Comments

keinerFebruary 24, 2017 8:41 AM

Can we put Thiel and this Brannon guy on the short list for this never-come-back flight to Mars?

Edit of the SHA-1 thread kill the comments...

ParkerFebruary 24, 2017 10:26 AM

I am increasingly convinced that there are people, really, who were put here on Earth for the sole purpose of making life miserable for everyone else. The people at the Intercept, Huffington Post, the Washington Post are a few examples of the psycho nutjobs who have banded together in this role. These are individuals who from the moment they emerged from their mother's womb began to think how they could ruin everything for everyone. When I read what they write, I wonder if we are already a nation of liars cheats and thieves.

ParkerFebruary 24, 2017 10:45 AM

The raw sewage that pours from the likes of Salon, Vox and Business Insider fully characterize portals such as Yahoo! People become numb to the endless lies and mockery. No sooner are they persuaded by one the cesspool erupts again with more lies. Americans are drunk with it and don't even know what or how to think anymore. Ask yourself why journalists continue to receive lowest trustworthiness ratings of all professions. I forget, is it even lower than used car salesmen politicians and lawyers now? What's more repugnant than anything is their skill in portraying their lot as intelligent. Oh yeah, we're the hyper-intelligent people from San Francisco. Elsewhere people are quietly hard at work to make the World a better place while these actors are the stupidest people that ever walked the face of the planet. Their only skill is lying.

ParkerFebruary 24, 2017 11:36 AM

How can anyone not realize the article is intended to cast aspersions on Thiel solely for his support of Trump? See how skilled they are at crafting the guise of investigative journalism? I actually read the Intercept frequently and really want to know, regularly, what others think and why, particularly if I disagree. I have read things GG has written, many things. Occasionally I agreed, began to appreciate it, but in each case, ALWAYS I discerned something horribly wrong. It was like drinking a glass of cool lemonade on a hot day only to discover a piece of human waste on the rim of the glass. So many leave a wake of ugly ruin everywhere they go. What I can't stand is how it's crafted as more of that hyper-intelligence when hidden from view is an unprecedented level of incompetence. It's no accident that Yahoo! repeatedly exhibited bumbling failures and at everyone else's expense over a period of years. Yet here they are continuing to pump sewage onto the Internet. Oh we're so smart, hold still while we spray you with this. Do you really think GG knows a damn thing about the technology of that company? Here's what they do. If you're a sucker and return their call they'll use you then stab you in the back. If you don't return their call they'll use that as an excuse to exact retribution.

IonFebruary 24, 2017 1:44 PM

It's amazing the low quality of the Democratic Party supporters. Obama made this beast. Clinton and Feinstein are terribly attached to expanding the powers beyond Stalin wildest dreams, all for the safety of the common people, of course. But guess what, Thiel and Trump are still the bad guys. And Thiel is not even sexist.

Clive RobinsonFebruary 24, 2017 2:34 PM

@ Parker,

How can anyone not realize the article is intended to cast aspersions on Thiel solely for his support of Trump?

I realy doubt that.

Look at the time line of the two men's lives, they don't match up untill the last few months.

Thiel and Co set up their company on the CIA dime how many years ago?

The Doh-Gnarled was not realy involved with politics, other than trying to prove Obama was not legitimate back then. He was a joke even to the loony right of far right Rrpublicans like the Koch brothers.

What I don't get is why many in the US don't even get Trump is not a Republican, he's front and center a Trumpian with his own agenda. He basically blackmailed the GOP into making him their candidate by a "game of chicken" and they blinked, then buckled. Prefering to have him in the Whitehouse not Hillary, on the theory they would get majorities in the houses and thus be able to fence him in and make him their front man, with them pulling the strings...

Thiel is a CIA man through and through he gets off on being the spider at the heart of the web of intrigue. From what has been said the CIA were banking on Hillary for various reasons. But I suspect a turf war in the IC agencies broke out and the next thing you have is the Feebies fingering Hillary's collar on top of the Republican "Get Hillary" campaign making her out to be a bigger security threat than any traitor yet known.

