OPERATION (YOUTUBE

WTF ARE YOU DOING!) SMACKDOWN


August 21, 2007

MEN IN BLACK

So, I hear a knock at the door and find these two guys standing there. They start asking a bunch of questions about Operation Smackdown!
Man in Black#1 asks if I know a guy named Mr. Rod.
"Mr Rod?" I ask.
"Yeah."he says. "Mr.Svin Rod"
"Wait a minute, who are you guys and where are you from?"
"We are from....France!"
"No you're not!"
"OK. Look Mr. Rod.We are from the government."
"Which Government?"
"Um...Its kind of a Secret."
" Yeah, we're like Secret Agents from the Government"
"Go Away!"
"We're on a Mission From God!"
"I'm an Atheist."
"Look Mr. Rod, Do you love your Country or not?"
"Whaddya mean?" I ask. I'm beginning to think these guys are not Jehovah Witnesses.
"Sure I love my country. You guys got a problem with that?"
Man in Black#2, who had been silent until now, steps forward and says,
"Look Mr. Rod, or whatever your real name is, we know that you spend a lot of time watching terrorists blow stuff up."
"Yeah, so?"
"We want ya to stop it."
"Why?"
"Its a secret."
"Um...look guys, I'm late for an appointment and..."
"This will only take a minute."
"OK already, whats your point?"
Man in black #1 steps forward again and says in a low voice,
"You is compromisin' a secret government project."
"By Watching YouTube???"
"Uh...Yeah, by watching YouTube."
"You're nuts!"
Man in Black #2 steps forward again and says:
"Mr. Rod. Our job is to keep America safe from the terrorists. We track them 24 hours a day.
They cant make a move without us knowing about it."
"Oh!" I say."You must be tracking these guys by satellite."
"Uh, no...not exactly."
"Cool!" I say." You must be using Global Hawk or Predator drones"
"Uh, no...not them either"
"Scramjets?"
"No."
"Russian telepaths in secret underground bunkers?"
"Uh...no."
"Alrighty then." I say. "I give up. You are from a Super Secret Government Organization, You track down terrorists, you don't use satellites or drones or telepathy. What do you use and what in the hell does it have to do with me?"
"We,uh...We watch YouTube."
"What????""
"Yeah... We watch Youtube"
"You guys are idiots!"
"Mr. Rod. You have no idea what its like running a spy program with all the budget cuts we have had to deal with. We're lucky just to have DSL. We have been watching the terrorists for years and now YOU are screwing it up!"
"Me?"
"Yeah, You and your so called "Smackdown Crew."
"Whats wrong with "The Smackdown?"
"Its like this Mr. Rod. Some of the guys we have been watching are getting their accounts closed."
"That's a good thing, isn't it?"
"No Mr. Rod, that is a bad thing. Have you ever considered what would happen if all of those videos disappeared?"
"I don't see how that could be a bad thing."
"We could lose our DSL."
"What ??????"
"Yeah. If there is no video to watch, there is no reason to fund our operation. Me and Elwood would have to go back to our old jobs."
"What jobs were those?"
"Censoring comic books."
"Marvel?"
"No. DC."
"You poor bastards!"


Live Long and Prosper-Svin

9 comments:

minuteman said...

OHS!
That was great!
"Mr. Rod, we're from the gov'ment and we're here to help."
For whatever it's worth, this post is getting a link at H&H.
-D4

D said...

And the Gubment would NEVER think to log the IP's of the people that are watching those videos.

Or track the emails and IMs to and from those people.

Or check to see what those people are putting on their myspace pages.

They're so stupid, they'd never use Youtube as bait to find out who's getting radicalized.

Ever.

muninn said...

d'
Not really afraid of "The Government"
I'm one of them "live free or die" types.
Weapon up brother!
We need all the help we can get.
Best regards~Svin

D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D said...

Svinrod, I think you misunderstand

I don't think the government is going to track you down.

I thinks the government can track the IP's of the people who are getting radicalized with those videos, and track who they're talking to.

It's like this. A Muslim convert watches a bunch of those videos in his dorm room in Florida. His IP is logged as someone interesting. Later he gets in an MIRC chat. Since we're watching traffic from him, now we know to watch the chat. If they're talking about Jihad we know that we should watch the OTHER people in that chatroom.

