Poppsikle blog

The Roots of the Problem. Francis Jeffrey on Internet development, DARPA, the early NSA and what happened next


How it all began. Government Contractors & Bureaucracy

The government buys lots of goods & services (“contractors”) who push whatever they have to offer.  The government also promotes and nourishes certain developments (for example, DARPA & university research grants). The bureaucracy (for example, Pentagon) is full of people with certain career specialties, and assigned certain tasks.

Who is guarding the People?

Congress is elected largely using money from contractors who supply goods and services to the government. So not only are the wolves guarding the chickens, but also the eggs. (and no one knows which actually came first!)


Remember when I worked for DARPA in the 1970s, we were developing the Internet (then called DARPA-NET & NSF-NET) because it was thought to be a communication method that (a) would survive a war [the parallel “.mil” side of it], and (b) accelerate the pace of collaboration among government, university & industry. I don’t really know whether anyone at that point was contemplating its potential for “data mining”, or even the prospect that it would become a public communication and mass-media system.

The Early NSA

What NSA was thinking in those days is largely documented in a book, “The Puzzle Palace,” which they tried to suppress AFTER it was published. SIGINT in those days seemed to be mostly about interpreting messages picked-out from telephone and radio signals. This required lots of translators (human) and s/w that scanned signals for “key words”. They had “listening posts” all over the world, but the domestic nexus seemed to be “telephone exchanges”, which in the 1960s & 70s were being computerized (UNIX operating system, developed by AT&T Bell Labs).

9/11-fueled Acceleration

The NSA was focused on ther SIGINT contribution to (real) military intelligence and counter-intel, with the identified threats being the USSR, etc. While there were some low-key “NSA snooping scandals” in the 1970 & 80s, i think they really got messed up in the 2nd Bush administration, and the way it played the “9/11” catastrophe to its own advantage. Suddenly there was a permanent enemy and a permanent state of war — just as George Orwell envisioned.  So the Constitution was abandoned, and money flowed to anyone who was well-connected and seemed to offer a piece of the technology puzzle.

Change that needs to happen

We’d like all this current commotion to result in restoring the Constitution, reinforcing private ownership of our own data and bio-data, and a national SIGINT system that is focused, effective and efficient for its primary and stated purpose (i.e., REAL mil. intel & counter-spy ops). I would be for certain additional functions that are carefully and narrowly defined, only:  AGAINST human trafficking, abduction, torture, murder-for-hire and large-scale international organized crime that corrupts governments or traffics in (specifically) nuclear, biological or nanotech weapons.

– Francis Jeffrey

See also: Lets Solve the Problem of Restoring Internet Privacy! Francis Jeffrey on How to do it





Lets Solve the Problem of Restoring Internet Privacy! Francis Jeffrey, on How to do it


“What I am NOW proposing is that the law must be clarified to re-establish private ownership of all of one’s personal data, with limited and specific rights to use the data to be given in contractual situations.”

Francis Jeffrey, is an early internet pioneer, brilliant inventor/engineer/programmer and thinker.

“Francis Jeffrey is a pioneer and forecaster on the frontier interface between communication technologies and neuroscience. He is a consultant on ethical applications of science and technology, co-founder of civic and environmental organizations, and served as CEO of companies devoted to the application of biological principles in computer software & network design.” According to published accounts

Francis belongs in a fairly small category of highly innovative people I have been privileged to  know:  [Marvin] Minsky [Edward] Fredkin, Ted Nelson, John McCarthy come to mind…” – Jerry Pournelle, SiFi author and former Editor of BYTE magazine

He has some very good ideas, for solving the problems of data invasion, gathering and spying. Here is his concept:

In about 1982, I started talking around the idea of “Futures Leverage” as a networked interactive-creative format, and that each member would OWN their individual “information-action condominium” within a virtual, relational network. You could then invite people into your “condominium” for conversation, planning, etc.;  but you individually OWNED that piece of informational “real estate.”  And what guests brought in or took out, could be governed by agreement — as in the real world.

(Context:  this was with early Internet, but before the web format existed;  lots of BBS  [bulletin board systems, now named “Blogs”] in those days, connected through various dial-up data networks, or as pier-to-pier networks [“CommuniTree” was an early one when the Apple II came out], and eventually Compuserve and AOL, etc., came into action.  SO I quickly learned their limitations & complications.)

