Techdirt

by Leigh Beadon




Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the say-some-more dept

This week, both our winning comments on the insightful side take a similar approach, responding piece-by-piece to the FBI director's insistence that it's possible to create compromised-but-secure encryption. The first place winner is That One Guy:

Wrong from start to finish

We have a whole bunch of folks at FBI Headquarters devoted to explaining this challenge and working with stakeholders to find a way forward.

Great, then have them come up with what you insist is absolutely possible, 'secure' broken encryption, and let everyone else stress test it before you force it on the public. In fact, if you're so sure that it can be done, start with your own agency, mandating that you use whatever 'encryption' system you want everyone else to be required to use, for no less than one year. Every system must use it, no exceptions, as anything else would be an admission that you don't believe that what you're pushing is truly secure.

But we need and want the private sector’s help.

No, you 'need and want' their subservience, their unquestioning obedience. That is distinctly different than wanting their help.

We need them to respond to lawfully issued court orders, in a way that is consistent with both the rule of law and strong cybersecurity.

Those are mutually exclusive options, taking one will necessarily require sacrificing the other. Strong cybersecurity means that good and bad people can make use of security that prevents both those with a badge and those without from accessing, easily or at all, certain data.

We need to have both, and can have both.

No, you want both, but you cannot have both. At 'best' you can have one, but it will require that the other be given up.

I recognize this entails varying degrees of innovation by the industry to ensure lawful access is available.

In that it would require 'varying degrees of innovation' for the automotive industry to create cars that can ignore gravity with a flick of a switch, sure. Or in the sense that it would require 'varying degrees of innovation' for mathematicians to come up with a way for 2+2 to equal 5.

But I just don’t buy the claim that it’s impossible.

Translation: "I want your 'help', but I refuse to believe you when you tell me something isn't possible, as advice clearly isn't a form of help I welcome."

We have the brightest minds doing and creating fantastic things.

'... Minds which we/I will completely ignore when they tell us/me that something isn't possible, and/or make a statement that contradicts one of my stated positions.'

This reminds me of a perfect example someone else brought up to highlight the absurdity of this argument by noting that just because we can land a person on the moon, does not mean we can land a person on the sun(well, not and get them back...). Just because we have smart people creating other stuff, does not mean they can do the impossible in this case.

Again, I’m open to all kinds of ideas.

Liar.

You're only open to ideas that match your preconceived notions and that support what you want. Anything else is to be rejected out of hand.

But I reject this notion that there could be such a place that no matter what kind of lawful authority you have, it’s utterly beyond reach to protect innocent citizens.

In which case his mind would be absolutely shattered were someone to tell him about another form of communication, talking in private, that no amount of 'lawful authority' that wasn't completely tyrannical and invasive could access.

I also can’t accept that anyone out there reasonably thinks the state of play as it exists now – much less the direction it’s going – is acceptable.

Only because you refuse to look or even acknowledge their existence. There are plenty of people who have looked at the existence of encryption, realized that it does allow bad people to do bad things at times, and yet still come to the conclusion that the gains vastly outweigh the costs.

(Gotta love the attempt at poisoning the well there by framing anyone who disagrees with him as not being 'reasonable'.)

Broken encryption/'Responsible' encryption/Unicorn gates were a stupid and dangerous idea when they first came up, and they remain a stupid and dangerous idea now. That the gorram FBI Director is pushing for an idea that he knows will cause vast amounts of damage(the only alternative to this is that he is impossibly stupid) is a disgrace to the position, and should be grounds for removal of office, or at the very least everyone firmly and strongly telling him to shut the hell up when it comes to topics that he is clearly unfit to comment on.

The country is not well served by an FBI director trying to make things easier for criminals and terrorists to harm the public, and he, or anyone else, really shouldn't need to be told this.

And the second place winner is PaulT:

"What we’re asking for is the ability to access the device once we’ve obtained a warrant from an independent judge, who has said we have probable cause."

a.k.a. a back door. It doesn't matter what kind of lock you install, who guards the keys for it and who you get permission to use them from. It's still a door, and even a locked door is more vulnerable than simply not making a hole in the wall to install it in the first place.

What he and his kind are missing is simple - no matter how strong the door, no matter how restricted the access, no matter where it is installed - it still has keys, those keys can be used by the "bad guys" and once they have the keys it makes everyone less safe.

