Thursday, December 29, 2005

NSA Web Site Places 'Cookies' On Computers |

~ I personally now will delete my cookies after visiting any Government website. ~` `TP
InformationWeek | Privacy | NSA Web Site Places 'Cookies' On Computers | December 29, 2005: " By Anick Jesdanun , NEW YORK (AP)--The National Security Agency's Internet site has been placing files on visitors' computers that can track their Web surfing activity despite strict federal rules banning most of them. These files, known as 'cookies,' disappeared after a privacy activist complained and The Associated Press made inquiries this week, and agency officials acknowledged Wednesday they had made a mistake. Nonetheless, the issue raises questions about privacy at a spy agency already on the defensive amid reports of a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States. 'Considering the surveillance power the NSA has, cookies are not exactly a major concern,' said Ari Schwartz, associate director at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a privacy advocacy group in Washington, D.C. 'But it does show a general lack of understanding about privacy rules when they are not even following the government's very basic rules for Web privacy.'"

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Internet Fosters Local Political Movements, AP News

~~~ It appears from this article the Internet is finally causing some political activity , that otherwise would not happen. But I still feel for the most, the Internet has done little to change the balance of powers in elections , nor seriously impacted how legislation is passed & public policy formed. Even in the the headline here, note the choice of the word "fosters" as oppossed to "galvanizes" or "energizes" . [Click HERE for another recent post & article on this suject] ~~` TP
"Internet Fosters Local Political Movements"
AP Political Writer

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Frustrated by government and empowered by technology, Americans are filling needs and fighting causes through grass-roots organizations they built themselves -- some sophisticated, others quaintly ad hoc. This is the era of people-driven politics.

From a homemaker-turned-kingmaker in Pittsburgh to dog owners in New York to a 'gym rat' here in southwest Florida, people are using the Internet to do what politicians can't -- or won't -- do."

Friday, December 23, 2005

Fla. attorney general says his e-mails aren't spam | CNET

~~ Political emails may be propaganda, but to call them spam --- which is commercial -- is unfair. We expect politicians to stuff our real and virtual mailboxes with reasons why I should vote for them. I am just thankful to live in a country where election violence , bombings & etc does not occur [anymore ] . If the price for that is a little "political spam" , well I am cool with that ~ `~~ TP

Fla. attorney general says his e-mails aren't spam | CNET "Florida's attorney general has spearheaded an aggressive campaign against unsolicited e-mails, or spam. But as a candidate for governor, he appears to be generating some unwanted Internet clutter himself."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

"Spy Court Judge Quits In Protest:" :

~ This Spy-gate thing is going to be serious news for a while. When both Democrats & Republican Senate leaders are expressing civil liberties concerns, all citizens should be concerned. Nixon -- and those Presidents before him -- walked over civil liberties regularly. No one wants to go back to those times , with Presidential Enemy lists , covert wire taps, & etc. The Bush Team must feel the Power of Checks and Balances here.
Hopefully Congress is up to the job ~~ TP

"Jurist Concerned Bush Order Tainted Work of Secret Panel"

By Carol D. Leonnig and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 21, 2005; Page A01

"A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources. U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,, sent a letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. late Monday notifying him of his resignation without providing an explanation".

"Word of Robertson's resignation came as two Senate Republicans joined the call for congressional investigations into the National Security Agency's warrantless interception of telephone calls and e-mails to overseas locations by U.S. citizens suspected of links to terrorist groups. They questioned the legality of the operation and the extent to which the White House kept Congress informed."

"Sens. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and Olympia J. Snowe (Maine) echoed concerns raised by Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has promised hearings in the new year."

"Hagel and Snowe joined Democrats Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Carl M. Levin (Mich.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) in calling for a joint investigation by the Senate judiciary and intelligence panels into the classified program."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups, New Files Show - New York Times

~~~ Not that this is really surprising. When i worked for GreenPeace in during the Reagan years, we knew that we were being monitiored. Strange thing is we had nothing to hide,, I mean we were publicity-hound-political-activists, who telegraphed to the media most everything we did or said. Why non-violent groups need to be "monitiored" is still really beyond me.

Either way the Bush Team is in trouble. If these domestic spying games the Administration is playing are found to be more than just unethical, but also to be illegal, some heads are going to have to roll. Being Scooter Libby already got indicted, maybe Dick Cheney is next, as he is the main powerplayer. { Don't tell me you really think Bush is in charge of this complicated stuff ! } ~~ ` TP

F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups, New Files Show - New York Times: "the documents, coming after the Bush administration's confirmation that President Bush had authorized some spying without warrants in fighting terrorism, prompted charges from civil rights advocates that the government had improperly blurred the line between terrorism and acts of civil disobedience and lawful protest.

