From this Stern article article it appears that after the existence of these demand letters became public news, some witty clown took advantage of this to send fake demand letters containing malware.
So, the Swiss firm "The Archive" got a court order to obtain account details for thousands of IP addresses. The mystery is how they obtained those IP addresses of alleged streamers of the copyright protected porn that was uploaded to Redtube.com. Now, it's possible that those uploaded porn files were a honeypot that contained an exploit that harvested the IP address of any streamer. That seems risky to me because analysis of the video file could reveal such an exploit. Are any of these video files still available on Redtube? There are a couple of other possibilities:
1) If a webpage with the video in question can contain user comments or located ads, then a script can report back the IP address of anyone visiting the page
2) Suppose that "The Archive" put an ad anywhere on Redtube or on any website that they think such serious users of porn portals [that lovely phrase is from a lawyer looking to defend users] might frequent. This ad could contain a script that is used to query various websites. Suppose the webpages queried are the ones on Redtube for the videos in question. The timing of the response to the query can determine whether that webpage is cached in the users browser. One aspect I am unsure about is the difference between viewing the webpage and actually viewing the streamed video.
I hope Ms. McPherson is reading this because it is directed towards her. I like wildlife photography and I have a number of my own photos. I like Mia McPherson's work. The SomethingAwful transformation of her photo strikes me as just stupidly juvenile and I really have no interest in looking at it. My reaction is precisely why the altered photo is not infringing. It shows that the existence of a butt-altered bird photo will not affect the market for her unaltered photos. Just as importantly, it shows that the photo has been transformed in a way that provokes a completely different response than that of the original. It is a fair use transformation of the original photo.
Mia, don't waste your time pursuing fair use postings of your images. You will lose in court. Arne Olav was being pretty accommodating in not challenging the DMCA takedown. In his letter to you he even said he would have removed the altered photos if you had requested him directly. Don't mistake his accommodation as confirming that your understanding of copyright law is correct. His transformations were also fair use and he does not need your permission to make them or post them. That may annoy you to no end, as a photographer, but copyright does have limitations. You write in response to his letter:
"I do sell my images to editors and publishers for book, magazines and other publications so have my image misused this way can devalue them."
Neither Olav's transformations or Miller's is going to devalue your photos. In a comment you write:
"Only The owner of the Tapir image and I own the right to make derivative works from our files."
You are ignoring fair use transformations so that statement is incorrect. They author of an unauthorized derivative work does not get a copyright to the transformed work, but they may escape liability via fair use.
Don't let your emotional reactions to the alterations cloud your mind to the business aspects. Focus on real infringement that affects your bottom line and don't limit that focus to just running around the web endlessly filing DMCA notices or sending out C&D letters.
What may be more interesting to you is that Ms. McPherson is getting together a class-action lawsuit against Google for "hot linking" to photos on its image search results. She did talk to a lawyer about that back in February. If that hasn't gone anywhere it may be that providing direct links to the images posted on the copyright owner's own website is hardly an infringing act. She seems to think that this is contrary to Google's own stated policy as specified in their blogger.com rules. Specifically:
"Also, please don’t provide links to sites where your readers can obtain unauthorized downloads of other people’s content."
There is some ambiguity in that statement but I am pretty sure that Google intended it to mean links to sites that infringed on copyright and not links to the copyright owner's website.
Ok, I'll bite. On a technical basis how is that string of characters supposed to prevent someone else from using your screen name? As far as I can see the only thing it does is prove to you, yourself, that a post is your own. If you can't tell that already you have far more problems than a ridiculous obsession with the nefarious ways of Google.
If you're concerned about proving the authenticity of your posts, I suggest digitally signing them. That, of course, means we readers must know your previously authenticated PGP or GPG public key.
Alexis Artwohl is a psychologist who has been a law enforcement consultant for many years. She wrote an article in 2002 titled "Perceptual and Memory Distortion During Officer-Involved Shootings" that was published as an FBI law enforcement bulletin. In that article she write:
"These researchers pointed out, and the author agrees, that officers may make more thorough and accurate statements if they wait at least 24 hours, during which time they should get some sleep, before participating in their formal interview with investigators."