"Being unable to access nearly 78-hundred devices is a major public safety issue."

The actual evidence for this is lacking. Perhaps instead of trying to mislead people about what they're asking for, they'd be better served by explaining what it is that not being able to easily access these phones is preventing them from doing. Bearing in mind that authorities have never had instant access to the kind of data they're trying to get here, but they still managed to do their jobs anyway in the past. If they want new powers, they need to both explain why they need them and why the public need for them is greater than the public need for effective encryption.

"I also can’t accept that anyone out there reasonably thinks the state of play as it exists now – much less the direction it’s going – is acceptable."

He's right here. The problem is that he's part of the group that wants to push things further in the unacceptable direction.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from Michael about Rhode Island's attempt to mandate porn filters:

I am a parent. I worry about what my children will find on the internet. I worry about what my children will find in my back yard.

I have not asked anyone to provide me with internet filters or back yard filters. I AM THE FILTER.

Parenting is hard work. If you think the government should be filtering out porn on the internet to make your job easier as a parent, I would suggest you should not become a parent.

Next, we've got an anonymous comment responding to one racist jerk's attempt to sue Twitter for violating his civil rights:

So which of these options makes Racist a protected class? "sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation."

Is he claiming it is a mental disability or a religion?

Over on the funny side, both winners are again on the same post, but this time from two different anonymous commenters responding to the group of five senators who feel search engines should censor drug information. The first place winner wondered how that would play out:

*Guy in trench coat and sunglasses* Hey kid, want to try some cocaine?

*Teenager, pulling out his phone to Google it* Well, nothing bad shows up in the search results. Sure, why not!

The second place winner, meanwhile, was having none of it:

*Five People Standing Around a Computer Monitor Agree: Five Senators Are Idiots

For editor's choice on the funny side, we've got a pair of responses to Trump's ridiculous violent video game summit. First, it's an anonymous commenter replying to the idea that, despite the evidence showing no link between games and violence, it still must be true because it "intuitively seems" that way:

I've been trying to tell my bank that it just intuitively seems that I should have far more money in my account than my statement shows. I don't know why they won't just take my word for it.

Next, after one commenter wondered just how Trump is choosing which games to get upset about, Thad noted at least one pattern emerging:

He does seem particularly incensed about games where you kill nazis.

That's all for this week, folks!


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    DB (profile), 11 Mar 2018 @ 1:06pm

    Gain power by asking for the impossible

    The people asking for a secure third-party encryption key have long since learned that it's not technically possible.

    Why do they continue to ask for it?

    I suspect that they are asking for it strategically. It is not obvious to the 'everyday man' that a FBI-only decryption key is impossible. When it's not provided to them, they can complain about not getting cooperation and ask for additional powers.

    What would make the FBI the most power organization in the world? Something that would given them the power of the old KGB, world-wide. It would be warrantless real-time access to everything at Apple, Facebook, Google etc. all the way down to AOL. You could blackmail half of the people on the planet, not just on the things they do once they become of interest but on their entire online past.

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 11 Mar 2018 @ 4:12pm

      Re: Gain power by asking for the impossible

      An FBI-only decryption key isn't just technically impossible; it's politically impossible.

      You can be certain that a dozen other federal agencies will demand the keys, along with countless state and local agencies.

      You can be certain that the FBI counterparts in every other government on the planet will demand the keys too. Plus their state and local counterparts too.

      You can be certain that various international private "security" companies will be selling them to any dictatorship that wants them.

      We've seen all of the above with Stingray devices for example.

      So no, it wouldn't be FBI-only. If the keys exist, they'll be widely shared with many agencies in many countries.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2018 @ 4:57pm

        Re: Re: Gain power by asking for the impossible

        Not only that, but we've seen that nothing is leak-proof or hack-proof.

        The Equifax breach alone resulted in the loss of over 100 million people's social security numbers, which are in practice a (very insecure) form of password.

        And there have been half a dozen FBI or CIA agents in my lifetime who were proven to have intentionally compromised highly confidential information.

        You can't unlearn something. Once that info has been witnessed outside the wall of security, you can never be certain it is secret, ever again.

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

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 12 Mar 2018 @ 8:02am

        Re: Re: Gain power by asking for the impossible

        An FBI-only decryption key isn't just technically impossible; it's politically impossible.

