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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Obama Quietly Issues Ruling Saying It's Legal For The FBI To Break The Law O...

 
 

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via Techdirt by Mike Masnick on 1/22/10

Following the report earlier this week that the FBI regularly broke the ECPA law, in obtaining information from telcos without going through the proper process (and, in some cases using just a post it note!), some interesting details from the full report have come to light. The two key ones? First, "the Obama administration issued a secret rule almost two weeks ago saying it was legal for the FBI to have skirted federal privacy protections." And, second, the original idea to use these bogus "exigent letters" didn't come from the FBI, but from an AT&T employee. We noted in the original report that no one seemed to be placing any blame on the telcos for allowing this, and why they're clearly abusing the law, in giving out such info without the proper rules being followed, seems like a big question:
The telecom employees were supposed to be responding to National Security Letters, which are essentially FBI-issued subpoenas. But those Patriot Act powers say the target must be part of an open investigation and that a supervisor has to approve it. While they require some paperwork, FBI agents have been issuing about 40,000 such NSLs a year.

But an AT&T employee provided the unit with a way around some of those requirements. The employee introduced them to so-called 'exigent letters.' Those letters, first used immediately following 9/11, asked for information by saying that the request was an emergency and that prosecutors were preparing a grand jury subpoena. The letter falsely promised that the subpoena, which gives the telecoms legal immunity, would be delivered later, the report said.

What's more, the report noted that the cozy relationship between the bureau and the telecoms made it hard to differentiate between the FBI and the nation's phone companies.

"The FBI's use of exigent letters became so casual, routine and unsupervised that employees of all three communication service providers told us that they -- the company employees-- sometimes generated the exigent letters for CAU personnel to sign and return," the inspector general reported.

In fact, one AT&T employee even created a short cut on his desktop to a form letter that he could print out for a requesting FBI agent to sign.

Even that became too much. Agents would request "sneak peeks," where they'd ask if it was worth their time to file a request on a given phone number, the inspector general noted. The telecom agents complied. Soon it graduated to numbers on Post-it notes, in e-mails or just oral requests.
No wonder the telcos were so adamant about getting immunity on the warrantless wiretapping. It appears that the issue of telcos ignoring the rules when it came to your privacy goes pretty deep.

As for Obama issuing a rule saying that breaking the law is legal... how does that work? The president doesn't get to just declare something legal, especially when it clearly violates both the letter and intent of the law.

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Special Comment - Keith Olbermann's Name-Calling

 
 

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via Daily Show Videos on 1/21/10

Keith Olbermann cedes the high ground and wallows in the swamp of baseless name-calling.

 
 

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Naked Airport Body Scanner Sees Everything But the Bomby Parts [Tsa]

 
 

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via Gizmodo by Brian Barrett on 1/22/10

Well, let's hope the bad guys weren't watching German television last week. A demonstration of one of those highfalutin—and highly invasive—full-body airport scanners caught a Swiss Army Knife and a cellphone, but none of the, uh, bomb components.

The big reveal comes at around 2:07, and is moderately to extremely terrifying. As Schneier on Security points out, the subject didn't get scanned from the side. That's reassuring until you see that there were still a few front-facing explosive bits that got through, and he didn't even have to hide anything in a body cavity.

So, to sum up: full-body scanners are equal parts creepy and ineffective, the end. [Schneier on Security via Boing Boing]




 
 

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Venezuelan president: US tectonic weapon caused Haiti quake

 
 

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via Boing Boing by David Pescovitz on 1/22/10

 Wikipedia Commons 8 86 Haarp Site

On Monday, BB contributor Arthur Goldwag posted a survey of conspiracy theories around the Haiti earthquake, mostly rants about how a US weather weapon disguised as an atmospheric research system in Alaska called HAARP (image above) actually triggered the catastrophe. Now, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has reportedly jumped on the bandwagon, blaming the earthquake on a test of the "tectonic weapon." From PressTV:
President Chavez said the US was "playing God" by testing devices capable of creating eco-type catastrophes, the Spanish newspaper ABC quoted him as saying.

The outspoken leader had earlier accused the US of occupying Haiti "under the guise of the natural disaster..."

Venezuelan media have reported that the earthquake "may be associated with the project called HAARP, a system that can generate violent and unexpected changes in climate."

HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, is a study run in Alaska directed at the occasional reconfiguration of the properties of the Earth's ionosphere to improve satellite communications.

Former US Secretary of Defense William Cohen in 1997 expressed concerned over countries engaging "in eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves."

Chavez says US 'weapon' caused Haiti quake




 
 

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Mom forces son to kill pet hamster with a hammer for getting a bad grade.

 
 

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Weather Conditions from The Weather Channel

This message was sent from a friend.

Now for Oklahoma City, OK (73160)

Temp: 52F
Feels like: 52F
Light Rain and Windy
Humidity: 82%
Wind: SSE at 23 mph
Last Updated: 1/23/10 8:05 AM CST

For more weather information, visit www.weather.com from your PC or
mobile device.


