So when will we see all the senior staff at the NSA on trial for "aiding the enemy" or "treason"? Isn't this essentially the exact same accusation being made against Bradley Manning, that he shared classified data with non-Americans?
The theory was that after years of oppressive rule by the minority Sunni population, an inclusive government would result in functioning democracy, with all the benefits that go along with it.
This theory could only be postulated by someone who has absolutely no experience with the modern Middle East (as in the last half-century or so). It's pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking that has no basis or grounding whatsoever in the reality on the ground. Understand this: the majority of the citizens of the countries in the MidEast DO NOT WANT democracy. They just want to pretend they have it so they can seize power and use "democracy" as a club to beat down their political, religious, or personal opponents. It will require multiple generations before this mindset passes.
The closest thing I can think of is that Steele's lawyer wanted to present something like 45 minutes of legal arguments, but the judge shut her down pretty quickly, saying he's not interested in that. Maybe that's what Steele meant?
Normally I agree with Mike, but I think he missed the point a bit with this article. Miranda itself isn't a right; there's no such thing as "the right to be read your rights." Instead, Miranda just means that if you're not read your rights, anything you say can't be used against you in court. The police can still investigate you and act on the info you give them. You can still be prosecuted on evidence the police get independently of your statements or confession. My guess is in this case, the police already had enough to convict the guy several times over, so by skipping Miranda, they basically allow themselves more leeway to question the guy about acts they don't yet know about.
Would it be valid to amend the DMCA to say, "It is legal to circumvent DRM in cases for which the intended use of the content would be legal if it were not protected by DRM. Tools which enable such circumvention are also legal." (with appropriate legalese, of course)
I guess my biggest concern is that the SCOTUS is going to come back and say, "US border searches are done outside the borders of the US, by definition. The Constitution and other US laws only apply within the borders. Therefore, since anything outside the borders is outside our jurisdiction, the government may do what it likes there without our being able to review it."
Uh,  on that last bit. Or at least some clarification on what you mean. Generally speaking, increasing the number of permitted characters in a password substantially increases the time required to test every single password.
If you mean that most compromised accounts happen because the attacker obtains the password some other way (not a brute force attack), then yes, I'd agree.
Gah. Robin Williams, not Robert Williams. I'm a goof. Also, Asimov coined the term "robotics"; the term "robot" was coined by Karel Čapek in 1920 for a play which indirectly dealt with this very topic.
This is not a new question. The debate about the humanity of robots is just about as old as the word "robot" itself. Look up the short story/novella "The Bicentennial Man" by Isaac Asimov (or, if you're lazy, the Robert Williams movie), or his "I, Robot" series of novels.
At a fundamental level, a human being is a very advanced supercomputer powered by carbon-based circuits and fueled by oxygen, as opposed to our current computers with silicon circuits which are fueled by electrons. Science teaches us that a single-celled self-replicating bacterium is alive. Even a virus, which contains little more than instructions to reproduce encoded into chemicals, is considered alive.
By that definition, a modern computer virus could certainly be considered alive. Siri is not that far from passing a Turing test. Combine the two, and you have a dilemma on your hands.
Inevitably, computers will become smarter than people, more capable, more efficient. That includes the ability to feel and to think. A computer AI housed in a humanoid body created by a human (or by another computer) will be no different than a baby's intelligence, housed in a frail human form, born from his mother. Just like a baby, the computer will learn, and grow, and adapt.
It's not unreasonable that in our lifetime, we will have to answer the question asked here as a hypothetical, but under very real circumstances, in a congress or parliament, or in a court of law.
And the actual hominid individuals involved are still subject to the criminal law.
See, I'm not even convinced that this is true. Let me give a couple of examples.
In the US, it's flatly illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol. In parts of Europe, it's legal for minors to drink alcohol as young as 14. So if an American family flies to Europe, and the 14yo kid gets drunk, and a few days later (when they're all sober) the family flies back, then using the logic in this case, the kid and his parents can be arrested and charged.
Here's another example. I don't have a US driver's license, but I do have one from, say, Japan. In Japan, I take my car out for a drive. Then I fly to the US. Since I was driving without a valid US license, this logic means I can be arrested and charged in the US for an act that was perfectly legal in Japan.
The logical conclusion is that if you commit an act that is against US law, even if you're totally outside the jurisdiction of US law, then you can be arrested and tried in the US. This violates every inkling common sense and, I would imagine, quite a few tenets of international law.
Visa and Wikileaks had a valid contract, as far as I know. Visa unilaterally chose to terminate that contract. Usually, that's not allowed -- otherwise there'd be no point to having a contract in the first place.
You can choose whether to do business with a particular company or not, sure. But once you do, once you sign a contract with them, you're bound by the terms of that contract. You can't change your mind and pull out unilaterally without there being some consequences.
So here's a fun question. If the idea of patents is (in part) to ensure the proliferation of the protected knowledge, when was the last time someone needed to read the patent document to know how to replicate the invention? In almost every case I can imagine, the replication would be done by experimenting a bit after hearing the gist of the idea, or by developing the same solution independently, or by developing an alternate solution without ever seeing or even knowing about the patent.
That's an interesting question, though. Is the USTR part of the Congressional bureaucracy, or is it part of the White House/Executive Branch staff? If it's Congressional, just fire the idiot and get on with it. If it's White House, subpoena him, then cite him for Contempt of Congress if he refuses to comply -- essentially the same thing they did with Eric Holder.