        Once it is technically impossible how does being politically impossible add any impossibility?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2018 @ 12:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: Gain power by asking for the impossible

          That even if it was technically possible, it's politically impossible, as the one that provided that backdoor would be compelled by other countries and/or agencies to share it.

          In short: if Apple gives the US gov what they want, EU will request (order) the same, Russia too and China will, of course.

          As if they hadn't done so before.

          The approaches will vary between public ("you are helping terrorists"), legislative ("all your backdoors are belong to us") or even criminal ("you're a terrorist").

          So as soon as there is a precedent, it will be applied worldwide in one or other way.

          And so much for "FBI-exclusive backdoors".

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 11 Mar 2018 @ 6:27pm

      Because they don't care

      Why do they continue to ask for it?

      Because they are willing to screw over millions of people, the very same people they are (theoretically) supposed to serve and protect, if doing so means they can go on fishing expeditions easier.

      If it means that nothing is beyond their voyeuristic eye, then they are willing to have the public make any sacrifice, to hand the public wholesale over to criminals and terrorists who would go after them with a vengeance.

      Really, what's the worst that could happen to them? More crimes means they can demand a higher budget to address the 'sudden and completely unexpected surge in crime related to security', and you can be damn sure that they won't be using the same broken encryption they demand the public use.

      (I've long moved past the point where I give the benefit of the doubt on this subject, such that my default assumption at this point is that anyone of significant rank/position calling for broken encryption is doing so maliciously, not ignorantly.)

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2018 @ 6:50pm

        Re: Because they don't care

        I've long moved past the point where I give the benefit of the doubt…

        While you personally “have long moved past“ that point, you should keep in mind that the majority of people that you interact with online have not yet themselves. Rather, they're likely to have confidence in the police and FBI.

        Confidence in Police Back at Historical Average”, by Jim Norman, Gallup, Jul 10, 2017

        Overall confidence in the police has risen slightly in the past two years, with 57% of Americans now saying they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in law enforcement -- matching the overall average for the 25-year Gallup trend.

         . . . 

        Bottom Line

        On the surface, Americans' confidence in the police appears strong and steady when compared with other U.S. institutions. . . .

        Republicans Push Government Agency Ratings Up, but Not FBI”, by Megan Brenan and Steve Ander, Gallup, Jan 2, 2018

        In 2014, the last time Gallup asked the government agency series, the FBI ranked second among all of the agencies, but it has fallen in the overall rankings as the positive ratings of others have risen. The FBI's excellent or good rating is currently unchanged at 58%.

        To be pursuasive in the latest crypto debate, you should try to imagine the perspective of the people you're trying to pursuade.

        Unless, of course, you just want to let out your feelings, without achieving any actual positive impact changing people's minds.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 11 Mar 2018 @ 7:10pm

          I'm not going to smile at someone trying to stab me in the back

          To be pursuasive in the latest crypto debate, you should try to imagine the perspective of the people you're trying to pursuade.

          I don't begrudge or blame people who might simply be mistaken due to liars like Wray popping up and deliberately distorting the issue. If they're simply misinformed or lack the knowledge on the subject, those kinds of people I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to.

          The kind of people I do have a problem with, and will not grant that consideration to, are people who have no excuse. Those who know that what they're pushing is dangerous and wrong and do it anyway, and especially those who try to justify their actions by claiming that they are doing it to protect the public and combat criminals, when in fact they are doing everything they can to serve the public to countless criminals on a silver platter.

          Unless Wray for example is a colossal idiot(to the point where he wouldn't be fit for any sort of office), he knows that what he's asking for isn't possible, stands to put millions at risk, and is asking for it anyway.

          It is simply not possible at this point that he remains ignorant on the subject with people telling him constantly that what he's demanding is dangerous and non-viable, such that it's crystal clear he's willing to ignore anything on the subject that doesn't agree with him.

          Looking at it from his perspective does not make him look better, it makes him look worse.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2018 @ 7:20pm

            Re: I'm not going to smile at someone trying to stab me in the back

            Looking at it from his perspective…

            I wasn't suggesting that you're at all likely to pursuade Christopher Wray.

            No. I'm suggesting that it's necessary to pursuade voters.

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

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 11 Mar 2018 @ 9:00pm

              Re: Re: I'm not going to smile at someone trying to stab me in the back

              "Encryption cannot tell the difference between 'Good' people and 'Bad' people. If companies are forced to include an option for 'good' people to gain access then 'bad' people can use that same method to gain access.

