Silencing His Critics?

internet-shutting-down-nowSo I saw yet another news story hit today, and being the skeptic that I have become, I immediately saw this as another part of a massive set-up. Now as many of you know, I am not a fan of conspiracy theories. It isn’t that I don’t think these things are possible, it is just that I don’t devote time on my blog to them much because there are lots of places where you can go do that. And what I am trying to do here is more education and rallying the troops for what may come. What I am doing is providing information that you can take, process, and decide for yourself what it means to you and what you are going to do about it. I do intend at some point to use every one of you to help form a plan. But we are still building the network here and learning and figuring everything out. As you saw in the upcoming articles, there is going to be significant debate and introspective thought upcoming.

What I want to do tonight is discuss the Cyber-Security Act of 2009. What is this Act you ask? Well it is an Act that does a few different things. It would establish the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor—an arm of the executive branch that would have vast power to monitor and control Internet traffic to protect against threats to critical cyber infrastructure. Sounds important right? I mean if cyber security is a big deal, then it would make sense that we would be doing something that would create a department to oversee such an endeavor. But what else does the Cyber-Security Act of 2009 do?

eye-in-computerIt gives the president the ability to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any “critical” information network “in the interest of national security.”  (Now if THAT isn’t a statement that has been used to take away individual liberty in the past I don’t know what is). The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president. The bill does not only add to the power of the president. It also grants the Secretary of Commerce “access to all relevant data concerning [critical] networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access. This means he or she can monitor or access any data on private or public networks without regard to privacy laws.

The Democrats (and the rogue Liberal Republicans ie: Olympia Snowe (R) of Maine) on the Hill are doing their best to get people scared enough to accept this legislation. Take for example the speech given by Senator Rockefeller (D) of West Virginia:

When the internet was invented, everybody felt flat on their face they were so thrilled, and the world began to do business in a different way. Now both President Bush’s Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, and President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Blair, have labeled cyber-security, perpetrated through the internet, as the number one national hazard of attack on the homeland. It really makes you wonder, ask the question, would it have been better if we had never invented the internet. It is a genuine consequence because it is on the internet that these attacks occur. It is just an act that anyone on the internet can do and it has the ability to shut this country down. It can shut down its banking systems, its electrics systems, shut down anything that we have to offer. It is a fearsome and awesome threat.

And they are certainly upping the fear level through the media. Last month we were told that China and Russia were attacking our electricity grid infrastructure. From the Wall Street Journal on April 8, 2009: 

Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven’t sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war. “The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid,” said a senior intelligence official. “So have the Russians.” The espionage appeared pervasive across the U.S. and doesn’t target a particular company or region, said a former Department of Homeland Security official. “There are intrusions, and they are growing,” the former official said, referring to electrical systems. “There were a lot last year.”

And then the news breaking today on Fox News:

Report: North Korea Attempting to Hack US Networks:  North Korea runs a cyber warfare unit that tries to hack into U.S. and South Korean military networks to gather confidential information and disrupt service, a news report said Tuesday. The North’s military has expanded the unit, staffing it with about 100 personnel, mostly graduates of a Pyongyang university that teaches computer skills, Yonhap news agency reported, citing an intelligence agency it didn’t identify. South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it is aware that Pyongyang has been training hackers in recent years.

So the media continues to tell us every day about how our computer defenses are being relentlessly attacked by all the countries in the world that want to do us harm. And every story says the same thing: We are vulnerable. That Wall Street Journal article above was clear to mention that they left behind things that will give them access again and put us at risk.

Does all of this sound familiar? It sure seems like the same rhetoric that led up to the Patriot Act to me. The bad people are attacking us. For your own safety we are taking measures that allow us to look into your computers, regardless of whether they are private or public, and without regard for privacy laws. But don’t worry, we are doing this for your own good. We are protecting you. And that is why we need permission to see everything. Don’t worry… Trust us.

kool-aid-yes-we-canShould President Obama have the power to shut down domestic Internet traffic during a state of emergency? I have to say no. Because I have come to have a trust level around government is on par with my chances of waking up tomorrow and finding a random $20 Million on the nightstand. I don’t like this bill at all. Not only is it giving unrestricted rights to government to invade my privacy, just as the Patriot Act did, but it is putting into government’s hands the ability and power to shut down the internet. 

And that just seems wrong to me. As the internet has continued to be better used by everyone, we have found ourselves to be using the internet to voice our opinion and organize and educate ourselves. This blog is a great example. And what better way to shut down the lines of communication between like minded people such as all of us than to have the ability to shut down our means of communication. In today’s world, government would be unstoppable without the movements and alliances being forged online. 

I look forward to hearing what all of you think. Is the threat really what we think it is? If so does something like this proposed legislation even begin to make us “safer”? Is the media simply being used as a tool to create enough fear in the minds of average citizens that they will willingly sacrifice their privacy and liberty in the name of being “kept safe”? I look forward to hearing from everyone, especially you Ray, because this is your area of expertise.


  1. Holy man! I decided to read this bill before commenting, but I only read about half when I found that a) it’s expensive with research grants reaching $28 million by 2014, and b) more incredibly in Section 12 “The Federal Cyber Scholarship for Service,” all those who receive scholarships will be required to serve in the Federal information technology workforce for the length of the scholarship term AND subsection 4 stipulates that a program will be established to identify talented K-12 students for summer internships for possible future employment. I am sure there are some very bright 5 and 6 year olds out there, but this bill seems to incorporate elements of the HR 1388 bill. Especially because the next subsection only points to a far off posibility of adding cybersecurity classes in secondary and high school courses. Or maybe I am just unfamiliar with early recruitment techniques for national security in general?

    • Funny how when they’re talking up the bill, they don’t mention all the spending or the other aspects of it. Obama just glosses over the whole thing and doesn’t mentions the other parts. The lousy pooterhead can’t do anything without spending a buttload of money can he? He sounds a lot like my wife with that! 😀

  2. Vinnster says:

    USW, like you I do not think much of true conspiracies on any large scale. They are just too hard to conceal, but I do believe in large scale consensus where all the players believe something and each individual works to push that agenda. The result is same. A minority push to enact their agenda, even if it illegal (laws ignored) or anti-American. Anti-American being defined as beliefs that limit freedom and liberty. The Global Warming movement is a perfect example.

    One thing Socialist/Fascist have to do to come to power and stay in power is to control information and education. No question, Obama could never have been elected, if it had not been for the consensus of the main stream media to be an extension of the Obama campaign and spin all things Obama as messianic.

    The kinds of powers in the Cyber-Security Act of 2009 are right in lock-step (pun intended) with what is required for Socialist/Fascist to stay in power. They have to control the flow of information.

    When Obama was elected I came to the conclusion four things would need to happen to allow them to stay in power as long as possible.

    Here are three things they have to shut down or control:

    1. Shut down Conservative talk radio. They will do this via the FCC.

    2. Control the internet. They will do this with things like Cyber-Security Act of 2009 and Net Neutrality. I will add, organizations like Google will help a lot. Remember the folks at Google actively help the Chinese government censure information that is anti-democracy. It will be interesting to see what impact Wolfram Alpha might have in thwarting Google and organizations sympathetic to the Socialist/Fascist movement.

    3. Somehow muzzle Fox News. I suspect via the FCC.

    4. Limit prosperity by the common man. Demonize wealth accumulation and impose taxes, hidden fees and regulations so moving from middle class to upper class is almost impossible.

    There would have been a fifth, control the Press, but the Press has voluntarily gone to the dark side by pre-filtering and self-censoring.

    So are you paranoid for thinking Obama and his followers have the desire to limit the flow of unfiltered information? Not at all. It is perfectly normal, based on what regimes like Obama have historically done.

    • Barberian says:

      It has always been about control! Because the mainstream media (TV) went in the liberal tank years ago, Constitutionalists (Classical liberals, Libertarians, Conservatives etc.) went to talk radio. Since the liberals controlled congress there is a cry by them to bring back the fairness doctrine to put down the sharing of such thought. Now that the internet has become another avenue for opposing viewpoints, their going after control of that. As the Vinnster said, ” it is perfectly normal, based on what regimes like Obama have historically done.

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hi Barberian,

        I agree…it is about “control”. Financial Control, Mind Control, “How you conduct yourself” Control, Gun Control, Freedom of Speech Control, Education Control, How you grow your own food Control, Hunting & Fishing Control, Safety Control, “Victim” Control, Propaganda Brainwashing Control — you name it, it is all about CONTROL.

