Chris Maresca’s Techdirt Profile


About Chris Maresca

Startup guy in SV. Heavy open source background.

Chris Maresca’s Comments comment rss

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 11:49am


    Unfortunately, there is your idealism and then there is reality. You also have some misconceptions about the US and where the ideas that form the basis of 'your society' actually come from...

    The US was founded by people who fled Europe to escape control and intolerance. Separation of powers is also a fundamental tenant & innovation of the US Constitution. Over the centuries, the founders idealism has eroded and realpolitik has taken over. Which is largely why you see movements like the Tea Party, who want to go back to this idealism (however naive & misguided this might be...).

    The harsh reality, even in your country, is that surveillance is pervasive. You may think intelligence agencies need court orders, but all countries have exceptions to this. And EU countries have even more exceptions than exist in the US.

    Why? Because EU countries have Civil Services - a large body of people who stick around through political transitions and manage the affairs of state. They believe (rightly or wrongly) that they are 'protectors' of the state and institutions and carve out policies to insure this, including extensive surveillance. I've seen it up close working for 3 EU governments and I have been reminded (repeatedly) of the civil service importance in insuring the continuity of things.

    The primary difference in the US is that every new president appoints all of the dept heads down to very junior levels. When a new president comes in, there is wholesale, top to bottom, reshuffle of the government and a very, very large number of 'political appointees' come from outside the gov't and are loyal only to the president. It's very disruptive, but it also is great insurance against what has happened in EU govt's. So, while the US only has two parties, the transformation in the transition between the two is very, very real and dramatic.

    I would also note that the EU civil service problem is made even worse by the fragmentation of EU political parties. That basically insures that there is ongoing role for this permanent bureaucracy to manage the state.

    As far as private companies ability to track you, that is a contract between you and the company. Even in the EU, it's possible to do this (cf. AVG). It has nothing to do with jurisdiction - Google can track you in the EU, even in Germany, since you agreed to this when you started to use their service....

    P.S. Most of what you are advocating already exists in the US - it's even possible to scrub your police records.
  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Not about privacy

    EU countries have far, far higher rates of spying on their own citizens than the US does. See this article l

    Yeah, it's 10 years old, but if you think it's gotten any better, you are fooling yourself. Coupled with ubiquitous CCTV, quite a lot of the EU exists in a surveillance society and most EU citizens couldn't care less. In a lot of countries, it's not even on the political agenda (cf. UK, France, Italy, NL). The Germans are slightly more sensitive to it because of East Germany, but I have yet to see an actual political movement around this.

    In the end, these policies (and the data retention policies) are all about control and access. The EU wants to control the data so that EU intelligence agencies have access to it. And if EU intelligence agencies have access, so do US intelligence agencies.

    I'm not sure what a multiplicity of parties or how your political system works has to do with spying on your citizens, esp. since EU countries have higher surveillance rates than the US with far fewer judicial controls.... But, hey, ad-hominy attacks on the US seem to be popular, so...
  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 11:11am

    EU law enforcement & intelligence agencies wet dream

    This decision is a wet dream for EU police & intelligence services. They will no longer have to beg (or go through legal niceties) the US for access to this data, it will right on their doorstep.

    As for the NSA, the two countries through which most of the EU internet connections travel (the UK and Netherlands) are very, very closely aligned with US intelligence agencies and rank at the top of EU countries spying on people. Anything they can hoover up is accessible by the US and I'm sure the NSA will be happy to subsidize more hoovering tech. In fact, the EU is going to make things much easier for them when they legislate data retention.

    As far as 'EU privacy', what a joke. As AVG proved a couple of weeks ago, you only need to have the data located in the EU and tell your users you are going to do whatever you want with their data.

    I'm sure Max Schrems is feeling very smug right now, but he's just made the situation infinitely worse in terms of privacy for both EU & US persons as you won't be able to 'jurisdiction shop' as easily as you can now. And if he thinks he's 'stopped the NSA', well, I have a bridge for sale...

    Coupled with the EU being hell bent on data retention and pervasive and expansive spying on their own citizens, I'm surprised EU intelligence services aren't dancing in the street.

    The EU - the gift that keeps on giving citizen data away....

    (note - not that the US is any better, but at least it's blatantly cynical about it and doesn't hide behind pretend privacy claims. And where is the European Edward Snowden?)
  • Sep 3rd, 2014 @ 1:11pm

    Looks like Chenal Brands == KlearGear

    According to whois - is registered to Megan Tolcher, who is apparently KlearGear's 'Director of Merchandising' (according to this article,2817,2404869,00.asp)

    Interestingly, there is an address in Grandville, Michigan attached to the Whois record, which is for a mail forwarding service... And it's the same address KlearGear has been using.
  • Aug 28th, 2014 @ 9:09am

    Re: Wow

    Maybe I'm an idiot, but I don't understand how the first comment was sexually loaded....

    Seems like a random phrase whose meaning is in the eye of the receiver.
  • Aug 21st, 2014 @ 9:32am

    Re: Total BS

    What they are not carrying is typical riot gear. Shields, helmets that cover the back of the neck, truncheons or other non-lethal 'weapons', fire-proof padded hard-plastic protective leg/arm/shoulder protection, etc. See this image and this image for what real riot police should look like (note the absence of guns).

