An Education Of A President, Et Al

I make NO mistake that I do not think that this president has any idea what he is doing when it comes to the proper use of the intel gathered by our agencies…..now to be fair I do not know if he is just lazy and ignorant or he truly believe some of the spineless crap he is doing and saying…..

But as usual the old professor is here to help (even if it is for someone that I do not support in any way shape or form)…..there is now a short paper on the use of intel for policymakers……

It’s 9:00 pm somewhere in the trenches of the national security bureaucracy. You are a mid-level policymaker and are scrambling to prepare for the big National Security Council meeting in the morning, when principals will debate and decide the U.S. course of action for the crisis du jour. You need to write a ‘read-ahead’ paper and be able to convincingly brief your principal and maybe even the National Security Council on the state of play in the conflict, policy options based on that analysis, pros and cons of each option, and to ultimately make a recommendation. You, however, have not been reading your intelligence — and you do not even know where to start.

Sure, your intentions were good. But the time-sucking reality of recurring crises, endless paper churn, non-stop meetings, and ensuring you are invited to said meetings (with the correct location and a speaking role) overwhelmed you. You have cancelled more morning briefs than you have held. Piles of unopened daily intelligence readbooks spill out of your safe. You can barely remember the names of the analysts supporting you, let alone how to contact them (they went home for the night hours ago, FYSA). You’ve skated by through weeks of interagency meetings with your three trusty talking points, but now, when the analytic rubber hits the policy road, you realize you do not sufficiently understand the issues at play, nor what options the United States could or should pursue to address them. You, my mid-level policymaking friend, lack intelligence.

https://warontherocks.com/2018/11/intelligence-and-you-a-guide-for-policymakers/

This should be required reading if you are a policymaker……someone has got to step up and insert some sanity back into the policies that this country is embracing…..and at the same time dragging it into the pit.

I will be sending it to my representatives….not that it would do much good…..but at least they cannot claim ignorance as they often do.

Right?

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Slow Down! Big Brother Is Watching!

Weary of the news…then maybe I can help you out…..

I love weekends….I use to go for a drive on weekends….take off and drive until you feel a stop is needed.  My usual stopping point was when I saw a diner or eatery or a pub….

As usual we were out for a drive and one of those signs  came into view….you know the ones….the ones that tell you how fast you are going…..and you then adjust your gas peddle to come into the legal limit…..you do know the ones I mean, right?

In these days when you are under the magnifying glass from everyone…..I mean we are spied upon constantly…our buying trends, our travel trends, etc etc etc…….

I dined in some cool places….Do Drop Inn, the Coffee Pot, Hot Coffee’s (name of a town on the back roads) Greet and Eat and a spot called “the Pour house”…..just to mention a few.

But back to those speed limit signs… what do those “speed limit” signs have to do with domestic spying?

If you’ve been a driver in the United States for any length of time, you have most likely passed at least one of those interactive road signs that show you how fast you’re driving. It turns out, those signs may be doing more than you think they are.

You can now add digital speed signs to the list of known automated license plate readers (ALPRs). According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), ALPRs can be found on “street poles, street lights, highway overpasses, mobile trailers, or attached to police squad cars.”

Thanks to a special notice released in August, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be using RU2 Systems trailer-mounted speed displays “retrofitted as mobile LPR [License Plate Reader] platforms.” RU2 Systems Inc. is a private Mesa, Arizona company.

https://theantimedia.com/signs-driving-spying/

They are watching you!

Are you paranoid yet?

May you weekend begin with some joy and end with a little adventure…..chuq

Is That A Mosquito? Or Maybe A Drone?

It is still Sunday……

A few years back I watched an episode of “Elementary” about a murder committed by drone…..and Sherlock was spied on by a drone the size of a mosquito……an excellent show but what are the chances that the drones will get that small?

I had to go to Google…..will drones get that small and could they be used against our own population for whatever reason?

The DARPA Robotics Challenge was a showcase for how very large, very expensive robots could potentially be useful in disaster recovery and high-risk environments. Humanoids are particularly capable in some very specific situations, but the rest of the time, they’re probably overkill, and using smaller, cheaper, more specialized robots is much more efficient. This is especially true when you’re concerned with data collection as opposed to manipulation—for the “search” part of “search and rescue,” for example, you’re better off with lots of very small robots covering as much ground as possible.

Yesterday, DARPA announced a new program called SHRIMP: SHort-Range Independent Microrobotic Platforms. The goal is “to develop and demonstrate multi-functional micro-to-milli robotic platforms for use in natural and critical disaster scenarios.” To enable robots that are both tiny and useful, SHRIMP will support fundamental research in the component parts that are the most difficult to engineer, including actuators, mobility systems, and power storage.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/darpa-wants-your-insect-scale-robots-for-a-micro-olympics

There is much more on this situation….it will start with the military and move to the private sector….where would this stop?

Further reading:

http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-tiny-drone-the-us-military-is-testing-2015-6

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2013802/U-S-military-drones-small-look-like-insects.html

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2578439/u-s-military-unleashes-swarm-of-tiny-intelligent-micro-drones/

Closing Thought–22Jun18

I was watching an episode of “Elementary” about a murder committed by a drone….there was even these nano drones that were used to spy on Holmes….as small as a mosquito…..made me think that drones are getting smaller but how small?

FLIR Systems Inc. will supply the Army with its next-generation nano drone, the company recently announced.

A $2.6 million order has been made for the first shipment of the Black Hornet 3 as part of the Soldier Borne Sensor program.

