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August 21, 2007

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Well, when you're subcontracting database design to Regent U graduates .... [/snark]

Actually, I'd think they're having problems because, most likely, none of the databases were designed to do what they're trying to do, and it's really difficult to change the design of one that already exists. Not to mention trying to merge the information from several - even two or three - is a headache of major proportions. Having done it with databases where there's a standard exchange format involved (and the data is basically the same thing), and had that become major headache - I'm still trying to clean up the data on some of them to get them into a relatively clean state - merging unrelated files is going to be difficult enough that it might be easier to dump them to paper and re-enter them into a new database.

Spying on the American public(perceived threat)has been ongoing.

Mayhaps the FISA subpoenas aren't just about post 9/11 behaviors, and an unravelling of domestic programs would inevitably follow their public disrobing.

J. Edgar Hoover lives.

A good ETL tool and database migration can be a snap depending on what is actually stored. The key here is how good is are the db designers at the NCC are. Although the track record would indicate hacks getting large contracts and not delivering. Does anyone know if this work is up for contract bids?

They've been buying snake oil from SAIC and TRW and MITRE and BBN and Booz-Allen forever. You can chalk a certain amount of the need for "open spigot" collection to the fact that *none* of the filtering and selection systems actually does the intended job.

The datamining and fusion efforts are predicated on a false assumption, namely that there has to be a silver bullet in there somewhere. The contractors are only too happy to comply with the desire, even though it's chimerical. But as today's CIA report says, there was no pre-9/11 silver bullet. There weren't WMDs in Iraq, either, no matter how hard they looked.

If efforts to curtail such programs are successful, it will be the harbinger for clean-FISA operations as well, if such exist. Then,
if something goes amiss, we will be the Goats. That is a worthwhile agenda for the Constitutional Misfits to daydream about.

Of interest, one might note that Gonzo now owns the Talon Guardian database and all its influx.

Given the White House and Gonzo's past record of politicizing any and all aspects of the DOJ with Repug favoritism, if not outright RNC control, wanna bet that the database is being run on Repug servers?

And of course, since the RNC is part of the Executive branch, Executive Privilege applys, doncha know?

Please link to the amazing article about Bush as Caesar which Digby has reposted today (Aug 21, 07). The disdain with which these people actually hold democracy is breathtaking and extremely dangerous.

I'll help you decide. It's worse that they have the db in the first place. If they didn't have it, it wouldn't be a concern whether or not they could make it work. Since they do have it, I'm acutally slightly comforted to hear that they can't just click and drag your SSN from one table to the next and pull up every financial transaction you've ever made and cross-reference that with every freeway exit you've ever taken and bed you've ever slept in. Becuase if they really could have efficient links, that's how much information the American intelligence community has about every American citizen.

There must be an absolute goldmine of blackmail information in there, covering every indiscretion of all of the members of Congress and all of the mouthpieces of traditional media... but is it actually being used? And if so, by whom?

Just as the nefarious criminal (pretending to be a glamorous "terrorist") who brought us the conflagration of 6 years ago switched communication methods to hand-delivered, or, maybe, oral delivery methods, I suggest that is what smart political people should do. Just have lots of nice quiet dinners at home to discuss their political strategies. I certainly would share my innermost thoughts in person in the middle of a park or, down by the ocean..........................
In the meantime, I can't even reach the fools at AT&T to let them know there is a man pretending to be their employee, trying to get into my house to "discuss" my account......ahem. Walls, where you don't need them: walls to keep us out, and walls keep them in.

tekel -- I was listening to NPR this evening and there was a story on All Things Considered about a German sociologist who has been arrested because his academic writing contained the words "gentrification" and "inequality", which set off alarm bells with German intelligence officials who claim that the fact a known terrorist organization in Germany also uses those words cannot be a coincidence. Perhaps this man is indeed linked to the terrorists, but from the way the story was reported, the German data miners sound like paranoid imbeciles. In any event, if German professors are the subjects of data mining, it seems more than likely that Americans are as well.

And while I have my tinfoil hat on, when I pick up my car from Central Parking at Logan airport, the machine where I pay my ticket prints out the location of my car for me. While I'll concede that the absent minded might find that very handy, it seriously creeps me out.

whoa, phred- do you tell Logan parking where your car is, or d'you think they're doing a license-plate lookup from DMV and then recording the location with your name, so that when you pay with your credit card, it just looks up your car?


That kind of stuff makes me INSANE.

On a similar note, AmEx sent me a new credit card about a month ago, one of the "Blue" ones made out of clear plastic. There's an RFID tag embedded in the card. Nothing in the mail with the card, nothing in my account statements, nothing on their website acknowledges that they've stuck a radio device into the pocket of all of their customers.

I'd desperately like to have access to an RFID reader, just to see what they've encoded on the chip. My old card expired so I had to start using the new one- I've made a little tin-foil pocket for it to cover the chip.

I wish I was joking about this.

