Google, Apple Called Out For Hosting Saudi Government App That Allows Men To Track Their Spouses' Movements

from the not-a-good-look dept

Seems like this would be something that would go without saying: if you're an American tech company, don't willingly assist oppressive regimes in the oppression of their populace. Twitter is forever helping the Turkish government silence critics and journalists. Facebook has allowed governments to weaponize its moderation tools, quite possibly contributing to government-ordained killings.

Now, Ron Wyden is calling out both Apple and Google for making it easier for Saudi Arabian men to treat their spouses (and employees) like possessions, rather than people.

Apple and Google have been accused of helping to "enforce gender apartheid" in Saudi Arabia, by offering a sinister app which allows men to track women and stop them leaving the country.

Both Google Play and iTunes host Absher, a government web service which allows men to specify when and how women can cross Saudi borders, and to get close to real-time SMS updates when they travel.

There's really no reason either company should be hosting this app in their app stores. If Absher's creators want to distribute an app that prevents certain Saudi citizens from being treated as equals, they're free to host it on their own site. It's not like the developers don't have the clout to go it alone. The app is developed and supported by none other than the Saudi government.

This isn't the sort of thing American companies should be giving platform space to, even if it technically meets the inconsistent standards both companies apply to app submissions.

As critics have pointed out, both companies have policies against apps that "facilitate threats and harassment." Absher may have some benign functions built in (like paying parking tickets) but the overall point of the app is to allow Saudi men to dictate when and where their wives can travel, as well as be alerted to any movements suggesting their spouses are trying to escape the horrible abuses allowed by this country's laws. Threats and harassment are all but guaranteed, and that's without even delving into the app's ability to provide employers with 24-hour surveillance of their employees.

Seems like the easy decision would be to pull the app. What's the potential downside? An oppressive regime complaining about a slight dip in oppression?

Filed Under: absher, app stores, ron wyden, saudi arabia, surveillance
Companies: apple, google


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  1. icon
    Mark Murphy (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 4:09am

    Self-Distribution: Not As Easy As It Sounds

    If Absher's creators want to distribute an app that prevents certain Saudi citizens from being treated as equals, they're free to host it on their own site.

    That's only an option for Android. iOS does not allow the installation of apps other than through the App Store. Most Android devices shipped in most countries use the Play Store by default, but users can install apps through other channels, albeit through a scary process.

    IOW, Apple has a walled garden. Google has a walled garden with an open gate guarded by a fairly disgruntled dog.

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

  2. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 5:04am

    Re: Self-Distribution: Not As Easy As It Sounds

    Oh darn, self-distribution is hard enough that if saudi men want to be able to track their wives/property as easily as they currently can they'll have to put some actual work into being terrible people, how terrible...

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

  3. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 5:17am

    Time for another rule of thumb

    'If you treat your wives like civilized people treat their pets... you are not a civilized person/society.'

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 5:50am

    News alert

    Google called out for tracking everything.

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

  5. icon
    frank87 (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Self-Distribution: Not As Easy As It Sounds

    The local government could force it on every phone before it's sold.

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

  6. icon
    Gary (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 6:05am

    Re: News alert

    This just in - Commenter complains about Google, doesn't read article. More at 11, please stand by.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 6:23am

    While I completely agree with the message behind this article, could someone please elaborate on why in this case it is okay for Google to use the censor button, even if the usual stance on Techdirt is that being a bad person is not a good reason for censorship?

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

  8. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 6:27am

    Yet Google hid behind Section 230 to allow American men to ensure that the defmation or revenge-porn they upload gets seen by everyone. Why is anyone shocked?

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

  9. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 6:31am

    [citation needed]

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

  10. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 6:37am

    Re:

    Sure: A) the Absher app enables censorship itself. By hosting it, the platforms indicate their support for censorship and abuse of people. By not hosting it, the platforms would be pushing back against censorship.

    B) the Absher app is not exactly what I would define as speech. It's not someone standing up on a podium and saying horrible things that no one should agree with, it's a way to invade privacy, track people, and prevent them escaping abusive situations. That's action.

    Kicking the Absher app from the platform would not be censorship.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re:

    the Absher app is not exactly what I would define as speech.

    However, the Absher app is software, and is squarely in what I call protected speech.

    If you will not defend speech you abhor, you weaken your defense for your own speech.

    This article calls for google (and the apple store) to not carry this particular app ("There's really no reason either company should be hosting this app in their app stores."), which is a call for censorship. It's not First Amendment grade censorship, but it is 'Heckler's veto' censorship: You want the spousal surveillance to stop so you attack the tool.

    I disagree. The app is just a symptom.

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

  12. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:18am

    Re: Time for another rule of thumb

    Yeah, this is basically to be expected in an illegitimate society founded on barbarism and brutality.

