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A guide on how to live in our modern world.


today i learned the us coast guard is hanging with the US fifth fleet (based in bahrain) for some reason

they’re guarding america’s coastline of course


today i learned the us coast guard is hanging with the US fifth fleet (based in bahrain) for some reason

they’re guarding america’s coastline of course


ICREACH: How the NSA built its own secret Google
August 27, 2014

The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.

ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Earlier revelations sourced to the Snowden documents have exposed a multitude of NSA programs for collecting large volumes of communications. The NSA has acknowledged that it shares some of its collected data with domestic agencies like the FBI, but details about the method and scope of its sharing have remained shrouded in secrecy.

ICREACH has been accessible to more than 1,000 analysts at 23 U.S. government agencies that perform intelligence work, according to a 2010 memo. A planning document from 2007 lists the DEA, FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency as core members. Information shared through ICREACH can be used to track people’s movements, map out their networks of associates, help predict future actions, and potentially reveal religious affiliations or political beliefs.

The creation of ICREACH represented a landmark moment in the history of classified U.S. government surveillance, according to the NSA documents.

“The ICREACH team delivered the first-ever wholesale sharing of communications metadata within the U.S. Intelligence Community,” noted a top-secret memo dated December 2007. “This team began over two years ago with a basic concept compelled by the IC’s increasing need for communications metadata and NSA’s ability to collect, process and store vast amounts of communications metadata related to worldwide intelligence targets.”

The search tool was designed to be the largest system for internally sharing secret surveillance records in the United States, capable of handling two to five billion new records every day, including more than 30 different kinds of metadata on emails, phone calls, faxes, internet chats, and text messages, as well as location information collected from cellphones. Metadata reveals information about a communication—such as the “to” and “from” parts of an email, and the time and date it was sent, or the phone numbers someone called and when they called—but not the content of the message or audio of the call.

ICREACH does not appear to have a direct relationship to the large NSA database, previously reported by The Guardian, that stores information on millions of ordinary Americans’ phone calls under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Unlike the 215 database, which is accessible to a small number of NSA employees and can be searched only in terrorism-related investigations, ICREACH grants access to a vast pool of data that can be mined by analysts from across the intelligence community for “foreign intelligence”—a vague term that is far broader than counterterrorism.

Data available through ICREACH appears to be primarily derived from surveillance of foreigners’ communications, and planning documents show that it draws on a variety of different sources of data maintained by the NSA. Though one 2010 internal paper clearly calls it “the ICREACH database,” a U.S. official familiar with the system disputed that, telling The Intercept that while “it enables the sharing of certain foreign intelligence metadata,” ICREACH is “not a repository [and] does not store events or records.” Instead, it appears to provide analysts with the ability to perform a one-stop search of information from a wide variety of separate databases.

In a statement to The Intercept, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed that the system shares data that is swept up by programs authorized under Executive Order 12333, a controversial Reagan-era presidential directive that underpins several NSA bulk surveillance operations that monitor communications overseas. The 12333 surveillance takes place with no court oversight and has received minimal Congressional scrutiny because it is targeted at foreign, not domestic, communication networks. But the broad scale of 12333 surveillance means that some Americans’ communications get caught in the dragnet as they transit international cables or satellites—and documents contained in the Snowden archive indicate that ICREACH taps into some of that data.

Legal experts told The Intercept they were shocked to learn about the scale of the ICREACH system and are concerned that law enforcement authorities might use it for domestic investigations that are not related to terrorism.

“To me, this is extremely troublesome,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice. “The myth that metadata is just a bunch of numbers and is not as revealing as actual communications content was exploded long ago—this is a trove of incredibly sensitive information.”

Brian Owsley, a federal magistrate judge between 2005 and 2013, said he was alarmed that traditional law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the DEA were among those with access to the NSA’s surveillance troves.

“This is not something that I think the government should be doing,” said Owsley, an assistant professor of law at Indiana Tech Law School. “Perhaps if information is useful in a specific case, they can get judicial authority to provide it to another agency. But there shouldn’t be this buddy-buddy system back-and-forth.”

Jeffrey Anchukaitis, an ODNI spokesman, declined to comment on a series of questions from The Intercept about the size and scope of ICREACH, but said that sharing information had become “a pillar of the post-9/11 intelligence community” as part of an effort to prevent valuable intelligence from being “stove-piped in any single office or agency.”