What I am NOW proposing is that the law must be clarified to re-establish private ownership of all of one’s personal data, with limited and specific rights to use the data to be given in contractual situations.

For example, if you have a business relationship with someone, then each of you is entitled to use the information exchanged in and necessary for that relationship;  but, no one automatically gets the right to give away, sell or otherwise exploit the data (except by explicit and voluntary CONTRACT). And once the business relationship, or individual transaction, is completed and settled, the data would remain in a CONFIDENTIAL state for some period that is necessary for business records.

This paradigm was assumed under English-American “Common Law”, but has been eroded (lately at an accelerating pace).  It is parallel with Common Law rights to Intellectual Property (“IP”) which supplement formal Copyright protection (etc.).

In addition to the obvious benefits, this approach solves many of what have become now pressing problems.  For example, the dubious “Third Party Doctrine” is a Fed. Ct. precedent that for about 30 years has been exploited to assert that once you give data to a business (or gov. agency), you no longer have “a reasonable expectation of privacy” regarding what was communicated. Courts subsequently have over-applied this idea to, even, situations when the information was given involuntarily, accidentally or unknowingly — or even when it was effectively extorted from you.  (It’s a crack-pot concept, but that is the current state of the Law in the U.S.!)

Much of the “legal basis” for the recently-revealed mass-spying, indeed hinges on the “Third Party Doctrine,”  BECAUSE the laws on privacy say that you have a right to privacy ONLY in communications situations where you “have a reasonable expectation of privacy.” (This comes from the idea that if you are having a quiet conversation at home, or on the phone, it’s private;  but if you are conversing loudly, out in a public place, they you are giving away the information to anyone who hears you..etc. etc.) This was an eminently reasonable view of the obvious the limits of privacy, until it was perverted into the “Third Party Doctrine” by judicial hyper-activism in support of governmental over-reach.

– Francis Jeffrey

Further info:

Software Designers Look for Connections at Event, Los Angeles Times, by Karen Kaplan, staff writer, 18 January 1999


An Interview with Francis Jeffrey, a 1997 interview


Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs


New Year’s Eve Story



This is the New Year’s Eve story I told on Twitter.

Dec. 31, 2013

I am going to tell a New Year’s Eve story.

Its a Cherokee story, but as a footnote, my grandmother was an adopted American Indian, but the story is mine.

There was a Cherokee girl in a tribe, a tribe that was besieged by Grizzly bears, a very dangerous bear, deadly.

She had the ability, to face-down these bears, they had no power over her.

Now you would think, this girl would be very valued by the tribe, but what happened is, the Chief and wanna-be Chief’s,

had big Egos that could not bear, someone being better at bear defense, than they were. To the extent of shunning her, endangering the tribe

So all this carnage happened, that the girl had to witness, just because of Huge Egos, selfish to the point of being deadly.

They became the Grizzly bears. Inside the tribe, not outside of it.

Greedy to the point of being deadly. Profit over People, profit made on human suffering.

They were sooooo very concerned with their appearance, their socially acceptable “face”, they were nervous all of the time.


Meriwether Lewis, wrote about Grizzly bears in the journals he kept on his historic expedition.

He was blown away that the Indians were able to hunt them with the weapons they had, he knew how fierce they were.

Fierce, big, strong, brutal bears, blood-thirsty. Pure animal hatred.

Those Chiefs sure tried hard to mask this, but they were the ones responsible for all the carnage. Blood-money.

The Cherokee girl didn’t know what to do and fell asleep at last, after a long night up.

She had a dream where she was in the mountains, with bears, but they were the friendly kind, they were singing and partying.

They were singing the New Radical’s song, You Get What You Give “Wake up kids We’ve got the dreamers disease”

“One dance left This world is gonna pull through Don’t give up”


“Stop complaining” said the nice bear You’ve got the gift of stopping Grizzly bears, just use it, and stop acting like you are so special.

“We all have our gifts, yours’ is stopping Grizzly bears, lol” and the nice bear danced off into the night.




16 Essential Troll Busting Techniques

16 Essential Troll Busting Techniques

by Virginia Hoge


I have been very heavily trolled for the past four years. There was no way to escape this trolling, I had to deal with it. I have dealt with some of the most difficult trolls in the Country on one of the most violent forums – Topix, a virtual hate-machine – a forum where there was no option to block the trolls or to quickly remove their worst comments. I have learned (the hard way, making lots of mistakes along the way) techniques in how to counter and how to handle trolls in this time.

