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Bradley Manning 1000 Days in Jail and More Government Crackdown on Transparency

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This Real News Network video not only gives a disheartening recap on how various transparency freedom fighters are faring legally, but also provides a sense of how the security state is extending its reach.

A useful companion read is Felix Salmon’s post, The Long Arm of the Google. It appears Google’s version of “don’t be evil” is being very cooperative with the self-designated good guys, the police. Key sentence:

Law enforcement officials, it seems, have pretty easy and routine access to Google’s search-history database, and this is surely only the beginning when it comes to sifting through huge amounts of data to find evidence of crimes. The SEC, for one, has had a large data-mining team in place for a good five years now, going through enormous quantities of data to look for signs of suspicious activity.

That was enough to get me to switch to Duck Duck Go. Plus Google’s results have been sucky for a while (they switched their algorithm maybe 18 months ago to greatly favor recency, which made their searches vastly less useful). If it was as bad as it is now when I was writing ECONNED (summer 2009) I’m not sure I would have been able to meet my publisher’d deadline.


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39 comments

      1. diane

        Do you have more info regarding your caution? Upon just reading: https://duckduckgo.com/privacy they actually note Ixquick (solely) as follows:

        Other Search Engines

        If you care about search privacy, you might also want to check out these other search engines that take it seriously by default.

        Ixquick [privacy policy]

        Each does things a bit differently in terms of privacy and very differently in terms of results. And not all go as far as DuckDuckGo in some aspects. However, none store your personal information by default, which make them all pretty safe in our opinion.

        Ixuick’s actual privacy policy is here, the blockquoted link is not their actual privacy policy.

        (I hope it isn’t too late for you to note my late response and thanks for the input, it’s been a while since I read the privacy policy. Maybe I’ll take time to compare the two again. I didn’t care for DuckDuckGo’s results when I first tried it, but that’s been quite a while ago.)

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          I have no personal information or experience regarding Ixquick that would be of value here pro or con which is why I said “use caution” rather than any real warning.

          My suggestion for caution comes mostly from a sense of “don’t worry your little heads about it” I got reading Ixquick’s privacy policy as opposed to that of DuckDuckGo which more fully explains privacy details such as how your IP address (and other info) is exposed anyway regardless of their policy etc (they, DuckDuckGo and Ixquick, only protect -to a degree- your search history which IS, nevertheless, VERY useful as a privacy protection). Also, I don’t think DuckDuckGo (but am not sure) uses any or as much profile info meaning they don’t store ANY cookies. Ixquick does keep cookies around on your machine for 90 days and so ultimately, you just have to trust them. If you opt to forgo cookies, their algorithm won’t work as well (which may be why DuckDuckGo isn’t as satisfactory to you). So trusting them may still be worth it, especially if they keep their word and don’t put your browse information up for sale.

          BTW, what I mean by your IP is exposed anyway is simply that once you click on one of the links returned by any search engine, you send a direct http request from your IP (the one provided by your ISP, visible to the outside world which is what identifies you) to that of the target machine, such as the HuffPo server, and it has ready access to that information. DuckDuckGo gets into that subject more and discusses ways (more elaborate) such as proxy and redirection servers of being protective of who you are, where you go, and what you do.

        2. Brooklin Bridge

          Also, note that Ixquick aggregates their results from multiple search engines. In other words, they take your query and send it off to other search engines they select based on a formula that includes your previous selections and relevance judgments based on key word matches. This can expose you to a certain amount of sophisticated tracking from one or more of those search engines.

          1. diane

            Actually I always use search sites, and the net in general, with cookies, scripting and downloading disabled and it’s never seemed to hinder my searches . Given that I use dial-up, it also significantly increases the speed and, with few exceptions, I’m relieved of peripheral annoyances such as the majority of ads (the only one I see on this page currently is the small invest in gold ad), spam and pop-ups. Occasionally I tweak the settings if I’m really interested in reading a site’s comments when they require scripting, have to allow java scripting to click a link, want to watch the rare video, or, view a pdf file. But yeah, as you said there are increasingly newer methods of tracking. Our privacy is toast and I’m horrified and angry at how long it’s taken for so many to realize what has been going on, as the rest of us were pretty much not only forced into the current hideous environment, but many times insulted when we forewarned of what we are increasingly witnessing. Some still don’t seem to acknowledge it, particularly regarding cloud computing, Google Glasses! and the normalization of biometrics, such as facial, voice and print recognition.

