ACLU challenges legality of NSA's spying program--and here's what your phone metadata reveals

IMB, Cowicide is just being antagonistic and silly. He’s pretending that the issue you raise isn’t actually important by minimizing it to the point of ridiculousness. GA isn’t just on BoingBoing. Its on thousands, probably millions of sites. Trying to block GA on every site that uses it is like trying to swat mosquitoes all day when you are just trying to read. For every BB that maybe lets you sign in while blocking GA, there are a thousand other sites that won’t. I know. I’ve tried.

Do I think that the world could conceivably descend into a dystopia such as you outline in your not-so-optimistic rant? Yes, of course. Do I think the NSA actions are inevitably leading us there? No. This is not to say that I think it’s a great thing that metadata is collected – I just think that there are other and more pressing issues to be concerned about.

For instance, although I’m as white bread as they come and have pretty much zero chance of being affected by it, I find the implications of the NYC “stop and frisk” policy FAR more terrifying than metadata collection. And I found the experience of the “pornoscanner” at the airport debasing and horrific.

I’m pretty left-leaning on most issues (and personally I think white supremacists should be watched closely – preferably before they hurt anyone. I find any sort of hate group despicable.

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Yet I still respect you.

See, we’re awesome.

… you can’t log in unless you allow Google Analytics?

a modified hosts file will also prevent that and
no problem logging in.

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One serious problem I see with your position is that I think you give too little weight to the argument that a society that is being surveilled is a society that cannot effectively dissent. This means that opposition to state policies like stop & frisk, like bailing out and refusing to prosecute powerful criminals, like never-ending war, will become unstoppable. People who are being surveilled tend not to speak out of fear. The FBI has already rounded up large numbers of peaceful anti-war protesters as “terrorists”. Just look what they did to OWS. Who will dare to speak out against indiscriminate state economic and political violence when everyone is being watched?

Another problem is your too-rosy view of the state of surveillance. This reuters piece:, gives a short history and shows how the NSA is serially lying about very important issues, not just to the public and the intelligence committees, but even to the FISA court. The revelations that keep coming out show us that every time the NSA claims a program is limited or doesn’t affect US citizens, another bit of information shows the lie. From everything I’ve read, and I’ve read a lot on the NSA programs before and after Snowden’s revelations, the only reason the NSA is not collecting recordings of our voicemails and contents of all our emails is they simply don’t have the storage capacity. They are certainly not constrained by the law, and the details of what they do record makes it apparent that for much of the data they can only record a few days-worth before making room for the new data. This Utah data center they are building may be just the thing they need to reach their goal to “collect it all”. The deceptions and feints the NSA keeps reporting, like they only “touch” 1.6% of internet traffic are deeply misleading. And they in fact DO scan our emails, text messages, etc. on a regular basis. We are led to believe this “only” happens when our data travels out of the country. Again, this factoid is deeply misleading. The NSA claims they only need a 51% probability that a message has a foreign source or destination to scan/record it. This means that hundreds of millions of communications that occur only within our borders are being “inadvertently” recorded. First of all, who gave them the right to record my communications with my cousin in Sweden? Second of all, these “limitations”, such as they may be, are not really limitations at all since the NSA can record anything they want to: meaning if I pissed off someone in government by writing this comment all of my communications could be recorded.

The NSA has “gone rogue”. Its apparent to anyone closely following this story. They feel unconstrained by the law, and hold up the pretense that they only spy on foreigners because they know they will get harsh blowback if they admit otherwise. The NSA lies every time one of their “spokespersons” opens their mouth.

Your willingness to sacrifice the 4th amendment for the chimera of “safety” and because there are other important issues out there is misguided.


Ygret, one of these days I hope you learn to speak for yourself instead of for me, you maniac. In your haste to be combative with me, you missed my true points:

• I think boingboing’s use of google analytics is beside the point of their post.
• IMB thought boingboing required google analytics to log in. I corrected IMB.
• I mistook IMB for someone else who whines about google analytics on boingboing, so I apologized for being hostile.

If you want to continue to read more meaning into it than that, then please take some shrooms, watch the Wizard of Oz while playing Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and get back with me.

Now go on being faux outraged or whatever it is you do when I post something. :dancer:

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Yet I still respect you.

Not so fast… I use Mac, Windows and Linux depending on the task. I make enemies with every platform zealot.


Ahh, that explains it then. I was hoping to see an option for a massively parallel Raspberry Pi array or an FPGA . .but you’re clearly on the right track!


You misunderstand me cowicide. Its actually deep, deep attraction that makes me spank you on the forums. First of all, I love beef. Second of all, I love dead beef. Third of all, I love tender dead beef.

Seriously though, I didn’t see your apology to whoseewhatsis. And I hate google analytics. And google. I don’t offer them free spankings is what I’m trying to say.

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I hate Google more than you. :dart:

I can’t decide which thread is more engaging. +1 for an additional 5 days while @Cowicide, @Ygret, and @IMB slug it out.

Also - adblock handles the GA problem nicely, as does Disconnect. Handy little tools.

No way! I am totally the world’s greatest google hater! Your protests to the contrary are lame, pedantic and sound like they come directly from the NSA. And to prove it, I have documented evidence, that I’m not going to link to because that would make it too easy for you and your buddies at the NSA, that my google-hate scale is the world’s most accurate google hate scale, and that my google hate weighs, at a minimum, 3.492 ounces more than yours. Spanking complete.

I’ll have to try adblock and/or disconnect. I’ve only used noscript.

Oh, and thanks dude!

Whereas for me those threads are a good argument for killfiles, or at least thread-kill.

De gustibus…

I use Ghostery. It’s blocking google analytics for me and I log in fine.

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