              A physical comparison for example would be for government agencies to require all houses to include an extra door that could be opened with a 'special' key. While they might claim that the key would be secure, you can be absolutely sure that massive numbers of criminals and foreign government agencies would be working around the clock to acquire this key, as having it would allow them to unlock any house with the special door.

              If you wouldn't accept having an extra door added to your house that you didn't control, you shouldn't accept someone demanding that encryption be deliberately weakened to add that very thing."

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2018 @ 10:33am

                Re: Re: Re: I'm not going to smile at someone trying to stab me in the back

                "Encryption cannot tell the difference between 'Good' people and 'Bad' people"

                That should be obvious. Maths can't tell whether you're using them to save lives or to put tricky questions at exams.

                "...working around the clock to acquire this key..."

                Why bother? Just blow the door.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 11 Mar 2018 @ 2:01pm

    I wonder..

    HOW in hell do you create 300,000,000 Keys that cant be Picked? And thats in the USA, not canada, mexico, OR for every device out there..
    IF you figure AT LEAST, 3 items per person..lets goto 1 billion..
    All these numbers/letters, and EACh device has a different one..
    WHO knows KWICKSET?? interesting locks..and over 1/2 this country has 1.. and can be Picked in 30 sec.
    Master lock?? 90% of their locks, ARE THE SAME WAY..

    A lock is only to keep the HONEST MAN OUT..
    Find me an honest man, and I will USE THE LOCK..But they ALL must be honest NOT to break my lock.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2018 @ 4:50pm

      Re: I wonder..

      Locksmith here.

      Yes, your average, plain-metal house key is pretty insecure. Anywhere from 4 to 8 bits of information, with about 8 depths per position, means that, in theory, you could have just shy of 17 million combinations. In practice, there are considerably less -- a key that is 0808 will break or get stuck in the lock, while a key that has 3 or more identical bits in a row is much easier to pick over.

      However, your typical automotive key is quite different. If it's an old metal key, even less options -- 6 to 10 bits, usually 4 to 5 depths, not quite 10 million potential combinations.

      But if it's a key with a transponder chip in it, well, that changes things. A 2000's Chrysler, for example. Not only do you have 8 bits of 4 depths (only 65,000 combinations) but a computer chip containing a 48-bit code. That's 2^48, or 281 trillion combinations.

      If you tried a million combinations every second, it would take you *9 years* to run through every possibility.

      And then you have even more advanced chipped keys, which have not only 64 bit numbers of keys stored in the car, but a 64 bit number of the car stored in the key! That means 340 undecillion -- 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 -- combinations! Even if you beefed up your attack, running 100 computers that could each try a billion combinations a second... if you tried for the *entire age of the universe,* you'd not even have one millionth of one percent of the possible combinations completed.

      Of course, none of this matters at all if you just throw a brick through the window. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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

      • icon
        Kal Zekdor (profile), 11 Mar 2018 @ 8:06pm

        Re: Re: I wonder..

        Of course, none of this matters at all if you just throw a brick through the window.

        Obligatory XKCD: https://xkcd.com/538/

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

      • icon
        DB (profile), 11 Mar 2018 @ 9:54pm

        Re: Re: I wonder..

        That's not how car key transponders work.

        The system on older BMWs (from two decades ago) is a good example of how the security work. The transponder requires a modest encryption key to communicate. But there is a significant additional layer of security -- the locking system generates and writes a random number into the key. The next time that key is used, the car reads back the number and verifies that it matches. If it does, a new random number is written and the car is allowed to start.

        This defeats various attacks, for instance a valet cloning a key and using it later.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2018 @ 10:56am

          Re: Re: Re: I wonder..

          Yes, German cars are different, with security that is so much more advanced, that there is usually not a "proper" way for a third-party locksmith to make a key for the car. We *can* do it, with dedicated equipment, tearing the car apart, and sometimes even physically meddling with the electronic components... but if you get a key made at the dealer they'll wipe out the additions we make.

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

  • identicon
    Captain Oblivious, 11 Mar 2018 @ 4:23pm

    "But I reject this notion that there could be such a place that no matter what kind of lawful authority you have, it’s utterly beyond reach to protect innocent citizens."

