Tentacles Aplenty – NSA Spying Infographic

TonyFischerBoothI write about high tech methods of spying, but this infographic (complied by Bloomberg and posted at BusinessWeek.com) showing the methods used by the NSA is stunning.  Next time I’m talking to my aunt Mathilda, I might as well say “Hi!” to the NSA because someone is likely recording the call.

There’s fiction. And then there’s some shit others already have running.

Basically, they divide their data “collection” effort into two groups:

Data in Motion – as it’s en route to cell phones, computers, satellites.  Not always encrypted, and if it is, they weakened encryption methods before release and gave themselves a back door to hardware whenever possible.

Data at Rest – stuff sitting on computer hard drive, cloud servers, or dog’s gmail acount.  They have secret courts that give them access, and, as a bonus, the data is rarely encrypted.

If you’ve ever watched Person of Interest, suddenly The Machine seems downright friendly.

Here’s looking at you  . . .

Thanks for reading!



p.s. my thanks to Tony Fischer for the photo


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What’s in Your NSA File?

MagnifyThe great tragedy that was flight MH-370 brought with it many questions regarding the pilot’s activity in the days before he took command of the aircraft.  At the request of the Malaysian government, the FBI confiscated his computer with the hope of finding some clue as to his state of mind.  As a pilot, I understand the need to verify whether or not Captain Shah contributed to the demise of the 227 passengers and 12 crew.

As a writer, I’m occasionally concerned about my own digital footprint.   The history of my computer would show routine searches on topics such as C-4, cryptography, chemical weapons, or the many ways to dispose of a body.  My own husband has oft raised an eyebrow at my research and gets nervous when I insist that he take a particular plate for breakfast.  He shall never have the burnt tortilla.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Aside from methods of mass destruction, I’ve inquired about NSA org charts, the dark web, and even, God help me, Leisure Suit Larry.  I felt the need to scan Youtube for fluffy kittens to make up for the last one.  It was only to settle a bet, and I’m not giving that link.

My NSA file is creepy enough.

But what do online personae really tell us about the people we befriend in cyber space?  A nice, British lady on FB, waning in her final days, wanted my help in moving £ 7.5 M for charity.  Of course.  Or the dude who keeps sending “message me when you’re free,” after my explanation:  happily married.  Seriously, go out and meet some actual people.  Maybe one of them will slap some sense into him.  And the pictures everyone on twitter says are me. Nuh uh.

So, what’s real?

Studies show that people get depressed from the stream of personal press releases on social media. No one posts the grey bowls of oatmeal that they microwaved for dinner. It’s a continuous barrage of precious moments that breeds envy, discontentment, and depression.

If you believe the hype.

I post pictures of my two dogs, my former cat, but they don’t define me. There are days I wish I didn’t have pets.  Like this morning, when I cleaned up last night’s treat from the kitchen floor.  And while neither of my avatars are retouched, my hair is curled (makes it less curly for me), and I am wearing make-up artfully applied.  But as I write this post, I’m in Bermuda sweats and  an old, graphic tee of my son’s, and my frizzy locks are secured atop my head with a #2 Ticonderoga pencil.

Nope.  Not posting that pic.

The FBI’s report about Captain Shah is expected within a few days.  For  nearly a month, agents have crawled through every byte the man read, wrote, or stored.  But it will never tell the whole story.  My continued prayers are with those who are left to wonder and mourn.

Thanks for reading!


p.s. my thanks for the photo “kenz magnified” by Steven Smith


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And We’re Back . . . On iBooks, Kobo, Nook, & Smashwords


As mentioned in a previous post, my timing with Amazon Select makes me look like the arrhythmic yutz dancing solo in the corner who occasionally shouts “Freebird!”

But, I’m forever learning.  To that end, my books are now forever available on the many platforms of publishing love:

3 LIES                                     iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, & Smashwords

DARK POOL                           iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, Nook& Smashwords

OCEAN OF FEAR                  iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, & Smashwords

It’s good to be back.

Thanks to Kim and Robert!


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Ocean of Fear & Dark Pool – Thrillers FREE until Jan 31

In honor of renewed energy and a fresh page for 2014,


are FREE at Amazon from Jan 28 to Jan 31.

OceanOfFearFull DP-2013-225w

Plus, I need reviews :)

If you need any good deeds on your Nice list before next December, leave a review for a book you’ve read.

The giveaway is for a limited time—and probably never again—because my timing with with Amazon Select is as inept as my attempt to whistle with my fingers.

But I’m nothing if not resilient.

So pick up your copies now, tell your thriller-loving friends, or gift them to your weird neighbor.

Thanks for reading!

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