The last two weeks for in-depth I have done two exiting things: I have gotten familiar with the operating platform that Alice works on and I have set goals for when I want to get the textbook “done” by. I am looking to schedule a meeting with Mr. Findley in the next two weeks to check in and make sure I am on track, I also want him to go over the goals that I set (I will address them later).
The operating system of Alice is reasonably strait forward, the textbook helps with making it easier to understand. I have read through the first chapter of the textbook and I have worked on the concepts in the program itself. As I move forward, ideas are starting to pop up for my final presentation. I am coming up with ideas for programs I could design using Alice that I could show off on in-depth night. Though it is a long way away I think it’s still a good idea to start thinking about it now.
Over these last two weeks I made a personal decision that I am going to be carrying on coding for 26 weeks instead of the 19-20ish weeks that are provided in the standard in-depth. The reason for this is, I want my in-depth to count for 26 weeks for my Duke Of Edinburgh, for my applied skill. This project will take me into the summer and that is something that I’m okay with because so far it has been really interesting. Come in-depth night I will present what I have done and what I am planning to do, then carry it out over the summer.
I have found that I haven’t been as structured as I was while working with Jacob last year, so I have not gotten enough of the textbook done so far. Because of that I decided I needed to come up with a schedule to keep me on track as the project goes on.
I have set up a schedule that is ambitious and will make up for me being a little behind. I want to be done the first textbook by week 12 (in 6 weeks) leaving me room for the second textbook. Before in-depth night. Each textbook has 5 Units or Chapters, I am halfway done Chapter one at the moment so by week 8 I will be at Chapter 2.7. I will be at Chapter 4 at week 10 then I will do the last two chapters for week 12.
When I have met with Mr. Findley, what works well is that he is very clear, he communicates effectively with me in terms of his expectations, and how he would like the project to go from a mentor’s standpoint. The downfall of the mentor mentee relationship for this project is that learning to code is something that is very self-directed, Mr. Findley has given me the materials and told me to come to him if there are issues. The problem became that I was able to a relatively small amount of work, letting other classes and activities take priority. 6 weeks in, I am realising that for me to get done what I want to get done I will need to significantly pick up the pace. Mr. Findley has also been super busy with Drama related projects, as have I. With the Drama performances in week 2 then The Murder Mystery in week 5. That has restricted Mr. Findley’s availability at lunchtimes. I have also been busy with working in the Cafateria, Musical Theater lunch time rehearsals, and Adventure Trip meetings. So Mr. Findley and I unfortunately have not met as much as I would have liked to.
So first off I will fill you in on the updates that have happened in the last couple weeks of the project.
I met with Mr. Findley for the first time on Thursday January 21st. In preparation for the meeting I looked online just to educate myself and to see what I should be expecting. I looked at websites like codingacamy.com, which is a subscription based website that helps you with coding. I brought it up with Mr. Findley, he said it would be better for me to look into a program called Alice. He gave me two binders that he uses in his classes as an introduction to coding. The program Alice is described on the website is “an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.”
I have downloaded the program and have started to look through the first 2 chapters of the first binder. It is interesting and I really appreciate that it is understandable and does not jump too quickly into the difficult parts of coding. I value that and I think the material that Mr. Findley is going to provide me with will really help me out.
Moving forward Mr. Findley has expressed that it is going to be pretty easy to learn how to code on a self-directed project as there is a lot of really valuable material online. Lots of very valuable and accurate information and sources are available for free and Mr. Findley has said he is more than happy for me to come to him with questions and if I get stumped but a majority of this inpdepth will be self-guided and self-taught. Honestly that is something I am looking forward to trying as it is very different from my last indepth.
I am really looking forward to my indepth because I think it is a skill that I will benefit from having for the rest of my life. Mr. Findley though we have only met once is someone that I can tell knows what he’s doing and I have a lot of respect for him.
I have desided to make a blog post to have all of my planning 10 projects in the same place to make things easier. So I have made three powerpoints that I narrated and uploaded then pinned to the post. I have also included a biblography at the bottom. Enjoy!