    How about vast swathes of Syria, or Tibet or anywhere else in the world where the citizenry are currently under attack by either their own, or foreign, government. Or maybe even to live in the constitution-free zones AS innocent citizens, and be treated as the INNOCENT citizens we are.

    Also, despite the incredible weaponry we now have, you cannot go back in time and reverse things like Pearl Harbour. History is beyond your reach, as is a working grasp of mathematics.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2018 @ 5:33pm

    Swap out the encryption for gun control .
    So the fearful of weapons want armed aggressors to remove weapons from legally armed people , who btw are more law abiding than the people sent to disarm them .
    While leaving the criminals armed all in the delusion that nothing ever happens to good people .......till it does

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

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 11 Mar 2018 @ 5:47pm

      Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

      Except encryption has constructive uses, guns do not.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2018 @ 5:56pm

        Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

        So defending yourself or your loved ones isn't constructive ?
        If you feel comfortable to allow your wife , daughter to be possibly raped with no means of self defense by all means that is your choice to stand helpless by while your family is violated .
        Me , I have made sure that my family has the means and preparedness to be able to defend themselves from harm .
        In this world there are sheep ,sheep dogs and wolves
        Pray that your family never has to face the wolf because sheepdogs are few are far between these days

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

        • icon
          JMT (profile), 11 Mar 2018 @ 6:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

          You're "protecting" yourself from a statistically very unlikely scenario, so you need to balance that with other statistically possible outcomes.

          Statistically you or one of your family are more likely to shoot one another or yourself, whether deliberately or accidentally; then's plenty of supporting data on this. More hypothetically, a gun by no means guarantees your protection, it just adds another significant variable to the outcome of the situation you're so fearful of. A gun only puts you at an advantage if you are the only one with a gun and you have plenty of warning something bad is going to happen. Other possible scenarios could dramatically increase the chances of you ending up dead.

          Plus, you may think you're a sheepdog, but you might turn out to be a chicken under the wrong circumstances. Tough talkers don't often seem to want to discuss the possibility of a gun making things much worse. A heroically successful defence seems to be the only outcome considered.

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

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 11 Mar 2018 @ 7:00pm

          Re: So defending yourself or your loved ones isn't constructive?

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

        • icon
          Richard (profile), 12 Mar 2018 @ 8:12am

          Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

          Pray that your family never has to face the wolf because sheepdogs are few are far between these days

          Actually sheepdogs are much the same as wolves really - the only difference is that a sheepdog is controlled by a shepherd. An uncontrolled sheepdog is just as bad as a wolf - as the litany of killings by cops illustrates.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2018 @ 6:55pm

        Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

        Except encryption has constructive uses, guns do not.

        That bulloney again. Yeah, I know you don't consider freedom to be anything worth building or having. I disagree.

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

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 11 Mar 2018 @ 7:33pm

          Re: Yeah, I know you don't consider freedom to be anything

          “Freedom”.

          You use that word.

          I do not think it means what you think it means.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2018 @ 7:42pm

            Re: Re: Yeah, I know you don't consider freedom to be anything

            You do realize that the "freedom is slavery" slogan in "1984" was not meant to be believed by the reader, don't you?

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

            • identicon
              Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 11 Mar 2018 @ 8:32pm

              Re: Yeah, I know you don't consider freedom to be anything

              You say you cherish your “freedom”, yet you seem happy to trade it away just for the sake of your guns. In return for the “right to bear arms”, you are happy to see important freedoms like your First and Fourth Amendments watered down and rendered virtually meaningless.

              One of the excuses you like to offer for your fondness for guns is that it protects you from Government oppression. Yet here is your Government using it as a convenient distraction while it tightens the screws, knowing that the threat against it from your guns is entirely symbolic, and, if you chose to exercise it, would be entirely suicidal on your part.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2018 @ 7:40am

                Re: Re: Yeah, I know you don't consider freedom to be anything

                You say you cherish your “freedom”, yet you seem happy to trade it away just for the sake of your guns. In return for the “right to bear arms”, you are happy to see important freedoms like your First and Fourth Amendments watered down and rendered virtually meaningless.

                So, The Second Amendment abrogates the First and Fourth? Lay off the kool-aid, man, just lay off it.

                knowing that the threat against it from your guns is entirely symbolic, and, if you chose to exercise it, would be entirely suicidal on your part.

