Whoa

Does anyone know if this twitter account for NBC News correspondent Richard Engel is real? Engel is the guy who claimed that his stuff was hacked almost as soon as he stepped off the plane in Sochi.

If so then some hijackers just tried to divert a plane to Sochi, the flight crew refused and landed in Istanbul instead and the plane is sitting there with some pissed off security people waiting outside.






137 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Hijack story is real. NYT issued an alert about it.

  2. 2
    RSR says:

    multiple media outlets have updates on the hijacking

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....tempt.html

  3. 3
    LittlePig says:

    Fixed Gawker link, for those interested http://gawker.com/hijacked-pla.....1518309767

  4. 4
    t4toby says:

    Interesting that people are making a big deal about computers being hacked when you arrive in Sochi when the NSA has all Americans hacked at all times. Is that a double standard or just blind ignorance?

    Does Richard Engel realize this? Or are Russian hackers icky while NSA hackers are sanitary?

  5. 5
    Belafon says:

    @t4toby: It’s funny how there’s actual evidence of hacking in Russia but not America, and yet some people can’t get this right.

  6. 6
    t4toby says:

    You mean funny that the Russians leave evidence, or funny, there isn’t any NSA hacking because they don’t leave a trail (I guess it isn’t really ‘hacking’ when they just collect everything downstream…)

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    Trying to hijack a Ukrainian flight into Sochi? That’s in ‘Bad Idea Of The Year’ territory.

  8. 8
    XeckyGilchrist says:

    @t4toby: (I guess it isn’t really ‘hacking’ when they just collect everything downstream…)

    Don’t let that stop you from making the claim in the first place, though!

  9. 9
    Jay C says:

    @MattF:

    Yeah, something doesn’t sound right: I mean, I could understand that someone might want to hijack a plane to get OUT of Sochi, but to go TO it?

  10. 10
    t4toby says:

    I’m confused Xecky, Bela – Are you saying the NSA doesn’t do this?

  11. 11
    Belafon says:

    @Jay C: I think it depends on what they want to do with the plane.

  12. 12

    @t4toby: Its all about intent. “I hacked you because I’m paranoid you are a terrorist” presents a different value proposition than “I hacked you so I can benefit from your misfortune.” Though its a stretch to see how one benefits from hijacking some twits account.

    @MattF: Seems the pilot agreed and landed in Turkey instead. “Sorry, Mr Hijacker, I don’t want to get shot down because of your rampant stupidity. Please, enjoy the coffee.”

  13. 13
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @t4toby: I think the problem is that you’re using the word “hacking” as if it doesn’t have actual meaning.

  14. 14
    Violet says:

    Richard Engel saying Turkish media reporting the hijacker has surrendered. Unconfirmed by Turkish officials at this time.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Caution, as always, on first reports.

    However, this does not surprise me. Bad things are going to happen in Russia during the Winter Olympics, and Putin, being a hamfisted Rethugican sweetheart, will insure that blood is shed.

  16. 16
    NotMax says:

    @Belafon

    Not in any way condoning the NSA’s trawler net methodology, but there is a difference between spying (or snooping) and collecting the datastream and hacking a computer or phone – in the cases Engel refers to in Russia (and he also admits not having tried his same experiments with virgin machines connected to the ‘net for the first time elsewhere), hackers downloaded malware directly on to each machine.

  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    @t4toby:

    (I guess it isn’t really ‘hacking’ when they just collect everything downstream…)

    Dude, if you don’t know the definition of hacking, then don’t throw accusations of hacking around. It just makes you look like a hysterical idiot.

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    Hacking and shower cameras are almost as bad as collecting telephone metadata.

    Almost.

  19. 19
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    BBC coverage of opening ceremony implies that “hijacker” may have been somewhat the worse for wear.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @t4toby:

    NSA hackers do not steal gold from your WoW toons to be resold to American asshats who can’t be bothered to farm gold themselves in game.

  21. 21
    Citizen_X says:

    @t4toby: Do what? “Hacking,” or grabbing metadata about foreign phone calls? Cause those two things ain’t nothing alike.

