“AFD 67 – Wall St Goes Rent-Seeking”
Guest co-host Greg joins me to talk about Wall Street’s big plans for renters, a ruling on the NSA, and a US drone strike in Yemen.
– WSJ: “Blackstone Tries Bond Backed by Home-Rental Income”
– AFD: “NH State Rep: Scott Brown *is* Tyranny”
Note: Next Monday, December 23rd, will be posting a special bonus half-episode of two additional segments that Greg and I recorded this week. It will be released only through the website.
The latest absurdity of national security theatrics has been revealed by the Snowden leaks:
Not limiting their activities to the earthly realm, American and British spies have infiltrated the fantasy worlds of World of Warcraft and Second Life, conducting surveillance and scooping up data in the online games played by millions of people across the globe, according to newly disclosed classified documents.
I think someone at the NSA conned their bosses into letting them play World of Warcraft at work…
But for all their enthusiasm — so many C.I.A., F.B.I. and Pentagon spies were hunting around in Second Life, the document noted, that a “deconfliction” group was needed to avoid collisions — the intelligence agencies may have inflated the threat.
It’s just one more example of how the U.S. government has ramped up an expensive and invasive façade of protection that provides no real safety. It’s pure theater, much like most of the arcane airport security rules and carry-on restrictions.
Former American intelligence officials, current and former gaming company employees and outside experts said in interviews that they knew of little evidence that terrorist groups viewed the games as havens to communicate and plot operations.
Games “are built and operated by companies looking to make money, so the players’ identity and activity is tracked,” said Peter W. Singer of the Brookings Institution, an author of “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know.” “For terror groups looking to keep their communications secret, there are far more effective and easier ways to do so than putting on a troll avatar.”
New NSA/Five Eyes-related revelations in the Guardian: “Australia tried to monitor Indonesian president’s phone”
I’m not really surprised to find out the Australian government was spying on senior leadership in Indonesia. I think I’d be more surprised to learn they were definitely NOT.
That being said, the new jackass Prime Minister had a pretty weak response, besides incorrectly (see below) brushing it off as the work of the other party from whom he just took power. The government’s primary excuse? Australia’s activities were not so much “spying” as “research” [and] “We use the information that we gather for good, including to build a stronger relationship with Indonesia.”
Oh ok then. So you just needed to hack phones to find out their pets’ names or … what?
I really enjoy this “research” for better relations excuse. I mean, it’s seriously like saying Australia was just trying to Facebook-creep on Indonesia to see if Indonesia was “in a relationship” with anybody.
And about the claim that this is all the other party’s fault? The docs show the spying on Indonesia actually started the very day the previous PM from his party left office, meaning their own party would have been in office when it was planned, even if Labor technically had taken office by the time it began.