        And…the sad thing is that WE’VE been “handing the reins” of control to the bureaucacy in the sake of brainwashed beliefs that it is for our good. Not about conspiracy theories either, so I’m attempting to be funny here: I think they’ve put “Saltpeter” in our water!

        I’m certainly tired of being “protected” from myself!


    • LumberMan says:

      I recognize your concern. However I think you fail to realize that laws apply to everybody, not just certain groups, that would be against the law which governs this land. If the Fairness Doctrine is passed it will not only apply to concervative talk radio but all facets of media. The Dems should be just as afraid of it as the conservative media is, but they are not. Ask yourself why this is. Is this due to a plan by a political party trying to obtain absolute power? Or is it due to the organization of the conservative media(talk radio and broadcast media channels)to rally their base against a bill that would require both sides of an argument on important public issues.

      I have often asked myself if conservative radio is afraid of an opposing perspective on topics that their target audience may consider a viable point of view.

      • Ah, but you forget, back when there ws a fairness doctrine, the media was all “fair” so there was no need of a counterpoint. It’s as Bernie Goldberg says, these folks only hang out with their own, all agree on everything and if you disagree, then you must be a right wing extremist. Here’s a test for you, how often do you hear the expression right wing extremist and how often left wing extremist? If you don’t lie to yourself, then you know the answer.

        Who, I ask is going to define “Fair”? This is the biggest single argument against the whole concept.

        You would have to give me an example of when Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Savage, Scarborough et al were UNWILLING to debate an opposing perspective on their programs. generally in my forty some years of political watchdogging, I find it’s the liberals who always dismiss opposing views with a “whatever” type comment. They would usually rather run than fight, sniping along the way and never answering a direct question.

        Want to trip up a liberal? Just ask them about the border fence. Swine flu, terrorists, whatever, they cannot support it. Nor can they ever tell you why they can’t.

        • Vinnster says:

          Well said SK.

        • expression right wing extremist and how often left wing extremist

          Usually used in a derogatory tone (verbally) or derogatory point is: religious right wing – which has a certain cadence, alliteration, and rhyme. Calling them atheistic left wing – just doesn’t do it. Ended up with liberal which worked for a while. I never liked that – because I thought I was liberal. ie one who wants freedom / to be free.

          So what is it about the wacky lefties, they call things the opposite of what they are: Fairness Doctrine, Stimulus (why hasn’t there been easy to understand talking points – unstimulus / disastrous plan!) Plus many others – a post that might be read !! I thought it was only the stupid Russian communists, or Cuban communists that didn’t see thru the false naming of programs.

          • Well, I go back a ways, and can remember when the late, sainted Bill Buckley was called an extremist, and a racist by the main stream media. They seem to make it a habit to demonize their opponents.

            Just as a side note, the other night met with a bunch of guys I went to High School with 45 years ago. Now, we were all over the map on politics in 1964 as we are now. What’s changed is that it has become vicious on their side. One guy, whom I always considered a very fair minded traditional liberal is now firmly in the Obama camp. Twice the other night, he misrepresented my position saying I must have been a Bush supporter and must be against (all) immigrants. There is no way he would have done this back then. I do not know if its a sign of desperation on the other side or not. I know its not senility. I called him on both and told him that I resented it. I tend to respond by saying “How dare you do that without clarifying my position”. Later in the evening I discovered he is still working two jobs as a consultant for NBC and the other as a university communications professor. Enough said.

            The whole thing is very Orwellian, up is down, left is right, in is out. I have always wondered if your position has not changed on an issue ie. gay marriage for 45 years, how, you can be told you have drifted to the right?

  3. Birdman says:


    I agree with your analysis. Control of information is their key to control of the masses. They already control the education system (yesterday’s topic) and already control the main stream television media and most newspapers. If we lose the internet, it will interfere with our ability to communicate. We can write our Senate and Congressman but I don’t think they listen based on some of the responses that I’ve received back.

    This administration is using fear and emergencies to ram legislation through. Even if there is a real threat of a cyber attack, I would prefer to let it happen rather than to give more power to the President. If we are attacked through the internet and it does serious damage, we could consider it an act of war. Perhaps we should make our position known to other countries. We should also build up defenses to such attacks through firewalls or separate systems for utilities. Utilities worked before we had the internet and they should be encouraged to have back-up plans. We all remember the Y2K scare that never happened.

  4. Morning All,

    I can understand that the electric companies may be using computers to monitor things, but it’s been around far longer than the internet, and seemed to work just fine long ago. With that in mind, why does the electric companies need their systems connected to the internet to begin with? I don’t know how the system works. but if internet use is really not needed for it to operate (used as a convenience) then take the whole thing off the net and put more people to work. Maybe someone can help answer how the whole system works and why it needs to be connected.



    • Vinnster says:

      Excellent question. With today’s technology secure private networks could be used to control vulnerable systems. None HAVE to be connected to the Internet.

      The reason is cost and convenience. It is sort of like needing to travel to some place and you have to consider, do I build my own private road system or take advantage of the existing road system.

      Even with that, I find it unbelievable and plain stupid to have vulnerable systems physically connected to access points to the Internet.

      The systems should be on private physically isolated networks. If a network is physically isolated (no wireless access points either), it is impossible to hack into from the outside. It could only be affected from the inside…that is another story.

      • RWBoveroux says:


        If people are concerned and scared about the cost increases that are coming with the climate control bill, just wait if you want to force private companies to isolate their internal networks from intrusion.

        Do utilities HAVE to be interconnected? I honestly do not know, but I am tempted to say yes. Does the fact that they are interconnected benefit the end user? Yes. It also hurts the end user. Just think of the NE blackout that occured 5, 6 years ago. A part of the problem and reason for the severity was the interconnection of the different electrical grids. The interconnectedness of this world is here and is not going to change.

        • JayDickB says:

          Utilities may have to be interconnected, but why do they have to be connected to the internet? Seems they should have their own private network.

          I was in the computer business for a while before the internet was the rage. Then, everyone who needed digital communications between locations had private networks, usually consisting of leased telephone lines. That seems like a better, if more expensive, model for electrical utilities.

          • RWBoveroux says:

            Why do you drive on the interstate roadways? Because they are there and it is cheaper than building your own roads. The power companies sole interest is in making MONEY.

            Most power\utility companies are multi-state entities. They need to have a way to communicate between their different locations. This means that ultimately, their network traffic will travel across the internet

            You may have been working on a leased line network, but you are not the only one on that network. The lines were LEASED, but they were still OWNED by whoever you leased them from.

            Any person, group, organization, business, government, whatever that has information coming into their personal computers that does not have an intrusion detection system of some type is asking for a whole lot of hurt.

  5. Bama dad says:
  6. I see this as just another tool of the administration to use a crisis to its advantage. I question everything that I read or hear in the media. How do we know that Russia and China hacked into our national security networks and instead, that this isn’t a manufactured crisis being used to push an agenda of ever greater control over dissenters? The internet is the greatest tool available to coordinate those who oppose the government’s growing intrusion into our lives. Shutting that down or taking control over it is tantamount to disarming the enemy. I admit, I am one of those who hates to be controlled. It’s why I left corporate America and have my own business. Maybe that’s why this administration, and some actions of the previous one, really irritate me; it’s all about control.

    • I agree totally with you MadMom, it IS all about control of us, whether they think we are being threatened or even the potential of some foreign threat.

      As this new administration said, we can’t let a good crisis go to waste. The swine flu being a perfect example as touted by the MSM!

  7. esomhillgazette says:

    Mornin’ Ya’ll.

    No. I don’t think it’s conspiracy theories. Yes. I do think it’s possible in a big way. Out of all the things the Vinnster lists, how many are either in process or have at least been mentioned already by the Obama Administration. From the Internet to Education, Obama has already shown us that he is going after them. Congress already has a nmuber of bills in processing to fulfill his dreams.

    So how can it be a Conspiracy Theory to be afraid of what Obama has already stated that he wants to do. And, like US, I trust Obama about as far as I could throw the White House. He has thus far in his Administration shown me nothing that would lead me to think he is NOT out for total control of the U.S. Government. Along with his Party and Philosophy.

    Has anyone seen a movie called “Southland Tales”? It is a totally moronic movie to watch. (so why did I? I don’t know, I was just drawn) In this movie a lot of the things being done, are the same things being done today, including Internet monitoring. Only it’s done by “Conservative Republicans”. And Liberal Democrats are tryuing to get their “rights” back. The movie actually didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but that is the gist of it.

    • Although we already know Big Brother is watching, now they will legalize there watching. Just like the tapping, when they got caught tapping Americans, they just passed a bill…

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    If Obama sees that he has very little chance of getting re-elected, I would be willing to bet that we will see any number of crises and emergencies around late October of 2012.

