Rules For Living In The Total Surveillance State

Snowden says, I and I agree, that we have a short window of time to dismantle the government’s surveillance machine. If we wait too long it’ll be too late, and nothing the people of the world can do will be able to stop it.

But let’s say it’s already too late, and some of us make the decision to just live with it (I say this only partly tongue-in-cheek).

We don’t fret over the government knowing everything about us by collecting our online activities from willing corporate partners. We just live and enjoy our life, and try to avoid doing anything that might catch the attention of our government.

Like Robert Scoble, we simply revel in being surveilled. Hey, at least we know someone’s paying attention.

We just fade into the masses, so to speak. Don’t even think about things that might get you in trouble.

It’s not totally impossible. I visited the Soviet Union in 1980 with my parents, and there was some joy in that country. People find a way to survive.

But my biggest problem with all this is we don’t get a rule book, and the rules will constantly change. The Russians had it easy, all they had to do was support a single political party, without fail and for their entire lives.

We don’t have it nearly so easy.

We know that under this administration we shouldn’t associate with the Tea Party, oppose abortion, join the NRA, or make donations to the President’s political opponents.

That’s pretty clear. I can live with that.

But what if a republican gets into office next? The rules will change. People getting abortions may be targeted next. Or who support “common sense” restrictions to the Second Amendment. Or who donate to that president’s political opponents.

Sure, we can probably see some of that coming and change our positions on key issues deemed important by the new government. We’re not stupid, after all! We can see the writing on the wall and change our core beliefs right as the new administration takes power.

But we won’t be able to go back and change our history. They’ll see that a decade ago we donated to Planned Parenthood and voted for President Obama. Suddenly, going out and buying a gun or two won’t be enough. The new government will know we’re not true believers in the cause. We’re secret left wing or right wing extremists, and guilty of a new crime – engaging in personal behavior designed to fool the surveillance state.

Yes, I can easily see a future law that prohibits us from engaging in behavior that is designed to trip up the surveillance machine.

Knowing this, we know that we need to start being careful today in order to ensure our ability to live tomorrow.

That means the only rule to living in our particular kind of surveillance state (where the machine is permanent, but the targets swing wildly over time with the whims of democracy) is this – be completely apathetic. Support nothing and condemn nothing.

Do nothing to draw attention to yourself. Think carefully about every email, phone call, Facebook like and Twitter favorite and make damn sure that doesn’t conflict with our government’s goals either today or tomorrow.

And in the meantime, support the only political party that really matters, the NSA. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook now. It might get you a little lenience later on when they’re tracking you for buying that Prius.

The NSA is good. The NSA protects us. The NSA knows what’s best. They’re here, and they’re here to help.


Will not one tech CEO stand up and tell the truth?

The NSA story of the secret assassination of the Fourth Amendment continues to unfold. Today we heard from Google CEO Larry Page and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Page was confused (the title of his post is “What the…?). Zuckerberg claimed the press reports were outrageous. Both made strong denials of specific allegations (“direct access,” “back doors”). Both were technically telling the truth. Both were also overtly misleading people.


Those denials now look ridiculous, sitting below a new top headline story with yet more information. I’m guessing Page and Zuckerberg would like to rewrite those statements after reading Claire Cain Miller at the New York Times blowing the lid off with allegations that not only are these companies knowingly working with the NSA, they’re even finding ways to make data transfers more efficient.

In at least two cases, at Google and Facebook, one of the plans discussed was to build separate, secure portals, like a digital version of the secure physical rooms that have long existed for classified information, in some instances on company servers. Through these online rooms, the government would request data, companies would deposit it and the government would retrieve it, people briefed on the discussions said.


But instead of adding a back door to their servers, the companies were essentially asked to erect a locked mailbox and give the government the key, people briefed on the negotiations said. Facebook, for instance, built such a system for requesting and sharing the information, they said.

In case you missed it, Miller spells it out for you: “While handing over data in response to a legitimate FISA request is a legal requirement, making it easier for the government to get the information is not.”

Or to put it another way, who the hell needs “direct access” or “back doors” when companies are building “secure portals” for them instead?

We could quibble all day about whether these men lied (no), or simply misled (yes). But what I really want to know is this:

What has these people, among the wealthiest on the planet, so scared that they find themselves engaging in these verbal gymnastics to avoid telling a simple truth?

We understand the law – these companies can’t acknowledge FISA orders, let alone discuss them – the Verizon document said as much:

It is further ordered that no person shall disclose to any other person that the FBI or NSA has sought or obtained tangible things under this Order.

