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Paul Merrell

NSA contractors use LinkedIn profiles to cash in on national security | Al Jazeera America - 0 views

  • NSA spies need jobs, too. And that is why many covert programs could be hiding in plain sight. Job websites such as LinkedIn and Indeed.com contain hundreds of profiles that reference classified NSA efforts, posted by everyone from career government employees to low-level IT workers who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. They offer a rare glimpse into the intelligence community's projects and how they operate. Now some researchers are using the same kinds of big-data tools employed by the NSA to scrape public LinkedIn profiles for classified programs. But the presence of so much classified information in public view raises serious concerns about security — and about the intelligence industry as a whole. “I’ve spent the past couple of years searching LinkedIn profiles for NSA programs,” said Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.
  • On Aug. 3, The Wall Street Journal published a story about the FBI’s growing use of hacking to monitor suspects, based on information Soghoian provided. The next day, Soghoian spoke at the Defcon hacking conference about how he uncovered the existence of the FBI’s hacking team, known as the Remote Operations Unit (ROU), using the LinkedIn profiles of two employees at James Bimen Associates, with which the FBI contracts for hacking operations. “Had it not been for the sloppy actions of a few contractors updating their LinkedIn profiles, we would have never known about this,” Soghoian said in his Defcon talk. Those two contractors were not the only ones being sloppy.
  • And there are many more. A quick search of Indeed.com using three code names unlikely to return false positives — Dishfire, XKeyscore and Pinwale — turned up 323 résumés. The same search on LinkedIn turned up 48 profiles mentioning Dishfire, 18 mentioning XKeyscore and 74 mentioning Pinwale. Almost all these people appear to work in the intelligence industry. Network-mapping the data Fabio Pietrosanti of the Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights noticed all the code names on LinkedIn last December. While sitting with M.C. McGrath at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany, Pietrosanti began searching the website for classified program names — and getting serious results. McGrath was already developing Transparency Toolkit, a Web application for investigative research, and knew he could improve on Pietrosanti’s off-the-cuff methods.
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  • “I was, like, huh, maybe there’s more we can do with this — actually get a list of all these profiles that have these results and use that to analyze the structure of which companies are helping with which programs, which people are helping with which programs, try to figure out in what capacity, and learn more about things that we might not know about,” McGrath said. He set up a computer program called a scraper to search LinkedIn for public profiles that mention known NSA programs, contractors or jargon — such as SIGINT, the agency’s term for “signals intelligence” gleaned from intercepted communications. Once the scraper found the name of an NSA program, it searched nearby for other words in all caps. That allowed McGrath to find the names of unknown programs, too. Once McGrath had the raw data — thousands of profiles in all, with 70 to 80 different program names — he created a network graph that showed the relationships between specific government agencies, contractors and intelligence programs. Of course, the data are limited to what people are posting on their LinkedIn profiles. Still, the network graph gives a sense of which contractors work on several NSA programs, which ones work on just one or two, and even which programs military units in Iraq and Afghanistan are using. And that is just the beginning.
  • Click on the image to view an interactive network illustration of the relationships between specific national security surveillance programs in red, and government organizations or private contractors in blue.
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    What a giggle, public spying on NSA and its contractors using Big Data. The interactive network graph with its sidebar display of relevant data derived from LinkedIn profiles is just too delightful. 
Paul Merrell

Closing CDF WG, Publishing Specs as Notes from Doug Schepers on 2010-07-12 (public-cdf@w3.org from July 2010) - 0 views

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    This event speaks loudly to how little interest browser developershave in interoperable web solutions. One-way compatibility wins and the ability of web applications to round-trip data loses. For those that did not realize it, the Compound Document by Reference Framework not only allowes but requires that more featureful implementations round-trip the output of less featureful implementations without data loss. See http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/CR-CDR-20070718/#conformance ("A conformant user agent of a superset profile specification must process subset profile content as if it were the superset profile content"). 
Paul Merrell

Profiled From Radio to Porn, British Spies Track Web Users' Online Identities | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization - 0 views