            I think that had much to do with the insidious equation, so expertly accomplished, that High Tech! , as in Google Yahoo, PayPal, Facebook, etcetera = Wiser! Lefties!; …..versus the fact that so much of it was steeped in a Bipartisan Libertarian core. Witness this vomit inducing commentary by Markos Moulitsas/Daily Kos : The Case for the Libertarian Democrat[!] (isn’t that something like a voter who calls themselves a Reagan Democrat! voter?). His Meritocratic puke …. about Racist, Classist, Genderist and Ageist: Sly Con Valley (the demographics of which, are particularly revealing when compared to Nationwide (increasingly, over theyears), reverse, lower percentages of all who are truly being thrown under the bus… as they die, move under bridges, or somehow manage to escape; … they are not allowed to live there safely … at all.), is particularly … and obscenely …. disturbing.

            Re the Ixquick cookies, did you read this at the bottom of their section on cookies:

            To promote a cookie-free internet, Ixquick has recently launched a URL generator which eradicates the need for setting a cookie. It remembers your settings in a privacy friendly manner. It can be found at the bottom of the SETTINGS page.

            not sure way they didn’t edit the part directly above it for the change though.

            By the way, I couldn’t agree more with this commentary you made, further down the page:

            As with so many other things, such as smart phones, online payment systems, software rental models and the cloud (which will get a lot darker over time), I am amazed that people continue to blissfully skip along in a Google like trance behind the Pied Piper of technology and gadgetry as it is unfolding in the Empire. No questions asked, no doubts, just hook, line and sinker.

          2. diane

            Very, sorry, why, not way. More importantly, in my rush and numerous fussy edits ..to fine point my gut instinct, I had intended to note (but failed) that the National average populations of those being thrown under the bus ..is increasingly higher than comparative populations in Sly Con Valley; because so many in Sly Con Valley are either off of the census roles (living from their car/under a bridge, or incarcerated on trumped up charges (addicted to painkillers!)), or they’ve died, committed suicide, or been lucky enough to escape to another sort of just milder hell …with barely a shirt, or blouse on their backs.

          3. diane

            (just to be perfectly clear, I despise even seeing the invest in gold ad, …so very nasty and obscene …darwinist at it’s very ugliest …no room for the profound and eternal love which manifests every day, when humans do all sorts of ‘things’ which indicate that it truly pains them to witness true suffering. Yeah there are those who appear to be thoroughly indifferent, but the vast majority of us are not that hideous.)

          4. diane

            Blatant, filthy nasty duplicity and deception (other than that very first sentence), at its very ugliest,:

            My libertarian tendencies have always found a welcome home in the Silicon Valley culture (and in all of the nation’s great technology centers). It is a place where hard work and good ideas trump pedigree, money, the color of one’s skin, nationality, sex, or any of the artificial barriers to entry in most of the rest of the world. It is a techno-utopia that, while oft-criticized for a streak of self-important narcissism, still today produces the greatest innovations in technology in the world. Where else could such a motley collection of school dropouts, nerds, brown people (mostly Indian), and non-Native English speakers (mostly Chinese), not just rise to the top of their game, but dominate it? This is free market activity seemingly at its best, and it works precisely because these individuals are able to take risks and be judged by the results of their work, rather than be judged by who they are, where they’ve been, or who they know.

          5. Brooklin Bridge

            Regarding, It [just launched feature] remembers your settings in a privacy friendly manner. Note, “privacy friendly” manner. That sums up what I was talking about when I mentioned above that I found the tone to be, “Don’t worry your little head about it”.

