NSA should track every American email

NSA should track every American email:

NSA should track every American email

NSA should track every American email

 

If you think that President Obama to review the National Security Agency panel was purely in loosening of its scope , think again.

One participant said on Sunday that the NSA recommends tracking details metadata such as sender, recipient , time and location emails of all Americans.

It would not be the first time. The NSA followed up on email metadata of Americans without a warrant, although it is said that the practice ended in 2011, and none of the documents leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden released so far contradicts that statement. The agency does not store all metadata, which admitted a couple of months after Snowden leaked documents showing that the case , although the review panel recommended ending the program.

Those familiar with the faces of five members of the review panel, Obama probably would not be surprised at who made ​​the recommendation : Michael Morell, former director of the CIA.

“I would say that in fact the email data is probably more valuable than data telephony,” Morell told the National Journal , in a telephone interview Sunday .

Morell actually granted what has previously been hailed as a victory for privacy advocates who oppose the NSA : the program metadata collection phone made ” only a modest contribution to the security of the nation ” and that ” the last thing a smart terrorist will do at this point is to call someone in the United States. ”

So the solution in Morell ‘s mind , is the ability to legally track all e- mails sent to or from American computers.

” If I had been in effect in 2000 and 2001 , I think , probably 9/11 would not have happened,” he said.

Inequality rising in the average household

The One Percent Is Hogging so Much of Our Income That It’s Holding the Economy Back:

 inequality has been rising and the average American household

inequality has been rising and the average American household

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all know that inequality has been rising and the average American household has been suffering. There is a myth that says all this suffering is necessary, that extreme inequality is the by-product of a rapidly growing economy—or worse, that it’s a good thing because it motivates everyone to work hard and climb the long ladder to the One Percent.

Even a brief glance at the historical record reveals just how perverted this hypothesis is.

For one thing, the economy has not been growing rapidly since inequality started climbing. From 1950 to 1980, “real gross domestic product (GDP)”—the output of the economy, adjusted for inflation—grew by 3.8 percent per year. From 1980 to 2010, it grew by 2.7 percent per year. (Since then, it’s been even worse.)

So income inequality hasn’t been “growth-enhancing” at all. In fact, just the opposite.

The United States isn’t alone in this experience. Economists at the International Monetary Fund recently compiled the most comprehensive data set to date: 140 countries over 6 decades. They consistently found that countries with less inequality experienced stronger, more sustained economic growth and fewer, less severe recessions.

It’s been widely publicized, for example, that Europe has suffered from higher unemployment than the United States in recent years. Many Americans falsely believe that Europe is more equal than the U.S., but a new data set compiled by the economist James Galbraith and the University of Texas Inequality Project shows inequality between countries and regions across Europe for the first time—and they find that Europe has had higher inequality than us since the 1970s. It’s only within specific countries that inequality is lower than the U.S., and guess what: Those countries tend to have lower unemployment than us.

The reason is quite simple: Those workers are also consumers. When the 99 Percent earn more, they spend more, and the One Percent can produce more and earn more themselves.

“In this sense,” says the wealthy entrepreneur Nick Hanauer, “an ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than a capitalist like me. […] Anyone who’s ever run a business knows that hiring more people is a capitalist’s course of last resort, something we do only when increasing customer demand requires it.”

Or, as the late economist Michal Kalecki used to say, “The workers spend what they get and the capitalists get what they spend.” What he meant by that was that the rich can afford to save more of their income—and, indeed, we find that the One Percent continue to save 15 to 25 percent, while the saving rate of the 99 Percent has plummeted close to zero. If too much money goes to the One Percent and not enough to the 99 Percent, the economy will save more and more and spend less and less, until there isn’t enough consumer demand to justify increasing production and investment. Thus, the economy will slow down.

Asperger’s syndrome dropped from DSM

Asperger’s syndrome dropped from psychiatrists’ handbook the DSM:

 

Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. The condition is to be removed from American psychiatric handbook the DSM and its symptoms covered by autism spectrum disorder.

Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. The condition is to be removed from American psychiatric handbook the DSM and its symptoms covered by autism spectrum disorder.

