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post #61 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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I know enough about statistics to tell you with a high degree of certainty that my methodology will yield results with a margin of error of +/- 100 percent.

I will tend to agree with that
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post #62 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 12:30 PM
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OK, well I say that the laws you have a problem with right now "work pretty well".

They have caused you less inconvenience than background checks and waiting periods.
Of course the background check laws that have not been much of a problem are different than erosion of privacy and freedom. Now if you ask about firearms databases and potential problems with that, there could be another issue.

I think the biggest problem that folks don't seem to understand with the convergence of data and the ever increasing data-mining is AI based algorithms that not only cruise data 24/7 but do so in ways that were not possible even five years ago.

The Administration likes to play a game where it says that “we could not possibly go through ALL the credit card or telephone records or listen to ALL of the telephone calls that are made. The truth is that YES they can. Multi-tier processing with multi-Pedibyte storage makes diving through mass data easier than ever for even small data-mining shops.

It is NOT paranoia to be concerned that the collection of data on anyone can be a threat. If you have a DUI, or one too many prescriptions to Xanax, or watched BigButts27 18 times, or bought night vision goggles on your VISA card or have three Police Scanners, or 2 speeding tickets and just purchased a supercharger. Aggregation of data can be used many ways it is well within the realm of probability that law enforcement is using it in Proactive fashion. If not now, they have tried.

It is at that fine line where Law Enforcement is watching specific people BEFORE they commit a crime that civil rights get trampled. You say, GOOD, stop those terrorists. I want terrorists stopped also but what if the BEFORE involves following you home from a bar, waiting on you to make a mistake because they knew you had 4 drinks based on your credit card buying pattern? That is not far fetched. Major cities are buying remote aircraft and cameras to track people. Don’t think they aren’t using data also. The model exists and is very, very simple to use.

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post #63 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 12:39 PM
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Of course the background check laws that have not been much of a problem are different than erosion of privacy and freedom. Now if you ask about firearms databases and potential problems with that, there could be another issue.

I think the biggest problem that folks don't seem to understand with the convergence of data and the ever increasing data-mining is AI based algorithms that not only cruise data 24/7 but do so in ways that were not possible even five years ago.

The Administration likes to play a game where it says that “we could not possibly go through ALL the credit card or telephone records or listen to ALL of the telephone calls that are made. The truth is that YES they can. Multi-tier processing with multi-Pedibyte storage makes diving through mass data easier than ever for even small data-mining shops.

It is NOT paranoia to be concerned that the collection of data on anyone can be a threat. If you have a DUI, or one too many prescriptions to Xanax, or watched BigButts27 18 times, or bought night vision goggles on your VISA card or have three Police Scanners, or 2 speeding tickets and just purchased a supercharger. Aggregation of data can be used many ways it is well within the realm of probability that law enforcement is using it in Proactive fashion. If not now, they have tried.

It is at that fine line where Law Enforcement is watching specific people BEFORE they commit a crime that civil rights get trampled. You say, GOOD, stop those terrorists. I want terrorists stopped also but what if the BEFORE involves following you home from a bar, waiting on you to make a mistake because they knew you had 4 drinks based on your credit card buying pattern? That is not far fetched. Major cities are buying remote aircraft and cameras to track people. Don’t think they aren’t using data also. The model exists and is very, very simple to use.

I don't think you are paranoid.

Maybe I have too much confidence in the ineptitude of government. I was at the DMV the other day. They can't even find all of the vehicles registered to me.

I understand and share your concern to a point. There will come a point in time where much of this will be possible, but my experience designing some of the infrastructure for the largest private-sector database environments in the world (not bragging...it ain't that sexy) tells me that we are a long way away from anything that I worry about.

The only point I will defend here is that it isn't a problem. Yet.
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post #64 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 12:45 PM
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LOL

I have a Ski Binding Technician Diploma. Clown School was too demanding, let alone Clown College.

