Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

More Spying On Americans

Hi Everyone,

Anyone web savvy enough to log on to this blog probably knows what "cookies" are. They aren't uncommon. Their effects can range from helpful to annoying to outright invasions of privacy. The AP is reporting now that the NSA's website placed persistent cookies on the computers of all visitors enabling them to track all subsequent web activity of that computer. The NSA claims this was a mistake and that they didn't understand that the software they were using implanted such cookies. Great. These guys are some of the top mathematics, computer science and high tech communications experts in the world and they expect us to believe they didn't understand their web software?? In the context of normalcy, I might believe them. But in the context of all the recent revelations about their outrageous abuse of power, I do not.

Even if this is just a mistake, it shows a shocking lack of concern for basic privacy rules. This is a direct result of Bush's climate of arrogance. This is a symptom of the hubris of unchecked power! As symptoms go it is a relatively minor one when placed against other abuses by the NSA and other agencies. But it is yet more evidence of the need to reign in an out of control executive branch.

Impeach Bush!


Anonymous said...

Ha ha! Having worked a little with NSA- I believe it. They ain't all that. Trust me.

Did you hear the one about the computer hacker? He breaks into the NSA super-computer and gives the answer.

You go out and hire all the egg heads you can find, you will inevitably miss the obvious.


// posted by UsWest

Anonymous said...

As I said, under normal circumstances I'd write this off to bureacratic bumbling but recent revelations change the stakes and I no longer have the luxury of giving them the benefit of the doubt. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

Sounds good. Are you also calling for criminal action against everyone else who uses tracking cookies? You know, those wacky fringe sites like eBay and Amazon? 

// posted by Mike

Anonymous said...

I don't believe I called for a criminal investigation of the cookie thing (on its own) at all, Mike.

But if you look into this story more deeply than I gather you have, you'll find that the NSA cookies were more "persistent" than the ones used by private business. Also, I'm a lot less worried about Amazon knowing stuff about me than I am about an out of control executive branch gathering "total informational awareness" about law abiding citizens. I have no confidence in their claims not be using this information to harm their political opponents.  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

US West said...

Fair question, Mike! The problem with the NSA Cookies is that they monitored all the sites you were visiting. Amazon cookies monitor your activity when on its site, not what you are doing at your on-line bank and your blogsite.

In addition, you can prevent Amazon cookies from being installed by fixing your security settings and you can delete them by clearing your Cache. The NSA cookies weren't set to expire until 2035! And my guess is, you couldn't delete them either. 

// posted by USwest