    Or, are you saying that “they don’t leave a trail” means the NSA is hacking us all, because there’s no evidence like a total lack of evidence?

  22. 22
    t4toby says:

    When did Balloon Juice become NSA apologists?

    Truly Sad.

  23. 23
    Belafon says:

    @t4toby: Well, the NSA must be reeeaaalllly good at it, considering how quickly we found out about the Russians doing it. And we’re not talking about bugging rooms or stuff like that.

  24. 24
    Cacti says:

    @t4toby:

    When did Balloon Juice become NSA apologists?

    Is it too much to ask the libertarian flying monkey brigade to understand the difference between hacking and collecting telephone metadata?

    Of course it is.

  25. 25
    Laertes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’ve been seeing this claim a lot lately, and I never noticed it before, even during my active WoW years when I took an interest in the subject. So I wonder if you can tell me: When did this idea, that the primary source of for-sale gold is theft rather than sweatshop drudgery, become common?

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @t4toby:

    Failure to toe the Snowden Party Line at Balloon Juice.

    I’m shocked, shocked!

  27. 27
    Bobby Thomson says:

    You ever been in a Turkish prison?

  28. 28
    lol says:

    @Cacti:

    It’s been pretty funny to see Glenn “I’m being persecuted by Obama” Greenwald fall over himself defending Vladimir “I kill journalists that displease me” Putin.

  29. 29
    Belafon says:

    @t4toby: Do you always paint with that broad of a brush? “It’s sad how badly restaurants have gone down hill,” t4toby says as he leaves Waffle House.

  30. 30
    Calouste says:

    @Cacti:

    Is it too much to ask the libertarian flying monkey brigade to understand the difference between hacking and collecting telephone metadata anything?

    Of course it is.

    FTFY

  31. 31
    Soonergrunt says:

    Yes, that is Richard Engel’s twitter. I follow him on both of my accounts.

    Speaking of Twitter, Politico tweeted the following:
    POLITICO ‏@politico 1h
    #Breaking: Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh, a Democrat, will be appointed to Max Baucus’s vacated Senate seat http://politi.co/9QrlaS

  32. 32
    pat says:

    Here’s what I don’t get. Was this new computer loaded with anti-virus software right out of the box? If so, what was it?

    And would a common anti-virus software prevent hacking?

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @t4toby:

    In other words, you got caught making a stupid, overbroad claim, so now you’re going to start playing the world’s tiniest violin for yourself.

    ETA: Also, too, you need to Man Up if this little criticism makes you curl up into a little ball.

    (Sorry for the crappy recording, but I decided the visuals were more important to get the point across. The cast recording is also available)

  34. 34
    Jack the Second says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    NSA hackers do not steal gold from your WoW toons to be resold to American asshats who can’t be bothered to farm gold themselves in game.

    Gotta fund overthrowing democratic governments somehow.

  35. 35
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Sounds like the gays finally snapped and went all terror on us.

  36. 36
    Cacti says:

    @lol:

    It’s been pretty funny to see Glenn “I’m being persecuted by Obama” Greenwald fall over himself defending Vladimir “I kill journalists that displease me” Putin.

    Ditto for wikileaks.

    But in their case, I’ve long suspected they were a front for Russian intelligence.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Laertes:

    It’s been going on for some time, the reason you really should have an authenticator on your WoW account. My guild bank has twice been ransacked via compromised guild member accounts…we’ve set it up so you don’t have access to the guild bank unless you have an authenticator on your account, and pretty strict limits on what can be withdrawn from the guild bank on a daily basis, and haven’t had a problem since.

    It’s true there’s a great deal of sweatshop drudgery to raise gold for resale, but hijacking accounts happens as well, with the same end in mind…turning WoW gold into legal tender for meatspace. People log back into their toons after the account has been recovered and discover their epics were sold off for gold, and their personal banks plundered of whatever might be of value. Blizz can restore all this stuff, of course, but the fact is, there’s extra gold in the in-game economy as a result. Another trick is selling expensive crafted mounts well below vendor part prices in order to launder gold for resale.

  38. 38
    t4toby says:

    Just to check – the majority of the commetariat here believes that the NSA is simply collecting metadata on foreign based phone calls, and that this single activity that they are engaging in is of no concern?

