It turns out that the NSA's domestic and world-wide surveillance apparatus is even more extensive than we thought. Bluntly: The government has commandeered the Internet. Most of the largest Internet companies provide information to the NSA, betraying their users. Some, as we've learned, fight and lose. Others cooperate, either out of patriotism or because they believe it's easier that way.
I have one message to the executives of those companies: fight.
Do you remember those old spy movies, when the higher ups in government decide that the mission is more important than the spy's life? It's going to be the same way with you. You might think that your friendly relationship with the government means that they're going to protect you, but they won't. The NSA doesn't care about you or your customers, and will burn you the moment it's convenient to do so.
We're already starting to see that. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others are pleading with the government to allow them to explain details of what information they provided in response to National Security Letters and other government demands. They've lost the trust of their customers, and explaining what they do -- and don't do -- is how to get it back. The government has refused; they don't care.
It will be the same with you. There are lots more high-tech companies who have cooperated with the government. Most of those company names are somewhere in the thousands of documents that Edward Snowden took with him, and sooner or later they'll be released to the public. The NSA probably told you that your cooperation would forever remain secret, but they're sloppy. They'll put your company name on presentations delivered to thousands of people: government employees, contractors, probably even foreign nationals. If Snowden doesn't have a copy, the next whistleblower will.
This is why you have to fight. When it becomes public that the NSA has been hoovering up all of your users' communications and personal files, what's going to save you in the eyes of those users is whether or not you fought. Fighting will cost you money in the short term, but capitulating will cost you more in the long term.
Already companies are taking their data and communications out of the US.
The extreme case of fighting is shutting down entirely. The secure e-mail service Lavabit did that last week, abruptly. Ladar Levison, that site's owner, wrote on his homepage: "I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision."
The same day, Silent Circle followed suit, shutting down their e-mail service in advance of any government strong-arm tactics: "We see the writing the wall, and we have decided that it is best for us to shut down Silent Mail now. We have not received subpoenas, warrants, security letters, or anything else by any government, and this is why we are acting now." I realize that this is extreme. Both of those companies can do it because they're small. Google or Facebook couldn't possibly shut themselves off rather than cooperate with the government. They're too large; they're public. They have to do what's economically rational, not what's moral.
But they can fight. You, an executive in one of those companies, can fight. You'll probably lose, but you need to take the stand. And you might win. It's time we called the government's actions what they really are: commandeering. Commandeering is a practice we're used to in wartime, where commercial ships are taken for military use, or production lines are converted to military production. But now it's happening in peacetime. Vast swaths of the Internet are being commandeered to support this surveillance state.
If this is happening to your company, do what you can to isolate the actions. Do you have employees with security clearances who can't tell you what they're doing? Cut off all automatic lines of communication with them, and make sure that only specific, required, authorized acts are being taken on behalf of government. Only then can you look your customers and the public in the face and say that you don't know what is going on -- that your company has been commandeered.
Journalism professor Jeff Jarvis recently wrote in the Guardian: "Technology companies: now is the moment when you must answer for us, your users, whether you are collaborators in the US government's efforts to 'collect it all -- our every move on the internet -- or whether you, too, are victims of its overreach."
So while I'm sure it's cool to have a secret White House meeting with President Obama -- I'm talking to you, Google, Apple, AT&T, and whoever else was in the room -- resist. Attend the meeting, but fight the secrecy. Whose side are you on?
The NSA isn't going to remain above the law forever. Already public opinion is changing, against the government and their corporate collaborators. If you want to keep your users' trust, demonstrate that you were on their side.
This essay originally appeared on TheAtlantic.com.
A 2011 entry from the Museum of Sex by Melodiousmsm explores the internal anatomy of the clitoris, whose extent wasn't fully mapped until 2005, when Royal Melbourne Hospital urologist Helen O'Connell published her groundbreaking MRI studies. The clitoris forks internally like a wishbone, and then ramifies further. As Melodiousmsm notes, this suggests that the argument over vaginal versus clitoral orgasm has been misplaced, since the clitoris runs through the vulva and vagina.
The most interesting part of this article are the longstanding misperceptions about clitoral anatomy, the fact that science understood so little about such a significant organ for so long. The clitoris, after all, is the only organ that exists purely for the purpose of conveying pleasure, and has as much erectile tissue as a penis, but somehow it was mostly missed for literally millennia.
The glans is connected to the body or shaft of the internal clitoris, which is made up of two corpora cavernosa. When erect, the corpora cavernosa encompass the vagina on either side, as if they were wrapping around it giving it a big hug!
The corpus cavernosum also extends further, bifurcating again to form the two crura. These two legs extend up to 9cm, pointing toward the thighs when at rest, and stretching back toward the spine when erect. To picture them at rest, imagine the crura as a wishbone, coming together at the body of the clitoris where they attach to the pubic symphysis.
Near each of the crura on either side of the vaginal opening are the clitoral vestibules. These are internally under the labia majora. When they become engorged with blood they actually cuff the vaginal opening causing the vulva to expand outward. Get these puppies excited, and you’ve got a hungrier, tighter-feeling vaginal opening in which to explore!
Second, these crisps are about the easiest things you’ll ever make.
Third, when I was a little girl, I had a stuffed monkey named Womba. His hands Velcroed together and I think I might have worn him as an accessory for the first half of my fourth grade year. Sometimes he was around my shoulders like a cardigan. Sometimes he was around my waist like a belt. Sometimes he was criss-crossed over my shoulder like a purse. And if I was nervous, I’d stroke his soft, fuzzy head and would feel better instantly.
I always wondered why Brad Benz didn’t like me.
Back to my original point: These crisps are about the most delicious things you’ll ever eat. I made them using homemade tortillas to go with cinnamon ice cream (swoon) in my next cookbook…but I also made them last week for a Food Network episode we filmed here on the ranch, and the guys absolutely inhaled them. So yesterday, for a Sunday snack, I made ‘em again using storebought tortillas and served ‘em with storebought vanilla ice cream. And they were still utterly divine.
You won’t believe the simplicity. And you won’t believe how addictive they are!
And you also need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Did you ever wear a stuffed monkey as an accessory when you were a child? I’m just asking.
(Note: If you’ve ever worn a stuffed monkey as an accessory when you were an adult, I’d rather not know. Thank you.)
And brace yourself.
Just brace yourself.
But you have to put them aside and let them cool completely.
Note: This will be extremely difficult.
So while we wait: Have you ever given your summer camp crush a hug goodbye when you were twelve, then turned around to leave and tripped over a rock and fell, scabbing your knee?
I’m just asking.
Goodness gracious, my friends. Make ‘em this week. They’re too good not to. And they’re a complete cinch.
Here’s the handy dandy printable!
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- 1 stick Butter, Melted
- 3 whole Flour Tortillas (small Size)
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
Brush butter on one side of the flour tortillas. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar. Flip tortillas to the other side, then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 15-17 minutes until very crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Break into pieces and eat as snacks...or serve with ice cream!
Posted by Ree on August 12 2013