    Look up who Saud was, and the things he did during his horrific conquest of a land that used to simply be called "Arabia" before he literally renamed it after himself, and it puts a lot of what's happened ever since into perspective.

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

  13. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    True enough, but the thing that it's a symptom of--the flat-out horrific views that the Saudi regime has on women's rights and human rights in general--is beyond Google's or Apple's power to fix. This is not.

    The phrase "just treating a symptom" has some validity to it, but not always. For example, there are a number of diseases that used to be thought of as an automatic death sentence because the symptoms included lethal levels of dysentery, until someone noticed that the reason the dysentery killed you was from dehydration. Turns out that if you drink lots of water and keep your basic nutrition up, so that your body doesn't waste away, it will buy you the time your immune system needs to kill off the disease, and you end up recovering.

    (Not sure how well that notion translates to the problem of the Saudi regime, but it's worth keeping in mind...)

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

  14. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:27am

    Re: Time for another rule of thumb

    Meaning if they disagree with YOU, they can't be good.

    metoo is turning America into the Middle East with its presumptions about (straight) men and (straight) male sexuality. Gays, it appears, are NOT equal to men because straight men have no presumption about being preyed upon by gay men.

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

  15. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re:

    It's not Google's job to be political. People who believe in sovereignty should be consistent or just become globalists.

    Google enables massive invasions of privacy by allowing the search of people by name, all with Section 230 immunity.

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

  16. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Horrific to YOU, not to them.

    You're not the self-appointed ruler of the world.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Self-Distribution: Not As Easy As It Sounds

    The statement that "If Absher's creators want to distribute an app that prevents certain Saudi citizens from being treated as equals, they're free to host it on their own site" isn't true. It's not terrible that it's false—it's actually great for the IOS users who would be victimized—but, nevertheless, the situation is not as Tim described, and it's worth pointing out.

    As for "There's really no reason either company should be hosting this app in their app stores", that depends on whether one considers (dirty) money a good enough reason.

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

  18. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:30am

    Re:

    Would google host searchable, defamatory content without Section 230 protection?

    Is there any proof that Google delisted revenge-porn sites? If not, their search engine would have indexed them like any other.

    It's like the people who complain about how illegals are detained by ICE, yet don't even realize that our own homeless shelters have worse conditions. Country, heal thyself first.

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

  19. icon
    Gary (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: LOL

    So in your world, it's better to have no searchable content than any that might be defamatory (to you)?

    And Google - which doesn't host content is to blame in your fantasy?

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

  20. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Really?

    When I first started dating the woman who later became my wife, I Googled her, as any reasonable person would do these days. Between her rather distinctive name and the area where she lived, it was pretty easy to find a bunch of stuff on her... and none of it was any information she didn't freely tell me within the first 3-4 dates at the most.

    People today understand that public means not private. It might have taken a bit for society to come to terms with the ramifications of that, but by and large we're past the tipping point there.

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re: Time for another rule of thumb

    "straight men have no presumption about being preyed upon by gay men"

    I think Terry Crews might dispute that.

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

  22. identicon
    Nate P Cilver, 13 Feb 2019 @ 7:59am

    Islamophobes

    Techdirt is overrun with Islamophobes. How dare you not treat their culture as equal to ours. Google and Apple are doing a great thing by giving us this beautiful cultural enrichment.

    Everyone who is criticizing this needs to look at their horrific racism.

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

  23. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:05am

    Ron Wyden created the Google monster by authoring Section 230.

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Time for another rule of thumb

    If straight men applied #metoo logic to gay men, gay men would be presumed predatory and vilified.

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

  25. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    We have a fundamental disagreement: I don't consider the app itself to be speech. Someone advocating for the app or advocating for the behavior the app enables is speech. I will defend the right of people to speak things I abhor - I will not defend this app, because I don't consider it to be speech.

    True, it is a symptom of the problem. True, banning it from the app stores doesn't fix the main problem. But leaving it on the app stores enables the behavior. Basically, by leaving it on the app store, not only are you not doing anything to address the root cause, you are enabling the problematic behavior. That is the problem.

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

  26. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So if someone wanted to derail your relationship, all they'd have to do is flood Google with a bunch of lies. Google is not liable for defamatory content so its search results cannot be trusted. People who ignore this are extremely foolish and really not worth marrying.

    Your wife is stupid (unless she's after something other than love), since she had to settle for you. Then again, she's free to cheat on you or even leave you on a moment's notice, at which point you have no right to even be angry.

    My guess is you're a high-earner, though either way you have to give up half your wealth just to get laid by an idiot female who will age faster than milk.

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

  27. icon
    Thad (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    globalists

    Found the antisemite.

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

  28. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe some woman will make a #metoo allegation that your wife finds when she does her Googling.

    Intelligent people don't believe tabloids or gossip (which is what the internet is). Once whatever looks your wife has are gone, you won't be left with much other than a pile of financial responsibility.

