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Over Easy: …one more thing

Snooping dog

Snoop dog!

Surveillance notes from all over, for your Friday morning indigestion.

Did you know that J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI relentlessly pursued Dr. Martin Luther King?

The Dark Side of “I have a dream”

FBI agents placed bugs in King’s hotel rooms; they tapped his phones; they bugged his private apartment in Atlanta. The surveillance collected conversations about the civil rights movement’s strategies and tactics—and also the sounds of sexual activity.

If you had trouble getting to the NYT or using Twitter this week, it was because they were hacked by a Syrian group.

MelbourneIT, an Australian Internet service provider that sells and manages domain names including and NYTimes, said on Tuesday the credentials of a reseller had been used improperly to change domain settings and hack into sites including the

Facebook released its first Global Government Requests Report, and guess which country is #1 in the number of requests for information about Facebook users?

Kevin Drum observes:

…the real takeaway from this chart is that the United States isn’t really very unique in its desire to spy on people. When you adjust for their smaller size, Germany, France, Italy, and the UK are all in the same league. These countries may not intercept phone calls on the scale we do, but if Facebook nosiness is any clue, that’s only because they don’t have the technical capability, not because the idea outrages them.

It’s not just the NSA (but we knew that)…
Data Brokers Amass Detailed Profiles on Everyone Online

The excellent Wall Street Journal series, What They Know, provides a feel for what these databases can mean for people. One story was about Linda Twombly, a 67-year-old woman who, when surfing the Internet, was flooded with ads for Republican candidates leading up to the 2010 primary elections. The Journal revealed that RapLeaf Inc had a profile on her that included her full name and identified her as a conservative who was interested in Republican politics and the Bible, and donated to political and environmental causes. “Holy smokes,” she said. “It is like a watchdog is watching me, and it is not good.” The Journal found that RapLeaf’s profiles included such sensitive information as a person’s household income range, age range, and political leaning; the gender and age of children in the household; and personal interests in topics including religion, the Bible, gambling, tobacco, adult entertainment, and “get rich quick” offers.

And this week we learn that The Scariest Thing About NSA Analysts Spying On Their Lovers [LOVEINT] Is How They Were Caught

So not only can the public add LOVEINT to the list of abuses by government workers with access to government databases, but lack of security mechanisms also means that nobody truly knows how widespread the abuses have been.

I feel safer already. Don’t you??

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I retired from the University of Notre Dame in the Office of Information Technology in 2010. I'm divorced, with two grown children and 8 grandchildren. I'm a lifelong liberal and a "nonbeliever."