    USW, the bill you mention here, as others have said, has nothing to do with “conspiracy theories” and everything to do with enhanced government control over every facet of our lives. You could call this a “conspiracy”, but conspiracy usually involves some “cloak and dagger” aspect to it, and this is being blatantly done right in front of our faces while the majority of Americans either willfully allow it or allow it through continued ignorance.

    I am not sure which is scarier, that there are people in favor of what our government is doing, or that there are people too ignorant to care what our government is doing.

    Either way, the 2 groups put together seem to make up the majority currently, and that is TRULY scary!

  9. When you take this act, along with the previous statements and actions of this administration, especially the recent DHS report in looking for those that disagree on just about any issue, it is very much “Big Brother”. (Reading 1984, couldn’t resist!)

    Has it really only been since January that hope-n-change has been here?

  10. Andrew Gabriel says:

    If they know who hacks us, who is compromising our security where it comes from, they know where the perpertrators are being taught and educated; then where is the threat? It seems really convenient, but then again what the hell do we know.

    The first step into controlling a society is censorship, and it is obvious that if they want to control our freedom they must control one of our biggest vehicles of interaction with eathother, The Internet.

    Once again, we know this yet we do nothing. When will we do anything? When were picked up in the middle of the night, because we are enemies of the state? Stuck in a dark room to rot because we are INTELLECTUAL TERRORISTS?

    Good article!

  11. The greatest power that the people have is the power of opinion. Opinion is only powerful when it is shared and discussed and therefore has the power to unite and convince. The internet is a HUGE threat to anyone seeking to consolidate their power.

    I admit though that I had (rather naively) believed the internet somewhat unassailable because of it’s extensive and pervasive nature.

    I’ll be writing to my senators and congressman now.

    P.S.- Last night I posted a blog about the power of opinion and the desire of some to stop it’s power.

  12. Alan F. says:

    Only goes to show how absolutely idiotic those uninformed egos in the American government actually are/have been/will likely continue to be. While it might have been even earlier, I remember sitting in on that first lecture on the theoretical cost/time windfall of remote networking in 1991 and how giddy some became. I was also at that time an avid reader of the original “The Poison”, a security newsletter with guest articles by some of the most infamous security connoisseurs of the late 80’s. They were predicting this type of vulnerability back then and its counter which to this day is what I use on all the production networks I have to baby sit. Make them physically closed.

    All our updates are by hand and have never caused a single day of downtime. All our remote traffic takes place on a completely separate network whose twin sits in a room of its own waiting to be put into play. Isn’t it nice when your paranoia becomes a full fledged wealth generating virtue?

    Obama’s minions could easily secure the grid but it means someone at the top somewhere has to admit their earlier decisions having added as many injection vectors as is humanly possible caused this vulnerability in the first place. Its an even rarer case to work with IT departments whose forgone conclusion that security takes a back seat to innovation put their employer in unacceptable jeopardy. Admittedly, there might just be a valid case for arm twisting but if Obama’s minions are as savvy as he lauds, then you have a very real chance that this is indeed another “never waste a good crisis” rather than an actual withdrawal of the currently streamed loop.

  13. Black Flag says:

    First, it’s incredibly easy to have a large-scale conspiracy controlled by only a few designers. I’ll try to find the CIA article describing how easy it is to overthrow the government with merely 10 people in particular positions of control over tens of thousands of people – with none of the thousands really knowing why they are doing what they are doing – but will do it because of duty.

    Second, the internet as a communication medium is incredibly safe. But like anything, if you keep your doors unlocked, someone uninvited may come in.

    The internet public-facing information is incredibly unsafe. Things like Facebook and other social networks are a massive tool for identity theft and identity attack. Once your information enters the Web, it can never be deleted – this includes pictures. Google has developed a technology for searching pictures – that is, you can type in “looking for brown hair, blue eyes, freckle left side of nose” and it will find and sort pictures with that type of description – the more accurate the description, the more accurate it can find a picture. If you scan a picture of someone, Google can find all the pictures on the Internet of that person – including the ones you wished no one knew about.

    The ‘Net itself could be temporarily disrupted and maybe interfered with in a specific location, it’s intrinsic design was to continue working during a nuclear exchange – so it is very unlikely that it could be stopped.

    Now, none of this prevents the government making it illegal to use the internet.

    • Alan F. says:

      I think many in power put a tad too much faith in the insight they’ve gleaned from an imaginative Hollywood.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      “Second, the internet as a communication medium is incredibly safe. But like anything, if you keep your doors unlocked, someone uninvited may come in.”

      The very nature of TCP/IP and DNS is insecure.

      “so it is very unlikely that it could be stopped”

      There is actualyl likelihood – shut down DNS and you effectively shut down the Internet

      • Black Flag says:

        No, sir.

        The data component of the IP package can be incredibly secure.

        Further, standard response/reply techniques can prove source/destination.

        Yes, there are many ways to make insecure communications – but that fact does not preclude the concurrent existence of secured communication.

        DNS poisoning has, again, a very slim ability of compromising ghosts that use no other security methods of R/R. However, there are secure methods of DNS resolutions as well – including split DNS.

        Though DNS is a part of the Internet, it is merely one RFC. No more than losing the telephone book would shutdown the phone system, losing your DNS is an inconvenience for the general public.

        • Black Flag says:

          “compromising ghosts”

          LoL! The mind reels with possibilities…

          “compromising HOSTS”

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Well – most stopped using hosts file a long time ago – hose root DNS or redirect traffic and things get ugly after replication

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          “The data component of the IP package can be incredibly secure.”

          Wireshark? Any packet sniffer?

          “Further, standard response/reply techniques can prove source/destination.”

          Spoofed IP? MITM? Sequence number manipulation? Frag?

          • Black Flag says:

            Go ahead and Wireshark my data – if encrypted bits is your feast.

            Try spoof insertion – opps sorry, wrong handshake – drop.

            Seq. manip. – again, sorry, vpn sees you – drop.

            Frag. – good luck out-piping my pipe.

            • Black Flag says:

              All of your exploits require some sort of insecurity on my side.

              The worse you can do is annoy me for about 5 minutes.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                You referencing safeguards that by default are not implemented.

                Yes it CAN be secure but that was not my orig point.

                Most bad guys worth their salt attack the person and then the technology. Its child’s play to write a bot that circumvents all your controls.

              • Black Flag says:

                Nah, that’s urban myth.

                Social engineering attacks are not a technical problem – they are a human problem.

                For example, a “computer breach” was simply a guard who kept a secure door slightly open for fresh air – and when he left his post, the theives walked right in….

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                What’s an urban myth? Social Engineering? There are many elements or aspects of social engineering – if one is duped from a spearing attack into loading a bot client then both elements of human and technical vulnerability have been attacked. SE uses the ease of human compromise to attack vulnerable technology.

              • RWBoveroux says:


                the only truly secure network is one where you are the only one on it. The minute your network touches another network, your security is only as strong as the weakest link in the other network.

              • Black Flag says:

                Nah, that’s another myth.

                Communication protocols already exist that prevent all but the massive brute-force attacks that will take the proverbial life of the universe to defeat.

                Sure, there are implementation problems, and often logic errors – but time proves those out.

              • Black Flag says:

                As I said in my original piece, Ray – that if you keep your door unlocked, expect unwelcome visitors.

                And who installs stuff on default anyway?


              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Who installs on default? Bigger question is why the hell is there a default? Sure – it keeps me gainfully employed, but equally frustrated 🙂

            • Black Flag says:

              Forget to reply to your MITM –

              Any man in the middle attack can only work if you can respond as if you were the hosts on both sides.

              There are readily available protocols that resolve this.

  14. USW,
    I love the picture of the Kool-Aid Obama. The government runs us by control and fear. Glad you did a forum on this. The purpose is to silence us. Think about it…the media bags us for the “tea parties”. Obama throws a joke in as well. But the whole point was, they know this was a true grassroot movement and it was brought together by like-minds on the internet coming together. The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 is here to shut us down; has nothing to do with security. I mean, would you feel safer knowing that Big Brother is watching your ever move. I am paranoid now if this past, back to writing letters and using stamps…Oh, BTW…that is another item you might want to invest in for the future. It will be the only way to record history.

    Off subject for a second…This is for Just A Citizen (JAC). You questioned me about Martial Law. The more I think about our March to Socialism the more I know that Martial Law will be at our door step in the near future. Think about how all people are being label; right-wing extremist, veteran extremist, white supremacy extremist, constiutional extremist, black extremist, ect. We “Americans” are the terrorist according to our gov’t. You have ACORN rep. walking around with GPS questioning citizens if they support the President. Why?