Using ICREACH to query the surveillance data, “analysts can develop vital intelligence leads without requiring access to raw intelligence collected by other IC [Intelligence Community] agencies,” Anchukaitis said. “In the case of NSA, access to raw signals intelligence is strictly limited to those with the training and authority to handle it appropriately. The highest priority of the intelligence community is to work within the constraints of law to collect, analyze and understand information related to potential threats to our national security.”

Full article

(via anarcho-queer)


This isn’t a screenshot his bio is just one big JPEG


This isn’t a screenshot his bio is just one big JPEG

(via quoms)


This is the story of a music journalist. He was a pretty successful music journalist. He had an ostensibly full-time gig at a pretty mainstream outlet. The pay wasn’t great but it was enough to live on, and he was pretty thrilled he got to write about music for a living. He worked from home, mostly. No real point to an office in this day and age when your outlet’s writers are all over the country. Each day the big recording studios would mail out new and upcoming albums and singles to him. Sometimes he’d get tickets to concerts that he had to review. Sometimes he’d write more what he’d call “culture” stories that weren’t about a particular album or concert but maybe some artist had done something in the public eye or said something on twitter. He really loved pop music in all its guises and the cultures surrounding it so the whole thing was pretty sweet.

Every morning he’d go to his local cafe for breakfast. It was good to have a routine where you left the house when you work from home. One day, there was this women busking with a guitar. She had the most chilling voice he’d ever heard and her fingers moved across the guitar strings like a spider’s legs move across a web (he liked that line, he wrote it in the Notes app on his phone). He had no change on him, but he did stop and listen for a while. When he got home, the new Kanye West album was in his letterbox.

The next day, she was there again. She was playing a different song, but it was no less beautiful. It was also unlike anything he’d ever heard. This day, he’d broken a $10 note at the cafe so he threw in a $2 coin to her guitar case and went on his way. When he got home, he started his review of the Coldplay concert he’d been sent to last Saturday.

She was outside the cafe everyday from then on.The music journalist started leaving home a little bit earlier just so he could stop and listen for a time. Every day he made sure he had $2 to give her. Sometimes they made eye contact and smiled in that way you smile at someone when you recognise them as part of your daily routine.

Three months passed. He’d given her about $180 in total by this stage (not that he was counting). One day, he happened to be walking by as she was replacing a guitar string. He was saddened he wouldn’t hear her unique brand of music today, but threw in his $2 all the same. She thanked him, and said he was too kind. He said it was the least he could do. He paused, then, and told her what a unique voice she had, and asked why she was out here busking. She shrugged and said she’d gone to the big record companies and no one seemed  interested in her. It was too weird. There wasn’t really a market for it. She did have these CDs she’d burnt, but never really bothered to market them. He insisted she sell one to him (she said $3, he insisted on $5). 

He listened to it at home while he wrote about the upcoming Taylor Swift album. The production was rough, and it had clearly been recorded directly into a laptop’s mic, but the strength of her voice and her nimble control of the guitar was still clear. It was unlike anything the big record companies were sending him.

He decided to write a story about her. He wrote about how great her voice and guitar sounds were, how unique and utterly unlike anything he was reviewing was like. He wrote about how excited it made him. He said, explicitly, that anyone in the area should go down and listen to her and buy her CD. He didn’t see any need to mention he’d been throwing $2 her way every day for the past three months. It seemed irrelevant

Over the next few days, comments started appearing on his story. Some people agreed that she was great and they were glad they bought the CD. Others said she was alright but didn’t see what the big deal was.

Nobody ever demanded to know if he had ever given her money.

Nobody claimed this coverage of an unknown artist beyond the record label paradigm was a sure sign of a music journalism conspiracy. 

His editor didn’t have to write a clarification that stated the outlet’s writers would no longer give spare change to buskers playing music on the street

The end.

(via felrender)


There is a story in Herodotus regarding the pharaoh Pheroh’s blindness. To cure his blindness he is informed by an oracle that, "he would regain his sight once he had washed his eyes in the urine of a woman had slept only with her own husband and had never been with another man."(Hdt. 2.111) Pheroh eventually finds the woman whose urine cures his blindness and marries her, the others, his former wife among them, he has burned alive for their unfaithfulness.

Now, a recently published (2005 if memory serves) papyrus fragment in Demotic relates much the same story. In this fragment, however, it is the tears of a faithful woman that would cure the blindness of the pharaoh (who in this iteration of the story remains nameless). It all causes me to believe that Herodotus may have only recorded the “dirty joke” version of the story. 

I don’t know why I felt I needed to share this. Perhaps I just find it moderately comforting that scatological humour hasn’t changed much in 2500 years.