            What “privacy friendly manner”??? The only other options I can think of is that they store some sort of identifier (which would have your ip embedded) on their servers or in the query line. But the point is they DON’T tell you. And no, it isn’t to protect their development secrets. One can always describe tech related to this subject so that others get enough of an idea with out exposing secrets.

            Still, If your experience has been good, that is a positive. It is obviously not axiomatic that they must be hiding something simply because they won’t describe it more fully.

          6. diane

            No honey, my experience hasn’t been good. I don’t actually trust any web/net search site (I believe that is why it was early on DARPA days that it was tagged ‘the web,’ and ‘the net’); but, since we have all been horrifying forced to find out data that used to be easily determined, via phone call ….I try to choose the option that I intuit will do the least harm.

            For example, I’ve just been informed that I actually likely have cancer, within about a 99% probality (whatever that is, it will will have to be removed from your body), but I have had to do a search on the internet to determine the contact phone number of the Dr. who gave me the ultrasound and potentially deadly diagnosis; as no one recognizes her, and there is no phone number in the directory of the “hospital” where I was ‘treated’ by her.

            Quite unfortunately, I need her phone number to apply for disability.

          7. diane

            To cut to the chase, IT MED RECORDS is pure evil, instituted under that deranged sociopath GWB, and dereanged pyschopath, Cheney …then carried on WITH A FURY by that deranged sociopath Obama, with his wife, the Baby Fat Hunter, gluing together Pom Poms for Misery, behind the scenes.

            I try to be nice, I really do, but sometimes, I Just Can’t Be.

          8. diane

            And the reason why sometimes I feel I just can not say anything nice, is that I feel I am dealing with something monstrous, unrelentingly mean and vicious, to its core.

          9. Nathanael

            Brooklin: what Ixquick means is that there is now a single URL for “Call Ixquick with the following settings”. You can have links for several different combinations of settings if you like, and click straight to “search with this combination of settings”.

            Yes, that’s fairly privacy-friendly; Ixquick doesn’t record any information about your chosen settings on their servers at all.

  1. from Mexico

    What a difference 40 years makes.

    Forty years ago, this photograph by Huyng Cong “Nick” Ut won the AP Managing Editor’s Best Photo Award and shocked a nation back to its senses:

    http://mx.fotolog.com/yesisky/19705611/

    It revealed the human toll being exacted by the US’s indiscriminate napalm bombing in Vietnam.

    Today, this video of US soldiers joy riding in a helicopter in Afghanistan and murdering innocent civilians on the ground won Bradley Manning a 1000+ day stay in prison with an uncertain future.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/05/wikileaks-exposes-video-o_n_525569.html

    It’s like 40 years ago the nation still had a conscience, and now it has none.

    The Statfor leak provided important evidence which confirms the collusion that takes place between the US government and Mexico’s leading drug cartels.

    Tom Burghardt explains here in more detail:

    In a story which should have made front page headlines, Narco News investigative journalist Bill Conroy revealed that “A high-ranking Sinaloa narco-trafficking organization member’s claim that US officials have struck a deal with the leadership of the Mexican ‘cartel’ appears to be corroborated in large part by the statements of a Mexican diplomat in email correspondence made public recently by the nonprofit media group WikiLeaks.”

    A series of some five million emails, The Global Intelligence Files, were obtained by the secret-spilling organization as a result of last year’s hack by Anonymous of the Texas-based “global intelligence” firm Stratfor.
    Bad tradecraft aside, the Stratfor dump offer readers insight into a shadowy world where information is sold to the highest bidder through a “a global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards. Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world.”

    In Conroy’s latest piece the journalist disclosed that the “Mexican diplomat’s assessment of the US and Mexican strategy in the war on drugs, as revealed by the email trail, paints a picture of a ‘simulated war’ in which the Mexican and US governments are willing to show favor to a dominant narco-trafficking organization in order to minimize the violence and business disruption in the major drug plazas, or markets.”

    September 03, 2012
    Global Research
    America’s Secret Deal with Mexican Drug Cartels
    By Tom Burghardt

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      It’s like 40 years ago the nation still had a conscience, and now it has none.

