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Old Jun 16, 2013, 03:29 PM   #1
tod
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A short email signature warning of U.S. surveillance

I'm sure this idea is not new, but I've added the following text to my usual email signature to warn my correspondents that our emails are being intercepted and saved.

It looks like this:

Tod

Privacy notice: Although I personally respect the privacy of my correspondents, please be aware that our communications are being monitored and archived by the United States Government. Many of the people who email me are not accustomed to being under constant surveillance, or do not yet live in a police state, so this warning is necessary.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 03:59 PM   #2
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You need to understand that they can not read the contents of your email at all with out a court order. Right now the most they get are the logs which would cover nothing more than who you are emailing with. They would need to get a very different kind of warent to read the content of said emails.

what we have right now is standard media blowing things way out of line. your sig just makes things worse and just spreading out massive amount of miss information.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 04:11 PM   #3
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This is not blown out of proportion. The FBI and NSA are casting their nets too wide. Apparently the US government only looked in detail at 300 phone numbers last year, but would you care to estimate how many millions of numbers are kept in the logs? The point is the vast amount of information in these databases is not useful to the FBI and NSA, so why go to all this expense and risk the logs being misused, either within the US government or perhaps by others if the log databases are hacked?
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 04:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by VulchR View Post
This is not blown out of proportion. The FBI and NSA are casting their nets too wide. Apparently the US government only looked in detail at 300 phone numbers last year, but would you care to estimate how many millions of numbers are kept in the logs? The point is the vast amount of information in these databases is not useful to the FBI and NSA, so why go to all this expense and risk the logs being misused, either within the US government or perhaps by others if the log databases are hacked?
I never said I agree with what they are doing.

But the fact remains they are NOT reading any of your messages. They are NOT listening into your calls.
All they are looking at is the logs. Logs can find patterns but they are not reading the message and spreading that miss information is just making it worse.
As for details what you run into is large data issues. It start taking powerful software to find patterns in said data. Do not think for 1 second that the phone companies or Google or other carriers is not looking at your data that way at all in large chunks. I can promise you Verizon is looking deeper into those logs than the government is.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 04:33 PM   #5
Peace
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I never said I agree with what they are doing.

But the fact remains they are NOT reading any of your messages. They are NOT listening into your calls.
All they are looking at is the logs. Logs can find patterns but they are not reading the message and spreading that miss information is just making it worse.
You say this because that's what they said..

remember this idea.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 04:38 PM   #6
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Dear Mom

Hope you and Dad are doing well. I'm looking forward to seeing you in the holidays if we can organize the time off from work and the flights. I'm doing OK, but work is busy. By the way, here's some pictures of the new puppies.

Look forward to hearing from you soon. Love...

Tod

Privacy notice: Although I personally respect the privacy of my correspondents, please be aware that our communications are being monitored and archived by the United States Government. Many of the people who email me are not accustomed to being under constant surveillance, or do not yet live in a police state, so this warning is necessary.



Hmmm. No offence, but sounds a bit wacko.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 04:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MegamanX View Post
You need to understand that they can not read the contents of your email at all with out a court order. Right now the most they get are the logs which would cover nothing more than who you are emailing with. They would need to get a very different kind of warent to read the content of said emails.

what we have right now is standard media blowing things way out of line. your sig just makes things worse and just spreading out massive amount of miss information.
Google deep packet inspection. If a company can essentially have a program read an email for advertising purposes, you can bet your ass that the security state is doing exactly the same.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 04:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Blue Velvet View Post
Dear Mom

Hope you and Dad are doing well. I'm looking forward to seeing you in the holidays if we can organize the time off from work and the flights. I'm doing OK, but work is busy. By the way, here's some pictures of the new puppies.

Look forward to hearing from you soon. Love...

Tod

Privacy notice: Although I personally respect the privacy of my correspondents, please be aware that our communications are being monitored and archived by the United States Government. Many of the people who email me are not accustomed to being under constant surveillance, or do not yet live in a police state, so this warning is necessary.



Hmmm. No offence, but sounds a bit wacko.
Dear Tod

Dad won't make it to the holidays; he's very sick and Obama's death panel did not ok his health care coverage. We can not afford care on our own since Obamacare bankrupted America and the takers ruined everything for the makers. I heard that your sister CENSORED BY THE STATE.

Love, Mom
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 05:23 PM   #9
citizenzen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tod View Post
Privacy notice: Although I personally respect the privacy of my correspondents, please be aware that our communications are being monitored and archived by the United States Government. Many of the people who email me are not accustomed to being under constant surveillance, or do not yet live in a police state, so this warning is necessary.
I'd add ...

So please make sure that any mention of revolution, jihad, bombs or massacres is strictly limited to handwritten notes that are immediately burned and pulverized.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 05:40 PM   #10
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Google deep packet inspection. If a company can essentially have a program read an email for advertising purposes, you can bet your ass that the security state is doing exactly the same.
There's quite a big difference between a computer that's capable of nothing more than dumbly scanning a body of text for certain keywords and phrases, vs. one that's able to identify and comprehend the subject matter contained within an email.

I doubt the government relies on the former, simply because of the huge messes it could potentially cause. Like the NSA arresting a gaggle of old blue haired ladies because one thought she'd be witty by sending a letter to her friends stating "Maude, I'm getting so sick of Josephine. I think we should stage a coup to usurp the president of our little book club".

