from the bad-reactions dept
Following the attacks in Paris, many things were sadly predictable, including the crowd of encryption haters blaming Edward Snowden for the attacks. Responding to this, one anonymous commenter won most insightful comment of the week with a brief review of the facts:
14 years of ever-increasing surveillance
14 years with trillions of dollars in intelligence spending
14 years with trillions of dollars in military spending
14 years of torture and kidnapping
14 years of drone strikes
14 years of Guantanamo
14 years of crushed civil liberties
14 years of massive profits for defense/security contractors
And yet the western world's intelligence forces were unable to detect and prevent a poorly-planned and ineffective attack carried out by under-equipped amateurs. (If they were professional soldiers, heavily-armed, and better organized, then there would be thousands dead, not hundreds.)
Of course those on whose watch this happened will never, ever, EVER admit that this happened because they failed. Again. Instead they'll redouble their efforts toward the same tactics...never realizing and certainly never wanting to admit that you cannot fight the symptoms of terrorism, you must address its root causes. And in this case, sadly, the root causes trace back to the manipulation of the Middle East by western governments for their own ends. They created this monster and only now are they beginning to understand that it can and will turn on its creators.
At the same time, Hillary Clinton joined the chorus of demands for magical broken encryption that can't be abused, and That One Guy won second place for insightful by pointing out the real "enemy" in their fight:
When, to be blunt, idiots and/or liars claim that tech companies are 'refusing to work with police and the government', and that if only they'd stop being so 'antagonistic' towards the calls for breaking encryption a solution could be found that would allow the 'good guys' in, but keep the 'bad guys' out, they reveal that their 'enemy' is not the tech companies, but a much more troublesome foe:
No amount of wishing, no laws or calls for 'co-operation' or threats of 'do it on your own or be forced to do it by law' will change the underlying fact, a fact that they are either dishonestly ignoring, or just too clueless to know:
There is not, and never will be, such thing as secure broken encryption or 'good guys only' security vulnerabilities.
At this point there is absolutely no excuse for anyone in the government or police speaking on the matter not to have done enough research to know this, so I can only assume that they know full well that they are demanding the impossible, and yet continue to lie and claim that it is possible, if only those dastardly tech companies would try harder.
Those that claim that it's possible for a 'golden key' system to be created, that claim that it's possible to weaken security such that only certain individuals can take advantage of the glaring vulnerability are either fools or liars, and need to be called out on it either way.
For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start with a response to the judge who mocked the very idea that being kicked off the internet was a big deal, comparing it to his son's complaints about being forced off the computer. A slightly more in touch anonymous commenter introduced him to the year 2015:
If I lost my internet:
My children could not do their homework because it's in the 'cloud'
I could not do my job where I am responsible for keeping elearning websites online 24/7
This asshole cares about HIS son getting an education and doing his homework but not anyone else.
Close minded, lack of critical thinking jackasses like this should not be allowed to sit on the bench.
We know what you do isn't pretty, but we want to make sure what you do is legal.
Over on the funny side, we start with yet another anonymous commenter, who won first place with some thoughts about the ongoing failures of national security agencies in the face of attacks:
The Department of Hindsight Security knows exactly what happened after it happens.
In second place, we've got Almost Anonymous, who caught an error in our coverage of the attempts to retain a copyright on the diary of Anne Frank:
Spelling error in articleIt's already somewhat questionable that we extend copyright after death, but to enable an organization to claim that someone else has had a copyright in a work decades after his death when he did nothing during his own life to claim it seems exceptionally questionable.Mike, you misspelled "bat shit insane" twice.
For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with net another stupid response to the Paris attacks, this from from Rep. Joe Barton who wants the FCC (for some reason) to eliminate ISIS from the internet (somehow). Just Another Anonymous Troll proposed a simple way to honor his request:
I'd just cut off Barton's internet and declare victory. He can't see those sites anymore.
"This is your patent system."
"This is your patent system on drugs."
"That's strange, there was supposed to be a difference."
That's all for this week, folks!