    For your reading pleasures, research the following:
    -Civilian Inmate Labor Camps
    -National Emergency Center Act (HR 645)
    -Defense Department Directive 1404.10
    -Urban Warfare Drills
    -FBI Terror Flyer (old but why was it even printed)

    This might begin to shed a light on how I feel. This is not a conspiracy theory like so many of you think. There are laws already set in place and when good ol’ Big Brother say the word…here it comes.

    • Why conspiracy theories are conspiracy theories? When you use fear and threats, anything can be discredited… Take a look at the YouTube Video of Fox News Glenn Beck. Watch and listen closely!

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Listen to what? Even Glenn Beck laughs at the fact he is full of his own shit.

  15. I'm learning! says:

    I have been puzzled when you say you don’t want to go down the road conspiracy’s. I was confused on how passionately you and others felt that there is no way 9/11 could be kept quiet in a conspiracy, but yet feel frustrated on how the world seems to believe that carbon will doom our world despite multiple scientists that say otherwise! To me either situation could be a conspiracy (on a large scale) – DEPENDING on what is discovered to be the FACTS. And like most cases, we will probably never know the facts!

    So, I was thinking maybe I don’t know the definition of conspiracy. I looked it up:
    1. the act of conspiring.
    2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
    3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
    4. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
    5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.
    To me, it may be done in our faces – with them freely admitting what they want to do, but the conspiracy (or secret, unlawful or evil) part is why they want to do it.

    It may seem I believe conspiracy theories, but it’s more accurate to say I am fascinated by them. I used to think bad things won’t happen to us – this is America! After I woke up, I now have to learn what seems valid and what isn’t! We need to learn what should be questioned, and how to find the answers. We need to know how to avoid being sucked into propaganda – on either side of the issue. That’s tough!

    I recently read a fiction book called “The Whole Truth” by David Baldacci. Let’s just say it is a very well played out conspiracy for personal gain. All it took was a well placed video on the internet and a few murders and the game was on. It was people that had knowledge of the countries that were being “played” in this plot, and why the series of events that were happening really didn’t make sense that finally ended it by beating them at their own game. But the rest of the world bought it hook, line and sinker! All I kept thinking while reading this book is how easy this would be to happen in reality. They say truth is stranger than fiction. Books like this, points made by multiple people on this site, might help people recognize things that happen now that just ought to be questioned! Theory or reality – someone somewhere is thinking this stuff out. It just takes a couple of nutcases (or most of government) to try and act it out! We need “real” experts to help us understand why it is or isn’t possible.

    I would also love to hear Ray and others who work with internet to give some input regarding this bill. Discussing valid alternatives from people who work there and understand the system is helpful knowledge. Who knows, maybe somehow, someday they can be beat at their own “propaganda” game. But if they control the net – that will be much more difficult to pull off! Sorry – this posting got a little long I guess!

    • SFC Dick says:

      I’m Learning,

      Nicely done.

      I’d never looked at the whole global warming thing as a conspiracy, always figured since it was out in the open and all. I look at it differently now. It meets all the criteria.

  16. Great discussion today. I want to chirp in as to why this ACT may not even pass. Let’s say in two years, our obese government decides there is a cyber emergency, and orders all internet providers to shut down, turn off their servers and go home for a week. OK, so now we can’t talk bad about O’Butthead for awhile (the reason for the emergency), and this is meant as a lesson of sorts. In that week, about 5,000 people die because their doctors can’t access medical records needed for correct treatment. Would any law allowiing this be legal?

    • Barberian says:

      Good point G-Man but I don’t think they intend to shout down the entire internet, just those sites that pose eniment danger to “Americans” (the sheeple amoung us)such as traitorous sites like Stand Up For America.

      Ago Solvo vel Intereo!

  17. USW:
    You stated “I do intend at some point to use every one of you to help form a plan. But we are still building the network here and learning and figuring everything out”.

    Awesome. I can’t wait until we begin discussing and planning. I think out of all the things I have said…PREPARE and SURVIVAL are my most used vocabulary on this site. It’s not about overthrowing the government its about survival and protection of our families and loved ones because this is just my opinion, but we are too far into this to turn things around. They are planning/have planned for a revolution. They hear and watch us as we talk peacefully and protest peacefully. They know the CIFTA might start riots and violent protest. They are always 2 steps ahead and although we are 2 steps back, we have to figure a course that we can take which is not something they will predict.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      I agree with Nubian! I can’t wait to start that discourse!!!

      I’m at the point where I want to start ‘acting’.

      USWeapon…Do you see a “Series” devoted to forming a Plan?

      Nubian…I see the Prepare and Survive as a component of an overall Plan…Do you?


      • I agree Richmond

      • USWeapon says:

        I see the plan as the end game for sure. You will see some things coming up that I think will help everyone to get to some basic principles that will allow us to form the RIGHT plan. I know that we all want to take action. That is a normal reaction to what we face. This is a group of people who want to work to make things better, and that is good.

        But before we take action we have to make sure we are taking the right action. And that is what I want to do. I know the anxiousness always gets to people and we are fidgety and feel like time is slipping away. But it is OK, no need to panic. A hasty decision will be a bad one. With what I did for a living there was considerable prudence in making sure we made the right decision, not the easy one or the fast one. Trust me. I won’t lead you astray.

  18. Black Flag says:


    This is an additional by-line for this site:

    “…it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds…”

    ~ Samuel Adams

  19. Black Flag says:

    Some more thoughts on Preparation

    This list comes from a site, the Survival Podcast. All the comments are of the original author(s)….but I agree with them 😉


    It is a list of core values underlying the various strategies to reduce your dependence on the dollar-based markets.

    1. Everything you do to “prepare” for emergencies, disasters or economic turmoil should be blended into your life in a way that improves your life even if nothing disastrous ever occurs.

    This is the lifestyle issue. It costs something to attain this. You must allocate time and money to adopting a less dollar-dependent lifestyle. If you don’t benefit today from these expenditures, you will stop making a lot of them.

    2. Debt is financial cancer! Minimize it, pay it off early and stay away from credit cards.

    3. Growing your own food is for everyone not just people that want “organic” fruit and vegetables. To produce your own food, even as little as 10% of what you use reduces your dependence on “the system”.

    Warning: non-hybrid seeds are getting scarce.

    4. Tax is theft, the best way to combat it is to understand every legal deduction you can take or create.

    In general I think “the system” is bad but when it comes to taxation either learn the system or hire a damn good accountant to work it for you. Every dollar you keep can be used to improve your self sufficiency, every dollar taken from you can be used to make your dependence on the government stronger.

    But there are not many loopholes for the wage-earner. The system is designed to steal, and voters like this. Start a side business. Take deductions.

    5. Food stored is an exceptional investment. Food is increasing in cost faster then just about any investment right now and certainly faster then the rate of inflation.

    You simply can’t loose by storing additional food that you use on a regular basis.

    Buy store brand foods unless the name brand is better. Buy in bulk on sale. Use coupons. Rotate the food. Food discounts at supermarkets come in 3-month cycles. Load up when the cycle for a product hits.

    6. Plan for disaster in the following order of priority – Personal-Localized-Regional-State-National-Global.

    Despite the real possibility of a true economic melt down or catastrophic terrorist attack or some other major global disaster the most probable “disaster” for any individual is personal. Loss of a job, loss of a family member, a fire or localized weather event are the most probable threats to impact any individual. So plan and prepare for those first, then continue to build going forward.

    7. Renewable energy is great if you do it in a way that saves you money (short or long term) but your solar panels are not going to save the planet. Man made global warming is a scam designed to force the U.S. into a global taxation system.

    If you want to promote solar, wind, hydro, etc. the best way is to develop it in a more cost effective manner. Fuel efficient vehicles are also great. I personally drive a 2006 Jetta TDI diesel that puts many hybrids to shame at 44 MPG! That’s doing 80MPH on average by the way. I bought it because it was affordable, well built and incredibly engineered and cost me a lot less to run even with diesel being a lot more expensive then gas.

    The lesson is that the best way to promote “green energy” is via economics.

    If electricity goes down permanently, society collapses. End of story.

    Solar panels in the city are useless for survival. They may be good for rich people in a safe, isolated, rural, gated community of rich people who can shoot. I have never heard of such a community. Also, I think it’s a lot cheaper to buy a used but moderately fuel-efficient car than to buy an expensive super-fuel-efficient new car. Plan your shopping to reduce trips.