      A lot of that is simply the corruption glut. We’re OD’d, yawn.

    2. Nathanael

      40 years ago, we had a functioning news media.

      Right now, the old news media is collapsing. The new media is repoting this stuff.

      40 years ago, we also had a functioning court system. Now, it’s crooked as a box of angles, starting at the top with the Chief Injustice and his criminal buddies the R.A.T.S.

      What you’re watching is people’s mindset adjusting to a lack of control over the government. This usually results in a period of quiescence, followed by an extremely sudden and very powerful revolution. Since the elite are bobble-headed idiots, they will mistake the period of quiesecence for submission and will be utterly surprised by the revolution.

  2. from Mexico

    As the following article in CounterPunch pointed out, the gay activist community’s deportment in face of the Bradley Manning incident has been abominable:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/02/22/bradley-manning-and-the-appalling-silence-of-gay-inc/

    I spent years in the trenches in the gay and lesbian activist movement, but finally came away from it very disillusioned.

    Gay and lesbian activism has had great success, but at what cost? It seems to me the leading gay activists have made a Faustian bargain, throwing overboard all that is good and right — any hope for a more transcendent morality — in quest of a narrow, self-interested agenda.

    It’s a morality that sucks.

    1. from Mexico

      For an incisive comparison between the vapid morality embraced by folks like Billy Graham and the leading gay and lesbian activists, versus the morality of a moral giant like Martin Luther King, who turned his back and scorned a Democratic president for his immorality, I very much recommend part 5, “The Soul of a Nation,” from the PBS series God in America:

      http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/view/

    2. McMike

      Speaking genericaly, I would suspect that the gay movement has gone mainstream, and big-dollar. Like the environmental movement and its massive organizations, they now have more in common with the status quo and the power system than with the grassroots. And no interest in picking actual fights that matter, choosing instead to fight around the margins and only in the sanctioned arenas.

      After all, gay rights is a fight that the economic power structure actually has no real interest in. A cultural skirmish that serves the elite as much as a distraction as anything.

      Why would the gay movement, having gained currency and in fact priority in the national Dem party, want to muck that up by talking about this fascist crap that actually has little to do with gay rights per se?

      That’s the ACLU’s job. This is the same criticism of the Catholic church in a sense, which sided with the power structure and turned its back on human rights and economic/social justice.

      In the logic of sociopathic instutions, it actually makes perfect sense. By taking Manning’s side, they risk destroying the entire movement’s succeses, and getting cast back into the wilderness.

      And in truth, the Manning story is not a gay story. Why try to make it a gay story?

  3. Mcmike

    Google is a great example of how monetization is strangling the web.

    Google is only useful now for finding stuff to buy. It collaborates with deep pocket SEO and astroturf brand management to the point that only commerce sites come up. Non commerce sites are not only pushed down, they are often literally rejected.

    The tell was when they disabled the -”" exclusion, look closely and youll see it doesnt work right anymore, often the results ignore the exclusion. The exclusion of course is used mainly to filter paid commercial placements and to get out independent sites beyond, So google disabled it

    It is useless, except to buy stuff, and even then dont expect to find a genuine independent review.

  4. Capo Regime

    Off point but don;t know where else to ask.

    Last month despite pop up blockers there is an obnoxious pop up ad on NC from some outfit MFS investements. Even when checking NC on mobile or PC and blocked the MFS add always pops in on NC! Horrid and very annoying. I fail to see how people can even imagine such an add would generate business. Hell, I hate them now for annoying me. If there is a way you guys can dispense with MFS from posting their annoying pop up please do so.

    1. McMike

      I suspect that the entire internet ad business is a massive scam/bubble/fraud.

      The ads are desperate, alienating, and insulting. There is simply no way that a business is sustainable when based wholy on tricking people into accidently clicking with fat fingers or because the ad promises a celebrity nip slip. Add to this the endless layers upon layers of content aggregating sites, whose only purpose seems to be as honey trap with bikini photos and SEO gogle search placements, tat trap users in ads with no “back” button until they finally smash their computer to escape.

