IOKIYAR Open Thread: Insecure Man Communicates Insecurely

Don’t worry, it’ll be a VERY SERIOUS IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE again once there’s a Democrat in the Oval Office! (Assuming we all live through the current occupancy, that is… )

Open Thread: All the Privacy You Can Buy, Citizen!

(Reminder: Schooley writes cartoon shows for a living. Yes, it’s a joke!)

Now, *this* is depressing: Tim Cook is happy to tell us that privacy — like clean water, decent health care, education, and so many other valuable commodities — is just another luxury good…

Speaking at a town hall event hosted by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Recode’s Kara Swisher, Cook said Facebook put profits above all else when it allegedly allowed user data to be taken through connected apps. The event is part of MSNBC’s “Revolution” series.

When asked what he would do if he were in Zuckerberg’s position, Cook replied: “What would I do? I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

“The truth is we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer, if our customer was our product,” Cook said. “We’ve elected not to do that.”…

Of course, Apple’s already made such ‘tons of money’ selling to “discerning” customers that its biggest problem is not drawing undue attention from government authorities, so Mr. Cook can afford to look down his nose at penny-an-ad barrel-scrapers like Zuckerberg…

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: FaceBorked

(Drew Sheneman via

I considered using the subtitle “Evil Is Overdetermined”. Here’s a roundup of the latest thumbnails ICYMA (In Case You Missed Any… )

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Russiagate Open Thread: Today’s Cambridge Analytica / Facebook Thumbnails

All this… seems significant. You more technologically adept people want to explain why it is or isn’t?

Mild Disappointments Open Thread: Rod Rosenstein & the Persian Menace

Of course, foreign espionage agents are always very bad news. But after Thursday’s press release, I can’t have been the only person hoping/fearing for a less… anodyne announcement:

The Trump administration on Friday announced sanctions and criminal indictments against an Iranian hacker network it said was involved in “one of the largest state-sponsored hacking campaigns” ever prosecuted by the United States, targeting hundreds of U.S. and foreign universities, as well as dozens of U.S. companies and government agencies, and the United Nations.

None of the alleged hackers were direct employees of the Iranian government, but all worked at the behest of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), officials said. While not the first such punishments imposed on Iran for such malicious acts, the new measures address more extensive Iranian efforts than previously alleged.

Nine of 10 named individuals were connected to the Mabna Institute, a Shiraz-based tech firm that the Justice Department alleged hacks on behalf of Iranian universities and the IRGC. The institute conducted “massive, coordinated intrusions” into the computer systems of at least 144 U.S. universities and 176 foreign universities in 21 countries, including Britain and Canada, officials said.

The hackers stole more than 31 terabytes of data and intellectual property — the rough equivalent of three Libraries of Congress — from their victims, prosecutors alleged. Much of it ended up in the hands of the IRGC, which has frequently been accused of stealing information to further its own research and development of weaponry. The Guard Corps is the division of Iran’s security forces charged with overseeing Iranian proxy forces abroad and is under the direct control of the country’s religious leaders…

The Trump Regency has gotten us into a very weird mindspace. Under normal circumstances, would one’s first thought be “Yes, yes, Mr. Bolton — those crafty Iranian terrorists, and their mad mullahs, always looking to DESTROY THE GREAT SATAN… “

Unintentionally (?) perfect coda:

… Also sanctioned was Behzad Mesri, who U.S. prosecutors announced last November had been indicted on a charge related to the hacking of HBO and theft of unaired episodes of programs including “Game of Thrones,” which the hacker threatened to release unless he was paid $6 million….