JYA in NYT
sunder at sunder.net
Sun Aug 29 07:03:57 PDT 2004
Let's dissect this mother.
On Sun, 29 Aug 2004, Nomen Nescio wrote:
> August 29, 2004
> Mapping Natural Gas Lines: Advise the Public, Tip Off the Terrorists
> By IAN URBINA
> John Young says he is an agent for change, hoping to point out places
> where the government needs to bolster national security. Since 1996,
> he has been posting documents on his Web site, ranging from detailed
> maps of nuclear storage facilities in New Mexico to aerial
> photographs of police preparations for the Republican National
> Convention. He has never attracted much attention from the
> authorities, and what he does is fully legal.
So where's the beef then?
> But last month, Mr. Young, a 68-year-old architect originally from
> Odessa, Tex., began publishing maps and pictures of natural gas
> pipelines in New York City on his site (www.cryptome.org). One
> photograph was of a large sign in Midtown Manhattan warning about the
> presence of a major gas main, a sign that had been meant to prevent
> deadly accidents. Within a week, the company that owns the pipeline
> took the sign down.
Yeah, those were pictures taken from public locations, I'd assume, right?
No different than taking a picture of the Statue of Liberty or of the
> "They posted the signs because they thought someone might
> accidentally blow the pipeline up,'' Mr. Young said. "Now, they're
> taking them down because they think someone might intentionally blow
> it up.''
Sounds like a lose lose situation to me.
> For Mr. Young - and for a range of experts across the country - the
> strange and unnoticed little episode in Manhattan underscores one of
> the great tensions of the post-9/11 world: how to balance the desire
> for secrecy with decisions on what is best for public safety.
So there, you go, Mr. Young has become an expert. What's the problem?
> Few issues highlight that tension better than the topic of natural
Or perhaps flatulence?
> Private industry and local governments have spent much of the last
> several decades trying to make natural gas pipelines safer by
> publicizing where they are. Natural gas, highly explosive and
> transported in pipes underneath unknowing residents or uncharted
> along waterways, has been the cause of scores of lethal accidents -
> fiery explosions caused by misdirected backhoes or wayward boat
There you go. They've made their bed, now they can't complain when
someone points at it and says "Uh, look at that!"
> But recent concerns have pushed in the opposite direction.
> Increasingly, gas companies have been clearing their Web sites of
> pipeline maps previously used by contractors before excavating.
> Almost all nautical charts once indicated where gas pipes run. Fewer
> do now.
So, we're back to someone accidentally dropping anchor in the wrong place
and boom... can't have it both ways boys.
> "Federal regulations require companies to make these lines as obvious
> as possible and educate the public about where they are,'' said Kelly
So John was simply helping the companies follow Federal Regulations.
> Swan, a spokesman for Williams, the company that owns the pipe
> supplying Manhattan. "But local laws indicate that we were allowed to
> get rid of that particular sign, and after the recent publicity about
> it, we did.''
Oops, too much publicity, couldn't handle the spin control.
> Natural gas arrives in New York City through six so-called city
> gates, reached after traveling thousands of miles in pipes running
> from deposits deep beneath southeastern Texas and Sable Island, off
> the east coast of Nova Scotia. Here it enters a local grid of smaller
> pipes owned by Consolidated Edison in Manhattan, the Bronx and
> portions of Queens, and owned by Keyspan in the rest of the city. The
> gas is used for heating, cooking, and increasingly for fuel in city
> power plants.
And now the author of this article is feeding the terrorists vital intel -
or following Federal regulations?
> But natural gas is also at risk of sabotage.
So is water, so is air, so is everything. Hell, if the CIA thought they
could implant a transmitter in a cat and set the cat loose in a park where
Soviets, Commies, and Spies (Oh My!) might talk, what's to stop the
terrorists from doing the same style of thing?
> "This tactic actually comes from our own playbook,'' said Thomas C.
> Reed, the former secretary of the Air Force under President Gerald R.
> Ford and the author of "At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the
> Cold War.'' In 1982, the C.I.A. hacked into the software that
> controlled Soviet natural gas pipelines, causing vital pumps,
> turbines and valves to go haywire, he explained. The result, Mr. Reed
> said, was the largest nonnuclear explosion and fire ever seen from
> space and a major blow to Soviet sales of natural gas to Western
> "The tactic was a stroke of genius,'' he said.
Sure, why didn't he also say that flying 747's into high buildings were a
stroke of genious too? Oh, but that would be telling.
Never mind that they ran something called The School of the Americas that
trained Terrorists^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HFreedom Fighters in South Americas
torture^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hinterrogation techniques, and never mind that when
the USSR wanted to take over Afghanistan, our valiant boys were teaching
the Afghani Freedom fighters the fine art of asymetrical warfare, some of
which I'm sure now belong to Al Qaeda...
