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News 10 Now | New airport security measures tested .
May 23rd, 2005 by Ken Hagler

News 10 Now | New airport security measures tested. “It’s really humiliating and debasing,” explained Barrie Gerwanter of
the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s a virtual strip search and
it’s something that shouldn’t be used unless it’s as last resort.”

Full-body scans; you step inside and the pictures say it all. But the
TSA says it plans to test the machines at several airports very soon.

“They would reveal possibly very personal details about the size of
their genitalia, the size of a woman’s breasts, whether they have some
medical device on their body, and that’s really unnecessary and
intrusive and it has nothing to do with airport security,” said
Gewanter.

Officials with the TSA say they like the new machines, because unlike
traditional metal detectors, they pick up some items otherwise left
undetected. But the question is, ‘Will passengers be willing to
sacrifice personal privacy for peace of mind?’

[Privacy Digest: Privacy News (Civil Rights, Encryption, Free Speech, Cryptography)]

A more accurate way of phrasing that question would be, “Will passengers be willing to sacrifice personal privacy for a false sense of security?” The answer is certainly “yes.” If they weren’t, they would already have refused to go through an airport.

A NATION OF INFORMANTS .
May 23rd, 2005 by Ken Hagler

A NATION OF INFORMANTS. For God’s sake, can’t someone put a stop to the insanity being perpetrated by Sensenbrenner?

Neighbors spying on neighbors? Mothers forced to turn in their sons or daughters? These are images straight out of George Orwell’s 1984, or a remote totalitarian state. We don’t associate them with the land of the free and the home of […] [The Light Of Reason]

Sensenbrenner is apparently terribly disappointed that he doesn’t live in the Soviet Union, so he’s doing his best to remake America in the Soviet Union’s image.

Protectionism Creates Jobs, Promotes Free-Enterprise And Can-do Spirit .
May 22nd, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Protectionism Creates Jobs, Promotes Free-Enterprise And Can-do Spirit. ‘Buy American’ legislation draws fire:bq. On Friday, the Information Technology Association of America called the measure bad security policy and bad economic policy. The legislation, an amendment to the Homeland Security Authorization Act, would force the Department of Homeland Security to buy products mostly made in America.

The legislation was authored by Rep. Don Manzullo, an Illinois Republican, and passed by the House on Wednesday. It would require more than 50 percent of the components in any end product procured by the department to be mined, produced or manufactured inside the United States.

“With this purchasing prohibition, I guess (the department) will have to learn to do without computers and cell phones,” ITAA President Harris Miller said in a statement. “I cannot think of a single U.S. manufacturer that could meet this 50 percent threshold for these devices, and I doubt that those charged with protecting our safety here at home can either.”
[…]
According to ITAA’s Miller, the latest “Buy American” legislation would invite similar restrictions from other countries and raise the government’s cost of doing business. “This legislation puts politics in front of common sense in combating terrorist threats. At the same time, it sends a signal to our trading partners that protectionism trumps global trade,” Miller said in a statement. “That’s a lose-lose proposition for the nation.” [Mises Economics Blog]

bq. “With this purchasing prohibition, I guess (the department) will have to learn to do without computers and cell phones,” ITAA President Harris Miller said in a statement.

That sounds good to me.

EATING THEIR OWN, AND LOVING IT .
May 22nd, 2005 by Ken Hagler

EATING THEIR OWN, AND LOVING IT. Completely predictably, Time lunges at the opportunity to pound the stake into Newsweek’s heart, not realizing that it is committing suicide at the same time (subhead: “How Newsweek botched its report on prisoner abuse

I saw Star Wars Episode III yesterday, thanks to a free ticket and time off from Symantec.
May 20th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

I saw Star Wars Episode III yesterday, thanks to a free ticket and time off from Symantec. It was much better than the previous two, although still not really good. The acting varied, with Ian McDiarmid doing a great job as Palpatine, and Hayden Christensen doing a horrible job as Anakin. The dialogue wasn’t any better than the last two, but there was so much fighting and special effects scenes that it didn’t matter as much.