  39. 39
    gussie says:

    Hack: to gain access to a computer illegally.

    Just so the authoritarian apologists and the dirty terrorists are on the same page.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hack

  40. 40
    Belafon says:

    @NotMax: You’re right. His original statement accused the NSA of hacking. Now he’s decided to go after the “collecting metadata” route.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jack the Second:

    That’s done by selling HAWK missiles to the Iranians, then using the proceeds to fund the Contras.

  42. 42
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Belafon: Libertarianism is possible ONLY because simple minds paint with broad brushes. I have never met a libertarian that had a grasp of any issue of any import at all beyond parroting what other more famous people (almost always conservatives) say mixed with “I want to smoke pot.”

  43. 43

    @t4toby: Just to check, this is your feeble attempt at satire, right?

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Laertes:

    Account theft as a means of plundering gold for resale has been going on for some time, the reason you really should have an authenticator on your WoW account. My guild bank has twice been ransacked via compromised guild member accounts…we’ve set it up so you don’t have access to the guild bank unless you have an authenticator on your account, and pretty strict limits on what can be withdrawn from the guild bank on a daily basis, and haven’t had a problem since.

    It’s true there’s a great deal of sweatshop drudgery to raise gold for resale, but hijacking accounts happens as well, with the same end in mind…turning WoW gold into legal tender for meatspace. People log back into their toons after the account has been recovered and discover their epics were sold off for gold, and their personal banks plundered of whatever might be of value. Blizz can restore all this stuff, of course, but the fact is, there’s extra gold in the in-game economy as a result. Another trick is selling expensive crafted mounts well below vendor part prices in order to launder gold for resale.

  45. 45
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Cacti: whatever they started out as, they are definitely a wholly owned subsidiary of the FSB today.

  46. 46
    Citizen_X says:

    @t4toby: No, I think the metadata program is a fishing expedition. As for whatever else they may be doing, I’d like to see some evidence for it before I freak out.

    And no, expecting a minimum standard of evidence =/= “naive.”

  47. 47
    Cacti says:

    @t4toby:

    the majority of the commetariat here believes that the NSA is simply collecting metadata on foreign based phone calls, and that this single activity that they are engaging in is of no concern?

    If that was their only activity. Then no. No concern whatsoever.

    Your shorts are supposed to be in a bunch over the collection of domestic telephone metadata.

    Try and get your causes of outrage sorted out.

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OK, Front Pagers. Twice I’ve posted a long reply to Laertes about WoW gold theft/reselling, and twice this wretched commenting software has apparently ate it and refused to publish it, even as a “awaiting moderation” post. Once it even told me I’d already said that, but it doesn’t show up on my screen.

    HALP!

  49. 49
    feebog says:

    @t4toby:

    I’m confused Xecky, Bela

    Dude, you should have stopped right there.

  50. 50
    t4toby says:

    I am far from a libertarian, a flying monkey, a firedoglaker, or whatever other group you want to associate me with in order to discredit my words.

    Some older commenters might remember that I was here years ago. I read BJ now, but rarely comment. And now I remember why – you band together to enforce your group-think that was established in another thread I was not involved with, and then you will pat yourselves on the back when I get exasperated and leave because you once again showed how any deviation from the group would be easily turned away.

    So Yay, You? You sure showed this (insert whatever clever group name you are using here) what’s what.

  51. 51
    Belafon says:

    @Soonergrunt: To tell you the truth, if more of their statements ended with “I’m doing this because I want to smoke more pot,” I’d probably get along with them better. I wouldn’t smoke it myself, but the motive would make sense.

  52. 52
    SatanicPanic says:

    Just to check, the majority here think that Obama should be given the tile President for Life and have all the power and that this should be of no concern?

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @t4toby:

    You made a dumb statement. You were mocked for it. That’s not groupthink.

  54. 54
    Cacti says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Just to check, the majority here think that Obama should be given the tile President for Life and have all the power and that this should be of no concern?

    Of course.

    And any recalcitrant members of Congress and the Judiciary should be arrested and shipped to Guantanomo for reeducation.

