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Remembering Anne

She could tell you, and in some ways she is.


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BLUFFDALE (Radsoft) — There's been a lot of talk about Obama's NSA speech yesterday; most of the sensible talk has been very good. It wasn't too cool seeing the MSM write instead about Julian's beard, but no one expects any more from them any longer anyway. And it was gratifying to see CNN give the Bearded One a 15 minute slot to say effectively all he wanted.

But there's one thing that isn't mentioned much, one thing Obama's probably hoping you won't notice.


Obama said time and again that the data collated by the NSA would not be used for nefarious ends. Yes they already have the data - but they're not going to misuse it!

If ever there were an empty promise, that was it. For it's not about them misusing the data - it's about the data being out there in the first place.

Remembering Anne

Anneliese Marie 'Anne' Frank was born in Frankfurt Germany on 12 June 1929. She and her family moved to the Netherlands in 1933. The Dutch authorities had been planning a census but the people objected to the questions asked. One of those questions, should it be answered, would out Anne Frank and her family (and other families like them) as Jewish.

But oh noes! said the Dutch authorities. We'd never misuse that data!

The census went forward with all the key questions in place. The Dutch authorities did not misuse the data.

The Germans did.

The Germans invaded the Netherlands in May 1940. They gained access to Dutch records and could determine who was Jewish.

Anne Frank was sent to Auschwitz on 3 September 1944. Of the 1019 people on the train, 549 were immediately sent to the gas chambers.

Disease was rampant. Anne's skin became infected by scabies. She was moved to an infirmary overrun by rodents.

Anne was sent to Bergen-Belsen on 28 October. By now Anne was bald and emaciated. A typhus epidemic broke out in March 1945, taking the lives of 17,000 prisoners, including that of Anneliese Marie 'Anne' Frank.

Of the 107,000 Jews deported from Holland, only 5,000 survived.

It's as simple as that.

No Enigma

The NSA aren't the same thing as cracking the Enigma machine. The NSA target everything they can to accumulate as much as they can about you. Yes YOU. It doesn't matter if they look at it today or tomorrow or never - but it does matter that the data's out there and can be used at anytime.

Oh that's right - Obama promised the data wouldn't be abused. But what about the next president? And perhaps just maybe perhaps Keith Alexander wouldn't dream of trampling on your civil rights himself. But what about his replacement?

The NSA have access to search tools hooked into the transatlantic backbone that can single you out on Facebook, then find all your friends, single each of them out in turn, all in a nice user-friendly interactive user interface.

That anyone inside the NSA can use tools like XKEYSCORE to pry into the most private parts of your life - and realising they don't even need to get approval to do that, only submit free text to log the purported reason - makes it obvious that the NSA cannot be regarded as something to be merely reined in.

The NSA have corrupted our encryption technologies. They have all our passwords. They have control of root certificates. They've undermined the fabric of the Internet we use and they've been doing this in secret all these years.

There's a big difference between cracking a German encryption machine and harvesting each and every last bit of data on private citizens - and then letting Obama come on stage before an array of flags to promise he won't let the bad guys misuse that private data they already have on you.

And you're to feel good about that.

Will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?
 - Anne Frank

See Also
Guardian: Obama's NSA 'reforms' are little more than a PR attempt to mollify the public

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