Regarding "carnivore"...they ditched your model for COTS software. Sorry. But then again, systems are a bit more powerful than they were in 95.

My only point is that the idea that EVERYTHING is being monitored is absurd. The internet would screech to a grinding halt.

Specifically targeted "streams" can be managed, of course.
I know they ditched PART of that model. That is why my post had "EDIT NOTE: This is why it bothers me so much, I know at least part of what Carnivore and its replacement can do." as the third paragraph. However, they did not ditch Carnivore as much as changed it due to it becoming a household name. Its source code is still churning daily. The nice part about machine code written in 93 is that is was much more efficient than the sloppy [we go plenty of processor power] code done today. So when old code is run on today’s really REALLY big boxes, it hauls ass. Much like old OS/2 code is still running the backbone of much of the NYSE. It is fast and bulletproof. And yes, the systems are a BUNCH more powerful than 95. I am working with one as we type. It is indexing 1.230Pedabytes of media files in duel database.

The flaw in your logic there is that LEO would not monitor across the net which would grind the net to a halt. The monitoring would sidestream monitor which would not put any parasitic drag on but still allow 100% coverage. A major percentage of traffic would be scaled back via AI after x time [known users, sources, streams] and focused monitoring would cover the remainder.

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Last edited by mcbear; 10-20-2006 at 08:18 AM.
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post #65 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 12:49 PM
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I don't think you are paranoid.

Maybe I have too much confidence in the ineptitude of government. I was at the DMV the other day. They can't even find all of the vehicles registered to me.

I understand and share your concern to a point. There will come a point in time where much of this will be possible, but my experience designing some of the infrastructure for the largest private-sector database environments in the world (not bragging...it ain't that sexy) tells me that we are a long way away from anything that I worry about.

The only point I will defend here is that it isn't a problem. Yet.
Two points: First, they will find the cars when tax is due so don't worry and second, sounds like you and I do about the same job. And you are right, drawing boxes on whiteboards ain't sexy. Maybe its the 4 am pizza.

McBear,
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post #66 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think you are paranoid.

Maybe I have too much confidence in the ineptitude of government. I was at the DMV the other day. They can't even find all of the vehicles registered to me.

I understand and share your concern to a point. There will come a point in time where much of this will be possible, but my experience designing some of the infrastructure for the largest private-sector database environments in the world (not bragging...it ain't that sexy) tells me that we are a long way away from anything that I worry about.

The only point I will defend here is that it isn't a problem. Yet.
oh yeah, so would you admit that this is a start?
I too am responsible for such crap, I teach the gov hacking and anti-cyberterrorism under DoD 8570.1-M, I don't have a choice it's the nature of my business.
I can tell you that it will be just a matter of time when we have a tracking system that you would just plug in your Internet access coordinates (phone line, cable access or even VSAT) and all of your packets are theirs too. Maybe even just a click of a mouse on any house shown on a map like Google Earth and voila.
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post #67 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 04:22 PM
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.....
Maybe I have too much confidence in the ineptitude of government. I was at the DMV the other day. They can't even find all of the vehicles registered to me.....
I work with several fed agencies across different departments. They share that one characteristic.

What REALLY bothers me is not the spy games stuff, its the freaking blundering ineptitude of it all. A 1999 decision in OMB (Old Mean Bastards) set in motion a government-wide political censorship initiative that has been steadily gaining momentum. It was initiated to make sure that policy makers weren't surprised by science results taht differed from policy.

Like all programs in the fed, this one was initiated by the elected officials and implemented by the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy has gone at it like a metastisizing cancer. I know of several agencies that are FORBIDDEN from publishing scientific results that have not been politically vetted before the external scientific peer review process. This is to prevent even rumors of things escaping.

When somebody cries, "Cencorship" the bureaucrats all tut-tut and deny it. But the net effect is to delay publication (which already may take a year from manuscript submission to peer-reviewed pub) for 3-6 months. Or if the censors think it is too controversial they can legally suppress the science.