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @t4toby:

    you band together to enforce your group-think

    The projection, it’s killin’ me smalls.

  56. 56
    cleek says:

    @NotMax:
    the NSA actually does hack into computers.

    Bruce Schneier has been doing expolit of the day posts for all kinds of crazy shit the NSA does to computers. and there’s a lot of crazy shit.

    for example, they can put an exploit into the firmware of your hard disk drives (not onto the disk, but into the HDD’s electronics) so that your machine will boot their stuff first. you would never know it happened because the exploit would tell the firmware to lie about its own contents.

  57. 57
    Belafon says:

    @t4toby: You obviously haven’t been reading BJ very well, then. The arguments we have over whether the NSA is actually doing anything wrong are truly epic (in a way that arguing over the internet on a blog can be epic). There is no decision or group thinking here.

    What you’re getting trashed on is improperly comparing two issues that don’t really have anything to do with each other except they involve lots of ones and zeros.

  58. 58
    gussie says:

    @t4toby: That’s not fair. We’re just waiting for a minimum standard of evidence that isn’t linked to anyone whom we find personally objectionable, and we find anyone who provides a minimum standard of evidence personally objectionable. So stop sulking, crybaby.

  59. 59

    @SatanicPanic: Ha! Well played.

    Love the extrapolation to the “majority of the commentariat”. That’s a tell by him.

  60. 60
    GregB says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Listening to Rand Paul and trying to make sense of his gibberish is proof of this.

    He’s like reading libertarian Mad Libs.

  61. 61
    geg6 says:

    @t4toby:

    No, I have decided to put aluminum foil on both my own head and all my electronic equipment to save me from Obummer’s hacker hordes who want to listen to all my phone calls from my sisters and read all my emails from my students and their parents. In fact, I’m so terrified that it will be discovered that I had a phone conversation that may lead me to change from DirectTV to Comcast that I’ve decided to go back to using an aerial antenna again.

    More seriously, almost no one at BJ feels thrilled about the NSA metadata collection, but it’s not really top of the list among our concerns and at least half of us aren’t all that concerned about the metadata collection considering that corporations have been doing exactly what the NSA is purported to be doing for decades now. Personally, I’m less worried about the NSA collecting metadata that includes data of mine than I am about corporations collecting it because I trust the corporations exponentially less than I do the NSA.

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Well, yes, because it would drive the wingtards even battier than they are now.

    It will be an endless fount of Schadenfreude.

  63. 63
    Laertes says:

    Meh. I think he’s being an ass today, but t4toby has a point: I’ve gotten cross-wise with the commentariat here once or twice, and it can be a bit shocking how fast the people who were warm and friendly the day before can turn spiteful and dismissive.

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cacti:

    Guantanomo

    wins my Typo Of The Day award. Congratulations.

  65. 65
    cleek says:

    @Laertes:
    boot-licker !

  66. 66
    MikeJ says:

    @cleek: I don’t really mind the NSA hacking. I would mind if those tools are being used against US persons without a warrant. The NSA exists to gather data and I’d be pretty upset if they didn’t have good ways of doing it.

  67. 67
    kc says:

    @t4toby:

    When a Democrat got elected.

  68. 68
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: there is NOTHING in the filters on it, nor posting history. Try this–copy/paste your message again, and then add in some known filter-bait words and let the filters catch it. then I’ll go fishing.

  69. 69
    mapaghimagsik says:

    Wait, so if the methods of gaining access to the computers in russia are legal, its not hacking!
    And no, misusing telephone metadata isn’t hacking either, by the definition given.

    Having said that, data can still be misused on both accounts, and most likely is.

    Can we have both things be bad. or is this a race to be History’s Greatest Monster {TM}

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Laertes:

    OK, I’ll try this again, shorter!

    Reselling of stolen gold from compromised accounts happens, but I don’t think is the major source of resold gold. The main reason to compromise accounts is to get a platform for the gold sellers to advertise in game, because it doesn’t take long for anyone broadcasting in trade about reselling gold to get shut down, so they need a fairly steady supply of compromised accounts to conduct their activities, to include selling crafted mounts at bargain prices to launder gold.

