The president has one. Should you?
“When Cabinet secretaries and top national security officials take up their new jobs, the government retrofits their homes with special secure rooms for top-secret conversations and computer use.
Following a several-hundred-page classified manual, the rooms are lined with foil and soundproofed. An interior location, preferably with no windows, is recommended.” — Barack Obama’s portable secrecy tent (some assembly required), seen here.
So it’s true! It’s all true!
Or is it? Why are they letting the tin-foil truth come out now, just when we’re finding out about the Nazi art hoard? Or is it “hoards,” eh Mister Mugabe?
They won’t fool me that easily. I refuse to be panicked into taking measures the state’s attorney can then point to as evidence of clinical paranoia.
Google, Yahoo, …
“…PRISM is really just insurance: a way for the NSA to get legal cover for information it already has. My guess is that the NSA collects the vast majority of its data surreptitiously, using programs such as these. Then, when it has to share the information with the FBI or other organizations, it gets it again through a more public program like PRISM.” — NSA Eavesdropping on Google and Yahoo Networks
and the Pope
The US ‘spied on future Pope Francis during Vatican conclave’. It seems like there’s something really clever to say about this, but I don’t know what that might be.
“US spies on ‘the entire globe’, experts say“.
If so, it doesn’t seem to have done us much good.
The M-1 Series Snake Tongs provide “safe and humane rattlesnake removal.” Uh huh. If I want to remove rattlesnakes I’ll use the M-1 garden hoe, and that only if I can’t use a shotgun.
Seriously, how can there be a market for snake tongs? The zookeeper should already have a pair, and maybe the wildlife ecologist, and the one guy who catches live snakes to support anti-venom production. Who else has any business catching rattlesnakes alive, Doctor Evil’s snake pit supervisor? For everyone else – Hey, it’s a rattlesnake. Kill it.
I applaud the man in British Columbia who recently killed a cougar with a spear. But “the first time in B.C., if not Canada and maybe even North America, where someone has stopped an attack by a cougar with a spear and killed it with a spear”? I don’t think so.
“An Italian priest has given Pope Francis a 20-year-old white Renault 4 to drive himself around Vatican city.”
“The BBC’s David Willey in Rome says the Pope’s bodyguards were amazed when he took the keys and drove off.”
I’m not sure amazement would have been the bodyguards’ primary sentiment just then.
not necessarily in that order
“This illustrates the difference between a business owned by a person, and a public corporation owned by shareholders. Ladar Levison can decide to shutter Lavabit — a move that will personally cost him money — because he believes it’s the right thing to do. I applaud that decision, but it’s one he’s only able to make because he doesn’t have to answer to public shareholders. Could you imagine what would happen if Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page decided to shut down Facebook or Google rather than answer National Security Letters? They couldn’t. They would be fired.” — Lavabit E-Mail Service Shut Down, by Bruce Schneier
I haven’t fully thought this out, but there is some kind of connection between this and Christians organizing as non-profits. I don’t think it’s wrong for a Christian to operate a non-profit, but I do think activities intrinsic to the Christian mission should be done by men and women, not corporations.
It may not be so at its inception; it probably isn’t true in every single case; but a mature Christian non-profit corporation is first a corporation, then a non-profit, and lastly Christian. If it comes to a crunch, corporate survival comes first, and the mission comes second. Any distinctly Christian elements will be subordinated to the continued welfare of the corporation and to the mission. In practice, the “Christian” part is mostly rhetorical. Lose a government grant, or cancel morning prayer? Well, people can pray at home.
UPDATE 19 July 2013: Some remarks on clickjacking. Just, um, don’t click the link at the end.
“Reread that Skype denial from last July, knowing that at the time the company knew that they were giving the NSA access to customer communications. Notice how it is precisely worded to be technically accurate, yet leave the reader with the wrong conclusion. This is where we are with all the tech companies right now; we can’t trust their denials…” — New Details on Skype Eavesdropping, by Bruce Schneier