Trump Calls For Partial Shutdown Of The Internet, Doesn't Understand What He's Saying

from the huuuuge dept

I have to admit that I find Donald Trump's presidential campaign fascinating. Or, rather, I find its survival to this point fascinating. What amazes me about it is that the Trump campaign exhibited a strong commitment to not actually putting forward any detailed policy prescriptions, except for a few general policy ideas that mostly conflict with the party whose nomination he's seeking. And those policy ideas he does express have generally been either despicable, impossible to implement, or both. Deporting six million Latin Americans? Yeah, that just isn't going to happen. Putting a hold, however temporary, on legal immigration by using a religious test to keep Muslims out of the country? That violates the very founding document an American President would be tasked with upholding. Also, it's disgusting.

But this is what you get when you have a candidate whose campaign is reflecting base anger rather than actual knowledge and know-how. And Trump's latest policy proclamation is further proof that potential voters are listening to someone who simply doesn't know what the hell they're talking about. If, like me, you're a sadist, then you too were watching the latest Republican debate on CNN the other night when Trump was asked several times if he would consider censoring the internet to combat ISIS. He eventually said he would, in a very Trump-ish way.

"I would certainly be open to closing areas where we are at war with somebody. I sure as hell don't want to let people that want to kill us and kill our nation use our internet."
So that nobody thinks this is pulled out of context, Trump was actually confirming what he'd said at a campaign stop days earlier.
"We're losing a lot of people because of the internet, and we have to do something," Trump said at a rally earlier this month. "We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what's happening. We have to talk to them maybe in certain areas closing that internet up in some way."
So, the policy prescription here is for all of us to caravan over to Bill Gates house and discuss how to close up that internet over coffee and scones. Putting aside the concept of the internet being "ours", as in America's, which is dumb to begin with, most people have taken Trump's idea to be one of two things: either we're shutting down the internet in Syria and Iraq, or we're filtering the internet both inbound and outbound on the American side to keep ISIS from reaching our citizens.

As some have already written, the concept of us shutting down the internet in Syria is unworkable.
This post claims it would be easy, just forge a BGP announcement. Doing so would then redirect all Syrian traffic to the United States instead of Syria. This is too simplistic of a view. Technically, the BGP attack described in the above post wouldn't even work. BGP announcements in the United States would only disrupt traffic to/from the United States. Traffic between Turkey and ISIS would remain unaffected. The Internet is based on trust -- abusing trust this way could only work temporarily, before everyone else would untrust the United States. Legally, this couldn't work, as the United States has no sufficient legal authority to cause such an action. Congress would have to pass a law, which it wouldn't do.

ISIS has to pay for telecommunications links to route traffic through other countries. This causes ISIS to share the IP address space of those countries. Since we are talking about client access to the Internet, these are probably going through NATs of some kind. Indeed, that's how a lot of cellphone access works in third world countries -- the IP address of your phone frequently does not match that of your country, but of the country of the company providing the cellphone service (which is often outsourced). Any attempt to shut those down is going to have a huge collateral impact on other Internet users. You could take a scorched earth approach and disrupt everyone's traffic, but that's just going to increasingly isolate the United States while having little impact on ISIS. Satellite and other private radio links can be setup as fast as you bomb them.
This is technical speak for "the internet routes around censorship", especially so when you're talking about an outside force attempting to flip the off switch on internet access to an entire geographical region. It's impossible as a practical matter and downright stupid strategically on top of it. Note that ISIS controlled territory is absolutely spilling over with innocents that have no interest in ISIS ruling their lives. Trump would have us cut off one of our few access roads to those people? Why? They're the ones we're going to eventually need on our side.

Well, since that idea of censoring the internet wouldn't work, maybe Trump was talking about putting the blocks in place on the America side. You know, by blocking access to and from certain parts of the web so that they don't reach American users and American users can't reach them. There is a model for this, of course, though it's a bit strange to watch a Republican candidate pitch a Chinese censorship model as policy.
Of course, if we really wanted to exclude ISIS from the US internet, there is a model of how to do it: China's Great Firewall. That's the censorship regime the Chinese government uses to try to keep subversive ideas like democracy and human rights out of their country. In principle, we could adopt the same tactics here in the United States, building a virtual wall around the United States and filtering all of the information flowing in and out of the country to try to prevent jihadists from communicating with Americans.

