Data encryption is a fantasy. The National Security Agency and its British counterpart have figured out how to bust through nearly every encryptian technique known to the Internet—and they do it with glee and frightening, unblinking efficiency, according to the latest batch of files in the Edward Snowden leaks. Sometimes it's "brute force," but more elegant is collaborating with the companies and service providers promising the data protection in the first place.
Some important bullet points!
• The secrecy of their capabilities against encryption is closely guarded, with analysts warned: "Do not ask about or speculate on sources or methods."
• The NSA describes strong decryption programs as the "price of admission for the US to maintain unrestricted access to and use of cyberspace".
Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin met privately amid the bustle of the G20 economic powers summit in Moscow—a "very friendly" conversation that lasted 20 minutes but brought the world no closer to agreement on how to respond to chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
The pseudo-summit comes as Russia sends more of its warships to the Mediterranean.
President Obama won't say whether or not he might strike Syria even without congressional approval. Based on this continually updated tally of the House of Representatives, it's looking more and more like he'll be contemplating that possibility. His hard sell in Europe will be followed by a hard sell in the homeland. He's planning a national address this coming Tuesday.
Elsewhere in the American war machine, we're still launching drone strikes into Pakistan, where six suspected militants, including a top Afghan fighter, were reported killed.
Here's why the jobs report that came out today is not so good. Yes, the unemployment rate dropped again. Yes, we gained 169,000 new jobs. But dig on the harsh: Summertime job growth estimates were dramatically reduced, hundreds of thousands of people up and left the job market, and the average number of new jobs has actually been shrinking over the past several months. Don't say goodbye to quantitative easing just yet.
Cops in India have shut down a clever donkey-thieving operation built on the cultural premise that eating ass meat provides unbidden virility and strength.
The wife of George Zimmerman, the Florida man who killed Trayvon Martin, is saving her own reputation by filing for divorce and saying awful things about her husband on television.
Groundbreaking is nigh for one of Portland's largest-ever apartment projects—development of a moribund Lloyd Center "super block" marked for nearly 700 new apartments.
A HANDSOME DISPLAY OF NOISE AND LIGHT. AN ANTIDOTE TO THE GRAY AND THE GLOOM INTRUDING, ANNOYINGLY, ON WHAT'S LEFT OF MY GODDAMNED SUNSHINE-FILLED SUMMER.