    Most of the gold is raised through sweatshop farming, but they’re not going to overlook another source of gold, might as well plunder the accounts while they can.

  71. 71
    Ghayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @t4toby:

    (I guess it isn’t really ‘hacking’ when they just collect everything downstream

    This. But don’t let it dissuade you from making the specious claim in the first place.

  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Bizarre. I tried a whole new post to address the issue, and that stuck.

  73. 73
    Laertes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:\

    Lots of good info there. Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

  74. 74
    NotMax says:

    @pat

    Short answer: No, with qualifications.

    Out of the box, any anti-virus program (and there are decent ones and crappy ones) would have likely been installed an eon ago, digitally speaking, and be in need of updating for recognitions of known exploits.

    There are also exploits which anti-virus programs don’t catch (or aren’t designed to catch) plus exploits which are designed to disable or bypass such programs.

    Having malware detection programs besides just an anti-virus program is a must (such as Malwarebytes, Super Anti-Spyware, or both), as thy can detect and isolate or disable things which anti-virus programs let through, but again, not 100% of nasties (rootkits and other types of malware can be especially virulent and possibly compromise a hard drive to the point where a total reformat is necessary, or even beyond redemption).

    Phones and some apps for phones, being intentionally designed to broadcast location and other data in order to function, present a whole raft of other ports of entry for nasty stuff.

  75. 75
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Laertes: You never know what issue is going to set people off, and for reasons my phlegmatic self can’t quite grok, people get really emotional about the NSA. They don’t want to hear about legislation or congressional oversight or checks and balances, they want to act as if their outrage makes them just like Enjolras on the barricades, or even better than person in Tiannamen facing down a tank.

    At Eschaton there was a holier-than-anybody Naderite who thought Obama was worse than Bush on economics, and who would scream bloody murder any time somebody mentioned eliminating the mortgage interest deduction on second homes, because without it she and her husband couldn’t afford the beach house they planned to retire to.

  76. 76
    some guy says:

    @Cacti:

    But in their case, I’ve long suspected they were a front for Russian intelligence.

    to paraphrase C. Pierce, this is example #387 of Things That Appear on Balloon Juice That Make Me Want To Guzzle Antifreeze.

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    @t4toby:

    Just to check – the majority of the commetariat here believes that the NSA is simply collecting metadata on foreign based phone calls, and that this single activity that they are engaging in is of no concern?

    No, we believe that collecting metadata does not meet the definition of “hacking.”

    If you want to redefine words to mean what you want them to mean, you need to tell people that’s what you’re doing, not get all huffy when you use a new definition and people don’t go along with it. You can start calling lunch “dinosaur,” but don’t be surprised when people don’t know what you mean when you say, “Let’s go out to dinosaur today.”

  78. 78
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    O/T, but here’s something to cheer everybody up: Victoria Jackson is running for public office in Nashville. The campaign alone should give Southern Beale lots of blog-fodder.

  79. 79
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    You never know what issue is going to set people off

    a certain front pager once called me an ignoramus for saying I thought Tom Bombadil from LOTR was a stupid character. I’m still smarting from that one.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Laertes:

    Also, too, those compromising accounts used to plunder guild banks, but most guilds have set up safeguards using tools provided by Blizz to prevent that from happening, because while Blizz can restore guild banks from a pre-compromised image, it takes a week or so to do it and it’s a pain. So, my guild requires authenticators on accounts to have GB access, and has limits on what can be withdrawn on any day to minimize damage if a compromised account does access the bank.

    Blizz has been pretty good about coming up with countermeasures and closing seams in this area, not only to keep players happy but to reduce their own costs of having to deal with it.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Laertes:

    Sometimes you accidentally hit someone’s hot button and things spin way off in a direction you didn’t expect. Plus people get dug into positions that they refuse to leave. It happens.

    ETA: I didn’t think it was controversial to say that it would be bad if California was no longer able to grow almost half of the produce sold in the United States, but apparently it was. Who knew?

  82. 82
    lol says:

    @cleek:

    “can” =/= “does without a warrant domestically”

    The NSA better have OP hacking capabilities. That’s what we fund them to do. The NSA better be capable of tapping the phones of world leaders. That’s *literally* their fucking job.

