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The CIA Does Las Vegas 124

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the join-the-darker-side dept.
Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes Despite the long line of covert operations that Ed Snowden's documents have exposed, public outcry hasn't come anywhere near the level of social unrest that characterized the 1960s. Journalists like Conor Friedersdorf have suggested that one explanation for this is that the public is "informed by a press that treats officials who get caught lying and misleading (e.g., James Clapper and Keith Alexander) as if they're credible."

Certainly there are a number of well-known popular venues which offer a stage for spies to broadcast their messages from while simultaneously claiming to "cultivate conversations among all members of the security community, both public and private." This year, for instance, Black Hat USA will host Dan Greer (the CISO of In-Q-Tel) as a keynote speaker.

But after all of the lies and subterfuge is it even constructive to give voice to the talking points of intelligence officials? Or are they just muddying the water? As one observer put it, "high-profile members of the intelligence community like Cofer Black, Shawn Henry, Keith Alexander, and Dan Greer are positioned front and center in keynote slots, as if they were glamorous Hollywood celebrities. While those who value their civil liberties might opine that they should more aptly be treated like pariahs."
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The CIA Does Las Vegas

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  • Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday August 01, 2014 @08:50AM (#47580601) Homepage Journal

    Journalists like Conor Friedersdorf have suggested that one explanation for this is that the public is "informed by a press

    Balderdash. There is not a press. What is this, communism, comrade? We have many presses. The problem is that the public follows the sensational ones instead of the informative. We The People have the government, and thus the press, which we deserve.

    • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Friday August 01, 2014 @09:14AM (#47580729) Homepage

      As I suggested here: http://pcast.ideascale.com/a/d... [ideascale.com]
      "Now, there are many people out there (including computer scientists) who may raise legitimate concerns about privacy or other important issues in regards to any system that can support the intelligence community (as well as civilian needs). As I see it, there is a race going on. The race is between two trends. On the one hand, the internet can be used to profile and round up dissenters to the scarcity-based economic status quo (thus legitimate worries about privacy and something like TIA). On the other hand, the internet can be used to change the status quo in various ways (better designs, better science, stronger social networks advocating for some healthy mix of a basic income, a gift economy, democratic resource-based planning, improved local subsistence, etc., all supported by better structured arguments like with the Genoa II approach) to the point where there is abundance for all and rounding up dissenters to mainstream economics is a non-issue because material abundance is everywhere. So, as Bucky Fuller said, whether is will be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race to the very end. While I can't guarantee success at the second option of using the internet for abundance for all, I can guarantee that if we do nothing, the first option of using the internet to round up dissenters (or really, anybody who is different, like was done using IBM computers in WWII Germany) will probably prevail. So, I feel the global public really needs access to these sorts of sensemaking tools in an open source way, and the way to use them is not so much to "fight back" as to "transform and/or transcend the system". As Bucky Fuller said, you never change thing by fighting the old paradigm directly; you change things by inventing a new way that makes the old paradigm obsolete."

      Or here: http://www.phibetaiota.net/201... [phibetaiota.net]
      "The greatest threat facing the USA is the irony inherent in our current defense posture, like for example planning to use nuclear energy embodied in missiles to fight over oil fields that nuclear energy could replace. This irony arises in part because the USA's current security logic is still based on essentially 19th century and earlier (second millennium) thinking that becomes inappropriate applied to 21st century (third millennium) technological threats and opportunities. That situation represents a systematic intelligence failure of the highest magnitude. There remains time to correct this failure, but time grows short as various exponential trends continue.
      To address that pervasive threat from unrecognized irony, it would help to re-envision the CIA as a non-ironic post-scarcity institution. Then the CIA could help others (including in the White House) make more informed decisions to move past this irony as well.
      A first step towards that could be for IARPA to support better free software tools for "crowdsourced" public intelligence work involving using a social semantic desktop for sensemaking about open source data and building related open public action plans from that data to make local communities healthier, happier, more intrinsically secure, and also more mutually secure. Secure, healthy, prosperous, and happy local (and virtual) communities then can form together a secure, healthy, prosperous, and happy nation and planet in a non-ironic way. Details on that idea are publicly posted by me here in the form of a Proposal Abstract to the IARPA Incisive Analysis solicitation: "Social Semantic Desktop for Sensemaking on Threats and Opportunities"
      http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]
      "

      Or various other places...