The drone took seven years to develop, Ole Aguirre, FLIR director of unmanned aerial systems strategy and government affairs, said June 7 in an interview.

The system weighs only 32 grams, and can fly at speeds up to 21 kilometers per hour for up to 2 kilometers, he said.

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2018/6/11/army-to-acquire-new-nano-drones

Was this art imitating life?

So if you are outside and hear a mosquito in your ear it might be Big Brother targeting you for some reason or another.

Time for me to start my weekend….going to live it up since I must go back to the hospital next week for yet another procedure…..

Closing Thought–03Apr18

Since the news broke about the insecurity of Facebook the conversation about the people’s privacy is once again newsworthy…..

Well I am here to keep you abreast of the government’s attempts to invade our privacy….ever hear of the CLOUD Act?

No?  Then maybe you should stop skimming the post and read it for real…..

While the nation remained fixated on gun control and Facebook’s violative practices last week, the U.S. government quietly codified the CLOUD Act, its own intrusive policies on citizens’ data.

While the massive, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill passed Friday received widespread media attention, the CLOUD Act — which lawmakers snuck into the end of the 2,300-page bill — was hardly addressed.

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD) “updates the rules for criminal investigators who want to see emails, documents and other communications stored on the internet,”CNETreported. “Now law enforcement won’t be blocked from accessing someone’s Outlook account, for example, just because Microsoft happens to store the user’s email on servers in Ireland.

The CLOUD Act will also allow the U.S. to enter into agreements that allow the transfer of private data from domestic servers to investigators in other countries on a case-by-case basis, further globalizing the ever-encroaching surveillance state. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has strongly opposed the legislation, listed several consequences of the bill, which it called “far-reaching” and “privacy-upending”:

http://theantimedia.com/us-government-privacy-cloud-act/

Our internet privacy has been under attack for well over a year now….we had better pay attention or lose out completely.

Once And Future Infowars

Well first the Infowars in this post has nothing to with the site from the uber-conspiracist, Alex Jones….or the tin foil hat crowd…..

We have seen how social media has played into our elections and the spread of crappy world views….some might even say “fake news”…..but the future of social media is in question….maybe not by everyone but some at least……

A new book covers this subject……..

Violence, like Twitter, is a means of communication. If we do not understand it as such, its place in international relations makes no sense. As Thomas Schelling wrote in 1966: “The power to hurt is bargaining power. To exploit it is diplomacy — vicious diplomacy, but diplomacy.” Thinkers such as Joseph Nye and John Arquilla have argued that future wars will be determined by “whose story wins” more than who wins on the battlefield. Any analysis of narratives affecting war, however, must explain how violence itself shapes and destroys narratives. Violence may be a terrible way of communicating, but it will always be the ultimate way for states to signal their intentions and capabilities when discourse fails.

Journalist David Patrikarakos’ War in 140 Characters is an extremely rewarding, yet hopeless attempt to argue that new information technology — specifically, social media — has fundamentally “destabilized classic forms of war” and suggest that something new is upon us. According to Patrikarakos, social media is “one thing above all else: effect without cause.” As a result, it has given actors without any resources the ability to have an impact on what he calls the “narrative” and “discursive” levels of war, at which actors interpret the truth and political meaning of military action. Since the narrative and discursive levels of war have a greater impact on the political outcome of a war than military operations, effective tweeting can make battles irrelevant. And since non-state actors are better at tweeting than the West’s discredited institutions, they have gained an unprecedented advantage. The pernicious effects of battlefield social media thus threaten “the very idea that wars between state and non-state actors are asymmetric.”

https://warontherocks.com/2018/03/the-once-and-future-infowars/

It is up in the air on the future of social media….Facebook has called into question the security on these sites and points to ways they can be exploited.

Personally, I have never trusted any of them as far as I could spit them….my footprint on social media is very small to the point of being damn near none existent.

I have no confidence still and will continue to use them sparingly.

How About Facebook?

Ever sine I have been writing a blog (a total of 12 years) visitors would comment and send me a link to a Facebook post….I would thank them for the link but tell them that I was not on Facebook for I did not trust them to keep my info secure…

Looks like my fears were well founded…..

Facebook is reeling from a series of revelations about private user data being leaked to Cambridge Analytica, a shadowy political consulting firm that did work for the Donald Trump campaign.

Last Friday, reporters from The New York Times and The Observer of London told Facebook that Cambridge had retained copies of private data for about 50 million Facebook users. Facebook says Cambridge promised in 2015 that the data would be deleted. Facebook responded to the new revelations by banning Cambridge and several of its associates from Facebook.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/03/facebooks-cambridge-analytica-scandal-explained/

Recently I was told that this breech was no big deal….apparently the markets do not agree…..

Facebook shares fell nearly 7 percent Monday amid controversy over how Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by President Trump’s 2016 campaign, was able to harvest personal data from more than 50 million Facebook users.

The 6.8 percent drop lopped nearly $40 billion off Facebook’s market value.

Equity analysts with Raymond James said in a report to clients that “continued concerns over Russian targeting and data misuse are clearly weighing on the shares.”

Facebook says it initially gave out the data to a researcher who claimed it would be used only for academic purposes. Facebook claims the researcher then “lied to us” and passed the content onto Cambridge Analytica. That firm then used the data to build “psychographic profiles” about voters.

Investors are worried about the fallout for Facebook from prosecutors, regulators, and advertisers.

I realize that followers on Facebook add to the number of total followers for the blog….but my security is more important than the number of followers to feed my ego.

Security measures are important to all us bloggers only some of us are a bit sharper than others.  I can state that none of my info was compromised by Facebook….can you?