DOJ Using The FOSTA Playbook To Attack Encryption

from the watch-out dept

For years now, the various DOJ folks pushing to break encryption have whined and complained that the tech industry won't even consider having an adult conversation about encryption. This, of course, has never been true. Indeed, in just the past few weeks we've highlighted two separate examples of attempts to bring together law enforcement folks and technology/cryptography experts to see if there are legitimate ways to move the conversation forward. That first one came up with an interesting and useful framework for judging any conversation about "lawful access" to encrypted communications, while the second demonstrated just how much various tech companies have been doing over the years -- in particular in helping law enforcement deal with the issue of child abuse.

And what do they get for all that? First, a horrific article in the NY Times that accurately highlights the awfulness of child sexual abuse online... but oddly frames the efforts that various tech companies have put into helping law enforcement as... evidence of not caring about the problem. And, of course, suggests that encryption is part of the problem:

After years of uneven monitoring of the material, several major tech companies, including Facebook and Google, stepped up surveillance of their platforms. In interviews, executives with some companies pointed to the voluntary monitoring and the spike in reports as indications of their commitment to addressing the problem.

But police records and emails, as well as interviews with nearly three dozen local, state and federal law enforcement officials, show that some tech companies still fall short. It can take weeks or months for them to respond to questions from the authorities, if they respond at all. Sometimes they respond only to say they have no records, even for reports they initiated.

And when tech companies cooperate fully, encryption and anonymization can create digital hiding places for perpetrators. Facebook announced in March plans to encrypt Messenger, which last year was responsible for nearly 12 million of the 18.4 million worldwide reports of child sexual abuse material, according to people familiar with the reports. Reports to the authorities typically contain more than one image, and last year encompassed the record 45 million photos and videos, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

This is following the FOSTA/SESTA game plan. Highlight legitimately horrific examples of horrible things that people have done (in FOSTA's case, sex trafficking; here child porn). Then, follow it up by blaming the internet platforms and technology even if those platforms have actively helped law enforcement over and over again. Encryption is repeatedly suggested as truly evil.

Increasingly, criminals are using advanced technologies like encryption to stay ahead of the police.

"Advanced technologies"? And then:

Offenders can cover their tracks by connecting to virtual private networks, which mask their locations; deploying encryption techniques, which can hide their messages and make their hard drives impenetrable; and posting on the dark web, which is inaccessible to conventional browsers.

And again:

Tips included tutorials on how to encrypt and share material without being detected by the authorities.

Yes, encryption can be used to hide bad stuff. No doubt about it. However, it also protects the privacy and security of everyone else as well. There are real tradeoffs here to be discussed -- and we shouldn't forget that one element in that discussion is that law enforcement does have other tools to track down and find those involved in child porn. That encryption blocks some evidence does not mean there are not other ways for them to collect evidence -- as we've seen in many other cases.

But, given that Attorney General William Barr has been on an anti-encryption kick lately, as has FBI Director Chris Wray, it shouldn't be a huge surprise that they've teamed up for a DOJ "symposium" more or less building on the NY Times article (for which the DOJ appears to have been a major source), in which there appears to be an an entirely one-sided lineup of speakers to discuss the scary sounding:

Lawless Spaces: Warrant-Proof Encryption and Its Impact On Child Exploitation Cases

Barr is speaking, as is Wray. So is Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who also spent the summer trashing encryption. There are also two foreign speakers. There's Peter Dutton, the Home Affairs Minister from Australia, who lead that country's efforts to backdoor encryption with a bunch of ridiculously misleading claims about how companies that offer encryption should be blamed for anyone using it for illegal activity. Then there's the UK's Home Secretary, Priti Patel, who we had just mentioned earlier this week for her statements that encryption "empowers criminals."

There does not appear to be a single cryptographer on the program. There does not appear to be a single technologist on the program. There does not appear to be anyone who can provide even the slightest counterweight to the idea that encryption is just a tool for criminals. Contrast this to the sessions we talked about at the opening of this piece. The Carnegie Endowment and Stanford each actually invited people from a variety of different viewpoints and made sure to have actual experts involved. The DOJ is not doing that. This is pure theater as part of a public relations campaign to undermine the encryption that keeps us all safe.