B

It will only get worse.
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post #68 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 07:51 PM
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I work with several fed agencies across different departments. They share that one characteristic.

What REALLY bothers me is not the spy games stuff, its the freaking blundering ineptitude of it all. A 1999 decision in OMB (Old Mean Bastards) set in motion a government-wide political censorship initiative that has been steadily gaining momentum. It was initiated to make sure that policy makers weren't surprised by science results taht differed from policy.

Like all programs in the fed, this one was initiated by the elected officials and implemented by the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy has gone at it like a metastisizing cancer. I know of several agencies that are FORBIDDEN from publishing scientific results that have not been politically vetted before the external scientific peer review process. This is to prevent even rumors of things escaping.

When somebody cries, "Cencorship" the bureaucrats all tut-tut and deny it. But the net effect is to delay publication (which already may take a year from manuscript submission to peer-reviewed pub) for 3-6 months. Or if the censors think it is too controversial they can legally suppress the science.

B

It will only get worse.
But isn't this THE REASON FOR the Interwebthingie, to OUT research that needs to see the light of day before our esteemed government has had time to tune up the results?

Media needs reminded DAILY of this roadblock and be allowed to do their thing. There will be times they will F it up but more information will get out and folks can see the real side by side with the tuned up versions [Global warming vs. NO Global warming] and check for "truthiness".

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post #69 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 08:08 PM
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oh yeah, so would you admit that this is a start?
I too am responsible for such crap, I teach the gov hacking and anti-cyberterrorism under DoD 8570.1-M, I don't have a choice it's the nature of my business.
I can tell you that it will be just a matter of time when we have a tracking system that you would just plug in your Internet access coordinates (phone line, cable access or even VSAT) and all of your packets are theirs too. Maybe even just a click of a mouse on any house shown on a map like Google Earth and voila.
I appreciate what you are saying, but bank, credit card, medical, telephone records etc. are already out there. I will be concerned about left-wing death squads if Hillary gets elected, of course.
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post #70 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 05:03 AM
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But isn't this THE REASON FOR the Interwebthingie, to OUT research that needs to see the light of day before our esteemed government has had time to tune up the results?

Media needs reminded DAILY of this roadblock and be allowed to do their thing. There will be times they will F it up but more information will get out and folks can see the real side by side with the tuned up versions [Global warming vs. NO Global warming] and check for "truthiness".
Sort of, maybe.

Let's say I was an environmental scientist of some sort with a research position in a government science agency. Lets pretend I had some scientific information that is publishable in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Lets say that the results will conflict with some policy of the president and the censors decide to suppress the results.

My choices are to 1) accept that and move along, 2) publish anonymously, or 3) take a bullet for the team by going to press with it.

#1 is the choice of most gov scientists. Why?

Because the peer review process is the first step in how scientists make sure that their research was valid. (The second step is repeat of the experiment or observation by some other scientist).

Stepping into the press without peer review is how you get Cold Fusion. Scientists make mistakes and lose objectivity. Especially when they think their research has extremely important implications. Under those circumstances, peer review is a safety switch to keep them from making a public fool of themselves.

Publishing anonymously or going directly to the press circumvents peer review. This vastly increases the likelihood that mistakes will propagate and folks will get it wrong, undermining the reason for getting the results to the public.

IMO the end result of this censorship will be that ambitious scientists will seek better opportunities elsewhere, resulting in decreasing quality of gov science. Why is that important?

Because whenever some scientist publishes something controversial the first thing partisans do is look for the funding source. Increasingly, science in universities is funded by NGO's and commercial companies. This fact ALWAYS undermines the value of the research even though in most cases the funding source really does NOT influence the science. Again, the peer review process almost always catches and kills bad science before it gets out (also kills a fair amount of good science, but that's another torrid tale of betrayal).

B
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