FBI admits ZERO major terror cases have been cracked with Patriot Act snooping

This has long been a talking point from those of us who strongly advocate that the Patriot Act and the NSA’s various domestic spying programs are an ineffective menace against the 4th Amendment rights of Americans, but it’s pretty amazing that the FBI is now admitting it. 

from Washington Times:

FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.

Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations.

The FBI did finally come up with procedures to try to minimize the information it was gathering on nontargets, but it took far too long, Mr. Horowitz said in the 77-page report, which comes just as Congress is trying to decide whether to extend, rewrite or entirely nix Section 215.

Backers say the Patriot Act powers are critical and must be kept intact, particularly with the spread of the threat from terrorists. But opponents have doubted the efficacy of Section 215, particularly when it’s used to justify bulk data collection such as in the case of the National Security Agency’s phone metadata program, revealed in leaks from former government contractor Edward Snowden.

The new report adds ammunition to those opponents, with the inspector general concluding that no major cases have been broken by use of the Patriot Act’s records-snooping provisions.

“The agents we interviewed did not identify any major case developments that resulted from use of the records obtained in response to Section 215 orders,” the inspector general concluded — though he said agents did view the material they gathered as “valuable” in developing other leads or corroborating information.

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It’s time to abolish the Patriot Act completely and restore the privacy rights of Americans.  Mass domestic spying does not keep us safe, it only violates the rights of ordinary hundreds of millions of ordinary citizens.

anonymous asked:

Why hasn't Alice appeared in any of your videos?

When Henry was born in 2010, nerdfighteria was a delightfully insular place. We were a big community, but it felt to me at least like we also flew under the radar in the larger culture. We got to do cool stuff like the Project for Awesome, but nobody was writing pieces in magazines or newspapers about us.

By the time Alice was born, that had changed. I want my kids to be able to make their own decisions about how public or private they wish their lives to be. There’s no one right way to be a family, and there’s no one right way to share your life with an audience, so I want to be clear that I’m not judging anyone else’s decisions. But for us, for now, the choice is to let them be kids who have their own lives and identities that aren’t too wrapped up in what their parents do.

The other thing, to be frank, is that a few people have made threats against not just me but also my family, and I do feel a responsibility to protect my kids from that as best I can.

Plus, she’s just too cute. She would break the Internet.

Remember when Mark Zuckerberg declared that the age of privacy was over?

Well, that was before he spent $100 million on 750 acres of Kauai North Shore plantation and beachfront, the majority of which will sit undeveloped in order to provide a buffer between his private retreat and the public who might want to pry into his life.

That’s in addition to the four houses he bought around his home in Silicon Valley, which sit empty, providing an exclusion zone that protects him against prying eyes.

Then there was the time he flipped out because his sister screwed up her (deliberately over-complicated and difficult-to-understand) Facebook privacy settings and shared a photo of a private family moment.

When Mark Zuckerberg (or Eric Schmidt) declares privacy to be dead, they’re not making an observation, they’re making a wish. What they mean is, “If your privacy was dead, I would be richer.”

The best use for Facebook is to teach people why they should leave Facebook.
If we make a rule that says, “Doxxing/abuse/harassment/threats/shaming is okay when the target did something really bad,” then everyone gets to interpret “really bad” for themselves. There are people online who earnestly believe that I am a threat to their livelihood and to the continued functioning of our society. Many MRAs also believe that feminists pose a serious and imminent threat to their physical safety.

I cannot overstate the importance of pointing out that they really believe this. They’re not just saying it to get some sort of Points online. They’re not lying. (At least, not all of them.) They believe this as truly and completely as I believe that inequality exists and must be fixed, that there is no god, that I love my friends and family.

Think about your strongest convictions and how real, how powerful your belief in them is. Now, imagine that someone believes with an equal conviction that I am (or you are) a terrible person who poses a threat to them and to everything they love and care about. Imagine that we have all spent years cheerfully promoting the idea that “Doxxing/abuse/harassment/threats/shaming is okay when the target did something really bad.”

Now try to reason this person out of threatening me or you with death or worse. Try to convince them that if they obtain access to our silly Amazon purchases or private emails, they shouldn’t post them online. Try to convince them that if they have information that could destroy our lives if made public, they should keep it to themselves.

This is why I don’t feel safe in online spaces that promote doxxing, abuse, harassment, threats, or shaming against anyone, no matter how much I fucking despise the person they’re doing it to.
The Bill of Rights isn’t for the prom queen. The Bill of Rights isn’t for the high school quarterback. The Bill of Rights is for the least among us. The Bill of Rights is for minorities. The Bill of Rights is for those who have minority opinions. The Bill of Rights is for those who are oddballs. Those who aren’t accepted. Those who have unconventional thinking.
—  Rand Paul

The Lib Dems blocked the Tories from passing a law giving the police greater powers read our emails and tap our phone calls.

