Hillary Clinton To Silicon Valley: To Silence Terrorists, Nerd Harder, Nerds!

from the that's-not-how-this-works dept

With the explosive devices in NY and NJ from this past weekend, Hillary Clinton has decided, once again, that it’s time to blame Silicon Valley for not doing more to magically stop terrorists from terroristing.

?The recruitment and radicalization that goes on online has to be much more vigorously intercepted and prevented. I have been saying this for quite some time,? the Democratic presidential candidate said at a news conference Monday during which she responded to the bombings in New York and New Jersey over the weekend.

?The government cannot do this without the close participation of tech companies and experts online who can give us the tools and lead us to those who are attempting to promote attacks like we?ve seen.?

Let’s leave aside, first of all, the fact that (as of this writing) there hasn’t been any evidence that the individual arrested and charged with this was recruited and radicalized online. Instead, let’s focus on what’s being asked here: to “intercept and prevent” certain forms of speech online. Not only does this seem… to go completely against American values around freedom of expression, it’s also impossible. Sure, you can kick people off of services, but anyone with an ounce of understanding of how the internet works will recognize how ineffective that is.

Not only would such a system fail to stop people who wish to plan attacks from communicating, such a plan would, inevitably, also block perfectly normal and protected speech. Even worse, it would likely block important counterspeech in which people are able to respond to calls for violence and terrorism with arguments as to why that approach is a bad idea.

It remains amazingly troubling that both of the major party candidates for President seem to think that a good response to attacks in this country is to silence people online. Putting the onus on Silicon Valley to magically “fix” this by “preventing” bad people from talking to one another online is not a credible, reasonable or workable strategy for dealing with those who wish to attack the US.

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Comments on “Hillary Clinton To Silicon Valley: To Silence Terrorists, Nerd Harder, Nerds!”

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Machin Shin (profile) says:

Under this logic all speech coming from either Hillary or Trump should instantly be blocked. For that matter they should both just be locked up.

I can’t think of anything that could cause more radicalization than the steady stream of stupidity that flows from those two. Some of the bombers are probably just happy knowing that by blowing themselves up they wont have to listen to any more news clips about those two bozos.

Groaker (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Nerd Harder?

I wouldn’t say that the US has always been at war with various and sundry parts of Asia, but two that come immediately to mind are the Barbary Wars in Libya that started in 1801, and were on and off through 1815. The Barbary Wars were not against the Barbary pirates as is commonly taught, but rather against Tripoli because the Pasha had the gumption to ask for a raise in the cost of protecting American shipping by fighting against the pirates.

Then of course there was the American and British organized coup to overthrow elected government in Iran and replace it with the Peacock Throne in 1953, and the continual support of the Shah by the US. This incidentally led to the creation of the SADAT, one of the most brutal of all secret police organizations. This was orchestrated in the US by Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of Teddy.

Of course there were many more wars, coups, external control literally stealing the oil and mineral wealth of the mid-East. Had we not done so, we are unlikely to have the problems we have there today.

But we can’t seem to keep our bullets, torture, bombs, missiles and other acts of war away from the countries there.

I.T. Guy says:

So even the guys dad called the FBI on him… but they said he wasn’t a threat. Good job guys.

Here’s a thought… instead of using all that spying power on EVERYONE… maybe it’s time to do good ole police work and then use the massive spying powers on those that should actually be watched.

Maybe if they instead spent the time on this guy rather than going after encryption he could have been stopped.

freakanatcha (profile) says:

Re: Hillary "It's all the nerds fault"

Did you learn your little turn off their mic trick from Steven Tyler? He used to do that to opening bands if they looked like they would blow Areosmith off the stage.

He tried that once with Kansas (‘memba them?). Only they had laid out dummy lines. When Stevie unplugged the dummies, nothing happened. Kansas continued at full volume.

MingusCharlie says:

Re: Re: Hillary "It's all the nerds fault"

Just for your own information, that story is not true. And if it was, Mr. Tyler would have ruined the equipment his band would have been using later. He also would have hurt a lot of people’s ears including his own.

