Tag Archives: War on Terror

15 Years After 9/11, Is America Any Safer?

The Atlantic has a great long read about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the state of post-9/11 security, reactivism, and the politics of fear.

The United States has spent $1 trillion to defend against al-Qaeda and ISIL, dirty bombs and lone wolves, bioterror and cyberterror. Has it worked?

Source: 15 Years After 9/11, Is America Any Safer? – The Atlantic

Marine placed on the no-fly list for 4 years — and still doesn’t know why

The no-fly list is inherently flawed beyond any practical application. It also stands in contempt of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. If we, as a nation, value freedom and liberty as we so claim this weekend, then we must eliminate this obscene and dangerous practice of secret lists and warrantless prosecution.

We need to fix the list before tying it to the gun control debate.

Source: I’m a former Marine who was on the no-fly list for 4 years — and I still don’t know why – Vox

‘State of Surveillance’ with Edward Snowden and Shane Smith

National hero Edward Snowden explains–with chilling detail–the real world dangers of the illegal government surveillance programs he disclosed and the reality that they aren’t used to stop terrorism.

What Terrorists Want – and How to Stop Them Getting It

In these dark times, in the aftermath of yet another terrorist-enacted atrocity, though we might be tempted to irradiate a few hundred square miles of the Middle East in retaliation, we must refrain. The explosive show of force is just the polarizing action that our enemies want, and to exhibit it would be to play directly into their hands.

Remember Battlestar Galactica? When the Cylons showed up on New Caprica? Remember how the suicide-bombing terrorists were the good guys?!? Consider that next time you’re calling for the systemic registration and possible deportation of an entire population based on their race or religion. Also, pick up a history book and read about how well that worked in real life.

Terrorism is neither a psychological illness nor a goal in itself. Terrorism is the kind of warfare that the weak wage against the strong. Here’s how to stop it working.

Source: The Philosopher’s Beard: What Terrorists Want – and How to Stop Them Getting It

Twilight of the Superheroes

Poignant and pointed observations about how superhero movies have grown to reflect the duality of the era which bore their ascension to the pinnacle of popular culture.

In his review of X-Men (2000), Roger Ebert begins with an evocation of the mythological gods of Ancient Greece, and ends with a plea to die hard comic book fans, whom he wishes would “linger in the lobby after each screening to answer questions.” Sixteen years later, viewed from a cinematic present overrun by the cape and cowl, Ebert’s words read as both prescient and portentous.

Source: Twilight of the Superheroes | Kill Screen

The Apple-FBI Fight Isn’t About Privacy vs. Security. Don’t Be Misled

It’s about protecting the American people from dangerous precedents and even-more-dangerous overreach.

The FBI’s spin has a lot of people thinking about its Apple fight all wrong.

Source: The Apple-FBI Fight Isn’t About Privacy vs. Security. Don’t Be Misled | WIRED

What Apple’s FBI Standoff Says About Google’s Android Security

Everyone fails to recognize that the decentralised nature of Android is–while being a “mainstream flaw”–is one of its greatest strengths. Yes, Google wants to have more control over its operating system, but that goes against the very nature of what they intended when they began developing it. The point of the matter, though, is that very little would change if that asshole had used Android instead (considering the likely application of Paranoid Android in such a case). Actually, the whole matter would likely be less of an issue politically because there is not one entity to subpoena. The FBI could subpoena Google to do something, but Google could (in good faith) say that there is nothing they can do if an alternative OS were installed. The takeaway here should not be how much more secure iPhones are (they aren’t necessarily), but that compulsory cracking like this is dangerous to freedom at large.

“There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.”

Justice Antonin Scalia

Source: What Apple’s FBI Standoff Says About Google’s Android Security | Re/code