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

  29. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not at all...maybe you mean one of the attorneys who posts here who has linked to anti-Semitic websites.

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

  30. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ah. A troll.

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

  31. icon
    Gary (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:17am

    Re: 230

    Please explain again how you could post your comments here without 230?

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

  32. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Right. Just like people who go public on social media have NO expectation of privacy.

    Just like free speech says I can comment on that stupid piece of shit who married you without it being anything other than the exercise of my first amendment rights. If this brings out a side of you your stuupid piece of shit of a wife (my OPINION, of course) didn't think existed, and she reconsidered her decision to marry you, that would be your own fault for starting a debate you couldn't control after you started it.

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

  33. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:20am

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

    Wheeler opened this can of worms. He is now a "limited purpose public figure."

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

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Time for another rule of thumb

    straight men have no presumption about being preyed upon by gay men.

    ...except that the Spacey allegations came out literally in the first month of this thing.

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

  35. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Prinny, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Found the racism-ist idiot.

    What do you call a being who can hear a dog-whistle that's inaudible to everyone else, dood?

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

  36. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: LOL

    Google doesn't host defamation, it merely SPREADS it to every corner of the globe. Absent Section 230, this would make them liable as a distributor of defamation, as it does in any country other than the United States.

    People who believe what they read in Google are vulnerable to being sued for defamation should they repeat the lies in a way that doesn't immunize them. People who MARRY those who believe what they read in Google are just dumb, even if "everyone" is similarly stupid ("if everyone jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge...").

    Some people think Google's more important than individual reputations (including female victims of revenge porn). This is misguided.

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

  37. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: 230

    Notice-and-takedown similar to the DMCA would protect the site from distributor liability.

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

  38. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's your word. I disagree.

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

  39. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:29am

    If straight men applied #metoo logic to gay men, gay men would be presumed predatory and vilified.

    Homophobic straight men already believe gay men are sexual predators by virtue of being gay. The really homophobic straight men believe being gay is a gateway to pedophilia, bestiality, and the flat-out rape of straight men. This was the case long before the #MeToo Movement was ever a thing, and it will be the case long after that movement stops being a cultural force.

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

  40. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh yeah? Care to name a name and provide some evidence?

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

  41. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:32am

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

    And you're a troll. Enjoy your bridge, watch out for goats.

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

  42. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:32am

    FYI, “globalists” is a well-known dogwhistle used by anti-Semites when they want to talk about Jewish people but are just smart enough to know that they can’t say anti-Semitic bullshit out loud.

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

  43. icon
    Thad (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    an idiot female

    Found the misogynist.

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

  44. icon
    Thad (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, Blue, we're aware that you don't understand that "you have a legal right to state your opinion" and "you're an asshole for stating that opinion" are consistent, non-contradictory positions, you dumb motherfucker.

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

  45. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:36am

    People who believe what they read in Google are vulnerable to being sued for defamation should they repeat the lies in a way that doesn't immunize them.

    And the person who made the initial defamatory contents, what, are they off the hook?

    Quit blaming the tool — Google — and instead blame the person who said/wrote defamatory things that just so happened to be scraped by Google’s search engine. Unless you can prove someone at Google personally solicited/published/directly facilitated the publication of defamatory content, Sanford, you and whatever hack lawyer you hired out of the back pages of the Yellow Book will have no case.

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

  46. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: Re: 230

    [Asserts facts not in evidence]

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

  47. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you will not defend speech you abhor, you weaken your defense for your own speech.

    Should "defending" include "repeating"? Maybe, because the power of Google and Apple to censor could be dangerous, but they are distributing the app and profiting from it. Another option would be to fund human rights groups of that area with every download.

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

  48. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't consider [this app] to be speech.

    Why? Programmers often say code is speech, and courts have sometimes agreed. Would your view depend on whether it's in binary or source form, or on some other nuance?

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

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Horrific to YOU, not to them.

    Of course; what else would a subjective word like "horrific" mean?

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

  50. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:44am

    This…this is sarcasm, right?

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

  51. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:44am

    Re:

    Do you mean anti-Jewish or are some really using that term against all Semetic people? (Or, are you saying the term is anti-Jewish but the people who use it also happen to be against all Semites?)

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

  52. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re:

    You can quit playing word games in an attempt to discredit what I said; it will not let you get away with using “globalist” as an anti-Semitic dogwhistle.

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

  53. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I make no bones about my definition being the legal one - to me, the app is actions taken. The makers of Absher are actively doing things to suppress women. The users of Absher are actively doing things to suppress women.

    I see this app as being no different than any of the myriad pieces of malware that exist. Absher app is speech? Then so is WannaCry, in my view.

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

  54. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:00am

    Re:

    One can only hope.

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

  55. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:03am

    Re: Islamophobes

    I can't tell if this is serious, or perfect satire.....

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

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Huh? You're explaining a secret secondary meaning of a seemingly harmless word. I'm not trying to discredit anything, I'm trying to understand this underground world.

