Just some food for thought…

JROppenheimer LosAlamos

I wasn’t planning on another piece about Apple v. The FBI. But here goes…

For all those pundits, wags, celebrities, politicians, and now Rabbis speaking out and telling Apple that they should decrypt the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, I submit this.

Apple is apparently applying the thought Robert Oppenheimer had after he helped create the atomic bomb.

When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.
– J. Robert Oppenheimer

I believe this quote is often paraphrased to;

Just because you CAN do a thing, doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD do a thing.

I’ve lived my life using that paraphrase as a test for certain actions. I look at it as a cautionary signpost for all scientists and researchers.

Project t virus by linkin368 d3gt57g

Just because you can modify the DNA of influenza to deliver a genetic update to all the people of the world… should you? What about murphy’s law? Can you really limit the unintended consequences? 

OR is it simply better to recognize that never creating the technology is the best course of action?

Thumb01m

All these people saying Apple should crack the phone, have no idea what they’re talking about. It’s not an easy task, even for Apple. Cracking encryption isn’t what you see in the movies. 

You don’t just plug a widget into a port, have some dialog about how cool you are and then hear a beep as the NSA computers start spilling all their information onto your impossibly small storage device.

At this point it’s unclear if the iPhone in question is using something as simple as a 4 digit code. It’s likely, but depending on the IOS version being used, the phone could be locked using a phrase.

If there’s a passphrase the odds of success hacking it with a brute force attack drop precipitously with each character added to the passphrase length.

James comey fbi

The brute force attack that the FBI is describing is crude and there is no guarantee that if they win in court, forcing Apple to be their bitch, that when they finally get into the phone there won’t be a nasty little application that has encrypted all the files the FBI wants using an entirely different algorithm, from another manufacturer.  If that’s the case, is the FBI going to get another court order? Probably not, because this is about the FBI making an example. Apple just happens to be the biggest target. 

It’s just as likely, this Jihadi fucker was using a messaging application that wiped the messages 5 minutes after they were read.

Federal and state fbi agent

If the guy was at all concerned about security, He probably turned off all the Apple Tracking software, I know I did right after Edward Snowden blew the whistle.

I’m not a criminal, but I value my privacy and am willing to forego my phone being able to tell me where the nearest Häagen-Dazs is, to maintain my privacy.

This means that Apple providing a custom operating system to disables the automatic wipe on the phone and allow unlimited access to the phone’s password system is likely not going to get the FBI anything more than they already have based on cell tower records.

By the way, because of the number of towers in the San Bernardino area, cell tower data can pinpoint the movements of this Jihadi asshole to within a couple hundred feet or less.

The NSA Actually Has A Program Called SKYNET

So the FBI is lying right from the get-go, when they say they want access to the phone so they can figure out where this Jihadi and his diseased rancid whore of a wife, were before, during the shooting, and after. 

The cell tower records would already provide that information and if the guy turned off his phone while visiting some nefarious underworld figure. Or dropped it in a Faraday bag or cage…

LOKSAK SHIELDSAK Flexible Fabric Faraday Cage Anti RF Protective Bag RF Fortress Radio Frequency Camouflage NDIA SOFIC 2014 David Crane DefenseReview com DR 10

Then the FBI would still get nothing from the phone because at that point the phone would have been cut off from the cell tower or any GPS information and likewise wouldn’t have been able to transmit any of that information.

But we know that the FBI has nine OTHER phones they want to force Apple to help them unlock. 

Apple icon apple

The problem here is that Apple has never created the software to unlock or hack their devices.

Why should they?

Apple tells you, “don’t lose your password, we cant help you if you do.”

So they have a secure device, and they can insure the device’s security because they’ve never created any software to undo their encryption or their locking mechanism.

Just because you CAN do a thing, doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD do a thing.

Achmed

Dear Apple customer… “If you loose your password, you can wipe the phone and start over. We strongly recommend you have the data backed up. Apple provides the iCloud service for this purpose.“

It’s recently come to light, that the FBI ordered the San Bernardino County IT department to change the password on the iCloud account and therefore broke a link that could, with Apple’s help, have gained access to the phone.

Now the FBI wants to use a court order to force Apple to UNFUCK their fuckup. But that’s not the end game.

The end game is that the FBI wants to force manufacturers to build government backdoors into all devices. 