Under the program, the NSA collects records such as the originating and called numbers, call time and duration, location data, calling card numbers, International Mobile Station Equipment Identity numbers and other data pertaining to all domestic and international calls made from within the U.S. The government says the data it is collects helps U.S. intelligence keep track of the communications of known or suspected terrorists.
NSA documents obtained by Snowden described Prism as a program for collecting user data from Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Skype and several other major Internet companies. It allows analysts from the FBI’s Data Intercept Technology Unit and the NSA’s Special Source Operations group to search for and inspect specific items of interest flowing through the data streams of each of the companies.
Under the program, the NSA purportedly collects audio, video, email, photographs, documents and connection logs to help counterterrorism analysts track the movements and interactions of foreign nationals of interest. In PowerPoint slides leaked by Snowden, NSA officials described Prism as the single biggest source of information used to prepare intelligence reports, including those prepared for White House daily briefings.
The XKeyscore system collects so much data that the vast majority of it can only be stored a few days at a time. NSA officials have strongly denied many of the claims pertaining to the program’s purported capabilities and the manner in which it is allegedly used.
Under the program, the GCHQ collects petabytes worth of information daily from data interceptors placed directly on regional and transatlantic fiber-optic cables carrying huge volumes of Internet data into and outside the U.K. from exchanges and Internet servers in North America and elsewhere. Data intercepted under the program include email content, records of phone calls, Facebook entries and Internet browsing histories.
The leaked documents showed that as of May 2012, the NSA had assigned 250 analysts — and the GCHQ had 300 — to pore over data gathered under Tempora.
Efforts to weaken data encryption
One of Snowden’s most controversial leaks involved apparent efforts by the NSA and GCHQ to systematically weaken the commercial encryption tools designed to protect everything from emails to highly sensitive documents. The methods included building backdoors into technology projects, using sophisticated supercomputers to crack encryption algorithms and forcing vendors to hand decryption keys using secret court orders.
Documents obtained from Snowden showed the U.S. intelligence community reportedly spending 20% of its nearly $53 billion annual budget on cryptographic projects and operations. The NSA spends $250 million a year on a program under which it tries to work with vendors of encryption technologies to allegedly make the products more easily exploitable.
The Snowden leaks showed that in addition to collecting phone metadata and Internet data, the NSA and the GCHQ are also capable of harvesting data directly from BlackBerrys, iPhones, Android-powered phones and other smartphones.
Der Spiegel, which was one of the first to break the story, noted that the agencies have the ability to tap a lot of smartphone data, including contact lists, location information, SMS traffic and notes. The NSA apparently has set up separate teams that specialize in gathering information from specific mobile operating systems. It also has the ability to read messages sent via BackBerry’s Enterprise Server, the publication said, quoting documents obtained from Snowden.
NSA hacked 50,000 computers worldwide
An elite NSA hacking united known as Tailored Access Operations has infected at least 50,000 computers worldwide with specialized malware referred to as “implants” by the agency, a leaked Snowden slide revealed. The implants were likened to sleeper cells that could be activated at any time with a single click.
The slide showed that in addition to the 50,000 implants, the NSA’s Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) unit also has dozens of special data collection facilities spread out across the globe for collecting Internet data and foreign satellite communications.
Companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook have all vehemently denied that they have voluntarily given customer data to the NSA or any other intelligence agency. They have claimed that the only circumstances under which they might have provided data is when compelled to do so via court order.
NSA spies on world leaders
A document leaked by Snowden showed that the U.S. secretly monitors the phone conversations of at least 35 world leaders. Though the document did not identify the leaders being monitored, it lent credibility to claims by various world leaders that the NSA was monitoring their phones. Among those who claimed they were spied on were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Mexico’s former president Felipe Calderon.
Meanwhile, in a report that the NSA denied, French newspaper Le Monde claimed that the NSA had gathered data on millions of French citizens by spying on French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent.