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

  57. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:08am

    Why is this Google's problem? They merely created the platform: if there's a problem here, it's the users, not the service.

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

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Also, where does one find out about these "alternate" meanings? Is there something like a dogwhistlepedia? I believe you, but Wikitionary doesn't list the meaning you described.

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

  59. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:12am

    Re:

    Then why are you happy blaming Google/Apple for the abuses of this app?

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

  60. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Islamophobes

    Poe wins again!

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

  61. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalism#History_of_the_concept]

    "The word itself came into widespread usage, first and foremost in the United States, from the early 1940s.[10] Many of these early uses of the term "globalist" in American English were pejorative uses by marginal political groups like the KKK and neo-nazis and anti-Semites like Henry Ford and are not connected to later academic uses of the term in political science.[11]"

    Generally speaking, the usage of the term outside of an academic environment (such as the comment sections here) is usually still tied to anti-semitic leanings. While it is true that this usually tends to be anti-jewish in particular, the term anti-semitic includes anti-jewish sentiment in its current understanding, and the term itself is sufficient to impart that meaning.

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

  62. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re:

    Because that isn't what we are doing. We are not blaming Google and Apple for the individual instances of abuse that users of the app perpetrate.

    Instead, we are blaming them for continuing to carry and profiting from an app that exists for the purpose of enabling abuse of people.

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

  63. identicon
    Prinny, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Re: 230

    Is anyone else reminded of this guy, doods? No matter how many times his arguments get completely pwned with well-reasoned explanations about rampant abuse and massive collateral damage, he never seems to notice!

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

  64. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:21am

    Re:

    As noted elsewhere, they are, in this instance, carrying and profiting from an app that exists to enable abuse. While they are not blamed for, and should not be blamed for, any individual instances of abuse perpetrated via the app, they can be roundly criticized for carrying a tool that enables abuse.

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

  65. identicon
    Anonmylous, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:24am

    So... someone makes an app that is basically parental tracking +1. Sure, drop it. They'll go back to parental tracking apps, and go back to requiring proof women are allowed to ravel, holding and delaying them until they can reach and confirm they are allowed to travel. Or simply turning them away if unescorted by their spouse/male family member.

    What? You thought this was new? You thought killing this app somehow made things different? You think "well she can just turn off/uninstall the app!" and not get beaten by her husband/father/uncle?

    I know this will be a very unpopular opinion, but think of things from their perspective. This app just gave women in Saudi Arabia a breath of freedom. Its only a breath, but it makes getting through the airport and onto a plane. or driving through a border crossing, easier for them. Its a tiny step, but its definitely a step forward. Its a chink in the armor of absolute control, and will be vulnerable to hacking, allowing more women to escape terrible lives.

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

  66. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:26am

    Re:

    I know this will be a very unpopular opinion, but think of things from their perspective. This app just gave women in Saudi Arabia a breath of freedom. Its only a breath, but it makes getting through the airport and onto a plane. or driving through a border crossing, easier for them. Its a tiny step, but its definitely a step forward. Its a chink in the armor of absolute control, and will be vulnerable to hacking, allowing more women to escape terrible lives.

    Can you elaborate on this? I'm not seeing the logical connection between "app allows women to be tracked and denied travel" to "this is a step toward freedom for them."

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

  67. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    This app just gave women in Saudi Arabia a breath of freedom. Its only a breath, but it makes getting through the airport and onto a plane. or driving through a border crossing, easier for them. Its a tiny step, but its definitely a step forward.

    How? Aside from the assertion that it

    will be vulnerable to hacking

    which is probably true to some degree--but who can say how much?--I don't see anything at all to support this conclusion, and certainly not enough to balance the opposing viewpoint, that it allows for more (and more sophisticated) oppression.

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

  68. icon
    ECA (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:38am

    said before..

    That every nation is going to regulate the internet.. What do you think Our own gov is trying to do?? How many know and understand all the uses of their phone.. Do you need a compass?? FEW even know how to use one.. Driving?? REALLY? keep it on for about 3-4 hours?? How about watching your driving and recording incidents?? You have a Wimp of a device that can do about 1/2 of what you want, and LESS of what you need.. ITS A PHONE that you have to recharge MORE for the use it was created..

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

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Self-Distribution: Not As Easy As It Sounds

    I mean, I can't guarantee that Saudis are able to jailbreak iPhones, but people in nearly every other country are able to. So yes, they are able to host it on their own site, it just requires them to host two things instead of one...

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

  70. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Time for another rule of thumb

    "metoo is turning America into the Middle East"

    Quite the opposite.
    You may have a form of tunnel vision, in a not seeing the forest for the trees sort of way.

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

  71. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Cool man! My new and fantastic key logger is free speech and you have to listen to it - err I mean download and install it - yeah that's the ticket.