The hate Jontron is getting compared to the hate Zoe Quinn is getting makes you think that Jontron was the one that cheated on his girlfriend with 5 women for favors in gaming media, shut down a legitimate game jam for women just for shits and giggles, and made claims that a image board filled with suicidal depressed people harassed him to gain attention for his CYOA bowser game.

nobody’s phoned jontron’s house late at night threatening to rape and kill him and his family. zoe quinn had sex with people, while jontron legitimately hates women. only one of these ends in the camps.

the game jam thing is entirely conjecture. she “shut it down” (like half the people there objected in some way) because the organizers were sexists. if she later got the idea to do one the right way, that doesn’t mean she did what she did for personal profit.

if wizardchan and /v/ are suicidal, let them kill themselves. they’re the future jackbooted thugs in a domestic fascist movement. these movements feed on dispossessed young men who feel society has restricted their ability to prove masculine bonafides. fascism allows them a channel to enact violence in support of the capitalist state that proves their patriarchal manhood. they’re walking time bombs, at the very least becoming young mcveigh’s or rodger’s in the absence of a larger movement. i’m completely in favour of defusing them if they refuse to be defused.

(via tycho-science)


Literally all she did was point out misognyistic tropes in a video games, and this is the aftermath. Men continually prove feminism correct and necessary.


Literally all she did was point out misognyistic tropes in a video games, and this is the aftermath. Men continually prove feminism correct and necessary.

(via scarybilbo)

should i stay up until 4 watching this movie or just read some more graeber papers and go to bed?




i made it y’all i wanna thank everyone who supported me i wanna thank my followers and shout outs to all the great blogs i follow. communism owns *kisses fingers, points at the sky*

i love that tia has gotten trolled so much that they now have a bot to remind people to check to make sure they’re not posting obvious strawmen

i love seeing tia explicitly endorse american imperialism

(via maggotmaster)

"The problem with the European Left is that they care a little bit about just about everything, and yet there is nothing in particular about which they care deeply. This is very similar to what my old teacher Philip Rieff used to call “the Monroe Doctrine”—not the famous President James Monroe doctrine of warning Europeans to keep their hands off the Americas, but the little known Marilyn Monroe doctrine, named after the famous actress for having once said, “I believe in everything,” and then pausing for a moment before saucily adding, “a little bit.” The difference between European and colonial intellectuals is summed up in the difference between Sartre and Fanon, or between Foucault and Said. Sartre and Foucault cared widely about the entirety of the colonial and colonizing world, while Fanon and Said cared deeply about Algeria and Palestine, and from these two sites of contestation they extrapolated their politics and ethics of responsibility towards the rest of the world. Žižek is precisely in the same tradition and trajectory as those of Sartre and Foucault—caring widely but not deeply enough, for (and here is the philosophical foregrounding of their political proclivity for vacuous abstractions) they know widely and variedly but never deeply and particularly. What passes for the Left in the US is even worse. Since they have seen me (as one example among many) preoccupied with Iran, they think I have compromised my stand vis-à-vis American imperialism or its Israeli colonial outpost—for they too care in abstraction and act in generalities. I am preoccupied with Iran in 2009 precisely in the same way I have been with Iraq since 2003, and with Afghanistan since 2001 (when the best of these Americans thought Afghanistan was a “just war”), and precisely the same way I have been with Palestine all my adult life: from the site of specific crimes against humanity opens up your frame to see the rest of the world."

—Hamid Dabashi, The Discrete Charm of European Intellectuals (via afghangst)

(Source: tothebatfax, via dialecticalmaterialistgolddigger)


Le Samouraï (1967), dir. Jean-Pierre Melville

(via zhdanovshchina)


That includes Beyoncé and other black/brown/white celebrities you all salivate over and every single fave alive who claims to be “neutral” in situations that necessitate a partial stance. You can’t be friends with Obama and still somehow be an icon of liberation and what ever fucking buzzword it is making rounds these days on your hash tags and networks. Saying this should not elicit mob mentality but it does and it speaks volumes about the culture of entertainment-based cult worship (you don’t even have to pick up Adorno or Benjamin or the others to see this). It’s fucking sickening. I’m glad I wasn’t on this mentally warped website during the VMA’s or other events because then you see these self-proclaimed “radicals” providing sheltered apologia for elite celebrities who, let the day come, wouldn’t give a fuck about you or your worshiping of them. It goes for any country but especially the United States because these are celebrities colluding with Empire. If that shit doesn’t bother you and somehow remains a component of your reactionary understanding of “feminism” then el oh fucking el, child.

(via marxvx)