Yes, you can point out very real and horrifying examples of people abusing just about any technology. But in a sane world, you then start looking at the actual size of the problem, the actual risks, the alternative approaches, and the costs and benefits associated with all of them. Not a single person on the DOJ's list of speakers seems equipped to do that. Given that we've quoted each and every one of them right here on Techdirt staking out an extreme anti-encryption standpoint over and over again, suggests that, unlike the tech industry, which has held and participated in various discussions, the DOJ just wants to set up scare mongering stories in the press before pushing for legislation that will destroy encryption and put us all at risk. For our safety.

As you'll recall, AG Barr himself had ominously warned that if the tech industry didn't "engage" then eventually there would be some sort of "incident" to "galvanize public opinion" against encryption:

Obviously, the Department would like to engage with the private sector in exploring solutions that will provide lawful access. While we remain open to a cooperative approach, the time to achieve that may be limited. Key countries, including important allies, have been moving toward legislative and regulatory solutions. I think it is prudent to anticipate that a major incident may well occur at any time that will galvanize public opinion on these issues.

Well, the industry was willing to engage and explain the costs of undermining encryption. But rather than understand that, it now looks like Barr is working overtime to manufacture that "major incident" to galvanize public opinion against their own security. It's a shame the NY Times decided to help.

Filed Under: child porn, chris wray, doj, encryption, fosta, going dark, moral panic, peter dutton, priti patel, william barr
Companies: facebook, google, ny times


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2019 @ 11:12am

    There are real tradeoffs here to be discussed -- and we shouldn't forget that one element in that discussion is that law enforcement does have other tools to track down and find those involved in child porn.

    Mike I'm calling BS. There aren't 'tradeoffs'. Any ban on encryption (to be effective/more than a joke) will also ban things like "languages the police/FBI/etc" do not know about, and new compression algorithms.

    In fact the goal of encryption is to make the data appear as a indistinguishable from a stream of pure entropy. The goal of an ideal compression algorithm is to reduce the data to just the entropic portions.... netting you something that seems to be a stream of pure entropy. Without the associated meta data, the two would be indistinguishable.

    Again it's not a trade off. It's a demand for insanity that can not do what it claims (the only way to actually stop anyone from using any sort of encryption is to stop them from thinking).
    Claiming there are trade offs to talk about is to lend a bit of legitimacy to people demaning insanity.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 3 Oct 2019 @ 12:08pm

      Re:

      Mike I'm calling BS. There aren't 'tradeoffs'. Any ban on encryption (to be effective/more than a joke) will also ban things like "languages the police/FBI/etc" do not know about, and new compression algorithms.

      The tradeoffs I'm talking about are that if we have strong encryption, that does mean that some people can use that encryption for bad things. If we outlaw encryption, you are correct that it would lead to an overwhelming pile of bad stuff happening in all sorts of ways. But those are still tradeoffs.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2019 @ 12:31pm

        Re: Re:

        Except that even if we outlaw encryption: the only people that would apply to would be law abidding people. Like I said as long as humans are capable of independant thought there can always be encryption (or equivelent tech).

        So the only real choice is: "Should we hurt law abbiding people".

        A ban on encryption (that is not a joke) is essentually saying "you are legally obligated to only communicate in ways we can understand".
        I do not see any trade off to be had in there.

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 3 Oct 2019 @ 1:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think you seem to have a different definition of trade off than I do.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2019 @ 2:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I guess that is fair enough.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Oct 2019 @ 2:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I think you seem to have a different definition of trade off than I do."

            I sort of have to agree with your detractor there, Mike.

            A "tradeoff" means you lose something in order to gain something else. The reality of a ban or dilution on encryption means you do lose something but do not, in reality, gain anything, because the concept of the ban hangs on it being enforceable in reality which is only viable if you manage to enforce a ban on math.

            What you seem to be saying in context is that encryption has positives and negatives. And that's fine. But in context that one sentence by you implies that encryption is something to be discussed. It's not.