      Lately I've been thinking about such a system fo

      • I wish there was a meta-mod-up so people beyond the site could see this. I find myself avoiding using words like 'socialism' just to not incite the fervor of the talk radio masses. I think crime would also be pretty negligible if people's basic needs were met. Of all the people I see on the street and sleeping under bridges, it is VERY rare to find someone outright willing to commit a crime when they have a pack of smokes and a full belly. The only crimes I see with any regularity are crimes of desperation

    • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Informative)

      by kilfarsnar (561956) on Friday August 01, 2014 @09:46AM (#47580905)

      Journalists like Conor Friedersdorf have suggested that one explanation for this is that the public is "informed by a press

      Balderdash. There is not a press. What is this, communism, comrade? We have many presses. The problem is that the public follows the sensational ones instead of the informative. We The People have the government, and thus the press, which we deserve.

      But when they're owned by 5 media companies, all of which are in turn owned by rich media barons, they tend to walk the party line. Remember when Phil Donohue was fired for being against the Iraq war, and couldn't get a job anywhere else? That wouldn't happen if the various media were really independent.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        But when they're owned by 5 media companies, all of which are in turn owned by rich media barons, they tend to walk the party line.

        We got there because of decades of people systematically giving their money to the most sensational press, which enabled them to become more powerful. It's not something that just happened.

        I think that there probably oughta be a law that you can't knowingly tell an outright lie and call it news, but even that seems to be a minority view, which is just another symptom of the same damned need for entertainment.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by s.petry (762400)

      There is not a press. What is this, communism, comrade?

      You have not paid any attention to what's been happening with media in the US have you? Broadcast and Print media is all primarily owned by the same people. If talking points are not followed journalists are fired. I have no idea how you missed the leaks about the New York Post, CNN, FOX, and *NBC, and hell even the AP. A few of these leaks were even mentioned in some places (though not covered as stories or discussed beyond the mention). Each outlet is controlling output and following administration p

    • by drfred79 (2936643)
      I agree. If the current media want trying so hard to be the political wing of the government then people would take their credibility more seriously. You have parts of the media actively censoring information that is "inconvenient" for the government.
    • by mrex (25183)

      We have many presses.

      Unfortunately, they're mostly anachronistic technology that no one uses anymore. Nowadays, people get their information primarily from television and the internet. And look at who owns that.

      Giving people the freedom to light as many candles as they want isn't meaningful in the age of the LED.

    • by greenbird (859670)

      Balderdash. There is not a press. What is this, communism, comrade? We have many presses.

      No. It's Corporate and Government collusion. It's the quid pro quo. The Corporations only print stuff that keeps in power the Government that they pay to pass the laws that keep them in power. It would be a waste of money to get the politicians they're paying off thrown out of office.

      We The People have the government, and thus the press, which we deserve.

      Anyone who thinks voting really matters in this country needs to wake up and start paying attention to what's happening. When the Executive branch rules by fiat (both Republican and Democrat) and government officials are not so

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They even call the conference "Black Hat". Why would professional black hat hackers not be expected there?

  • by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Friday August 01, 2014 @08:57AM (#47580641) Homepage Journal

    Closing one's ears to people one might disagree with is a sure way to rot as a community. It's not like the community that attends such conferences is unanimous in their views; it's not *all* technolibertarians. If you look at other presentations by such bodies at past conferences, you see that they're often quite good.

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      This isn't a matter of disagreement but rather than being lied to perpetually.

      Should false propaganda have a voice? Their goal isn't to be unanimously believed, but to muddy the issue.