 

Asperger’s syndrome is to be dropped from the psychiatrists’ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, the American publication that is one of the most influential references for the profession around the world. The term “Asperger’s disorder” will not appear in the DSM-5, the latest revision of the manual, and instead its symptoms will come under the newly added “autism spectrum disorder”, which is already used widely. That umbrella diagnosis will include children with severe autism, who often do not talk or interact, as well as those with milder forms. The British hacker Gary McKinnon is diagnosed with Asperger’s and it contributed to a government decision not to extradite him from Britain to the US on cybercrime charges. The DSM is used in a number of countries to varying degrees. Psychiatrists in some countries including Britain use the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) published by the World Health Organisation or a combination of both handbooks. In other changes to the DSM, abnormally bad and frequent temper tantrums will be diagnosed as DMDD, meaning disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. Supporters say it will address concerns about too many children being misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated with powerful psychiatric drugs. The term “gender identity disorder”, for children and adults who strongly believe they were born the wrong gender, is being replaced with “gender dysphoria” to remove the stigma attached to the word “disorder”. Supporters equated the change with removing homosexuality as a mental illness in the diagnostic manual decades ago. The revisions come in the first major rewrite in nearly 20 years of the diagnostic guide used by psychiatrists in the US and other countries. The changes were approved on Saturday. Full details of all the revisions will come in May 2013 when the American Psychiatric Association’s new diagnostic manual is published. The changes will affect the diagnosis and treatment of millions of children and adults worldwide, as well as medical insurance and special education services. The aim was not to expand the number of people diagnosed with mental illness but to ensure those affected were more accurately diagnosed so they could get the most appropriate treatment, said Dr David Kupfer, the University of Pittsburgh psychiatry professor who chaired the revision committee. One of the most hotly argued changes was how to define the various ranges of autism. Some on the panel opposed the idea of dropping the specific diagnosis for Asperger’s. People with that disorder often have high intelligence and vast knowledge on narrow subjects but lack social skills. Some Asperger’s families opposed any change, fearing their children will lose a diagnosis and no longer be eligible for special services, but experts have said this will not be the case. People with dyslexia also were closely watching for the update. Many with the reading disorder did not want their diagnosis dropped, and it will not be. Instead, the new manual will have a broader learning disorder category to cover several conditions including dyslexia, which causes difficulty understanding letters and recognising written words. The shorthand name for the new edition, the organisation’s fifth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, is DSM-5. Group leaders say specifics will not be disclosed until the manual is published but they confirmed some changes. A 2000 edition of the manual made minor changes but the last major edition was published in 1994.

The American dream is dead

Debt is drowning the American Dream, U.S. borrowing and spending is at a crisis point:

Debt is drowning the American Dream

Debt is drowning the American Dream

U.S. government debt currently totals around $16 trillion. The Treasury estimates that this debt will rise to around $20 trillion by 2015, over 100% of America’s Gross Domestic Product. That’s not counting other current and contingent commitments not explicitly included in the debt figures — government support for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (known as government-sponsored enterprises) of over US$5 trillion and unfunded obligations of over $65 trillion for programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. State governments and municipalities have additional debt of around $3 trillion. As Pimco’s Bill Gross wryly observed: “What a good country or a good squirrel should be doing is stashing away nuts for the winter. The United States is not only not saving nuts, it’s eating the ones left over from the last winter.” U.S. public finances have deteriorated significantly in recent years. In 2001, the Congressional Budget Office forecast average annual surpluses of approximately $850 billion from 2009–2012, allowing Washington to pay off everything it owed. The surpluses never came. The federal government has run large annual budget deficits of around $1 trillion in recent years. The major drivers of this reversal of fortune include: tax revenue declines due to recessions; tax cuts; increased defense spending; non-defense spending; higher interest costs and the 2009 stimulus package. Despite growing concern about the sustainability of its debt levels, demand for Treasury securities from investors and other governments has continued. Domestic investment, primarily from banks, which are not lending but parking cash in government securities, has been strong. Foreign investors continue to seek U.S. bonds as a “safe haven” — driven by fears about the European debt crisis. Rates also remain low, allowing the U.S. to keep its interest bill manageable despite increases in debt levels. The government’s average interest rate on new borrowing is around 1%, with one-month Treasury bills paying 0.1% per year and 10-year Treasury notes yielding around 1.7%. The Fed’s’ successive quantitative easing programs have been pivotal in allowing the government to increase its debt levels. Around 70% of government bonds have been purchased by the Federal Reserve, as part of successive rounds of quantitative easing. The strategy has helped keep rates low, enabling the government to service its debt. Clearly, this current position is not sustainable. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee that the U.S. faces a debt crisis: “It’s not something that is 10 years away. It affects the markets currently…It is possible that the bond market will become worried about the sustainability [of deficits over $1 trillion] and we may find ourselves facing higher interest rates even today.” Unless the underlying debt levels and budget deficits are dealt with, the ability of the U.S. to finance itself will deteriorate. The Treasury must issue large amounts of debt almost continuously — weekly auctions regularly clock in at $50-$70 billion — amounts unimaginable just a few years ago. The solution lies in bringing budget deficits down, through spending cuts, tax increases or a mixture of approaches. From any angle, the task is Herculean. Government revenues would need to increase by 20%-30% — or spending would need to be cut by a similar amount