The publication she cites is: D. Grossman and B.K. Siddle, Critical Incident Amnesia: The Physiological Basis and Implications of Memory Loss During Extreme Survival Stress Situations (Millstadt, IL: PPCT Management Systems, Inc., 1998).
Siddle was the founder of PPCT Management Systems (PMS?) which has been the contracting company that has provided TSA with passenger screener training.
Grossman, among many other publications, co-authored this book: "Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence"
Both authors are now part of Warrior Science Group. It does not appear that any of these people have written articles for a peer reviewed academic journal. That, in itself, does not invalidate what they write about in articles that are self-published or published by law enforcement related agencies or groups. What it does mean is that one has to dig a bit deeper to find any original research that their articles are based on.
"But cops are trained to be extra-observant in these situations already. There's no reason for them to need the "buffer" if they're doing their job correctly."
Cops are humans and the studies that Alexis Artwohl did, and the ones she reviewed show that, under the stressful situation where the officer fired a gun they, like all people, experience perceptual and memory distortions. Given that, the police chief's pronouncement that he was willing to trust his officer's statement over the video evidence makes no sense at all. He is referencing Artwohl's research in one sentence and ignoring it in the next. Anyway, the question becomes, what can be done about memory distortions if training can't eliminate them?
I am rather skeptical about the claim that memories of a stressful event becomes more accurate over 3 days. Firstly, Artwohl's 2002 article states that, based on a 1998 publication by someone else, that officers should wait at least 24 hours before participating in a formal interview. Why did the DPD choose 3 days, rather than 1 day? After a stressful event memory can be fragmented such that you remember certain portions of the incident vividly and the order of the fragments may be inverted. After a day, details that weren't recalled initially may become clear. These additional details makes a later debriefing valuable. Over this short time a fragmented memory will be replayed and woven into a narrative sequence that makes more sense to the officer and the interviewer. That doesn't mean the narrative is becoming more accurate and this is where I think Artwohl's analysis is lacking. You have two potential sources of distortion. One is the person's own alterations due to emotion or presumptions as to what makes sense. That sort of distortion may not be consciously done. The other source comes from talking or listening to others about the incident. Already, there will be an immediate, if limited, discussion that is needed for the investigation to continue. Beyond that, how is the officer supposed to avoid discussion with his colleagues, family, or friends over a 3 day period? I wonder if the DPD is willing to state that no such discussions will take place with the officer(s) in question until the formal debriefing 3 days after the incident.
This is what I suggest: 1). As soon as possible after the incident the officer records his impressions which should not be expected to follow a sequential narrative. (I am not sure how an officer's legal rights would influence such an initial statement or recording.)
2). 1 day after the incident, the officer is formally interviewed, one on one, by someone who has been trained to elicit a sequential narrative. If we are interested in accurate memory, the officer should not be discussing the incident or watching any video before this interview.
3). a group debriefing with all the officers involved in the incident. This is more useful to the police themselves rather than being used in court as part of any official police testimony.
The only reason I see that the DPD should adopt 3 days rather than 1 day is, as many suspect, to coordinate any official testimony with whatever outside evidence arises in that period. An important aspect of policing is gaining the trust of the community. This policy that DPD is adopting undermines that trust.
I should note that the incident took place in a Walmart parking lot across the street from the elementary school some time after the child had left the car, crossed the street, and entered the school grounds.
It was a Keystone cops incident. The ICE agent accidentally fires his handgun while exiting his vehicle. After that single shot, Noriega takes off in fear. At the point where he makes a call to 911 at a gas station he knows they were law enforcement but does not know why they shot at him. That agent, and the other ICE agents present, are complicit in covering up the mistake.