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The FBI is using “terrifying terrorists” and criminals, to spook congress and the courts into passing legislation that mandates government access be built into all machines. They and their supporters are using the time honored B.S. line;

For the safety and security of the public…” or that old favorite “We do this for THE CHILDREN

I’m not sure I believe in the slippery slope argument but I do think it’s a very short walk to losing rights that we’ll never get back.

That walk begins with statements that start out, “It’s worth losing a little privacy, or freedom, or changing the laws, or, or, or,  for safety.” see; The Patriot Act

 When I see our government behaving this way, and I hear people saying, “it’s just a little invasion,” I can’t help but think of the poem The Hangman.


I could see a time in the future when it’s illegal for you not to have your phone on your person.

After all, the government would only want to keep track of your movements and communications to insure your safety… Right?

Back doors in our devices are, I think just a stepping stone to full surveillance.

You have nothing to fear, if you have nothing to hide.

Stand with Apple – Go Dark

Apple

Apple is a target plain and simple.

If the US Government succeeds in their ploy to force Apple to create custom code that decrypts the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone we all loose.

This is not about the rights of terrorists. Put a bullet in the brain of all terrorists and let God sort ‘em out. I truly don’t give a flying fuck about some Muslim asshole that should’ve been turned around at the border. I’m honestly surprised that they even can use a smart phone isn’t there some fatwa saying followers of Islam must remain in the 12th century?

Tim Cook

Anyhoo…

This fight between Apple and the Government is about access and control. For over a year we’ve been hearing the FBI telling us they don’t like encryption. The NSA doesn’t like it either and with good reason. They can’t spy on average citizens and don’t even dare to think that’s not exactly what they want to do.

idiots happen

Last night on the news I heard average people being interviewed saying stuff like “Well if it’s to fight terrorists it’s worth giving up a little freedom and privacy.”

To those people I say this.

YOU’RE MORONS!

Emperor Ming

The same argument was made right after 9/11, and that gave us The Patriot Act which is by the way still in effect.

Some of the more sinister things about the Patriot act are the scope of Presidential power, the ability to indefinitely detain a citizen without due process, and the unprecedented scope of surveillance that is now permitted.

Remember how pissed off everyone was about the Edward Snowden revelations? How we found out that the NSA was recording all kinds of information from our phones? Yeah, that’s what comes from giving up just “a little freedom and privacy.”

Edward Snowden.

Apple can’t fight this fight alone. Even Apple and Google together can’t fight this fight.

We’ve gotta help.

We do that by going dark.

You can buy encryption from a variety of vendors.

But you can find some excellent encryption for free if you go looking for it. Open source encryption is pretty robust.

VPN

Encrypt everything you own. All your drives, all your files stored in the cloud. Then find a VPN service that you like and think you can trust, if they’re European even better.

Make sure that their data is end to end encrypted and use the service all the time on every device you own. 

It’s not just about taking a stand. If your information is encrypted, then it’s a lot harder for bad guys to get their hands on personal data that could be used to hurt you.

Encrypt

Make it a cause. 

#godarkforprivacy
#godarkforapple

The only way we keep our rights and privacy to to defend those rights and privacy vigorously.

Thats my public service announcement for the day.

LGBT folks, please I beg you!

Hillary Clinton

Stop supporting Hillary Clinton!

I know a bunch of you are rolling your eyes and saying, “Here he goes again, he’s just is afraid of a Woman president.”

Believe me, when it comes to the business of our government I’m all for a meritocracy. If I believed Hillary Clinton was the best candidate for the job I’d vote for her. Just as I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 when I believed he was the best candidate for our country.

Let me remind you of a few things.

Hillary was anti same sex marriage, when her husband was President. I’ll grant that she could have had a change of heart. People learn, change, and hopefully grow. That being said, it’s because of her other behaviors that I question if she’s changed, or if she’s simply pandering to a voting block that she thinks is “in the bag” because LGBT folks vote overwhelmingly Democrat.

Hillary has a long trail of scandals that date back to the 80s.

These scandals aren’t imaginary, or conspiracies, they’re a matter of public record.

I’ll grant that many of these scandals are intertwined with Bill Clinton, and even would have allowed that his bad behavior had unfairly colored her reputation up through the Whitehouse years.

However her recent Scandals are her own.

A very nice chronological listing of the Whitewater Affair is available at The Washington Post.