But if we weren't watching the first guy, we'd never know about the chatroom so we'd never find the next link. But if we do, we can track HIM, and see who HEs IMing with, and see if HE'S a dangerous guy.

It's 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, but with terrorists. Once you find one guy that's kind of into it for the vicarious thrill of watching a video, he knows some iffy people who knows bad people who knows REALLY bad people.

I don't know if the Government is doing this. But I know they're doing THIS http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2007/08/wiretap so I wouldn't be surprised if they were.

muninn said...

d,
Thank you for taking the time to clarify your meaning for me and for sending the link. It was interesting. I have always assumed that all electronic communications can be monitored(phone, cell phone,
im, e-mail etc...)
I would welcome a discussion regarding the relative merits of allowing terrorists to spread propoganda versus the ability to monitor them doing so. This has been a matter of some concern to certain people involved with this project. Indeed, it is the central notion that prompted me to write the MIB post.
Best regards~Svin

D said...

The terrorists can easily migrate to their own websites, that's where they were for years before their videos started showing up on Youtube.

Their web pages are sometimes hosted overseas, or on US servers where the server owner doesn't even know they're there. The URLs get passed around in emails and IMs. They would be much harder to track spread out like that than if they're all sitting in one place, easily searchable, on a service that is owned by a large US corporation.

Having jihadist videos on Youtube is like renting an office and putting up a big sign that says "Wanna Be Terrorists, Enter Here."

Poor Jake and Elwood would never ever think to watch who goes in that door, would they? Nope, it's better to go tear down that sign, cause that sign'll turn a little league short stop into a jihadi fer sure!

If you want an inkling of what's technically possible, Google cellular roving bug tap, or John Ardito.

And remember that a lot (not all, but a lot) of cellular phones have GPS built in. A phone with bluetooth is even better. Have a car with OnStar? Don't plan your next big criminal event inside.

Now, if I were the government, and I was tracking people that seemed to be watching a lot of radical videos and tracking who they communicated with, and you kept getting those videos pulled down, I wouldn't be happy about it but I couldn't do much without giving the whole thing away.

I could probably talk to Youtube and say "if these videos - that I put up to try to track these guys - get flagged, that's fine because the public hasn't seen how many times it's been flagged. But once one gets a whole bunch of comments complaining that it's hate speech, then you have to take it down or it will look like you're colluding with the terrorists. And you have to keep putting up comments, or THAT will tell the bad guys there's something wrong."

There's doing good, and there's feeling good.

muninn said...

d,
I get where you are coming from and I can wrap my mind around the premise, but there is presently no observable evidence to support your position.
I can see when an account on YouTube gets closed down. I can not see when an account is being monitored by the "Good Guys". Anything is possible, but I will always tend torwards that reality which has observable effects as opposed to that which may only be conjecture.
There's doing good, and there's feeling good.
Which of these do you think "The Smackdown" is designed to facilitate? My contention would be that there are some Americans that want to help in this conflict. This is a morale booster. Surely the Men In Black have more sophisticated methods at their disposal. This is for regular everyday Americans to join in the fight. Which is worth more, given the scale that we are dealing with?
Not passing judgement here, just asking your opinion.
Thanks for everything.
Best regards, Svin

D said...

but there is presently no observable evidence to support your position.

That's good. If there were, it would mean the good guys weren't doing their jobs very well. Sometimes there are leaks, like the al-Haramain case, but I would hope our side would avoid them whenever possible.

I think if you want to do good, you should adopt a soldier and send him lemonade, CD's, Oreos and beef jerky.

Take CERT training, help a disabled vet, join your State Military Reserve (one layer down from the Guard, they aren't deployable but support the guard for domestic work). Become a Red Cross shelter manager. Drive a hybrid.

If you REALLY want to help, learn Arabic. Start attending a mosque, keep your eyes open and your mouth shut.

There are dangerous videos on Youtube. The ones with kids making bombs and flamethrowers, how to pick locks and steal cars, how to make and distribute meth. Get those pulled down. That's just my opinion.