And for this to work, we'd have to not only prevent ISIS members from posting on US websites but also prevent impressionable Americans from browsing websites the US government deems too ISIS-friendly. This would, of course, be a massive violation of the First Amendment, and Americans are unlikely to stand for the US government deciding which websites they're allowed to read.
It also still wouldn't work, because, again, the internet routes around censorship. Anyone that believes that the great firewall of China hasn't been penetrated is laughably naive. It may have limited access, but it hasn't cut it off. And that's in China, where there isn't a built-in fundamental value into the history of the citizenry centered around free speech and free access to information. So, not only an inept idea, but against the very Constitution that Trump would be swearing to defend.

Look, we make a habit around these parts of not ragging on either Republicans or Democrats, because that isn't what this site is about. And fortunately, this post has done neither, because Trump is neither conservative nor liberal. He's just a guy whose only ideas seem to be censorious and authoritarian. Given his wish to censor the internet, I'd say he's disqualified himself from the office.

Filed Under: donald trump, internet, policy expertise, terrorism


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 2:42pm

    Trump ..... doesn't understand what he's saying

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 12:25am

      Re:

      Yeah, I was about to say that there's too many words in the headline. Or, at least, he understands but doesn't care how stupid he looks because he's getting press and that's all he really wants.

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  • icon
    powerKitten (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 2:50pm

    You guys accidently a word

    "They're the ones we're gong to eventually need on our side."
    "we're gong"
    "gong"

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 2:51pm

    Remember kids...

    It's not censorship if we don't like what they're saying.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 2:54pm

    Trump has managed to boil down FUD Politics down to its purest form and build a campagin around it.

    This guy is literally fear itself.

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  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 2:59pm

    > Putting a hold, however temporary, on legal immigration by using a religious test to keep Muslims out of the country?

    There's a popular hashtag in Europe, #yournomuslimbruv. Muslims are being very vocal about telling would-be terrorists that they're not following the teachings of Islam, and that they're not Muslims.

    Which makes the terrorists eligible to enter America under Trump's plan.

    Trump's plan to stop Muslim data packets at the border (presumably IPv6 will identify them as such) would also stop that data from reaching the NSA's shiny new data center in Utah. But if you can't use it for detecting terrorists, there's always domestic surveillance.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 4:17pm

      Re:


      There's a popular hashtag in Europe, #yournomuslimbruv. Muslims are being very vocal about telling would-be terrorists that they're not following the teachings of Islam,


      correction:

      The guy on the recording wasn't a muslim so how he comes to know who is and isn't a muslim is a bit of a moot point.

      Sheikh Ramadan Al-Buti of Syria was one of the most widely respected traditionalist Sunni scholars before he was killed in 2013 by a suicide bomber. The year before he had been listed as number 27 in the ‘The Muslim 500’, an annual inventory of the most influential Muslims in the world. According to Al-Buti, the claim that Islam is a peaceful religion was a ‘falsehood’ imposed upon Muslims by westerners to render Islam weak.

      I'd take his word for it before that of some random non-muslim.

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      • identicon
        Rekrul, 17 Dec 2015 @ 5:03pm

        Re: Re:

        Sheikh Ramadan Al-Buti of Syria was one of the most widely respected traditionalist Sunni scholars before he was killed in 2013 by a suicide bomber. The year before he had been listed as number 27 in the ‘The Muslim 500’, an annual inventory of the most influential Muslims in the world. According to Al-Buti, the claim that Islam is a peaceful religion was a ‘falsehood’ imposed upon Muslims by westerners to render Islam weak.

        Careful! You're not allowed to say stuff like that! Even implying that Islam isn't all peace and love is now considered a hate crime! Why do you hate Muslims?

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      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 5:23pm

        Re: Re:

        > The guy on the recording wasn't a muslim

        ...Which makes no difference to the many Muslims who repeated the sentiments. Nor to the many Muslims who have stated as much well before the subway and Paris attacks.

        As for the rest, Jerry "feminists and lesbians caused 9/11" Falwell is equally prominent in Christianity. And yet he doesn't speak for the vast majority of Christians, nor would most agree with many of his claims. The same goes for Pat "we should assassinate world leaders we don't like and God should destroy Disney World because gays" Robertson, and plenty of other prominent Christian scholars.

        And of course by any standard that Islam isn't a religion of peace - scholars' quotes, scripture, or the actions of it's followers - neither is Christianity.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 3:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Which makes no difference to the many Muslims who repeated the sentiments. Nor to the many Muslims who have stated as much well before the subway and Paris attacks.