There are multiple agents in more than one car. Ice agent Justin Weissner screeches to a halt right in front of Noriega's GMC Yukon. Agent Weissner is wearing a bulletproof vest with a patch that said "POLICE" across the front and is wearing a badge hanging from his neck. As Weissner exits his car he fires a shot through the windshield just below his rear view mirror. None of the other agents see what happened (sure). Only Weissner claims that Noriega tried to ram him. A law enforcement agent is legally allowed use his gun when a person suspected of a violent crime is fleeing. The man Noriega was suspected of being, was wanted for drug trafficking. The ICE agent is not claiming Noriega was suspected of a violent crime probably because the real suspect was not wanted for a violent crime. Weissner's excuse for firing was that Noriega was threatening his own safety by ramming him, yet Weissner was not yet out of his vehicle. There is only a single shot fired and we all know that given a real threat officers usually fire multiple shots. Also, neither Noriega nor his massive GMC Yukon are hit. For a trained agent, that is not very good marksmanship. Finally, agent Weissner does not pursue Noriega. He stays in the parking lot while the other agents attempt pursuit. The DA is not pressing charges against Weissner because "there are no independent witnesses to the moment of the shooting". It is not clear how many other ICE agents are present but you would think that at least one of them would be watching the suspect and his vehicle at this critical moment.
A friend of mine is a DA and once told me that prosecutors do not like to have engineers, software engineers in particular, because they require too much proof. During the recent jury selection I was involved in, I told this to a Google engineer who was also in the jury pool. He was desperate not to be chosen because the estimated trial length was 2 months. What was odd was that the defense attorney was the one who dismissed him on a peremptory challenge.
I think the main reason that lawyers are dismissed early is because attorneys on both sides and the judge do not want someone on the jury who can act as an expert on law and sway other jurors contrary to only the presented evidence or to the judges precise instructions.
A potential juror who has expertise in a field applicable to the trial will probably be dismissed because they are less malleable to presented evidence. Worse, they may influence other jurors who may look to them as an unofficial expert witness. I am a software engineer but it was my knowledge and my other degree in psychobiology which led to my dismissal as a juror in that recent 1st degree murder trial. A few years back, I had watched videos comprising many hours of lectures by one of the scheduled expert witnesses, Robert Sapolski. The defendant was 17 at the time he stabbed someone in front of many witnesses. (after I was dismissed I read the appeals court decision which overturned his previous conviction based on the fact that the judge did not allow the jury to properly consider the defense testimony from a psychologist.) I pretty much knew what Sapolski's testimony would be and I knew his personal opinions based on what he said in this interview in the NYT about being an expert witness and how the legal system always lags behind the advances of science and technology: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/11/magazine/11Neurolaw.t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
The most important issue to me involved studies that showed that the development of the human brain's pre-frontal cortex is not complete until around the age of 25. The result is that the amygdala tends to dominate and young people end up being more impulsive without thinking through and weighing consequences. No big surprise here except for the fact that brain maturation completes at a later stage than most people think and the cause is organic. This was the main rationale behind the Roper V. Simmons Supreme Court decision in 2005 that eliminated the death penalty for those who committed crimes while 16 or 17. I talked about this in a very vague way so as not to sway other jurors before any expert testimony. I even mentioned Roper V. Simmons while explaining how I could not disregard my own knowledge. A juror isn't supposed to consider potential penalties but my knowledge, outside of expert witness testimony, would have influenced my decision to convict for either 2nd degree murder or manslaughter. This isn't absolute as Sapolski himself has noted that criminal behavior can be the result of a "broken machine", with no chance of resolving itself.
I was not terribly interested in serving on a jury for 2 months but I was also being very honest. If I had really wanted to serve on the jury I wouldn't have mentioned any of this. The prosecutor stopped calling on me after that including questions made to the entire group of prospective jurors. I was absolutely the first one dismissed out of that group and left the courtroom, relieved, but also deeply disillusioned about the jury system. I am still disillusioned and the decision for this patent case only reinforces that.