Now they have a majority they’re gonna pass that law.

Because the Tories think using the state to provide healthcare or ensure people who are too sick to work have enough money to not die is awful. But using the state to pry into our fucking emails is just FINE.

Nicolas Cage is an excellent actor. Ebert loved him. Multiple peers have praised him as one of – if not the – finest actors of his generation, and, every once in a while, he even shows it. Dude could have become a Daniel Day-Lewis, but, instead, gravitated toward high-octane action movies and, once shit hit the fan, the occasional turdstorm to temporarily patch the giant leak in his ever-depleting money silo. That’s the difference between rich-people money problems and, say, me. If I lose what little money I have, I become poor, but, at least, get to keep a modicum of dignity. If they become poor, they’re still richer than I will ever be, but run the risk of becoming butt monkeys for life.

4 Strange Problems Only Celebrities Seem To Have


So I’m well off on my hiatus…’til this happened.

So there’s this blog called @kaiinlosangeles and for EXO/Kim Jongin|Kai fans/kpop fans in general, might have heard about the “information” she (or he, who knows) has been spreading. 

Like how he and his sister was rude and stuff.

I read about this on twitter. And for those who follow me, you know I ain’t the one to make this up. 

So basically, she (@hanilovesme on twitter, now set to private) said that Kai was in LA, for a private matter (she alleged it to be a trip for him to meet with his girlfriend). And how he was so rude not to accept fans’ gifts and letters or even say “hi”.

It would be believable….if and only if….well…

This in the first place is a private matter. No one was supposed to know. Why on earth would there be fans there? Who leaked this information? Why would they go there knowing this? Was he rude or did he just act as normally as any exhausted and concerned human being, that needed a real break ? Do these people deserve to have their whole lives plastered for mass consumption? You know the answers to that.

Second, Kai was actually not there for his girlfriend (if he did have one). This guy has kept his family in good wraps from the public eye, and that’s completely understandable. He was with his sister, another male family member who made it clear, not to take pictures and to please respect their privacy.

That was very much, very much clear. 

So why am I ranting about this?

I wouldn’t have, because I couldn’t in my position, absolutely vouch for Kim Jongin’s intentions besides the fact that eyewitness (the ones not blinded by pure obsession) that say that place and time was not something he wanted to be surrounded with. But then this person, whoever she is, did this:

She has called and made fun of Kim Jongin’s sister, calling her an ugly cross-eyed b-word. Body shaming? At a very gross level. Basically within those three horrendous words. Did she stop there? NO..

She even dragged the baby into it. Not to say the entire female family members of Mr. Kim. She even laughed at how his mother and sister were dressed, impliedly calling them cheap (honestly, they were everything that were simple and modest. Nothing flashy, nothing glamourous. And there is nothing wrong with that.)

 Oh wait, there’s more…I was furious by then, and theeeen she made this (among many others)!

A friggin’ colorist comment. I am mentally slapping myself for not taking cap of the tweet where she attached a picture of skin bleach which she said/bragged to have searched online for and planned to give (cross that, she actually said the next time she plans to throw it at the head of Mr. Kim and his sister) to Mr. Kim the next time she meets him. An that other tweet, where she directly called out negative on Mr. Kim’s dark skin.

EDIT: Thank God, someone got cap of what I’m talking about, http://minstripseok.tumblr.com/post/119332497652/shes-bringing-his-skin-color-into-it-now-and-im)

So no, I could not for the life of me, shut my mouth up. Nu-uh.

So I don’t know about you guys.

If you still going to believe anything this person says….if you’re still gonna let her blog run, have likes, and reblogs. Well..

You can miss me. 

Any time someone tries to tell you that metadata is ‘meaningless, don’t worry, it’s just who you call, it’s just phone records, it’s not a big deal’ — realize we kill people based on metadata. So they must be pretty darn certain that they think they know something based on metadata.
—  Rand Paul, in yesterday’s anti-PATRIOT Act speech
How To Make Your “Likes” on Tumblr Private

It has come to my attention that a lot of people don’t know that your likes on Tumblr are publicly accessible.

By typing in http://tumblr.com/liked/by/username, a user’s likes can be seen by anyone.

Some people might not care, but for others this can seem like an invasion of privacy. Luckily, there’s an easy way to turn off public access to your likes.

So, quick tutorial with pictures:

Step 1: Go to your settings

Step 2: Go to dashboard settings (on the right)

Step 3: Turn Off “Share posts you like” 

That’s it. If you didn’t know about your likes being public and have concerns about privacy, this is an easy way to fix it.

Hope this is informative and helpful for someone!