They _ARE_ Spying on us

Did you see that? The IRS has always had, as a written rule in their operations manual, to read emails 180 days after they’re sent! Oh my god, have mercy on this country!

So, now, my blog readers, are you pleased that we’ve passed the legislations to regulate domestic spying punitive measures? Think of it! We can take the IRS down for the count, think of it! a Federal Privacy Tax Credit! When ever the feds, any feds audit our emails or other personal information, we’ll just get an automatic tax credit based on how much privacy was lost.

Even if we follow the weakest definition of privacy: The privacy loss is only non-zero if information was gained through clandestine activity and that we didn’t commit the crime for which the clandestine agent was trying to prove; even if we followed this definition, we’d be really really rich! And it is a tax cut to us! The law should be retro-active and we should get interest on owed back-privacy-tax-credit.

Tit for Tat

Last night, I took a quick look at my friend’s linked in page and noticed that he now lists R and Matlab as skills. I wrote to him saying that I was impressed by that and wanted him to check out a personal project I was working on.

Today, I receive an email from a complete stranger saying that he saw I list my python skills and wanted to see if I was interested in his project. The second email is strikingly similar to my email to my friend, “hi Huan”, it starts very friendly, “I was looking at your profile and was impressed by your python skills”, almost word for word what I said except with R and Matlab… “I have a project here..” exactly what I said to my friend in my own email. exactly same order.

Now, these two events occurring in close proximity is not evidence that there’s causal relationship. However, I, having never sent or received either of those emails before in my life suddenly having both occurring at once makes me feel that somehow the latter event was triggered by the prior event.

mind racing thread 1: That other person read my personal email to my friend and assumed that I picked on a random person I met on LinkedIn and sent an inappropriate solicitation email. (note I typed the email I sent in a linkedin message box, but ended up copying and pasting it into a gmail mail because I knew his email address), So this vigilante do-gooder netizen decides to take it upon him to point out to me how it feel to be on the receiving end. Great! Thank you for the email, it feels great to be appreciated. My Python skills are quite fine and I am proud of it.

mind racing thread 2: hmmm… I don’t have a second thought about this. There is not a shred of suspicion in my mind that my friend could be the person sending that email or that he could be upset by my emailing him. He cannot be that bored knowing what I know about very recent changes in his personal life

mind racing thread 3: hmmm. I don’t have a third thought about this except that somebody at LinkedIn saw a draft copy of an email that I didn’t send in LinkedIn and decided to “punish me” for almost behaving in a way that LinkedIn prefer that I do not behave in. Fair enough, if it was my business I’d want to do the same thing–I wouldn’t actually do it, but I would probably want it really badly to reduce elements damaging to the operation of my business.

Now that I think back to the days when I wondered about the Golden and Silver rules of ethics, and how there could be a dedicated space for tit-for-tat behavior, I realize that there was a very very good reason why I feel such urge to think about this matter.

Tit-for-tat behavior is not efficient communication. I would so much more rather for linkedin, or google, or whomever causing those mimicking emails I sent to my friend to just say to me what it is that they want–and I do not believe it’s python coder that they want.

@LinkedIn, just write me an email and say, Huan, don’t send random stranger emails. and I can explain that that’s a good friend and not a complete random stranger

@Gmail readers, Dude, I know that guy, it’s not a completely random recruiting email.

@Yet a thirdparty reading my email… what is it that you want? Is it not enough that you read my email? Why make this gesture? It accomplishes nothing except for make me write in my blog instead of working or resting.

U! & W?

G! & T?

H! & F?

You have got to be Kidding me

So, Madiant discovery of Chinese hacker has lead to the “discovery” of one of their blogs.

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

I mean, the obvious parallel one would draw is Mark Zuckerberg who used his hacking skills to hack db’s and get pretty girls’ headshots and has now been accepted by society as very successful and very good person… By that I mean, Mark is very rich and not that many people hate him like there are who hate other billionaires.

His Chinese counterpart may be a lowly employee who finally joined his company, or maybe, he committed suicide after he was too embarrassed for not being able to find a wife or … actually more likely provide for a wife in the Chinese social/economic order.

But really, I am having trouble suspending disbelieve and continue that thought. Really? Would the Chinese censor allow this kind of stuff to be posted from a Chinese military installation? You have got to be kidding right?

Hey, also, what’s with this thing where the US spy agencies are given access to US citizen’s financial information?  Don’t they already have it and mine the shit out of them? why the fuck would the CIA and NSA not already have access to this data? Seems really odd

Anyway, I guess it’s nice that Obama Administration decides to make the populace aware of this fact. Those who has anything to hide probably already know, and those who don’t know should be informed.

The other problem with monitoring and surveillance is that I really don’t trust my private information to a stranger. I don’t trust the information I keep private to anybody and that’s why I keep it private. These law enforcement people, they all have a, to a large or small extent, perverse interest in power. The cook gadgets that enable them to snoop, to record, to change things, to have control over other peoples’ lives. The elitist feeling: I’m more important, I have higher authority because I am doing something more important than you.

Fundamentally, these are the factors that drive society. But since law enforcement is to prevent the problems caused by these factors, they cannot be motivated by these same factors. And if YOU tell ME that YOU are a law enforcement officer and that YOU do NOT find a deep attraction to your WEAPON, your VEHICLE, your COMPUTER, your CODE, your TOOLS, your BADGE, your next COMMAND, your next SUSPECT/VICTIM and that you dream about them and that you some times cum to the thoughts of them, then I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU.

And if I do believe you then you are driven by the same forces that drive criminals to do the illegal things (much less bad things), which makes you no more trust worthy than them.

I do not want you to jerk off while looking at my bank accounts or my personal photos or my children’s personal photos. But what guarantees do I have that there is not a law enforcement officer doing that every day? It cases me no material harm, but I just don’t want that to happen. How do I explain this? Under what grounds can I justify my distrust and disgust ??? Is this a human right? is privacy a human right? It feels like it oughta be. It ought to be even more important for me to be able to keep my papers private than my right of speech regarding these papers.

I wish President Obama has an answer to this… I’m sure he does… I mean he signed up to be the commander in chief of all of these perverts. Anyway, all this fussing on my personal blog are probably not going to cause society any good… sigh, for a brief moment, some bits in some computer on some planet in some galaxy… these patterns formed and then vanished…