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NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES

 
BUSH MUST GO
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NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
"Today, the all-seeing eye is focused on the information you willingly provide to websites. If you use real names, real addresses, real ages, real interests or real photos in connection with your online activities, you are leaving a trail of personal and financial information the government is collecting to use against all Americans."


www.sploid.com/news/2006/06/nsa_spies_on_my.php [link to www.sploid.com]


June 08, 2006 at 03:30 PM


NSA now spying on MySpace


Not content to illegally collect the telephone records of American citizens, the government's National Security Agency is now targeting "social network" computer users [link to www.newscientist.com] -- wildly popular sites like MySpace with its 80 million registered users.

Parents have been outraged to learn that kiddie-sex freaks have been collecting data on youngsters from public online sources such as MySpace or Friendster. But the new NSA efforts are aimed at everybody, a police-state scheme to track your every move [link to www.hightimes.com] , your every thought, your every comment left on some dumb blog.

The evil plot was first called "Total Information Awareness" in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, when scores of long-planned surveillance and police-state operations suddenly appeared before a punch-drunk America.

While most of those elaborate schemes were passed without opposition, the TIA plan by the newly created Information Awareness Office was too much even for an injured, bewildered America.

The IAO's logo was the Masonic all-seeing eye symbol [link to www.thememoryhole.org] , glaring down from the heavens not at our alleged Middle East enemies, but upon America itself.

Worse, the new spook office was run by convicted felon and traitor John Poindexter. [link to en.wikipedia.org]

So the creepy new logo was disappeared, and then the TIA program itself was allegedly closed down -- but it was only shifted to another program and hidden under that flimsy cover.

Today, the all-seeing eye is focused on the information you willingly provide to websites. If you use real names, real addresses, real ages, real interests or real photos in connection with your online activities, you are leaving a trail of personal and financial information the government is collecting to use against all Americans.

"I am continually shocked and appalled at the details people voluntarily post online about themselves." encryption expert Jon Callas told New Scientist this week.

---

COMPLETE ARTICLE FROM NEWSCIENTIST.COM

www.newscientist.com [link to www.newscientist.com]


Pentagon sets its sights on social networking websites


10 June 2006

NewScientist.com news service

Paul Marks


Image [link to www.newscientist.com]
Who knows who


"I AM continually shocked and appalled at the details people voluntarily post online about themselves." So says Jon Callas, chief security officer at PGP, a Silicon Valley-based maker of encryption software. He is far from alone in noticing that fast-growing social networking websites such as MySpace and Friendster are a snoop's dream.

New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon's National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. And it could harness advances in internet technology - specifically the forthcoming "semantic web" championed by the web standards organisation W3C - to combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals.

Americans are still reeling from last month's revelations that the NSA has been logging phone calls since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. The Congressional Research Service, which advises the US legislature, says phone companies that surrendered call records may have acted illegally. However, the White House insists that the terrorist threat makes existing wire-tapping legislation out of date and is urging Congress not to investigate the NSA's action.

Meanwhile, the NSA is pursuing its plans to tap the web, since phone logs have limited scope. They can only be used to build a very basic picture of someone's contact network, a process sometimes called "connecting the dots". Clusters of people in highly connected groups become apparent, as do people with few connections who appear to be the intermediaries between such groups. The idea is to see by how many links or "degrees" separate people from, say, a member of a blacklisted organisation.

By adding online social networking data to its phone analyses, the NSA could connect people at deeper levels, through shared activities, such as taking flying lessons. Typically, online social networking sites ask members to enter details of their immediate and extended circles of friends, whose blogs they might follow. People often list other facets of their personality including political, sexual, entertainment, media and sporting preferences too. Some go much further, and a few have lost their jobs by publicly describing drinking and drug-taking exploits. Young people have even been barred from the orthodox religious colleges that they are enrolled in for revealing online that they are gay.

"You should always assume anything you write online is stapled to your resumé. People don't realise you get Googled just to get a job interview these days," says Callas.

