Damn Signs

July 31, 2013

Drive signsA little while ago I had my Grandview Heritage Group hat on and made a few calls about road signs appearing all over the neighbourhood that tried to brand the entirety of historic Grandview as The Drive.  It turned out to be a Commercial Drive BIA initiative and when I met with the new Exec Director, Jane McFadden  (wearing both my GWAC and Heritage hats) we managed to get it sorted out quite amicably.

The Courier has run a story about it today where I get to mildly cuss in public.



They ARE Watching You

July 31, 2013

If you were at all unsure about just what the US NSA was tracking about YOUR life, then this long and detailed report in the Guardian should set you straight.  They can and do track everything every one of us does online.  Without warrants.  Without overview.  At the whim of individual monitoring officers.

“A slide entitled “plug-ins” in a December 2012 document describes the various fields of information that can be searched. It includes “every email address seen in a session by both username and domain”, “every phone number seen in a session (eg address book entries or signature block)” and user activity – “the webmail and chat activity to include username, buddylist, machine specific cookies etc” …

“One document, a top secret 2010 guide describing the training received by NSA analysts for general surveillance under the Fisa Amendments Act of 2008, explains that analysts can begin surveillance on anyone by clicking a few simple pull-down menus designed to provide both legal and targeting justifications. Once options on the pull-down menus are selected, their target is marked for electronic surveillance and the analyst is able to review the content of their communications” …

“Beyond emails, the XKeyscore system allows analysts to monitor a virtually unlimited array of other internet activities, including those within social media. An NSA tool called DNI Presenter, used to read the content of stored emails, also enables an analyst using XKeyscore to read the content of Facebook chats or private messages” …

“As one slide indicates, the ability to search HTTP activity by keyword permits the analyst access to what the NSA calls “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”.

Anyone NOT worried about this is simply putting their head in the sand.


Artful Sundays Are Back!

July 31, 2013

Artful Sundays 2013  Poster 3