Rikuo's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the back-again dept

Hello there fellow Techdirtians, 'tis been a while since I last saw fit to grace Techdirt with my scribblings. A little about myself. I'm a male in my mid-20s... that's enough. Basically, think of me as the average joe (no, not THAT Average_Joe! *shudders*). I don't talk to politicians, I don't write drafts of upcoming law bills, I just do my 9-5 and pay my taxes. That's the viewpoint I'm taking going through this week's Favorites.

For Monday, I chose Keith Alexander wanted all the data. When the guy who oversaw illegal wiretapping under Bush says you're going too far in hoovering up Internet data, maybe that's when you should stop what you're doing and take the time to think about it. But, apparently that's not how Alexander views it. I especially am quite afraid of his attitude of "We have the capability, so let's use it." Better make sure he stays away from the Big Red Button™, the one that if pushed, launches the nukes.

I also looked at the NSA engaging in economic espionage and was quite put off by that. I simply cannot fathom a reason for the NSA to do that legitimately. The NSA is supposed to be looking for threats to US national security, and while a foreign owned oil conglomerate could certainly gain some market share over a US based one, that's not a military threat. That's just market forces at work.

Tuesday had two articles that caught my eye. The first was of a California school announcing it monitors it students 24/7. I always look back on my school years with some fondness, and thank the God I don't believe exists that nothing like that happens where I live. While yes, social network profiles are more or less open and public by default, the thought that if I were a student, the school would go out of their way to monitor everything I post just rubs me the wrong way. Since such monitoring is so easily thwarted, it does beg the question of just why you would spend taxpayer money on such a system, if all one needs to do to not be monitored is never mention what your school is on your profile.

I suffered an aneurysm reading the court ruling that WiFi isn't radio. Techdirt, I'm gonna sue, so prepare yourselves! Just because the radio signal isn't audible suddenly means it's not radio? This is why the thought of a judge having to undergo a technical course of not less than a year before ruling on a technology related case sounds pleasing.

Wednesday rolled around and I hear that France's only HADOPI disconnection has been stopped. One thing that I noticed was that none of Techdirt's usual defenders-of-greater-enforcement decided to comment on that one. HADOPI is the poster-child of X Strikes systems world-wide, so it must come as an embarrassment to its supporters that after four years of operations, multiple millions of French taxpayer Euros and only a single disconnection resulted. Now, that disconnection has been cancelled. For those of who support 3 strikes, how does barring someone from home internet access encourage them to start buying copyrighted material?

The news that Russia wants an Internet whitelist scares the crap out of me. Online communication is an indispensable tool of modern life. How does the thought of having to ask your government for permission to set up a website sound? Obviously, such an idea would be used by a government to disallow its critics from having their own sites. There can be no other outcome, especially with Putin at the head of government.

On Thursday, I couldn't help but read that now the MPAA can file bogus DMCA takedowns without fear of punishment. The whole point and greatest strength of a democracy is the ability to make speech. Having that speech available is kinda the point, but democracy itself is threatened when one's speech can be curtailed very easily simply by someone claiming copyright. Now one doesn't need to consider whether the potential infringement of your work that you've found could be fair use. You can just notify away and even if the fair use is obvious, no biggies. I guess people like LittleKuriboh, whose Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged Youtube channel gets blocked regularly thanks to DMCA notices despite his series being a clear cut case of parody under fair use, should just shrug and accept it.

Timothy Geigner's article about how privacy advocates are responsible for TSA abuses was a good laugh. Even in the year 2013, we still get people like Stewart Baker who will defend the TSA to the death. If I were in the airport, and a TSA man stuck his hand on my junk, he'd be the person I'd blame, him and the person who signed off on the policy; not people campaigning to end it.

So...here we are on Friday. First up is the eight month sentence for a guy who taught people how to beat a polygraph. Reading through the comments, I noticed one thing that wasn't talked about. I noticed that the ruling more than likely is because it's basically aiding in a crime, like when the undercover cops said they were criminals and Chad Dixon taught them anyway. My thought on the matter is – let's say a real criminal confessed to a crime, and was taught. He then gets caught. In his trial, polygraph results would be rejected as evidence anyway, because they are so unreliable. So what's the harm here of teaching how to beat a polygraph, even to a confessed criminal? It's not the same thing as teaching someone how to more effectively commit a crime, only how to beat a machine whose results wouldn't be used anyway.

My last favorite article for the week is why the NSA must be reined in. I agree, and not just simply because the NSA could have dirt on a sitting president. They could very easily see a proponent of a policy that they don't like, and surreptitiously reveal embarrassing secrets to forestall that policy. They can very easily arrest someone simply because, without context, their (previously thought to be) private communications said something nasty. The threat to basic freedom and democracy from the NSA is too high for it to be left to run rampant as it is.

Thank you fellow readers, and thanks Mike for the opportunity to write this. Ciao!