      • by jbolden (176878) on Friday August 01, 2014 @09:16AM (#47580739) Homepage

        I'd expect that if I were to take a collection of the last 100 statements from most techno libertarians on matters of fact and 100 statements from the average CIA spokesperson on matters of fact and had a God's eye view of the situation the CIA would be more accurate. In the case of the CIA / NSA they are often deliberately misleading the public on a few facts they consider crucial while being accurate on a huge collections of information. In the case of the techno libertarians, like many semi-credible analysts they are making wild conjectures and exaggerating to "raise awareness".

        A responsible professional press's job is to try and start crossing between them and try and build a better factual picture for their readership. So yes they have to have a voice.

        • by rolfwind (528248)

          I would like to compare the last 100 Snowden statements to the last 100 NSA/CIA statements, thank you very much.

        • by HiThere (15173)

          I understand your stated expectations. This is to be expected of one who blindly trusts authority. However it is worth noting that most of the statements by CIA/NSA/etc. spokesmen cannot be checked by anyone not a member of those organizations. (And this is why the "blindly".)

          Just not being able to prove them wrong is not grounds for trusting them, when they (i.e. the organizations collectively) are the reason that those statements cannot be checked.

          OTOH, statements from "techno libertarians" aren't alwa

          • by jbolden (176878)

            True but techno libertarians often make claims that can be checked but are complicated. For example what XYZ said or how ABC acts when exploded or...

            In general there have been some leaks, example the Wikileaks embassy stuff that gave us a pretty good statistical basis for where the State Department was lying and where it was telling the truth. That's extremely useful for estimating the likelihood of lies in other cases.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jellomizer (103300)

        You know the news doesn't cover it when when the CIA tells the truth.

        If you feeling completely outraged about something, you probably do not have enough information. When you have enough information you can be angry at a particular subset of an issue not just the entire thing.

      • "Should false propaganda have a voice?"

        Please tell me you aren't a US citizen who made it past the sixth grade. Please.

      • This isn't a matter of disagreement but rather than being lied to perpetually.

        Well I'm not sure who Dan Greer is, but I've known Dan Geer for ages, he's a libertarian academic type who publishes somewhat philosophical texts on the economics of information security. If you're looking for some sort of evil CIA spook, you'll need to try again.

    • by PPH (736903)

      Agree or disagree is one thing. Trust is orthoganal to that. Whatever these people have to say, their word is worthless to me.

    • Closing one's ears to people one might disagree with is a sure way to rot as a community.

      [Citation needed]

      There is a time for listening, and a time for no longer listening. All great communities have systems for penalizing trolls and idiotic opinions which have been debunked many times before. Slashdot is a good example of such a community: lots of "comments" end up at -1, which is an excellent form of censorship.

      The point of the article is that, once some members of the community have been shown to

      • The slashdot equivalent would be that such people should not be getting +5, but rather -1.

        I'd add to that the karma system that keeps them from getting mod points and silencing others is also an important aspect. If we're going to allow for some light censorship (modding down to -1) we must also ensure that those doing the censoring are doing so responsibly and for legitimate reasons. (E.g. troll comments vs. I simply disagree with you)

        • Never post anything over at HackerNews which can be remotely construed as criticism of the modern hip whistleblower crowd, lest you be downvoted into oblivion. Slashdots more limited moderation horizon is a boon in that regard - much more diversity and value of comments.

    • They certainly sponsor some really neat research from time to time. I particularly liked this one: https://lwn.net/Articles/56894... [lwn.net] Then again... that was an IBM researcher who did the actual research and gave the talk, not a government official.
    • Yeah, I'm a minority here in that I don't think Snowden revealed anything illegal at all. So this whole story is basically a group of people with an opinion getting upset that other people don't share their opinion. Of course, it *must* be a conspiracy against them... Couldn't possibly be free will or anything.
    • Closing one's ears to people one might disagree with is a sure way to rot as a community. It's not like the community that attends such conferences is unanimous in their views; it's not *all* technolibertarians. If you look at other presentations by such bodies at past conferences, you see that they're often quite good.