            And the rest of your article seems to go agree with me on that point.

            Pardon me if I appear nitpicky but we're mainly nerds here.

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  • identicon
    bobob, 3 Oct 2019 @ 11:12am

    In every era, prople have had the means to hide from the law enforcement technology of that era. This is nothing new and giving law enforcement the means to know everything about everyone anytime is not a solution for a democracy or anyone who values the ability to have a conversation with another person and only that other person.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2019 @ 1:15pm

      Re:

      Not so many decades ago, police were part of the community, as when you relied on a whistle to summon aid, you also relied on the community to provide that aid. Now they have allowed themselves to be separated from the community, and have declared war on the community, and wonder why they do not get the assistance and information that they desire.

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

  • identicon
    bob, 3 Oct 2019 @ 11:14am

    not the way he thinks it will

    I think it is prudent to anticipate that a major incident may well occur at any time that will galvanize public opinion on these issues.

    Yes, major incidents already have occurred and the world was galvanized towards encrypting more stuff by default.

    People have strong opinions about encryption. That we need and want more of it.

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

  • icon
    John Roddy (profile), 3 Oct 2019 @ 11:41am

    It can take weeks or months for them to respond to questions from the authorities, if they respond at all. Sometimes they respond only to say they have no records, even for reports they initiated.

    Did anybody else read this part and immediately think about how "expedient" these very same agencies are in regards to FOIA requests? You know, the ones where the law actually mandates action?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Hero, 3 Oct 2019 @ 11:47am

    It can take weeks or months for them to respond to questions from the authorities, if they respond at all. Sometimes they respond only to say they have no records, even for reports they initiated.

    Still better than how authorities respond to questions from the public.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 3 Oct 2019 @ 12:26pm

    Just one simple word...

    Swap out a single word and you get what they are really after: Zero privacy for anyone who isn't them.

    Increasingly, criminals are using advanced technologies like privacy to stay ahead of the police.

    Offenders can cover their tracks by not carrying a phone with GPS tracking, which mask their locations; speaking in code, which can hide their messages and make their messages impenetrable; and meeting in person, which is inaccessible to anyone not there to listen in.

    Encryption is the means, what they are really complaining about is privacy and the fact that people are able to have conversations that they can't listen in to, and to that the response to their whining about that is simply 'Too damn bad'. The ability to hold private conversations or transmit information without them being able to listen in has always existed, and is more valuable to society than their desire to be able to listen in to anything and everything.

    It can take weeks or months for them to respond to questions from the authorities, if they respond at all. Sometimes they respond only to say they have no records, even for reports they initiated.

    So, they treat you like you treat the public? Quick, someone fetch me the nano-violin!

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  • identicon
    Sok Puppette, 3 Oct 2019 @ 1:37pm

    Wow, I wish Barr would lend his enormous prestige and sterling personal reputation to MY issues...

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

  • identicon
    Kitsune106, 3 Oct 2019 @ 1:47pm

    I have an idea

    First off. We replace all DoJ phones and the like with a bacldoor. Say help by google. And also bar any form of encryption by them as well. And police radios also need t go to normal channels. I wonder how long it will take before they think it's a bad idea ....

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2019 @ 2:00pm

    Are Facebook's 12 million reports of verified CSA material or AI-identified auto-reports?

    Because if it's the latter, I'm curious about the false positive rate. 12 million reports by Facebook Messenger is serious, but I'm more interested in finding out how many reports actually contained CSA? That would be a better argument.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2019 @ 2:04pm

    I don't know if this is true

    but I heard that some child predators have been known to use Uber and Lyft. Seems to me that allowing people to move about freely is playing right into the hands of child molesters.

    /s

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 3 Oct 2019 @ 3:05pm

    responsible for nearly 12 million of the 18.4 million worldwide reports of child sexual abuse material, according to people familiar with the reports. Reports to the authorities typically contain more than one image, and last year encompassed the record 45 million photos and videos, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

    People Familiar with reports??
    45 million reports?? world wide??
    WHOSE STANDARDS OF PROBLEMS??