All of a sudden what looked like the shoe in favourit in a two horse race went lame in two legs...

It was only after that you find Thiel started taking an interest. Basicaly he saw the winds change, and like a bee to nectar he flew up wind to it. The CIA are likely to encorage that relationship as that gives them the possibility of an in at the Whitehouse where the door had been previously shut on them by the man in the master bedroom...

Thiel is at the end of the day a businessman, successful enough to be seen at a similar level as Trump. If he sits down and chats to Trump he's almost certainly going to go for a deal that benifits both him of them and the CIA are probably hoping it will get them back in the game.

As for trying to make Thiel look bad that's not hard, because he crossed to the dark side as far as worming in with the IC is concerned a long time ago. As far as I can see everything the Intercept is basing it's story on is from long long befor Trump became a viable presidential candidate.

JackFebruary 24, 2017 2:37 PM

That is why I think Wikileaks were far more honest than your gang of censors. Wikileaks dumps it and it is up to the reader to dig and draw connections. In your case Snowden made a big mistake. He gave a dubiously dogmatic team a weapon of great power. In all this time, this info was nowhere to be found as long as it supported Clinton and her minions. Is the other gang? Than we need to pass some information. All for the public's best interest. When someone else gets out of line, who knows, maybe some more data will appear.

Power to the People!

If you look careful you can also see who the people are.

Loves him some ApartheidFebruary 24, 2017 2:46 PM

Of course while setting up his Batman computer system Thiel sets up his own PCLOB with his own castrated lickspittles rubber-stamping mass privacy rape. They're all going to be like Omer Tene, who's hilarious enough in his own right. Trusting an Israeli government council worm to protect your privacy is like letting Michael Jackson nurture your first-born.

UninformedFebruary 24, 2017 3:11 PM

@Parker

I am increasingly convinced that there are people, really, who were put here on Earth for the sole purpose of making life miserable for everyone else.

That's right. I'm one of them.

ruin everything for everyone.

That's right. This "thing of ours," La Cosa Nostra, you bet we're going to ruin it for everyone.

Oh yeah, we're the hyper-intelligent people from San Francisco.

As for the rest of us, try as we might to improve the security of our personal information and data online, we're still taking that Silicon Valley security haircut from San Francisco. It shows, and it's ugly. It's not the fault of the Chinese who made the computer chips, either. It's what you designed, what you ordered, what you paid for, and what you forced on consumers, individuals, and end users. You'd better believe we're sick of it, and we're going to ruin it for you.

MajorFebruary 24, 2017 5:51 PM

Oh, boy!! I see a busy weekend for the moderator ahead!!

America sits on top of the world (in more than one sense). What is there to whine about? All those people who can read and write and maybe even speak a foreign language or two are oppressing the common man? Shucks!

I suggest trying to read the Intercept article the way an educated person would. My takeaways:
-- Palantir sounds like some kick ass software. It is a massive challenge integrating data from independent sources, with different keys for identical objects, duplicate objects, and variations in data formatting. And that is only addressing structured data. Palantir slurps up unstructured data like a Patron margarita? Ole! I say. And then non-data-scientists get meaningful results with ease? Pretty impressive.
-- Then on second thought I wonder whether this is BS and the old "good enough for government work" standard of low quality still applies. (Yes, it seems like I need to put that phrase in every post.) But the Intercept certainly is not suggesting this.
-- The Intercept gives a pretty fair airing of Palantir's statements in support of privacy rights and its privacy advisory board. Is it possible that people who sell software to the NSA still believe it should be used in a targeted fashion I ask myself? Why not? I was pretty close to being in that exact situation myself.
-- Is there a reason to wonder about the depth of Palantir's commitment to privacy when it is selling an effective privacy eraser and its privacy advisory board is opaque to outside inquiry? How could there not be?
-- Is this all about Trump? The Intercept challenged the Obama administration extensively over privacy issues so I see no reason to draw this conclusion.

