beltorak’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Oct 13th, 2016 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Gun bans for people on watchlists

    > Perhaps this might (initially) be a good thing. It would make a constitutional challenge to the watchlist processes much easier.

    No it wouldn't. You would try to buy a gun and get denied because "reasons". You would have to sue to find out why and get "sealed because national security". You would sue and argue you do not belong on a watch list and get "can neither confirm nor deny". You would sue again and get "lack standing". You would sue yet again and the response would come back "ok, I think you're off; try to purchase a gun again - if you are still denied then you must be on some other watchlist". Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Ad infinitum.

    Nothing short of explicitly opening up the process to review and challenge will make constitutional challenges any easier; and it's arguable whether even that would be enough.

  • Oct 13th, 2016 @ 8:14pm

    Re: You're looking at it all wrong

    This is exactly right. It has never been about content; it has always been about control.

  • Sep 7th, 2016 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: National Write-In Campaign

    Unfortunately you'll have to get a constitutional amendment passed beforehand. Snowden's only 33.

  • Sep 7th, 2016 @ 10:58am


    Posse Comititus is a moot point when you can just get the ATF, SWAT team, or your local war-geared-up police department to start launching the mortars.

  • Sep 7th, 2016 @ 10:55am


    well you know, when you can't respond like an adult and learn to safeguard your property because it is beyond your mental grasp, the next best thing is to act like a child and smash everyone else's toys to bits.

  • Sep 1st, 2016 @ 7:40pm


    This could be an argument for that, except that it's still a pretty dumb argument. The government would just infect the home server with malware, which the secret warrant signed by a secret court would allow, and then the person would be in the same boat with regards to not knowing about the warrant, but a much worse situation regarding an advanced persistent threat touching every other machine on the home network. Given people's reluctance to update their machines even when nagged with a reminder every hour, how often do you think the forgotten about email server would receive its patches? Big brother likely wouldn't even have to dig out any 0-days for the occasion.

    If you are willing to religiously track security postings, immediately stay up to date on patches, and routinely monitor traffic logs looking for anomalies, then sure, running your own email server is a great idea. If you are hoping for a fire-and-forget appliance you can just plug into your home router, then you are much better off paying someone else to do that work. Otherwise some bored asshat with shodan is likely to pwn your ass.

  • Aug 29th, 2016 @ 7:42pm

    Re: "My privacy and security is important, yours not so much."

    > On the other hand if she's only pro-encryption when it comes to encryption she's using then it's not a change of position at all, she's still anti-encryption in general she just realizes the value of it when it comes to her stuff, while continuing to believe that the public at large shouldn't be able to have the same level of privacy and security.

    Oh she understands the value of encryption no matter whose information it protects, make no mistake about that. There's a subtler motive at work here: she doesn't think you deserve to avail yourself of that value. It's that pervasive attitude permeating throughout the DNC that leads me to see them all, and Hillary more than most, as psychopathic snakes. It is that snide, barely obscured mentality underpinning the actions they take that is corroding the foundational philosophies of our republic. How dare you think you should have the same rights and protections as your betters. How dare you think your betters should have to follow the same laws as you.

  • Aug 27th, 2016 @ 10:19am

    Re: UAC

    That's not a hard and fast rule. When UAC was first introduced, everyone had to ask how to turn it off.

    And I too turned it off for a few limited times. When setting up my family's computers, I'd have to perform dozens of administrator actions, and each one caused one to three UAC prompts. Ever had to create a new folder in Program Files? That caused 2 that I remember - one to create the folder, and then one to rename it :-/ Even just looking at your own environment variables required administrator permissions. So I would enable the hidden administrator (which isn't bothered by the UAC), set it up, then disable the administrator and reboot.

    Eventually MS moved the UAC boundaries to make it much less onerous, and I haven't needed to do that for a while now.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Homeland insecurity

    They already have tried. It was about to be foisted on us all. I think the only reason no one has bothered to fully break it was because nobody was insane enough to mandate its use. If it had been required on all telecommunications, you bet there would be cracks against the implementations (and possibly the algorithm itself) by now. Of course it's also quite likely that only criminals would know about it.

  • Jul 20th, 2016 @ 5:41pm

    (untitled comment)

    I for one can't *wait* for the US Navy to appear at the top of the 301 report. I wonder if it's possible for the company to get a judge to order that?

