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  • Mar 19th, 2014 @ 10:17am

    Re:

    In the spirit of thinking with your head, and not your heart, I encourage you to read up on the root causes of the financial crash of 2008, and associated crimes committed by mortgage lenders and banks. The Libor scandal, robo-signing, MERS, HSBC's money laundering activities, regulatory capture of the SEC and ratings agencies, market manipulation schemes, accounting control fraud, and others that I can't recall of the top of my head. Read what Bill K. Black has to say (former regulator during the S&L crisis) about the financial system's endemic criminality.

    Exacting justice for crimes that stole trillions of dollars of wealth from the general public would make us all feel better, of course, but it would also do much to improve the financial sector so that it produces value to the economy, instead of siphoning it away.

  • Mar 6th, 2014 @ 3:36pm

    (untitled comment)

    Tim Cushing's article on the GAO's scathing report on the failure of the CBP to update their computer system (TECS) already made me suspect a direct reliance of the CBP on the NSA's resources. Looks like that could very well be the case.

  • Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 7:22pm

    (untitled comment)

    Is this the kind of terrorism "solution" designed by well-meaning experts, or the kind designed by hacks trying to profit from what is--to them--effectively a captive market?

  • Feb 18th, 2014 @ 3:20pm

    Re: You want to hear another whopper of a statement...

    It's incredible how Stewart Baker, and those who defend the indefensible acts of the intelligence community generally, assume that appealing to the most extreme authority-worshipers could win them anything. It says a lot about the environment they're used to.

  • Feb 11th, 2014 @ 11:10am

    Re:

    Unless, apparently, you work in the NSA or CIA.

    The lack of concern on the part of ICE and CBP about their inadequate systems leads me to suspect that they have a relationship with the NSA to fill the gaps in their capabilities. What with the NSA's data being used by the military to launch drone strikes, and by the DEA to catch drug dealers, among others, it would be unsurprising.

    The intelligence agencies don't have the same burdens as other agencies, so related tasks are delegated to them.

  • Dec 30th, 2013 @ 1:40pm

    History repeats itself

    If I recall correctly, this very thing happened in the 90's when the FBI lobbied for a law compromising the security features of American technology. For the gazillionth time, our "intelligence" community has failed to learn from its mistakes, and our "representatives" have failed to inform us of how our interests have been sacrificed to build an intelligence system explicitly designed to criminalize dissent and undermine the rule of law.

    If it were not for patriots like Snowden, Manning, and others, we would never have the opportunity to fix the system. Refusing to pardon or grant amnesty to them can only be an endorsement of authoritarianism, as that is the only basis for the behavior they brought to light and the only basis of their prosecution.

  • Nov 13th, 2013 @ 12:15pm

    Ugh

    I can only hope that the possession of illicit media does not become in the future what the possession of illicit drugs is today. Let's nip this one in the bud before we end up with police doing anal cavity searches to find our thumb drives.

  • Nov 13th, 2013 @ 11:16am

    Re:

    I don't think there's a precedent in history (or sanity, for that matter) for a court to make a secret ruling based on the secret legal arguments of the defense and the plaintiff. But I wouldn't be surprised to see it, revealed ex post facto, in the FISA court.

  • Nov 11th, 2013 @ 4:43am

    An Idea I had

    Maybe an effective measure to curtail this sort of madness is to tax companies slightly less (whether by creating a tax penalty or a tax break) in exchange for applying sane copyright limits (less than 15 years until expiration, for one) to their IP. The point being that they'd have to weigh the dubious gains of copyright ownership against the certain benefit of the tax break. Most would probably prefer the latter.

    Companies would still argue for maximizing copyright, but many would simultaneously argue that the enormous economic benefits of more limited copyright deserves a larger tax incentive. It would be a lot harder for copyright maximalists to set the terms of the debate.

  • Nov 4th, 2013 @ 8:07am

    Exactly what I was thinking

    ...when he said "rebuild". Rebuild the massive domestic spying network of such dubious usefulness that puts everyone at greater risk? Why would we want to, after realizing what the NSA did in our name?

    Inman believes, as Hayden and Alexander clearly do, that the political controversy is temporary, and whatever law is passed to constrain the NSA will be ineffective, either by its own wording or the NSA's capability to secretly flout it, and there will be no real consequences for NSA officials. Having seen and experienced the results of the Church committee (creation of the secret rubber-stamping FISA court) they may well be right.

  • Oct 31st, 2013 @ 2:02am

    Re: And you expect this corporation to do ... what?

    The company did sue, and it lost.

  • Oct 30th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

    Fortunately...

    We're fortunate that these over-the-top surveillance programs were exposed before the government deployed some kind of technology that can see our naked bodies through clothing.

    Oh wait, they did that already. I wonder if the NSA has access to those machines. It'd surely beat any bathroom spying program.