Thinking things through takes longer than a tweet but it is not that hard. I recommend it.

eyeballzFebruary 24, 2017 6:18 PM

The alliance is constantly devising (or attempting) new, experimental methods of prying data out of closed and private sources, including by hacking into computers and networks in non-Five Eyes countries and infecting them with malware.
I thought America was part of five-eyes, but I guess not; NSA deliberately infects computers of prominent American scientists https://www.wired.com/2015/02/kapersky-discovers-equation-group/
The GCHQ briefers also expressed hesitation over the price tag, noting that “adoption would have [a] huge monetary … cost,”
The NSA probably felt the same way, which is why they congratulated themselves so much on stealing China's spyware; https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/02/nsa_using_cyber.html

EditorFebruary 24, 2017 6:51 PM

@Major

America sits on top of the world (in more than one sense). What is there to whine about? All those people who can read and write and maybe even speak a foreign language or two are oppressing the common man? Shucks!

I suggest trying to read the Intercept article the way an educated person would. My takeaways:
-- M16s sound like some kick ass weapons. It is a massive challenge designing a durable, effective, widely deployable weapon. And that is only addressing ballistics. M16s spew lead like factories spew smog? Ole! I say. And then non-military-police get meaningful results with ease? Pretty impressive. Who cares if the popo use them to gun down US civilians accused of no crimes, they're awesome weapons nonetheless.
fixed that for you ^_^

@Parker

I am increasingly convinced that there are people, really, who were put here on Earth for the sole purpose of making life miserable for everyone else. The people at the NSA, the CIA, the FBI are a few examples of the psycho nutjobs who have banded together in this role. These are individuals who from the moment they emerged from their mother's womb began to think how they could ruin everything for everyone. When I read what they write, I wonder if we are already a nation of liars cheats and thieves.

+1

eyeballzFebruary 24, 2017 7:23 PM

Oh, here's why they feel okay about hacking into computers and networks in Five Eyes countries and infecting them with malware;

we try to responsibly navigate the often ill-defined legal, political, technological, and ethical frameworks that sometimes govern the various activities of our customers

BarrettFebruary 24, 2017 8:16 PM

@Parker have you any idea the monsters you defend?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/21/barrett-brown-persecution-anonymous

The real problems for Brown began in 2011. In February, Anonymous hacked into the computer system of the private security firm HB Gary Federal and then posted thousands of emails containing incriminating and nefarious acts. Among them was a joint proposal by that firm - along with the very well-connected firms of Palantir and Berico - to try to persuade Bank of America and its law firm, Hunton & Williams, to hire them to destroy the reputations and careers of WikiLeaks supporters and, separately, critics of the Chamber of Commerce (as this New York Times article on that episode details, I was named as one of the people whose career they would seek to destroy). HB Gary Federal's CEO Aaron Barr, who advocated the scheme, was fired as a result of the disclosures, but continues to this day to play a significant role in this public-private axis of computer security and intelligence.

John WoodsFebruary 24, 2017 8:24 PM

Of course Thiel is a weasel. Thiel's NSA customers are some of the world's most despicable and cowardly vermin. These are the timmies who pick out Moslems to be murdered and tortured because... they associate with people. You know, dastardly journalists and relief workers and mourners. All from the safety of their cubicles.

"I’m in the military, we kill people and blow things up. It’s our job." What do you mean we, you flabby coward chairborne ranger?

World class watersports at the US death camp Camp No. Boogieboarding, waterboarding, you name it. Makes you wonder, what did German engineers do for R&R after a job well done at Auschwitz?

Modern international criminal law tribunals discourage the death penalty, but if anybody deserves to get hanged, these NSA scumbags do.

JonFebruary 24, 2017 8:32 PM

What gets me about these things is that there has to be a way to game them.

How do you structure your own data so it doesn't show up in 'summary' or in the 'infographic' as anything other than random noise?

and how much ya wanna bet those who know how to game these systems aren't doing so themselves already?