There are so many practical applications to learning how to counter-troll. For instance, so much has been invested in trolling, and this has not been enough reported on. Learning how to counter these pundits, is an important lesson for the year 2013. Cyber-bullying is ending too many lives and a lot of this could be halted with more training in countering/resistance techniques. I originally began this list 2 years ago, to help gay teens being cyber-bullied. Too many kids are dying and they could learn from learning how to fight back.

These are the techniques I use in dealing with trolls. There are those who would disagree with me, but these are the ones I use.

One:  A show of strength: I think the most important thing with trolls, is to be like a brick wall against them. You put up a verbal wall that says: Nope, you are not going to get away with this. No matter how much you threaten or insult me, I am not going to back down. A show of strength is important with them, they are less courageous than you are. Nothing anyone can say can get to you if you don’t let it. Trolls work to get under your skin, don’t let them. When dealing with trolls, you need to learn to take control of your own perceptions. This is hard and takes time so be patient with yourself.

Two:  All trolls can pretty easily be tripped with their own words. They are illogical and all you have to do, is to point out the illogic of their posts. Turn what they say around, work into it. You leave them frustrated with nothing to say in doing this.

Three:  Humor is a great tool with trolls. Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand. The importance of playfulness and humor, cannot be over-estimated. A collection of funny YouTube videos, of songs etc., is also a good thing to collect to have to use against trolls. A YouTube link makes a funny reply, also links to funny pictures.

Four:  Handling insults and lies. The natural response when insulted or when a troll tells a lie about you, is to say “No I am not” or “No I did not”. This ironically, becomes a way they have caught you up in a troll game. They will keep saying “Yes you are” “Yes you did” (because you have shown them what they said got to you). The best way to counter insults, is with humor and irreverence. Make a joke about it, show humility even, laugh at yourself. When a lie is told about you, say one time only No dude, I didn’t do it”. And walk off. No arguing.

Five:  Never show anger. This is a hard one. They are working very hard to make you angry. Showing anger gives them what they want. Stay as calm as possible, as irreverent as possible, but still being firm. It is very important to recognize when it happens, that a troll has gotten to you, and then to back off of the debate.  Walk away from the computer. There is always another day. Time is something you can us in your favor.

Six:  Never show hurt. The natural response when a troll has hurt you, is to appeal to the “audience”, be it the troll or a number of viewers of the thread on an open message board, about your hurt. Its called crying in trolling. Again, it shows the troll they have got to you and you cannot expect conscience, from the troll, you cannot expect them to feel sorry for you and I have found, you can expect very little sympathy from other audience members also, even if they are your friends. People are very uncomfortable with hurt feelings and your “crying” about them will not elicit the response you seek. Keep your hurt hidden, stay a brick wall. Walk away from the computer if they have gotten to you.

Seven:  Mocking. This is when it gets ugly, but is needed sometimes for stubborn, professional trolls. Mock them, they cannot stand it, and it shows them that you are as adept in their tactics as they are.

Eight:  Ignore them. When trolls keep posting hateful crap, when it gets the most ugly, ignore these comments. When they get really mean, you know they are putting their “all” into it, and your ignoring these comments will drive them the most crazy. I have likened it to a game of tennis. If they hit the ball to you and you do not return it, there is no game. They don’t get the perverse pleasure they seek in getting to you.

Nine:  The LOL. Learning the different meanings of lol (laugh out loud) are important when dealing with trolls. Lower-case “lol”, shows humility – important – it shows you are not being “preachy”. In the example above, adding a lower-case “lol” to “No dude, I didn’t do it, lol” helps to better convey your meaning, as strange as that sounds. It works. “Lol” is used for stronger emphasis and best used on its own. “No dude, I didn’t do it. Lol.” Its stronger so use it carefully. Upper-case LOL means the full out “laugh out loud”. This is used in mocking the troll. When the troll says something ridiculous, sometimes the best thing you can reply is “LOL”. And leave it at that.

Ten:  Back up other posters they are attacking. Back up is important with stubborn trolls, don’t just defend yourself, defend others. Agreement is a troll tactic, they often work in pairs, agreeing with each other. We can do that also.