                I seem to remember a certain king named George saying something similar to a certain group of colonists who, it turned out, didn't quite believe him. What I find amazing is that there are still "loyalists" today who seem but-hurt over the result. England lost. And to a bunch of uppity gun-control refusers no less. Get over it.

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

                • icon
                  Richard (profile), 12 Mar 2018 @ 8:18am

                  Re: Re: Re: Yeah, I know you don't consider freedom to be anything

                  England lost.

                  But was morally in the right. What you "won" were the rights to:

                  1 Continue to oppress slaves.

                  2 Not have a decent public healthcare system.

                  3 Continue to kill yourselves with guns.

                  4 Buy proprietary drugs at exhorbitant prices.

                  Look over the border at Canada (what you would have been without the revolution) and ask yourselves "Was it REALLY worth it?"

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2018 @ 7:12pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Yeah, I know you don't consider freedom to be anything

                    What you "won" ...

                    Hmm, reading the post to which you replied I see no mention of the writer's nationality. How did you so certainly determine it?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2018 @ 7:33pm

        Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

        Soviet Union - 1929
        Private gun ownership abolished.
        Followed by the slaughter of tens of millions of now defenseless citizens.

        Ottoman Empire - 1911
        Full gun control implemented.
        Followed by the rounding up and murder of some 1.5 million now defenseless Armenians.

        Germany - 1938
        Gun control established.
        13 million now defenseless Jews then slaughtered.

        China - 1935
        Gun control implemented by The Nationalist Chinese government.
        Followed by the murder of some 20 million now defenseless citizens and political dissidents.

        Cambodia - 1956
        Total gun control edict issued.
        1 million now defenseless "educated" people then murdered in "killing fields".

        Yeah, I see how gun control works.
        Oh, wait, all "fake news". Never happened, right?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2018 @ 7:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

          Oh man, five cherrypicked examples. How convincing.

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

          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 11 Mar 2018 @ 10:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

            Misrepresented and cherry-picked.

            Germany had a total ban on gun ownership after World War I. Then a 1928 law created a permit system to own and sell firearms and ammunition.

            This is what the Nazis inherited when they came to power. Their new gun law in 1938 loosened gun ownership and deregulated sales. The AC's "Gun control established" claim is an outright lie.

            The exception of course, is that they forbid gun ownership by Jews.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2018 @ 7:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

            Kind of like how the anti-smokers like to cherry-pick examples of people dying from smoking while leaving out all the examples of people who don't. Very unfair to the tobacco companies. Sad.

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

        • identicon
          Qwertygiy, 11 Mar 2018 @ 8:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

          It should be important to note that gun control was not at all the only issue in any of these instances.

          In the Soviet Union, for example, they also abolished private ownership of property. Government owns every business. Government owns every school. Government owns you.

          In Germany, the Jews were stripped of all rights as citizens, not just guns.

          In China... they basically fought a civil war, a war of independence, and an invasion all at the same time. Many terrible things were done by many people on many sides, including some of the most deadly single acts ever caused by humans (like the 1938 Yellow River flood, where at least 500,000 people drowned in an intentional dam break).

          It's not fair to leave out examples such as Japan, where one has been forbidden from owning a weapon since the 1870s unless they are specifically licensed to hunt or shoot targets, and the chance of being intentionally killed with a gun is less than 1 in 20 million.

          Or the United Kingdom, where pistols have been banned for 20 years, and the chance of being intentionally killed with a gun is 1 out of 2,000,000.

          Or Germany, where since 1972, only those who can prove a specific need to own a firearm may do so, and the chance of being intentionally killed with a gun is 1 in 1,428,000.

          Or New Zealand, which also requires a specific need to own a firearm (and explictly excludes self-defense as a valid reason) and a lengthy interview process to obtain a license since 1992, and the chance of being intentionally killed with a gun is 1 in 909,000.

          And then there's the US, which just needs you to be 18 and pass a simple paper-only background check in order to buy almost any variety of firearm, and the chance of being intentionally killed with a gun is 1 in 28,500.

          I'd generally regard the UK, Japan, Germany, and New Zealand as first-world countries comparable to ours, with comparable freedoms. Yet they're still doing from 32 to 700 times better than us regarding firearm homicides.

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

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 11 Mar 2018 @ 8:29pm

          Re: Germany - 1938

          Ah, the old “Hitler was a vegetarian” fallacy.

          Gun nuts have no idea how logic works, do they?