But why is that stopping them? Do they really see themselves being dragged away, Bradley Manning style – to sit for years in a prison before even being given the dignity of a trial?

Because that’s not going to happen.

If just one of them stood up and told us what’s really going on, as the EFF has urged, we could start to have a real discussion in this country about freedom v. security.

Stand up, I say, and tell us about these FISA orders. Publish them all. Tell us everything. Let us understand the true scope of the evil we are facing.

Because their lawyers might be telling them what they are required to do. But their soul should be telling them what they must do.

At the end of the day, when it comes to government snooping on the phone records and Internet activity of millions of Americans, it doesn’t matter in the least if it’s legal or if procedures were followed. What matters is that the privacy of millions of people has been violated without probable cause or suspicion of wrongdoing, simply so the government could scoop up data on the off chance of finding something interesting.

Will you do it, Marissa? Or you, Ballmer? Or you, Armstrong? Will anyone stand up and say the truth? Will anyone stand up to the secret organization with the secret courts and, simply, do what’s right? Despite the consequences? Despite what your lawyers tell you?

Perhaps you could all get on a conference call tonight and double dare each other to do it all together, at the same time.

“The NSA makes us do things that crush our Constitution, and then they make us never talk about it.”

I hope one of them does. History will not be kind to the people who say nothing. And it will be even less kind to those that mislead us.

Triangulating On Truth – The Totalitarian State

The Guardian breaks a big story yesterday – a court document authorizing the FBI and NSA to secretly collect customer phone records. All of them, for all Verizon customers.

Then today the Washington Post breaks an even bigger story – a leaked presentation stating that the NSA is “tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies” to collect information on users. The project is code-named PRISM.

These are the huge repositories of user information from Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple. Dropbox, we’re told, is “coming soon.” Twitter is noticeably absent.

Then the counter stories – most of the companies mentioned in the NSA presentation have denied that the NSA has access to their servers. And people are pointing out that the Verizon order doesn’t include actual phone conversations, just the metadata around those conversations.

On the WP story, that means one of these things must be true:

1. The NSA presentation is fake and the Washington Post got duped, or

2. Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Apple, etc. are lying, or

3. The presentation is real, and the companies are carefully drafting responses so that they aren’t technically lying.

I believe the third option above is truth.

The denials are all worded too similarly and too specifically:

Comparing denials from tech companies, a clear pattern emerges: Apple denied ever hearing of the program and notes they “do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers and any agency requesting customer data must get a court order;” Facebook claimed they “do not provide any government organisation with direct access to Facebook servers;” Google said it “does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data”; And Yahoo said they “do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.” Most also note that they only release user information as the law compels them to.

How else could these companies be supplying the data? Easy, by simply sending a copy of all data to the NSA. Verizon’s court order, for example, required that they send call data daily.

The companies sending the data have both immunity from prosecution and are also prohibited from disclosing that the NSA has requested or received the data.

The truth of what’s going on becomes obvious.

The U.S. government is compelling companies to turn over all personal information of users to the NSA. They have immunity for this, and they are absolutely prohibited from admitting it.

The result is a massive NSA database that includes information about everything we do online, and everything we do offline that has any online ghost (checkins, photos, etc.).

If twenty years from now the government wants to listen to my phone calls from today, they’ll be able to, because they’re all being stored. Or see who I voted for, or who I associate with. A simple AI can parse all this and profile me. And a hostile government, intent on attacking political enemies, can target me (or anyone).

If you missed this story from May read it now. Former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente says that the U.S. government already has the ability to listen to past phone calls:

CLEMENTE: “No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: “So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: “No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.”

That’s why Mathew Ingram is totally correct when he says that we desperately need “a stateless repository for leaks” (such as WikiLeaks) to have any chance of fighting back.

But what I would like to see right now is for people at these internet companies to stand up and say the truth, all of it, about their dealings with the NSA.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the CEOs or lower level employees. It can be anonymous or on the record. Unless that Washington Post presentation is a fraud, then a lot of people in Silicon Valley know what’s going on, or parts of what’s going on. They have a duty to stand up to the government, and their employers, and tell the world the truth.

Because right now it certainly looks to me like we’re living in a totalitarian state. And the amount of control that state has over all of us, through intimidation and fear, will only grow over time.

Now is the time to stand up and talk, and be a hero.

Or not, and be complicit.

For my part, I don’t give a damn that Senator Feinstein and others in our government say that this is “called protecting America.”