      Closing your ears to those that have shown contempt for the truth and a desire to deceive you however is entirely appropriate. I'd have no problem if it were an open debate and I just disagreed with their point, but that's not what it is. They are bold faced lieing. You're just giving people proven to be bold faced liars a chance to lie some more.

    • by bmo (77928)

      This is the principle of false equivalency - treating propaganda, vapid opinions, and just plain falsities with the same weight as facts, in the aim of being "fair and balanced." Letting the CIA, NSA, others speak at conferences where they are there to spread their own propaganda and to then treat these presentations as valuable facts is intellectually dishonest at best.

      There is a time when various people need to be shunned to give them a wake-up-call, and not allowing these jerks to take time at our confe

  • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Friday August 01, 2014 @09:03AM (#47580671)

    If a CIA or NSA official told me it was daytime outside and my watch said 12 noon, I would still have to walk outside to believe it.

    • Exactly, let them come and speak. They more they say the more they lie. They (the CIA) just admitted lying to the US Senate and hacking Senate computers. The NSA/CIA should pull back and be quiet while they still can. Unfortunately the PsyOPs guys in the NSA/CIA are trying to be clever and divide the black hat community into thinking that the NSA/CIA is somewhat cool and necessary. Tons of cash, lot's of computers, hack any network, and no accountability, lie and spy on power without any legal consequences

      • He's named some names. Those five innocent American muslims who were spied on, at least one of them illegally. And according to Greenwald there's "more to come."

        The general pattern the Snowden leaks have taken is to put something out, let people be outraged, then wait for the PTB to lie "Well, we might have done bad thing X, but we haven't done terrible worse thing Y!" And then release the evidence that they also did terrible thing Y. So my guess is they release evidence that the NSA was illegally spying on

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If a CIA or NSA official told me it was daytime outside and my watch said 12 noon, I would still have to walk outside to believe it.

      And it's the same with businesses, too.

      We need to stop this attitude that government, businesses, and anyone in authority considers our interests and automatically assume they are telling the truth. The opposite should be the case.

      As far as I am concerned, I feel completely justified calling them liars until proven - independent proof - that they are not. I assume the worst because that is usually the case. Whether it is the refiners saying lead in gasoline is safe, or the cigarette companies or the fracki

    • If a CIA or NSA official told me it was daytime outside and my watch said 12 noon, I would still have to walk outside to believe it.

      You might also want to take a walk down the block or toss a rock to make sure it wasn't just a painted backdrop.

      • by HiThere (15173)

        If I were depending on the word of the CIA that the world wasn't a painted backdrop, then I would consider that excellent advice.

  • by sideslash (1865434) on Friday August 01, 2014 @09:05AM (#47580683)
    If you hosted a well known "true black hat" hacker at the conference they would still command everybody's respect purely for their abilities, and everybody would want to hear what they had to say. You take for granted that much of it is going to be a lie, but it's still more interesting and on topic than (say) inviting a politician to speak.
  • In 1950 Joe McCarthy claimed to have a list of communists in government and started a process that destroyed the lives of common US citizens without due process or ability to appeal. In the mid 1960's most young people were against the government because they were being forced to serve their country in the military, which generated a great deal of anti-government sentiment because they did not want to. If we look what is happening today, most of the government overreach does not effect such average of hig
    • by judoguy (534886)

      But for the most part, the days of stupid seem to be at a lull.

      Citation needed

    • by operagost (62405)

      Some are still playing 'there are 400 communists in the Obama white house' card or claiming so other such nonsense and trying to use it to limit rights

      Who in government is saying that? These guys, Democrat and Republican, go out to have lunch and drinks with each other. Then they pretend their polite disagreements about how many freedoms to take from their subjects are actual drag-down fights in front of the mainstream media, to suggest there's any real difference between the parties. It would be nons

    • If we look what is happening today, most of the government overreach does not effect such average of high profile private citizens.