Other data the NSA could combine with social networking details includes information on purchases, where we go (available from cellphone records, which cite the base station a call came from) and what major financial transactions we make, such as buying a house.

Right now this is difficult to do because today's web is stuffed with data in incompatible formats. Enter the semantic web, which aims to iron out these incompatibilities over the next few years via a common data structure called the Resource Description Framework (RDF). W3C hopes that one day every website will use RDF to give each type of data a unique, predefined, unambiguous tag.

"RDF turns the web into a kind of universal spreadsheet that is readable by computers as well as people," says David de Roure at the University of Southampton in the UK, who is an adviser to W3C. "It means that you will be able to ask a website questions you couldn't ask before, or perform calculations on the data it contains." In a health record, for instance, a heart attack will have the same semantic tag as its more technical description, a myocardial infarction. Previously, they would have looked like separate medical conditions. Each piece of numerical data, such as the rate of inflation or the number of people killed on the roads, will also get a tag.

The advantages for scientists, for instance, could be huge: they will have unprecedented access to each other's experimental datasets and will be able to perform their own analyses on them. Searching for products such as holidays will become easier as price and availability dates will have smart tags, allowing powerful searches across hundreds of sites.

On the downside, this ease of use will also make prying into people's lives a breeze. No plan to mine social networks via the semantic web has been announced by the NSA, but its interest in the technology is evident in a funding footnote to a research paper delivered at the W3C's WWW2006 conference in Edinburgh, UK, in late May.


That paper, entitled Semantic Analytics on Social Networks [link to www2006.org] [PDF] , by a research team led by Amit Sheth of the University of Georgia in Athens and Anupam Joshi of the University of Maryland in Baltimore reveals how data from online social networks and other databases can be combined to uncover facts about people. The footnote said the work was part-funded by an organisation called ARDA.

What is ARDA? It stands for Advanced Research Development Activity. [link to web.archive.org] According to a report entitled Data Mining and Homeland Security, published by the Congressional Research Service in January, ARDA's role is to spend NSA money on research that can "solve some of the most critical problems facing the US intelligence community". Chief among ARDA's aims is to make sense of the massive amounts of data the NSA collects - some of its sources grow by around 4 million gigabytes a month.


The ever-growing online social networks are part of the flood of internet information that could be mined: some of the top sites like MySpace now have more than 80 million members (see Graph [link to www.newscientist.com] ).

The research ARDA funded was designed to see if the semantic web could be easily used to connect people. The research team chose to address a subject close to their academic hearts: detecting conflicts of interest in scientific peer review. Friends cannot peer review each other's research papers, nor can people who have previously co-authored work together.


So the team devenopeware that combined data from the RDF tags of online social network Friend of a Friend (www.foaf-project.org [link to www.foaf-project.org] ), where people simply outline who is in their circle of friends, and a semantically tagged commercial bibliographic database called DBLP, which lists the authors of computer science papers.


Joshi says their system found conflicts between potential reviewers and authors pitching papers for an internet conference. "It certainly made relationship finding between people much easier," Joshi says. "It picked up softer [non-obvious] conflicts we would not have seen before."

The technology will work in exactly the same way for intelligence and national security agencies and for financial dealings, such as detecting insider trading, the authors say. dont_use_this3g "who knows who" with purchasing or bank records could highlight groups of terrorists, money launderers or blacklisted groups, says Sheth.

The NSA recently changed ARDA's name to the Disruptive Technology Office. The DTO's interest in online social network analysis echoes the Pentagon's controversial post 9/11 Total Information Awareness (TIA) initiative. That programme, designed to collect, track and analyse online data trails, was suspended after a public furore over privacy in 2002. But elements of the TIA were incorporated into the Pentagon's classified programme in the September 2003 Defense Appropriations Act.