DNA analysis is not part of this study. The saliva samples are only used to measure the level of several classes of drugs. Sure, you have to trust the federal government that they are not surreptitiously collecting DNA samples. I have to say, I do support these kinds of studies and trust them in this very narrow sense. After all, if they really want MY DNA sample all they have to do is offer free beer in the park and collect the cup that I threw out and was already marked as being my sample. Frankly, I'll probably take that free beer, but I will still refuse to give anything more than my identity when the police stop my car, encrypt my Internet communications, and cloak my browser configuration.
Any human study requires consent and that means signed consent. That doesn't mean that the study cannot be anonymized. The signature is stored separately from the rest of the data and does not need to be tied to your particular samples unless you, as a subject, have an interest in seeing the results after the study is completed. The researchers working up the data never see a name attached. Only PIRE should have access to the raw data which, in this particular study, should be truly anonymized with no way to match samples with names. Again, we're down to trusting the government. I have no wish to live my life paranoid about everything. So, I choose, hopefully wisely, concerning what I need to be paranoid about.
I am sure the NHSTA and PIRE (the contracting research outfit) used the presence of uniformed police to encourage participation in the survey by getting them to make that initial stop. Even stopping was voluntary and a number of vehicles in the 2007 study did not stop. The statistical accuracy of the study is dependent upon minimizing refusals otherwise the sampling is skewed from random. The percentage of refusals in 2007 represented a significant increase over the previous study and was a concern. Considering what has been revealed in the past few months about the government collecting information I would expect the strategy of using police to encourage the initial stop would result in even more refusals than before. The study will be much better off having no police presence whatsoever. Additionally, they need to drop the initial surreptitious measurement with the Passive Alcohol Sensor (PAS). Despite the assurance that this is OK under government human research guidelines, I think it is not OK and it is not ethical to do this before consent is given. That measurement makes sense if only considering the statistical validity of the study. However, that practice generates mistrust and will end up decreasing participation in future studies.
I recently spent 4 days as part of a pool of people undergoing jury selection. Juries are a true cross section of people. I was amazed at some of the ignorance displayed and how a person could hold on to divergent beliefs that really contradict each other. This lawyer has to, at least, try to discredit Diffie. For someone who doesn't know he is a god in the world of cryptology, showing the he is a liar by claiming to have discovered public key cryptography may actually work. The fact that this actually undermines the plaintiff's case may be lost on most of the jurors. Even though they are well known, you could probably convince someone that Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg are all losers because every one of them is a college dropout.
Calling the 50,000 networks a botnet is mischaracterizing what is going on here. The NSA only achieves its purpose when infecting a router or switch. This is what gives them access to all the data communicated on the attached network. Recall that with Belgacom the infection of IT staff computers was only an interim step, with the ultimate goal of infecting the GRX routers. A router does not run much of the software which makes botnets so useful to their controllers. The NSA would also not ever risk their surveillance capability by using control of a router for other purposes. If the router was not functioning well or doing very strange things then network IT staff are going to notice it and start investigating. Unless there was a stealthy root-kit (not an impossibility) on the router, the malware will be discovered and removed. The OS for routers has less of an attack surface than standard computer OSs. Even if Linux, or some other variation of UNIX is used then a lot of the capability, and thus attack surface, is disabled.
Once a router is infected, if a user's computer or server was infected that malware isn't so important anymore. Those, non-router, computers are updated much more frequently than routers or switches. Also, anti-virus software is not installed on routers. The NSA may even remove malware from non-routers to avoid detection. Then again, they may have achieved some very stealthy malware. I think it is less likely that arrangements are made with major AV companies to whitelist NSA malware. A whitelist is visible to too many people.
This particular leak is going to have an enormous impact on NSA capability. It would behoove any security executive for telecoms, or ISPs around the world to take a close look at their routers.
From the 2007 methodology document: "While the interviewer conducted the verbal informed consent process (see below) for the interview, a PAS reading was taken on all subjects, prior to their consent or refusal of the survey. Because this measure was taken passively prior to informed consent, it was deemed to be acceptable under human subjects guidelines (analogous to observing or smelling)."