      Yet... there was a time before the McCarthy hearings, before the Vietnam war, when those atrocities could have been stopped. That's where we are now. I'm not going to throw up my hands and say "This isn't a big deal!" We know what happens in the end, my Sons not getting sent to some BS war when he's 18 because we were cowards when he was 6.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In 1950 Joe McCarthy claimed to have a list of communists in government and started a process that destroyed the lives of common US citizens without due process or ability to appeal.

      You obviously have bought into the propaganda and don't have a clear understanding of what went on in the McCarthy era. For instance, Senator Joe McCarthy had nothing to do with the House Un-American Activities Committee, very few people were ever punished or suffered because of McCarthy or the HUAC (I think there were about 3 people who ever went to prison and the maximum sentence was only 3 years - not much for plotting to overthrow the govt.), there were and still are many people both in and out of gove

    • But for the most part, the days of stupid seem to be at a lull.

      If the days of stupid were at a "lull" (and they are about as far as they can get from it) your post alone would have fully restored their vigor.

    • by Animats (122034)

      In 1950 Joe McCarthy claimed to have a list of communists in government...

      Amusingly, we now know, from USSR files revealed in the 1990s, that there were a lot of communist sympathizers in the State Department passing info to the USSR. KGB Moscow Central found them useless. They wanted spies in the military and in the military contractors doing advanced R&D on aircraft, missiles, electronics, and nuclear weapons. What the State Department was doing mostly wasn't secret and wasn't militarily important.

      In the mid 1960's most young people were against the government because they were being forced to serve their country in the military, which generated a great deal of anti-government sentiment because they did not want to.

      That's correct. The whole "anti-war movement" was about not getting drafte

      • by HiThere (15173)

        That's oversimplifying, but it was certainly a big part of it. People are incredibly self-centered...so much so that they don't even notice it. If something isn't affecting them or people that they know directly, most people will just ignore it.

        Please note: This is not a criticism of the anti-war movement in the Vietnam era. It was a totally stupid war for no reason that was ever explained ... or rather the explanations did not justify it, and were often lies. The ani-war movement was just, moral, and

        • by fermion (181285)
          The key point I was trying to make is that the current war does not depend on conscription. We have enough incentive in terms of pay and benifit and enough people with no other skills that we do not need conscription, so the kids have no reason to protest like the did in Vietnam. The other point is, and I am amused that some silly person spent an hour trying to retcon history(like Boehner is trying to do with the government shut down and the impeachment threats(so sarah palin never suggested that we impec
  • "Criminals" is the word I'd choose, given their actions.

  • ... can best be determined after examining both..

  • In a fervor, The Press is normally to be found jostling in line for the first big interview after a scandal breaks, giving the Headliner his or her pick of a favorable interviewer.

    Look at your "major" cable news organizations. They throw more fuel on the fire of partisan politics than the average citizen can keep up with, yet there is a safe harbor for debriefing available for the extremists in both parties.

    The way they've gamed the system, there's a talking head somewhere who'll defend your accusations

  • Or maybe ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by johnlcallaway (165670) on Friday August 01, 2014 @09:30AM (#47580805)

    ... most people really don't give a shit about what Snowden revealed. Most people already suspected it and didn't give a shit. A few privacy-fanatics cared and screamed a lot. I wasn't surprised by it, and understand how it's being used and am not terribly upset.

    It's funny .. 60 years ago, when people went to the store, people loved it when the store owner stocked their favorite things because he knew they bought them. Everyone in the neighborhood watched our kids, and if little Johnny did something wrong, they told his parents. We all knew everyone, and news spread through town like wildfire. We had party lines that people could listen into our conversations without us knowing it. It was considered rude, but people still did it.

    Sixty years later, everyone demands privacy. Google is evil if they scan our emails and provide ads for what we want. Cameras on the street corner are evil because we don't want to be watched. License plate scanners are an invasion of privacy and are just evil incarnate.

    I get it that it's because it's the government or a large businesses instead of our neighbors or the store down the street. And the ability to do bad things with all that data exists.