It’s a lot easier to just turn off the channel (press a button and no damage to equipment) than find the cable at the back of the board and unplug it.

DannyB (profile) says:

NSA: Spy Harder

Isn’t it really the NSA’s and other TLAs fault that terrorist acts are occurring?

Isn’t it the various TLAs (NSA, FBI, CIA) etc, and NOT silicon valley that should somehow magically make terrorists stop terrorizing?

Isn’t it the TLAs that vacuum up all of everyone’s communications so that they can hunt for a needle in a needle stack?

How about lets put the blame where it belongs.

Maybe this means that the TLAs vacuuming up all communications really doesn’t make us any safer. And if so, then why could silicon valley do any better?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Probably nobody, it’s basic politics:

Identify a problem, shout loudly that “something needs to be done”, make sure that the people who have to “do something” are not people you are personally in charge of so you have a handy scapegoat when the desired results don’t come in. Bonus points for making sure it’s a hot button issue like child porn or terrorism so that people with genuine objections can be made to look like they’re supporting something unforgivable when they object.

The ideas that something genuinely effective needs to happen or that you should listen to experts who correctly tell you that what’s being requested is impossible are both very low on the priority list.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Magic Etch A Sketch

This reminds me of Obama’s and Hillary’s campaign promises to renegotiate NAFTA, quickly forgotten after the election. Or Reagan’s and Bush II’s campaign promises to outlaw abortion, forgotten post-election. Or Republican campaigning against immigration amnesty, inevitably replaced by pro-amnesty efforts post-election.

Or anything Romney said to pander to the far right, which his campaign promised would be wiped clean with a shake of the Magic Etch A Sketch after the primaries. Or anything Trump says, contradicted for a different audience just hours later.

It’s hard to take seriously.

Anonymous Coward says:

I have to wonder if these calls for censorship of “terrorists” are actually part of a much larger plan?

We are all aware of “creep”, where one thing slowly morphs into “more” or something else it was never intended to be.

First we censor the “terrorists”, then we censor things the government doesn’t want you to hear.. then the corporations jump in to offer help with censoring things they don’t like, etc., etc., etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

Stop killing their friends and family

Here’s a thought….

Want to stop terrorists?
How about we stop killing their friends and families.

Our own actions do more to help recruit terrorists than any online communication could..

Put yourself in their shoes.
If some other country was invading the USA, killing your friends and family the patriotic thing to do is to injure that enemy anyway you can.

But using logic and empathy does not help fund the military industrial complex so that will never happen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Stop killing their friends and family

This is not true. Sure, we do ourselves some disservice at times. But the region has had issues long, long before Amerika came on the scene.

Their biggest issue is their own leaders. Several of those countries are rich with oil which is hoarded by their leadership. The same leaders that tell them the west is to blame for their problems and not the fact that all the oil and therefore money is hoarded by the leadership.

sharp as a marble says:

its the stupid stuff the govt does that causes radicalization

If the government stopped doing the stupid crap they are doing “in the name of security” like Allowing the police to rob people via civil forfiture. Or forcing people through body scans and pat downs to get on a plane then normal people would not want to blow their shit up in retaliation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: its the stupid stuff the govt does that causes radicalization

Minor correction:

It is the stupid stuff that govt does that IS radicalization.

Religious fundamentalism is a system of governance, as is slavery, or monarchy, or republic. While the properties of different classes of governance are distinct, the interface is the same.

Or more pedantically: Political power derives from peoples view that they are superior. While mechanisms may be differentiated between systems of governance, in all cases the self-view of superiority is leveraged to create tyranny and mayhem. The function of this is to make the conflicting parties dependent on the commands of their respective masters or aristocracies.

Once you’ve accepted that it is your own ego that is subjugating you to these assholes, it becomes blatantly obvious. In every way that truly matters, they are the same party.

