A Pretty Good Way to Foil the NSA

“How easy is it for the average internet user to make a phone call secure enough to frustrate the NSA’s extrajudicial surveillance program?

Wired News took Phil Zimmermann’s newest encryption software, Zfone, for a test drive and found it’s actually quite easy, even if the program is still in beta.

Zimmermann, the man who released the PGP e-mail encryption program to the world in 1991 — only to face an abortive criminal prosecution from the government — has been trying for 10 years to give the world easy-to-use software to cloak internet phone calls.” (Wired News)

The tethered goat strategy

Sidney Blumenthal: ‘Condoleezza Rice washes her hands…’ “Since the Iraqi elections in January, US foreign service officers at the Baghdad embassy have been writing a steady stream of disturbing cables describing drastically worsening conditions. Violence from incipient communal civil war is rapidly rising. Last month there were eight times as many assassinations committed by Shia militias as terrorist murders by Sunni insurgents. The insurgency, according to the reports, also continues to mutate. Meanwhile, President Bush’s strategy of training Iraqi police and army to take over from coalition forces – ‘when they stand up, we’ll stand down’ – is perversely and portentously accelerating the strife. State department officials in the field are reporting that Shia militias use training as cover to infiltrate key positions. Thus the strategy to create institutions of order and security is fuelling civil war.

Rather than being received as invaluable intelligence, the messages are discarded or, worse, considered signs of disloyalty. Rejecting the facts on the ground apparently requires blaming the messengers. So far, two top attaches at the embassy have been reassigned elsewhere for producing factual reports that are too upsetting.” (Guardian.UK)

It’s all Roger Moore’s Fault

“Being Scottish, I am easily insulted. Scotland was recently selected by a group of so-called European experts as ‘the worst small country to live in.’ It’s top of the charts for manic depression, alcoholism, lung cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, heart disease and yellow, plaque-infected teeth. The end of the Scottish race seems guaranteed. We are the national equivalent of the dodo. And who is to blame for this?” (Salon)