          I think Mandy Rice Davies applies to that one.

          And of course by any standard that Islam isn't a religion of peace - scholars' quotes, scripture, or the actions of it's followers - neither is Christianity.

          That isn't actually true - but in any case it is merely a tu quoque argument - and hence irrelevant.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 3:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And of course by any standard that Islam isn't a religion of peace - scholars' quotes, scripture, or the actions of it's followers - neither is Christianity.

            Sam Harris is not a friend of Christianity - but here are his thoughts on the subject.

            "Anyone familiar with my work knows that I am extremely critical of all religious faiths. I have argued elsewhere that the ascendancy of Christian conservatism in American politics should terrify and embarrass us. And yet, there are gradations to the evil that is done in name of God, and these gradations must be honestly observed. So let us now make sense of the impossible by acknowledging the obvious: there is a direct link between the doctrine of Islam and Muslim terrorism. Acknowledging this link remains especially taboo among political liberals.
            . . .
            While the other major world religions have been fertile sources of intolerance, it is clear that the doctrine of Islam poses unique problems for the emergence of a global civilization. The world, from the point of view of Islam, is divided into the “House of Islam” and the “House of War,” and this latter designation should indicate how Muslims believe their differences with those who do not share their faith will be ultimately resolved. While there are undoubtedly some moderate Muslims who have decided to overlook the irrescindable militancy of their religion, Islam is undeniably a religion of conquest. The only future devout Muslims can envisage—as Muslims—is one in which all infidels have been converted to Islam, politically subjugated, or killed. The tenets of Islam simply do not admit of anything but a temporary sharing of power with the “enemies of God.” Devout Muslims can have no doubt about the reality of Paradise or about the efficacy of martyrdom as a means of getting there. Nor can they question the wisdom and reasonableness of killing people for what amount to theological grievances. In Islam, it is the moderate who is left to split hairs, because the basic thrust of the doctrine is undeniable: convert, subjugate, or kill unbelievers; kill apostates; and conquer the world"

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            • icon
              Richard (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 6:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              feminists and lesbians caused 9/11" Falwell

              Actually a much misunderstood comment - What Falwel was actually doing was in the Christian tradition of "mea culpa" - blaming oneself.

              Now where he leaves that tradition is when he moves the blame away from himself personally (the proper Christian position) onto others within his community.

              When Jerusalem was sacked by the Arabs in 634 Patriarch Sophronius said something similar - but he didn't exempt himself and locaise the blame onto others.

              Even Jerry Falwell didn't suggest a violent response.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 3:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Jerry "feminists and lesbians caused 9/11" Falwell is equally prominent in Christianity.

          No he isn't he is the leader of a minority sect.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 4:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "No he isn't he is the leader of a minority sect."

            So, Falwell is just leader of a minority sect when he says things you don't like. But, when a Sunni scholar speaks then suddenly he speaks for all of Islam and not just whatever sect of Sunni Islam he represents?

            Got it.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 7:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No - because factually that is what he is - and there are much larger churches available from which a more representative opinion could be drawn.

              With Islam there is a problem because there is no such organisation so anyone one might quote is inevitably a minority leader. However there are some pretty big minority leaders who have said similar things in the past - eg Khomeini or the ambassador who justified Islamic piracy to Jefferson. One could also quote Mohammed of course - there's plenty of material there.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 7:47am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Additionally, although the Sheikh was just one Muslim - he was a scholar within the Sunni tradition going back hundreds of years. You can trace his opinions back through those of earlier scholars to the founding fathers of Islam.

                Falwell on the other had is basically the self appointed founder of his own sect. Insofar as he belongs to a tradition it is a tradition that says everyone reads the bible for themself.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 7:55am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Insofar as he belongs to a tradition it is a tradition that says everyone reads the bible for themself.

                  That tradition also damns to hell anybody who interprets it differently to their interpretation. Just like you refuse to accept any other interpretation of Islam that differs from yours.

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 22 Dec 2015 @ 3:09am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "You can trace his opinions back through those of earlier scholars to the founding fathers of Islam."

                  You can do the same with a lot of people in all sorts of religions and even secular traditions. That doesn't mean that everyone else within their fields agrees with them. Wars have been fought over such disagreements, even within Islam.