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

  72. icon
    Gary (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: LOL

    Simple - notice and takedown. So in your perfect solution, will there be a judge signing off on the requests? Cause it ain't defamation unless a court says so.
    Or do you need to take your word for it that a posting may be defamatory?

    If the Cheetos says "Mexicans are rapists" is that defamatory? And ABC, NBC, ETC would be liable for "Spreading defamation?"

    What if I post "John Smith is a sexual predator" here. And the story blows up and gets news coverage. Would it be defamation if people report that I said that?

    Your "One simple fix" makes zero sense and completely misses the point - Google didn't say anything at all except, "This was posted." Which is 100% factually accurate. Your extreme censorship of facts is laughable Smith.

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

  73. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 10:43am

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

    There are, in fact, entire subgroups of criminals that use nothing other than speech to commit their crimes. It's been that way for centuries.

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

  74. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 10:51am

    Re:

    FYI, “globalists” is a well-known dogwhistle used by anti-Semites when they want to talk about Jewish people but are just smart enough to know that they can’t say anti-Semitic bullshit out loud.

    Well, since there factually are globalists that aren't Jewish, what's the new word we can use when we want to talk about them without having someone like you start going on about dog sirens or pig whistles or whatever?

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

  75. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks. One has to read quite far down the page to find that usage; I had missed it when I glanced earlier. It's not going to be practical to check every noun that way. It would be interesting to have a browser extension to highlight known code-phrases, to highlight subtexts in other people's messages and avoid accidentally using such terms in my own.

    It's true that anti-Semetic implies anti-Jewish, but it's inaccurate to use the former term for a person who is only against a certain subset of Semites. By that logic we could just as well call them anti-human. Actually, maybe we should.

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

  76. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Time for another rule of thumb

    Sorry bro. No one, man, or women wants to have sex with you.

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

  77. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 10:55am

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

    Oh Jhon boy. Must suck to be an incel. You’re so jealous I can practically see the envy radiating off of the screen.

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

  78. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Protip bro. Misspelling stupid when calling someone stupid dosent make THEM look stupid.

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

  79. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 10:58am

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

    Ah so you are an ignorant asshole and not an anti Semite. Well that clears that up.

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

  80. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re:

    We will let you know when the subject comes up. It haven’t yet so maybe untwirl your panties a notch.

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

  81. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:00am

    where does one find out about these "alternate" meanings?

    RationalWiki has several glossaries for just such an occasion:

    It also has a page on anti-Semitism for your reading pleasure.

    And yes, RationalWiki has its own political biases, but it does not hide those biases. I do not recommend it as any sort of academic text or word-of-God reference material, althought I do recommend it if you happen to believe in shit like Flat Eartherism or the MGTOW philosophy.

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

  82. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:03am

    it's inaccurate to use the former term for a person who is only against a certain subset of Semites

    It is the accepted and most broadly-used meaning of the term. If you think you can correct everyone who uses it in that particular context, feel free to try, but you should at least prepare for the disappointment that comes with finding out you cannot do so.

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

  83. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: LOL

    So you spun the wheel of bullshit excuses and it landed on revenge prob today. Can’t wait for you to trot out the “threatening the president” one. I’m sure that quivering mass of offal and bones of what used to be a dead horse could take a few more licks.

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

  84. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:04am

    THANKS RON!

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

  85. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:06am

    Re:

    It’s an unpopular opinion because it’s wrong on every level.

    Idiot

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

  86. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:11am

    Re: Self-Distribution: Not As Easy As It Sounds

    That's only an option for Android. iOS does not allow the installation of apps other than through the App Store. Most Android devices shipped in most countries use the Play Store by default, but users can install apps through other channels, albeit through a scary process.

    Web apps still work. It is only native apps that don't. Not that I'm suggesting the Saudis turn this dumpster fire into a web app... I'm just saying that native apps are not the entire ecosystem of apps.

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

  87. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:19am

    Re:

    While I completely agree with the message behind this article, could someone please elaborate on why in this case it is okay for Google to use the censor button, even if the usual stance on Techdirt is that being a bad person is not a good reason for censorship?

    We have always made it clear that platforms have every right to remove content from their platforms. We have noted our general concerns about what that means from a societal and infrastructure standpoint, but at no point have we argued that platforms should not have that right, or that people should not advocate for them to use it in certain cases.

    I am a bit more ambivalent about this than Tim is, and if I have the time, I may write a followup thinking through some of the nuances of this, and whether or not this represents a slippery slope situation (it might!). But I don't see how this is inconsistent with things we've said before.

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

  88. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re:

    An article linked in the article on which Cushing based his story describes how a lot of women are managing to steal their guardian's phone when he's not looking and open the app, using the 'forgot password' function to have the password reset, then logging in as their guardian and resetting their permissions, along with changing the phone number the SMS alert is sent to so that he won't get them on his phone. Then they reset the password back to what it was.