Sadly, since this is the Bush admin., I am reluctant to say anything via this blog which might help them out with their dbs. Sigh.

tekel -- I think the way it works is this (but this is just my guess)... When you pull into the parking lot you get a ticket from a friendly little machine that talks to you. Meanwhile, your license is photographed from behind the car (with a camera like those used in EZ Pass lanes on the interstate). I suspect they have an array of cameras within the garage that match the plate on your parked car with the photo when you got the ticket. So, when you pay at the machine, you insert the ticket, pay your bill with credit or cash, then it spits the ticket back out with your parking spot now printed on it. I went ballistic the first time I saw it. Now I merely seethe.

A local topics (where to get your car fixed, school board meeting, etc.) bulletin board I read published a method of disabling RFID chips just last week (basically, drill a hole in the dang things). It might be a sensible, if crude, approach.

tekel,

You aren't paranoid. Take a look at this patent application from AmEx:

http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220050038718%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20050038718&RS=DN/20050038718

Sea Story Time:
In the early 70's I was in the Coast Guard and we had our local (LA/Long Beach Harbor) "clients" (known shipping companies and ships) in a data base of a sort: paper records for local use and a mainframe at the USCG, somewhere, probably in Connecticut or Alameda or New York. The idea was to maintain a record of inspections and violations, pretty much what you'd expect from the sea-cops. We had the same thing up in Alaska with the Fed Fisheries guy, he had most of the Russian and Japanese factory ships in his head, backed up by paper records, backed up by a rudimentary DB on a mainframe somewhere.

In the eighties I worked as a contractor with the USCG and some other organizations using the DDN to intercommunicate between agencies down in the Caribbean, and they were all using their own DB systems of known good guys and bad guys, now on mini computers (VAX's and the like) and mainframes, with terminal access to the field. (And they had two problems that were crippling enforcement activities in the area: communications frequencies and protocols between agencies; and what PJ describes at the top of this thread, the inability to read each other's data without 'converting' the fields into a common format and enabling the local DB to read the re-formatted data. It was a mess.)

I hear now it's all on the laptop on the cutter, backed up and updated via secure wireless links, but the details remain the same: bad guys, good guys, details on each.
I guess I see this as the only way one could run a law enforcement/security organization.
The problem is when the enforcement group goes past the thin line separating legit information gathering (and sharing) and the violation of individual civil rights. Which is where we are now, it would appear.

Yeah, I could drill the chip out to disable it. But I kinda want to know what's on it first.

WO, thanks for the PTO link. I'm certainly not any happier after reading it :-/ Except I can't help but think that Mobile SpeedPass must have beaten them to the punch- if they don't lose the app on prior art, it will be invalidated in the first lawsuit.

To marksb, I would paraphrase the popular Franklin quote: those who sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither. I don't want anyone else to define my "security" for me. I want good schools that teach calculus and evolution, a welcoming culture which recognizes that the rich will always be the enemies of peaceful society, and a 90% income tax on all religions except the Church of the Subgenius. Law enforcement is a necessary evil. It should be obstructed by process and beurocracy to discourage the powerful from making it into a cudgel to use against the weak.

Bill E. wrote on Aug. 21st:

"They've been buying snake oil from SAIC and TRW and MITRE and BBN and Booz-Allen forever. You can chalk a certain amount of the need for "open spigot" collection to the fact that *none* of the filtering and selection systems actually does the intended job.

The datamining and fusion efforts are predicated on a false assumption, namely that there has to be a silver bullet in there somewhere. The contractors are only too happy to comply with the desire, even though it's chimerical. But as today's CIA report says, there was no pre-9/11 silver bullet. There weren't WMDs in Iraq, either, no matter how hard they looked."


Thanks for mentioning these contractors, it provides good context, and I'd agree about why these systems frequently don't work--it's just more pork-barrel spending, a bipartisan addiction. I found a SAIC-operative in the phone recs. of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, one Ronald Roughead.

You all might want to consider that the woman who was former World Bank president--Paul Wolfowitz--was also an employee of SAIC. They are all playing a very dangerous game, probably utilizing a "Salon Kitty" approach. Many of these people have intel-backgrounds and high-level security clearances. SAIC is connected to the Randy "Duke" Cunningham scandal as well with Jack Abramoff, at this point a sidebar.

Who is Shaha Ali Riza? I'd say she's working for SAIC, MI6, and several other intelligence agencies of other nations, probably even at least one Middle Eastern one. Maybe the Saudis?

SONG OF DEBORAH
..they chose new gods then was war in the gates.. awake awake deborah utter a song.. the Lord gave you dominion over the mighty.. curse you bitterly the inhabitants thereof who came not to the help of justice against the mighty.. they divided the prey, to every man a damsel or two.. let all thine enemies perish o Lord and the land rest forty years..

Deborah Palfrey deserves the Pemberton Award for Clean Governance.
Palfrey list is like the Black Book of 1918.
That trial of the Century is deleted from all books, cursed be reporters.
The list there had 47000 names.
The list here has 46000 phone bills.
The listed are not womenizers, machos or ordinary sinners.
They are power brokers gay lutheran shock and awe agitators of all wars and all panics.
These wretches are one dirty cover to the real pimps deep underground.
A curse on the kingpins, Justice Charles Darling then and Judge Adolph Kessler now.

Noel Pemberton-Billing
Trial of the Century 1918

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