    But let's look at other things. Because of the government keeping private information, we now have a huge database of people convicted of sex crimes available telling anyone where they live. It doesn't make any difference how small their crime was, it's available for the rest of their life. No one seems to mind that invasion of privacy. We can go online and see what major contributions Bill Gates makes, or anyone that makes contributions over a certain amount. I can see how many times that house across the street has been sold, what they pay for property taxes, and what it's worth. License plate scanners routinely catch people without car insurance, I have been one of them (actually .. I did have it, it was a clerical error.) Everyone has a camera phone now, and anyone can have their picture taken with a time stamp and GPS location at any time.

    Oh wait .. that's all OK because it's for the 'common good'. And 'transparent government'. Or because people love to take selfies.

    We let the privacy genie out of the bottle decades ago, we've just gotten much better at it since then. The people whining are only whining about the lack of privacy for things they are sensitive about, and I'm sure take advantage of other aspects of loss of privacy and don't think twice about it because it doesn't affect them.

    Yawn .. nothing new to see here. Move along.

    • by BonThomme (239873)

      you forget that it was all MUTUAL. that has a wonderful self-limiting effect.

      "no one seems to mind" is just your way of saying you don't care and want to have company.

  • The media doesn't bat an eye when the president's treasury secretary or attorney general are found guilty of tax evasion. Why would we expect that they conform to any other standard for other members of the administration?

    • by BonThomme (239873)

      need a citation for Holder being found guilty of tax evasion.

      as for Geitner, that was amply reported, but few acknowledge that is was payroll taxes (Social Security/Medicare) that weren't paid, as distinct from harboring millions in numbered Swiss accounts.

      • need a citation for Holder being found guilty of tax evasion.

        Tax evasion would be this guy's high point. Contempt of congress anyone?

      • by argStyopa (232550)

        Google too tough for you?
        http://nypost.com/2011/04/17/h... [nypost.com]
        "US Attorney General Eric Holder and his brother failed to pay the property taxes on their childhood home in Queens, which they inherited last August after their mother died, The Post has learned.
        And because their ailing mom, Miriam, was already behind on two quarterly tax bills when she succumbed to illness on Aug. 13, the charges went unpaid for more than a year â" growing to $4,146.
        It wasnâ(TM)t until The Post confronted Holder last week

  • by Type44Q (1233630) on Friday August 01, 2014 @09:48AM (#47580913)

    ...informed by a press that treats officials... as if they're credible

    More like informed by a press that's controlled by the CIA (look up "Operation Mockingbird").

    FTFY, BTW.

    Seriously, no secrets here, folks; just short memories, even shorter attention spans... and a fuck-ton of inexcusable ignorance (no wonder the elites have no qualms about treating us like cattle...)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Until a few "ordinary" people get outed, no one really thinks it'll happen to them. What I mean is, a leak needs to name an individual who is well liked and famous (a "household name"). The leak needs to entirely document their recent past in some detrimental manner, indicating that those random trips across town might be an affair, and that this morning they cracked one out looking at some elf porn or whatever. This needs to happen multiple times, to multiple unrelated people.

    The problem of course is that

  • Total Propaganda (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jim Sadler (3430529) on Friday August 01, 2014 @10:21AM (#47581135)
    I am beginning to think that we are being subjected to total propaganda. The US public may be almost in a state of mind control by continuous misinformation. You can get a glimpse of this by the way your local news is reported. You have your local Sally Sunshine who greats you with happy, friendly tones and the delivers the greatest pile of nonsense one can imagine. The audience is felt to be in need of comfort and confrontation or disturbing news is suppressed every day. You see a similar tactic with organisations that are subject to the good will of the community. For example a church may give a free meal to the poor one night a week. When this is done many of the poor or homeless will walk or bicycle quite a distance for the meal. But when you see what is served and the caloric intake of the meal vs. the energy needed to get to the church the actual effect may be to increase the level of starvation. The image of the church is enhanced and I do understand the money issues involved but in the end the food programs at the church may be negative. At a more drastic scale we see California in urgent emergency over lack of water and forest fires. Yet you will not see news reports on what can actually be done to stop the growing emergency. For example freezing building permits should lower the demand for water as growing populations demand more water. Building many new lakes and reservoirs could help with fire control and water supply issues as well. Yet we see no news about such topics at all. And on a nation wide basis we see no mention of the notion that population growth increases all of our negative trends such as lack of water, low paying jobs, poverty, addictions, crime and mental illness are all increased by swelling populations.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I am beginning to think that we are being subjected to total propaganda.