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

  89. identicon
    Prinny, 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re:

    You can't logic your way out of a Kafka trap, dood, because the people employing it are already caught inside so deep that they aren't capable of valid reasoning anymore. The only thing to do is to call them on their BS and hope the audience isn't too far gone to realize what they're doing.

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

  90. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wait, how does that work?

    If they get a password reset, they don't get the old password--at least not if it's developed with any competence at all--but instead a mechanism to change the password. So now they can change the password, but without knowing what it was before, how can they reset it back to what it was before? (And if it was actually developed so incompetently that it sends out the original password, why do they need to change it and then change it back in the first place?)

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

  91. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:47am

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

    It's true that anti-Semetic implies anti-Jewish, but it's inaccurate to use the former term for a person who is only against a certain subset of Semites. By that logic we could just as well call them anti-human. Actually, maybe we should.

    The problem with this is that now you're arguing semantics - and while speaking accurately is a good thing, arguing the semantics of a statement is a distraction that detracts from the overall debate. If the term used is actively wrong, in that it means something completely unrelated or perhaps opposite to what is intended, then yes, correct it. If the term used is still applicable (in this case anti-semitic includes anti-jewish) but is not perfect then nit-picking doesn't actually help.

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

  92. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re:

    The problem is that, in this context, the term is used in a general sense. If you want to talk about actual globalists, talk about actual globalists. Name names and point to their statements of policy.

    If you want to talk about actual globalism, don't just use the term globalism - establish the context in which you are talking about it: the idea that there should be no national borders and that there should be a global society as opposed to what we have now.

    While I understand that the necessity of doing so is frustrating, the blame for the necessity of doing so lies with those who used, and therefore established "Globalist" as short-form for a proposed Jewish conspiracy.

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

  93. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or you can be aware of what the terms mean in general parlance and clarify accordingly, dood. Effective communication is possible with enough effort, dood.

    And let's be honest, dood: if someone just randomly throws out the word "globalists" without there being an actual discussion about actual globalism, the needle edges away from rational discussion, dood.

    Is that clear enough for you, dood, or do you need to be chucked at a succubus so your action bomb property triggers, dood?

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

  94. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    An article linked in the article on which Cushing based his story describes how a lot of women are managing to steal their guardian's phone when he's not looking and open the app, using the 'forgot password' function to have the password reset, then logging in as their guardian and resetting their permissions, along with changing the phone number the SMS alert is sent to so that he won't get them on his phone. Then they reset the password back to what it was.

    That's a nice workaround, but that appears to an exploit of poor design as opposed to the system working as intended - it does not address that the app was designed to enable abuse. This app is a symptom of systemic oppression, not a "step toward freedom."

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

  95. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 12:04pm

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

    Yeah - that town crier on his soapbox is such a criminal.

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

  96. identicon
    Prinny, 13 Feb 2019 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    effective communication is possible with enough effort

    Only when both sides are communicating in good faith, dood. Deciding someone is guilty until proven innocent, with no standard of proof that allows for the possibility that you were wrong and they're innocent afterall, is the exact opposite of that!

    succubus

    Hey, that's Laharl's weakness, not mine dood!

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

  97. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No idea. Just reporting what the article described.

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

  98. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 12:26pm

    Re:

    Perhaps its due to the majority of them acting like faggots?

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

  99. identicon
    Prinny, 13 Feb 2019 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    According to the citation above, the term was used that way in the 1940s, dood! And now it's used in the academic sense without the racist baggage.

    Pretending that the way people talk hasn't changed in 70 years isn't very groovy, daddy-o!

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

  100. icon
    Anonymous Monkey (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Islamophobes

    Let them all eat cake!

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

  101. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 12:45pm

    Please define what you mean by “acting like faggots”, Mr. Homophobic Coward.

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

  102. identicon
    Prinny, 13 Feb 2019 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Islamophobes

    The cake is a lie, dood!

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

  103. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 12:59pm

    It's called cultural relativism

    And it's like nobody here has ever studied it. Seriously, you're all sounding like a bunch of high school juniors on their first day of political science.

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

  104. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 1:09pm

    Re: It's called cultural relativism

    Just because a concept exists doesn't mean it's legitimate.

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

  105. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Only when both sides are communicating in good faith, dood. Deciding someone is guilty until proven innocent, with no standard of proof that allows for the possibility that you were wrong and they're innocent afterall, is the exact opposite of that!

    Which would be relevant if the term were used with the appropriate explanation of context, dood. When used on its own, apropos of nothing, then it does serve as a red flag, dood. Communicating in good faith about globalism will require some clarification of what is meant - the necessity for doing lies at the feet of those who have used the term to refer to an anti-semitic conspiracy theory, dood.

    Assuming that first accusation of racism is false is, itself, a form of bad-faith communication, dood. Not everything is a Kafka trap, regardless of your assertions, dood.