                  It's just more excuses as to why the most hateful Christians can get away with their rhetoric, yet every Muslim should be considered by the standards of their most hateful members even if they disagree. It's why Syrian refugees should be feared, even though many of them are escaping violence and persecution, not committing it. It's an excuse for hatred and bigotry, while pretending that whatever you like is inherently superior.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 22 Dec 2015 @ 3:05am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "With Islam there is a problem because there is no such organisation"

                So... you agree that there is no such thing as a majority spokesman for the religion, yet you say that the guy you quoted speaks for the entire religion? Do you honestly not see how this lacks internal consistency as an argument?

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 12:36am

        Re: Re:

        "I'd take his word for it before that of some random non-muslim."

        Would you take his word over a Muslim who says differently? If so, why?

        I can find Christians who preach hatred and use the Bible to support it. Would you consider their word over and about any Christian or non-Christian who states that is not correct? If not, why do you not apply that standard to Muslims?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 3:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Would you take his word over a Muslim who says differently? If so, why?

          Because he isn't just any old muslim - he is a muslim scholar who was well respected in the community.

          I can find Christians who preach hatred and use the Bible to support it.

          So what? That's just a tu quoque argument and even prominent atheists like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins - hardly Christian apologists - don't buy it.

          This isn't about Christians so why do you bring it up?

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 4:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Because he isn't just any old muslim - he is a muslim scholar who was well respected in the community."

            There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. There must surely be other scholars, some of whom would reach a different conclusion? Do you take their interpretation with equal weight?

            Also, why does one person within a religion with no central authority and a huge number of sect that despise each other get to speak for the whole religion, scholar or no? The Pope doesn't speak for all Christians, why does random scholar get to speak for all Muslims?

            "even prominent atheists like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins"

            Prominent assholes, too. They often have good things to say, but they're deliberately inflammatory, sometimes deliberately misleading if they think it advances their point and I don't really care what they have to say any more then the religious assholes.

            "This isn't about Christians so why do you bring it up?"

            Because these discussions are usually filled with double standards. A Muslim does something bad, they represent all of Islam. A Christian does something bad, they're a lone wolf, a psycho, not a true Christian, etc.

            I ask just to gauge how biased a person is. If you apply different moral standards to an action because the perpetrator belong to group X rather than group Y or Z, you're biased and I like to know what I'm dealing with.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 6:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. There must surely be other scholars, some of whom would reach a different conclusion? Do you take their interpretation with equal weight

              Well obviously lack of space prevents me - but I can find plenty more. I quoted a relatively moderate person - after all the real extremists blew him up! I could also quote Al-Bagdadi - the so called Caliph of IS who has a PhD in Islamic studies - which is more than you or I - or any of our moderate muslim friends have.

              A Muslim does something bad, they represent all of Islam. A Christian does something bad, they're a lone wolf, a psycho, not a true Christian,

              Well firstly you must admit that that analysis could be correct or it could be wrong. There is a way to find out which it is.

              You need to look at the following:

              1) Do they, in fact attribute their actions to their faith?

              If not then they are just a lone wolf/psycho etc - and not a true muslim or Christian.

              2) If so does their attribution make sense logically when compared to their tradition? If not then although they believe themselves to be a true follower of their faith, they really aren't.

              3) If it seems that their attribution is to some extent at least plausible then one could also confirm it by asking if their action is similar to the actions of the most revered fathers of their tradition. (For Christianity this would be Jesus and the Apostles - the disciples plus Paul. For Islam this would be Mohammed and the so called Salafs or companions especially the "rightly guided Caliphs".

              I suggst you go and look up the biographies of these people for yourself.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 7:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I ask just to gauge how biased a person is. If you apply different moral standards to an action because the perpetrator belong to group X rather than group Y or Z, you're biased and I like to know what I'm dealing with.

              No I ask whether their action is justifiable on the basis of the texts and traditions of their faith and the history of its most revered exponents.

              btw you seem to be biased in the direction of appearing unbiased - rather like a lecturer I knew who never awarded a mark below 60 or above 70.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 7:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              why does random scholar get to speak for all Muslims

              Because there isn't room in a comment for 1.5 Billion quotations!

              Feel free to come up with a counter quote together with the supporting evidence that it relates to the authentic Islamic tradition rather than just something some muslim in the west would like to be true - or nmaybe would like you to believe.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 22 Dec 2015 @ 3:18am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Because there isn't room in a comment for 1.5 Billion quotations!"

                OK, how about a link to your evidence that all 1.5 billion people believe exactly the same way? Because logic and history don't appear to agree with that assertion.

