Author Archive | David Seaman

The New York Times Comes To Edward Snowden’s Defense

Time heals all wounds, or something. In a strongly worded editorial in today’s paper, The New York Times reminded readers that “Mr. Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not.” The Times also gave some real talk to Edward Snowden haters worldwide: “The shrill brigade of his critics say Mr. Snowden has done profound damage to intelligence operations of the United States, but none has presented the slightest proof that his disclosures really hurt the nation’s security.”

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The Bitcoin “Crash” Is A Patent Falsehood: Here’s Why

bitcoinNothing like that demented mainstream media narrative: talking about the Duck Dynasty guy’s personal views on gays non-stop, but kicking real stories like the Fukushima ongoing radiation crisis to the curb.

And when it comes to innovative technologies like Bitcoin, “our” “free” press is equally off the rocker.

Back in January, one Bitcoin fetched $13. When I began covering it on my podcast, the price was around $10 per coin. Today, even “post-crash” in mainstream media parlance, the same coin is worth $702 on the Mt. Gox exchange. That is a 54x return year to date, and the year’s not even finished yet. Find me a stock that has gained 54x during the same time period — would the media label that a “crash” also? I don’t think so.

The media is not your friend. Unless your name is JPMorgan Chase or Bank of America.

And the group who could be most helped by Bitcoin’s promise of frictionless money, liberated from constant fees, is the American middle class – a middle class hammered by increasingly stringent credit history requirements for loans, ruthless foreclosures, insane student loan debt.… Read the rest

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The Bitcoin FAQ: What Newcomers Need To Know

bitcoinThe following is an excerpt from The Bitcoin Primer: Risks, Opportunities, And Possibilitiesmy new book on global digital currency Bitcoin.

I’m an early adopter of the technology, having become interested back in October 2012 when I had major Bitcoin angel investor Roger Ver on my podcast.

What is Bitcoin? What’s so novel about it?

Bitcoin is a peer to peer decentralized digital currency. It makes use of advanced elliptic curve mathematics and cryptography, as well as a globally replicated public ledger called the Blockchain.

There are several things Bitcoin accomplishes that was previously not possible with e-currency.

OK. What are those things?

Bitcoin makes it impossible (or near impossible) for double-spend transactions to occur — in other words, when money leaves your possession, it is no longer yours. This was a huge challenge with digital currency because when you send a friend a music file, for example, how do you make it so that the file no longer exists on your computer?… Read the rest

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Barack Obama Slammed By The New York Times And 37 Other Media Organizations

As McClatchy news service reported, “The nation’s largest news organizations lodged a complaint Thursday against the White House for imposing unprecedented limitations on photojournalists covering President Barack Obama, which they say have harmed the public’s ability to monitor its own government.”

More details in the video. What’s fascinating about this: 1) these are major cable news networks, broadcast companies, and even The New York Times speaking out against the administration — and criticizing themselves.

“We must accept that we, the press, have been enablers,” the joint letter reportedly states. “We urge those of you in news organizations to immediately refrain from publishing any of the photographs or videos released by the White House, just as you would refuse to run verbatim a press release from them.”

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Today’s Jeremy Hammond Prison Sentence Is A Miscarriage Of Justice

Anonymous-linked “hacktivist” Jeremy Hammond received the maximum possible prison sentence today, 10 years in a cage.

More than 300 activists and journalists, including myself, sent in letters asking for leniency and compassion in this case. Given the fact that Hammond’s hack appeared to be an act of civil disobedience coming from a place of political conscience, and not a crime for profit, many were shocked by today’s ruling. Also shocking is the judge’s alleged conflict of interest, which I outline in today’s video. This is a case the mainstream media isn’t likely to spend much time on, but a young man’s life has been effectively ruined, so it’s worth getting to know the facts of the case — and spreading the word. More information about the case at FreeJeremy.net.

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Bitcoin Flirts With Price Above $300 Per Coin, New Record High

opengraphBitcoin has achieved the impossible, becoming the world’s most valued currency not created by any central bank or government entity. Earlier today, markets saw Bitcoin go above $300 per coin with a total market capitalization above $3.2 billion.

As Bloomberg News noted, today’s price spike might have to do with the BTC China exchange coming online, providing another way for international users to buy and sell their Bitcoin holdings.

At time of publication, I hold a small quantity of Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin is volatile, not insured, and may lose value.

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Obama’s Bad Week—And It’s Only Wednesday

30871_large_Obama_Watching_WideIt’s shaping up to be a truly terrible PR week for the Obama administration. How bad?

Well, The New York Times Editorial Board ran a scathing piece in response to Obama’s alleged lack of knowledge about the NSA’s activities. They skipped the foreplay and got right into it in the first paragraph: “The White House response on Monday to the expanding disclosures of American spying on foreign leaders, their governments and millions of their citizens was a pathetic mix of unsatisfying assurances about reviews under way, platitudes about the need for security in an insecure age, and the odd defense that the president didn’t know that American spies had tapped the German chancellor’s cellphone for 10 years.”

When was the last time the Grey Lady labeled anything Obama-related “pathetic”?

The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank was similarly unimpressed with Obama’s recent claims of ignorance: “For a smart man, President Obama professes to know very little about a great number of things going on in his administration,” Milbank wrote this week.… Read the rest

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NSA Director Stepping Down To Spend More Time With His Family, Or Your Emails

stormtroopersIn the heat of the “government re-opening” media extravaganza, an important story has slipped through many people’s radars: NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, as well as his top deputy, plan to depart the all-seeing agency in early 2014.

According to The Guardian, “Alexander, who was rocked by Edward Snowden’s revelations, has formalized plans to leave by next March or April, officials say.”

I just hope Snowden and Alexander, when all this is old news, can meet up for a beer in a country without any U.S. extradition agreements and let bygones be bygones. And maybe invite Glenn Greenwald out to take notes.

But then again, Alexander doesn’t actually have to retire, if he doesn’t want to – by my back of the napkin math, he is likely the most powerful man on Earth.

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The NSA Is Harvesting Americans’ Contacts From Email Address Books, Chat Services

9144691164_533e0758f4_oAll of the familiar settings this time around: based on documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, seems to completely contradict earlier statements from professional truth-bender James Clapper, completely chilling details yet the public’s response so far has been “meh.”

As The Washington Post reported today, “The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans.”

But they are only using this power against, like, terrorists in caves and Thor’s brother, right?! It isn’t a widespread practice or anything, I’m sure…

Well, actually, not quite: “During a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers, according to an internal NSA PowerPoint presentation,” The Washington Post revealed today.… Read the rest

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3,000 Outraged Truckers Plan To Shutdown Washington, D.C.

3,000 truckers plan to descend on Washington, D.C. four days from now, to protest the NDAA’s indefinite detention without trial provision (signed into law by President Obama) as well as to raise awareness for what they perceive as continued Obama administration support for radical Islamic factions in Egypt and Syria.

Despite the limited broadcast media coverage of the truckers’ plan, it could effectively shut down the entire city’s vehicle traffic.

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