    Just for fun..
    https://truthandtransparency.org/news/2019/4/10/director-of-mormon-temple-videos-charged-with- first-degree-sexual-abuse-of-a-child-1

    they have been chasing a few people in the UTAH area for YEARS... trying to catch them for many abuses..
    Not to mention a few religious groups that HAVE FUN' with children, and catching them in the act..

    Lets do some numbers..

    1 how many police officers do this job??

    Lets just use the 12 million number and divide it amount 200 nations World wide..60,000 per country..?
    they have helped with OVER 60,000 or LESS in the USA??
    This has tobe Done by Fed's..as cross count/state lines...SUCKS..

    Can I say, that its ALWAYS interesting to use WORLD NUMBERS when taking about the State of the USA...
    Internet has HELPED with over 60 million around the world...and we dont have a number for the USA??
    And would reporting Something in Kamchatka, into the USA Fed, help anyone??
    GET OFF YOUR HIGH HAT...

    Im sorry. but Tons of this stuff is So overbearing.. over reaching, that its stupid, that they cant/dont give us USA NUMBERS..
    And most of the time the ones they do/did, are 90% wrong and not looked into BEFORE some idiot uses them..(already proven)

    But Who can afford to have a child kidnapped/programmed/held for long periods of time in an Isolated fashion??
    NOT THAT MANY..

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  • icon
    McKay (profile), 3 Oct 2019 @ 5:30pm

    Where does it end?

    If we follow their reasoning to its logical conclusion, paper shredders should keep a log of everything they shred, in case law enforcement needs to get a record of what was shredded. Microwaves will also need to keep a record of CDs and hard drives they destroy.

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  • identicon
    A Guy, 3 Oct 2019 @ 5:35pm

    I know where the Supreme Court has come down on anonymous speech. It has repeatedly ruled that anonymous speech is a part of free speech.

    I wonder what the office of legal council's opinions are because I can't imagine the executive branches binding/secret opinions can be that different than the Supreme Court's rulings. I can't imagine competent lawyers would put their legal opinions above the judicial branch's since the main job of the judicial branch is to interpret the law (and especially the Supreme Court).

    I have been proven wrong before. The Jon Woo memos appear to ignore the courts and the Constitution pretty completely on the subject of torture.

    Anyway, other than trying to gather sufficient public opinion to try to overturn the Supreme Court precedents, does anyone know what the legal basis for de-anonymizing anonymous speech on the internet is?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2019 @ 6:17pm

    The Price of Freedom

    The Price we pay for the freedom to use encryption, to own guns, to pursue happiness, the price of liberty is that bad people have access to everything good people have (until they are convicted, hopefully). We accept the occasional mass shooting, we accept that bad people will exploit children just like priests and boy scout leaders. This is the price of liberty, and liberty is priceless.

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    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 3 Oct 2019 @ 6:31pm

      Re: to own guns

      The difference being that encryption is a constructive tool with many peaceful, non-violent uses. While guns are destructive weapons, only good for destroying things. And people.

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

      • identicon
        A Guy, 3 Oct 2019 @ 6:35pm

        Re: Re: to own guns

        The "I wish my ancestors would have starved instead of owning guns" argument has not gone very far.

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

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 3 Oct 2019 @ 11:03pm

          Re: my ancestors would have starved instead of owning guns

          Considering that farming was invented about 12,000 years ago, I wonder which of your “ancestors" you might be referring to.

          Unless, of course, your people only recently became civilized...

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

          • identicon
            A Guy, 3 Oct 2019 @ 11:48pm

            Re: Re: my ancestors would have starved instead of owning guns

            AH...

            Showing my national bias I guess. I assumed you were an American where your ancestors would have been first setting up hunting parties and then expanding agriculture.

            I guess more recent immigrants may not actually have that history but my family does not on either side.

            I guess my response is stop lecturing Americans about guns unwanted foreigner.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2019 @ 11:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: my ancestors would have starved instead of owning gu

              Sorry, that was my family was on both sides here long enough to have that history.

