Stratfor's dirty laundry and open source intelligence.

The latest revelation by Wikileaks of what happens behind the scenes in the twenty-first century began publication on Monday. Called the GI Files (for Global Intelligence), it is said to be made up of approximately five million e-mail messages and associated documentation copied from the e-mail servers of Strategic Forecasting, Incorporated (Stratfor) by adherants of the Anonymous meme and passed on to Wikileaks some time last year. Due to the gargantuan volume of data Wikileaks has opted to release smaller quantities of information every day rather than overwhelm everyone with information. Predictably, spin control efforts on all sides started up …

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Crackers leak climate research e-mail, possibly to manipulate public opinion.

The argument over whether or not the global climate is getting warmer or cooler due to the actions of humanity has been going fast and hard ever since someone claimed back in the 1960's that average temperatures were getting cooler...

Did I say 'cooler'? I meant 'warmer'. Back when I was in high school (in the first half of the 1990's) and into today the concern was over whether or not the globe was getting warmer, and if you haven't been paying attention to the television this has been a campaign point in the last few presidential elections.

If that …

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Linux? Linux. Linux... Linux. Oh, and user interfaces.

ObDisclaimer: I don't design user interfaces for a living.

Originally, I was working on a post about Linux - about why I switched to it, and pontificating about why more people haven't. After writing about half of it I let the article soak for a while and returned to the text later, and I realized that I was having an un-earned grey beard and suspenders moment. There is no point in talking about why I started using Linux because the reasons for it are, in truth, not particularly relevant in this day and age of plentiful processor cycles and disk space …

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Last weekend, by this weekend.

Late on Friday afternoon, Lyssa and I hurriedly packed our bags, jumped into the TARDIS, and set course northward once again for southwestern Pennsylvania and the general direction of home. As I've alluded to a few times, we're getting married in October and thus there are many plans to make, things to get, and arrangements to hammer out. In the early twenty-first century we can do many of these things over the net or on the telephone, but sometimes matters require the up close and personal touch. Things like tasting samples of wedding cake and taking recon photographs of the …

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White House staff ordered to follow national archival law.

The Bush regime has been notorious from the beginning for violating a basic federal law, the Presidential Records Act of 1978 (44 USC 2201-2207), which states that all presidential correspondence and communications must be permanently archived. Bush is interesting in that he is the first president to outright ignore e-mail from his constituents, which caused a minor scandal until American Idol hit the airwaves back in the early years of this decade. At any rate, this matter keeps popping up like a bad penny, most notably White House staff members using GOP e-mail servers to avoid the archival of their …

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Hushmail rolls over on some of its users.

For years, the webmail service provided by Hushmail has been an example of weak anonymity and privacy: They don't ask for much to set up an account, they will happily auto-generate an e-mail address for you, users connect via SSL, and they will encrypt and digitally sign any messages a user sends through their service. They also claim that all messages are stored in encrypted form on their disk arrays, so that even if someone did demand a copy of a message from a certain address it would be worthless to them (ostensibly, public key encryption is used on the …

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An announcement from your electronic lords and masters.

Gina Trapani over at Lifehacker posted this morning that at least some users of Gmail are showing support for IMAP in addition to the nifty-keen-like-wow AJAX web and POP3 interfaces to the service. Right now, only a small number of users have IMAP support available to them but Google's announced that it'll be opened up to everyone else within a couple of days. To see if you have support for it, log into your Gmail account, click on the Settings link (top-right corner, to the right of your e-mail address), "Forwarding and POP/IMAP", and scroll down to see if …

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Situation report, or, "What blew up this time?"

Between getting back home from a field assignment late on Friday night, recovering from two weeks on the road eating way too much takeout, and stuff happening at home, I haven't had much time to do anything in the way of writing. I can honestly say that it hasn't been a boring couple of weeks, but there's a lot to be said for sitting at home engaging in a high impact workout (read, my glutius maximii striking the couch at -9.8 m/s^2 once a night for five nights) to unwind.

On Monday night after work and dinner …

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There's something very _Snow Crash_ about this.

Some call it spam, others call it laughable, but some people are very spooked about what you can find on someone with a simple Google search: E-mailed extortion threats demanding thousands of dollars to buy off a purported hitman with a contract. The scam goes down like this: J. Random Net.Scammer e-mails a likely target and claims to be an assassin that was paid to take them down. They're being kind enough to demand a couple of grand from them to not pull the trigger. Often the threats include some personal information, like the name of a spouse or …

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They've finally caught on that e-mail is recorded in perpetuity...

...but the Republican party has been caught using off the record communications to plan things for the past couple of years, and that makes the keepers of the archives sit up and take notice. Spokespeople for the White House have stated that thousands of e-mails were lost and cannot be retrieved because they didn't go through the proper channels but instead used unauthorized, unsecured laptop computers and e-mail servers that did not archive messages sent or received, in violation of federal law. Now that Congress is probing the firings of eight federal attorneys and looking for relevant communications, they aren't …

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