                "rather than just something some muslim in the west would like to be true"

                Why do the opinions of Muslims in the west not count? It seems strange that you'll claim that all Muslims are duty bound by the same opinion, then roundly reject a large number of their stated beliefs.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 8:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I ask just to gauge how biased a person is.

              Consider the debate about encryption. Those who argue that backdooring encryption cannot be done without collateral damage are seen as biased by the politicos who know nothing of the technology.

              Superior knowledge will often appears as bias to those who lack it.

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              • icon
                GEMont (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 5:12pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Whenever I read the words of an obviously well-educated, intelligent and cock-sure poster such as yourself, who expounds wisely on the virtues of one religion and the evils of competitor religions, I wonder only how much money they are pulling in annually through sales or services to the adherents of that particular religion - because it is patently obvious that nobody that smart could be fooled by the dogma and promises of any religion, and just as obvious that they are receiving some form of abundant gratification/reward in this life, from their religious association.

                However, since I consider it irresponsible and silly to ask for truth about a unanimous poster's personal life, or life style, I won't attempt to make you lie about such associations or incomes.

                I'll just use my imagination. :)

                ---

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 22 Dec 2015 @ 2:52am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Superior knowledge will often appears as bias to those who lack it."

                I've been offline for a few days. I do love the fact that you spent a hour and a half composing multiple replies dancing around the question, yet your conclusion seems to be "I know more than you so nuh".

                However, you avoided answering the very simple question I posed - why do you hold every Muslim to one standard (and atheists by the look of things), but refuse to hold any Christianity responsible in the same way? You've danced around the issue, but mainly by trying to find excuses to reject equal treatment. You've not stated why the disgusting views of people like Falwell can be waved away, yet those of certain Muslims cannot be questioned as part fo the faith.

                It makes no logical sense. All long-running religions have disputes, schisms and differences of opinion. There are many Muslim sects, some of whom hate each other to the point of violence. To think that billions of people agree with a particular viewpoint because it's "part of their religion" ignores the reality of how people think and behave, as well as the fact that there's no centralised authority. It also ignores the huge number of peaceful Muslims who manage to co-exist with others, something that makes no sense if every one of them is duty bound to violence as you claim.

                I'm looking for consistency, honesty and intelligent debate, things that people like yourself never seem to be able to provide.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 2:59pm

    What we deserve

    Trump, not the president American needs, the president American deserves.

    Honestly, the way we've been acting as a country recently, can you say we deserve anything more than Trump. It seems a lot like a fitting punishment to me.

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    • icon
      Jeremy2020 (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 3:21pm

      Re: What we deserve

      I've thought about voting for him because he'd be in office for a week, impeached and hopefully have scared us straight.

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      • icon
        CK20XX (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 4:04pm

        Re: Re: What we deserve

        Clinton taught us that a president can be impeached for a blowjob. Bush taught us that a president can't be impeached for running the country into the ground.

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        • icon
          Richard (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 4:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: What we deserve

          Bush taught us that a president can't be impeached for running the country into the ground.

          Bush taught us that a president can't be impeached for

          a) Election fraud.

          b) Starting a war on false pretences against the wrong enemy the ultimate result of which is religious/ethnic cleansing of the very people who we should have been trying to protect!

          c) Inventing a contrivance to imprison people outside the protections of either US law or the Geneva conventions.

          I could go on.....

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 12:11am

        Re: Re: What we deserve

        Pleas no, as that would give him time to declare war on the U.K. for windfarm spoiling the view from his golf course, and maybe damaging his profits.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 12:39am

        Re: Re: What we deserve

        "I've thought about voting for him because he'd be in office for a week, impeached and hopefully have scared us straight."

        Or... by doing so, you've populated both congress and the senate with people who agree with him, meaning that even if the man himself is somehow removed, you still have his government. Also, you've given them carte blanche to appoint the next few supreme court judges who will be seated for a few decades.

        Wouldn't you rather cast your vote for a government that will reduce the influence of people like Trump without burning the country to the ground first?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 8:47am

          Re: Re: Re: What we deserve

          ...he'd be in office for a week, impeached and hopefully have scared us straight...

          1) Impeachment is ONLY an accusation or indictment. The Senate would have to conduct a trial presided over by the Chief Justice AND vote for conviction to remove from office.

          2) Next really important step: who would be the Vice President at that time? Because if the Senate votes for conviction and thus removal from office the Vice President becomes President. Something to consider for all the candidates is who might be their Vice President in case something happens.

