Security Posture

The coalition to end NSEERS; how one journalist found a missing Trump portrait; and more.

  • Yesterday the House Intelligence Committee released a 33-page report on Edward Snowden, Charlie Savage reports for the New York Times. “Important sections of the report remain redacted, including descriptions of the harms and risks to American troops it said Mr. Snowden’s actions had created,” Savage writes. “Also blacked out were any details backing the committee’s claim that since his “arrival in Moscow, he has had, and continues to have, contact with Russian intelligence services. The redactions made it hard to judge whether the report’s conclusions were merely a reiteration of the intelligence community’s contempt for Mr. Snowden or were based on new evidence.”

  • Speaking of the intelligence community’s contempt, Breitbart’s Neil McCabe highlights the worst of the worst in the report, including the description of Snowden as a “serial exaggerator and fabricator,” although the claims that is based on have been disproven by journalist Barton Gellman and the current version of the report acknowledges Gellman’s criticism. NSA and Cybersecurity Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R.-Ga.) is quoted as saying, “This extensive report shows Snowden is no hero, and that he should be brought to justice for his reckless actions.”

  • National security blogger Marcy Wheeler found another damning detail in the report: that as of August 29, 2016, not all high risk users at NSA had two-factor authentication. She quotes the report: “Recent security breaches at NSA [that’s the National Security Agency, in case you forgot] underscore the necessity for the agency [the security agency, remember] to improve its security poster.”

  • An art heist of a different kind: The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold is crowdsourcing his reporting on Twitter to tell stories about Trump that he otherwise wouldn’t be able to tell, Dan Gillmor writes for the Atlantic, including one in which readers track down a missing portrait of Trump paid for by his charitable foundation.

  • Having not apparently learned their lesson from the “unauthorized” request for a list of people working on climate change issues in government, the Trump transition team requested information on the staffing, programming, and funding for programs promoting women’s equality, Tracy Wilkinson reports for the Los Angeles Times. “People are freaked out,” said an unnamed State Department employee. No kidding. Perhaps someone else on the team needs to be “properly counseled.”

  • Fighting words: In response, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued a public statement that concluded, “I pledge to work with the incoming Administration to advance policies that support and protect women and girls worldwide, but I can promise that if the next administration intends to roll back programs designed to lift women up, it will very quickly meet stiff opposition in the Senate.”

  • Uranium Resources Inc.’s stock is way way up! Can you guess why?

  • For Civicist, I talked to MoveOn campaign director Iram Ali about the NSEERS win and re-channeling the solidarity shown by non-Muslims declaring that they would voluntarily sign up for any future Muslim registers to thwart religious or ethnic profiling by a Trump administration into a productive push to end (really end) the Muslim register America already had.

  • Like Facebook, Twitter also had a “bug” that resulted in the artificial inflation of video advertising metrics, Alex Heath reports. Unlike Facebook, they caught the bug in a little more than a month, and issued advertisers refunds. (If you recall, Facebook’s little problem lasted more than two years, and I don’t believe that they ever compensated advertisers or partners for the mistake, because it wasn’t a metric that determined cost.)

  • Moment of zen: Death to death! A peek at the Chan-Zuckerberg cure-all.

  • As always, thanks for reading! First Post will be on hiatus next week. Happy holidays to all and we’ll see you in the new year!