Time to Impeach President Bush?

From Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) [epic.org]:

Documents [epic.org] obtained by EPIC in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit reveal FBI agents expressing frustration that the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, an office that reviews FBI search requests, had not approved applications for orders under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. A subsequent memo refers to “recent changes” allowing the FBI to “bypass”; the office. EPIC is expecting to receive further information about this matter.

Some background:

Under Section 215, the FBI must show only “relevance” to a foreign intelligence or terrorism investigation to obtain vast amounts of personal information. It is unclear why the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review did not approve these applications. The FBI has not revealed this information, nor did it explain whether other search methods had failed.

Remember, the issue here is not whether or not the FBI can engage in counterterrorism. The issue is the erosion of judicial oversight — the only check we have on police power. And this power grab is dangerous regardless of which party is in the White House at the moment.

What does President Bush say?

“In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. Before we intercept these communications, the government must have information that establishes a clear link to these terrorist networks.” President’s Radio Address [whitehouse.gov].

President Bush appears to be openly and willfully violating federal law and the Constitution of the United States. President Clinton faced impeachment for a lot less…

The Tyranny of Email

There is a great article on the effective use or email at: The Tyranny of Email.
His basic premise is that there are two ways email impairs your productivity:

  1. It breaks your concentration.
  2. It misleads you into inefficient problem solving.

He also discusses what he calls the Three Hour Rule for focusing your programming time.  Definately something to read and meditate about.


A Russian cracker lured to the United States with a job prospect in April 2001 has been sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $690,000 in restitution. Vasily Gorshkov, 27, was convicted of 20 counts of conspiracy, fraud and related computer crimes. The computer programmer and his colleague, Aleksei Ivanov, were arrested after FBI agents set up a fictitious company and invited the two Russians to Seattle to demonstrate their hacking skills. The two were suspected of gaining remote control of U.S. systems from computers based in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Ivanov is awaiting sentencing.

Of course, they don’t explain why it was legal for our people, operating computers in the US, to break Russian laws to catch him, but not legal for him to break US laws while operating computers in Russian.

Seems slightly inconsistent there…

Freedom to be a Patriot Act

Here is a beautiful kick in the Constitution. HR 3201 wants to insure that everyone flies the American Flag. If you don’t, they won’t do business with you.

What is it about Freedom of Speech that the House of Representatives and Rep. Tom Tancredo R-CO does not understand?

Check out HR 3201 at thomas.loc.gov

What one law?

There is an old question, “What one law would you enact if you were King for a day?”

I have always said it should be “Congress shall make no law that exempts Congress from its application.”

Governmental policies on Cryptography weakens Homeland Defense

Today I needed to upgrade a security software package used by our corporate nameserver. Nameservers are a critical component of the Internet. Everything depends on their proper functioning.

However, I needed to download software from Switzerland to fix the problem. OpenSSL, like many open software cryptographic tools, is not available in the United States. Why? Because of fear of US law makers and US government agents.

Everyday I read about individuals involved in cryptographic research and software development adjusting their work to deal with archaic and misguide US security policies.

It is a sad state of affairs, when the security of the United States computer infrastructure depends on foreign software developers. Especially when this dependency is artificially created by US governmental policies.

As tech jobs decrease, interest in unions is up

As tech jobs decrease, interest in unions is up

I worked with a guy in the Navy who told me about a night job he had, while in school, before joining the Navy. He described it as Hell on earth. It was a plastics manufacturing company. Picture big, hot vats of molten plastic…..

He said that the union guys would come around every year and lobbied them to form a union. The factory gave everyone a $0.15 per hour raise and the union people would go away.

One year the union finally got the workers to join. They went into negotiations with management and came out bragging that they had gotten a $0.30 per hour raise…. (over a three year period.)

Obviously, my Navy friend was not pro-union.

Linux SCSI tape drive device files

Have you ever gotten bit by the Linux kernel renaming your scsi devices after one of them got removed or a new one was added? This drove me crazy until I came across the following scripts.

Check out:
Linux SCSI Scripts

Sex on the office computer? Big Brother is watching

NetTrends: Sex on the office computer? Big Brother is watching

Actually, I might have been a customer for this type of software back when we had a factory. There was a serious concern in the production area about people using computers to surf the net and not paying attention to the production process. Our solution was the big hammer. We completely block all internet access to that specific subnet.

Obviously, being able to allow some, selected access would have been better.

The note about the World Cup reflected our concerns, rather than the sex aspect. It made me think of the old adage about the locks on gym lockers in high school. They weren’t there to stop the thief, but to keep the honest man honest.

Check into SpamAssassin

I’ve been testing the program SpamAssassin and must state that it works quite effectively to filter out 60-80% of the SPAM that I am recieving. Check it out:


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