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 9:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What we deserve

            Next really important step: who would be the Vice President at that time?

            It would almost have to be an improvement over Trump.

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  • icon
    Blaine (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 3:00pm

    How many more elections do we have to go through before these old dumb bastards are gone and we start seeing candidates that have actually used the internet?

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    • icon
      Jeremy2020 (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 3:22pm

      Re:

      Doesn't matter. The ones who have used the internet will be just as corrupt. To protect their corruption, they will seek to censor the internet.

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    • identicon
      Rekrul, 17 Dec 2015 @ 5:10pm

      Re:

      How many more elections do we have to go through before these old dumb bastards are gone and we start seeing candidates that have actually used the internet?

      Having used the internet won't make them any more knowledgeable about technology. Internet access has become as simplified as cable TV and people understand it about as well.

      Don't believe me? Find ten average internet users and ask them what an IP address is, or how DNS works. At least nine of them won't have the faintest clue what you're talking about.

      How about something less technical; Find an average user who uses an actual email client rather than webmail.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 12:52am

        Re: Re:

        "At least nine of them won't have the faintest clue what you're talking about."

        Fine. Not knowing is not the problem. It's the arrogant, ignorant attempts to demand changes that won't work, while ignoring the input of those people who do know what they're talking about.

        It's not that we want a CCIE to sit in the Oval office. It's that people who not only refuse to learn, but don't even have a passing familiarity with the things they're trying to control, are better off not being allowed to pass decrees.

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

        • identicon
          Rekrul, 19 Dec 2015 @ 3:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Fine. Not knowing is not the problem. It's the arrogant, ignorant attempts to demand changes that won't work, while ignoring the input of those people who do know what they're talking about.

          It's not that we want a CCIE to sit in the Oval office. It's that people who not only refuse to learn, but don't even have a passing familiarity with the things they're trying to control, are better off not being allowed to pass decrees.

          Agreed, but how are we supposed to make that happen?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 7:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: how are we supposed to make that happen?

            If you want smart to float to the top, you have break up the ice. So breaking up the banks is a start, but breaking up TWC, Comcast and AT&T is also a good move. And some of the big agro-corps too.

            Adding Environmental Accounting to GAAP would help. Adding soil quality standards to federal crop subsidies would help. Using algorithmic fuel taxes to flatten out fuel prices so that alternative energy markets have more price certainty would be BIG help. Implement carbon markets to allow for innovation in environmental asset management (what econ guys call tragedy of commons) would create a complete second economy in this country.

            Automotive style energy standards for new residential construction would help. Standardizing interstate right of way negotiation for heavy rail would help preserve and export markets as fuel prices continue to rise.

            Socialize healthcare is good, not because it's freeloading. It is good because it mitigates one of the biggests risks in entrepreneurship. Constraining entrepreneurship is the only reason to allow the corporate sector to dole out health care like lords to serfs.

            If you want new markets, you have to have new companies, and that doesn't happen if every new technology is aggregated into a mega corp before it defines a market.

            You can't make the old guard smarter. You can prevent them from assembling into conspiracies. There are MORE than enough smart guys out there who aren't getting a shot because of fraternalistic market suppression. There just need to be enough independence in financial markets, to allow people worthy of investment risk to shine.

            Shatter the ice. The smart will bubble up to the top.

            Overturn Citizens United. Reinstate Glass Steagall. Bust The Trusts.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 22 Dec 2015 @ 3:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Therein lies the real issue, of course. I'd say that in terms of US politics, something needs to be done to get more than 2 parties as realistic contenders. So many of the issues seem to become a team game, where people automatically take an opposing position. This leads too many debates into a shouting match where people can never compromise, let alone agree to any kind of progress.

            It's never plain sailing in other systems, of course. But, there are far too many people who are actively voting against what they actually want or need just so that they're not voting for the other "team". It's a sad comedy when you see situations like the one recently reported in Kentucky, where the governor who ran on dismantling their healthcare system was apparently voted in by the people who depend on that system just because the other guy would have been in favour of gay rights.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 3:01pm

    I didn't watch the debates. I favor no GOP candidate nor the Dem one that all the money and influence chooses to pick as the front runners.