Travelgate – Hillary allegedly engineered the firing of seven employees of the White House travel office and the hiring of a firm with ties to the Clintons to replace them. Multiple investigations absolved the president of involvement but Hillary Clinton was found to have made false statements to investigators.

Hillarycare – Hillary Clinton convened her task force to create her husband’s national healthcare program, it included multiple representatives from government, the health and insurance industries and academics. This resulted in not one but two lawsuits. At issue in both suits was secrecy and potential conflicts of interest. The second suit was granted in favor of the plaintiffs then was overturned.

Filegate – FBI background files on officials in previous Republican presidential administrations were improperly given in 1993 and 1994 to Craig Livingstone, the director of White House security. No illegal activity was ever proven, and Livingstone ultimately resigned. 

Removal of files from Vince Foster’s office – Vince Foster was President Clinton’s deputy White House counsel. He committed suicide in 1993, his body was found in a park just across the Potomac River from the White House. Files were also allegedly removed from his White House office before investigators were able to secure it as part of the official probe into his death.

Lost Rose Law Firm billing records – Congressional and Justice Department investigators began issuing subpoenas in 1994 for Hillary Clinton’s billing records as a partner in the Rose law firm at the center of the Whitewater scandal. She said her role was incidental, and the records were not in her possession. Then in 1996 the records mysteriously turned up on a table in the private residence of the White House. These records showed Hillary met repeatedly with key figures in the scandal.

The email scandal – While serving as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, Hillary Clinton used a private email account and a server located at her residence in Chappaqua, N.Y., to conduct official government business. In a March 10, 2015, news conference at the United Nations, she said she did this as a matter of personal “convenience” and that she deleted thousands of emails she considered personal. Federal laws and regulations require government employees to preserve personal emails that deal with official business. Recently it’s been reported that as many as 22 emails with a top secret clearance have been discovered on Mrs Clinton’s server. 

This list has been culled from a longer list of scandals in which it’s possible Hillary wasn’t a primary player. I question her involvement in the cleansing of Vince Foster’s office. But since Mr. Foster and Mrs. Clinton were such good friends I’ve included it.

I omitted the whole Benghazi affair, I personally believe that there is something there, (where there’s smoke there’s fire) but so much has been written and said about it I needn’t add more.

We’ll never know if she was responsible, or if she was acting under orders to facilitate some other agenda. It’s possible that the sacrifice of our personnel was for a greater good. I certainly hope so, but I’m resigned to never hearing the full truth.

What ever happened to the filmmaker they arrested for making the “offensive” film about Muhammed? I don’t recall if he was arrested for expressing his freedom of speech or if he was wanted on other charges.

Probably doesn’t matter if the government wanted him in jail as a sacrificial lamb to appease muslims they’d come up with whatever charges they needed. That is a sad commentary, coming from someone who was taught to believe in our government.

The Clinton Foundation appears to have provided access for donors to Mrs Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. I’ve omitted that whole thread, however this too is a matter of public record, You can google it just as easily as I can. Just remember to read the Liberal and Conservative accounts.

My reason for disqualifying Hillary Clinton as a candidate is that her history of obfuscation and close proximity to serious ethical questions, if not outright violations of the law, calls into question her character. I question the character of the people working for Mrs Clinton. It seems that people who express dissent, or who question her orders don’t last very long.  This suggests to me that Mrs. Clinton tends to surround herself with “Yes people” who carry out questionable orders without exercising conscience. 

I personally think that having to explain your reasoning, or listening to an alternative viewpoint is important, especially so, when the lives of millions of your fellow citizens will be impacted by your decision.  I don’t believe that Hillary Clinton allows that kind of discussion.

Moreover at minimum, I question her ethics, and at maximum I believe she may be subject to indictment for mishandling top secret materials, not out of ignorance, but out of arrogance. She seems to believe that laws do not apply to her.

Not even the President of the United States is above the law.

It occurs to me that that in the latter years of George W. Bush’s term we all we very quick to point out that the President has to obey the law. Bush has a long list of scandals but nothing dating back decades. MostCorrupt.com has a comprehensive list of scandals. All of them are confined to Bush’s time in the White House. Yes, some are worth a deeper look. However, many of the so-called scandals could be viewed as bad decisions, not necessarily actions with criminal intent. (And I gotta say MostCorrupt.com appears to be decidedly left.)