  • One system builds profiles showing people’s web browsing histories. Another analyzes instant messenger communications, emails, Skype calls, text messages, cell phone locations, and social media interactions. Separate programs were built to keep tabs on “suspicious” Google searches and usage of Google Maps. The surveillance is underpinned by an opaque legal regime that has authorized GCHQ to sift through huge archives of metadata about the private phone calls, emails and Internet browsing logs of Brits, Americans, and any other citizens  all without a court order or judicial warrant.
  • The power of KARMA POLICE was illustrated in 2009, when GCHQ launched a top-secret operation to collect intelligence about people using the Internet to listen to radio shows. The agency used a sample of nearly 7 million metadata records, gathered over a period of three months, to observe the listening habits of more than 200,000 people across 185 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Canada, Mexico, Spain, the Netherlands, France, and Germany.
  • GCHQ’s documents indicate that the plans for KARMA POLICE were drawn up between 2007 and 2008. The system was designed to provide the agency with “either (a) a web browsing profile for every visible user on the Internet, or (b) a user profile for every visible website on the Internet.” The origin of the surveillance system’s name is not discussed in the documents. But KARMA POLICE is also the name of a popular song released in 1997 by the Grammy Award-winning British band Radiohead, suggesting the spies may have been fans. A verse repeated throughout the hit song includes the lyric, “This is what you’ll get, when you mess with us.”
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  • GCHQ vacuums up the website browsing histories using “probes” that tap into the international fiber-optic cables that transport Internet traffic across the world. A huge volume of the Internet data GCHQ collects flows directly into a massive repository named Black Hole, which is at the core of the agency’s online spying operations, storing raw logs of intercepted material before it has been subject to analysis. Black Hole contains data collected by GCHQ as part of bulk “unselected” surveillance, meaning it is not focused on particular “selected” targets and instead includes troves of data indiscriminately swept up about ordinary people’s online activities. Between August 2007 and March 2009, GCHQ documents say that Black Hole was used to store more than 1.1 trillion “events”  a term the agency uses to refer to metadata records  with about 10 billion new entries added every day. As of March 2009, the largest slice of data Black Hole held  41 percent  was about people’s Internet browsing histories. The rest included a combination of email and instant messenger records, details about search engine queries, information about social media activity, logs related to hacking operations, and data on people’s use of tools to browse the Internet anonymously.
  • Throughout this period, as smartphone sales started to boom, the frequency of people’s Internet use was steadily increasing. In tandem, British spies were working frantically to bolster their spying capabilities, with plans afoot to expand the size of Black Hole and other repositories to handle an avalanche of new data. By 2010, according to the documents, GCHQ was logging 30 billion metadata records per day. By 2012, collection had increased to 50 billion per day, and work was underway to double capacity to 100 billion. The agency was developing “unprecedented” techniques to perform what it called “population-scale” data mining, monitoring all communications across entire countries in an effort to detect patterns or behaviors deemed suspicious. It was creating what it saidwould be, by 2013, “the world’s biggest” surveillance engine “to run cyber operations and to access better, more valued data for customers to make a real world difference.” HERE WAS A SIMPLE AIM at the heart of the top-secret program: Record the website browsing habits of “every visible user on the Internet.” Before long, billions of digital records about ordinary people’s online activities were being stored every day. Among them were details cataloging visits to porn, social media and news websites, search engines, chat forums, and blogs.
  • The mass surveillance operation — code-named KARMA POLICE — was launched by British spies about seven years ago without any public debate or scrutiny. It was just one part of a giant global Internet spying apparatus built by the United Kingdom’s electronic eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The revelations about the scope of the British agency’s surveillance are contained in documents obtained by The Intercept from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Previous reports based on the leaked files have exposed how GCHQ taps into Internet cables to monitor communications on a vast scale, but many details about what happens to the data after it has been vacuumed up have remained unclear.
Gary Edwards

20 Great Ideas For You To Steal -- Great Ideas -- InformationWeek - 0 views

  • Web 2.0 Wiki And VoIP Streamline Business For BearingPoint
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    The technologiess used by 20 innovative companies surveyed by InformationWeek are profiled here. Ltos of good stuff. Ideas involving green technology, voice over IP, security, and more are profiled. Heavy use of portaland wki knowledge sharing systems. Data and business process services converge at the portal level to provide some interesting breakthroughs.
Gary Edwards

Skynet rising: Google acquires 512-qubit quantum computer; NSA surveillance to be turned over to AI machines Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind! - 0 views