    I found this link to be about as insightful into the proposed GOP policies as I would expect the debates to be about substance. Perhaps it is far more in depth in coverage than the national media could do.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2015/12/16/lupe-fiasco-delivered-some-next-level-de bate-analysis-last-night/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_pmpol

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

  • icon
    MadAsASnake (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 3:05pm

    In other news, the Internet called for a partial shutdown of Trump

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

  • identicon
    lathtj, 17 Dec 2015 @ 3:26pm

    US President over God

    Clearly Donald Trump feels that the US President can dictate to Allah to stamp internet packets with his signature so the US can filter it out

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 3:29pm

    "This firewall will be classy, so classy like one of my hotels. It'll be made out of solid gold data packets and ISIS will pay us to build it!"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 3:32pm

    I hate to go off on tangents / be a wet blanket - but contrary to the idealist sentiments of the author, racism & anti-immigrant hysteria has been part of the US since day one.

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

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 4:30pm

      Re:

      I hate to go off on tangents / be a wet blanket - but contrary to the idealist sentiments of the author, racism & anti-immigrant hysteria has been part of the US since day one.

      By thst I presume that you mean that the original inhabitants of North America were scared of the immigrant europeans. I'd say that they had a point!

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

      • icon
        ltlw0lf (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 7:22am

        Re: Re:

        By thst I presume that you mean that the original inhabitants of North America were scared of the immigrant europeans.

        I believe he was talking about the racism and anti-immigrant hysteria of the Irish, French, Chinese and Japanese immigrant/racism that occurred before and during the early years of the founding of the United States, i.e. the Alien and Sedition Act, the "China Town" and anti-asian sentiments.

        But that too.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 4:08pm

    I'm at a loss of descriptive words for Trumps kind of ignorance.

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 17 Dec 2015 @ 5:12pm

    That violates the very founding document an American President would be tasked with upholding.

    Since when have presidents been concerned with upholding the Constitution? Was Obama upholding the Constitution when he argued in favor of the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA?

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 8:42pm

      Re:

      Well you see, there's the Constitution, and then there's the Constitution. Us silly peons have access to the first, but the later, filled to the brim with classified 'interpretations' and 'additions' is what the government is using.

      As a result, it makes perfect sense that it would seem, to our silly, simple minds that the government is violating the Constitution in every way they can possible think of, but that's just because we don't have access to the official(but classified) version, where everything they're doing is completely legal.

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

  • icon
    Rapnel (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 7:17pm

    Just about anything dude says is devoid of any those ideas or concepts that make up that whole Christianity thing.

    I'm calling it.. Trump is the Antichrist.

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

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 17 Dec 2015 @ 7:17pm

    Bill Gates. Seriously?

    There goes any credibility he may have had right there, if the person he wants to talk to about Internet management is the guy who so famously did not understand the Internet that he blew the biggest example of First Mover Advantage that the world has ever seen and his company has still not recovered from it, 20 years later.

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

  • identicon
    mort, 17 Dec 2015 @ 9:02pm

    marking words

    It's brave to admit that you have a penchant for sadism!
    What poor sods were you inflicting the debate on, and how?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 9:39pm

    Okay, I'm a bit stumped here. As far as cutting off the internet to a region, it probably is possible in many places due to limited physical infrastructure as he even states:
    "You could probably bomb fiber optic cables and satellite links as quickly as they got reestablished. But then, you could disable ISIS by doing the same thing with roads, bridges, oil wells, electrical power, and so on."

    I'm not certain of the ability of ISIS/ISIL to obtain satellite equipment for backup links, and I'm certain that destruction of critical infrastructure is usually considered a first step approach during war times since Sun Tzu's the Art of War. From the submarine cable map there are three basic connections heading to Tartous, Syria: http://submarinecablemap.com/#/landing-point/tartous-syria
    The land based fiber lines are probably well documented by Bashar al-Assad's government which is fighting ISIS as well. I'm sure he had plans to at least know how to cut off the internet after the Egyptian crisis in 2011. Considering I would say Syrian politics over businesses were at an even more dictatorship state than Eqypt. I definitely think this is possible, but it would probably cut off the NSA/GHCQ intelligence gathering and cause more damage to intel than damage to the rebels which probably are just physically leaving to neighboring countries to do intelligence.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 10:51pm

    "I’m hoping Donald Trump wins this year’s election. For the reason that it will fuck up that country so much faster then if a less bad President wins." - Peter Sunde

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2015 @ 11:30pm

    quite the pick of dictators running for president this election.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 12:16am

    He should probably calls Bill Gates before he intends to say another stupid thing about the Internet.

