Personal patches

Brad Knowles brad.knowles at
Wed Jan 7 04:35:07 PST 2004

At 8:20 PM -0800 2004/01/06, Allan Bowhill wrote:

>  :	Have you ever heard of "contamination" or "computer error"?  What
>  :about outright abuse of the system?
>  :
>  :	We computer types should understand the concept of "garbage-in,
>  :garbage-out", as well as the concept of "no computer is infallible".
>  Exactly. Keeping the garbage out is a legitimate goal of the system.

	Keeping the garbage out of where?  The rules were removed months 
ago that required the FBI to make even a token attempt to ensure that 
their databases were relatively clean.  At this point, anyone with 
access to any of the data sources which are used to feed those 
databases could put in anything they want, and law enforcement 
organizations all around the world would trust that information 
implicitly because they got it from the FBI, and if you can't trust 
the FBI then who can you trust?

	Have you ever heard of this guy called J. Edgar Hoover?  Have you 
ever heard of the crimes that he committed against the country, using 
the FBI as his own personal mafia?

	See <>, specifically:

| One must look no further than the Drug Enforcement Administration and
| Kevin Tamez.
| Tamez is fifty years old and lives in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, a
| pleasant suburb of Philadelphia. Until December Tamez served as the
| Associate Special Agent in Charge of the DEA's New York office. But on
| Monday, December 15^th, a 214-count indictment was issued against
| Tamez, as Reuters reported at the time. Tamez was accused of
| "embezzling DEA funds and using federal resources to conduct work for
| a private investigations firm."
| What federal resources did Tamez misappropriate? Tamez was charged,
| specifically, with "illegally obtaining information from law
| enforcement computer systems and databases and using DEA personnel and
| resources for work he did for a private investigations firm."
| Imagine Special Agent Tamez as an FBI agent. Imagine him issuing
| himself a National Security Letter and proceeding to pass the
| information gathered with that Letter on to his client, perhaps your
| spouse, perhaps a business competitor. Your bank records aren't all
| that Tamez can access. He can access your interactions with virtually
| every business that deals in your money -- that is, nearly all. As I
| noted earlier, H.R. 2417 allows Tamez to access records "from your
| auctions on eBay to your credit card receipts to your insurance
| records".

>  Batting 1000. The biggest act of terrorism in the U.S. was not performed
>  by insiders.

	Actually, it was.  They were licensed, certified, authorized 
pilots.  They went through all the right channels, had all the right 
training.  They had valid passports.

	It is unlikely that any of this fingerprinting crap would have 
caught them -- they probably came over on flights routed through 
Europe, and therefore would have been exempt.  Even if they would 
have gone through the fingerprinting process, most of their names 
were not previously suspected of being linked with terrorism, and 
their fingerprints certainly were not on file.

	Certainly, none of this would have any bearing whatsoever on the 
mailbomb/anthrax scare, and never would have had any impact 
whatsoever on Timothy McVeigh.

	And don't talk to me about the OKC bombing unless you were there, 
or you are directly related to someone who was.  At the time, my Mom 
was the HR director for Norman Regional Hospital just 17 miles south 
of OKC, and pretty much their entire staff hit the road within 
minutes of the explosion.  Being the HR director, she was responsible 
for counseling these people on what they saw.  She got on the road 
with most of the rest of the staff, and while she didn't make it all 
the way to ground zero, she was helping out as best she could in a 
support capacity as close to the area as she could get.  She is now 
an insomniac, and I'm sure that this is no coincidence.

>  Yeah, false positives can be embarrassing. But what the hell.

	Care to false positive about a thousand pounds of C4 as a suppository?

	We're talking about real human lives here, and the livelihood of 
most businesses and people in the US.  Many may not be directly 
connected to tourism and exports, but all are indirectly connected. 
The country would never have existed in the first place if the 
borders had been completely closed, and certainly would cease to 
exist if the borders were to be completely closed.

	Economically, the kind of stupidity that the Bush administration 
is talking about is a death sentence for the country.

Brad Knowles, <brad.knowles at>

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
     -Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

GCS/IT d+(-) s:+(++)>: a C++(+++)$ UMBSHI++++$ P+>++ L+ !E-(---) W+++(--) N+
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