    8. Owning land is true wealth. I advise people to strive to own land in the country where taxes are low and restrictions are limited. Even if you live in the city finding, buying and improving land within 3-5 hours of your primary residence makes a lot of sense. If you can use it to get out of the city at some point so much the better.

    The key here is community, not land. You don’t need much land. You can’t manage much land without fuel, brush hog, etc. You need an acre or two with a used mobile home. You also need to have local people keep an eye on it. Live closer than 3 hours. You must visit the place on weekends, to maintain local contacts.

    9. In addition to food, water and other common survival stores use common sense methods of hedging against “disaster”. Pragmatic things like, cash emergency funds, good insurance and secondary income streams are not just for people in “the system”. These types of protection can make you life a lot less miserable when something goes wrong. Make them part of your planning.

    A secondary income stream is great. On-line, it’s greater. But if it’s denominated in dollars, you are still vulnerable. Let this income stream pay for your preparations.

    10. Your personal philosophy is more important for you then mine! You are the master of your own life and if you don’t agree with my views, great, define, understand and implement your own.

    The biggest thing you can do is understand that you are in control of your life and that what you do matters.

    Those two factors have the greatest impact on individual survival across every demographic you can imagine.

    Responsibility begins with you.

    • Barberian says:

      BF, very sound advice. I started brewing my own beer last week. Now if I can only master hand rolled cigars and distilling single malt scotch, I’ll be going Galt when the Sh!t hits.

      “The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history,
      whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”
      — Thomas Jefferson

    • Bama dad says:


      May I add to your list one more thing?

      11. Make your survival plan a plan of life and not a plan for a certain lifestyle.

      Too many people that are in trouble today do not know the difference between what they need to live and what they need to sustain the life style that they crave.

  20. Off subject…
    Anyone concerned about WWIII. China and Russia-Iran-Syria. Now again, I might be going off the rough end but I see not only WWIII coming but the collapse of our society as well. Why isn’t the media all over this? Google “Secret letter to Russia and Iranian Nuclear Weapons”.

    • Black Flag says:

      We’ve been fighting WW3 for decades. There are and have been proxy wars in nearly every region on Earth, without stop.

      There is a reason why the US military budget exceeds the rest of the world, combined.

      • SFC Dick says:

        I’m in a theater of operations in WWIII.

        Count how many nations have fighters here. Look at the divide of “sides” and amount of nationalities involved and the goals of the combatants.

        This is it.We are well underway.

        • Black Flag says:

          When my lil’Bro went to Yugoslavia, – as he was one of the ranking officers of the Medical Corp there – had a squad assigned to him as body guard.

          They trained in California somewhere – and an old vet SFC ran the squad.

          Bro’ was a ‘paper officer’ …got his rank from going to university… – but joined the Airborne for a stint to prove he was for real. One of the few Doctors to have Airborne wings on his uniform.

          So when the SFC saw my Bro’ he couldn’t quite size him up. A Paper Doc with ‘those’ wings? ….

          Bro’ though knew the mantra – what the SFC said, was always right!

          “I suggest, sir, we do (this)”
          Bro: “Hmmm, yes, Sargent, I agree”.

          One day the squad was target shooting …. and there was one target left out a few hundred yards. The SFC and Bro were inspecting the squad when the SFC had a twinkle in his eye and bellowed “SIR! Would you like a try?”

          Bro’ knew this was THE test. Gulp.

          “Of course, Sargent”.

          “CORPORAL, surrender that weapon!”

          The corporal handed his weapon the the SFC, who inspected it.

          “It has only ONE ROUND LEFT, SIR!” he bellowed, making sure every one of the squad was watching.


          Now, the squad had been firing prone – and hadn’t hit the distant target.

          With the whole squad watching, Bro’ , standing, slinged the weapon, ‘put on the agony’ by testing the wind with his finger, then sighted … and squeezed.

          The target slammed down.

          The SFC, proudly, retrieved the weapon and while handing it back to the Corporal bellowed loud enough to be heard all the way to Bosnia…

          “MEN, THE COLONEL can take care of himself!!”

          Bro’ knew his squad could now trust him.

          God Bless SFC’s. He kept my brother safe.

          Hope you keep yourself safe too, my friend.

          • SFC Dick says:

            Black Flag, old buddy.

            There is so much in that post I could do a whole day’s block of instruction on it at Uncle Dick’s warrior transition training school for boys.

            Colonels are good, much like SFC’s; they are the last rank where things are “done”. Colonels, and LTC’s are winning or losing this war, SFC’s implement the winning or losing plan.

            Your Bro sounds like Colonel Kurtz, that line from Apoc now when the general remarks, as to show the insanity of Kurtz in its infancy….”He joined the Special Forces……”

            My Army wife (battle buddy sounds so …gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that) is a medic. SFC Ben S. SFC’c are not in the field on teams ( sans the very “special” teams and those guys are usually just SGT’s who have ridden the wave of ultra fast track promos because we don’t have any special ops guys left), Old Ben was at the pentagon, he’d already done 2 tours. The pentagon was his “reward”. He tried 3 times for this tour; he finally petitioned his branch with some inside help from his new group of buds at the pentagon. They were, no way in hell, going to send an SFC out to a team. Ben’s persistence won out.

            We were up at “Big Army’s’ “area of the FOB. We didn’t go up there much. We don’t like “Big Army” and they don’t like us. We have a “unique” set of self imposed grooming and uniform standards. We have a complete set of unique standards that we self impose, those are just the most readily apparent; so we sure as hell don’t call out to full birds across a flight line thus drawing more attention and possible ire to ourselves. SFC Ben was the exception. He sees a full bird Colonel and his (yes, HIS) Command Sergeant Major and yells out “Hey Colonel”, the Colonel turns and Ben heads out towards him. My heart sinks, I look around for an escape route…no luck, plus my buddy is heading right into it. I have no choice but to follow. At 10 paces (6 is the standard but I’m attempting to defuse, get a read and possibly RUN) I snap an ANCOC quality salute and give the proper “Good morning Sergeant Major”. Ben walks up, no salute. “Crap!”, he does this kind of stuff sometimes, like when he said “hey, wanna go set up in that waddi?”….I look out at that strategically placed waddi, about 500 meters, DOWN HILL, from or defensive perimeter, meaning I’d have to run 500 meters uphill to get back to our lil circled wagons and know he means “you and I” not a greater us, just we two.….”uh…no.” He said nothing, just looked at me…..”Yeh, I know dude, that is a good spot. We don’t have any one down there” then I see 1…ONE! Host national force down there….”Yes, I KNOW we should be down there, but WTF, this is fucking Bal’y Khaley….” Still nothing on his part, just a stare. “Oh, fuck yes,” I grab my stieners “You knew I was going to say yes….the more dangerous the better”. We moved out.

            So, I’m thinking…”thanks bud…”as we approach these two man eaters and he already is poking them in the eye with no salute and most definitely without a greeting to the CSM. We get within “losing rank” distance and the Colonel cocks his head..smiles …”Ben! WTF? Last I heard you were at the Pentagon…” The Colonel reaches out and gives the Afghan shake and shoulder hug. I’m left standing in front of the CSM. I’m still not convinced and try not to make eye contact. “Sergeant Major Beelzebub this is Sergeant First Class S, he formed this unit ( the on FOB FST ) 3 years ago when I was a Major who didn’t know shit”. …..”Whew!”.
            Ben and I put in our transfer requests to go to a different, hotter AO ( folks like us are like that, this is Paktika for fuck sakes, it’s HOT!, the other place is a lil’ hotter, so that means, we gotta get there). He got his transfer, kinda, his lift left the FOB 2 hours prior the call from ARSIC-E command stating “those two are to go nowhere, no one is authorized transfer…they stay put”. I was to move the next day. He’s out there, Bermel. His team chief runs a blog, “”. I saw him in the pic on the blog about Toby Keith showing up. I saw him in the pic, Ben, own little papillon.

            These teams are an after birth, I mean after thought. The regular advisor teams, SFC and above CPT and above, were split up pre deployment at the mob site. They split the teams into 3 or 4 and rounded out the personnel with SGT E-5s, corporals and 1LT’s. They call those guys our “force protection” because you can’t have CPLs and SGT E-5s as advisors. Thing is, with 1 Major and 2 SFC’s, the secfor is most certainly advisors. Never underestimate the Army and its continued effort to get by on the cheap over here. Ben is gone now. The one man on this team, or any team, the 1 man of about 3 I know from both tours that I felt safe with, safe enough to go occupy a waddi 500 meters forward at Bal’ey Khaly.

