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From Rome with Love

June 24th, 2013 - 9:20 am

The country’s struggling to keep its collective head above the sanctions-driven waves, but the regime doesn’t care if the people are miserable and nothing this side of fierce action is going to end the nuclear program. So the regime will continue to repress, the West will pretend it will eventually do something serious, and the Iranian opposition will continue to act. Eventually, either the regime will catch the key leaders, or the opposition will catch top regime figures. We’ll see. But the most important thing for the survival of the regime is the outcome of the battle in Syria. Even the Economist said this week that there are many good reasons to aid the Syrian opposition, but the defeat and possible downfall of the Iranian regime is the most important.

Don’t hold your breath, OK?

The Super Snoop

Reading about the NSA/FBI snooping has been great fun, remembering that I testified against the Patriot Act at the very beginning. I was concerned about the myriad opportunities for abuse of snooping, and here we are.

To be sure, I’m amazed so many people seem not to understand how thorough and irresistible is the end of privacy in the U.S. And it isn’t only the increasingly intrusive and manipulative State. Hackers abound, and they can find out most anything they desire about you and your activities. Did you know that a skilled snooper can use your computer or your “smart” phone to listen to you and — through the camera in one of those boxes — even watch you any time? It doesn’t matter if your machine is on or off, by the way, or even if you remove the battery.

I’ve been doing research on hackers of late, and it’s an amazing world. There’s a group of (apparently) Russian cybercriminals that will design a special cyberbomb just for you to use against a target of your choice, like a company or a government agency. They will rent the bomb to you for a fee, for a limited period of time, and when time’s up it self-destructs, kinda like the old fashioned audio tapes in the Mission Impossible television series. Scary, very scary…but that’s our world. So we must all assume that we don’t have any secrets from “them” and “they” are not easily defined, politically, ideologically, nationally, or religiously.

Get used to it.

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All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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Michael, what would you add to what Janet Daley writes here: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/janetdaley/100223762/does-obama-really-want-to-catch-edward-snowden/

Thank you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Did you know that a skilled snooper can use your computer or your “smart” phone to listen to you and — through the camera in one of those boxes — even watch you any time? It doesn’t matter if your machine is on or off, by the way, or even if you remove the battery."

Somebody has been watching too many movies.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Removing the battery will work if you make an aluminum foil hat big enough to cover your head and wear it during the removal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Michael, what should we be looking for, in regards to Snowden?

After all, it would be unwise to be taken in by those who have something to hide.

Thanks.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr. Ledeen I'm with the other commenters; the only way to keep them from accessing your smart phone is IF you can take the battery out. If there is some other way it can be accessed with the battery out I'd be more than interested to know how that's possible.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"There’s a group of (apparently) Russian cybercriminals that will design a special cyberbomb just for you to use against a target of your choice, like a company or a government agency."

And if you believe them, you deserve to lose the money they demand up front.

"It doesn’t matter if your machine is on or off, by the way, or even if you remove the battery."

Um, Michael, as an electrical engineer I'm required to tell you that electronics require a power supply.

You've been talking with journalists again, haven't you?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
RISailor
Agree with posters re PCs can't be used without electricity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"even if you remove the battery". Honestly? In what sort of equipment?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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