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    "The ultimate code breakers" If you know anything about encryption, you probably also realize that quantum computers are the secret KEY to unlocking all encrypted files. As I wrote about last year here on Natural News, once quantum computers go into widespread use by the NSA, the CIA, Google, etc., there will be no more secrets kept from the government. All your files - even encrypted files - will be easily opened and read. Until now, most people believed this day was far away. Quantum computing is an "impractical pipe dream," we've been told by scowling scientists and "flat Earth" computer engineers. "It's not possible to build a 512-qubit quantum computer that actually works," they insisted. Don't tell that to Eric Ladizinsky, co-founder and chief scientist of a company called D-Wave. Because Ladizinsky's team has already built a 512-qubit quantum computer. And they're already selling them to wealthy corporations, too. DARPA, Northrup Grumman and Goldman Sachs In case you're wondering where Ladizinsky came from, he's a former employee of Northrup Grumman Space Technology (yes, a weapons manufacturer) where he ran a multi-million-dollar quantum computing research project for none other than DARPA - the same group working on AI-driven armed assault vehicles and battlefield robots to replace human soldiers. .... When groundbreaking new technology is developed by smart people, it almost immediately gets turned into a weapon. Quantum computing will be no different. This technology grants God-like powers to police state governments that seek to dominate and oppress the People.  ..... Google acquires "Skynet" quantum computers from D-Wave According to an article published in Scientific American, Google and NASA have now teamed up to purchase a 512-qubit quantum computer from D-Wave. The computer is called "D-Wave Two" because it's the second generation of the system. The first system was a 128-qubit computer. Gen two
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    Normally, I'd be suspicious of anything published by Infowars because its editors are willing to publish really over the top stuff, but: [i] this is subject matter I've maintained an interest in over the years and I was aware that working quantum computers were imminent; and [ii] the pedigree on this particular information does not trace to Scientific American, as stated in the article. I've known Scientific American to publish at least one soothing and lengthy article on the subject of chlorinated dioxin hazard -- my specialty as a lawyer was litigating against chemical companies that generated dioxin pollution -- that was generated by known closet chemical industry advocates long since discredited and was totally lacking in scientific validity and contrary to established scientific knowledge. So publication in Scientific American doesn't pack a lot of weight with me. But checking the Scientific American linked article, notes that it was reprinted by permission from Nature, a peer-reviewed scientific journal and news organization that I trust much more. That said, the InfoWars version is a rewrite that contains lots of information not in the Nature/Scientific American version of a sensationalist nature, so heightened caution is still in order. Check the reprinted Nature version before getting too excited: "The D-Wave computer is not a 'universal' computer that can be programmed to tackle any kind of problem. But scientists have found they can usefully frame questions in machine-learning research as optimisation problems. "D-Wave has battled to prove that its computer really operates on a quantum level, and that it is better or faster than a conventional computer. Before striking the latest deal, the prospective customers set a series of tests for the quantum computer. D-Wave hired an outside expert in algorithm-racing, who concluded that the speed of the D-Wave Two was above average overall, and that it was 3,600 times faster than a leading conventional comput
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Como proteger, registrar y promocionar tu música - MUSICA COPYLEFT - 0 views

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    [La música, como creación intelectual, siempre será un producto cuya calidad dependerá de la capacidad de creatividad de su autor y/o de las facultades de su intérprete. Pero la forma de comunicarla, difundirla, distribuirla, gestionarla y protegerla, está sometida a una continua evolución, paralela a la de la propia sociedad que la consume y por tanto debe adaptarse a su entorno. Read more: http://www.musicacopyleft.es/profiles/blogs/como-proteger-registrar-y#intro#ixzz1iwzalLx8]
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Patent Reform Bill A Good Step, But Still Falls Way Short Of Fixing A Broken System | Techdirt - 0 views

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    "from the it's-a-start dept As was widely expected, earlier this week, a bunch of high-profile Senators introduced a big patent reform bill, known as the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act. It's backed by Senators Chuck Grassley, Patrick Leahy, Chuck Schumer and John Cornyn, and has a decent chance of becoming law."
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    "from the it's-a-start dept As was widely expected, earlier this week, a bunch of high-profile Senators introduced a big patent reform bill, known as the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act. It's backed by Senators Chuck Grassley, Patrick Leahy, Chuck Schumer and John Cornyn, and has a decent chance of becoming law."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Disney Patents a Piracy Free Search Engine | TorrentFreak - 0 views

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    " Ernesto on October 31, 2014 C: 56 News Disney has just obtained a patent for a search engine that ranks sites based on various "authenticity" factors. One of the goals of the technology is to filter pirated material from search results while boosting the profile of copyright and trademark holders' websites." [# ! #Imagine... # ! ... this kind of '#artifacts' mandatory to the computer # ! manufacturers... [# Additional #WARNING: #Disney to #Decide the "#Authenticity" of web #contents... what's next?]]
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    " Ernesto on October 31, 2014 C: 56 News Disney has just obtained a patent for a search engine that ranks sites based on various "authenticity" factors. One of the goals of the technology is to filter pirated material from search results while boosting the profile of copyright and trademark holders' websites."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Pirate Bay Founder Peter Sunde Released From Prison | TorrentFreak - 1 views

