[ExI] reciprocal transparency

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Thu May 14 16:20:57 UTC 2020



The huge bombshell news story yesterday was the declassification of a list of names of government officials who requested unmasking of American citizens (in this case General Michael Flynn) from CIA phone intercepts.


This one is controversial, because it is an end-run around our 4th amendment.  It requires a court warrant to listen in on a phone conversation, but cell phones are radios, so intercepting those signals is something that can be done by anyone who knows how.  The legality of intercepting cell phone calls is still being debated all these years later.


When Julian Assange was hanging out here in the late 1990s, his argument was that transparency should be a two-way street.  Cell phones were already becoming nearly universal in those days.  Julian realized the government could intercept the calls.  He believed that the identities of government officials who had access to that information should be public domain information.  They can see us, so we should be able to see them.  Reciprocal transparency prevents rampant corruption to exist in secrecy.


That didn’t happen.  


Government officials could request “unmasking” which is declassification of the identity of an American citizen on either end of the call, while the requesting official’s identity would remain classified.  


Yesterday the head of National Intelligence carried out what Assange wanted over 20 years ago and declassified a list of 39 US government officials who requested unmasking of General Michael Flynn (who is that?)  The names are obscure, I don’t think I have heard of of them, but one name I definitely heard of, and that name is Ambassador Bass.  What a shock to see Ambassador Bass right there on the last page of that list.




I didn’t even realize Ernest T. Bass was still with us.  But there he is, a shining star on that list of obscure names:




Julian Assange, there you go man: reciprocal transparency.  We come to find out what Ernest T. Bass is doing these days: he’s the US Ambassador to Turkey.  Why would Ernest T. care anything about this obscure General Flynn?  The world may never know.


Long live reciprocal transparency.



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20200514/8d344b9c/attachment.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image003.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 20439 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20200514/8d344b9c/attachment.jpg>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list