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

          • identicon
            A Guy, 4 Oct 2019 @ 12:10am

            Re: Re: my ancestors would have starved instead of owning guns

            OOOOO

            I am also a white person with a minuscule amount of native American ancestry so I get to call you a racist for inferring I am uncivilized.

            I'VE NEVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO THAT BEFORE.
            Thank you, you got that off my bucket list for real!!

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      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 3 Oct 2019 @ 11:25pm

        Re: Re: to own guns

        [Asserts facts not in rationality]

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 12:27am

        Re: Re: to own guns

        If guns have no practical value, why are Governments around the world using them?

        "Peacemaker." I wonder how it got it's name?

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

        • identicon
          Rocky, 4 Oct 2019 @ 5:40am

          Re: Re: Re: to own guns

          Because with a loud bang one party is in peace forever.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2019 @ 12:15pm

            Gun club joke

            They say Samuel colt made all men equal

            He never promised outcomes though...

            There are so many ways to end that joke...

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2019 @ 6:48am

          If guns have no practical value, why are Governments around the world using them?

          A gun does have a practical value: It makes killing easier. Whether you consider that a good thing or a bad thing is a personal matter.

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

          • icon
            Gwiz (profile), 4 Oct 2019 @ 9:33am

            Re:

            Stephen, I am curious as to what your stance is on gun control actually is. Do you advocate for a complete ban on guns across the board or is your stance more nuanced than that?

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2019 @ 2:18pm

              Glad you asked! I read an article not too long ago on The Weekly Sift that lines up well with my views on gun control: “How Should We Rewrite the Second Amendment?”

              The gist of the 2A rewrite in that article goes like this:

              • Congress can pass gun control laws so long as they prove citizens and police can still arm themselves adequately for defense and law enforcement, respectively.

              • The feds can regulate interstate transportation and sale of guns, ammo, and related accessories.

              • State and (if the state defers the authority) local governments can regulate the use, manufacture, ownership, and transfer of weapons within their borders.

              • The feds can’t make federal money or regulations contingent on state or local governments regulating guns in a way specified by federal law.

              Under this rewrite, the feds could ban the sale of high-capacity magazines and automatic weapons (as well as tools made to get around those bans) and limit the size of your arsenal, but it can’t disarm you completely. At the same time, the states could individually decide how to deal with open/concealed carry, who can own guns, and (possibly) what people must do to prove they can be a responsible gun owner — all without the feds saying “don’t do that or we’ll pull your federal funding”.

              And really, that is about all I’d want from gun control. I’m not against gun ownership in general, but people don’t need AR-15s to defend their homes, and people should have to prove (annually, if I had my way) they can be responsible with the storage and use of their gun(s).

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 3:18pm

                Re:

                Mr stone. I think there are some good ideas/intentions there.

                However we've done a pretty good job of proving that our goverment is terrible at managing the little bit of responsiblity it has.

                IMHO that (relatively minor) increase in constitutionally allowed powers would not work out as nice in practice.

                However, I'm glad you answer the other posters question (seeing the thoughts of someone who bothered to think things out it always good... even if you end up disagreeing)

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

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 4 Oct 2019 @ 10:10pm

          Re: If guns have no practical value

          1. Not what I said, and

          2. Great way to distract the debate from encryption, which is what this is about. As I thought I made clear, guns are an irrelevance.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Oct 2019 @ 7:09pm

      We accept the occasional mass shooting

      No, we accept the fact that politicians who are too afraid of (or too close to) either the NRA, right-wing militias/domestic terrorists, or both will never do anything meaningful to prevent mass casualty shootings carried out with weapons of war. I’m all for ownership and sales of handguns and hunting rifles and such — personal protection, hunting, all that jazz — but no regular jackoff American needs a goddamn military-grade assault weapon. But hey, if you think preventing another bunch of kids dying isn’t worth banning the sale and civilian ownership of AR-15s…well, that says a lot about you.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 12:39am

        Re:

        "I’m all for ownership and sales of handguns and hunting rifles and such — personal protection, hunting, all that jazz — but no regular jackoff American needs a goddamn military-grade assault weapon."

        I agree

        "But hey, if you think preventing another bunch of kids dying isn’t worth banning the sale and civilian ownership of AR-15s…well, that says a lot about you."