NSA tracks and hacks systems administrators
The Intercept, a publication co-founded by Glen Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who first broke the story on the Snowden leaks, in March claimed that a document provided by Snowden shows the NSA infiltrates computers belonging to systems administrators who work for foreign telecommunications and Internet companies.
The documents show that the NSA aspired to build an international hit list of system administrators to target as part of its surveillance effort. In addition to trying to get system administrator passwords, the agency also tries to obtain network maps and other data from targeted systems administrators outside the U.S., the publication claimed.
For the other part of my interview, I used a website called Quora, to ask questions to people online. Quora sells itself as “A place to get answers”
This blurb is attached to the main page of the site:
Questions you ask on Quora are distributed to a vast network of people, from experts and authorities to regular folks with relevant knowledge. The answers are then archived and organized so they can be accessed by anyone else with the same question. Quora is the best place to find the answer to anything you want to know.
I thought about interviewing my dad as he is obviously knowledgeable on the topic, but the reason I decided to do it this way is for a few reasons, 1) One of the questions I focused my whole project around is, “Do you support what Snowden?” As that is an opinionated question I thought Quora would be the best place to find exactly that. The reason being it is a place where any one can contribute but the answers seem to be very well educated and detailed.
2) I was tweeting and direct messaging Shawn Fanning and later Edward Snowden and people that surround him, nonstop in the hopes that I would get some sort of response… I didn’t. The dream was that Ed would say anything at all, because even if it was something insignificant, how COOL WOULD THAT BE!!!
@Snowden Hey Ed. I am doing a big project at school on an Eminent Person and I am doing my project on you. I was wondering if I could…
When it comes to security, Canada and USA are brothers in arms. Canada’s security strategy is tightly integrated with the United States to protect North America. Our security agencies, CSIS and the RCMP, work extremely closely with their American counterparts, and consequently the damage Snowden’s leaks have to American intelligence directly damages Canada’s intelligence as well.
How much jurisdiction does the US have over Snowden?
Technically none. At this point snowdan is a fugitive being saught by the us for crimes of treason. However he is in a mother country where the us has no jurisdiction and snowdan will not be transfered back. So short of the us invading to get him or he walks onto a us embassy there really isn’t anything that the us can legally do
What would it be like to be on the NSA’s watch list?
or making friends on Facebook.
or sending a text message.
or reading a political text online.
or traveling while carrying a digital device.
or communicating via e-mail.
The NSA is very serious about its internal motto: Collect it all, Know it all. Thats the great thing about NSA surveillance, there is no need for list keeping when everybody is a target. According to ex-NSA analyst Edward Snowden, using the XKeystore surveillance platform, NSA analysts have access to real time information on virtually any internet traffic:
You could read anyone’s email in the world, anybody you’ve got an email address for. Any website: You can watch traffic to and from it. Any computer that an individual sits at: You can watch it. Any laptop that you’re tracking: you can follow it as it moves from place to place throughout the world. It’s a one-stop-shop for access to the NSA’s information.
Here are the questions that I thought were insightful:
Arguing about whether Edward Snowden is or isn’t is a distraction and would really bring the discussion back to the level of US partisan politics, and I don’t think that is what an intelligent discussion should be about.
(Even though my question has been flagged by Quora mods as needing improvement, I consider this to be a sign of the normal US political partisanship which Quora likes to promote, and refuse to take sides. I refuse to take sides on whether Edward Snowden is a hero, though you can infer my position.)
Instead, the question Americans should ask are:
How did government representatives elected by the American people (Congress) basically create a system which has no oversight?
Why has the US president sided with the intelligence and business community against greater oversight of the intelligence services?
How did the US government become unaccountable to the people?
Can the system be corrected, or should the American people give up hope of having an accountable government?
For me this is the question of interest: Is he a traitor or a hero?
There are 47 awnesers to question as of right now I have included 2 I thought where of intrest but I encourage you to go read some of the opinions.