Eleven:  Persistence. Trolls have all day and night to post away, and will and do. You need to stay on them, not just make one comment and leave, you need to debate with the troll to turn the argument into your favor. Time is something you can use in your favor, take time off, make the troll wait for you, don’t reply to every comment of theirs, be selective, reply to none sometimes. Talk about something completely different. That puts you in control.

Twelve:  Love. Trolls are human beings, as mean, ugly and nasty as they get. Do not hate them, your hatred will only hurt you, not them. You need to see beyond the front they are putting up, into their humanity and always remember it. It can be called on, especially with trolls you are countering for a long time. But do not use it early on, do not try to “win the troll over” too soon. That will not work. Only keep it in the back of your mind and in time, it can be possible to break through and find your common humanity. I have made friends with some trolls who used to troll me.

Thirteen (related to the above): Reconciliation/Understanding. Trolls are often hot-headed people and say hurtful things quickly, often have short tempers, have been hurt themselves by hurtful words and are lashing out. Its important to distinguish between a troll that has a good person underneath and a malicious hater, because one of the most under-looked but important tools in troll busting is Understanding. It is possible to make peace with someone you do not agree with, to find common ground and this is often very productive. 

Beware of biases in yourself, understand that there are going to be people you don’t agree with, don’t make every disagreement a cause for combat. Laugh off minor insults, don’t be too prickly. Again, stay calm, don’t get angry.

Fourteen:  Keep your replies as short as possible. Your reply to the troll is what they will base their “ammo” on for their attacks. The more “ammo” you give them, the worse it is for you. Keeping your replies as short as possible gives them less to work with and nails your point more efficiently.

Fifteen: Troll Crying. Crying, in troll terminology, is over-complaining, crying about someone (if the troll is your combatant, you). Its a show of weakness and I find it all the time in the biggest bullies. The biggest bullies are the biggest crybabies. This is a Win for you. Once a troll starts crying, you know they are weaker than you are and falling back, capitalize on this.

Sixteen:  Have fun with it. In essence, countering trolls is a cyber version of the Great Art of Debate. Read up on debate tactics, study the masters. Importantly: study how trolls fight with each other, find ones that are good at it. Trolls will often call trolling playing.

You can learn to play too.

© Virginia Hoge, Dec. 2013. All rights reserved.

Suggestions for Gen Keith Alexander

General Keith Alexander has pitched the idea of sharing “tools” to help protect the Internet, businesses and us.


I have a few suggestions for him, if he is really serious.

1. Go after the malware epidemic, its causing so many problems, work to find a way to halt malware and its devastation.

2. Get onto Topix an stop the pedophiles, the drug dealers, those causing harm to lives and entire communities. Fight the racists in Sanford FL, Atlanta GA, The African American forum, etc. Make the management responsible for what happens on their site.

3. Initiate a total change of policy that stops gathering the data and spying on, innocent Americans and what has already been gathered is erased. Establish firm support for Internet privacy and take the steps to ensure it, including legislation.

Shadow-ban hack still in place on Twitter.

Spoke too soon, my comments are still being shadow-banned on Twitter on certain threads. It happened again today.

What I see:


What everyone else sees:


LOL! Its funny how scared they are of my opinion but its not funny that even the CEO of Twitter, can’t seem to keep this from happening on his site, although I will approach him again on it.

Stay tuned.


Twitter CEO steps in to remove shadow-ban hack

I am going to cautiously declare the shadow-ban hack I have been fighting for so long, has been removed from my Twitter accounts. A back and forth with Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, appears to have worked to have the problem addressed.


I believe he was honest and truly did not know that his site was being manipulated, I never thought Twitter was behind the shadow-banning, I knew all too well from my experiences on Topix and Facebook also, that shadow-banning was a method of my enemies who have long been terrified of me and my opinion.

Every dirty trick in the book has been played on me because Topix is that corrupt, that empowered, that sheltered from exposure…

That cowardly, that fearful.

Topix’s dealings with the NSA need a lot more investigation, they have proven they have a lot to hide. One thing  is certain already, there is no way the NSA wants their connection with a site that unethical – one that houses illegal drug dealing, pedophiles, harm to children, women and families, harm to so many lives, massive destruction of American lives and communities, World-wide abuse, racism like no where else – known.