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    " Ernesto on November 10, 2014 C: 7 Breaking Former Pirate Bay spokesperson Peter Sunde is a free man again. After more than five months he was released from prison this morning. Peter is expected to take some time off to spend with family and loved ones before he continues working on making the Internet a better place." [# ! #Good #News... # ! ... but, oh, what a kind of '#Justice' # ! #imprisons #innovators...? [# ! why industry has not even thought on '#monetize' #filesharing...? # ! #clue: http://insights.wired.com/profiles/blogs/monetization-alternatives-the-cure-for-online-piracy] # ! It's Just a #matter of #control.]
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    " Ernesto on November 10, 2014 C: 7 Breaking Former Pirate Bay spokesperson Peter Sunde is a free man again. After more than five months he was released from prison this morning. Peter is expected to take some time off to spend with family and loved ones before he continues working on making the Internet a better place." [# ! #Good #News... # ! ... but, oh, what a kind of '#Justice' # ! #imprisons #innovators...? [# ! why industry has not even thought on '#monetize' #filesharing...? # ! #clue: http://insights.wired.com/profiles/blogs/monetization-alternatives-the-cure-for-online-piracy] # ! It's Just a #matter of #control.]
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Germany's Spies Grab 11 Billion Pieces Of Phone Metadata A Year -- And Pass On 6 Billion To The NSA | Techdirt - 1 views

    • Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.
       
      [U.S. Spying On Europe: EU Confronts Washington Reports Of Spying On Allies [06/30/2013] ]
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    "from the bad-sex dept Given Germany's high-profile attachment to privacy, it's always interesting to hear about ways in which its spies have been ignoring that tradition. Here, for example, is a story in the German newspaper Die Zeit about the country's foreign intelligence agency BND gathering metadata from millions of phone records every day: "
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    "from the bad-sex dept Given Germany's high-profile attachment to privacy, it's always interesting to hear about ways in which its spies have been ignoring that tradition. Here, for example, is a story in the German newspaper Die Zeit about the country's foreign intelligence agency BND gathering metadata from millions of phone records every day: "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

The state of open source security | ITworld - 0 views

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    "Recent high-profile vulnerabilities have put the lie to the 'many eyes' theory -- but also driven real progress in securing the open source ecosystem "
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    "Recent high-profile vulnerabilities have put the lie to the 'many eyes' theory -- but also driven real progress in securing the open source ecosystem "
Paul Merrell

Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) Version 3.0 - 1 views

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    MathML 3 achieves proposed recommendation status. For those unfamiliar with W3C lingo, this means that it is now a proposed standard. Concurrently, W3C published a proposed recommendation for a A MathML for CSS Profile, http://www.w3.org/TR/2010/PR-mathml-for-css-20100810/
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

DIASPORA* - 2 views

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    [Sus promotores abren un tiempo de pruebas.- El proyecto, de código abierto, quiere ser una alternativa a Facebook, pero dando el control de los datos al internauta http://www.elpais.com/articulo/tecnologia/red/social/Diaspora/invita/primeros/miembros/elpeputec/20101125elpeputec_2/Tes] [ Share what you want, with whom you want. Choice Diaspora lets you sort your connections into groups called aspects. Unique to Diaspora, aspects ensure that your photos, stories and jokes are shared only with the people you intend. Ownership You own your pictures, and you shouldn't have to give that up just to share them. You maintain ownership of everything you share on Diaspora, giving you full control over how it's distributed. Simplicity Diaspora makes sharing clean and easy - and this goes for privacy too. Inherently private, Diaspora doesn't make you wade through pages of settings and options just to keep your profile secure. ]
Gary Edwards

InformationWeek 500: Monsanto's Collaborative Growth Plan -- Emerging Technology -- InformationWeek - 0 views

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    "By combining unified communications, IM, SharePoint, and blogs and wikis while protecting its IP, Monsanto is advancing teamwork." InformationWeek has posted a number of technology innovation-implementation profiles. Monsanto is one of the best "collaborative" examples, although it's very similar to the model GE presented at Office 2.0. These colalborative concepts go back 1998, and the early work Ars Digita was doing with the first "Knowledgeware" - wiki applications. The first "use case" to be published was that of the global electronics giant, Siemanns. Notice the SharePoint - MSOffice integration as a key element in the Monsanto collaboration strategy. That connection "forced" Monsanto to rebuild their document databases and portals using SharePoint and SQL Server.
Alyn William