Many will say that Edward Snowden is a traitor whose leak jeopardizes our national security. They will say that he illegally broke an oath to his government to protect classified information, and that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They will say that our elected leaders should make national security decisions, not a 29 year old who acts on his own authority.
The truth is that Edward Snowden’s leak has made us a profoundly safer nation. Our leaders were elected on promises of transparency, and they swore oaths to uphold the constitution. The shame rests solely on our representatives, not on the individual who stepped forward to fulfill the oaths and promises that they violated.
Edward Snowden could have just followed orders. Instead he risked great personal safety to expose that our government is secretly spying on all of its own citizens. He has given us a chance to debate the issue openly. He recognized that the ease which this program can be abused is absolutely startling. The government has the power to track details of every citizen’s private email, physical letters, and phone calls.
Now we can finally ask ourselves, as a nation:
Do we feel comfortable giving our government this kind of incredible power?
If a self-serving leader steps into power, does this infrastructure lay the foundation for abuse and totalitarianism?
Would Stalin have wet himself with excitement if he stepped into a leadership position with this kind of information at his disposal?
The elected representatives who lied to us with promises of transparency are the same leaders who will demand that this young man be imprisoned. They are backed into a corner, and must defend this short-sighted, despicable program by denouncing him for its exposure. Don’t fall for it. Edward Snowden is a hero.
L (Luis) Figueroa, Technology Consultant; Aerospace & Defense Industry R&D Manager & Researcher;…
There is no rational way to characterize Snowden a hero, especially if as a nation we are to be guided by the rule of law!
One could also argue that from a moral perspective Snowden’s actions were inappropriate and irrational. For example if one is morally guided using a Kantian Categorical Imperative framework, then one cannot rationally justify Snowden’s actions since we do not want to have a universal law that would morally permit everyone to release national security secrets!
For those who might want to compare Snowden’s actions to those carried out by Ellsberg back in the 1970s, you may want to read an insightful piece in the Atlantic Magazine (link below). A recent Washington Post argues why Snowden is no hero (link below).
More recently CBS news (a generally liberal news organization) Bob Schieffer’s perspective on Snowden identified his narcism, and cowardice actions compared to previous folks (Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Daniel Ellsberg, etc.) who violated questionable laws , but took the blows by not skipping town and into the hands of US enemies. He is certainly no hero in Schieffer’s eyes.
Snowden more than likely self-righteously broke laws that explicitly prohibited him from revealing classified information, including naming of companies involved in the programs he disclosed. He then paradoxically travelled to Hong Kong, a city under the Chinese umbrella, and onward to Russia. Both of these countries are symbols of repressive and extreme government intrusion. Now, it seems he is actually seeking asylum in Russia, a country with a long history of authoritarian government.
Much of the information disclosed thus far was not terribly revealing, given that many of the programs have been in place since 9/11, and have been approved by not only by members of both national parties but also a court of law. Many members of Congress, with few exceptions, are highly critical of the Snowden’s release of classified information.
Laws protecting classified information have been in place for a long time in the US and have been repeatedly ratified by Congress (also upheld by the Supreme Court), which represent the will of the people. Individuals which knowingly break laws related to national security and are convicted need to pay a price. In some cases breaking of these laws can lead to naming of valuable sources, compromising of techniques used and possibly loss of life, which would in turn have the tendency to reduce our overall national security infrastructure.
Lastly, I would like to refer readers to a recent article (and related book) on the damage Snowden’s actions have had on national security and the possibility that Snowden might be associated with Russia’s intelligence service, which if proved true would be the ultimate irony for those folks who continue to support his actions. It seems that Snowden instead of being an American hero might best be categorized as one of the most notorious and damaging foreign agent/spy our nation has encountered and those who view him as a hero (apparently that applies to many Quorans ) are naive beyond imagination.
You clearly mis-understand PRISM, the NSA, and how the whole process works.
So, here’s the deal: if Quora happened to get a National Security Letter, they would be, under penalty of law, prohibited from discussing the fact that they had received it, the terms of the letter, the information requested, or how they had complied.