 

N.S.A. copies all American Emails

   Former NSA Mathematician Says He Believes the Agency Stores Copies of All Emails Transmitted in America:

NSA Agent

NSA Agent

While most of the N.S.A. was reeling on September 11th, inside SARC the horror unfolded “almost like an ‘I-told-you-so’ moment,” according to J. Kirk Wiebe, an intelligence analyst who worked there. “We knew we weren’t keeping up.” SARC was led by a crypto-mathematician named Bill Binney, whom Wiebe describes as “one of the best analysts in history.” Binney and a team of some twenty others believed that they had pinpointed the N.S.A.’s biggest problem—data overload—and then solved it. But the agency’s management hadn’t agreed.  Binney, who is six feet three, is a bespectacled sixty-seven-year-old man with wisps of dark hair; he has the quiet, tense air of a preoccupied intellectual. Now retired and suffering gravely from diabetes, which has already claimed his left leg, he agreed recently to speak publicly for the first time about the Drake case. When we met, at a restaurant near N.S.A. headquarters, he leaned crutches against an extra chair. “This is too serious not to talk about,” he said.  Binney expressed terrible remorse over the way some of his algorithms were used after 9/11. ThinThread, the “little program” that he invented to track enemies outside the U.S., “got twisted,” and was used for both foreign and domestic spying: “I should apologize to the American people. It’s violated everyone’s rights. It can be used to eavesdrop on the whole world.” According to Binney, Drake took his side against the N.S.A.’s management and, as a result, became a political target within the agency.  Binney, for his part, believes that the agency now stores copies of all e-mails transmitted in America, in case the government wants to retrieve the details later. In the past few years, the N.S.A. has built enormous electronic-storage facilities in Texas and Utah. Binney says that an N.S.A. E-mail database can be searched with “dictionary selection,” in the manner of Google. After 9/11, he says, “General Hayden reassured everyone that the N.S.A. didn’t put out dragnets, and that was true. It had no need—it was getting every fish in the sea.”  Binney considers himself a conservative, and, as an opponent of big government, he worries that the N.S.A.’s data-mining program is so extensive that it could help “create an Orwellian state.” Whereas wiretap surveillance requires trained human operators, data mining is automated, meaning that the entire country can be watched. Conceivably, U.S. officials could “monitor the Tea Party, or reporters, whatever group or organization you want to target,” he says. “It’s exactly what the Founding Fathers never wanted.”

Former NSA Genius Apologizes for His Super Spying Software (Gizmodo):

Long before 9/11, brilliant NSA crypto-mathematician Bill Binney had developed an algorithm to make sense of the unbelievably massive amounts of data American spies were pulling in—he called it ThinThread. And then it went very, very wrong.

Thin Thread, the New Yorker reports, proved to be too good: designed to track foreign enemies via their electronic footprints, Binney was horrified to find that the powerful software processed mammoth amounts of American communications as well. Without a warrant—illegally. Binney implemented an encryption scheme that blurred out American chatter unless it was flagged by a judge, but his system was discarded by the NSA for being too invasive.

NSA building

NSA building