    It is funny that out of all the files Snowden walked off with, there’s not anything that puts Russia in a bad light. You’d think the NSA would’ve intercepted something about installing cameras in bathrooms and whatnot but apparently there’s nothing. We don’t know anything about any abuses in Russia. Not a scrap. It’d be really interesting to the public if there was, wouldn’t you think?

    By sheer coincidence, the only files Greenwald has to publish is information embarassing to the West. Weird.

  83. 83
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Forget it Jake. It’s WordPress.

  84. 84
    raven says:

    @Laertes: The point is on the top of his head. Bless it.

  85. 85
    Suffern ACE says:

    Pshew. Thank goodness no one appears to have been hurt. Now the press finally has its terrorist attempt that it has been waiting for.

  86. 86
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @SatanicPanic: The context makes me think it was Cole, but “ignoramus” seems far too mild a response for him.

  87. 87
    Belafon says:

    @Laertes: Balloon Juice is the only place where I think the people here would act the same way in the real world as they do on the internet.

  88. 88
    cleek says:

    also, that metadata? the NSA is collecting that on less than 30% of us. they can’t keep up with cellphone use.

    and they aren’t getting anything from Verizon or T-Mobile.

    @lol:

    It is funny that out of all the files Snowden walked off with, there’s not anything that puts Russia in a bad light.

    i think it’s simply that he doesn’t give a fuck what other countries are doing. he’s concerned about the US, and knows that tu quoque is a logical fallacy.

  89. 89
    NotMax says:

    @cleek

    Never denied it happens* (and again not condoning it), but that is different from trolling the stream actively seeking entry for insertion of malware.

    And not saying that one is bad and the other is not, either. Just trying to get across that what Engel reported is one flavor of appropriation of data, in his examples in order to gather content with a profit value.

    *Also too, so far as we know at this time, the diversion of hardware by the NSA for insertion of programs is done on machines destined for outside the border delivery to specific clients. Doesn’t make it right, doesn’t make it ethical, but also doesn’t mean that every machine running has been so compromised.

    Been reading Schneier for years and years (much good info and Password Safe is a powerful tool, but also generous dollops of hyperbole), and always found it inconsistent that he also favored not locking down one’s router.

  90. 90
    lol says:

    @some guy:

    It’s weird that the Greenwald crowd will entertain any number of conspiracy theories about the NSA, drones, Obama, etc but heaven forbid we ever point out that Wikileaks and Russia have acted in unison.

  91. 91
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Laertes: CASINO! PENIS!

    Also, too, those compromising accounts used to plunder guild banks, but most guilds have set up safeguards using tools provided by Blizz to prevent that from happening, because while Blizz can restore guild banks from a pre-compromised image, it takes a week or so to do it and it’s a pain. So, my guild requires authenticators on accounts to have GB access, and has limits on what can be withdrawn on any day to minimize damage if a compromised account does access the bank.

    Blizz has been pretty good about coming up with countermeasures and closing seams in this area, not only to keep players happy but to reduce their own costs of having to deal with it.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    OK, it did it to me again. I put two banned words in all caps at the beginning of the post, perhaps it’s caught there.

  93. 93
    PurpleGirl says:

    @t4toby: I figure that if the NSA is collecting random metadata, then given the number of cat pictures, cat videos, and kitten live-streaming on the net then they are watching a hell of a lot of cats and kittens. As long as they don’t go home and kick a cat/kitten, it’s all good for their souls. Amirite?

  94. 94
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    At Eschaton there was a holier-than-anybody Naderite

    Naderites need to be cruciated into the long stay ward at St. Mungo’s.

    Just sayin’.

  95. 95
    Laertes says:

    @lol:

    By sheer coincidence, the only files Greenwald has to publish is information embarassing to the West. Weird.

    There’s nothing wrong with Westerners focusing on the wrongdoing of Western governments. I get your frustration, and share it to an extent, but one doesn’t want to be like those folks who piss and moan about “blame America first” any time someone points out that we’re doing something shitty.