It doesn’t, it’s Orwellian and it kills liberty and freedom on a scale never seen before. It’s not a way to stop terrorism. It IS terrorism.

The courts are allowing this. The government loves this. The only ones left to oppose it are us.

Printable Food To End Hunger? No.

jetsons13NASA and printable food. I can’t stop thinking about the Jetsons enjoying their utopian food pills. Which never happened, of course, because it’s a dumb idea.

Printable food doesn’t sound all that much more appealing than those Jetsons food pills. But the stories deal with that issue – “If eating something spat out by the same kind of 3D printers…doesn’t sound too appetizing, that’s only because you can currently afford the good stuff.”

Meaning as real food becomes more scarce, people will happily eat printed food over no food.

Ok, I agree that people would eat printed food rather than go hungry. But I don’t understand how printed food will solve hunger.

The printer ingredients will be food with moisture removed – presumably dehydrated or freeze dried stuff. That exists today and has 30+ year storage life. Campers and hikers use it all the time because without the water weight this stuff is very easy to carry. You just add water and you get pretty tasty food.

It isn’t cheap, though. Freeze drying in particular is a fairly expensive process. And both freeze drying and dehydration remove nutrients from the food (particularly Vitamin C, I believe). It’s also quite hard to store fats long term. I assume long term space flights would focus on growing fats in plants for the trip, not packing them along from earth.

Bottom line, you still have to start with actual food for these printers, and then go through a costly process to dehydrate or freeze dry it, along with other processing. And then incur yet more costs (equipement and energy and service of equipment) to “print it out.”

Perhaps this gives astronauts more variety and precision in space over regular freeze dried/dehydrated food. But I don’t see why, anytime in our lifetimes, a food printer would make sense in our kitchens. It would likely taste worse than real food, and yet require the same amount of real food to produce.

The way to end hunger is to have less people, and to phase out meat in general over plant based foods. Ending corruption in food aid would also go a long way to ending hunger. Food printers? Not so much.

Salesforce Acquires Clipboard

Congratulations to Gary Flake and the rest of the team at Clipboard. They were acquired by Salesforce today. Proud to be an investor. I first wrote about them in late 2011, one of our first Crunchfund investments.

Response To Julia Allison Allegations In Gawker

Yesterday I posted a letter from my attorney discussing allegations made by Jennifer Allen against me. More responses are being prepared by my attorney for different parties as well.

In the meantime, I need to immediately respond to a new post by Gawker, their sixth of these allegations. In that post Gawker continues to make claims that I have been abusive towards Meghan Asha – claims that she has denied.

Here is what today’s Gawker post says:

Now we can report that Asha’s close friend Julia Allison has privately maintained that the incident happened as we reported it, that she “was there” when it happened, and that she won’t elaborate because, she told Gawker, she is frightened of Arrington. As we previously reported, during a late-night phone call in 2009, a close friend of Asha’s told the entrepreneur and former Arrington business partner Jason Calacanis that Arrington had thrown Asha against a wall. Numerous sources confirmed to us that friend was Allison, the well-known tech personality and fameball, who is a longtime friend of Asha’s. Asha was a founding member of Juila Allison’s tech lifestyle start-up, in 2008.

Despite Asha’s statement, Allison insists in private that the incident did happen, according to a text message conversation we’ve obtained.

“I don’t know why Meghan said it wasn’t true because it WAS,” Allison wrote in a text on April 9, three days after Asha released her statement. “I know because I was there. But I bet [Arrington’s] threatening her.”

She continued: “He abused her and many others. That isn’t in question.”

When asked about the text messages, Allison confirmed their authenticity but declined to elaborate. “It’s not my place and it wasn’t my relationship,” she told Gawker. “And I don’t feel safe messing with Arrington.”

Compare this to text messages that Julia Allison has sent to Meghan Asha over the last few days.



Update: Julia Allison comments directly on the Gawker story:


Letter To Jennifer Allen Regarding False And Defamatory Statements

The following letter from my attorneys was delivered to Jennifer Allen this afternoon, in response to her previous claims. I believe the letter speaks for itself. The original PDF of the letter is here.

Eric M. George
Browne George Ross

Via E-Mail and U.S. Mail

Jennifer Allen
[Address Removed]
[Email Removed]

Re: Michael Arrington

Dear Ms. Allen :

I am counsel for Michael Arrington, and write you now on his behalf.

You have posted statements about Michael that are false and defamatory, and that have caused significant harm to his good name. It is my hope that you immediately will take corrective action, by retracting those statements.