One thing I’ve noticed in both this and the previous movie; Darth Vader was supposed to have been a good man who turned to the dark side. However I didn’t really see much evidence that he had ever been a good man. I think the best that could be said of him is that he wasn’t completely bad at first.

Galloway v the US Senate: transcript of statement [ Times Online ] A transcript of George Galloway’s statement to the Senate.
May 18th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Galloway v the US Senate: transcript of statement [Times Online]

A transcript of George Galloway’s statement to the Senate. Some excerpts:

bq. “As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country – a rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defence made of his.

“I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and Americans governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas. I used to demonstrate outside the Iraqi embassy when British and American officials were going in and doing commerce.

“You will see from the official parliamentary record, Hansard, from the 15th March 1990 onwards, voluminous evidence that I have a rather better record of opposition to Saddam Hussein than you do and than any other member of the British or American governments do.

[…]

“Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life’s blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.

“I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

“Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

Revamping Freenet. .
May 17th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Revamping Freenet.. Revamping Freenet. N3wsByt3 writes “Many will have heard about the anonymous P2P-system Freenet.
What many probably don’t know is, that a big change is at hand: the
Freenet developers have decided to drop all support for the 0.5x
version, to skip version 0.6 and to completely revamp the 0.7 build
into some kind of poorly described, presumably scalable darknet.
The main coder even threatened to quit if such a darknet would be
rejected.
So, is it finally going the right way with the development of Freenet?
Maybe not, since they seem reluctant to provide real data and rather
rely on security through obfuscation, and then there is still the problem of their general inability in regard to pooling human resources, which, for any OSS project, is of the utmost importance.” —
Obviously, the article submitter has his own feelings on Freenet, but
notwithstanding that, what’s the latest scuttlebutt from within the
Freenet crowd? [Slashdot] [Privacy Digest: Privacy News (Civil Rights, Encryption, Free Speech, Cryptography)]

Interesting, but I didn’t find anything about it on the Freenet site.

Backscatter X-Ray Machines .
May 17th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Backscatter X-Ray Machines. Air travelers stripped bare with X-ray machine: Electronic strip search, coming to an airport near you.

bq.

Security workers using the machines can see through clothes and peer at whatever may be hidden in undergarments, shirts or pants. The images also paint a revealing picture of a person’s nude body.

And here’s a little lesson in marketing: when you’re pushing a product that is inherently invasive, and some would say degrading, do not call your company “Rapiscan.”

Seriously — that’s what the company that makes this system is called. It shares the first five letters of its name with “rapist.” I’m not a marketing guru, but it strikes that that’s a pretty stupid name for this company. [Gadgetopia]

Anyone want to bet on how long it takes after these things are introduced before the Airport Gestapo starts posting nude photos of female air travellers on the Internet? I figure eight hours, possibly less.

I’ve updated my “PGP key” with a new encryption subkey.
May 17th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

I’ve updated my “PGP key” with a new encryption subkey.

Newsweek: Retract…Or Else!! .
May 16th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Newsweek: Retract…Or Else!!. So says the establishment who lied about Jessica Lynch and covered up Pat Tillman being killed by friendly fire.

The Koran was never flushed down the toliet at Guantanamo because a Newsweek source who had no comment initially now says he’s no longer sure. Interesting that this uncertainty now follows an international firestorm, riots, and deaths.

Meanwhile, the White House’s Scott McClellan sniffs that because of Newsweek “[t]he image of the United States abroad has been damaged.” You know, the Newsweek that invaded Iraq looking for WMD, and tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Right Scotty. It’s ALL Newsweek’s fault. By Dale Steinreich. [LewRockwell.com Blog]

Note also that the Newsweek story is true, and is actually old news that has been widely reported outside the US.

As for the Iraqi Information Minister White House Press Secretary’s comments about damaging the image of the United States abroad, I can only hope that foreigners, unlike Mr. McClellan, are aware that the United States and its government are not the same thing.

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