don’t have actually any really good profiles or pictures of a bad guy, a good guy gone bad or even the bad guy walking in to do bad things from the very beginning.
A report by the Deloitte consulting firm identifies “several key trends that are making all organizations particularly susceptible to insider threat today.” These trends include an increasingly disgruntled, post-Great Recession workforce and the entry of younger, “Gen Y” employees who were “raised on the Internet” and are “highly involved in social networking.”
Eric Feldman, a former inspector general of the National Reconnaissance Office, the super-secret agency that oversees U.S. spy satellites, expressed concern that relying on workers to report colleagues’ suspicious behaviors to security officials could create “a repressive kind of culture.”

“The answer to it is not to have a Stasi-like response,” said Feldman, referring to the feared secret police of communist East Germany. “You’ve removed that firewall between employees seeking help and the threat that any employee who seeks help could be immediately retaliated against by this insider threat office.”

So the government thinks we're out to get them, even though they admit to not knowing what the heck a "bad guy" looks like in the first place, and they think it's perfectly permissible to set up a turn-in-your-coworkers surveillance state in their ranks. Never mind that it's probably going to be used to get revenge on coworkers far more often than it's used even for its (revolting) intended purpose in the first place, and that any spy with brains is going to get in the habit of framing coworkers in order to get a good reputation with the head honchos and throw suspicion off of himself or herself. Nope, this is totally going to solve all their problems.

Has it occurred to them that their lunatic attitudes are driving the leaks?!

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Jun. 13th, 2013

guardians_song: (Fire Emblem OTP)

Spork Commentary on (Thanfiction) Amy Player’s “Apology Letter”

Unkind? Perhaps. But as it recently went off the Web Archive – and had to be retrieved from screencaps – and I have a ScrapBook backup of the page, I figured now’s as good a time as any.
For the kind-hearted on my f-list, I would like to point out the following:
1 – Thanfiction is a master manipulator. In my politically-incorrect opinion, this is how he manages to get such a fanbase when he sets up shop in a fandom – if writing is, in part, selling your story to the reader, then whoo boy does he have an M.A. in selling stories. As such, if you get drawn in? That’s not because the truth is so compelling, it’s because he’s an expert in making it sound as compelling as possible. I’ll be unpacking his tricks as I go, but still. Do not suspend your disbelief.
2 – He’s known to incorporate elements from others’ stories. So if something rings true to you – does it ring true because it originated with him, or because he knew someone who’d actually gone through something similar very well?
3 – Most importantly in this poor-pitiful-repressed-FTM narrative – Thanfiction’s preferred targets are WELL-KNOWN to be vulnerable, naïve, and somewhat immature young women. And how is he presenting himself here? As a pooooor vulnerable, naïve, and somewhat immature young woman (who turned out to be a desperately angsty and troubled young man straight out of cliché fanfiction). Gee, what a coinkydink. Particularly when it comes to adding those lovely touches of authenticity to your seminal memoir of loss, lunacy, and self-discovery.

So if you say “there but for the grace of God go I” – noooo. And, I repeat, I’ll be explaining why as I go.

To Whom It May Concern
You have known me as Amy Player, as Strwriter, as Voyagerbabe, VB, Victoria Bitter, Mr. Frodo, and Jordan Wood.
I hear he’s leaving out “Merry Brandybuck” and “Orlando Bloom” from that list, at the very least…

*sporkity spork spork spork* )
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Jun. 6th, 2013

guardians_song: A Fire Dragon from Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken. (Fury)

Look, normally I try to filter the news a bit, but Drudge Report's headlines sum it up today.

NSA, FBI secretly mining data from Internet firms...

Top secret PRISM program...
Obama administration collecting phone records of millions daily...
Secret court order requires VERIZON to hand over ALL CALL DATA...
White House: Critical tool against 'terrorist threats'...
Specifically targeted Americans, not foreigners...
'Homeland Security': Laptops, phones can be searched based on hunches...
NSA SEES ALL: Phone Sex, Banks, Emails...
CIA: We'll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher...
'1984' Published 64 Years Ago Today...

Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.
I'm sorry. My icon does not convey the proper amount of rage. I'll just... put in an appropriate animation.


May. 8th, 2013

guardians_song: A sprite edit of Nils from Fire Emblem, looking shocked: CHRISTMAS EDITION (Nils)

Net denizens, time to begin beating the wardrums once more...

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, resolving years of internal debate, is on the verge of backing a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan for a sweeping overhaul of surveillance laws that would make it easier to wiretap people who communicate using the Internet rather than by traditional phone services, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.
NY Times gives more details.

Spread the word, reblog the snooping, protest like there's no tomorrow. It may seem relatively tame now, but -
The F.B.I. has abandoned a component of its original proposal that would have required companies that facilitate the encryption of users’ messages to always have a key to unscramble them if presented with a court order. Critics had charged that such a law would create back doors for hackers. The current proposal would allow services that fully encrypt messages between users to keep operating, officials said.

If they get their way now, you can be certain they WILL progress back to their original proposal. If you place any value on your privacy whatsoever, raise the hue and cry NOW.

Let me note:
The F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, has argued that the bureau’s ability to carry out court-approved eavesdropping on suspects is “going dark” as communications technology evolves, and since 2010 has pushed for a legal mandate requiring companies like Facebook and Google to build into their instant-messaging and other such systems a capacity to comply with wiretap orders. That proposal, however, bogged down amid concerns by other agencies, like the Commerce Department, about quashing Silicon Valley innovation.

“I think the F.B.I.’s proposal would render Internet communications less secure and more vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves,” said Gregory T. Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It would also mean that innovators who want to avoid new and expensive mandates will take their innovations abroad and develop them there, where there aren’t the same mandates.”

They WANT to have the social-networking leaders to have the power to read all your PMs at will. They WANT to be able to see what you're doing and saying at all times. They WANT to be able to monitor you like a parent looking over your shoulder...

D'you seriously believe that, once they have this power, they'll only activate it when a court-order calls for it? I suspect the Patriot Act allows for loopholes. This isn't alarmism - just observing the way the government has trended for the last dozen years.

Please spread word of this.

Apr. 2nd, 2013

guardians_song: GIF flashing up Japanese characters Shi, Kata, Ga, Na, I, then "It cannot be helped" in English (it cannot be helped)

*internally laughing head off*

It's unpleasant of me, I know, but I'm reading the March 14 LJ Releases post - and by gad am I glad that I post from Dreamwidth alone these days.

This. This is just a glorious trainwreck of user discontent, buggy interfaces, and insanity. It's like Fandom Wank at its finest...
(And yes, I shouldn't find it entertaining, but - damn, did I switch to crossposting while the getting was good!)
Ye gads, I've never seen so much rage, administrative incompetence, and rage at administrative incompetence outside of political communities. ...Hell, a medium-sized ONTD posts usualy have *less* than 7 pages, right? )


March 16 2013, 00:19:30 UT

But wait! There's more! )
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Feb. 20th, 2013

guardians_song: A Fire Dragon from Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken. (Fury)

*double facepalm*

[TRIGGER WARNING: Rape, and borderline rape-culture. And I don't like SJ terms, so that should give you an indication of just how ludicrous these remarks are.) Now that election season is over, the Democrats apparently feel they have to match Todd Akin in stupidity. Perhaps surpass him. *HEADLAPTOP* )
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guardians_song: Icon depiction of the sporker Richard. (Default)
Guardian's Song

December 2014




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