  96. 96
    some guy says:

    @lol:

    and for the lulz. weirdly, Greenwald has yet to release any files gathered by Snowden on pink unicorns. His alignment with the International Evil Unicorn forces couldn’t be clearer.

  97. 97
    Soonergrunt says:

    @lol: Just like how Wikileaks never published any of the stuff that Assange said they had on Russia during an interview, but later on denied on his shiny new Russian state-sponsored-tv show, but a whole bunch of dissidents in places like Belarus got disappeared.

  98. 98
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nah it was Anne Laurie. I’ve never managed to piss off Cole enough for him to respond. It’s kind of on my bucket list.

  99. 99
    lol says:

    @cleek:

    Except that Snowden/Greenwald have published lots of stuff embarrassing to other Western countries on matters completely unrelated to the NSA activities domestically.

    At a time when the eyes of the world are on Russia, a reporter could make a pretty big splash publishing intelligence about Russia’s crackdown on dissidents, journalists, GLBTs. Instead, we’re getting “US IS JUST AS BAD AS RUSSIA HERP A DERP”.

  100. 100
    ET says:

    Saw a funny tweet about Palin:

    Matt Roeser ‏@mattroeser Feb 6
    Not gonna lie; sort of jealous that Sarah Palin gets to watch the Olympics from her backyard.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cleek:

    i think it’s simply that he doesn’t give a fuck what other countries are doing. he’s concerned about the US, and knows that tu quoque is a logical fallacy.

    I dunno — a lot of the information that has been released was embarrassing to Great Britain, France, and Germany, among others. So at a minimum you’d have to say he’s concerned about the US and its allies.

  102. 102
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Nothing in the filter. It’s possible you’re being hit by Sucuri or by our anti-spam. Shoot an email to mistermix and ask him to check. He has a LOT more access than I do.

  103. 103
    NotMax says:

    Germane to this thread.

    Baby steps, but steps notwithstanding:

    National intelligence chief James R. Clapper said Thursday that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had approved two limits on how the government can use huge volumes of data it collects about Americans’ phone use. Source

    The ‘two hops instead of three’ has always been a red herring, as it does nothing to limit going two more steps from hop #2 (instead of 3 more steps from hop #3), and so on, ad infinitum, without further permission.

  104. 104
    lol says:

    @some guy:

    “Russia doesn’t exist” is certainly a new argument from Team Snowden.

  105. 105
    catclub says:

    @Soonergrunt: So why can’t the CIA sponsor a wUSAleaks that leaks stuff on Russia? Incompetence? Lazy? No money in it?

  106. 106
    gogol's wife says:

    I translated a bunch of Russian Sochi jokes and tried to post them as a comment, but they disappeared. Not gonna do all that again!

  107. 107
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Laertes: Why is it shocking? A lot of them were Reagan Democrats. Possibly/probably they still are.

  108. 108
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Meh, to do that, I’d have to violate the rules and use the abomination that is Outlook to contact him, and I have a strict policy…no email on my computer, web based or unix based email only.

    It’s just not that important, really, but perhaps mistermix might want to investigate in his copious spare time.

    Thanks for looking into it though, Sarge.

  109. 109
    Soonergrunt says:

    @catclub: who would care?

  110. 110
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I’m glad it’s not just me who is being victimized by FYWP.

    Misery DEMANDS company!

  111. 111
    Cassidy says:

    @Cacti: We live in a police state donchaknow.

  112. 112
    WaterGirl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: What makes you think you would have to use outlook to contact mistermix? Just put the word “hey” in front of his BJ nym and send it to gmail, you can do that from webmali or any email program, unix or otherwise.

  113. 113
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Well, doesn’t matter, I can’t get the “contact” box to do anything for me anyway.

    I’m not seeing an email address at all.

  114. 114
    Soonergrunt says:

    @cleek: It’s 20% or less, according to the WSJ, which still does good news, even if their opinion page is batshit insane.

  115. 115
    taylormattd says:

    @Cacti: “libertarian flying monkey brigade”

    HAHAHAHAHA!

  116. 116
    Cacti says:

    @some guy:

    to paraphrase C. Pierce, this is example #387 of Things That Appear on Balloon Juice That Make Me Want To Guzzle Antifreeze.

