Author Topic: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!  (Read 6938 times)

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Offline AF6LJ

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2017, 11:30:41 pm »
Ladies and Gentlemen
Welcome to the Police State
Please Check any rights you have
At the Door
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2017, 12:41:20 am »
George Orwell, anyone?
 

Offline medical-nerd

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2017, 01:33:54 am »
1984

8/4=2 , 9+1=10 , 2x10=20
8-1=7 , 9+1=10 , 10+7=17


2017 anyone?

 :-DD
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2017, 02:45:06 am »
The scariest thing is that these rules supposed to prevent stuff getting into the hands of bad guys is being so incompetently administered.

 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2017, 03:49:45 am »
The scariest thing is that these rules supposed to prevent stuff getting into the hands of bad guys is being so incompetently administered.
That's what's so devious about security theatre.
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2017, 06:13:15 am »
The scariest thing is that these rules supposed to prevent stuff getting into the hands of bad guys is being so incompetently administered.
This stuff never works, Corruption and other issues keep these rules from wroking.
Sue AF6LJ
Test Equipment Addict, And Proud Of It.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2017, 05:38:30 pm »
... security theatre.

I like the phrase .... but not its implication.
 

Offline Thiadmer

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2017, 02:59:07 am »
Isn't this simply typical ordinary and expected government bungling up what may have been a sensible idea at some point in the distant past? 
If it's all "simply typical and expected", then why the evasive language?

To be blunt: blocking delivery of ordered goods is quite something different than watching. Start by calling it an "embargo list".
 

Offline artag

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2017, 04:11:07 am »
From 'http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/04/how-unique-is-your-name-in-the-uk-this-website-will-show-you-6426594/'

1. David Smith (6,163 people)
2. David Jones (5,959 people)
3. John Smith (4,742 people)

David Jones is even more common than John Smith. Joe Bloggs doesn't even figure. 19,500 Dave Jones in the US.
Go to Wales, and the trick would be finding someone NOT called David Jones. Maybe NSW is the same ? :)



 

Offline artag

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2017, 04:14:20 am »
Expect I am out of line with most people's thinking but I would rather details were checked than be blown up by some lunatic fanatic.

Firstly : that's all very well, but if they're reacting to common false positives, they're wasting their time. Could be spent on something useful instead and be more effective.

Secondly: You might think differently if they have a non-innocent Mike Willis on the checklist. Not because of the suspicion, but because of the sheer waste of your time.

 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2017, 04:34:47 am »
Expect I am out of line with most people's thinking but I would rather details were checked than be blown up by some lunatic fanatic. Governments share watch list data, so I can see why things might be checked, even outside the US, against a US list. Ask yourself would you rather have a plot foiled in Australia based on US intelligence, or not foiled because only the local list was used?

David Jones, if it were not on the list, might be a good choice of pseudonym. Someone claiming to be Dave going down to the chemists for say, some sulphuric acid, some nitric acid, some glycerol, a lump of clay and a box of soda ash might elicit the response "no worries, he's just going blast fishing" whereas it they were anyone else it might be viewed differently.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40604543 or https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/28/britain-foiled-terror-attacks-plots-police-counter-terrorism-security-services

First name and last name like in Dave's case is a pretty crude flag, I can imagine what it's like for John Smith or Mohammed Khan or Zhang Wei.
The problem is that there is no proof that these things have any positive effect. Worse still, there is proof that it's actually detrimental to security, due to an overload of information gumming up the works, and seeding radicalization.

Two independent committees have found that no terrorist attacks have been stopped by dragnet techniques, even though the US government claimed at least 50 were prevented. The committees did make a list of recommendations, but it turns out few of those were implemented. Why is that? Because no one wants to be the politician that has to explain an attack after he relaxed things. And we all know attacks will come, sooner or later. So the only way is down the spiral, constricting our freedom further and further, until nothing of value is left.

We should all remember that the terrorist's goal isn't to kill every last one of us by these attacks. It's in the name: terrorism. Not violism. It's intended to strike fear in our hearts, to destabilize our society. Nuance is the death of extremism, so the public needs to be pushed to the extremes. Publicity is more important than numbers. They know they can't destroy everything we value, so they manipulate us into doing it ourselves. We cannot defend out most precious assets by destroying them.
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2017, 04:43:51 am »
Expect I am out of line with most people's thinking but I would rather details were checked than be blown up by some lunatic fanatic.

Firstly : that's all very well, but if they're reacting to common false positives, they're wasting their time. Could be spent on something useful instead and be more effective.