Privacy groups worry that "automated intelligence profiling" could sully people's reputations or even lead to miscarriages of justice - especially since the data from social networking sites may often be inaccurate, untrue or incomplete, De Roure warns.

But Tim Finin, a colleague of Joshi's, thinks the spread of such technology is unstoppable. "Information is getting easier to merge, fuse and draw inferences from. There is money to be made and control to be gained in doing so. And I don't see much that will stop it," he says.

Callas thinks people have to wise up to how much information about themselves they should divulge on public websites. It may sound obvious, he says, but being discreet is a big part of maintaining privacy. Time, perhaps, to hit the delete button.

Related Articles

Software could add meaning to 'wiki' links
[link to www.newscientist.com]
07 June 2006

Interview: Six clicks of separation
[link to www.newscientist.com]
26 April 2006

Weblinks

Electronic Frontier Foundation campaign against wiretaps
[link to secure.eff.org (secure)]

Disruptive Technologies Office, Wikipedia
[link to en.wikipedia.org]

MySpace
[link to www.myspace.com]

Printed on Fri Jun 09 08:45:54 BST 2006

---

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Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 08:52 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
How is it considered spying when everything posted at myspace is public domain. Anyone can read it.. gangup
shaggy
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06/09/2006 09:01 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
hi rummy
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 09:02 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
they got here Dec. 25th 2004 dumbass
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 09:02 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
OMG THE Government reads the public domain!

Holly Shit Batman!
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 09:05 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
It makes perfect sense that the gov't should be spying on individual citizens because we are condidered to be the enemy. It's what different countries do to each other. They put together a profile of the various leaders, detailing their strengths and weaknesses so they can psych them out. It's very useful to know these things about with whom you are dealing in diplomatic and intelligence circles.

We, as a people, are drawing from what profile we have of the elite in this country when we anticipate what their next move will be. They need to know how we will react to that next move.
.
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 09:10 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
My Space.... where you can have hundreds of "friends" whom you've never met, and who say nothing other than "thanks for the add" and "holla back"!


anon
SHR
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06/09/2006 09:16 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
Don't worry BMG, I'm sure the ACLU will still protect your NAMBLA pals. Wouldn't want them bad NSA guys reading public domain stuff now would ya, LOL. This one doesn't have any legs buddy.
XXX

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06/09/2006 09:20 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
I guess not many people understand that the PENTAGON should not be involved with domestic surveillance. If it needs to be done at all it should be a civilian agency.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 09:51 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
I consider NSA is not worry about the shit we post here.
They are looking for cold, hard,good shit.
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 10:10 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
bsflag
Stan Plock
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06/09/2006 10:21 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
I've been using my REAL NAME since I logged into the letsroll911 forum 2 years ago.

If the Government doesn't like what I have to say. FUCK the EVIL BASTARDS.

Stanley S. Plock
Sunnyvale CA.

Come and get me if you don't like it!
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 10:26 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
“OMG THE Government reads the public domain!

Holly Shit Batman!”


The thing is, if it’s just government people who surf these sites on their lunch break or when they get bored with what they are working on, etc., that’s one thing. But when it’s done in an official capacity – where they copy information and put it in an open file on a particular person for the purpose of God only knows what at a later date – that’s creepy.
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 10:35 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
I refused to allow my children access to MySpace. I explained why. They understand.
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 10:44 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
would the people doing this spying happen to be from herndon, va? Isn't that where this server is based?
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 10:55 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
public chats have been under surveillance for a long, long time. the FBI was monitoring chats on AOL (and still do) looking for guys willing to meet underage children to meet at their homes. yes, like what's been on dateline.

it is true that the government really has no business tracking people unless they've done wrong, you know, probable cause type stuff. life has changed i know and everyone is under suspicion. it still doesn't change the fact that the government is intruding on private citizens.
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 10:56 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
Its a public space.

Its the social engineering data they are gathering on posters there is something new.

Big brother doesn't bother you. Then either you're very ignorant or you work for big brother, and you're the good little doggie that doesn't bite the hand that feeds it, even when it beats you.