How Twitter Use Has Changed, From 2009 to 2010 - 1 views

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    The number of Twitter users who provide personal information in their bios has more than doubled since last year; 82% of Twitter users now provide a name, compared with only 33% in 2009. And 73% provide location information, compared to 44% in 2009. Forty five percent give a website address, up from 22% a year ago. This seems to indicate that Twitter users are becoming more comfortable disclosing personal information on the site, but more importantly perhaps, that having a profile on Twitter is becoming increasingly important.
Paul Merrell

Microsoft offers Office 2010 file format 'ballot' to stop EU antitrust probe - 0 views

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    Microsoft's proposed undertaking for resolving the ECIS complaint to the European Commission regarding its office productivity software can be downloaded from this linked web page. I've given it a quick skim. Didn't see anything in it for anyone but competing big vendors. E.g., no profiling of data formats for interop of less and more featureful implementations, no round-tripping provisions. Still, some major concessions offered.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

How to get your personal data removed from people search websites | ITworld - 3 views

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    [Data brokers collect your personal information and post it in public profiles. Here's how to get it removed--either on your own or via a service. ...]
Paul Merrell

'Pardon Snowden' Campaign Takes Off As Sanders, Ellsberg, And Others Join - 0 views

  • Prominent activists, lawmakers, artists, academics, and other leading voices in civil society, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), are joining the campaign to get a pardon for National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden. “The information disclosed by Edward Snowden has allowed Congress and the American people to understand the degree to which the NSA has abused its authority and violated our constitutional rights,” Sanders wrote for the Guardian on Wednesday. “Now we must learn from the troubling revelations Mr. Snowden brought to light. Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies must be given the tools they need to protect us, but that can be done in a way that does not sacrifice our rights.” Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who co-founded the public interest journalism advocacy group Freedom of the Press Foundation, where Snowden is a board member, also wrote, “Ed Snowden should be freed of the legal burden hanging over him. They should remove the indictment, pardon him if that’s the way to do it, so that he is no longer facing prison.” Snowden faces charges under the Espionage Act after he released classified NSA files to media outlets in 2013 exposing the U.S. government’s global mass surveillance operations. He fled to Hong Kong, then Russia, where he has been living under political asylum for the past three years.
  • The Pardon Snowden campaign, supported by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch (HRW), urgespeople around the world to write to Obama throughout his last four months in the White House.
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    If you want to take part, the action page is at https://www.pardonsnowden.org/
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Hollywood Vs. Silicon Valley: California Industries Spar Over Internet Piracy : NPR - 0 views

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    "There's a civil war going on in California. It's the north vs. the south - Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley. And much like that other American Civil War, there are two different economic worldviews at stake. One of the highest-profile battles was fought last month, when large Internet sites like Wikipedia staged an online blackout to protest anti-piracy bills in Congress."
Paul Merrell

Glassholes: A Mini NSA on Your Face, Recorded by the Spy Agency | Global Research - 2 views

  • eOnline reports: A new app will allow total strangers to ID you and pull up all your information, just by looking at you and scanning your face with their Google Glass. The app is called NameTag and it sounds CREEPY. The “real-time facial recognition” software “can detect a face using the Google Glass camera, send it wirelessly to a server, compare it to millions of records, and in seconds return a match complete with a name, additional photos and social media profiles.” The information listed could include your name, occupation, any social media profiles you have set up and whether or not you have a criminal record (“CRIMINAL HISTORY FOUND” pops up in bright red letters according to the demo).
  • Since the NSA is tapping into all of our digital communications, it is not unreasonable to assume that all of the info from your digital glasses – yup, everything – may be recorded by the spy agency. Are we going to have millions of mini NSAs walking around recording everything … glassholes? It doesn’t help inspire confidence that America’s largest police force and Taser are beta-testing Google Glasses. Postscript: I love gadgets and tech, and previously discussed the exciting possibilities of Google Glasses. But the NSA is ruining the fun, just like it’s harming U.S. Internet business.
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    Thankfully, there's buddying technology to block computer facial-recognition algorithms. http://tinyurl.com/mzfyfra On the other hand, used Hallowe'en masks can usually be purchased inexpensively from some nearby school kids at this time of year. Now if I could just put together a few near-infrared LEDs to fry a license plate-scanner's view ...  
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