It’s a big hairy fucking deal.
“Participate” is not really the right word. That’s like playing on the playground and someone says “Hey, let’s play football!” and if you want to, you divide up into teams.
This is some asshat with a gun pointed at your head saying “And this is what you’re going to do”.
If Quora had an NSL, and opted to NOT comply, their only recourse would be to immediately and completely stop operations. And there is some chance that federal obstruction of justice charges would be brought against the people responsible for that decision.
Is Putin more paranoid since Snowden came forward?
Putin is not more paranoid since Snowden came forward. Actually, Putin allowed Snowden to stay for one reason and one reason only: he did it out of spite. If Snowden wasn’t American, Putin wouldn’t keep him in Russia. If a Russian person did what Snowden has done, he would be killed off by now by FSB.
Putin is not technology-savvy. He has no Twitter account (he probably doesn’t even know what Twitter is), no social networks where he would post himself. He doesn’t use the Internet. He gets all the info in paper form, from the folders his assistants hand to him.
Putin never trusted technology to begin with. Plus he is a former KGB officer, so he knows that everybody spies on everybody.
But he is very scared of Russian people. His residence in Novo-Ogarevo was surrounded by forest. All the forest has been cut down, because Putin was paranoid that someone would use that forest for cover.
Who is a threat to your internet privacy? Is your answer limited to just a hacker?
When you consider that employers, universities, banks and other people who govern our everyday financial, educational, employment, and other administrivia are looking for you online just as much as hackers and governments, we are all subject to having our privacy violated.
When we consider that if those authorities are allowed, by law, to act on speculation that information they find is about you and not some other John Doe or Arvind Ananda, then we might understand that online privacy is more of an articulated issue than whether spies are lurking under our bed (or desk) or if we have anything to hide.
We need to educate, and if required legislate, that people with authority or power over our lives can not take lazy and inaccurate information and use it as “business intelligence” that is unvetted and unverified.
Already there are consulting firms out there that are promising dossiers on prospective employee information that are being found to have high rates of false positive information. But even the normal information people self-publish in the US at least leads to many people being rejected from job offers.
At this time, this is completely legal, and makes ordinary social media sharing without tight privacy settings questionably wise.
Where a person with a common name is the target, an HR professional has very little way to know who precisely they are finding bragging about their drunken conquests on a Saturday night on Facebook. Is it you? Your cousin? Or that idiot who is no relation at all?
So long as this is socially acceptable business practice, this person is as much or more of a threat to many ordinary persons than a hacker, although hackers may sound much more romantic and scary.
They’re secret programs, right? What is it that they keep telling us? If you’re not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide.
More seriously, it’s already been revealed that information has been used unconstitutionally in drug investigations with special rules to hide the origin of the evidence. It’s been revealed that people with access have used it to spy on their significant others.
Oh, and Edward Snowden showed that a contractor can walk out of the office with millions of records. Snowden gave the documents to the press, but who knows how much has been (or could be) leaked to organized crime, abusive companies, foreign governments, or terrorist organizations.
In the end, collected private information will be abused, no matter who collects it. It’s too easy to abuse and too easy to leak to people who’ll be thrilled to abuse it.
Strictly-enforced laws limiting collection, retention, usage, and distribution is about the only path that works.
Firstly my final address, I would like to point out that this is the version that I used to present with so there may be some grammatical or spelling errors.
Good afternoon everyone, we are here today to celebrate a very special occasion. Today we have founded a new nation, one that we hope will last for centuries to come.
But, you have made a mistake, I hope you all realise that. You have elected a man to run your country who hasn’t sobered up in years, he cares about nothing but himself. I have said that, I know I have said that many times before, but you didn’t listen. You let this man woo you and play the political game, telling you what you wanted to hear, he fed you lies.
Now that he has won the election, beat me, he has what he wants, power. Nothing can stop him. Now you are all standing here at this celebration thinking, no this man would never lie to us, he has our best interest at heart.
