Archive for October 5th, 2016

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It may be worse than Snowden said

October 5, 2016

Paul sends a link to this story from Reuters.

Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence

Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.

Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to an intelligence agency’s request by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.

It is not known what information intelligence officials were looking for, only that they wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters. That could mean a phrase in an email or an attachment, said the sources, who did not want to be identified. […]

According to two of the former employees, Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer’s decision to obey the directive roiled some senior executives and led to the June 2015 departure of Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos, who now holds the top security job at Facebook Inc. […]

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IoT security

October 5, 2016

Heh… Pornhub on a refrigerator’s display at Home Depot (from John McAfee).

pornhub-frig

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Socialism kills

October 5, 2016

Remember that the next time someone makes a "Do It For The Children" argument for more state control.

Venezuela: Health Crisis Means Kid’s Scraped Knee Can Be Life or Death

It was just a scraped knee. So 3-year-old Ashley Pacheco’s parents did what parents do: They gave her a hug, cleaned the wound twice with rubbing alcohol and thought no more of it.

Two weeks later, the little girl writhed screaming in a hospital bed. Her breathing came in ragged gasps as she begged passing patients for a sip of water.

Her mother stayed day and night in the trauma unit. She kept Ashley on an empty stomach in case she might cut in front of hundreds of other patients for emergency surgery in one of the hospital’s few functioning operating rooms.

Her father scoured Caracas for scarce antibiotics to fight the infection spreading through his daughter’s body.

They had no idea how much worse it was going to get.

If Venezuela has become dangerous for the healthy, it is now deadly for those who fall ill.

One-in-three people admitted to public hospitals last year died, the government reports. The number of operational hospital beds has fallen by 40 percent since just 2014. And as the economy fails, the country is running short on 85 percent of medicines, according to the national drugstore trade group. […]

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"We are afraid of Trump, too"

October 5, 2016

Here’s news from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about Washington University, where preparations are under way for Sunday’s debate.

Frankly, I was a little surprised by the College Republicans. Not that they fear Trump – but that they’d display a sign saying so on the day of the debate. If they were as pusillanimous as many people have been this year, they’d keep the sign out of sight.

At Wash U ahead of debate, College Republicans display a sign: ‘We are afraid of Trump, too’

ST. LOUIS • When Republican Donald Trump arrives at Washington University Sunday to debate Democrat Hillary Clinton, he won’t have the formal backing of the campus’s largest Republican student group.

“We are afraid of Trump, too,” reads a sign that College Republicans have displayed on campus and will put up again at an event before the debate Sunday.

And yet, the unorthodox candidate has still lit a fire under some conservatives on campus.

One student who co-founded the Missouri Youth for Trump group is hosting a “Meet the Deplorables” rally Sunday, referring to the derogatory name Clinton called half of Trump’s supporters.

Such is the atypical political scene on campus during an atypical presidential matchup. […]

And in the Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby gives a fairly left-handed endorsement of Gary Johnson. My emphasis below.

If character matters, electing either Clinton or Trump would be a moral disaster

WOULD YOU HIRE a babysitter who lied with impunity? Would you choose a therapist who was a compulsive braggart? Would you want as your accountant or financial adviser someone who trailed the reek of corruption and bottomless avarice? Would you list your home with a real estate agent who routinely played fast and loose with rules that others must abide by? Would you attend the church of a pastor who spewed insults and threats and trafficked in delusional conspiracy theories?

If so, you’ll have no trouble supporting Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president.

But if you wouldn’t entrust your personal affairs to someone manifestly devoid of ethics and good character, how can you think of entrusting the nation’s highest office to either of the major-party candidates?

Over and over this year, Trump and Clinton have been described as the two worst presidential nominees in living memory — perhaps the worst matchup in US history. Both candidates espouse bad ideas and destructive policies, but that isn’t why they are so widely regarded as appalling choices for the White House. It is the candidates’ lack of integrity that makes so many Americans despair when they think of the upcoming election. […]

I plan to cast a ballot for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. I don’t agree with every position Johnson endorses (though I certainly share the libertarian tropism for smaller government, lower taxes, free trade, robust immigration, and individual autonomy). Nor, to be fair, do I disagree with every proposal and priority of the Trump and Clinton campaigns.

But I’m not voting for president this year on the basis of traditional issues. I’m basing my vote on character. Johnson’s is acceptable — he appears to be honest, friendly, capable of self-criticism, and not egomaniacal. That puts him miles ahead of Trump and Clinton, incorrigibly mendacious self-aggrandizers for whom personal ambition always supersedes ethical standards or the national interest. […]

Jacoby’s piece reminds me of a recent e-mail exchange I had with one of my regular correspondents. I asked him, "Which egotistical, power-hungry, millionaire New Yorker do you want to be president?"

"Which tastes worse," he replied, "a sh*t sandwich or a big glass of puke?"


Update: See also this interview of Jonah Goldberg in Slate. Money quote: “When given a choice between two crap sandwiches on different kinds of bread, my response is ‘I’ll skip lunch.’”

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