Interpreting the CSEC Presentation: Watch Out Olympians in the House!

The Globe and Mail has put up a high quality version of the CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada) Presentation that showed how they were spying on the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy. The images are of slides for a talk on “CSEC – Advanced Network Tradecraft” that was titled, “And They Said To The Titans: «Watch Out Olympians In The House!»”. In a different, more critical spirit of “watching out”, here is an initial reading of the slides. What can we learn about how organizations like CSEC are spying on us? What can we learn about how they think about their “tradecraft”? What can we learn about the tools they have developed? What follows is a rhetorical interpretation.

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HedgeChatter – Social Media Stock Sentiment Analysis Dashboard

HedgeChatter – Social Media Stock Sentiment Analysis Dashboard is a site that analyzes social media chatter about stocks and then lets you see how a stock is doing. In the picture above you can see the dashboard for Apple (APPL). Rolling over it you can see what people are saying over time – what the “Social Sentiment” is for the stock. I’m assuming with an account one can keep a portfolio and perhaps get alerts when the sentiment drops.

To do this they must have some sort of text analysis running that gives them the sentiment.

NSA files decoded: Edward Snowden’s surveillance revelations explained


The Guardian just published a wonderful essay with embedded video on the NSA files decoded: Edward Snowden’s surveillance revelations explained. The essay provides an overview of what the Snowden revelations tell us about the NSA and its collection of metadata. The essay has short video clips embedded from interviews that play as you scroll down. There are panels with redacted slides from the NSA and there are panels with documents. The essay has 6 parts ending with “What Now?” which speculates on how the courts or Congress will respond.

Supporting Digital Scholarship

The Tri-Council Agencies (Research councils of Canada) and selected other institutions (going under the rubric TC3+) have released an important Consultation Document titled Capitalizing on Big Data: Toward a Policy Framework for Advancing Digital Scholarship in Canada. You can see a summary blog entry from the CommerceLab, How big data is reshaping the future of digital scholarship in Canada. The document suggest that we have many of the components of a “well-functioning digital infrastructure ecosystem for research and innovation”, but that these are not coordinated and Canada is not keeping up. They propose three initiatives:

  • Establishing a Culture of Stewardship
  • Coordination of Stakeholder Engagement
  • Developing Capacity and Future Funding Parameters

The first initiative is about research data management and something we have been working on the digital humanities for some time. It is great to see a call from our funding agencies.