While their positions are distinct, in no way are they offering anything that isn’t at its core, simply thuggery. They are not American leaders. They are just leaders. And those you can find anywhere.

Which is why third parties, are currently the second party in this country. And why it is fair to regard the unholy trinity of cabal news as a cock fighting ring, used to play the American people off against each other.

Republicans aren’t at war with Democrats. Both are at war with the American people. To not be so, either would have to have something to offer that had a reasonable expectation of producing a yield of greater liberty and welfare.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Let’s leave aside, first of all, the fact that (as of this writing) there hasn’t been any evidence that the individual arrested and charged with this was recruited and radicalized online.”

It is also ignores the blindingly obvious fact that the primary cause of domestic Islamic terrorism, as well as countless other problems, is America’s policy of continuous bomb dropping on the other side of the world.

This fact is always ignored. There is no permanent war. Everything is normal.

How far we have fallen. We are no longer looking down into the abyss. We are in freefall.

Anonymous Coward says:

"The recruitment and radicalization that goes on online has to be much more vigorously intercepted and prevented"

“vigorous interception” IS radicalization according to the fourth amendment. The British would have said the same things she is saying, about patriot printing presses of the day.

And while I don’t support religious douche bags; in THIS country; the standard for what constitutes radicalism was first written in 1789.

You’d like to think that she is just mis-speaking when she uses this kind of rhetoric. But she says shit like this all the time.

It speaks to the standard the two candidates respectively expect themselves to be held to. Trump says crazy shit, but he tends not to encapsulate two completely contradictory positions in a single sentence.

HRC, doesn’t regard what she says as being required to have even that modicum of continuity. Because of course she’s perfect. And perfect people don’t have to make sense. They don’t ever contradict themselves, it is the WORLD that is backwards.

Please note that I’m not speaking to self contradiction as a thing. I’m speaking to the expectation a person has for the response they will get from others, when they contradict themselves.

In my experience, expecting not to be held to any standard of continuity is a good indicator of people who suffer from NPD. People with this disorder are most dangerous to those they call their friends.

TimothyAWiseman (profile) says:

Not all candidates support that...

It remains amazingly troubling that both of the major party candidates for President seem to think that a good response to attacks in this country is to silence people online.

I agree with this, and indeed all of this post. Still, it is worth pointing out that Gary Johnson is a staunch supporter of free speech and has not proposed anything like this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hillary's Nerd Stronger idea list:

Terrorists drink water; cut off all water.
Terrorists drive vehicles; remove private vehicles from roadways.
Terrorists purchase peroxide; prohibit peroxide. Good idea! Stops Milo!
Terrorists use Bleachbit to wipe emails. Criminalize Bleachbit. Good idea!
Terrorists wear baggy pants to hide stuff. Only Lululemon allowed. Good idea!

freedomfan (profile) says:

Politicians believe in magic because it's what they think they do all the time

Mrs. Clinton’s dimwitted approach is typical of politicians because they have come to believe that’s how the world works. In everyday legislation, they think that some proposal with good intentions and a majority of votes is all that’s needed to remake reality. Laws are like magic spells and votes are the wizards joining hands and chanting to cast the spell. (Some might say that money is the magic pixie dust that powers them.) Want to solve problem A? Pass a law whose stated intent is to fix problem A! See? Easy! Now the wizards/politicians can feel good about himselves and bask in their mental and moral superiority at having “done something”.

Just be very, very careful not to check back in a few years and objectively examine whether the law has solved the problem its supporters said it would solve. And, especially don’t check whether there have been unintended consequences that might have been caused by the law. If the wizards/politicians aren’t careful, they might find that laws don’t always do what they were intended to do or that they often make things worse. The key is to never really check how effectively the original problem has been addressed. Instead, pick totally irrelevant metrics (like how much money has been spent to solve the problem) and pretend that they show progress. The media will help out by almost never inquiring independently about the law’s actual effect, instead focusing on whether they law has helped or hurt certain wizards/politicians and their tribes (parties).

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