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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Obama Administration Defends $650K File Sharing Fine Against Grad Student

 
 

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via DailyTech Main News Feed by Rebecca Lindsey on 1/21/10

Massachusetts student to pay $22,500 per shared song

 
 

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TSA plants baggie of white powder in traveller's bag

 
 

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via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow on 1/21/10

A TSA agent at the Philadelphia International Airport slipped a baggie full of white powder into an unsuspecting passenger's baggage, then terrorized her when he "found" it, before announcing that he was just kidding. When she complained to airport security, she was dismissed because "the TSA worker had been training the staff to detect contraband."
Then he pulled a small, clear plastic bag from her carry-on - the sort of baggie that a pair of earrings might come in. Inside the bag was fine, white powder.

She remembers his words: "Where did you get it?"

Two thoughts came to her in a jumble: A terrorist was using her to sneak bomb-detonating materials on the plane. Or a drug dealer had made her an unwitting mule, planting coke or some other trouble in her bag while she wasn't looking.

She'd left her carry-on by her feet as she handed her license and boarding pass to a security agent at the beginning of the line.

Answer truthfully, the TSA worker informed her, and everything will be OK.

Daniel Rubin: It was no joke at security gate (Thanks, Masturbating Bearcub!)

(Image: I love to fly and it shows)




 
 

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Next loser that Obama will campaign for? Harry Reid

 
 

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This is my job

http://icanhascheezburger.com/2010/01/21/classics-now-with-favorite-buttons-52/



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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SO U

http://ihasahotdog.com/2010/01/20/funny-dog-pictures-come-often-2/



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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Daddy’s going to jail

http://punditkitchen.com/2010/01/19/political-pictures-richard-falcon-heene-daddy-jail/



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Da cat

http://ihasahotdog.com/2010/01/19/funny-dog-pictures-bit-butt/



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Monday, January 18, 2010

Barack Obama’s Mother Totally Looks Like Paul McCartney

http://totallylookslike.com/2010/01/18/barack-obamas-mother-totally-looks-like-paul-mccartney/



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We’ve replaced America’s trusted news sources

http://punditkitchen.com/2010/01/18/political-pictures-jon-stewart-trusted-comedian/



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hoomins take

http://ihasahotdog.com/2010/01/18/cute-puppy-pictures-luv-puppeh/



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What Gmail hack? China spins news of Google threat


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What Gmail hack? China spins news of Google threat

Chinese state media has spun Google's threat to leave China as a purely commercial move, dismissing human rights concerns raised by Google.






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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why Not CHANGE in Massachusetts, Mr. President?

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Why Not CHANGE in Massachusetts, Mr. President?


By John W. Lillpop

Just how is it that Barack Obama, whose entire campaign for the
presidency was based on CHANGE, has suddenly gone wobbly in the knees
about that very concept, at least when it comes to the open seat for
the US Senate in Massachusetts?

After all, the late Senator Ted Kennedy served in the Senate for 46
years. He was first sworn in to the Senate in 1963, when baby Barack
was still dithering about in diapers, somewhere in Kenya or Hawaii.

46 long years, Mr. President!

All the while, Kennedy carried the banner of liberal extremism and was
the "hit man" for leftist causes that are now crippling our great
nation, its economy, its moral standards, its defense, and its social
order.

Regrettably, the woman Democrats would like to install in Kennedy's
seat is another far-left lefty who, until recently, has presumed
Kennedy's seat to be the sole and exclusive property of the Democrat
Party and the Kennedy family.

That is, until the recent surge by conservative Republican Scott Brown
who skillfully reminded Coakley and Democrats that, in fact, Kennedy's
seat belongs to the people.

You know government by and for We the People, a concept that has
apparently fallen into harsh disfavor with Democrats!

Scott Brown's reminder has helped build momentum for his candidacy,
which may actually succeed in bringing badly needed CHANGE to
Massachusetts and the Marxist-dominated US Senate.

Looking for real CHANGE that will actually benefit America?

If so, the choice is very clear: End 46 years of the same old politics
as usual nonsense and elect Scott Brown!

After all, CHANGE is what it is all about, right Mr. President?

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Yo momma is so fat that her driver's license says: "Picture continued on other ...


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Yo momma is so fat that her driver's license says: "Picture continued on other ...

Yo momma is so fat that her driver's license says: "Picture continued on other side!"


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Online Bake Sale To Help Haiti


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Online Bake Sale To Help Haiti

A Norman group hopes to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake by appealing to the public's appetite.


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Saturday Night Live: Laser Cats 5


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Saturday Night Live: Laser Cats 5

James Cameron stops by to help produce Laser Cats 5.


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Obama Ties Passage of Health Insurance Bill to American 'Decency' - FOXNews


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Obama Ties Passage of Health Insurance Bill to American 'Decency' - FOXNews


Brisbane Times

Obama Ties Passage of Health Insurance Bill to American 'Decency'
FOXNews
As Democratic fears increase that health insurance reform could slip away with a crucial vote for a new US senator in Massachusetts, President Obama on Sunday used a church pulpit at a Martin Luther King Day service to say the massive health bill would ...
Obama speaks from pulpit, noting progress and difficulty in AmericaLos Angeles Times
Sunday's best: Obama goes to church, hits the campaign trailUSA Today
King celebration has grown over the yearsENC Today


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The hidden brain of humans. Or, why you care more about a lost dog than genocide [Interesting]



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