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

          • identicon
            David, 12 Mar 2018 @ 1:06pm

            Re: Re: Germany - 1938

            Gun nuts have no idea how logic works, do they?

            Would you keep a gun that doesn't deliver when properly aimed at some target? Why bother with logic?

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

        • identicon
          Christenson, 11 Mar 2018 @ 8:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

          And what of all the dead black men in the jails in the US? The japanese in american concentration camps in WWII?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2018 @ 6:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

          Some of histories most hilarious moments.
          My vote for funny.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2018 @ 6:31am

        Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

        *Sigh* Far too many people don't understand the purpose behind the 2nd amendment. It's not just so that people can have guns. It's so that if the government gets too bad, the people have the power to overthrow it. Yes, having that power comes with some cost in accidental deaths. But all too often, the statistics involving gun related deaths omit critical information. It's not a matter of how many people die, it's a matter of which people die. For instance, let's take a look at two possible examples:
        1. A innocent is killed via a gun - Tragic.
        2. One criminal kills another criminal over territory. Say two gangs are fighting for control. For this kind of killing, I really don't care.

        But both types of killings are added together for the statistics and only the first type of killing is actually mentioned by those who advocate gun control.

        Or nice paraphrase of the 2nd amendment. As long as the people are allowed to have guns, they don't need to. Once that ability is lost, then it's too late.

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

        • icon
          Richard (profile), 12 Mar 2018 @ 8:27am

          Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

          Sigh Far too many people don't understand the purpose behind the 2nd amendment. It's not just so that people can have guns. It's so that if the government gets too bad, the people have the power to overthrow it.

          Sigh

          As if that was actually a practical proposition in the modern world.

          Look at the places where people have changed their government (or tried to ) by taking up arms.

          Syria, Somalia, Yemen etc etc,

          Look at the places where change was achieved without armed insurrection - The old Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, South Africa.

          Now not all of the latter places are perfect - but compared to the former....

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

          • icon
            Leigh Beadon (profile), 12 Mar 2018 @ 12:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

            People also always leave out a key detail: protecting individual liberty from government tyranny is not just the purpose of the second amendment, it's the purpose of the entire bill of rights. And even if it were possible to resist a modern, developed government by force (which I agree is an unrealistic proposition, whether or not people want to admit it) there's a much, much more powerful tool to use long before things get to that point - speech and assembly, as guaranteed by the first amendment.

            Even if things truly reached stormtroopers-kicking-down-the-doors levels of widespread government tyranny, I'd rather have a smartphone than a gun. And indeed the government would have a much, much tougher time truly strangling all communication and internet access in the country than they would putting down any armed civilian resistance.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2018 @ 6:53pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

              I'd rather have a smartphone than a gun.

              You do realize that cell phone providers are licensed by and operate only with government approval, right? Unruly networks can be easily shutdown.

              And indeed the government would have a much, much tougher time truly strangling all communication and internet access in the country than they would putting down any armed civilian resistance.

              Why would they need to? What would they have to fear?

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

              • icon
                Leigh Beadon (profile), 13 Mar 2018 @ 1:14pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

                *You do realize that cell phone providers are licensed by and operate only with government approval, right? Unruly networks can be easily shutdown.*

                Tell that to any country that has tried to take full control of those networks.

                *Why would they need to? What would they have to fear?*

                The eyes of the world. Or is it the case in your fantasy apocalypse scenario that even though a bunch of AR-toting gun nuts can oppose the tyranny of the US government, the rest of the world is helpless?

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

        • icon
          Leigh Beadon (profile), 12 Mar 2018 @ 12:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

          One criminal kills another criminal over territory. Say two gangs are fighting for control. For this kind of killing, I really don't care.

          Well, personally, I still care. No, perhaps not in exactly the same way as I care about kids being gunned down in their schools - though if one or both of the criminals in question are, say, poor teenagers trapped in horrible neighbourhoods and indoctrinated into gang life as children, then it's not that far off. And even if they aren't, and I have no real personal empathy for the individuals involved, I still file it under "things that can, should and will become rare if we commit ourselves to building a better world."

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

        • icon
          JMT (profile), 12 Mar 2018 @ 12:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: Swap out the encryption for gun control .

          "2. One criminal kills another criminal over territory. Say two gangs are fighting for control. For this kind of killing, I really don't care."