I disagree with this rational. The collection of data may be passive, but use of a PAS is much more than just smelling alcohol on someone's breath. you could argue that an Xray was also passive if the device was portable and aimed through the car. After all it is just a different frequency from visible light used to make "observations". A machine that can quantify your physiological state should require consent.
According to their methodology they do not collect license plate numbers. You have to trust them that they really mean it when they say the tests and your survey responses are anonymous. As much as I approve of such studies in general, it is hard these days to trust the government. It would be better if the police weren't involved at all. One indication that they are not out to get you is that drunk drivers are not arrested. Instead they make sure you "get home safely" which probably means parking your car there and taking a cab, under threat of being reported to the police if you disagree. Unfortunately, I don't see how they can keep the police from recording the license plates of such parked cars.
There are a couple of errors in the articles linked to here. The study is not analyzing DNA. I think there was an assumption when people heard there was a cheek swab used that they were collecting cells for DNA analysis. This is incorrect. The swab was used for collecting saliva and had to be in your mouth for 3-5 minutes which is not the same procedure, used for collecting DNA, wherein a swab is used to scrape cells from the inside of your cheek. The saliva undergoes testing in a lab for presence of a bunch of different classes of drugs.
The DailyTech article claims that the use of a Passive Alcohol Sensor (PAS) before getting consent was a new tactic not used in previous studies. This is incorrect as this was done, at least, in the 2007 study as well. I have participated in numerous studies in my life and have read many study protocols and signed many consent forms. I am bothered by this involuntary collection of data. It may be this violates some government mandated protocol for human research subjects. I am not sure about that though. One place to look is here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/11.116 which discusses the general requirements for informed consent.
The purpose for collecting PAS data at this stage is to try to characterize the population of those refusing to participate to gain insight as to how this skew to random sampling affects the overall statistics. The PAS device, at least in 2007, was a small device that was velcro'd to the PDA which was held a few inches away as the interviewers asked initial questions. It collected your breath as you answered. You could simply talk away from their PDA to avoid being sampled.
If your breath test showed that your BAC was in excess of .08 then they made sure you got "home safely", apparently, without having you reported to the police and arrested unless you refused their help.
Interesting note for gamblers: They offered a subset of those who refused the study an additional $100 if they would reconsider. I think this subset was around 15% of refusals.
I think it's important to note that Ulbricht has only been charged with one attempted hit as described in the Maryland grand jury indictment. The prosecution is only talking about the other 5 as an argument to deny bail.
Ulbricht doesn't seem to be too concerned about money. He was not living a lavish lifestyle although the Government claims he earned some $460 million in commissions. He certainly had at least 144,000 bitcoins (~$20 million). He expresses concern about recovering funds from the 4 additional targets, yet he is paying redandwhite et. al. (supposedly, the Hells Angels) $500,000 for the hit plus 50% of any funds recovered. The hit on friendlychemist cost Ulbricht #150,000. So, Ulbricht is spending $650,000 to recover some portion of the $500,000 he paid out in extortion money. He is trusting, supposedly, the Hells Angels to tell him how much they actually recovered plus they get to keep half of that. Now, I'm not a CPA or even a businessman, but that doesn't seem to make economic sense.
What we have heard about Ulbricht gives the impression that he is a pretty smart person, yet what he is supposedly doing with these hits seems both naive and incredibly stupid, in addition to exhibiting a callous view of violence that I think is out-of-character. I think the more likely scenario is that Ulbricht was trying to manage SR so that problem people would go away. The game he played meant paying off extortioners and subsequently playing out a charade of hiring hit-men to intimidate and discourage follow-up extortion. I think he knew he was always dealing with people who were trying to play him and this was the best scheme possible to stop that. In other word he knew that the people he was paying to arrange a hit had no intention of doing so. This includes the UC whom Ulbricht probably suspected was, in fact, law enforcement.
If it turns out my theory is incorrect, I can always sell the screenplay, based on it, to Hollywood.