For me, my opposition to Mrs Clinton is not personal, or sexist, or anti-elitist. I simply think based on the evidence that Mrs. Clinton has a bit too much questionable behavior for me.

I would never feel confident about her duty and allegiance to…

We The People

Think about it. If, after reflection and review you’re still in Hillary’s camp so be it.

I’ll defend your right to vote your conscience as long as it is your conscience and you’re not doing what you’ve been told to do simply because you were told to do it. I’ll of course reserve the right to believe you’re wrong.

It’s my duty to defend your right to your opinion, please do me the same courtesy.

Oscars RACIST!

Al Sharpton Profile Pointing Spencer Platt Getty Images 640x480

Big Deal so what, Who Cares?

Al Sharpton claims the Oscars are “Fraudulent” because the nominees are all white.

Aside from Sharpton himself being more racist than the Grand Dragon of the KKK; if the Oscars are fraudulent  then why is he worried about doing the Uncle Tom shuffle in a meaningless award ceremony?

KKK UniformDon’t worry Al, next year all the nominees will be black regardless of how bad the movies are, or poor the acting is. There won’t be any white devils nominated, just to appease you.

That won’t make the ceremony any more valid, less racist, or relevant to our daily life. It will not change who’s in control. It will however, finally END these stupid, vain, self congratulatory, award ceremonies.

I personally will be very glad to see the Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, and the BET Awards, tossed on the dustbin of history. I look forward to not having to hear about these vanities ever again.

OscarUntil then Al, SHUT UP!

Think about the fact that I, who was born in the South believe that you make David Dukes look like a balanced individual. (To be clear, he’s not, and neither are you.)

Al, your claims to fame are exactly 3 things.

You’re an unbelievable racist.

You’re an example that FAT shaming works. Your pictures from the 70’s are telling.

You’re awesome at tax evasion, and mooching.

That’s it. Your life summed up. So please exit the public stage, we’re all totally over your shit.

I’m sure someone will decide to give you an Oscar next year. It’ll be a lifetime achievement award in dramatic rhetoric.

Now I know why TV sales are good this time of year

I watched the State of the Union address last night.

There were several points where I thought I was having a stroke, or that I’d passed into some alternate dimension.

There were some amusing tweets during the speech.

Joint Chiefs

The Joint Chiefs of staff didn’t look happy at all! Of course they must have been concerned about the 10 sailors being held at that very moment in Iran.

Yeah, Iran, you know the country that we’ve brokered a deal to reduce sanctions with? The country that regularly paints our ships and aircraft with targeting systems as we maneuver in the Gulf? The country that has nuclear aspirations and has repeatedly stated its desire to not only destroy Israel but the United States as well?

You know, the helpful friendly nation of Iran, our friend…

I’ll tell you what, if I were Obama I’d make sure I wasn’t alone with these guys. I felt the heat through my TV when Obama said he’d made the military stronger.

Trey Gowdy

Then there was Trey Gowdy. I guess that 7 years is just too long to be able to hide your true feelings and I can’t help but think Gowdy is right up there with the Joint Chiefs.

“Is that a mixture of hatred and disgust sir, or did you eat some bad baklava?”

I can’t imagine how many televisions were shot last night. When Obama leaves office, several things are likely to happen. Gun Sales will fall, Television sales will fall, and cord cutting will level off.

It might be a good thing this is President Obama’s last year.

Below is a small sampling of the tweets that caught my attention.

SOTU1

Cocktail / Dinner Party Don’ts

Discussing, politics, religion, & the family doctor at social gatherings… BIG social no-no’s!

Audrey-Hepburn-cocktail-partyI was at a dinner party the other night.  It was nice until someone assumed that everyone in the crowd would be voting for Hillary!  I corrected him, simply saying that I wasn’t. Then he called me a misogynist because I’m not on the Hillary bandwagon.  Hey, I’m not voting for Trump either!

In hindsight, since the word misogynist rolled off the guys tongue with the same venom as the word “Racist” I probably should have kept my mouth shut.

I didn’t!

I asked this person to explain their logic.  Things went down hill from there, I really need to learn how to disengage, or better yet not engage at all!
98bfb6e471935dadaa9cf4a349113cf1

This person explained that is was time for America to have a woman president.

He went on to justify that statement by saying European countries had elected women leaders. I asked how he could justify voting for Hillary when we know she’s lied about at least one issue of national security regarding her email server, and that the FBI is currently investigating her.