            We got a thing tonight. I get 1 major, 1 Captain ( very green) 1 SGT and 1 CPL. I would’a gladly set in this thing with just 1 SFC and a few claymore and felt better about the chances of success.

            Give your Bro my best. Man,…the shit they witnessed over there. Screw Africa and the Hutu, tutsie and others, those tribal bastards. You wanna see war crimes, genocide done right; you gotta get “white men” westerners, “civilized” and educated men from a technologically advanced society. I wouldn’t want your brothers’ dreams dancing in my head.

            Stay productive buddy and save me a seat and a Glennfiditch at Rick’s Place. Play it again Issam…

            “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

            • Black Flag says:

              See #33

            • Black Flag says:

              Damn, SFC.


              To move “up”, Bro needed this combat command.

              He was gungo-ho to get there.

              He came back… very quiet.

              He retired prematurely.

              I recall one late night a call he made to me over the sat. link…

              He described moving into a village…

              No sound. Everything was dead….including the birds, dogs, cats, mice…. not a living thing … including the people.

              Dead silence. It rocked him to his soul.

              The next day, a MP got a blast from a anti-tank mine.

              The MP was directing traffic, and a tank cut a corner over the intersection – hit a undiscovered mine and the blast force went into the MP.

              Bro’ was the OC of the Medical unit… and the boy – just a f**k’ng boy – was brought in. His eyes wide, knowing he was essentially all f**k’d up.

              Bro’ stuck his fingers in all the holes he could find in the boy’s body, while his team worked – futility – to stop the blood loss. He watched the boy’s eye plead… then submit… to his fate.

              Bro’ hasn’t been the same since.

  21. Black Flag says:

    This is a funny comment, but pure truth:

    Back in 1999, the federal government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed.

    Now we are trusting the auto industry , the economy of our country, and $800+ billion to a pack of nit-wits who couldn’t make money running a whorehouse and selling booze.

    Now, if that doesn’t make you nervous, what does?

    • Barberian says:

      That’s funny, they’ve been consistantly “blanking” me for money the last thirty years. You would have thought they learned something by now.

    • The Mustang Ranch was actually siezed in 1990, and never operated under government control. The government wanted to, but prostitution was temporarily outlawed, until it was sold at auction. Great urban legend though, and quite funny.

      • G-man I think you will find prostitution was not outlawed. The problem was the feds could not run it legally due to some fed laws governing the agency that took posession. Prostitution in Nevada is legalized by county.

        Mustang is in Story county which abuts Washoe county where the cities of Reno and Sparks are located, about 7 miles away.

        By the way I think the Feds kidnapped the brothel owner from a country in south america to conduct the prosecution. His name was Joe Conforte and he and his wife were true characters of the Silver State. Hell since the topic was history yesterday I figured I might as well elaborate.


    • esomhillgazette says:

      How could you fail with a Whorehouse? Because the majority in Governement have never owned a business and have no practical knowledge of how to operate one. And Government is like a business. Now we know why they can’t run America either.

    • Black Flag says:

      Conforte dealt mostly in cash and kept few records. By 1990, the IRS was fed up with his tax shenanigans and seized the ranch, putting the federal government in the unique position of running a brothel. It failed and the ranch was padlocked for the first time.,2933,292166,00.html

      It’s true that the feds had planned on keeping the business going until the brothel could be sold at auction (a scheme that became the butt of numerous jokes on late-night TV), but a U.S. judge refused to allow the bankruptcy trustee to assume the Ranch’s business license. Instead, the IRS foreclosed on the property and auctioned it off a few months later.

      Though various sources persist in claiming that the IRS itself ran the brothel in the interim, the available evidence suggests otherwise. Just two weeks after the government took possession of Mustang Ranch, county commissioners banned prostitution there, saying they were tired of the “circus” surrounding the case. The ban remained in place until the business reopened in December 1990 under “new” ownership (unbeknownst to officials at the time, the original owner, Joe Conforte, had repurchased the Ranch under an assumed name).

      So, while it’s accurate enough to say that the federal government “owned” Mustang Ranch for approximately three months in 1990, the claim that government officials tried to run the brothel and failed appears to be unfounded.

      So, if it’s between Fox News and G-Man, …. G-Man wins!!

      But that probably didn’t surprise anyone 😉

      • Black Flag says:

        just two weeks after the government took possession of Mustang Ranch, county commissioners banned prostitution there, saying they were tired of the “circus” surrounding the case.

        But I guess they did run it for two weeks….

  22. Ray Hawkins says:

    We are w/o question constantly under attack – you don’t need the MTM or Fixed News to tell you that – this is my job 24/7 and there are attacks from inside and outside all networks. Now – allowing for complete and unfettered ability to shut down major service networks and allow access to data is a joke that should never be told. While we have significant fault tolerance there may be at some point the need for someone to ‘push the button’ that can darken the fiber so to speak – I have dealt with major distributed denial of service attacks – they are painful and difficult – especially when targeted at banks with a ransom. The ability to push a button should be held under the strictest of criteria – that bill smells like a greedy kid in the toy store but I’m realistic that it will not be passed in its current state.

    • Black Flag says:

      I was the ISP of one of the largest gaming sites on the Internet – and it took the Russian Mafia a few tries to out-pipe us. They ‘won’ once – during the Super Bowl – where they exploited our technically-weak upstream provider. Millions at risk for one day, they site paid them off…. (shrug)… they made it back in spades….

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        You were cutting into their profits. 😉

        More problematic from what I have seen of late are large regional financial services that do not have the capacity to fight off these attacks and must work with dipshit upstreams and then call in the Feds to help investigate.

        • Black Flag says:

          And I agree – that was our problem too –

          The upstream providers couldn’t care less; they were selling bandwidth and DoD uses B/W, as did our defense (back then).

          It took lots of foot pounding and withholding of payments to get them off their butts to help.

  23. Kind of off topic, but related to media issues….

    Was there anything ominous in the analog to digital conversion?

    The reason given was that the analog frequencies were needed by the government communications systems, and due to increased use by the public, there was a need to move the public to digital broadcasting.

    • Digital communication is MUCH MORE efficient than analog, cheaper to do and less of a chance that someone can hack it. That is why Cell Phone companies like Verizon, etc. switched to it a long time ago – result is that you now get more on your cellphone (texting, sending receiving photos and accessing the internet) than you ever could via analog communication methods.

    • Dee,
      The answer to your question is…could be?!

      There’s been controversies surrounding the digital converter boxes that you can purchase to adapt your analog TV to the new digital signal format.

      Some people believe that the converter boxes include technology that would allow the government to spy on activity within the home. There’s a video out on You Tube claiming that a converter box owner opened his new converter box and found a tiny camera and a microphone inside the box, pointing out the front plate of the box. In the video, he opens his converter box for the camera to see and points out the camera and mic. But of course use your best judgement…I am not to sure about this one but it gets you thinking.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        It only makes me think “man, people are very creative with YouTube”.

  24. I have a real problem with the government taking control of the Internet. To me, that is nothing but an unwarrented invasion of our privacy not to mention removing our constitutional right to free speech!

    This Fasciolism government of ours first decided (and remember that this started back in the Bush administration)that we former Military types who have actually fought for our and your freedom are now subject to becomming terrorists, and now want to remove our freedom of speech, has gone way too far!

    If we do not get their undivided attention real soon, well we just won’t have a country left!

    Enough is enough already! Get up off your butts and DO SOMETHING!

    • “To me, that is nothing but an unwarranted invasion of our privacy not to mention removing our constitutional right to free speech!”

      There’s no “right to privacy” as such. Just a right preventing the government from “unlawful” searches and seizures. Since everything posted in the internet is in the public domain, there’s no unlawful searches involved, and the data still exists after it’s copied so there’s no seizure either.

      Also you could probably interpret a restriction of posting on internet blogs as having nothing to do with free speech, since typing is not speech. But that might be a stretch even for the current government. 😉

      • Better check your past supreme court decisions – I do believe there was one a while back that held that the written word WAS included in free speech. Also since the internet is mostly done on telephone lines by intruding into that realm without a warrant issued by a judge who has had reasonable proof shown to him that an actual crime has been committed is strictly against the law. They are called federal wire tap laws. What goes out in your telephone lines – and that includes cell phone transmissions – are considered private communications.

        Sorry, DK2, but those are the facts. The United States Supreme Court has decided a long time ago that private communication between individuals who are not suspects in a crime serious enough to warrant a wire tap cannot be eavesdropped on. Nor can the government block the free communication of news media – and guess what . . . WEBLOGS are considered news media.

        Monitoring our e-mails IS a violation of our right to privacy, and hindering our blogs IS denying us our free speech.