      I claim no special inside knowledge, and know I am flying in the face of conventional wisdom that says if a lot of people pay money to do it, they can’t be wrong. [irony alert]

      But if the Wall Street collapse taught me one thing, it is that if you can’t figure out who’s lying and who’s getting screwed, you just aren’t looking hard enough.

      1. Fíréan

        Pop up ads are not only to attract the viewer’s attention to the add, but also to place cookies in the browser of the computer. Unless the computer user regularly clears ALL cookies,they will stay and some have intrusive and/or tracking purposes.

        http://www.allaboutcookies.org/privacy-concerns/index.html

        Use of a Linux based program,, preferable to Windows, with a browser like Firefox and an add-on cookie blocker such as Ghostery, will remove the pop-up, the ads and block the installation of a host of unwanted cookies.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Some ads are more obnoxious than others and the pop up that Capo Regime refers to (each time one visits NC) is indeed one of the worst. I have a slow machine and this ad purposely makes the kill button, the (X), difficult to hit (it keeps skipping around avoiding one’s mouse pointer). I don’t mind paying my dues any more than the next but this ad is nasty!

      1. McMike

        I would not buy something from one of these companies, or purposely click on their ad, if they were selling Cipro after an anthrax attack.

        Which makes me wonder, who are the ad buyers, and what are they thinking?

        Is some MBA fresh out of Harvard looking at web tallies for his ad, inflated by false hits to the point that there are no real hits, and thinking to himself “we’re killin’ it!”…

        Is he aware that he is pissing off vast swaths of people? Does he care?

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Indeed, this nasty intrusive ad seems like a waste of time for sites like this one based on the type of people who comment here, but as Fíréan points out, it’s not just the ad. Once you click on that X, or perhaps simply on the event of display, the pop-up can use the event to drop a turd into your cookie directory.

          I doubt Yves has much control over the process meaning it’s an all or nothing type of deal which would get tiresome to constantly be changing.

          1. McMike

            re: Yves.

            Indeed, I understand that Yves likely has little or no control over the ads, and that the cost of free access in this internet age usually means suffering annoying ads. There’s no free lunch. I’m ok with that.

            It is a fact though, that the popups nearly render the site unusable from time to time on my mobile device. Particularly if trying to comment. If that is a universal sentiment, then it might actually be of interest to Yves to be aware of.

            In any case, the business model and psychology of the ad buyers and providers is actually interesting to me, and in fact not too much a tangent from the general issues of interest to readers of this site. Ironically, as we discuss the cravenness, deceit, endless monetization, and simulacra of the global economy and national politics here on the site, living example of the worst sort are bouncing across the page right before our eyes.

          2. McMike

            The adds I am geting are for some sort of investment firm. Presumably based on a server’s analysis of site content, the server selects what ads to post.

            I understand the value in data mining from cookies, but what I am wondering is, at what point on the curve does that value of tracking data to the marketing department get offset by the cost to your brand’s reputation by antagonizing potential customers?

            If they are really shrewed, they would use popups from phony companies to spread their tracking cookies.

            But I don’t think that is what is going on. I think the ad buyer at ScumbagCo Investments sees big numbers for click throughs, so he hits his salary bonus target, and they pay by the click. Unsophsiticated or uncaring about the actual quality of the clicks, or even if they are real.

            They are told that 0.005% is a great success, so the ad placement company simply pays some monkeys to go around and click on ads all day. [Hello, Facebook, I am looking at you]

            I am ready to admit that i am talking out my butt though. I never understood online universities either, until I learned that they had scammed milions of people, and that the real point of the busines model was to get access to federal loan subsidy cash. Kaching kaching. This is why above I mentioned that if you cannot figure out who the fish is, you are just not looking hard enough.

  5. Brooklin Bridge

    Verdict-less trials for the powerful and trial-less verdicts for the weak. (Libor and too big to jail, President declares Bradly Manning to be guilty.)