Secondly: You might think differently if they have a non-innocent Mike Willis on the checklist. Not because of the suspicion, but because of the sheer waste of your time.
A friend had his boarding card tagged for secondary screening each time he went to the US. I was dumb enough to check in with him in Dallas one day. After that my boarding card was tagged for secondary screening each time I went to the US. I am well aware that this is not an isolated case. This is how dumb and theatrical the whole system is. They put their resources into endless rechecking of people who are not showing any signs of being a problem, which means they have no time to look for real threats.

India had a lot of terrorist problems in the past, and has largely got them under control (despite a few high profile failures). It did this by taking the application of low tech screening really seriously. In the last few years pressure from the US has got them fighting the same war on toothpaste as most other countries, and I feel less safe travelling in India.

The war on toothpaste itself is a clear expression of how much a farce the whole thing is. The toothpaste bomb idea was rapidly discredited as being a credible threat, yet years later we have to hunt around the bloody supermarkets before we fly, trying to find one that stocks small tubes of toothpaste. The ones we normally buy are more than 100ml, and you can't just fly with a big tube that's nearly empty.
 

Offline Towger

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2017, 06:09:44 am »
The only liquid bomb used was on a PAL flight.  The Philippines stopped checking for liquids after about a year.  It is strange flying around parts of the middle east and Asia with fellow passengers happly swigging from their water bottles during the security checks.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 06:14:28 am by Towger »
 

Offline graphtronics

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2017, 11:37:06 am »
Perhaps it has to do with false impersonation by another person. So Dave can be cleared of any wrong doing. Imagine a terrorist purchasing with Jones name. Then, secret services detain EEVblog for something he has nothing to do with. They may be protecting you.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 11:38:58 am by graphtronics »
 

Offline Old Don

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2017, 03:10:17 am »
Maybe what is needed is to brand everyone with a number or bar code at birth.  >:D  For extra security, you can place a sign over your place of work that reads "work will set you free".  :'(
Retired - Formerly: Navy ET, University of Buffalo Electronic Tech, Field Engineer and former laptop repair business owner
 

Offline eyiz

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Re: eevBLAB #38 - Digikey & The US Government Watchlist!
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2018, 04:19:03 am »
Digikey are checking orders against the US Denied Persons list and holding orders until you can prove your generic name is not that person on the list.
Also, Element14 doing a similar thing.


I just saw this, and thought it was hilarious.

However, this is not likely a "false positive". There's only one Dave Jones that the watch-list cares about. And it's the very same Dave Jones here.

What is not factored into this in the discussion so far, is that human beings are not creating this watch list. The list is being generated by Artificial Intelligence software, that takes lots of data as input from various sources, and uses "heuristics" to estimate and "guess" the names that should be on that list. It's all "automatic."

Now, the United States has strict rules on who in the world is entitled to be "educated" on technical matters. Dave Jones is an "educator" and is in violation of the US rules, since he doesn't restrict his electronics teaching to only "acceptable" countries.

If you try, for example, to sign up for the famous "Circuits and Electronics" course from MIT available on edX online platform, for example, you'll see that if you are from certain countries like Cuba or Iran, they'll tell you they are sorry, but you're not allowed to take the course. You'll see a message saying it's against the US rules to educate people in these countries.

So, what the AI program does, is search through all the data on the internet, and check who is violating the US rules and policies, and puts that person on the watchlist.

The AI program doesn't know who "Dave Jones" is, just that a person with that name is "teaching electronics" in an "unrestricted" manner, making this "sensitive technical material" available to persons in restricted countries. That's all it is.

It may seem like a silly thing, and an invasion of privacy, but the problem is really that "Dave Jones" used his real name for his blog and youtube channel etc..and therein lies the problem.

There's a reason that Actors use "Stage Names" that are different from their "Real Names", and it's to keep their private life somewhat separate from their public life, so that they could have some privacy, and avoid being "picked on" by various elements of the system. Writers often do the same thing, having a fictional author name etc..

I can guarantee you, that if Dave used a stage name, like say "John Smith", then the John Smith would be the "generic" name on the watchlist, and when Dave went himself to order electronics parts, he'd never have a problem. He'd only have created problems for anyone named "John Smith."

The AI program isn't smart enough to look behind stage names, to figure out the real names of the actors. We haven't gotten to that level of sophistication yet. That would have to be done by a human investigative team. The fact that all these generic names are appearing on the watchlist is proof that a dumb piece of software, masquerading as "Artificial Intelligence" is at work behind the scenes.

It's wise to be anonymous on the internet wherever you can.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 04:22:21 am by eyiz »
 


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