My fate has put me in the position of being the whistle-blower on all this, I have paid a high price for it, and the wall of enabling silence has facilitated this.

What can I say. They messed with the wrong person. Some people dig in their heels in storms. Some people know that all walls can come down, that justice in the long run, always prevails.

Force is a failed weapon. It creates and strengthens resistance.

shadow-banning on Twitter – screenshots

Here’s what I see when I reply to a Glenn Greenwald post, on the thread:


Here is what everyone else sees:




Well, I well-know who doesn’t want me to criticize them, who wants rule over people, who wants to keep their dirty secrets from seeing the light of the public eye. Topix, the biggest hate-machine ever, a breeding ground and protected destination for hate, one that proposed a “new ethics” meaning no ethics, sought to gain profit that way, saw the money in that muck.

One that masked itself as a free speech vehicle when in fact, the underlying method and operating procedure was Authoritarianism. One that destroyed countless lives and businesses by the total lack of care for human beings safety, no foundation at all in accountability, backed up by draconian laws, government and media inaction and enabling.

That is pretty much a definition of evil: Profit over People. It seeks out Control and Power, favoring brute force, censorship and spying as weapons to maintain it. It cares nothing for human life, profits on suffering.

Too many have let this power rule over them, too many are afraid to speak out against it. Not me! I learned a lot, facing its favorite weapons:

• Bullying

• Censorship

• Spying

All weapons of Fear. Weakness, not strength.

Powerless if someone refuses to budge from them. Powerless against resistance. Powerless against fearlessness. Guilty of injustice, that can never last, that is unsustainable.

You win

You develop an iron will facing down fear’s weapons. And they develop nothing, just perpetuate their fear, become it.

And don’t forget,

Don’t fear it! Its stupid!

Stupid, dumb, blind, arrogant power will trip itself every time by its dependence on a false ego that has no substance in reality. By nervous fear that the guilty live with 24/7.

They will do dumb, stupid things that trip themselves all by their lonesome, sit back and watch them, and see how I am right.

What else could explain the recent shadow-banning of this comment?

The comment posted a link to Chris Tolles 2009 rant: The Bad Guys Win… “Oh no!!!” thought Tolles’ censors, “can’t let Glenn Greenwald see that one”


To be so afraid of him seeing that comment as to shadow-ban it, shows exactly who is the loser! And it is not the “Bad Guys” Tolles dreams about…

The Good Guys Win!

Love is so much stronger than Hate.


So don’t fear people, with the new awareness of just how much Authoritarianism there is in our Country, bullies everywhere, resist them!

They cannot control those who don’t let themselves be controlled, they don’t like that, oh well!

I believe in America, I believe what is right with it can fix what is wrong with it, those trying to destroy our Country, trying to destroy civilization, they will fall.

Keep up the fight.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Twitter hack update

There is definitely tracking and surveillance involved in the ongoing censorship I am facing on Twitter.

Yesterday, I posted comments to Tom Gara, who I have only once before replied to. They were shadow-banned. Today I posted comments to Sarah Cuda, the same happened.

The anticipation of what to shadow-ban and what not to shadow-ban, has a method visible in the Madness, someone(s) who are SO intent on controlling the Twitter debate and keeping my voice out of it. I am being tracked.

It is very telling as to the Control they want, something I have been warning and warning about. Also, that TECH is using surveillance and tracking methods, ones they are so quick to call out the NSA for, they are using these methods to censor criticism.

All the more reason, their role in the PRISM scandal can not only not be forgotten, so much more investigation is needed into their Ongoing manipulation of the Internet, their devious use of spying and surveillance.

Original post:

I discovered I am being tracked by my censors. I posted two comments to a David Carr post, I signed out to see if they posted – as I have to now to tell which comments post – they did. A couple of hours later, I checked again, they were not there.

I had been wondering how this hack works, I have sometimes replied to comments from journalists whose posts I have never commented on before. If the posts are NSA related, my comments on them are being shadow-banned.

I find the whole situation ridiculous and so cowardly. There is No Way they can get away with it, even though there are so many who are afraid to speak out about Topix, why I don’t know, partly its those who haves stayed silent all this time afraid to be called out, partly it is those making money from it, partly it is those afraid of going through what I have.

The Silicon Valley, that’s where it is coming from. Millions of lives are being destroyed by those there so blindly attached to profit, they do not care. The harm must end.