        • So now we suddenly believe everything the Supreme Court says?

          • SFC Dick says:


            You post

            “So now we suddenly believe everything the Supreme Court says?”

            I did not get that same conclusion after reading G.A, but I’ll let him speak for himself.

            The Supreme Court of the U.S has never been my guide for the constitutionality of any particular thing, but as they “play ball” in the government arena it’s kinda recognized that if they rule on some “thing’ that it is considered “law” and the rest of the government has to abide.

            Sorry, not my rules, the governments.

            I believe the reasonable expectation of individuals to communicate privately is paramount in a free society.

            Obviously criminals abuse this, but hey, that’s what criminals do.

            Criminals abuse speed limits in act of committing crimes.

            Should the government be allowed to install governors on all domestic vehicles because of this?

            Criminals use firearms in act of committing crimes.

            Should the government be allowed to restrict access to firearms thus infringing on peoples second amendment rights?


            Well, heck DKII, there’s your big win there. One would think you should take that and be happy.

            “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

  25. USWeapon says:

    OK, so the real question for all of you technology folks in here is this: Do I have anything to worry about? I mean, realistically do you feel the government is going to be sneaking into people’s computers regularly and checking stuff out. I don’t have anything to hide in terms of anything I have done, but I wonder about how intrusive into the privacy of Americans they truly have the ability to be.

    And is it even possible that the President could shut down the internet? In an emergency, I see critical infrastructure being shut down, but the internet in general?

    I guess what I am asking is am I making a big deal out of nothing in terms of this act? You tech guys can read it better than me. Have any of you read the bill and what do you think after reading it?

    • They can probably already hire hackers to get all your private information on your computer anyway. Technology is ahead of the law, as they say.

      I doubt they’d be able to shut down the whole internet, but they can probably forcibly shut down particular networks (say if a bank is under “threat of attack”, or maybe they just don’t like that bank not playing ball with their TARP money, heh).

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      USW – yes and no

      Are there real threats we need to manage – yes!

      Do they need to define and explain the data access clause under the Clearinghouse component – you bet – you’re going to have groups on the left and right all over this.

      Definition of ‘critical infrastructure’ – from what I have seen this has been interpreted VERY broadly in the past. The Government at all levels is notorious as good at having good standards but very sloppy at implementing them.

      The rest of the bill I generally agree with – but they need to sharpen their pencils in a serious way.

  26. I thought this article was interesting USW since the topic of the day is the Cybersecurity Act of 2009. Once you read this, I would like to ask, do you still think this act is something not to be worried about? Sounds like they are passing another law to make it easier to put people practicing there 1st amendment right in prison…or camps? A would like to ask to the list of extremist…cyberspace extremist…

    Is Your Blog a Weapon?
    Xeni Jardin
    May 5, 2009

    Law prof Eugene Volokh blogs about a U.S. House of Representatives bill proposed by Rep. Linda T. Sanchez and 14 others that could make it a federal felony to use your blog, social media like MySpace and Facebook, or any other web media “To Cause Substantial Emotional Distress Through “Severe, Repeated, and Hostile” Speech.” Oh lordy, there goes 4chan.

    Here’s the relevant text:

    Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both….

    [“Communication”] means the electronic transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received; …

    [“Electronic means”] means any equipment dependent on electrical power to access an information service, including email, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones, and text messages.

    Jacob Sullum at Reason thinks the proposed law is stupid, too.

    It was bad enough that a grandstanding U.S. attorney successfully prosecuted Lori Drew, a Missouri woman who participated in a cruel MySpace prank that apparently precipitated the 2006 suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier, under an anti-hacking law that clearly was not intended for this sort of situation. Now Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and 14 of her colleagues want to make such prosecutions easier through a breathtakingly broad bill that would criminalize a wide range of speech protected by the First Amendment. The Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act would make it a felony punishable by up to two years in prison to transmit an electronic communication (”including email, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones, and text messages”) “with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person…to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior.”

  27. Black Flag says:

    I don’t have anything to hide in terms of anything I have done, but I wonder about how intrusive into the privacy of Americans they truly have the ability to be.

    And is it even possible that the President could shut down the internet? In an emergency, I see critical infrastructure being shut down, but the internet in general?

    They could, temporarily, disrupt the internet – but shut it down? Nah…. too many nodes.

    And ‘snooping’ – who knows what has been inserted in the OS code – there’s 10 to 20 million lines of code – no one can search through it. There have been ‘indications’, but no definitive evidence.

    Same as the CPU’s – they are so darn complicated, someone certainly code embed a “Halt” code – but again, no definitive evidence.

    As far as snooping YOU – they can find you, but randomly, you’re among hundreds of millions – security by obscurity ….

  28. Thanks to everyone, who once again helped me learn something new. I have more respect for those on this site than I have for most people that live where I live, can’t wait to move! The diversity of knowledge is nothing short of a small miracle.


  29. I would not lose any sleep over it. As we have all seen the more the government tries to do the less they are able to do.

    Take education,look at main stream media, a lot of stories are videos, why?? Maybe because a lot of people cannot read above a third grade level. What to improve reading use “McGuffey’s Readers”
    At some point the will have an upside down pyramid going, and it will come crashing down.

    The internet is the very definition of anarchy. There are many ways to hide,some good,some not so good. I use 3 different versions of Linux as my OS. 1 is set up to use tor as just a client, one uses tor as a relay server, and one wide open. not really very good but confuses people as to where I am. I also encrypt what ever I really do not what people to see.

  30. Black Flag says:

    Digital communication is MUCH MORE efficient than analog, cheaper to do and less of a chance that someone can hack it.

    Really? It significantly depends on your measure.

    I have analog tapes that have recorded the equivalent of gigabytes of video and sound at a quality that is lossless. I can only approximate this quality digitally.

    The universe is actually completely analog. For humans to gain understanding of what is essentially an infinitely chaotic system, we have simplified some of the universe to digital – that is, instead of an infinite shades of gray that is the universe we have simplified it into black/white.

    There are probably lots of problems with seeing the universe that way….

  31. Black Flag says:

    And just imagine if the trinary computer caught on…

    A binary, 2^2 (2×2) computer can address 65,536 of discrete bits.

    A trinary, 3^3(3x3x3) computer – which would use the same physical real estate on a chip -could have address 7,625,597,484,987 discrete bits. 7 TRILLION discrete bits.

    So on the same storage space, it would have been able to store over 110 MILLION times more data – and calculate 110 MILLION times faster.

    Imagine being back in the early 1990’s (when we had *wow* a 16-bit binary computer processor) with a computer power and storage at a level we haven’t quite been able to achieve today.

    And given the extent of development – a trinary computer – with the same exponential growth, would have exceed the computational power of every computing device on Earth today by a factor of a hundred billion.

    Now, wouldn’t that have been scary!


  32. LumberMan says:

    A lot of people here are missing a pivotal point in this controversial issue.

    It is imperative to reach the realization that when the founding fathers authored our constitutional rights there could be no way that they could concieve the internet nor its capabilities for good or bad. Furthermore like any other new frontier, the internet is still fairly unestablished. Currently unregulated, there is an enormous sense of freedom associated with the web that many are hesitant to relinquish. The bigger picture must be considered, the Obama administration is not ruling with the sole goal of stifiling the right. There is more at stake than how to safegaurd American’s first amendment rights. As the right is so quick to point out, we are in the midst of waging a war on terror. The goal of the legislation in question is to prevent an attack on our cyber infrastructure. If a war is to be won at any cost, do we really have the time to descend into a state of hysterical paranoia?

    • If I get your question, you are asking that since the internet and its capabilities were never thought of by the founding fathers, then they are not entiltled to the same 1st amendment protections? If that’s so, it would also apply to TV, radio, records, CD’s and every other technological advance made since the late eighteenth century.

      Somehow I think the founding fathers would want these safeguarded too.

      I always remember an old joke from college, “Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean that they’re not after me”. I always err on the side of caution. If it looks like a fascist, walks like a fascist, legislates like a fascist, lies like a fascist, it’s probably a fascist.

      • SFC Dick says:

        Ah, screw it. What’s the worst that could happen?

        I remember 1999, anyone else?
        The world was going to stop, planes were going to fall out of the sky blah blah blah; all because of coding done in the early days when memory was at a premium, so everything was ’96 or ’97 instead of 1997.
        People point to black outs, black outs are not caused by computers, nor can they be fixed by computers. Yes, some switching is done via digits, big deal. The martians attack and throw the digital switch, send out Bob, say “Bob, go down to the substation on Elm and throw the standard, old fashioned switch’.
        Ok, the Martians are smart, they’re from Mars for Christ sakes. So they overload the system and blow out some transformers, big deal, mother nature does that on a regular bassis.

