Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the encrypt-this! dept

We’ve got another double-winner this week. That Anonymous Coward scored first place for both insightful and funny with the same comment: his response to the absurd trademark situation in which a 1000-year-old village was told to stop using its name. As he pointed out, the company that sends out these demands for trademark holders should probably change its slogan:

Mark Monitor… when you absolutely positively want to look like idiots.

In second place in the insightful side, following the huge appeals court win in which the NSA’s bulk records collection was found to be unauthorized, Derek Kerton reiterated a simple point that gets more and more true with every such victory:

It deserves repeating:

Snowden’s a fucking hero.

Our first editor’s choice for insightful goes to Mason Wheeler, who pointed out the common misconception that the danger of security holes is mitigated by the expertise required to exploit them:

This guy doesn’t understand the exploitation of electronic vulnerabilities. It’s a common enough misunderstanding; not getting it is the primary reason why DRM continues to be used today.

Here’s the part he doesn’t get: Yes, it takes a lot of tools and skill to figure out how to exploit it. But once one person with the tools and skill does all that hard work and publishes his results, it then becomes trivial for people with a much lesser degree of tools and skill to reproduce that work and do the same thing. Cracked once is cracked everywhere, forever.

Next, we’ve got a related comment from John Fenderson, filling in a gap in the discussion around encryption:

Jonathan Mayer’s analysis is excellent, but I want to add an additional point about subverted encryption of the sort that the feds are looking for:

Criminals who hide their activities through encryption will just continue to do so, using crypto that is readily available and installable (on Android, anyway) without involving any app store at all. There is no need to use an app store to install apps on an Android device, after all, so no provider would have the chance to vet the software.

So we’d just end up with a world of decreased security, computers that people can’t trust (even more so than right now), but with the ability of criminals to hide their activities just as strong as ever.

In other words, what the feds are asking for is a world where the criminals are in an even stronger position (relative to law-abiding users) than they are now.

Over on the funny side, we’ve already had the first place comment, so we move onto our anonymous second place winner who applied political encryption reasoning to Pennsylvania’s attempt to strip convicts of First Amendment rights:

I’m no expert, but perhaps the brilliant legal minds who come up with these laws could create some kind of magical front backdoor golden key that allows only the good guys to have speech.

Meanwhile, for editor’s choice, we’ll start out with yet another encryption-related jab. After it was revealed that the FBI spent years researching the lyrics to Louie, Louie, dfed suggested a last act for the story:

Here’s the surprise twist:

Jack Ely was singing in crypto, using a cipher from Enigma. They still couldn’t crack it.

Finally, we’ve got a response to one broadband company’s legal text that essentially negated every single promise made about their service. DOlz decided to turn the language around:

Fair is fair

“Actual payments may vary and are not guaranteed. Payment metrics based on Frontier lab validation under realworld network environment simulating ?normal case scenario? with network congestion, other factors cause by consumer behavior, or factors caused by third-party providers? behaviors. Frontier may not be able to replicate the payment shown in the performance metrics.”

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt”

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Anonymous Coward says:

The flipside to John Fenderson's comment about encryption and the Feds

The Feds are not that interested in catching the criminals that are really good at their craft as long as there is plenty of low hanging fruit to be had. It’s all about appearances and maintaining budgets. This is evident from the FBI’s track record of foiling terrorist plots of their own design. As long as there are plenty of criminals that are easily caught that can be publicized even if they are manufactured, the criminals that continue to elude capture serve the valuable purpose of creating a need for federal law enforcement regardless of how ineffective they may be in actually serving their intended purpose.

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