The latter example? Highly illegal, because something or someone, regardless of it's a person or a thing, is directly invading your privacy. The NSA is able to (barely) claim constitutional validity because they don't read your emails, don't listen to your conversations, don't track your every move. All they're doing is recording them blindly, and are only allowed to access that information via a warrant.

And before anyone claims I'm defending the NSA on this, I'm not. I'm just explaining how they're able to legally justify it.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 06:03 PM   #11
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And before anyone claims I'm defending the NSA on this, I'm not. I'm just explaining how they're able to legally justify it.
OMG. Can we please be able to discuss these matters without having people leap to that conclusion?

To follow up on your point, it's even harder for me to believe the NSA has the capability or even the desire to collect and transcribe the contents of all of the 2-3 billion phone calls made every day.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 06:09 PM   #12
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I'd add ...

So please make sure that any mention of revolution, jihad, bombs or massacres is strictly limited to handwritten notes that are immediately burned and pulverized.
See now. you just added MacRumors to that database.

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Old Jun 16, 2013, 06:15 PM   #13
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There's quite a big difference between a computer that's capable of nothing more than dumbly scanning a body of text for certain keywords and phrases, vs. one that's able to identify and comprehend the subject matter contained within an email. ...
Yes, there is a difference, but that's not to say it can't be done (or isn't being done)...

A neural network is a computer program that operates in a manner analogous to the natural neural network in the brain. The primary appeal of neural networks is their ability to emulate the brain’s pattern-recognition skills.

Consider, for example, the neural network that recently taught itself to identify cats (by watching YouTube videos).

From: EETimes
Quote:

6/27/2012 7:21 AM EDT

LONDON – A software simulation of a large-scale neural network distributed across 16,000 processor cores in Google's data centers has been used to investigate the difference between learning from labeled data and self-taught learning. Researchers from Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Google Inc. (Menlo Park, Calif.) trained models with more than 1 billion connections and found out that, amongst other things, the network learned how to identify a cat after a week of watching YouTube videos.

...

"Our hypothesis was that it [the neural network] would learn to recognize common objects in those videos. Indeed, to our amusement, one of our artificial neurons learned to respond strongly to pictures of cats. Remember that this network had never been told what a cat was, nor was it given even a single image labeled as a cat. Instead, it discovered what a cat looked like by itself from only unlabeled YouTube stills," said Google Fellow Jeff Dean in a posting at Google's website.
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OMG. Can we please be able to discuss these matters without having people leap to that conclusion?

To follow up on your point, it's even harder for me to believe the NSA has the capability or even the desire to collect and transcribe the contents of all of the 2-3 billion phone calls made every day.
I think you're underestimating how easy it is these days to record say 1,000 12k streams simultaneously using just one PC. If there are say 100,000 calls active at one given point in time you'd only need 100 PCs, etc.
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Last edited by localoid; Jun 16, 2013 at 06:21 PM.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 06:20 PM   #14
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A neural network is a computer program that operates in a manner analogous to the natural neural network in the brain. The primary appeal of neural networks is their ability to emulate the brain’s pattern-recognition skills.
Or they just use a couple of the new Mac Pros.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 06:23 PM   #15
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Or they just use a couple of the new Mac Pros.
Sure... Dream on. New Mac Pros = 16,000 processor cores. Sure.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 06:30 PM   #16
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Many more words are required to list everyone who might be reading your Internet traffic.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 06:45 PM   #17
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Sure... Dream on. New Mac Pros = 16,000 processor cores. Sure.
Not even if you max out the RAM?

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Old Jun 16, 2013, 06:59 PM   #18
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Not even if you max out the RAM?

Maybe, but you'd probably also have to opt for the Quantum CPU option, which will probably be found under the "computing in other universes" section.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 11:29 PM   #19
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Not even if you max out the RAM?

That just makes Safari faster.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 01:53 AM   #20
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My new sig:

A gorilla named Cornflower wearing nike sneakers, carrying a M-14 rail gun from a Juiliett class submarine, clone a guppy named Stephanie from the ISS, to blow up the Infrastructure with a Blowpipe and Macintosh Firewall and get at the Cowboy from Amherst.

Or, how I use a bunch of keywords to get No Such Agency to backup my data files. Thanks Puzzle Palace dorks.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 02:20 AM   #21
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My new sig:

A gorilla named Cornflower wearing nike sneakers, carrying a M-14 rail gun from a Juiliett class submarine, clone a guppy named Stephanie from the ISS, to blow up the Infrastructure with a Blowpipe and Macintosh Firewall and get at the Cowboy from Amherst.

Or, how I use a bunch of keywords to get No Such Agency to backup my data files. Thanks Puzzle Palace dorks.
Well, that's your goose well and truly cooked. See you in 20.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 12:44 PM   #22
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Not your grandfather's search...

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... Or, how I use a bunch of keywords to get No Such Agency to backup my data files. Thanks Puzzle Palace dorks.
Simple keyword searches are the stuff of the pre-1990 era.

Text mining, on the other hand, involves searching for what's implicit in text (that's not obvious.)

Natural language understanding (a subtopic of natural language processing) deals with machine reading comprehension.

Illustration from the book, Practical Text Mining and Statistical Analysis for Non-Structured Text Data Applications, follows:
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