      You're a bit late on that one. Pretty much everything is propaganda, and what's more, virtually all of it is fear-based; the remainder focuses on allaying fears, often reasonable ones. My favorite example is automotive advertising. As much as half of it is designed not directly to sell cars, but to make customers feel better about their purchases to try to induce repeat business "down the road", pun intended.

      At a more drastic scale we see California in urgent emergency over lack of water and forest fires. Yet you will not see news reports on what can actually be done to stop the growing emergency.

      If it bleeds, it leads. Hope is not interesting to people who have more than they need.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The US public may be almost in a state of mind control by continuous misinformation.

      Almost?

      Without exerting a lot of effort, one can slide dreamily through the whole day and night without ever breaking the surface to breathe real air and think real thoughts.

      The fact that there is a television set in one's house is a result of successful mind programming, never mind the shit it spews. The medium is the message.

      People actually argue with passion for the so-called Free Market, without realizing that it's a co

  • ...keep your friends close and your enemies closer, perhaps.
  • As one observer put it, "high-profile members of the intelligence community like Cofer Black, Shawn Henry, Keith Alexander, and Dan Greer are positioned front and center in keynote slots, as if they were glamorous Hollywood celebrities. While those who value their civil liberties might opine that they should more aptly be treated like pariahs

    Do you imagine that you are addressing the organizers of those events? Who knows, some of them might even read Slashdot, but I doubt the general opinion of Slashdotters determines who gets to be given slots like a "glamorous Hollywood celebrity" and who doesn't. Ultimately, those things are decided by the people who organize those events, and it's their call.

  • ..here's a bunny... Your message is weak and garbled unless it's really only to express gratuitous rage against the U. S. intelligence community, in which case, OK, at least that part is loud and clear. If, however, your point is to discourage participation of an informed and interested party in a useful forum that, independently, addresses a valid global concern, cyber security, then your message is both muddy and unsupported.
  • In-Q-Tel is just a way for the CIA to get around laws limiting their purchasing powers. They are prohibited from buying services the way they want, so instead they 'invest' in the services they want. What they are supposed to do is define their needs and let people bid on providing those services, but then the CIA executives wouldn't get to hob-nob with VCs and drink champagne on yachts.
  • Journalists like Conor Friedersdorf have suggested that one explanation for this is that the public is "informed by a press that treats officials who get caught lying and misleading (e.g., James Clapper and Keith Alexander) as if they're credible."

    My explanation is that the public has ALWAYS suspected and we expect the CIA to do morally and legally questionable things, and now we don't really care that our suspicions have been confirmed.

  • Those other folks don't deserve to be in the same room as Dan Geer. See his RSA talk http://geer.tinho.net/geer.rsa... [tinho.net] for example.
    • Agreed. Dan Geer (not Greer) has a lot of great, cautionary tales to say about the security state. He has no clearance, and he describes why in his RSA talk.

      Shame on the linked paper for blindly equating "works with the CIA" with "lets burn him in effigy".

  • ask yourself about morality.

    "But after all of the lies and subterfuge is it even constructive to give voice to the talking points of intelligence officials?"

  • Don't denigrate people because of associations. I've seen no evidence that Dan Geer is in a position to know about what the NSA and CIA have been lying to us about; indeed it would be gross operational incompetence for him to be in that position. His responsibility is to make near-future dual use security technology available to intelligence agencies. Although I'd prefer to see the CIA abolished and the NSA completely redirected and reorganized, that doesn't mean everyone associated those organizations a

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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