Jon

GreenBeingFebruary 24, 2017 10:30 PM

The software sounds fascinating. It is a shame that only an opinion piece was written about it rather than a serious analysis by experts. And talk about a conflict of interest! But back to the subject: Increasing sophistication of pattern discovery in large disparate data sets is inevitable. I think that we have enough knowledge of behavioral science to make useful predictions of people, given enough data. These expert systems will steadily be able to determine actuarial-like results with less and less human assistance, and with data connections that humans can not easily recognize. Will there be a future point that neglecting this technology would put a nation on the wrong end of a devastating first-strike scenario, guided by the predictive and penetrating gaze of an expert system? Imagine North Korea with a system that could quantify your loyalty and level of productivity to the state. The sword with two sharp edges is not new, but the ramifications of steadily advancing technology excites and chills my heart.

MarkFebruary 24, 2017 11:11 PM

How many terrorist has it caught? Let me guess: None.

Governments around the world are spending billions upon billions of dollars for surveillance software, and it's yet to help catch a single terrorist.

highest form of witFebruary 24, 2017 11:12 PM

@GreenBeing

The software sounds fascinating. It is a shame that only an opinion piece was written about it rather than a serious analysis by experts.

Are you being sarcastic?
From the article;
An analyst using XKEYSCORE could pull every IP address in Moscow and Tehran that visited a given website or made a Skype call at 14:15 Eastern Time, for example, and then import the resulting data set into Palantir in order to identify additional connections between the addresses or plot their positions using Google Earth.

Yes, the software makes it a lot easier than manually looking at each of the billions of illegal dragnet call records, but the mind blowing, out of this world super duper deluxe mega awesome-sauce can be done with free programs such as sqlite with a query like select * from domestic_spy_metadata_records where COUNTRY in ("Moscow","Tehran") and TIMESTAMP >= unix_timestamp(date()+"14:14", TZ_EASTERN) and TIMESTAMP The results can then be used to construct a Google Maps URL using 2 or 3 lines of code.
They were paid 20 billion dollars to make this.

Public Service AnnouncementFebruary 25, 2017 1:44 AM

@Clive

Thiel and Co set up their company on the CIA dime how many years ago? [...] Thiel is a CIA man through and through he gets off on being the spider at the heart of the web of intrigue. From what has been said the CIA were banking on Hillary for various reasons.

At the present time you can get 1/11,800th of a bitcoin for a literal U.S. dime.

gordoFebruary 25, 2017 10:52 AM

Somewhat off-topic:

ESP and LSD on the CIA's dime
Book Review | Physics World | Aug 2, 2012
How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture and the Quantum Revival
David Kaiser
2011 W W Norton 372pp

[registration required]

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/2012/aug/02/esp-and-lsd-on-the-cias-dime

-------

What Physics Owes the Counterculture
By George Johnson | New York Times Book Review | June 17, 2011

More specifically, Kaiser argues that the hippies, with their noble failures, contributed to a cutting-edge technology called quantum cryptography. A member of the collective, John Clauser, conducted the first experiment that confirmed Bell’s theorem, suggesting that two subatomic particles, once they have been in contact, will remain subtly entangled no matter how far they are separated in space. This “nonlocality,” the fysicists felt in their bones, would allow for instantaneous signaling. Herbert was devising what appeared to be a particularly ingenious scheme, and in the course of debunking it, Kaiser ventures, mainstream physicists came to appreciate that entanglement does allow for something else: encrypting messages so that they are impossible, in theory, to surreptitiously intercept. (par. 9)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/books/review/book-review-how-the-hippies-saved-physics-by-david-kaiser.html

-------

How the Hippies Saved Physics — David Kaiser
Institute for Quantum Computing | May 7, 2012 | [5:00]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke5LblGfln4

GreenBeingFebruary 25, 2017 11:09 AM

@wit

Your example supports my opening point; This unqualified journalist thought that transposing a SELECT statement over a map was kewl. I have no idea if Palantir is a sham and without more information I don't think that anyone here does either. What really interests me is the type of software that it is, and the future that kind of analysis will play.

