Midnight In The Desert — government

NASA Wasted $349 Million on a Test Tower It May Never Use

Posted by K R on

NASA Wasted $349 Million on a Test Tower It May Never Use

GULFPORT, Miss. — In June, NASA finished work on a huge construction project here in Mississippi: a $349 million laboratory tower, designed to test a new rocket engine in a chamber that mimicked the vacuum of space. Then, NASA did something odd. As soon as the work was done, it shut the tower down. The project was officially “mothballed” — closed up and left empty — without ever being used. “You lock the door, so nobody gets in and hurts themselves,” said Daniel Dumbacher, a former NASA official who oversaw the project. The reason for the shutdown: The new tower...

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Anti-Surveillance Mask Can Hide You From Biometric Face Scanners

Posted by K R on

Anti-Surveillance Mask Can Hide You From Biometric Face Scanners

The U.S. government is spending billions of dollars to ensure that they can monitor and track every single activity in which you engage, be it online of off. The latest attempt to infringe on the personal anonymity comes in the form of what has been referred to as Real I.D., essentially a social security number for the internet which would be used to follow your every move in cyberspace. Coupled with technologies that include email mining, global positioning systems, predictive behavioral analysis, drones over America, and even eavesdropping via microphones on our cell phones, the ultimate goal is a surveillance...

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U-2 Spy Plane Caused Traffic Control Computers to Shutdown

Posted by K R on

U-2 Spy Plane Caused Traffic Control Computers to Shutdown

The primary air traffic control system around Los Angeles shut down last week because data from the a U-2 spy plane's flight plan confused software that helps track and route aircraft around the region, the Federal Aviation Administration said Monday. When the system failed Wednesday, a backup helped safely guide flights already in the air, but hundreds of planes across the nation headed for Southern California were ordered not to take off as an air traffic control facility about 40 miles north of Los Angeles effectively rebooted. The problem had nothing to do with spy-related signals sent by the Cold...

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U.K. Spy Agency Secretly Taps Over 200 Fiber-Optic Cables, Shares Data With the NSA

Posted by K R on

U.K. Spy Agency Secretly Taps Over 200 Fiber-Optic Cables, Shares Data With the NSA

The British spy agency GCHQ has secretly tapped more than 200 fiber-optic cables carrying phone and internet traffic and has been sharing data with the U.S. National Security Agency, according to a news report. The spy operation, which included placing intercepts at the landing points of transatlantic undersea cables where they surface in the U.K., has allowed the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to become the top interceptor of phone and internet data in the world, according to the Guardian newspaper, which broke the story based on documents leaked by former NSA systems administrator Edward Snowden. One part of the operation,...

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Hackers vs. suits: Why nerds become leakers

Posted by K R on

Hackers vs. suits: Why nerds become leakers

When The Guardian unveiled its profile of Edward Snowden, it included a picture of the 29-year-old contractor with his laptop. On its back were stickers for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties group, and Tor, software that allows people to browse the Internet anonymously. Laptops with EFF or Tor stickers are common at technology conferences, and people who have them tend to have a lot in common. They tend to be technically-savvy, skeptical of authority, and comfortable defying social conventions. Like Snowden, a high school dropout, they tend to have unconventional career paths. These personality traits describe Bradley...

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