    Happy to get you a glass.

    Do you prefer Peak or Prestone?

  117. 117
    Ben Cisco says:

    @geg6:

    @t4toby:

    No, I have decided to put aluminum foil on both my own head and all my electronic equipment to save me from Obummer’s hacker hordes who want to listen to all my phone calls from my sisters and read all my emails from my students and their parents. In fact, I’m so terrified that it will be discovered that I had a phone conversation that may lead me to change from DirectTV to Comcast that I’ve decided to go back to using an aerial antenna again.

    I found this passage woefully understated.

  118. 118
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: heymistermix AT google’s email service.

  119. 119
    Morbo says:

    The Engel story, by the way, has a few holes.

  120. 120
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Thanks, and done.

  121. 121
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Ah, upon reviewing the thread, my second lost post has been rescued from FWYP limbo, probably by the Dread Pirate.

    Don’t worry about the first lost post, the subject matter is covered now, if anyone cares! :)

  122. 122
    fidelio says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: What have we done down here that we should be so punished?

    Although given WIlliamson County’s Congressional representation (the egregious Marsha Blackburn) she’ll fit right in there.

  123. 123
    AxelFoley says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    You ever been in a Turkish prison?

    Nah, but I saw Midnight Express

  124. 124
    Cacti says:

    Stephen Kim, the State Department contractor who was accused of leaking classified info to Fox News, has accepted a plea deal.

    1-count of felony disclosure of classified information for a 13-month prison sentence.

    Where have the front pagers been in defense of this brave whistle blower?

  125. 125
    Ian says:

    @Cacti:
    You win the internet for the day. Where do you want your prize delivered?

  126. 126
    WaterGirl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I tried to give you the email address in code. guess i was too subtle.

  127. 127
    Bill Arnold says:

    @NotMax:

    as it does nothing to limit going two more steps from hop #2 (instead of 3 more steps from hop #3), and so on, ad infinitum, without further permission.

    Are you sure about the “without further permission” part? I had been left with the impression (maybe craftily injected by the NSA) that approvals would be required for each extension.

  128. 128
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @AxelFoley: Do you like gladiator movies?

  129. 129
    NotMax says:

    @Bill Arnold

    Have seen reference to that, but also commentary from reporting on the NSA that the very existence of suspicion of a degree to take the first hops is sufficient in and of itself to continue.

    Quoth the former head of the east German Stasi:

    “It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won’t be used,” he said. “This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect the people’s privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place.” Source

  130. 130
    Bill Arnold says:

    @NotMax:
    OK. Appreciate a link if you have one handy.

  131. 131
    NotMax says:

    @Bill Arnold

    No ready link at my fingertips. Should I recall where read on it, shall try to let you know. There is so much partial data on this topic, some of it conflicting, coming out that it is almost a full-time job merely keeping up and sifting it.

    Something in the back of the mind says the info came out of either Sen. Wyden’s or Rep. Sensenbrenner’s office, but that may not be correct.

  132. 132
    AxelFoley says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    @AxelFoley: Do you like gladiator movies?

    Aye.

  133. 133
    lefthanded compliment says:

    @Cacti: Pierce always orders Prestone.

  134. 134
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Cacti: That would be interesting to see from those who ought to be so inclined.

  135. 135
    Bill Arnold says:

    @NotMax:

    here is so much partial data on this topic, some of it conflicting,

    Yeah, the deliberate obfuscation is deep and crafty, and much of it filtered through/paraphrased by reporters with limited understanding. And there are probably some statements that are factually incorrect(no matter how you parse them) by accident or deliberately.
    The exploit of the day Schneier link that cleek posted earlier in the thread is fascinating. I hadn’t been following Schneier the last several months. (The NSA has nearly unlimited piles of money, clearly.)

  136. 136
    ruemara says:

    @some guy: go for it. I like Pierce, but he’s a pundit & not really involved in national security. So he can eat paste on this issue.

  137. 137

    @some guy: This is the one of the funniest things I have ever read here. And its been awhile.

    @SatanicPanic: Gaia help me, this is the second. Archive this thread, stat.

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