Thursday Morning: Eye in the Sky

I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind

— excerpt, Eye in the Sky by Alan Parsons Project

It’s not like I wanted to haul out all my high school and college music, but they sure seem to work well this week.

Speaking of the eye in the sky…

FBI and DHS circle overhead a LOT
Buzzfeed published its findings after looking into FBI and DHS surveillance flight records, finding a lot of planes circling over mosques. The results also looked at flights immediately after the San Bernardino shooting. You know what would be interesting? Comparing that information against the handling timeline for the Apple iPhone issued to Syed Farouk by his employer.

U.S. dealerships sue Volkswagen – but expand on Dieselgate
Not only are three family-owned dealerships suing VW for its fraudulent use of an emissions control defeat system in their diesel passenger vehicles — they are suing because of VW’s financing practices, which steered money away from dealership’s preferred financing while leaving the dealerships stuck with rapidly depreciated business value. The potential losses to VW just swelled by another magnitude.

Iceland’s new PM expects elections this fall
Rather than dissolving the government, the former Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson’s coalition partners negotiated the appointment of Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson as his replacement after Gunnlaugsson’s Panama Papers-driven resignation. Johannsson said the coalition expects elections this autumn while continuing to focus on working on stability. That’s a nice way of saying the Progressive Party and the Independence Party are stalling for time to avoid a likely rout if elections were held today. Polling indicates the Pirate Party would stomp the other three major parties if a vote was held now.

MP and Official spokesperson of the Pirate Party Birgitta Jónsdóttir was interviewed by Democracy Now! about Iceland’s current political climate. Jonsdottir, a possible contender for PM, explained her country’s reaction to the Panama Papers’ revelations:

…What is in particular disturbing about the prime minister’s conduct in this matter is that the day before new laws took effect in Iceland about how you declare and how tax havens are dealt with, because Iceland is a part of a sort of a campaign, international campaign, to stop tax havens being a part of a solution on how to get away from participating in paying tax in your own country. He signed—his sold his wife his share for one dollar the day before the laws took effect. And that, in itself, seems highly dubious. And then, he has actually been using his wife as a shield and saying that people that are criticizing him are attacking his wife. I actually think that this guy is in some sort of meltdown, because his behavior in the last few days has been so outrageous that it seems like we are stuck in a satire by Dario Fo, you know, in a complete theater of the absurd. And I’m just so deeply humiliated on behalf of my nation that this is what the outside world is looking at. …

The feeling of betrayal is palpable. It’s a good read, do check it out in its entirety.

Odd lots

  • Massive breach exposes 55 million Philippine voters’ identities (The Register) — That’s Philippines’ Commission on Elections (COMELEC) *entire* database, which COMELEC claims doesn’t contain anything sensitive. Except for stuff like fingerprints and passport numbers. Oh, and all the information for half the entire country’s population.
  • China’s ‘Great Firewall’ architect reduced to using VPN during a speech (Shanghaist) — Oops.
  • Adobe patching a Flash zero-day (Naked Security) — Again. I know, I know, when will Flash die?
  • Climate change could lengthen Europe’s dengue fever season (Science Daily) — Longer, warmer summers will extend the season for Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito populations, the disease’s key infection vectors. Hey, you know what else might show up for longer periods of time, too? Zika, since it’s carried by Aedes aegypti.

Wow. It’s coffee break time already? Have at it. Catch you tomorrow morning!

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
6 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    There are a lo0t of sites (and apps) still using Flash. (I have it set to activate-on-request.)

  2. seedeevee says:

    Electric eye, in the sky
    Feel my stare, always there
    There’s nothing you can do about it
    Develop and expose
    I feed upon your every thought
    And so my power grows

    I’m made of metal
    My circuits gleam
    I am perpetual
    I keep the country clean

    I’m elected electric spy
    I’m protected electric eye

    I’m elected electric spy

    I’m Elected. Protected. Detective. Electric eye

    — excerpt, Electric Eye, Judas Priest

    Heavy Metal needs some love too.

  3. by the lakeshore says:

    ACLU: When Senator Ron Wyden calls out the government for its dubious legal interpretations, we should all listen very carefully

    Senator Ron Wyden has repeatedly warned that DoJ OLC’s opinion on common commercial service agreements is critical to understanding the ongoing cybersecurity debate and contains a legal interpretation that is “inconsistent with the public’s understanding of the law.”

    Given his track record and his repeated warnings, the court – and the public – should take notice. The OLC opinion is probably far more meaningful to the public and to our privacy than we could possibly guess.

    https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/another-privacy-canary-coal-mines

  4. gmoke says:

    I doubt there’s a US politician who has any idea who Dario Fo was. Them Icelanders are literate, smart, and determined people.

    And a good long Arrrrhh for the Pirate Party, me hearties.

    • bevin says:

      “I doubt there’s a US politician who has any idea who Dario Fo was.”
      I’d be surprised if Sanders didn’t.

  5. Rayne says:

    gmoke (10:44) — Iceland is one of the most literate countries in the world, with 99% literacy rate and an incredible percentage of published authors per capita. One in ten Icelanders has published a book. Amazing.

    But then they also spend 7.6% of their GDP on education, in contrast to the U.S. rate of 5.4% We probably spend the difference on incarceration. Ugh.

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