    Hey, that's Laharl's weakness, not mine dood!

    Which is why he'd throw you at the succubus, dood.

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

  106. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This isn't an academic setting, dood. The term remains alive and well as a short-hand for an anti-semitic conspiracy theory in message boards and comment sections such as this one, dood.

    It also wasn't particularly relevant to the topic at hand, dood, so someone pulling it out of thin air is kind of suspicious, dood.

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

  107. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 1:30pm

    Re: It's called cultural relativism

    I grew up in a region of a country where the cultural understanding is that a wife must be beaten so that she will learn. If the husband does not beat his wife, he is not a good husband. This country is Cote d'Ivoire, located in West Africa. There are differing cultural views within the country, but this was one of them.

    Cultural relativism can be applied to gain an understanding of why an individual man in a specific culture beat his wife that day, while still considering himself a good husband and still professing to love her. You take the circumstances of the instance, take the context in which they occurred, and you can come to a better understanding of why this occurred.

    However, this does not mean I must agree that that was the correct thing to do. This does not mean that it was not wrong for this man to beat his wife. This does not mean that it is incorrect to propose to people that this course of action is wrong.

    From the Wikipedia article on cultural relativism:

    "Cultural relativism involves specific epistemological and methodological claims. Whether or not these claims necessitate a specific ethical stance is a matter of debate."

    I refuse to believe that just because a culture says it is correct to do things a specific way, that I must accept that it is okay for them to do things a specific way.

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

  108. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 2:28pm

    Sounds about right, yup

    Meaning if they disagree with YOU, they can't be good.

    On this particular example, absolutely.

    I feel quite safe in saying that someone who treats their spouse like a person in a more civilized country would treat their pets, tracking their movement and essentially putting up fences to keep them in the 'yard', does not qualify as civilized or 'good', and likewise with anyone who would look at that and think 'What's the problem?'

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

  109. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re:

    They now have a digital leash to keep them in line, rather than a more physical one. Why, give it a few decades/centuries and the men in that country might grow up enough to escape the cooties phase and realize that women are people too and drop the gorram leashes entirely!

    (Ugh, even sarcastic that left a sour taste in my mouth...)

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

  110. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re:

    I am a bit more ambivalent about this than Tim is, and if I have the time, I may write a followup thinking through some of the nuances of this

    Still waiting on your sponsor's marching orders?

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

  111. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: It's called cultural relativism

    I didn't say it was legitimate. I said you're all talking as if you've never heard of it. It's a well-discussed basis of conversation and I see zero evidence of anyone in this discussion being aware of it.

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

  112. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: It's called cultural relativism

    Oh, a wikipedia link and a definition of the term. You've elevated this conversation so far.

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

  113. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's called cultural relativism

    I don't see any specific evidence of anyone in this discussion being aware of the existence of cellos, either, but I don't look at that and say "no one here knows what a cello is!" Rather, I interpret the lack of cello-related discussion as a sign that they are not relevant to the discussion at hand.

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

  114. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Still waiting on your sponsor's marching orders?

    I'm honestly curious: do you actually believe your own bullshit here? Obviously, you're implying Google tells me what to write, which is hilarious if you had any sense of how this really works. This week alone, we've published 3 stories highly critical of Google (including this one, but the others were my criticism of its decision in Russia, and Karl slamming them for the way it has dealt with Google Fiber). The idea that Google has EVER dictated anything we write on this site is laughable.

    Google has sponsored some of our events in the past. So have companies critical of Google. None of that plays into any of our coverage. Are you just so blinded by your personal hatred and your own ethical issues that you cannot fathom that our coverage is not dictated by Google?

    You may think you're making a point, but it certainly appears that you're just making an utter fool of yourself.

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

  115. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 3:21pm

    When are these men finally going to grow up and stop clinging to so called possessions. Not that I'm condoning women or employees being treated as possessions.

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

  116. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 3:22pm

    'You expect of others what you would do yourself'

    You may think you're making a point, but it certainly appears that you're just making an utter fool of yourself.

    I'd say they're doing both actually, making a public fool of themself, and by insisting that you simply must be paid to write hinting rather strongly that that's their position as well, which of course raises the question of who's paying them?

    Clearly someone is, unless they want to admit that it's possible to write articles about topics that interest you without being paid to do so, so the only question is 'Who'?

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

  117. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 3:30pm

    Re:

    Just need to change the second half for clarity.

    When are these men finally going to grow up and stop treating women as possessions.

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

  118. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re:

    If history is any guide, maybe in a few centuries, though that's an optimistic prediction. The Middle East has literally always been a place full of barbarism, bloodshed, tyranny, and the worst of humanity. As far back as we've got records, no matter what nations or races or religions were involved, whoever was there were being horrible to everyone around them. Why expect it to change now, just because the rest of the world is improving? (Especially when they have enough oil to make the rest of the world not care all that much?)