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    David Woodhead (profile), Sep 14th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    What a week

    I missed half of these, so thank you Rikuo for bringing them to my attention.

    It really has been a hell of a week for insane activity and legal decisions. I think the UK is getting pretty dysfunctional in many ways, but the good ol' US of A is a hard act to follow. Perhaps screwed up government ought to be an Olympic event.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

    For those of who support 3 strikes, how does barring someone from home internet access encourage them to start buying copyrighted material?

    I've said many times before that downloading music and movies isn't worth the bandwidth to do it. It's a waste of good bandwidth. Most movies put out aren't worth the time to watch them and I walk away from those I had bought wishing I had the time and money back wasted. Music is even worse.

    I've quit buying because of it and the attitudes of major entertainment. I seriously doubt I will ever return. Should my ISP decide to flag me a guilty without evidence beyond some claim from someone getting it wrong, I won't return to buying but may well drop the internet all together as another item not worth the costs involved.

    So send me some notices and see how much that helps the bottom line.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Michael, Sep 14th, 2013 @ 2:41pm

    Bogus DMCA takedowns

    Could someone please ask Anonymous to insert a self-takedown in MPAAs stream of crap?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous, Sep 14th, 2013 @ 4:33pm


    So what DO you use all your bandwidth for? Or should I even ask?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2013 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Not sure if sarcastic, or seriously assuming that the only thing you'd do with high bandwidth is download stuff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2013 @ 8:22pm

    What do I use my bandwidth for? You do realize there is more to the internet than just the trash the entertainment industry puts out.

    I read a lot of news. I do graphics that wind up with huge files because they are high res with lots of data in them. Transferring them is bandwidth intensive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2013 @ 8:28pm

    If your interested, here's one of my graphics converted to 2D which isn't so large a file.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2013 @ 9:26pm

    Techdirt is closing down

    We'll soon anyway, Masnick has decided that the ability to abuse CENSORSHIP and abuse FREE SPEECH is worth more to him that page hits and his weekly Google cheque.

    Look at the number of comments in the past weeks.. !!!! hopeless.

    Why, because no one wants to read comment after comment of people deeply in love with masnick and agreeing with his every word and lie...


    "Yes, you a GOD MASNICK"

    "WE, ALL agree with you Masnick!!!"..

    "Look no one ever disagrees with masnick on his site !!!"

    No, they don't because Masnick CENSORS THEM.. he would rather see TD go out of business than to allow free speech and have anyone ever disagree with THE MASNICK..

    Or even worse expose his lies... no we cant have there here on TD, when Masnick has the ability to abuse free speech and CENSOR ANY COMMENT he might not like.

    Or to block any commenter that he knows has the ability to see through masnicks lies and false hoods, and call him out on them..

    If people are censored in comments they wont ever bother to read the article, no readie of articles, no page hits.. NO MONEY..

    But you do get a reputation.. no a good one, a reputation of an abuser of censorship, and as someone who does not believe in free speech.

    Funny that those were subjects that were probably the reason for TD starting in the first place.

    He likes to try to call out others for abuses like this, he does like it so much when other people call him out for the same thing.. !!!!!!!!

    Good luck with your web site masnick, but it expect it will go the same way as your reputation...

    Down the drain... or sewer...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Rikuo (profile), Sep 15th, 2013 @ 12:01am


    Very very nice. Only downside is, I wouldn't want to be in that image, what with the oncoming tidal wave...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2013 @ 3:32am

    Re: Bogus DMCA takedowns

    But why don't we simply submit DMCA takedowns repeatedly (each 2 weeks) against
    MPAA related sites. We can let the taste their own medicine

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2013 @ 3:32am

    Re: Bogus DMCA takedowns

    But why don't we simply submit DMCA takedowns repeatedly (each 2 weeks) against
    MPAA related sites. We can let the taste their own medicine

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    JJ Joseph, Sep 15th, 2013 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Bogus DMCA takedowns

    I heard you the first time! Regardless, it's a good question and deserves a considered response. It's a much more interesting topic than the NSA eavesdropping on people phoning Somalia or Yemen twice a day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), Sep 15th, 2013 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No its a valid question. the answer to which is problably online games. Its the only common high-bandwidth use.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re: Techdirt is closing down

    So on the one hand, you are being censored (despite being able to post) and on the other hand, being censored leads to people not reading articles (which we know you don't) and then on to no page hits, i.e. not even being here. So what exactly are you doing here again?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Rikuo (profile), Sep 16th, 2013 @ 11:23am

    Re: Techdirt is closing down

    I want to know how you confuse up with down, black with white and being able to post freely with censorship.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2013 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Techdirt is closing down

    Wow, darryl, fuck a solar panel much lately?

    Here, have a report vote. Brought to you by the drive-by DMCA! You brain-dead, incest-bred little bastard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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