Or did we sheeple forget about that incident there?
> Jose Padilla, the former Chicago gang member who grew up in Brooklyn,
> and who was accused of becoming an operative for Al Qaeda, intended
> to use natural gas to blow up three tall buildings, the authorities
> say. According to government documents, Mr. Padilla intended to rent
> apartments in three high-rise buildings that used natural gas, fill
> each apartment with fumes and detonate the three buildings
> simultaneously using timers.
Yeah, and Napoleon intended to be Emperor of the world too. Neither
happened. And sure, lots of asteroids out there intended to hit the
earth, but that didn't happen either.
> A 2002 report conducted by the National Academy of Sciences drew the
> same conclusion, explaining that restoring power after an attack on
> the natural gas system could take several weeks since spare parts for
> many of the mechanisms, especially those at compressor stations, are
> expensive, hard to find and often made only overseas. The report also
> predicted logistical challenges: every nonelectronic pilot light in
> the city would have to be manually relighted to avoid explosions.
Waaaa, we outsourced and didn't plan for an emergency... Waaaa.... Oh
wait, what about that electric grid? IS that fixed yet? Well is it? No,
don't ask Niagra Power, don't ask Con Ed, don't as Ohio Power, dig and
find out what caused it. We still don't know. Some say it was a Windows
virus - if so Billy G should pay for that, some say it was a moron at the
switch. What did happen there? Yeah, were talking gas in this article,
but denial of service is denial of service. Where's your research Ian?
Aren't you just pining for that Pulitzer? do your homework. SPouting
words like terrorists, fbi, and gas line ain't gonna get you that. So is
every other cub on the beat.
> "We take security of natural gas very seriously,'' a Con Ed
Sure, and if you asked American Airlines if they took security seriously
before 9/10, do you think they'd say "No?"
If you asked my previous immediate boss (at a very sleazy dot.com) if he
took security seriously, he said, and I quote from memory as he did say
this infront of me to a client on the phone "Sure, we do quarterly scans
of all the machines, and we're using a security company, which we're not
at liberty to name, that does scans for Fortune 500 companies and they say
we're secure." (And no, not a single scan was done, and no security
company was hired, because they were cheap bastards. The only scan that
was done, was by me, only because I wanted to play with Nessus, and boy,
it said the opposite of secure, which I then had to patch all them boxes,
but this was later on.)
If you had asked the FBI if they cared about terrorists before 9/11, they
would have said "Hell yeah, we're gonna get'em all." But if you worked at
a Pilot school where a guy wanted to learn how to fly and not land, and
you repeatedly called the FBI to look into it, what did the FBI do
A-Yup.... so why do reporters bother talking to Spindocs from public
relations instead of doing some investigative reporting and figuring out
the truth instead of eating bullshit with a spoon and smiling for the
camera like it's Frosted Flakes? they'rreee grrrreat! Mmmmm, public
relations spinbullshit... yummmm!
> "The fact that pipelines run largely underground reduces their
> exposure to external threats,'' said a study concerning
> infrastructure safety conducted by the Congressional Research Service
Um, didn't we read about backhoes and anchor drops a bit earlier in this
article? Is it red or is it blue? Is the sky falling or not?
Oooh! Wait! I get it! they'll wait for an accident with a backhoe, or
boat anchor - or when the wind blows out a pilot light so that they can
blame it on the terrorists! Why? so they can collect on the insurance
money and get some Federal Aid too! Ok, I see it now!
> This is today's central conundrum, Mr. Young said, adding that he
> will continue posting on his Web site the results of his daily prowls
> searching for weak spots. In the meantime, he added, "I imagine law
> enforcement will probably be keeping an eye on me.''
Yup, it's always the guy that points out the Emperor's New Clothes ain't
that gets an extended visit at the dungeon, not the tailor, nor the
> In fact, Mr. Young got his first visit from F.B.I. agents several
> weeks ago. But the issue was not all the nuclear reactor information
> he has put in the public domain. Rather, they wanted to talk about
> the natural gas pipeline maps, he said.
Oooh, John is an evil, evil man, he posted information about that there
them Nucular thinggies too, ooh, ooh, like the same kind Saddam has, never
mind, we'z just loookin' for'em, a-yup.... we'll find'em some day, maybe
in 2009 or 20010 - but only if you elect me again... a-yup... but never
minda dat, Saddam had to go, he was a very bad man, he didn't like our
daddy... and John Young is just like Saddam...
Lesss go rustle up some more of dem Nooo Yawk yankee fuck terrorists...
vote for me, and I'll make you safe...
More information about the cypherpunks-legacy