        Actually, that says a lot about you. AR-15s are not military assault weapons. Google it to learn more about this semi-auto only rifle.
        "The “AR” in “AR-15” rifle stands for ArmaLite rifle, after the company that developed it in the 1950s. “AR” does NOT stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.” AR-15-style rifles are NOT “assault weapons” or “assault rifles.” An assault rifle is fully automatic, a machine gun."

        60+ years this gun has been a problem?

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2019 @ 6:46am

          Keep this in mind: The AR-15 (or a similar rifle) was used in several of the deadliest mass casualty shootings in modern American history. That includes the shootings at:

          • Sandy Hook Elementary School (2012; 27 dead, 2 injured)

          • San Bernardino (2015; 14 dead, 22 injured)

          • Las Vegas (2017; 59 dead, 422 injured)

          • Sutherland Springs (2017; 26 dead, 22 injured)

          • Stoneman Douglas High School (2018; 17 dead, 17 injured)

          Additionally, Some Asshole in Dayton, Ohio used a semi-automatic AM-15 — a firearm based on the AR-15 — in a mass casualty shooting earlier this year. That Asshole was shot dead by police within a minute after firing his first shots. He killed 9 people and injured 27 more in that brief amount of time. And in the shooting that took place in El Paso the day before, Some Asshole used a semi-automatic civilian version of the AK-47. He killed 22 people and injured 24 more in the span of around five minutes.

          Next time you want to go off about AR-15s and how they’re not “weapons of war” or some shit, don’t. Instead, ask yourself why any regular civilian needs access to any kind of gun that can kill and injure dozens of people in mere minutes — or less than a minute, even.

          Also: I didn’t say anything about what “AR” stood for, and I know it doesn’t stand for “assault rifle”. (It stands for “ArmaLite rifle”, after the company that originally developed the weapon.) Don’t condescend to or insult me because of your own ignorant assumptions.

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          • icon
            ECA (profile), 4 Oct 2019 @ 10:50am

            Re:

            I hope you know..
            That I could do the same with a 10/22 with an extended Cartridge..
            really.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 12:39pm

            Re:

            Not an AR-15, a modified AR-15, Illegally modified.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 1:22pm

            Re:

            So what happened in 2012 that hadn't happened to the "AR" since it's inception 50+ years prior?

            "Don’t condescend to or insult me because of your own ignorant assumptions."
            "military-grade assault weapon"

            It was your ignorant assumption, not mine.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2019 @ 6:22pm

            Re:

            Next time you want to go off about AR-15s and how they’re not “weapons of war” or some shit, don’t. Instead, ask yourself why any regular civilian needs access to any kind of gun that can kill and injure dozens of people in mere minutes — or less than a minute, even.

            Under that comment's logic we should ban cars and the invention of fire for being able to kill or harm in under a minute.

            Don’t condescend to or insult me because of your own ignorant assumptions.

            I doubt his intent was to insult. That's the way you interpreted his words.

            "But hey, if you think preventing another bunch of kids dying isn’t worth banning the sale and civilian ownership of AR-15s…well, that says a lot about you."

            Nope it says a lot about you, because it says that you don't care about the fact that someone has justified the mass killing of innocent people, until they walk into a gun store to legally purchase a weapon to carry out their illegal act with. If you can't see the giant loophole for criminals in your plan to "prevent another bunch of kids dying," you deserve to be ridiculed for it.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Oct 2019 @ 4:31am

            Re:

            "Keep this in mind: The AR-15 (or a similar rifle) was used in several of the deadliest mass casualty shootings in modern American history."

            Mainly because it's appearance closely mimics that of a bona fide assault rifle. The ugly truth is that the "most popular" weapon is simply the flavor of the day. Weapons made iconic by one movie or another have all, at some time or other, become the most popular penis enhancer coveted by the man-shaped garbage piles who end up killing other people for kicks.

            The fortunate part - so far - is that most rampage killers are dumb as doornails, often more than mildly deranged, and unfocused in their choice of targets.

