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News Blog

Alternate Realities Roundup 9/6

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2013-09-06 -

New documents show that the NSA “has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records,” according to a ProPublica investigation.

Top of the Alty World

“The NSA's Campaign to Crack, Undermine Internet Security”--ProPublica

A whistleblower claims that 16 of the world's biggest banks and hedge firms have had illegal access to early economic data from the business information firm Thomson Reuters.--Rolling Stone

Human-rights groups are divided on U.S. intervention in Syria.--The Atlantic

It also seems that Syrians themselves are divided on whether or not the U.S should intervene.--The Economist

Top of Alty Utah

A group seeking to reform Utah's caucus/convention system has already amassed significant donations to its cause.--Utah Political Capitol

Salt Lake County sets ambitious recycling goals.--KUER

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams' first ever Twitterchat covered everything from Star Wars and Breaking Bad to twerking and, oh, yeah, education.--Salt Lake City Weekly

Rantosphere

Jesse Harris looks at the troubling implications of Tara Thue, a project manager for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Utah Broadband Project, leaving her public-sector gig to work for AT&T.

“What makes this particularly concerning is that Ms. Thue, though a project manager for the state, isn’t a particularly high-ranking official. AT&T, however, seems to see enough value in having someone on their payroll whose job it was to collect data on wireless and wired broadband. I don’t mean to impugn Ms. Thue’s motives at all, but it does raise larger questions about the express lane government employees have toward private industry.”--Utah Political Capitol

The Long View

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spoke at length with Russian magazine Izvestia, where he spoke candidly about the United States being foiled by Syria's allies on the United Nations Security Council.

“President Assad: This is not the first time that the possibility of military intervention has been raised. From the outset, the U.S., along with France and Britain, has strived for military intervention in Syria. Unfortunately for them, events took a different course with the balance shifting against their interests in the Security Council despite their numerous attempts to haggle with Russia and China, but to no avail. The negative outcomes that emerged in Libya and Egypt were also not in their favour. All of this made it impossible for them to convince their constituents and the world that they were following sound or successful policies. The situation in Libya also differs to that of Egypt and Tunisia, and Syria as I have said is very different from all these. Each country has a unique situation and applying the same scenario across the board is no longer a plausible option. No doubt they can wage wars, but they cannot predict where they will spread or how they will end. This has led them to realise that all their crafted scenarios have now spiralled out of their control.”--Izvestia

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