Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vacationing In Israel, Building A Cheaper Spy Plane, Drones In Mexico

Paul Krugman

Congress is on vacation for the rest of the Summer, do you know where your Congressman will be? I have no problems with my local Congressman traveling, in fact, I wish Doug Lamborn would take a much needed educational tour of Africa, but I thought that our representatives had vowed not to accept gifts from lobbying groups.

About 80 of our Congress members will be traveling to Israel, paid for by The American Israel Education Foundation. The Democrats will be led by Steny Hoyer and the Republicans by Eric Cantor. Because of the friction between Israel's Prime Minister and our Democratic administration, it's obvious that the Foundation hopes to influence the Congressmen. In September will be the coming vote in the UN to legitimize Palestine as a state. Let's hope that our travelers won't be inspired by the recent legislation passed by the Knesset that makes it a crime for any Israeli citizen to support an anti-Israeli rally. It looks like the results of the Arab Spring have freaked out certain elements of old men...

One of the star attractions of last week's black Hat Conference in Las Vegas, was the WASP, or Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform. It's a remote-controlled plane with a computer inside, that can fly up to 400 feet, and monitor wireless networks, and can even attack on if it wanted to. It can also eavesdrop on cell phones and text messages.

Instead of some high priced drone, it was built for $6,190 with off the shelf parts from a hobby store. It was built to prove that something like it could easily be built, how vulnerable our networks actually are. It cold hover over a building, checking to see if the network is secure or not. If secure, it then could follow an employee to a neighborhood Starbucks, mimic the store's network and allowing access to a laptop or cellphone. As one of the plane's builders put it, "In Starbucks, no-one can hear your laptop scream..."

The US administration wants to send some CIA contractors to Mexico, to handle some of our drones for them. We already have soldiers, police, and CIA there to train the Federales in our style of gaining information on the drug cartels. We won't be giving any drones to Mexico anytime soon, because we don't trust them with our toys, just like we don't trust the Afghan Army, the Iraqis, and the Pakistanis. Other than letting private contractors be in charge of our drone program, what else is wrong with this picture? There have been over 45,000 innocent people killed in the crossfire of this ugly drug war since it was declared, and,  thanks to our help, the carnage is about to be accelerated...

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