    Makes me think of that line in, The Green Mile. Obama (and his administration) is a bad man.

    This and the next thread on drones, and the constant beat of corruption in – seemingly – all areas of finance, all of it is increasingly depressing. This + weakness is why I often loose my sense of courtesy, and also why even for public figures such as Elizabeth Warren, cynicism replaces skepticism more often than not. In such a perfect storm of corruption and abuse of power, anyone who makes it “in” to that level has basically met all the major criteria for being a bad bad person.

    As with so many other things, such as smart phones, online payment systems, software rental models and the cloud (which will get a lot darker over time), I am amazed that people continue to blissfully skip along in a Google like trance behind the Pied Piper of technology and gadgetry as it is unfolding in the Empire. No questions asked, no doubts, just hook, line and sinker.

    1. Glenn Condell

      Great political haiku: ‘Verdict-less trials for the powerful and trial-less verdicts for the weak.’

      That’s one promise Obama managed to keep – he just didn’t make it to us. He made it to them, so that some time soon he can jump, from us to them. No more acting, no more Purell, golf every day with savvy white business-dudes!

      When the job is finally done, when finance controls pensions, health and Social Security and anyone who complains is neutralised with one of the tiny drones stationed at every street corner (the better to protect you) Wall St should build its own Mt Rushmore, a giant bas-relief of Bill, Dubya and The Drone, the Great Enabling Triumvirate who presided over the death of democracy and shared prosperity via a managed descent into police state depression on behalf of a criminal aristocracy of ill-gotten power and wealth.

      ‘This and the next thread on drones, and the constant beat of corruption’

      I feel it like an anvil on my chest every day. Intense anger muffled by a powerful dread (… thanks NC!). One of the main threats, already underway, is the overlapping agendas of finanzkapital and the secret state. Now that the political and judicial functions have been suborned to finance, the sharp teeth of the secret state, designed for the defence of citizens, will instead be used to further prey upon them, or simply to prevent them from assembling in opposition to it. You’re right, the Cloud will turn dark, black in fact.

      ‘all of it is increasingly depressing’

      It sure is. I am not sure if it is the sheer outrage at seeing Bad People winning as a matter of course, so much as the terrifying absence of any plausible scenario for beating them. The presence and propensity of evil, or the absence and impossibility of hope?

      It used to be, before we were so connected, that enough people all thinking the same thing could force change. They had no choice but to use their bodies, to make the vocal physical. Now we not only all think the same thing at times, we converse en masse about it. But that is generally it. Occupies put hairline cracks in the mould but didn’t come close to breaking it, especially now that people have seen exactly how the ‘authorities’ will respond.

      If you had a halfway trustworthy electoral system over there, I reckon someone could run and win on a one sentence platform: ‘I will jail Jon Corzine and free Bradley Manning’

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Your reply is more thoughtful and better stated than my comment.

        especially now that people have seen exactly how the ‘authorities’ will respond.

        Indeed, the whistle blowers and the demonstrators have been terrorized by the government.

        Still, there have been some pretty substantial demonstrations over the last four years… But to what avail? They have been utterly swallowed by the media, as if some medium sized but still substantial red wood tree had fallen deep in the forest with no one the wiser.

  6. nwzPaper

    A non-violent response to systemic corruption of this magnitude is much more simple and obvious. Take an extended separation from employment. Ditch the debt. Start writing about the problems locally and reinforcing local community.

    Sovereign law has seniority tranches just like CDOs. I shouldn’t have to explain what that looks like to this group, today. The burden is overwhelming to sustain when you see it for what it is.

    :)

    Start relaxing, writing and living locally.

  7. Peter O

    All this leaves me a bid puzzeled. Basically I think transparancy is something good. But beeing monitored by whatever government is not really what I want.

    1. diane

      sorry, I had meant to append that comment above, and to the left of, this comment, to lay underneath my, further upwards on this ‘page,’ comment, on February 27th, 2013, at 12:09 AM (Eastern Standard Time),

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