I have examined your posted statements, and compared them with provable facts. This comparison shows without any doubt whatsoever that, among others, the following of your statements about Michael are false:

(1) You stated that “he was physically abusive [on] March 5th [of] last year” (April 1, 2013, 2d posting, Gawker.) “[H]e did rape me, on March 5 last year, when he invited me over to make amends from a major catastrophe a couple months prior.” (April 1, 2013, 3d posting, Gawker.)

Your twice-repeated allegation of rape/physical abuse by Michael is not only false, but factually impossible. On March 5, 2012, Michael was in Washington and you were in California. Michael’s whereabouts are confirmed by travel records and credit card statements in my possession, and your whereabouts are proven by a photo of you at a San Francisco party at 1:05 a.m. on March 6, 2012. This photo was posted online but has been removed in the past several days. (The photo, together with screenshots of your Facebook page in March 2012 before and after it was deleted, are appended hereto as Attachment A.)

(2) You stated that “March 5 last year . . . that was the last time I saw him. I reached out once to him in the past year to get my paintings back . . .” (April 1, 2013, 3d posting, Gawker.)

In fact, you attempted repeatedly to communicate with Michael – by telephone, text message and tweets comprising some 292 lines worth of data – after March 5, 2012, the date on which you have accused him of rape. (Notably, some of these items have been deleted. Given the strict privacy controls governing access to data on social networks, our access to Facebook data was consequently limited; we are confident that a complete forensic audit of your social network accounts, and those of relevant third parties, will yield further information that corroborates our timeline of events.) Just a few such communications are as follows:

• On March 6, 2012, the day following the alleged rape, you sent Michael three photographs of yourself, one with the subject line “For only you.” (See Attachment B.)

• On March 7, 2012, two days following the alleged rape, you emailed Michael proffering extensive advice about how he ought to landscape his property. (See Attachment C.)

• On March 22, 2012, seventeen days after the alleged rape, you asked Michael to invest in your start-up: “SO MUCH to do on this freaking site and app. I need to raise 3-5 Million to get this done right. Mother Fucker. You should invest, because I figured out I do have a strong business model but need the correct amount to advertise, PR, build, and make it work. Don’t even think about investing in another art startup without talking to me. I already did this better on my own than some 10 Princeton VC backed graduates . . . imagine what I could do investing the money the right way.” (See Attachment D.)

• On May 2, 2012, you asked Michael “do you want to go to a wedding with me on May 19 in Chicago? It’s also my birthday May 19.” (See Attachment E.)

• On October 3, 2012, you sent three successive SMS messages to Michael: (i) “How are you”; (ii) “o_O” (iii) “Hi”. (See Attachment F.)

(3) You stated that he engaged in “physical abuse” and “emotional abuse” of you, and “threaten[ed] to murder you if you told anyone about the physical abuse.” (March 29, 2013 posting, Facebook.)

The foregoing statements of yours, as well as those set forth below, paint a starkly different picture; they do not portray you as a victim of abuse or murder threats, but rather as a person who is distraught at a break-up, and angered that her ex-boyfriend entered into a new relationship:

• On April 21, 2012, you wrote to Michael that you “feel betrayed and slighted by you, and wish I wasn’t alone since you decided to be with someone else so quickly. Not sure how I’m going to teach myself how to love and trust again.” (See Attachment G.)

• On July 21, 2012, you wrote: “Thanks for the nebulous msg. I’ll be the change I want to see in those communications skills. You, Mike seem happy with the most boring arrogant fake personalitied person on the planet, who you treat the way I should have been treated. If you can’t treat me with respect publicly, still, then you fall into the selfish whorish male prostitute category that will always hurt me during and in the end. Hope you’re enjoying the weather.” (See Attachment H.)

• In August 2012, you tweeted: “Mike @arrington last chance to reconcile. I[sic] you’re not feeling what I’m feeling, with the same heart, than [sic] fuck you.” (See Attachment I.)

(4) You stated that “[h]e raped . . . a friend of mine 5 months ago” (April 1, 2013, 2d posting, Gawker.) “The other rape victim . . . came to me, and Mike knows exactly who she is because he called her a month after a New York conference last year conference [sic] to proudly confirm he did it.” (April 1, 2013, 3d posting, Gawker.)

Your allegation that Michael raped another woman is also false. In addition to categorically denying that Michael has ever been physically abusive (let alone that he committed a rape), there is no such rape victim. Indeed, we cannot even hazard a guess as to the supposed rape victim who you twice reference, but whom you do not identify.