            Because right now and under the suggestions you made weapons like the M2 barrett would still be legal. You could down a Boeing 747 with that beast.

            "Instead, ask yourself why any regular civilian needs access to any kind of gun that can kill and injure dozens of people in mere minutes — or less than a minute, even."

            Unless we're talking about restricting guns all the way to single-shot breechloaders that is, unfortunately, the situation we will still be in, all your proposed amendments notwithstanding.

            The problem of gun abuse and gun control still starts and ends with far too many americans believing in the gun mythology along with far too many being at a state of mental health where they view suicide by cop as a valid option.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 3 Oct 2019 @ 10:45pm

    and in the end,....

    This was happening BEFORE the net was popular..

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 2:42am

    This is pure theater as part of a public relations campaign

    I've always found the DOJ entertaining.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 2:47am

    ... which is inaccessible to conventional browsers

    Which means you are technically illiterate.

    SOCKS proxy at 127.0.0.1:9150, you idiot. Any browser can do that.

    You just can be bothered to spend the time to find out how, or you're just trying spread fear and misinformation. I'm calling, yes to both.

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

  • identicon
    TRX, 4 Oct 2019 @ 9:30am

    exploited children

    You know, I'd place a lot more credence in their concern for online child exploitation if they weren't so busy ignoring Epstein's crimes.

    "Nothing to see here, move along. Look! A squirrel!"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 10:49am

    Wrong Solutions

    Why is it that so many politicians think that mandating "golden keys" for encryption is going to stop 'bad actors' from using encryption that does not have a "golden key"...
    So far, I haven't met a 'criminal' that pays any head to the law, so this wouldn't do anything to stop them.

    The only 'problem' that's solved by this sort of suggestion, is the 'problem' of the government not being able to spy on it's populace as a whole...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 12:37pm

      Re: Wrong Solutions

      You can't put encryption or guns back in pandora's box.

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

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 4 Oct 2019 @ 11:05pm

        Re: put encryption or guns back in pandora's box

        Maybe we can call this Lawrence’s Law Of Encryption Debates: no attempt at a rational discussion about encryption can happen without some idiot trying to conflate the issue with guns.

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 4 Oct 2019 @ 11:08pm

          Re: Re: put encryption or guns back in pandora's box

          The true Lawrence's Law:

          There's no conversation in which Lawrence can't provide ootb-level screeching dementia.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Oct 2019 @ 4:38am

          Re: Re: put encryption or guns back in pandora's box

          "no attempt at a rational discussion about encryption can happen without some idiot trying to conflate the issue with guns."

          Because where the second amendment tries to enable citizens to bear arms against threats from within or without, encryption delivers on that promise.

          In a dictatorship the people fear the state for the state controls the people.
          In a free country the state fears the people because the state can not control the people.

          What is truly ironic, really, is the way the NRA keep screeching in hysterics over anything remotely related to gun control (a battle too irrelevant for words as long as the citizens can't arm themselves well enough to threaten the actual army) but can't be arsed to even raise a murmured objection over the DoJ's attempt to remove everyone's right to privacy.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2019 @ 11:40am

    Old game bro

    This is exactly what I expect from agencies that still send informants to gather information Wit wires under the shirt even though it’s 2019 and we Have cameras in glasses.

    Let me ask the people monitoring this site something: Becuase I’m sure we have the attention of at least one intel agency from the world now lol

    do I get a horrible lock on my door because the Imaginary dealer down the street had one that was a little too good and it made it kind of hard for the entry team that had the warrant? No

    When I install said door do I get a flimsy piece of nothing that breaks easily Becuase it’s easier to hit with a battering Ram? No

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

    • identicon
      R/O/G/S, 8 Oct 2019 @ 4:58pm

      Re: Old game bro

      you make a good argument. Trouble is, we live in a sectarian-tribal police state now. Those people dont care about secular laws, unless it enables their god delusion.

      Read their shitty books-these people are all sociopaths, and they transmit the memetic virus of Jewish-christianity-Islam one generation to the next.

      And now, they have the Kommunity Kulture Klubs and Kovens all along the internet switch, and these are also toxic to democracy.

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


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