This afternoon, the following tweet appeared in my timeline:
— The Young Turks (@TheYoungTurks) March 31, 2014
Naturally, I thought for sure this was regarding another Glenn Greenwald screed based on an Edward Snowden PowerPoint slide, and so I hunkered down for another mind-numbingly long and hyperbolic read about the proliferation of military drones and how the National Security Agency has been using them to somehow steal “YOUR” cellphone data. Run away!
It wasn’t any of that. Of course.
It was actually a post and a TYT video segment hosted by Cenk Uygur’s associate Dave Rubin. The drone in question isn’t a government drone at all, but a radio controlled toy rigged up by a British hacker that can, the hacker claims, hover overhead while stealing your username and even your address from your smartphone. One guy. A hacker. Not NSA or anything related to the U.S. intelligence community.
So you’d think the target of the video segment would obviously be the hacker who, like his ground-based cohorts, seek to hack into private networks and steal personal information, not unlike the hackers who broke into the Target network and stole millions of credit card numbers. Nope. Instead, Rubin and the panel took aim at government drones instead of the hacker.
Here’s Rubin’s remarks after showing the CNN Money report on the hacker. And feel free to read this out loud in your best Alex Jones voice:
“Yeah, so that’s why we talk about drones all the time, ’cause we’re doing it over there, but to loosely quote George Bush, it’s gonna end up coming over here. Even if they’re not going to be shooting us, which Rand Paul has talked about, you’re gonna walk outta 7-Eleven, they’re gonna drone strike ya’. So even if it’s not that level, this is pretty scary stuff. Because we know that they’re taking our information already in the metadata and all that. But now that we’re gonna have drones flying around that are gonna have access to all this stuff?”
See what he’s doing here? He’s exaggerating the actions of a single British hacker and extrapolating it out into the U.S. government using the same technology here to steal our phone data. So no, “we’re” not doing over there at all. It’s a hacker! To suggest it’s the U.S. government is — what’s the word? — insane. Even if by some chance it actually happens, there’s nothing in the video report from CNN Money that indicates R&D by any government, much less the U.S. government.
Once again, they’re totally ignoring hackers and taking immediate aim at the agency which is helping to defend the U.S. against hackers.
Plain and simple, this is hysteria-mongering for the sake of clicks. It’s outrage porn for the Greenwald conspiracy theory crowd and, yes, it’s just as much of a stretch as a lot of the material seen on InfoWars.