          That's because you've ignorant or dismissive of the significant cost this has to society, not to mention the obvious fact that the more of #2 you have, the more of #1 will follow. It's a very selfish viewpoint, like a lot of pro-gun arguments.

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

    • identicon
      Christenson, 11 Mar 2018 @ 8:30pm

      Re: Knee-Jerk Gun Nut

      Sir:
      Guns are off topic here, but since you bring it up:
      a) encryption doesn't directly kill anyone. Guns and Cars do, about 30,000 Americans die from each cause *every year*. So *expect* people to want solutions; note seat belts and air bags, and driver's training schools, and folks working on autonomous all over the place! Now, how do you propose to save as many of those 30,000 lives as reasonably possible?

      b) Gun owners and sales have been heavily manipulated by weapons manufacturers; notice that some manufacturers are now in financial trouble because Trump is no longer obviously going to take away your weapons. Notice that the NRA is suing Florida over requiring gun purchasers to be 21; that's not exactly a huge burden. Notice that the NRA has also been opposed to any study from the CDC of how and why people die from guns. Notice that toxic lead ammo and primer subtly poisons weapons handlers, but I see no real movement to change these things or to require alternatives be available and clearly labeled.

      c) There is a recent study that notices a significant drop in gun injury claims associated with NRA conventions; maybe you guys need to get together more often.

      d) Notice that the discussion is largely free of well-defined statistics. So I'll start with a few:
      ** 20K of those weapons deaths are suicides. NRA, where are you on making sure your own members don't kill themselves when they aren't feeling OK?
      ** It's far too easy to steal a weapon. Why isn't the NRA behind requirements to harden all gun owners against that?
      ** 700+ of the weapons deaths are by police bullets. Where are you, NRA, on getting better training for the cops, so we stop hearing about the Philando Castiles of the world?
      ** A trauma doc involved in that Parkland shooting says that at least one of the victims might have survived if hypersonic bullets had not been widely and generally available. Why is anyone except our military and a few specialists allowed to use this ammo type?
      ** I believe (but no CDC, so no statistical support) that a large proportion of gun violence involves illegal drugs, both in the hands of the dealers and in the hands of the cops. Why isn't the NRA behind drug decriminalization that reduces the need for illegal drug dealers and their weapons?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2018 @ 7:01pm

        Re: Re: Knee-Jerk Gun Nut

        "Notice that the NRA is suing Florida over requiring gun purchasers to be 21; that's not exactly a huge burden."

        If I'm not mistaken, more people in the US die from automobiles than guns each year. What we really need is a nationwide minimum driving age of 21, along with background checks, for a start.

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

        • identicon
          Christenson, 12 Mar 2018 @ 9:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Knee-Jerk Gun Nut

          The point about the 21 year age limit was the emotional manipulation....*any* form of gun control, even requiring folks to shoot straight, is met with hysteria....

          and hysteria *does not* save lives!

          Hint: Science does...

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

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 13 Mar 2018 @ 2:20pm

          Re: more people in the US die from automobiles than guns each ye

          Except the proportion of automobile users that get hurt or die is order of magnitudes lower than that of gun users.

          Because even as cars become more popular, they become safer, but the same cannot be said for guns--“gun safety” is an oxymoron. Because when a gun is causing destruction, injury and death, it is only working as designed, after all.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 11 Mar 2018 @ 11:55pm

    Another way to say it..

    IF' you cant make a Digital/electronic VOTING machine to work...WITHOUT IT BEING HACKABLE..

    I dont know what chance the FBI has..
    Do it, have fun...you get the bill to Cleanup and recover my harddrive..

    The fun part of all this, is WHO do hackers want to hack..This would only affect Citizens..do you think the corps will have them? NOPE, we dont pay enough.

    Consider white collar Criminals make more money then we do..

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

  • identicon
    David, 12 Mar 2018 @ 1:40am

    Simple misunderstanding

    > But I reject this notion that there could be such a place that no matter what kind of lawful authority you have, it’s utterly beyond reach to protect innocent citizens.

    In which case his mind would be absolutely shattered were someone to tell him about another form of communication, talking in private, that no amount of 'lawful authority' that wasn't completely tyrannical and invasive could access.

    Why would his mind be shattered? He was asking the private sector to deliver solutions to his problem, and you did. Thank you for confirming his hunch that it was possible for the private sector to deliver on his desires. Your argument for becoming completely tyrannical and invasive has been registered.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.