8.27.2010

From fiction to fact

I have just finished two books, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson and Michael Connelly’s “Void Moon,” in which all sorts of high-tech hacking and surreptious cyber-surveillance occur.

In one rock ‘em, sock ‘em scene, I learned that a GPS tracking device can be placed under a car in the three minutes it takes someone to pick up mail from a post office box. Three minutes.

I had no doubt while listening to these two books that the fiction was wrapped around high-tech fact.

Yesterday, I read about the “infected flash drive” which was placed in a laptop computer somewhere in the Middle East, jeopardizing our entire military establishment. LINK

Listen to Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III:

"The flash drive's malicious computer code, placed there by a foreign intelligence agency, uploaded itself onto a network run by the U.S. Central Command, That code spread undetected on both classified and unclassified systems, establishing what amounted to a digital beachhead, from which data could be transferred to servers under foreign control.

"It was a network administrator's worst fear: a rogue program operating silently, poised to deliver operational plans into the hands of an unknown adversary."

And, this morning on cnn.com:

“Police can walk onto your driveway and stick a GPS device on your car without a warrant, according to a federal appeals court ruling in California.” LINK

Such Orwellian language is pretty scary stuff to a 68-year-old woman who remembers the days when you had to adjust the vertical and horizontal hold knobs on a black-and-white TV.

Such spying can only have the effect of suppression reminiscent of the advice I’ve often given to young people caught up in workplace woes: “Keep your mouth shut and keep a low profile.”

8 comments:

Nance said...

In this Blood-in-the-water Red State, I've learned to be wary and tight-lipped all the time, which is no fun. Makes me want to move back to a university town in NC, where I'll know there are at least SOME people to relax around. Begs the question, Should we keep our mouths shut? At the office, certainly. But everywhere? Thank goodness for blogging. Keep your fingers on the keyboard, DemWit; I've come to count on your window on the news.

Meanwhile, in windowless offices on US military bases across the world, our smart boys and girls have their fingers glued to the keyboards, making Operation Buckshot functional. The new frontier.

Jerry Critter said...

The GPS links ends with this statement:

"You have to take measures -- to build a fence, to put the car in the garage" or post a no-trespassing sign, he said. "If you don't do that, you're not going to get the privacy."

That being the case, maybe a Peeping Tom looking through an open window is innocent.

Where is that fine line? And I don't mean the one between good taste and sodomy.

Anonymous said...

I just have to comment about the girl with the dragon tattoo. I wanted to read the book and saw the movie instead. Now more than ever I want to read that book!! The movie was extraordinary!!

Phillip (on a phone phull of technology... Lol)

One Fly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
One Fly said...

Hi B.J. - for a while now I have been getting e-mails linking to Dem Wit which when I visit I always like. Very good stuff. It takes a while to get things done at times and want you to know OTC has linked to you. Never mind the failed attempt above this.

tnlib said...

From cloaks and daggers to spies and computers. I'm really not too surprised at any of this. Technology has made the world ripe for the latter.

No doubt the GPS case will go to the Supreme Court which is so corrupt these days that we can already guess the decision - unless one of those old conservative buzzards gets hit by a truck.

I am very, very concerned about the police not having to have a court order. And I think their use should be restricted to homeland security - but in cases of growing weed? Give me a break.

B.J. said...

Interesting comments, Jerry, Nance and Leslie!

Phillip, I had no idea “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” had been made into a movie. I’ll have to order it! Great book. Cannot wait to get the rest of Larsson’s trilogy on Talking Books. All three books have been on Amazon’s Top 10 Bestsellers for a while.

And thanks, One Fly, for the visit, the nice words and the link!

BJ

Tiny said...

While Tiny still lived in Tampa, there were articles in the paper about cameras that can take pictures through walls. So not only can they track every inch of ground you traverse, they can film every move you make in your own home. Gives a whole new venue for mooning anyone with an eye cocked in your direction.

Tiny just learned in the past month that she had investigators tagging her in 2006. She is almost certain they were tagging her in 2010 also. When she said so, no one denied it.