Fighting back against the NSA with HTTP

You’ve probably heard the news about PRISM, the NSA’s system for spying on basically everyone in the world. Want to flip them the birdy digitally while they watch your web traffic go along?

If you’re using Firefox, download the “Modify Headers” extension. I have version 0.7.1.1. Then in the preferences, click “Headers”,  and select “Add” from the dropdown. I used “FUCK_THE_NSA” as the name, and “This copyright entitles me to receive a copy of all requests stored on demand. If you choose not to accept this license, your only recourse is to delete all stored requests with this signature” as the description. Click save, and click “enable”. Make sure the light is green.

Once you’ve enabled this plugin, here’s what the webserver will see when you connect to it, and subsequently what the NSA will see while sifting through your data:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: localhost:4567
User-Agent: lolz
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
FUCK_THE_NSA: This copyright entitles me to receive a copy of all requests stored on demand. If you choose not to accept this license, your only recourse is to delete all stored requests with this signature
Connection: keep-alive

I’ll be very interested to see if there is a way to word this such that it’s actually admissible in court.

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Let’s try that again…

I think I have at least a half dozen unfinished posts on here at this point….

So, there is the notion of a bright affect and a flat affect. A bright affect is one who is openly emotional, charismatic, maybe empathetic. A flat affect is the type who has effectively turned their emotions off. One of the interesting elements of this I’ve found is that affect seems to be the bridge that connects binary values, the nuance. So if someone is emotionally dead, the world may seem very true/false and black/white, whereas with empathy there is subtlety and nuance.

Maybe part of it is the search for purpose? In order to do something, you must have a reason, or an end goal, and it must make sense. It’s irrational (and therefore bad) to, say, go to the park and play games. We’re impressed with this notion that time is sacred (it is) and we musn’t waste it, but nobody stops to mention what “waste” actually means. Do you need to devote every moment, every second to doing something “productive”, something tangible, something with a devout purpose? To me, it seems like adhering yourself to a structure, and declaring that because it exists, the structure must be good.

I’ve seen this a lot in computer geeks lately, the ones who turned to the computers and internet because it was easier to cope with than the bullies at school, and they never really came out of the cave. Or worse, the ones from a normal non-threatening background, who entered computers because it was cool, at the time when schools were beginning to really formalize and structuralize classes, so they they learned how to program. Not how to explore with programming, but the  correct models to use. Every line of code must have a purpose! Woe to the folks who get bored and start drafting funny haikus in their comments!

But there is an analogous entity, the large faceless corporation/government. The neverending dictation of what should be done when and how, rulebearing gifts seizing upon everyone as they struggle merely to exist. For all your questions, we have a procedure for that. Everything is determined, all the lines are already drawn, just draw inside of them with the approved color of your choice. Rulebooks all the way down, the poor turtles trying to claw their way up, a sort of dance between reason and irrational, an assumption of axioms but the tower of logic is so high nobody can see the bottom. What a terrifying jenga game. Normalize! Statistize! Follow the approval brick road, fear that which is not understood, ignore that which is not known.

Ask “why” not for curiosity but for justification. Demand purpose. Eliminate waste. Slice away inefficiency. That is, after all, how to make a perfect world.