Why does the govt need to gather such data on public citizens.

what is this data used for. what COMMON good does it serve, that we the people allow such an invasion by a GOVERNMENT source that HIDES what they gather and does not disclose its uses.

Private companies do it you whine. Umm, yes, yes they do. However I have access to that data. I can ask for corrections in that data. I can include written statements in that data. I have access to what the companies gather.

The govt. is using this data for an unknown use.

thats ONE difference.
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 11:04 AM
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They dont call it the net for nothing.
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 11:06 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
how come the owners who post here are posting from nsa ips?
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 11:12 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
they'll have to pry my coding skills from my cold dead fingers
BUSH MUST GO (OP)

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06/09/2006 11:17 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
I also don't believe that the public domain argument works here and, if anything, pointing that aspect out misdirects attention from what's actually being revealed.

Among the key points, I think, is the following excerpt (with links) selected from the article above:


"...Semantic Analytics on Social Networks [link to www2006.org] [PDF] , by a research team led by Amit Sheth of the University of Georgia in Athens and Anupam Joshi of the University of Maryland in Baltimore reveals how data from online social networks and other databases can be combined to uncover facts about people. The footnote said the work was part-funded by an organisation called ARDA.

What is ARDA? It stands for Advanced Research Development Activity. [link to web.archive.org] According to a report entitled Data Mining and Homeland Security, published by the Congressional Research Service in January, ARDA's role is to spend NSA money on research that can "solve some of the most critical problems facing the US intelligence community". Chief among ARDA's aims is to make sense of the massive amounts of data the NSA collects..."
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Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 11:30 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
It's never a good idea to put your personal information on social free-for-all websites.
Anvil

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06/09/2006 11:35 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
Who cares about MySpace. If some chick wants to rant on in her profile comments about how she banged some hot guy from a bar last night, who cares. Most of the people on MySpace add a person as a friend and that's the last you ever communicate with that person. It's a fake network of friends. I know because I have about 460+ fake friends on my band's MySpace site.
Don't Judge Me, Monkey.
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 11:39 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
Its just really weird that someone would want a fake friend.
Interdimensional warrior
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06/09/2006 11:41 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
The Masonic connection should not be ignored here, it is obvious to me and millions of others. Freemasonry represents a shadow government and it is in your town, running things from behind the scenes.
They have always used the power of information to thier advantage. They spread dark rumors or false information to destroy those who speak against them, in an organized effort. They control the courts and they control the police. A good mans' career can be destroyed if he shuns thier cult, and make no mistake it is a religious cult dedicated to Luciferian dogma.

Look on your dollar, the truth is all there. From the Zionist hexagram to the all seeing eye, the 0ne dollar bill exposes many truths. "In God We Trust", the American dollar is your God, and you are supposed to worship it. Many of you do, unfortunately. As for the NSA, I know they have every word I have ever posted on the internet and I for one am glad. At least the cocksuckers know some of us got thier number,
Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 11:57 AM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
bla bla bla
The NSA's job is National Security!

Hopefully they checkout BMG and watch him more closely as a possible threat to national security.
XXX

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06/09/2006 12:15 PM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 103953,


Do you know why you keep getting those "Penis Enlargement" emails everyday?

It's because they know you have a small penis.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on
BUSH MUST GO (OP)

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06/09/2006 12:21 PM
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XXX,

1rof1

BMG

cheers
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Anonymous Coward
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06/09/2006 12:28 PM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
"It's because they know you have a small penis."

Actually I do not have a penis, nor penis envy.
BUSH MUST GO (OP)

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06/09/2006 12:32 PM
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I sense denial, 103953!

1rof1
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Aeon_

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06/09/2006 12:35 PM
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Re: NSA NOW SPYING ON MYSPACE: PENTAGON SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES
Isn't myspace.com owned by Rupert?
Ave Gæ , morituri te salutamus!

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