        “But Dick, the top secret government computers, our whole national defense, what if the Marians attack that”?
        Well, trhey’ll have to stand on line, behind the Chinese, who’ve been doing it for years, high school kids and the Russians, when they get tired of extorting money from BF’s enterprises.
        So, when I read.
        “As the right is so quick to point out, we are in the midst of waging a war on terror. The goal of the legislation in question is to prevent an attack on our cyber infrastructure. If a war is to be won at any cost, do we really have the time to descend into a state of hysterical paranoia?”

        I think WTF? Do we really have the time to allow the government to restrict, grab, control, eliminate any more freedom or privacy?
        If the point is to “help” the government defend itself, screw’em. If they can’t figure out how to develop a , uh, what’s it called FIREWALL, then screw’em.
        If it is supposed to help keep us safe, well, I got a fail safe idea, UNTIE YOURSELF FROM THE INTERNET.
        I love it when the governemnt comes crying poor mouth and then drops the whole new pile of crap in my lap. “oh, well gee wiz, as long as it is too help the government…why didn’t you just say so..”

        “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

        • SFC Dick says:

          spell check be damned!

          • SFC Dick says:


            • LumberMan says:


              If you look at the history leading up to 9/11 you will see various trends that eventually led up to 9/11 i.e. U.S.S. Cole bombing ect. The only point I am trying to make is that, like a pre-emptive war and many other faccets we must do what is necessary to prevent another atrocity commited against the American people.

              • SFC Dick says:

                Lumberman, Sir

                I hope you don’t take my harsh tone as personally directed at you, it is personal and directed at the government, my present owner.

                I’m with you on analysis , trends, pre-emptive etc, but this new legislation strikes me as meeting none of those.
                I never said “ you are not allowed to use the internet to spy”, spy away.
                Hell, use the internet to its fullest uncle sugar, I’ll even pitch in to pay for 1 year membership on AOL premium,
                But, under no circumstances, minus a declared national emergency AND martial law, are you to limit my access, filter the content or restrict my associations on the internet.

                See here’s the thing Lumberman, government lies, cheats, steals and kills under the power it grants itself under laws we allow.
                This government is asking me to “give something up” for the greater good, I know this because I know them, we’re family so to speak. They can Kiss My Ass.
                Lumberman, what has the government requested that you relinquish for the fight so far?
                What have you freely given over?
                The answer should be nuthing…”nuthing”.
                Good, don’t give one smidge.
                If the government is so corrupted that it exists in a vacuum of talented professionals then tough!
                Talented professionals don’t need ordinary citizens to give up a thing so they can fight the war.
                Problem is, small boys and talented professionals are in real short supply when you need them most; we need them most.

                “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

              • Lumberman says:


                You asked me “What have I given up for the fight so far”
                I have willingly given up my tax dollars. I understand that the “Right” to live in the U.S. does not come without a cost. The very same cost that you as a soldier, my Dad and his dad gave up as a soldier and as productive tax payer. In 2003 I tried to sign up for the Marines(A long time dream)wich I was unable to pursue due to G.E.D. problems. I was “willingly” prepared to sacrifice myself for the saftey of my family and YOUR family and all of the other families that I had never met. That to me was potentially a far bigger sacrifice than any other sacrifice one can make. So, I continue on with my point, I am by no means a lawyer nor capable of interpreting the legislation in question but I realize that there are 3 branches of gov. to make certain that our laws and our rights as citizens are enforced.

                As for censorship I think that you should have been mad about 6 years ago when the Bush Admin. declared the news orginazation Aljazeera as “propaghanda” and coerced broadcast providers to drop them from programing. Also you might want to direct your anger at the Fmr. Bush Admin. for the guilt by association to anything they saw fit.

                In my personal beliefs I think you are worried, not about what power or persoanal rights you think Obama will take away but the power that has already been assumed and the rights that have already been denied by the Bush Admin.

              • Moving down beloe to # 33

  33. Lumberman,

    Everything, and I do mean everything must be judged from the historical perspective. Exactly how much Nazi propaganda do you think was allowed in this country, not just after they declared war on us but after 9/1/38? Not very much.

    I’ve watched Al Jazeera, their “objectivity” is a joke. Unfortunately, Americans tend to fall for that crap because they have no experience with a state sponsored media. We judge everything in the world by our own freedoms and are not savvy enough to realize that we are the only really free press in the world. We are quite often guilty of reverse ethnocentrism. We treat everybody as if they had our standards.

    Looking back on WW 2 or the Cold War, we can now laugh at how we were called running dog lackeys, or imperialist capitalists. Well, some of us can, the others were too weak minded to resist that drivel.

    I personally like to point out the fallacy of poor arguments. When constantly told the Iraq war was for oil, I always answered with, ” B.S., Mexico is closer, and we’d be doing them a favor”. Turns out I was right and in more ways than one.

    Hey, don’t give up the fight to get in the military, it is well worth it from my perspective. I lied through my teeth about my health to get in and it took them quite a while to find out. I know the attraction of the devil dogs, but There is some great history behind some Army and National Guard Regiments. The Guard may be a good way to slide in. I’ve seen it done here in the NY area a lot.

  34. SFC Dick says:

    Lumberman, Sir

    You post
    “In my personal beliefs I think you are worried, not about what power or personal rights you think Obama will take away but the power that has already been assumed and the rights that have already been denied by the Bush Admin.”

    I reply…”yeh, Duh…”
    I’m not so much worried as I am concerned which usually leads to pissed off.

    I guess I’m not being clear in my writings, let me expound upon my belief….

    Government cheats, lies, steals and commits murder. (PERIOD)

    I’m sorry for you if you took that as some political hack talking point about President Obama and somehow absolving President Bush, President Clinton, President Bush, President Reagan, President Carter, (President Ford gets a gimmie, I don’t think he was in office long enough to even get the White House stationary changed)President Nixon…and the American people.

    You post.

    “As for censorship I think that you should have been mad about 6 years ago when the Bush Admin. declared the news organization Aljazeera as “propaganda” and coerced broadcast providers to drop them from programming.”

    I was angered by President Bush policy well before that time, but to be angered because President Bush calls a “spade a spade’. Nope.

    Nor was I angered at President Clinton when he invaded Haiti or Bosnia; or President Nixon when he engaged China.

    I assume you too judge the act unbiased by politics.

    I don’t understand something though.

    If the sitting president holds such sway over private broadcasters then why, after calling certain broadcast personalities “dangerous’ and worse yet, under the liberal lexicon…’hate filled”, President Obama has to resort to the back breaking twisted machinations of the “fairness doctrine” instead of just …“coerced broadcast providers to drop them from programming.” Like Bush did?

    You post.

    “Also you might want to direct your anger at the Fmr. Bush Admin. For the guilt by association to anything they saw fit. “

    What? Guilt by association? You mean like now Sec Clinton and her vote to invade Iraq?

    Or do you mean President Bush condemned anyone who might associate with unsavory types through guilt by association.

    Like, I don’t know, the way you seem to paint me with the great big “Conservative Republican hack” brush because I questioned you as to your beliefs. It seems that I get a guilt by association because I stood on another side of an issue from you, therefore I must be associated or, I am the “other side”.

    Dude, I am so far away from any “other side” that I am close to my own entity.But, poke me with a talking point or politically motivated line of accusation and I might just take up for a side to show the hypocrisy of the argument itself.

    You post

    “You asked me “What have I given up for the fight so far”

    I most certainly did not. I asked

    “What has the government requested that you relinquish for the fight so far?
    What have you freely given over?

    If I understand you, your argument being made is I pay my taxes.

    I will acquiesce on that point, if you too will concede then, that by my free compliance with the mandatory taxation of my assets I retain the right, through complied support, to demand that government does not inflict certain restrictions or sanctions of my rights because of public opinion or popular law.

    Ah, screw it. PatM dropped her bomb on the “where has …repubs” post and ran away.

    There is no point, out of irony, to use her attack as my new tag line. I retire, but reserve the right through self acquired fictitious copyright, to continued use of “Slaughtering more civilians, and destroying more infrastructure before 8 in the morning than most people do all day” U.S Army copyright ©1775”; but return to my entry from an 1800s officer manuals line of warning….

    “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

    • SFC Dick says:

      Oh, WOW…

      I reread my posts and post follow up to my follow up,but hey, I’m me.

      Anyway, so Freudian, as I write, that I assume PatM a “she”…Hmmm.

      “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

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