(5) You stated that “he already went to court for sexual harassment and/or rape while at his first law firm. . . . Mike told me stories in person about how he had a Stanford connection with the judge in his rape trial . . . .and he said he [sic] ‘I got out of my reputation being ruined thanks to a Stanford connection with the judge.’” (April 6, 2013, 4th posting, Gawker.)

Your allegation that Michael raped yet a third woman is also false. Again, and in addition to categorically denying that Michael has ever been physically abusive, there is no such rape victim. Nor is there any truth whatsoever to any element of this fantastical story involving a rape, a trial, connections with a judge, or anything else you have suggested in your posting.

The falsity of the foregoing (among many other statements) is confirmed by four people who lived or worked at Michael’s house during the time period that you and he were dating. Heather Harde has publicly stated: “I would have detected patterns of abusive physical behavior if they had been present. . . . I simply do not believe any of the allegations to be true. . . . It’s important we set the record straight.” Nik Cubrilovic has publicly stated: “I lived in the same house as Arrington for the entire time he dated Jenn. I never once saw even a hint of physical abuse.” Gabe Rivera has publicly stated that he had “[n]ever seen physical threats or harm.” Nick Gonzalez has publicly stated: “Mike was never physically abusive to anyone.” (See Attachment J.)

Nor can there be any question as to your foregoing statements’ defamatory nature. Each such statement purports to describe facts that, if accepted by a reader as true, injure Michael’s reputation so “as to lower him in the estimation of the community or to deter third persons from associating or dealing with him.” Right-Price Recreation, LLC v. Connells Prairie Community Council, 146 Wash. 2d 370, 382 (2002).

Very regrettably, your actions here appear all too similar to your actions on May 18, 2011, when you emailed Michael that you were pregnant and were planning on having an abortion the following day (which was your birthday). You subsequently told Michael that you feigned the pregnancy and abortion in order to get him to communicate with you. (See Attachment K.)

Sadly, while making false allegations of rape, your response to statements made by disinterested third parties in Michael’s defense include an irrational attack on an actual rape victim who you accuse of “hurt[ing] women and victims of violence.” (See Attachment L.)

Please consider this letter to constitute a demand for an immediate retraction by you of each of the previous statements. I would appreciate the courtesy of your written response to this demand no later than close of business Monday, April 15, 2013. Indeed, failing a response by you that unconditionally retracts your false and defamatory statements, you will have left us with no choice but to proceed with legal action against you. Litigation is an absolute last resort for Michael, but we will pursue all options to undo the reputational injury caused by your misconduct. As that is our sole objective, to the extent any legal proceedings become necessary, Michael has pledged to donate to charity all amounts recovered.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Eric M. George


































There have been some extremely serious and criminal allegations against me over the last week. All of the allegations are completely untrue, and I’ve hired a law firm to represent me in the legal actions against the offending parties.

I know this isn’t, for now, much information. I will have a full and complete response to these allegations sometime later this week. My goal will be to direct as much sunlight as possible on the issues so that the absolute truth can be known and I can begin to put my life back together.

I’ve also asked my attorneys to contact appropriate law enforcement agencies about these false allegations. Given the gravity of the claims, I think it’s important that the police be involved in this now.

Update: First letter from my attorney is here.

“There Really Couldn’t Be A More Stupid Idea”

Newly elected President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades on 3/3/13, his first day in office:

I want to be absolutely clear. Absolutely no reference to a haircut on public debt or deposits will be tolerated. Such an issue isn’t even up for discussion.

Finance Minister Michael Sarris also said this on depositor haircuts:

Really and categorically—and this doesn’t only apply in the case of Cyprus but for the world over and the euro zone—there really couldn’t be a more stupid idea.

Two weeks later, Anastasiades agrees to what he said wasn’t being considered, and engages in outright theft from the people of Cyprus to ensure unsecured and uninsured debt obligations are paid.

If I lived in Europe, particularly if I lived in Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal or France, I’d withdraw every cent I had in any bank account as soon as the banks re-open and put it in Hong Kong, possibly the last place to secure assets from grabby governments. Or under my mattress.

This is so incredibly stupid, so destructive to markets psychologically, that it can’t possibly be anything other than a trial balloon, to see if it can be pulled off in a tiny market before moving to the bigger ones.

The Department Of Homeland Security Is Now Bitching At Me On My Blog

Update to yesterday’s post. A day after Buddy was seized by DHS I now have my boat in my possession and at my slip.

