Tuesday, October 15, 2013. 21:05

When I pick up a newspaper I avoid the headlines, especially the ones screaming at you that a rapist is loose.  A dangerous rapist just escaped in Canada, and authorities believe he’s heading south.  O.K., so on yesterday’s New York Times a few articles caught my attention.The first one was about surveillance, the second one was about Anne Frank, and the third one was about bolstering a phone’s defenses. Sent from my dumB iPad

  • Privacy Fears Grow as Cities Increase Surveillance
  • OAKLAND, Calif. — Federal grants of $7 million awarded to this city were meant largely to help thwart terror attacks at its bustling port. But instead, the money is going to a police initiative that will collect and analyze reams of surveillance data from around town — from gunshot-detection sensors in the barrios of East Oakland to license plate readers mounted on police cars patrolling the city’s upscale hills.
  • The new system, scheduled to begin next summer, is the latest example of how cities are compiling and processing large amounts of information, known as big data, for routine law enforcement. And the system underscores how technology has enabled the tracking of people in many aspects of life.
  • The police can monitor a fire hose of social media posts to look for evidence of criminal activities; transportation agencies can track commuters’ toll payments when drivers use an electronic pass; and the National Security Agency, as news reports this summer revealed, scooped up telephone records of millions of cellphone customers in the United States. Read more…http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/technology/privacy-fears-as-surveillance-grows-in-cities.html?smid=tu-share
  • Greg J.
  • Ann Arbor, MI

NYT Pick


Well, I am surprised to find myself agreeing that this may go too far. I am conservative. I can empathize with the people who are victims of crimes as well as those who are tasked to prevent crime and catch criminals. Note it is the people (including liberals) that blame the government when they are not succeeding.

But an essential element of freedom is that one can do wrong and get away with it. No worries there, since it is impossible to catch even a moderate percentage of criminals. However, if people are physical and mentally held in check so they can’t do wrong, they aren’t free. (I would like it if terrorists and child abusers didn’t have freedom.) In the same way, if we were able to catch criminals 100% of the time, we would all lose the sense of freedom. I’m not saying it is OK to commit crimes; justice should still always be done. Since we will never catch anything close to 100% of criminals, trying to curb a significant amount of criminal activity is an appropriate goal.

But the reality of how enforcement affects our freedom should be an essential element of the thinking that law enforcement agencies and lawmakers have if they are ever going to find the right balance of freedom and protection.

  • Oct. 14, 2013 at 10:07 a.m.
  • October 13, 2013
  • Bolstering a Phone’s Defenses Against Breaches
  • SAN FRANCISCO — From Lookout’s headquarters here, the view extends west from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate, but its employees — mostly 20-something engineers in T-shirts and jeans — seem too preoccupied with the world’s nastiest new threats to take it in.
  • Lookout’s employees are busy tracking the cybercriminals and aggressive advertisers that target the 45 million people around the globe who have downloaded the company’s free mobile security app. That is Step 1 to a more lucrative goal: protecting the data of big, corporate customers that are allowing employees to use their own mobile devices on corporate networks.
  • The so-called bring your own device, or B.Y.O.D., trend can lead to trouble. Last year, for example, Jackson North Medical Center in North Miami Beach, Fla., banned personal smartphones after a volunteer used his phone’s camera to take about 1,100 photos of patient records, including their Social Security numbers, and sold them.
  • Such episodes are not that unusual. Almost half of companies that allow personally owned devices to connect to the corporate network have experienced a data breach, either because of unwitting mistakes by employees or — as was the case at the Florida hospital — intentional wrongdoing, according to a 2012 survey of 400 technology professionals by researchers at Decisive Analytics.
  • “It’s amazing that at power plants workers are required to wear hard hats and steel-toed shoes, but then you have engineers plugging their mobile devices right into the network,” said Jerry Dixon, the former director of the cyber division at the Department of Homeland Security. “What could possibly go wrong?”
  • With that risk in mind, Lookout is taking aim at companies and government agencies in much the same way attackers are: it is using its app to slip under the door of enterprises via the hundreds of millions of employees who regularly bring their personal devices to work.
  • Read more…http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/technology/bolstering-a-phones-defenses-against-breaches.html?pagewanted=print
  • Playing Cat and Mouse With Searing History
  • LOS ANGELES — What lessons do we learn from Anne Frank? Since her diary is the chronicle of an education, we learn what she learns: the lessons of daily life and early adolescence, acquired during a horrific time. We watch a meticulously observant girl, age 13, evolve into a self-consciously observant young woman, age 15. We watch — as one of Philip Roth’s characters pungently remarked — a fetus growing a face.
  • What we don’t learn from the diary is what happened after the last entry, on Aug. 1, 1944. We don’t learn how this self-described “chatterbox,” whose most-quoted pronouncement is “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart,” must have come to doubt that sentiment; nor do we learn that by that winter, she was a typhus-ridden, starving, naked, weeping, walking corpse in Bergen-Belsen, where the Germans had shipped her from Auschwitz along with other condemned souls in the waning months of the war.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/arts/design/museum-of-tolerance-inaugurates-an-anne-frank-exhibition.html?pagewanted=print

I would like to say more about this topic but I think I would be wasting my time.  The apathy and lack of concern by the people is alarming.  The United States of America, is doling out millions of dollars, collected in the form of taxes, to cities and towns in America to do warrantless snooping on its own citizens.  Why there is no outcry is baffling!