Ah but does he, here I have the official documents that I stole from his office, and sure theft is wrong but what I found is worse. Get papers, what I have in my hands right now is a plan to backstab those who have trusted in him. Let me tell you about what john a calls, residential schools.
Residential schools are basically prisons for the Indians, his goal is to decimate them. Now not hours after his nation was created he is ready to backstab those who helped him create it.
Well fair enough the aboriginals may not have influenced the creation of Canada that greatly, but this is just the beginning, I guarantee you that if nothing is done then there simply a matter of time before people who are not fall under the same ethnic background as John, will become completely obliterated!
After hearing that, you francophone out there look me in the eye and tell me you feel safe for your culture in generations to come.
I have been asked by many how I want to be remembered. To them I will say, remember today, remember me who wanted to make Canada a place where everyone is treated equal, now remember that, when you or your children or children’s children are being forced to pay for John A’s greed 10 fold!
I know it will happen, the question is will I still be around to fix it
Bill Henry Gates III was born October 28 1955 in Seattle Washington. He was born an only child to Mary and William gates who never could have dreamed that their son would one of the most successful businessmen ever born, being the richest person on the “Forbes list of richest people” for fourteen years spanning from 1995- 2007 then again in 2008. In 1999 he became the world first centibillionaire when his wealth briefly surpassed $101 billion. With his fortune he has started an organization with his wife Melinda Gates called the “Bill and Melinda Gates foundation” that has donated over 30 billion dollars in grants. The company donates around 3 billion dollars every year, they give to anyone who can convince them they need the money; you apply for a grant and they will give you one, they have given to tonnes of causes in the US from Agricultural Development to water, sanitation and hygiene.
Image courtesy of inscribd.com
Bill was born into a upper-middle class family, he developed an early interest in computers, the were some funds at “Lakeside School” where he was enrolled so they purchased one of the first computers a “Teletype Model 33” witch him and a few other students became engrossed in technology as it advanced he actually was banned along with four peers by the company because they were hacking into the system and exploiting bugs and glitches to be able to use the computer for free. After the ban the group of students were actually hired to find bugs for the company. This was the starting block for his career in technology he went on to write code for the school and was later penalized for altering the software to put himself in classes with “a disproportionate number of interesting girls.” He later went on to say “it was hard to tear myself away from a machine at which I could so unambiguously demonstrate success.”
Image courtesy of forbes.com
Gates went on to study at Harvard university after graduation but dropped out and started what would go on to be one of the most revolutionary companies the world has ever seen, He started the company with his friend from Lakeside School; Paul Alan, the co-founder of Microsoft. The goings were very slow for the first 5 years from 1975 to 1980 the main achievement was copyrighting the name Microsoft, During the first 5 years of the company Gates returned to Harvard to complete his studies and still managed to read over every line of code any Microsoft employee ever wrote. In 1980 Microsoft made its first big step and struck a deal with IBM to create an operating system (OS) and sold the rights to the system to IBM for $50,000 and used it to leapfrog its way to releasing the very first windows OS to the public. Windows 1.0 contended with Apple but was not nearly as popular but as Windows 2.0 and 3.0 and finally 3.1 were realized the company was rapidly growing, then in 1995 Windows 95 was realised being the most competitive operating system Microsoft had ever released and they just kept going from there, they went on to reshape the world of personal and corporate computers forever.
Image courtesy of mininvilla.com
When it comes to my similarity’s with Bill Gates we are both white, males that were born into upper middle class families. We both devolved interests in technology and business from an early age, him using computers when he was 13 when they first came out and me playing Mr. Potato head games and go fish online when I was 5, though I have never gotten into coding and don’t really know the first thing about it that would be something I would be interested in and could possibly even transition into my in-depth. Being the same age Bill was when he started coding I feel I could be taking a very similar path with my electives being Business and Information Technology I am getting an insight into the world that Bill Gates is living. Throughout this project I hope to get closer to myself and look at where I want to go with my life, help me get a better insight into possible career paths.