(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Recent news reports indicate federal intelligence agencies are gathering up a lot more information than we knew. That data is available to undisclosed lists of unknown people and will be retained for a very long time.

So what?

Here’s just a few circumstances in which you might not want access to your data by a long list of unidentified persons from various federal, state, or local agencies who were granted access to various unidentified parts of the various databases: (more…)

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

Seems like every morning there is a big story with details of the vast array of surveillance conducted by the federal government. Here is a broad overview of news in the last 2 weeks.

First report was metadata of every phone call at Verizon is passed to the feds. More important than the number of every person you talk to is your location on a moment by moment basis.

Then we learn data from the other carriers, AT&T and Sprint, is scooped up.

Then the news is the feds are scooping up credit card transactions, e-mails, and Internet activity. Although capturing all e-mails as been in the news here and there for close to a decade.

We learn nine Internet companies are passing on their info including

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple

The Post Office scans the front and back of every piece of mail.

Today the report is thousands of firms are swapping data with a variety of federal agencies.  One specific example is Microsoft giving info on day 0 software bugs to federal agencies before patches are released.

Many companies voluntarily turn over information, or product specs, or system design, or data and receive information in return.

In addition, one specific companies receive a letter promising no criminal enforcement and many companies get letters providing protection from civil suits.

The steady drip of information on the surveillance society hasn’t slowed. Just as a wild guess, there’s probably more news to come.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

Joke of the week – if my computer or website crashes, can I get a backup copy from NSA?

Lots of publicity this week on extensive federal monitoring of citizens and non citizens. No time to write a full post, so just a quick note to put some dots on the page. Hopefully will have time to connect them later

Four massive stories this week:


It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,

who has given us freedom of religion.

 It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,

who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet,

who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,

who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,

who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,

Who has given us the right to vote.

source unknown

I challenge you to this experiment:

Spend a few days reading nothing but technology news. Then spend a few days reading nothing but political news. For the first few days [you will] see an exciting world of innovation and creativity where everything is getting better all the time. In the second period [you will] see a miserable world of cynicism and treachery where everything is falling apart.

Why is there such a gulf between those two worlds?

Quote from here.

Yesterday one-third of the people on the planet celebrated the most holy day of their faith – Easter.

Yesterday was just another Sunday for two-thirds of the people on the planet.

As I understand it, tomorrow marks the last day of Passover, a high point of the Jewish faith.  Passover celebrates the exodus from slavery as Moses led the people of Israel toward the promised land. For those reading this blog who are Jews, I sincerely hope you have a wonderful and blessed time of celebration.

For everyone else, I sincerely hope you had a relaxing weekend, maybe got to sleep in late. I’m quite serious. I hope you had a nice, fun, refreshing weekend.

Here’s what religious freedom looks like:


There is an old joke poking fun at denominationalism. That’s the idea that my denomination is right and since you and I have some subtle doctrinal differences, you are completely wrong.

Here it goes…

A guy was walking along on a hill near the edge of a cliff enjoying scenery that can’t help but make you think of God.  He slipped over the edge. As he was holding on for dear life he screamed for help.

Another guy heard the screams and ran to assist. After huffing and puffing and pulling, the rescuer pulled the helpless fellow back to safety.

Thanks be to God for your help,” said the rescued.