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

    • icon
      Almost Anonymous (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 9:14am

      Re:

      The Bill Gates that thought the internet was just a fad? Talk about the blind leading the stupid.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 22 Dec 2015 @ 3:24am

        Re: Re:

        Of course! If you want to talk to someone about the internet, why not make it someone who never understood it, is famous for making major mistakes surrounding it, has since retired and has no influence over it? He rich, he must know what he's doing! (This is what Trump really believes).

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

  • identicon
    Ntlgnce, 18 Dec 2015 @ 6:07am

    Keeping Muslims out of the country is not that bad of an idea, and if you studied history, America has closed its borders before, Germany, during the war, Why? Because there was no way to tell the good from the bad.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 6:27am

      Re:

      "Keeping Muslims out of the country is not that bad of an idea"

      Including American citizens? Also, how do you tell who's a Muslim?

      "Because there was no way to tell the good from the bad."

      You're far more at risk from your fellow non-Muslim Americans than you are from scary foreigners, about whom this is equally true. Yet, you'll happily give up your rights and values because the terrorists managed to scare you a little. You must be so proud.

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

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 7:07am

      Re:

      "Keeping Muslims out of the country is not that bad of an idea, and if you studied history, America has closed its borders before, Germany, during the war, Why? Because there was no way to tell the good from the bad."

      National trade and immigration embargoes are vastly different from embargoes based on religious tests. You DO understand that, right?

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

      • icon
        ltlw0lf (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re:

        National trade and immigration embargoes are vastly different from embargoes based on religious tests.

        Don't agree *at all* with GP, but that has happened too...I seem to recall that Irish Catholics were turned away during the 1820-1850 time period. The so-called quota system for American immigration was caused by the sudden influx of Irish Catholics immigrating to the US who were different from the existing, mostly Protestant communities.

        Maybe not as direct, but I believe similar discussions were made by the Know-Nothing movement in the 1850s. Then again, history isn't my strong suit.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 6:20am

    Your Disappointed High School English Teacher

    If, like me, you're a sadist,...

    And you wonder why I gave you a D-

    sadist
    [sey-dist, sad-ist]
    noun
    1.
    Psychiatry. a person who has the condition of sadism, in which one receives sexual gratification from causing pain and degradation to another.
    2.
    a person who enjoys being cruel.

    masochist
    [mas-uh-kist]
    noun
    1. Psychiatry. a person who has masochism, the condition in which sexual or other gratification depends on one's suffering physical pain or humiliation.
    2. a person who is gratified by pain, degradation, etc., that is self-imposed or imposed by others.
    3. a person who finds pleasure in self-denial, submissiveness, etc.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 1:09pm

      Re: Your Disappointed High School English Teacher

      Good point but how do you know he didn't get sexual gratification by forcing others in his family to watch the debates?

      :p

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

  • identicon
    Tin Samuel, 18 Dec 2015 @ 8:57am

    Huh

    Since when does Techdirt get involved in partisan claptrap?

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 9:13am

      Re: Huh

      How is this either partisan or claptrap?

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 22 Dec 2015 @ 3:21am

      Re: Huh

      Unless you're dumb enough to think that criticism of Trump = partisan, this is what this site does regularly. Politician says something stupid that directly affects technology, it gets criticised. As with a lot of these arguments, if one "team" seems to be getting criticised more, it's often simply because they're saying more dumb thing.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 1:20pm

    Trump has already been partially shut down.
    Everything between the top end of his neck and beneath that ridiculous wig.

    10 points to Gryffindor if someone can grab and run away with it when he's on a walkabout...

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

  • icon
    Seegras (profile), 19 Dec 2015 @ 5:48am

    Trump is the decoy

    As far as I can see, the strategy is to have one candidate that the majority considers totally un-electable, so they will instead elect the other jerk, which has basically the same views but hides them better. Within the republican party of course, but not really limited to it:

    If it turns out to be Trump vs. Clinton; Clinton will win, and the end-result is just what was intended: The authoritarians win.

    Same as happened with Obama vs. Romney. Or Obama vs. McCain (although this one was a bit different: Whereas McCain clearly was a decoy, Obama not only presented the saner choice, but also pretended to be the opposite of what he was or became).

    The only remotely interesting situation (which might, just might, lead the USA again away from their path towards fascism) would be something like Sanders vs Stein vs. Rand. Anything else, and the bigger authoritarian (prohibitionist, slave-holder, war-monger, spook, ... ) will win.

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


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