Yes, I know how often I’m writing these updates. It’s sad, really.
Speaking of BS: Michael Hayden, ladies and gentlemen. The part where he thinks the definition of “traitor” is too narrow sends a chill through my innards. If his friends successfully expand that definition, will it include, say, dissidents who blog pseudonymously?
Jennifer Hoelzer, who has worked for both Ron Wyden and the National Security Council, shares her experiences and frustration with the Panopticon’s secrecy-fueled political machine.
From Popular Science, an overview of how broad the Panopticon is.
On the fake-terrorism front: ZOMG NERVE GAS! I smelled something fishy. Apparently the feds smelled something acetone-y and somehow their tests mistook it for VX nerve gas. A paranoid or cynical person might wonder if the initial nerve-gas story was meant to keep us all jittery about terrorism and clamoring for the surveillance state to protect us. Especially since that smoldering-ruins-of-US-embassies alert amounted to nothing. and the “leak” that let us all know about the alert probably won’t be investigated.
In tech news: I’m of two minds about the advances in personal-assistant apps. My inner sci-fi geek would really like a personal-assistant AI, but the way things are now, I wouldn’t trust it. (The article’s quoted objection is about commercial surveillance for ad-targeting purposes, which would be a concern but not my only concern.)