    It seems to me the are woefully unprepared for crowd control and are resorting to 'force project' and the threat of violence instead.

    Basically, they look, are equipped and are acting as a military combat unit, which, of course, is making things worse.
  • Aug 21st, 2014 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: A good reason not to visit the USA

    One other note - the police in both France & the Netherlands is significantly better trained to deal with both non-violent & violent protests, probably because these sorts of protests are far, far more common.

    That said, they are also much, much more likely to use a lot of non-lethal violence on protestors (truncheons, whips, rubber bullets, horses, tear gas, water canons, etc) but are equally likely to just hid behind large plexi shields (Roman phalanx-style) while being pelted with stuff.
  • Aug 21st, 2014 @ 9:18am

    Re: A good reason not to visit the USA

    I don't know what country you live in, but I've lived in 7 different countries and it isn't any better anywhere else. In fact, it's significantly worse in many places, including some European countries where national police forces are actually part of military, e.g. the Gendarmerie in France and the MA in the Netherlands.
  • Aug 14th, 2014 @ 11:22am


    Easy fix - FOIA Review Officer
  • Jul 29th, 2014 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    One way to fix it is to have stronger institutions. One of the most corrosive aspects of the US body politic is the fact that the President appoints almost all of management in the entire government, many levels down from cabinet secretaries.

    The result of this is that agencies have virtually zero institutional power and are governed basically by people who have 'bought' their way into management positions. And they have zero long term stake in anything since they'll be gone in 4 years and there is no career path.

    Then again, in a democracy you get the government you choose, so maybe this is what the American people want.
  • Jul 29th, 2014 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, I used to work for the government and the one thing I would say about this is that there are a lot of people in the government trying to 'do the right thing'.

    They are overworked, underpaid, under-resourced and have a political system stacked against them. And they are also under-appreciated by the general public. Part of the issue is that 'doing the right thing' is different from person to person and entrenched interests are experts at exploiting this.

    And because the US system pushes political patronage down to the lowest level of government, there isn't a strong institutional push-back against political shenanigans or constitutionally dubious actions. Never mind that a lot of institutional knowledge & power walks out the door every 4 to 8 years...
  • Mar 16th, 2012 @ 6:11pm


    It's already happening. Quite a few companies go public on AIM in London and Prada recently went public in Hong Kong.

    It's generally much easier to access capital markets overseas vs the US, the reason more people don't do it is because of the added complexity.
  • Mar 16th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

    Not that much of an issue

    1. SharesPost is in trouble because it didn't register as a broker and is brokering securities. Duh.

    2. Other markets have no issues and there are at least 1/2 dozen others. Besides, a very, very well informed source tells me that few shares are actually sold in any secondary transactions as companies almost always exercise their right of first refusal.

    3. The 500 shareholder limit is almost never an issue because it only applies to people in the US and most of the demand is from overseas. Also, most (all?) SEC rules related to private stock transactions only apply in the US, which is why quite a lot of secondary activities take place overseas.

    Really this is about the SEC going after people doing stupid things - e.g. brokering stock transactions without a license and advertising private stock for sale, both of which are big no-nos & finance 101. These people deserve to have the book thrown at them.

    Other than that, there is really no story here.

  • Dec 24th, 2011 @ 1:10am

    Re: Re: Re: (as Chris)

    Google Disney's extension of copyright on a certain mouse.

    It should have been public domain by now. Learn your history.

    Corporations have been stealing from the public for the last 40 years by repeatedly extending copyright. Now the shoe is on the other foot and the only defense is ad-hominy attacks.
  • Nov 11th, 2011 @ 5:52pm

    What's the point of the URL at the bottom?

    So, if they don't want anyone to link to it, why are they putting a URL at the bottom?

    Inquiring minds want to know....

  • Oct 26th, 2011 @ 9:01am

    Not related

    These people are giving me a bad name....
  • Oct 11th, 2011 @ 6:05pm

    whois =

    security "researcher" == fail
  • Oct 10th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    Who on earth is Meghan Mcain?

    Never heard of her, can't be anyone I should care about. She should be happy a parody is giving her some attention...
  • Sep 7th, 2011 @ 3:29pm


    Apple can easily get the exact same help if they ask. My guess is they don't care - their products sell without government help.

  • Sep 7th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

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

    Well, they do both. They push US companies as a whole, but when a specific company (e.g. Dark Helment, Inc) comes to them for help on a specific topic (and it's within guidelines), then they will help a specific company with said topic. Also applies to narrow industry sectors.

    It's pretty much equal access, although the quality of the help you might get is highly variable. It's also true that the more effort you put into preparing, the more likely a positive outcome (and effective help).

    And they are not averse to putting together specialist teams to help companies on specific issues, esp. where it relates to government (where they, obviously, have the most access/influence) - see this FCS page - - obviously, the bigger the company, the more incentive FCS and other agencies have to help.

    I would also point out that the US gov't, via it's embassies, gathers a lot of economic data about markets and makes it available to everyone. It's a good starting point for figure out how to work with foreign markets...


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