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

  119. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Feb 2019 @ 3:48pm

    Re:

    I flagged it funny myself, because they're either making a joke, are one, or are pretending to be one for a joke.

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

  120. identicon
    TFG, 13 Feb 2019 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's called cultural relativism

    Indeed I have. Thank you for acknowledging that.

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

  121. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 6:35pm

    Re:

    Hi, bobmail!

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

  122. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 8:13pm

    Re: Re:

    Thanks for the response.

    at no point have we argued that platforms should not have that right, or that people should not advocate for them to use it in certain cases.

    However, Tim's article presented the situation as an universally bad thing (which I feel it is) and then assumed that it meant that Google and Apple should obviously censor the application without explaining why in this case it wouldn't be on the slippery slope. It appealed to my gut feelings, and I'm not comfortable enough with the argument to be able to identify why in this case I would want to agree with this kind of censorship in this case while not in other cases.

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

  123. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2019 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Self-Distribution: Not As Easy As It Sounds

    However, jailbreaking an iPhone is not illegal for personal use. It only violates the DMCA if done for some kind of financial gain, and jailbreaking your iphone for your own personal use does not rise to that level.

    In order to for it to be a felony, it has to be for commercial or private financial gain, meaning you have to be doing it for the purpose of making money. Congress made it that way, otherwise there would be so many criminals in the country, we would not have enough jails to hold them all.

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

  124. identicon
    carlb, 13 Feb 2019 @ 10:48pm

    tools that enable abuse?

    If that's the standard, firearms are also tools that enable abuse and the US really needs to stop exporting the entire contents of the 2nd Amendment hardware store to odious régimes in Arabia.

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

  125. icon
    cattress (profile), 14 Feb 2019 @ 12:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. How would one go about"flooding" Google with disinformation and lies about an individual? And then how would one ensure that the intended target would find this disinformation far enough up in the search results, ahead of legitimate results, that they would actually view it. And what would make any of these search results appear to come from valid and reliable sources so that the target believes the stories. And how is Google to blame for the actions of some jerk with too much time on their hands, and not the jerk who is subject to libel/slander laws? I mean, just go straight to the name calling if you want to troll because you look profoundly stupid trying to create a whole narrative to support your insults.

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

  126. icon
    R.H. (profile), 14 Feb 2019 @ 12:46am

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

    I think that other AC is referring to confidence men aka con men. Most of their crimes are performed with only their speech tricking people into parting with their money fraudulently.

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

  127. identicon
    Prinny, 14 Feb 2019 @ 3:44am

    Re: Re: Self-Distribution: Not As Easy As It Sounds

    [citation needed, dood]

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

  128. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2019 @ 5:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The Middle East has literally always been a place full of"

    Always? The all inclusive, everything is bad claim usually raises an eyebrow and certainly is an invite for a differing opinion.

    Are you still mad at having to learn algebra?

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

  129. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 14 Feb 2019 @ 6:04am

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

    The lonely "I wanna be lonely, so there! Why don't any of the women I fancy love me?" misogynist.

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

  130. identicon
    TFG, 14 Feb 2019 @ 6:32am

    Re: tools that enable abuse?

    They definitely can be. And yes, the US does need to halt that practice. Glad we came to an accord here.

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

  131. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 14 Feb 2019 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Errrrrrmmmmm... it's not okay when our side does it, Mason. The only major difference is that, at least on paper, we're not supposed to.

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

  132. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 Feb 2019 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wait, what is "it" that our side is doing? There's some context missing here...

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

  133. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2019 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's called cultural relativism

    Yes, congratulations on elevating the conversation to the level of a dictionary. You're so close to getting to the thousands of years of philosophical discussion on this issue. So close.

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

  134. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Feb 2019 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's called cultural relativism

    If you seriously don't understand that this issue is about cultural relativism, your entire life is spent in an orchestra made up of people who have never heard of a cello.

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

  135. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 15 Feb 2019 @ 2:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What, you want a list of atrocities committed by Western people?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Byrd_Jr. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_8 ,_2003_journalist_deaths_by_U.S._fire

    Don't get me started on Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, lynchings, slavery, and the ongoing family separations.

    Meanwhile, in the UK: https://news4trafford.co.uk/2017/10/15/81000-people-died-in-just-three-years-because-of-benefit-cuts -and-sanctions/ https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/aug/27/hostile-environment-anatomy-of-a-pol icy-disaster

    Don't get me started on Brexit or our appalling policy of sucking up to dictators for military £££.

    Seriously, we can start condemning others for their horrible policies and actions AFTER we've dealt with our own.

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

  136. identicon
    Anon, 15 Feb 2019 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Re: Self-Distribution: Not As Easy As It Sounds

    It might be hard for an American to understand this but American law does not apply in Saudi Arabia.

    Also, your understanding of DMCA in America itself is woefully inaccurate.

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


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