"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
The phrase "probable cause" is in the Constitution. That is the bar that the 4th Amendment itself says you must clear in order to compel production of evidence. If you believe that the Constitution does not adequately protect people, that is your right. But do not go about complaining about "probable cause" nullifying the Constitution.
This is not the police. This is a court. There are appeals and all the usual judicial safeguards. If a cop just walks up to you and asks you to decrypt your hard-drive, you can still tell them to go get a warrant.
This is an important-enough issue that it deserves details. The 5th amendment issue is not actually with producing the information on the drive. It's long-established law that a court can make you produce evidence even if that evidence will incriminate you. The issue was that by decrypting the drive, you are demonstrating that it is your hard-drive and your data. THAT is self-incriminating testimony.
So what did the court do here? Well the court looked at the facts and said: We already know it's your laptop, hard-drive and data. Also, the government has agreed to grant you immunity from that testimony. (They won't be able to tell the jury that you were able to decrypt the data) So decrypt the data already.
In the real world, the court couldn't force you to tell them that you have the key to a safe, but it could force you to open the safe once it's been established that you have the key.
Let's also remember this is not some creepy executive action such as border search, national security letters or whatever. This is a judge issuing a warrant. There are all sorts of safe-guards such as appeal, judicial standards to be met, etc...
That depends upon the magnitude of the problem. If it's a jerk every once in a while, that's one thing. But if the problem is that there is a very high flow of people and that even behavior that is normally acceptable becomes disruptive, it's easier to just ban photography etc and just not enforce the ban when the flow is small enough rather than do it the other way around.
Video cameras might be a privacy issue. I know I am always a little uncomfortable with people potentially video-taping me. Perhaps they got complains from people who didn't want to be in someone else's view-finder and decided that the patrons who didn't video-tape were more important than those who did. Nothing wrong with that...
Or it might be because people who use video cameras have an unfortunate tendency to make nuisances of themselves by not seeing anything that isn't in their view-finders potentially backing up into other patrons, exhibits etc...
That is not what Citizens United said. Citizens United said you can spend your money in order to speak and that US corporations are allowed to do the same. Exchanging money for political benefits is a bribe and illegal.
Re: It's not just the government that can attack free speech
I don't think it's a matter of relative power. I think it's a matter of tactics. If I tell you: "I'm not going to buy from your store unless you shut up" I may have a lot of power (if I'm a big customer) but you still have the ability to keep speaking. On the other hand, if I say: "I'm going to egg your store unless you shut up" then I am violating your free speech rights because I am threatening your property rights. Ultimately, it comes down to whether I should be allowed to do what I am threatening you with. I should obviously be allowed to not do business with you, but egging your store is off limits. Similarly, if Anonymous wants to organize a boycott, write browser extensions that warn you that you are on a boycotted site etc, that's fine. But when they DDoS someone or deface a site, that's a different matter entirely.
"3. No one but the subject of the story cares. And Wikipedia is not a vanity glossy. If no one cares, the tree didn't make any noise (if you get my drift.)"
It would be nice if Wikipedia provided a report for that. I suspect that there are some pages which have high traffic but very slow editor activity. If I look up a company, on Google, I often land on their wikipedia article. Quite frequently, the article is woefully out of date.
At the very least, there are some uncontroversial facts that company insiders could update. For instance, they could update their financials shortly after SEC filings. They could update the fact that they have been purchased or merged. They could update number of employees. They could update the fact that they discontinued a major product line. I mean, sure, they can lie, but they'll be found out pretty fast and IP-banned rapidle.
To me, Wikipedia shows incontrovertibly that people can put a lot of effort and be passionate in things without getting paid for it.
But more generally, does Wikipedia ban members of Greenpeace from editing the Exxon page? Everyone has a lot of biases and yet Wikipedia keeps getting better because the community has the tools to deal with bad actors. Paid PR people will either be good actors or they will get kicked out individually just like the other bad actors.
I think writing to reps about opposing PIPA/SOPA or even threatening to vote against them is a step in the right direction. But better is pledging to donate to their opponent's campaign and PACs if they do vote for the law.
They are perfectly right. I checked and the big players are not participating. None of the top search engines (www.yahoo.com, www.altavista.com, www.lycos.com) or the biggest social networking site (www.myspace.com) are participating. It's a complete failure! Google? Wikipedia? Whoever heard of those guys?
I don't think that would solve the problem. Let's say I can't give you money, can't run ads "independently" etc... Well, I can still hire your most trust advisers to come back and advocate my position to you. I win.
The problem is that the government has things that some people want. As long as the government can hand out goodies to politically powerful groups, they will. What we need to do is to decentralize power as much as possible. When the rep gets approached, I don't want them to say: "I don't need your money." I want them to say: "I can't do it."
As an alternative, we could radically decentralize the power to a point where lobbying is just not worth it.
OK, I can only support this. That said, I am genuinely worried about a wikipedia black-out. I don't think I spend any day without using wikipedia a dozen or so times minimum. I know, that's the point, but this is scary none-the-less.
While I find it hard to believe we could get Google, Amazon, eBay, Twitter, Facebook etc to actually black-out, it might be possible to get a fake black-out. Something along the lines of a gigantic click-through popup. It would draw people's attention without killing the service.
It's because of people like you that the RIAA feels bad. You know... People! The kind of people who have brains and use oxygen. The RIAA spends time, money and effort violating your civil rights and if you don't show a little gratitude, that hurts their feelings! So stop being such a human being and encourage the violation of your rights for heaven's sake!