  • Jul 15th, 2016 @ 3:39pm

    Re: I can't wait

    More like a choice between drinking arsenic and tossing a lit match on a powederkeg. Sure, someday we may find a way to counteract the slow poison. On the otherhand, sometimes things are so far gone the only sensible thing to do is reduce it to rubble and start over.

    So which shall it be? Hillary "The Status is Definitely Quo" Clinton, and watch our nation slide even further towards a despotic empire from which it is increasingly more difficult to liberate ourselves? Or Donald "Fuck You, Brownskins" Drumpf, and watch a shitshow of a firestorm sprout up from every corner of the Earth?

  • Jul 15th, 2016 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: Help, I've felon and I can't get up!

    That just means we get to resort to kinetic strikes, right?

  • Jul 13th, 2016 @ 2:09am

    Re: author pen name or trademarked or registered business name

    It's quite simple really. If the author sends someone something using their pseudonym, and that something is legal, then that's OK - their right to privacy remains intact. No one need know about the search that turned up nothing, and as we all know it's impossible to have your rights violated if you don't know about it. But if that something is illegal then that pseudonym becomes an alias that, even this once, was intended to distance the real person from the crime, so the search is now legal and uncontestable. And another Bad Guy gets locked up.

    Or, in the words of the Good Guys, "the ends justify the means". See?

  • Jul 8th, 2016 @ 7:21am

    (untitled comment)

    Congress and the American people have always sought to strike the right balance between the rule of law and individual liberty. Several examples illustrate this point, including ... the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act in the early 1990s

    Even if you ignore the fact that the "debate" surrounding CALEA mostly involved legislators listening to law enforcement lobbying (with compromise only resulting because telcos had similar lobbying weight)

    Let's not forget it was the CALEA backdoor in the Vodafone network that was used by some still unknown party to spy on several Greek government officials.

    Let's also note that not one of those examples was the '90s encryption debate in which the "other side" - the technologists - won, in part due to Skipjack and the Clipper Chip, a poignant demonstration that the government simply isn't capable of building a "secure, good-guy only backdoor".

    Even if you buy the assertion that the cops are the good guys, every backdoor built into the systems has been used at least once (that we know of) by the "bad guys".

    How many times do we have to drum this into their heads? Backdoors make everyone less safe.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Both ways

    "Yeah but the computer wasn't actually hacked, it just had the possibility. We know this because our hacking tool verified that the computer hadn't been hacked after it hacked it."

  • Jun 7th, 2016 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: So?

    Wait, you're replying to this guy, does that mean he's serious? I thought it was satire. Seriously. I LOLed almost all the way through it. I mean,

    > On the overall scale of seriousness this kind of perjury registers rather low, almost as low as perjury before Congress by government officials while covering up systematic constitutional violations.

    Well, maybe that part wasn't facetious. That one seems dead on.

  • Jun 7th, 2016 @ 3:13pm

    Am i missing something

    I'm not quite so sure this is as good as it sounds. Unless there's a provision to block a corp from availing itself of a tribunal after the national courts have weighed in on the matter, all this does is tax the citizens twice when the corp exhausts the court system then takes the matter to the tribunal. If you deny the ability to avail itself of a tribunal after a court has adjudicated the matter then you have the original problem that corp sovereignty was meant to address. Even if you limit the corp's option of availing itself of the tribunal to cases where the national supreme court refused to acknowledge the merit of the corp's argument, well, there are many good reasons for things to turn out that way. I dont see any way to make an extra-juducial remittence process viable under all circumstance. All such systems are too easy to for one player or the other to game.

    Corps just need to nut the fuck up and take the risks inherent in being subject to the laws of the land. You don't like the laws? You dont trust the government? Dont fucking go there.

  • Jun 3rd, 2016 @ 6:06pm

    Ignorance of the law is {no excuse for breaking the law | excusable because the law officer had a "Good Faith" intent to uphold the law}

    I can't wait for these two "facts" to come head to head in a single court case. I wonder how the judge will resolve that conflict? I wonder if the defense lawyer will have the spine to pose the question?

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 3:05pm

    Re: they relate????

    You mean they should be prosecuted under the espionage act for making the government look bad? No wonder even the CRS staff doesn't support the notion.

  • May 20th, 2016 @ 2:55pm

    Politicians! Hypocrates!

    But I shouldn't have to repeat myself.

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