One F.B.I. document indicates that agents in Indianapolis planned to conduct surveillance as part of a 'Vegan Community Project.' Another document talks of the Catholic Workers group's 'semi-communistic ideology.' A third indicates the bureau's interest in determining the location of a protest over llama fur planned by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The documents, provided to The New York Times over the past week, came as part of a series of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. For more than a year, the A.C.L.U. has been seeking access to information in F.B.I. files on about 150 protest and social groups that it says may have been improperly monitored."

ABC News: Was Bush Authorized to Spy on American Citizens?

ABC News: Was Bush Authorized to Spy on American Citizens?: "Speed Necessary?

The president said he needed the power to eavesdrop without a court order to streamline the process of wiretapping suspected terrorists.

'We've got to be fast on our feet, quick to detect and prevent,' Bush said.

But the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows investigators to wiretap before getting a warrant, as long as they request permission from a special intelligence court within 72 hours.

'Doesn't hold water,' said Saltzburg. 'As long as you can act in emergencies before you get a court order, then speed is irrelevant here.'

The secret court has overwhelmingly done the bidding of recent administrations. Since 1979, the Justice Department has gone before the secret court 18,742 times and has only been turned down in four instances.

But for the Bush administration, court approval, at times, was not fast enough.

ABC News' Pierre Thomas filed this report for 'World News Tonight.'"

Monday, December 19, 2005

Just Three More Years !!!

~~ So Bush admits, with his anti-terror flag wrapped tightly around him,
Congress is ticked off. Hearings will come with the new year.
Well at least it will not be a boring three more years. ~~ TP


Lawmakers Call for Domestic Spying Probe - Yahoo! News

"Lawmakers Call for Domestic Spying Probe"
President George W Bush has admitted he authorised secret monitoring of communications within the United States in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts - New York Times

~~~ The NY Times has an extensive article today on the Bush team again forgetting that a Democracy is a place where the Government does not spy on its citizens with out first getting a Court order. This is major news , but unless Congress raises a stink and starts hearings , it will pass under the radar of most voters.

I have to keep saying to myself -
-- "Just three more years,, Just three more years".

Anybody will be better than the Bushies in 2008. 
{ Assuming that Team Bush does not find 
some way to cancel the 2008 American elections.] ~~~ TP

Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts

"WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 - Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials"

Thursday, December 15, 2005

" Hackers fuel Peru-Chile rivalry" BBC NEWS | Americas |

~~~ Now this is really Technopolitical. Maybe cross-border Political-Hacking could replace military wars. But probably not. ~~ TP

BBC NEWS | Americas | Hackers fuel Peru-Chile rivalry: "The historic rivalry between Peru and Chile has spilled into cyberspace with hackers from both countries striking at government websites."

At Stake: The Net as We Know It

~~ Big alarm bells here. If the internet becomes a place where the Internet Service Providers can favor some websites over others , the internet will simply be crippled and much less useful---especially as a political tool. Something tells me that common sense and the consumer market will not let this fragmentation occur. But who knows? ~~~ TP

At Stake: The Net as We Know It


By Catherine Yang

"Google et al fear broadband carriers will tie up traffic with new tolls and controls. Ultimately, it could mean a world of Internet haves and have-nots

The Internet has always been a model of freedom. Today the Web is flourishing because anyone can click to any site or download any service they want on an open network. But now the phone and cable companies that operate broadband networks have a different vision. If they get their way, today's Information Highway could be laden with tollgates, express lanes, and traffic tie-ups -- all designed to make money for the network companies."

" Sen. William Proxmire Dead At 90 "

~~ The second Senate giant to pass this week. Like Sen. Eugence McCarthy , William Proxmire is one for the history books. A unique maverick who often defied labels. Mostly "Liberal" , but against abortion. Thifty , but always bought home the milk-price supports to the home state. Most importantly Sen. Proxmire also led the charge to get the USA to sign the International Genocide Treaty. A very complex man indeed, and like Sen. McCarthy the type of politician who probably could not get elected today.~~ TP

CBS News | Sen. William Proxmire Dead At 90 | December 15, 2005 "Long before the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law was a twinkle in the eye of lawmakers, and at a time when millions were spent campaigning for Senate seats, Proxmire made a point of accepting no contributions. In 1982 he registered only $145.10 in campaign costs, yet gleaned 64 percent of the vote."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Who gets to see the e-mail of the deceased?":The Christian Science Monitor

~~ IF you want your email to stay private after you pass on , it seems the onus is on you to state so in your will. Otherwise as this case below ,, the courts can release the the email to your next of kin ~~ TP

Who gets to see the e-mail of the deceased?

Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

....from a legal point of view, e-mail's status is not clear cut. Even the experts can't agree. One law professor describes it as "a property interest," but not intellectual property. Another lecturer on law says absolutely it is intellectual property and is covered by copyright laws.

What makes these legal distinctions more critical is the growing volume of e-mail - and with it rising privacy issues. Free e-mail accounts - some with storage capacities up to 250 MB - allow people to pile up digital photos, documents, and volumes of correspondence without a second's thought. Few people are thinking through the ramifications, says Alan Chappell, a privacy and data-collection consultant."

Monday, December 12, 2005

McCarthy's rare mold:

~~~ I have been reading a lot of o-bits about Sen. Eugene McCarthy, and this one from 'USA Today' struck the chord I was looking for. ~~ TP
--------------------------------------------------- - McCarthy's rare mold: "McCarthy's rare mold
Most politicians whose biggest claim to fame was a second-place finish in a presidential primary would barely rate a footnote from historians.

But Eugene McCarthy, who died Saturday at age 89, wasn't like most politicians." it is hard to imagine someone as quirky or principled as McCarthy surviving in today's political environment. He didn't take the oath of self-preservation and mindless partisanship that seems to be an officeholder's first action today. He didn't base his stands on the winds of the moment......

......The nation would be well-served if more people of McCarthy's unwavering integrity were drawn to public service. It would also do well to have more officials like McCarthy with interests in poetry and other areas beyond politics and the law.

......But he was an unusual politician at a unique moment in history. It's probably safe to say there won't be many more like him anytime soon. ~~` How True , and that is what is too bad . ~` TP

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Internet redefining politics: new survey

~~ I disagree with the findings here. While the Internet is becoming "part" of politics in the USA, there has not been , nor will there be soon any major shift in political power.

The Republicans have used the internet to help
solidify their base better than the Democrats have.

This is because there is still a major Digital Divide in the USA,
with the wealthier Republicans having more broadband to use politically . ~~ ` `TP

Internet redefining politics: new survey: "Online campaigning is transforming US politics and empowering individual voters dwarfed by the might of the print and broadcast media, the author of a major new Internet use survey said."

Thursday, December 8, 2005

"US warns of fake net domain data" / BBC NEWS | Technology |

BBC NEWS | Technology | US warns of fake net domain data: "More than 5% of the net's most popular domains have been registered using 'patently false' data, research shows."

~~~ But the USA also went to war in Iraq using " 'patently false' data."
So I guess that evens it all out, huh ?

{While I do not directly put my real name and etc, here at ,
a few clicks around my profile will lead you to my ID if you really care to know. ]
~~~ TP

EFF moves to block certification of e-voting systems | CNET

I do not see any reason to believe that the Internet will be able to overcome the fundamental issue of trust for election voting anytime in the near future.

Paper ballots and their "hanging chads" while time consuming to count and not at all perfect, are still physically tangible.

And it does not take an advanced degree in micro-processor technologies to re-count the votes if there is a challenge by the losing side in a close race.
If the
Florida votes in dispute during the 2000 Bush-Gore Presidential race had been Internet-Cast-Votes, history may have been different,
Maybe not, but I would not choose to risk it. To have the core of the American democratic process become an activity of cyber-space is something I find spooky. Hackers have proven to be some of the most talented minds of our time and there has yet to be a cyber-system that has been made impregnable to attack. When it come to voting for President or anything else, I would rather take my chances with the hanging chads~~~ TP .


EFF moves to block certification of e-voting systems

By Anne Broache

Story last modified Thu Dec 08 17:57:00 PST 2005 The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a court complaint Thursday aimed at blocking North Carolina's recent certifications of voting machines, saying state elections officials failed to meet legal requirements before signing off on the systems. The complaint (click for PDF), filed in Wake County Superior Court by the EFF and a Raleigh lawyer on behalf of a local voters' advocate, calls for a judge to void certifications that the Board of Elections issued last week to Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia Voting Systems. It also requests a restraining order that would prevent elections officials from certifying any new systems until they comply fully with state election laws. The state legislature modified those laws this summer, setting new standards for e-voting machines and requiring that existing systems be decertified. State elections officials 'exceeded their statutory authority' in signing off on the systems, because they disregarded the law in two areas, the complaint charges.