I also pointed out that if she were a man, or Republican, or a citizen like everyone in the room, she’d be out of the presidential race and likely in jail. The response was, “Hillary is better than Trump.”

“What about Fiorina,” I asked.

“She’s a Republican!”

Hillary-Clinton.pngAt which point, I pointed out that his choice of Hillary was in fact not based simply on the fact that America needed a woman president but party politics.

Then the guy tried to “WIN” the conversation by loudly asking me again if I was a misogynist and accused me of being afraid of a woman president.  I told him that I thought his attitude was based in misandry and given that he was a man I found that quite ironic.

Thinking about it… That was when I should have stopped.

He didn’t understand what I’d said, so I should have realized I was having a war of wits with and unarmed person.

The discussion, such as it was, devolved into his pronouncements that no-one should have guns and everyone in America was afraid.  I told him I thought that he was overstating the issue. Especially considering that Munich was currently on lockdown due to threats from ISIS. And that in the wake of Paris, and San Bernardino perhaps being prudent and more aware of our surroundings was not a bad idea.

His rather angry response was to tell me that being alert and aware of your surroundings, or preparing for things like fire, or earthquake, and more recently jihadi attacks, by noting things such as exits in a public place is paranoid and demonstrative of the cowardice of America.

Therefore I was paranoid and a coward. Uhhh WOW!

Justice-in-the-Form-of-a-New-Law-Served-to-PA-Crime-VictimsI pointedly asked him if he really thought it was paranoid to take just the slightest moment to note exits in case of an emergency. He responded that even if terrorists came into a restaurant shooting he’d be ok getting shot.

My brain rebooted.

In my world view  you never just lay down and die, especially not when you have options, like the ability to retreat.

DUDE-WTF-IS-WRONG-WITH-YOUI asked him to explain himself and honestly was curious about the foundations of his belief,  because that mindset is so completely Alien to me.

He started spouting circular and rhetorical talking points that led me to believe he worked for the progressive Democrat movement. After several rotations of the talking points, suddenly he threw in people don’t need to carry guns.

I said what?

Then I realized he was referring to the new Texas open carry law, and that somehow in his world view, now everyone was carrying guns all the time everywhere. I even pointed out that people exactly like him had managed to take the right of open carry away from their fellow citizens in California.

I kept asking questions and he kept parroting the progressive liberal talking points. It became very clear that he wasn’t actually thinking. I have no problem with people having differing opinions from mine, I have a real problem with people regurgitating stuff that they’ve not really thought about.

moderate-alcohol-consumption-beneficialGranted there was some alcohol involved and somewhere in my brain there was a diagnostic running that was questioning if I was drunk and being an ass.

The little boy in me said “He Started it!”

I’d decided to disengage because I was tired of making points that he tried to erase by parroting canned talking points, but being unable to discuss or expound on any of those points.

Later, It occurred to me that this person had probably never in his entire live been in a situation where they were the least bit on the edge. His world experiences were so safe or he was so oblivious, that he actually believed he was safe from everything all the time. This is a person who believes they don’t have to have an earthquake kit because the government will be there to make everything fine, instantly.

At that moment, I wasn’t able to look at this person with anything but contempt. I saw the guy as prey, a sheep, weak, and someone that I wouldn’t miss if I never saw him again. If an earthquake had happened at that exact moment, I’d have done nothing to ensure his safety. Sheep die all the time…

Things really took a turn towards the surreal when my other half told the guy he was being an ass by not allowing me or anyone else to complete a sentence without interruption.

The other half even said I wasn’t being an Ass, but that the other guy was. I began looking for signs I’d entered an alternate universe, I didn’t find any so…

Surprise Surprise Surprise! I’m not a complete asshole!

That my other half took a side like that, surprised the hell out of me

Normally I’m allowed to make an ass of myself without comment. On rare occasion I’m  told I’m being an asshole, and that I need to shut up.

In this situation apparently, my only fault was answering someone who was clearly interested in a battle of wits, they thought they’d win.

They weren’t prepared to have someone say, “Defend your opinions.”

I was really worried that the other half was pissed at me. I asked about it and was told it wasn’t me.

Church Lady isn't that specialA friend reminded me that I should have dropped to my Southern upbringing and simply avoided the whole conversation with;

“How nice” or “Bless your heart”

That’s really good advice and I’ll be taking it next time.