If Microsoft and other tech companies were to encrypt customer data with a key handed over to the customer, electronic data would be protected just like paper data in the old days: The warrant would need to be served to the customer to access the data.
The US has turned copyright into a global internet tax payable to Hollywood and Disney - helped by courts who give themselves jurisdiction over the entire world and a USTR with a sole mission to ratchet up copyright and patent terms. Destroying innovation and creativity seems to be seen a bonus rather than a problem - Hollywood and Disney have the deep pockets, not the newcomers.
Can we really blame the French, or the Germans, or Spanish, or the EU for playing the same game and grabbing for their share of the cake, when meaningful discussions about copyright reform are torpedoed by the US before they even start?
If the government considers any and all communication data as fair game, why do they get all upset when the Russian or Chinese government take the same view, and help themselves to data the US would rather not share?
Google's Book project has been compared to the Library of Alexandria, an attempt by the ancient Greeks to collect all the world's knowledge in one place. With the difference that Google books can be accessed by anyone, anywhere. And it is as futureproof as Google's computer network.
As for more personal communication: Between Facebook, NSA and Gmail, it is probably more difficult to delete the more embarrasing parts than retrieving what's interesting ....
Commercial television and news organizations make megabucks with amateur videos they 'borrow' from youtube and other internet sources. Why should they not pay the creators a license fee? Following that logic, why can professional cameramen and photographers charge for their work?
And how can it be that they get the video free under a fair-use exception, then charge their customers for viewing it? Is it really that more creative to slam a logo on a video than to record it in the first place?
A few years ago, a study found that for most articles in the Flagship-journal 'Nature', the original data did NOT support the conclusions made in the paper - bogus research, revealed only when data were made available for independent verification.
The reaction of the editors: "A condition of publication in a Nature journal is that authors are required to make materials, data, code, and associated protocols promptly available to readers without undue qualifications."
As for the "adequate incentives for researchers are important": indeed they are. However, "A key motivation for investigators to conduct RCTs" is not the ability to publish, but the availability of (tax-payer funded) grants to do the studies.
If the public pays for the work, it would seem reasonable that the public gets the results. All of them, and in a timely manner.
Does it snoop around on third party hard disks and send data to the FBI? Does it use third party computers to distribute illegal files? Are there mechanisms to ensure that the FBI can not place files that it subsequently 'finds'?
There a plenty of stories of Chinese hackers and Russian hackers walking away with American data as they please. On a regular basis, some British teenager is shipped over to the US for breaking into CIA and DoD and Pentagon computers.
Other than the Snowden-papers, which are more bragging about capabilities than evidence for successful data retrieval, there are few stories of US hackers getting anywhere with breaking into foreign systems. One can't help but wonder if the US cyberwarriors are really playing in the same league.
If they aren't, it might not be such a good idea to start a cyberwar ...
How many Facebook-friends with questionable habits (lie on an IRS form, question TTIP, vote democrat) will it take for the DOJ to concoct a probable cause to (invite you for an interview/raid your house/seize your assets/contact your employer/generally harass you) until you do whatever they want you to do?
Sadly, our law enforcement agencies have failed again to protect us, despite being given all the tools they asked for, and despite being forgiven for taking liberties not granted to them by law.
Rather than empower the law enforcement agencies to conduct yet another antiterror investigation, how about Senator McCain and his peers started to do their job, and investigate why the FBI and other agencies failed yet again (and deliberately misled the public by broadcasting theories based on nothing but wishful thinking?).
Senator McCain's job is to protect America, not the DOJ!
If the FBI needs to entrap people to keep us all safe - let them do it. If the FBI needs to break iPhones to keep us all safe - let them do it. If they need to use National Security letters to bypass constitutional protections to keep us all safe - let them use them.
However, after 15 years of giving the FBI everything they requested to keep us the safe, they are not keeping us safe. People are dying because the FBI are not doing their job.
The only question that matters is if the FBI is doing it wrong, or if it is simply impossible to stop terrorists with the current approach (surveillance, pre-emptive arrests, killing their leaders overseas).
In the first case, the security agencies need to be motivated to deliver what they promise, in the second case, they'll need to be cut back to free up resources to implement other strategies to keep us safe.
For 15 years we have been asked to give up freedom in return for security. Security that has not been delivered.
It is time to introduce accountability into the equation, and put Mr Comey and his peers on notice. Every time people die, they have failed, and they need see conquences!