gordoFebruary 25, 2017 3:44 PM

The 2008 Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST) Challenge was discussed in the Intercept article. Links to original sources, i.e., the Palantir demo, follow:

Grand challenge award: Interactive visual analytics palantir: The future of analysis

Abstract:

Palantir is a world-class analytic platform used worldwide by governmental and financial analysts. This paper provides an introduction to the platform contextualized by its application to the 2008 IEEE VAST contest. In this challenge, we explored a notional dataset about a fabricated religious movement, Catalano’s Paraiso Manifesto Movement.

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/4677386/

IEEE VAST 2008 CHALLENGE
https://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/VASTchallenge08/

Palantir VAST 2008 Challenge
https://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/VASTchallenge08/ENTRIES/Palantir-Palantir-Grand-1/index.html

Grand Video [9:34]
https://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/VASTchallenge08/ENTRIES/Palantir-Palantir-Grand-1/Video/index.htm

------

Also from the Intercept article:

Above all, these documents depict Palantir’s software as a sort of consolidating agent, allowing Five Eyes analysts to make sense of tremendous amounts of data that might have been otherwise unintelligible or highly time-consuming to digest.

https://theintercept.com/2017/02/22/how-peter-thiels-palantir-helped-the-nsa-spy-on-the-whole-world/

-------

Coda:

As I See It: Collaboration And Context
Victor Rozek | IT Jungle | January 30, 2017

Since the beginning of the industrial era, the ethical question for corporations remains the same: Do they have a moral obligation not to collaborate with regimes that are–or openly threaten to be–oppressive?
IBM, of course, could argue that it sold computers, not Holocaust automation devices. And Ford sold vehicles, not mobilized weaponry. The degree of separation between products and their ultimate uses lies in the murky region between the desire for profit and the need for deniability. (par. 11-12)

https://www.itjungle.com/2017/01/30/see-collaboration-context/

Baby I'm AmazedFebruary 25, 2017 8:36 PM

How about the relationship between Palantir and your insurance company?

Car insurance, medical insurance, and the like.

What do license plate readers and Palantir have in commond?

Just wait until databases is hacked and the blackmail starts.

but what do I know and who am I kidding.

highest form of witFebruary 25, 2017 8:51 PM

@Green

Your example supports my opening point; This unqualified journalist thought that transposing a SELECT statement over a map was kewl. I have no idea if Palantir is a sham and without more information I don't think that anyone here does either. What really interests me is the type of software that it is, and the future that kind of analysis will play.

So you weren't being sarcastic when you said "The software sounds fascinating.". Okay.
You might find these interesting then http://www.softwareadvice.com/resources/free-open-source-data-visualization-tools/ https://sourceforge.net/directory/science-engineering/visualization/ https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-free-open-source-BI-visualization-tools http://blog.capterra.com/free-and-open-source-data-visualization-tools/ https://opensource.com/life/15/6/eight-open-source-data-visualization-tools
Just don't tell the GCHQ. As a Brit I'd hate for their homeland spying apparatus to be revolutionized overnight.

GreenBeingFebruary 26, 2017 2:53 AM

@wit

Nice finds on the links, thank you.

Off-topic: If brevity is the highest form of wit, and wit is the unexpected copulation of ideas, then I must be very witty indeed haha.

Outside USAFebruary 27, 2017 4:35 AM

@Parker

I am increasingly convinced that there are people, really, who were put here on Earth for the sole purpose of making life miserable for everyone else.

When reading your first sentence, I tought you were talking about Palantir.

There was a time where this blog was a respectful place where security professionals exchanged their rational views on security topics as introduced by a repected security guru.

The blog posts from our favorite guru are still as interesting as ever.

But the tone of some comments have radically changed in the last few months. I now read aggressivity and even insults in some comments. What did happen here? Could you please leave your US-internal political controversies outside this professional and world-wide forum?

Thank you.

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