This all happened while I was still trying to sort out a lawyer and had nothing to do with anything I did. Coastal Craft, the builder, took extraordinary steps (and expense) to get possession of Buddy from DHS.

I sat down to write this quick update just to let everyone know that things worked out.

But when I logged in to WordPress I saw a really curious comment from someone claiming to work for DHS in the same office that I dealt with. And the comment includes enough specific information that I’m inclined to believe him.

The comment:

Okay all, the rest of the story(I was there). 1. The amount on both invoice and CBP form were in U.S dollars correctly completed on the form. 2. Just because someone has $$$ and posts something first on the web, doesn’t make them true. 3. The officer in question did not act gleefully, in fact SHE called back to the office and vessel manufacturer several times to verify the stated value. 4. The officer in question vilified by this rich individual now has to endure all the grief posted here and elsewhere by Mr rich guy and explain why she followed the LEGAL document value and wouldn’t cow to his brow beating. 5. Coastal Craft ended up paying for a broker to perform what should have been a personal importation and guess what The value on that entry was EXACTLY the same as on the CBP presented form. 6. Mr. Rich guy will probably post everywhere now that HE was right due to the fact that he has his boat and did not sign anything, but the fact is that the company took the high moral ground and due to ALL the false posting by Arrington, they paid for the paperwork to be processed. 7. We are all at the mercy of individuals who feel (right or wrong) that they can put out whatever they feel and get hundreds of all of you all worked up about the big bad government, fact is the is/was correct and all of us had to jump thru hoops due to arrington’s posts and written falsehoods. 8. I am proud to work with this office/officer and all of you should be ashamed for vilifying her/DHS without knowing the facts. 9. Most working folds have bosses and we are no exception sadly we had to answer many questions for correctly performing our sworn duties due to all the bad press put out by someone who feels entitled or above the public servant. Shame on you.

My response:

Just a few questions.

1. You state you work for DHS, correct? And you work in the office I had to deal with?

2. You say you were there. Are you claiming you were actually at the boat when this happened? Or do you just mean you were “there” in general (back at the office)? Because you were most definitely not on the boat (where everything happened) at any time I was there.

3. If you do, you really feel “vilified” when the net result was your office seized private property? I mean, hey, you got my boat. That had to be some consolation.

4. Is it appropriate for you to post private information about Coastal Craft? I won’t ask about my information since I started the debate and hey, I’m just a fucking schmuck citizen. But them? Do you see this as an abuse of your position?

5. You say “all of us had to jump thru hoops due to arrington’s posts and written falsehoods” – what hoops were jumped through exactly?

6. You say “she followed the LEGAL document value.” You realize she was holding an invoice in CA$ in one hand and the DHS document in US$ in the other, and seemed to have no understanding that they were two different currencies, right?

7. Did she tell you how she wouldn’t face me or look me in the eye or let me speak? Did she tell you how she wouldn’t let me speak with her superior to explain things? It was just “sign this or we’re done. Actually, we’re just done. Give me the keys.”

You have to realize how angry I had to be to write this. First, I don’t like talking about my personal business. Second, I had to take a lot of negative feedback from people over this, too. And third, for fuck’s sake, you are the Department of Homeland Security. What happens to me the next time I got through TSA at the airport, or try to cross the border into Canada? Do you think I may perhaps be on a “list” and have some difficulties? Do you understand that I am so upset about how the government is treating its citizens that I was willing to accept that I’ll now be subject to further abuse?

I’m terribly sorry that I upset you and your office over all this. But all I did was post what happened on my personal blog. I have the right to do that under the Constitution. That thing you’ve sworn to uphold and protect.

And a follow up:

And one other thing I missed the first time. You say “The amount on both invoice and CBP form were in U.S dollars correctly completed on the form. 2.”, suggesting that the form your office created was identical to invoice. This is just another outright lie. The invoice was in CA$.

For you, the government, to outright lie like this, and engage in a personal attack, and discuss private information, is disgusting.

That follow up comment really addresses the whole crazy in his comment. He’s saying there was no problem at all with the paperwork. So why wouldn’t I sign? And why would it be necessary for her to apparently call all these people to verify the value?

And another thing he doesn’t mention is this whole broker business. The reason Coastal Craft had to hire a broker (which is something like $10,000) was because DHS told them they had to do it to get the boat out of seizure. That’s what Coastal Craft told me today, and that’s what officer Marr told me yesterday on the phone.

I can’t wait until the next time I have to cross a border or go through TSA at the airport.


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