Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Opus 2013-290: Hacker Deja Vu

It was like deja vu all over again.  I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal called “FBI Taps Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects” and realized it was the same topic as a DEFCON talk I had just attended.  In fact, the article quoted the man giving the presentation.  The idea was that the FBI is using some of the same methods that they condemn so much in their role as crime fighter.  On the surface that simply means that they are keeping up with the times.  The hacker community would salute them.  Hackers have day jobs.  They work on security for business and government.  They make an important contribution to your security even though you don’t realize it.

The concern is, in light of recent revelations about the government, that the tools might be used without the proper due process.  This reinforces what I was writing about in a previous post.  The article states:
“...the bureau can remotely activate the microphones in phones running Google Inc.'s Android software to record conversations, one former U.S. official said. It can do the same to microphones in laptops without the user knowing, the person said. Google declined to comment.”
One of the themes in the article and the presentation dealt with the government developing and buying tools which will install what are called “back doors” in your computer and other devices.  As software companies produce better encryption and security it gets harder for the government, and others, to gain access.  A “back door” is a built in access point that the owner of the equipment does not know about.  Thus you think you are safe but you aren’t.  It is like giving the local burglar a key to your house or always leaving a window open.

So we have an agency of the federal government actively seeking ways to invade your personal space.  They claim that they only use these things when they have followed due process:  Probable cause, oath and affirmation, warrant.  Of course that was what we were hearing before the recent whistle blowers showed it not to be true. 

What is the answer?  Obviously I don’t know enough to have one but I know that the more consumed we are for national security the less we worry about personal liberty.  Try to put some things in context in the battle against terrorism.  Compare the number of deaths in Boston from non-natural causes in a day to the deaths in the recent bombing.  Obviously if you or someone you know is killed that is a major issue for you but the odds of it happening are so slim it disappears.

homo unius libri


  1. Big Brother is watching (and HAS BEEN for a LONG time)!

    1. Some people are waking up to that for the first time. Too many people don't know who Big Brother was, or now is.

      Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.