We already don't have any choices when it comes to broadband services. A lot of phone companies were merged with companies such as Centurylink who is just as bad as Comcast and Time Warner. Where I live I have a choice between poor lines. I can either use 1.5 Mbps from CenturyLink or 20 Mbps from Comcast and there isn't a chance that they will ever upgrade their services since they don't have an incentive to win over customers. They make their money from corporate mergers and creating a legalized monopoly rather than winning over customers. Unfortunately this seems to be the status quo in today's corporate America.
I'm surprised so many people want to use cloud storage after hearing about what has happened to megaupload and other sites. They must assume that all the customers of megaupload are involved in illegal activity when a lot of the people were using the site to store information and backups that wasn't a violation of any law. In addition, cloud storage is susceptible to snooping by ISP's, and government agencies such as the NSA. I avoid the cloud like the plague.
What's amazing is how they are now hated more than the IRS when everyone has to deal with the IRS but not every American has to deal with the TSA since for the most part they are in airports and sometimes they set up a VIPR checkpoint (surprise checkpoint set up in public places and roadblocks). This means that a lot of people who cannot afford to travel (especially by air) have never dealt with the TSA and have no idea how the TSA acts. There are plenty of first time flyers or people who haven't flown after the TSA took over airport security who still experience the TSA for the first time. Despite not everyone dealing with the TSA, more Americans dislike the TSA more than the IRS.
A much better solution is to abolish the TSA and return airport security to what it was prior to 9/11. The TSA is out of control and when airport security was privatized, the security companies could think outside of the box. The reason the pre-9/11 security didn't detect the terrorists with boxcutters was because boxcutters were legal at the time. In addition, the US intelligence community had tips from various sources that Al Qaeda may be planning to attack the USA on US soil prior to 9/11. Instructors from flights schools indicated they were concerned some middle eastern students were asking questions that a person flying a small plane would rarely ask and they seemed more interested in flying airliners than small aircraft. They also asked questions about airline security that normal students wouldn't ask. It isn't like Al Qaeda hasn't tried to attack the US before. Months earlier the USS Cole was attacked off the coast of Yemen and in the late 1990's, it was believed Al Qaeda was behind an attempted truck bombing of the World Trade Towers. With the information they had, they could have alerted our nation's airlines and airports to look out for Al Qaeda who appears to be planning an attack of some kind involving hijacked airliners. It isn't like the 9/11 terrorists didn't raise any eyebrows prior to their attack. Many were suspicious of their intentions but couldn't do much other than contact the FBI or other law enforcement agency about their concerns. Plenty expressed concerns but the FBI and other agencies didn't think these tips indicated any activity worthy of their attention.
I'm sure Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups would be glad to tell you what most likely is on this list. They may even have a website but you probably don't want to visit since you will be profiled as a terrorist and end up on the no-fly list. Most of what ends up on the TSA list is derived from previous attempts by terrorist groups worldwide against US and other interests. It really doesn't do much not to publish this list when terrorist organizations most likely already know from experience what will alert the TSA and other organizations in charge of airport security worldwide.
I'm not too optimistic of this bill either. Most likely the bill will be significantly watered down as it goes through Congress. The US Intelligence community still has a lot of political clout and can always say that they need this power "in the interests of national security" or secretly break the law and since they now have a tighter lid to prevent someone like Edward Snowden from leaking valuable information on this, they can keep it secret. I imagine if you did a poll, a majority of people would say they are opposed to the NSA and want it abolished but this isn't how our politicians feel about the NSA and domestic spying. If it becomes law it will be watered down and most likely the NSA will violate this law and since it's all top secret, no watchdog group could determine if the NSA is following the rule.
Sadly 9/11 was not just a tragic day because of the loss of many lives but also the losses of our civil liberties. Before 9/11, the government was trying to justify the use of warrant less wiretapping to catch drug dealers and I believe even had a system called Carnivore that was designed to go after criminals such as drug dealers but was challenged by civil rights groups as unconstitutional. With the 9/11 attacks, warrant less wiretapping was deemed as necessary for this new "war on terror" and people were sold on the idea that the Patriot Act is to protect them from terrorists but in reality it set the stage for widespread surveillance of US Citizens who are not terrorist threats to our nation. Then we were sold the BS that the TSA was necessary to prevent hijackings even though our security could have detected the box cutters used by terrorists providing they weren't legal prior to 9/11 which in fact they were and if they caught someone with box cutters prior to 9/11 as long as their blade was not longer than a few inches they were legal. Terrorist attacks on US soil have been rare and still are rare and this isn't because of the TSA, the DHS, or any other federal agency spying on us. You're more likely to be struck by lightning than become a victim of a terrorist attack but we justify the investment of billions and have lost our Constitutional rights as a result of 9/11 to protect us from these rare attacks. In addition, the widespread surveillance from the Patriot Act and the invasive procedures by the TSA cannot prevent terrorist attacks by a determined terrorist.
"For me, I would have approached the folks who built my bankís or credit cardís website or Google or Yahoo for the job. Instead, it was government as usual and making sure the connections get greased and the campaign coffers filled. "
I'm not so sure you would want to have Yahoo working on such an important project with the bugs in their new Yahoo interface that has resulted in long time Yahoo customers closing their accounts. They are still working out the kinks but before I canceled, my account was broken into even though I have a strong password and most likely was compromised as a result of a cross scripting or SQL injection attack. They tried to fix what wasn't broken replacing it with a buggy interface that is as slow as molasses and removed things that a lot people found useful but they decided in the new implementation to remove.
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