NSA Spying Scandal – An Analysis

NSA Logo
NSA Logo

Like a lot of people, I’ve been following the NSA Spying Scandal closely. In fact, I’ve been following it for several years, since before I first ran into Barrett Brown. Seriously. The leaks about go back a long way, and most writers appear to have missed the implications.

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National Security Agency Wins – Groklaw Shuts Down

Groklaw
Groklaw

On Tuesday August 20, 2013, PJ announced that Groklaw would shut down. To quote her final post:

The owner of Lavabit tells us that he’s stopped using email and if we knew what he knew, we’d stop too.

There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum.

What to do?

The whole NSA spying on emails thing came out of left field to most people. I knew a fair bit about it before it hit the news – I’d been corresponding with a variety of people who were nibbling around the issue from various directions. The problem was that they were all working on different angles, and everything seemed to lead into one direction, which seemed like pure paranoia.

Unfortunately it wasn’t.

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Privacy In The United States – Or The Total Lack Thereof

Last week I wrote Censorship In The United States – WARNING – Avoid U.S. Hosting And TLDs. My concern was simple – that too many of us use United States hosting companies and United States Top Level Domains. This is natural – the internet is after all an outgrowth of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency project to develop a communications system that was capable of surviving a nuclear war. The problem as I saw it, was that the United States, which was once a beacon of freedom and democracy, has become an Oligarchy.

That was my only concern. Oh, I also made the point that if your site was hosted in your home country, using your own country’s Top Level Domain, and there were problems, it would be far less expensive to fight, because things would be local to you.

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http://www.ioptout.ca/

I’ve always hated telemarketing calls. The Government of Canada is supposedly implementing a “Do Not Call” registry. I say supposedly because turtles move faster, and the proposed registry has holes – for instance political parties are exempted. Curious that.

Dr. Michael Geist has decided to do something about this. He set up a web site, http://www.ioptout.ca/ where Canadians can sign up to opt out from telemarketing calls, using the Canadian Privacy Legislation to also target those who were exempted from the Federal Do Not Call Registry. I signed up today, as soon as I found out about it.

For an further background I’d suggest checking out Dr. Geist’s blog at http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/blogsection/0/125/ and also check out a blog posting by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada at http://blog.privcom.gc.ca/index.php/2008/03/28/ioptout/. Both the Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080328.wroptoutticker28/BNStory/Technology/home/) and the CBC (http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2008/03/28/tech-telemarketing.html) have articles on the initiative.