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cosmicrat

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  • Jul 1st, 2013 @ 1:06pm

    I think you are overestimating the intelligence of "terrorists"

    I agree with the gist of this article, agree that the spying is unacceptable, and that suggesting Greenwald be prosecuted is ridiculous. However, I am sure some "targets of terror investigations" are changing their communication methods as a result of all the publicity.

    Sure, Al Quaida's leadership keep their coms well secured, same with professional criminal organizations, and most other high level players in any secret society. But these movements run deep, right down to illiterate bums shuffling in the street. I am quite sure a fair bit of intel comes from lower level associates who are too stupid, or just don't have the means, to use really secure coms systems. Remember the old WW2 saying "loose lips sink ships"? It still applies. Heck, the NSA's strategy has been to spy on everybody, and sting (entrapment) operations are the main method of generating DHS arrests. It kind of points up the fact that what our government would really like is to ban encryption and indeed privacy in general.

  • Jul 1st, 2013 @ 12:48pm

    How about we shut down all military and business computers...

    Really, "the internet" is the least of our worries in the event of "Cyberwar" (ominous music...Ba..da..ba..da). The really dangerous targets of cyberattacks (oh god, I used that word without quotes) are said to be critical infrastructure systems, military control and command computers, the president's blackberry, etc.. Is this troglodyte suggesting we shut all those down too? Let's ask the NSA if they would like to give up all their networked systems, or convince the makers of industrial machinery they need to go back to manual lever operated control systems.

    In a way though, he has reinforced the simple solution to cyberattacks on critical systems, a solution that has been suggested on techdirt before; simply disconnect those machines from public networks.

  • Jun 25th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Full of problems

    Certainly just full of problems, and I have some inkling of how things work in Russia leading to even more problems for search engines, site owners and the public. But, to be fair, there is at least a glimmer of suggestion that it improves on SOPA/PIPA by requiring a court hearing before a blocking order is issued. It remains to be seen whether that hearing is a prosecutor and judge only rubber stamp session or an actual adversarial hearing that starts with presumption of innocence on the part of the accused. (And yes I understand the difference between US criminal and civil law. I still think it should apply.) There is one part of PIPA I almost did support; the cutting off of payment services to site owners convicted of making a profit from piracy activities, but I supported it only on the condition that there first be a full adversarial trial and conviction.

  • Jun 21st, 2013 @ 12:19pm

    It goes even a little further

    "In other words, if your messages are encrypted, the NSA is keeping them until they can decrypt them"

    " sufficient duration may consist of any period of time during which encrypted material is subject to, or of use in, cryptanalysis."

    You sort of covered it, but to highlight: The DOJ and NSA are among the all time world champions in the use of weasel language. Notice their statement could be interpreted to mean they will keep data, even if it is clearly domestic only, even if it is clearly not illegal or controversial, simply because the breaking of the cryptography revealed insights into breaking crypto itself. In other words, if they broke it, they'll keep it just as an example of a code that might be used elsewhere.

  • Jun 14th, 2013 @ 12:36pm

    Over reaction anyone

    Some people just freak out at the drop of a hat. Most such people sort of get marginalized by society, but when they are talented artists they get indulged for it.

    It's unfortunate the chilling effect this sort of thing has. What if I want to take a photo of my daughter at her first concert to post on farcebook? Is security going to bum rush me and throw us out?

  • Jun 14th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

    Reading this could be a crime...

    If you are reading this on a computer at work, you are probably in violation of some fine print of your employer's computer use policy, which means you could be charged for felony hacking under the CFAA.

  • Jun 10th, 2013 @ 7:00am

    Easy for him to say that

    It's also pretty disingenuous for a Senator to say that. One of the the things many people fear is overzealous prosecution, being railroaded, being shaken down by the authorities on a pretext. A high profile public figure, however, has a good degree of effective immunity from frivolous or nuisance prosecution.

  • Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Could very well be different decryption schemes

    I would not assume both drives use the same encryption. Probably one is the system drive and might have some encryption built into the OS. Heck, knowing how the DOJ often distorts the truth they could be claiming the login pw is a form of encryption. The other drive is probably aftermarket and could have its own proprietary encryption, or perhaps he created a Truecrypt volume.

    I wonder what the prosecutor would do if someone did decrypt a drive under duress and it turned out to have nothing but gobbledegook, or 500,000 identical pictures of a unicorn or something. Would they charge the accused with destroying evidence?

  • May 23rd, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Look...

    Squirrel!

  • May 23rd, 2013 @ 11:40am

    Could be a technique for law enforcement

    Given how easy it is to butt dial 911 on certain phones, I'm almost certain that is the case here. But it raises a question. Could the police (or FBI, CIA, Blackwater, etc.) be listening on a phone, in which case such evidence is not admissible in court (unless warranted) and then, at a crucial moment, remotely trigger the phone to dial 911, thus capturing a recording that would be admissible? The defendant would have a hard time proving he didn't butt dial.

    BTW I know Blackwater changed their name to Xe and most recently to Academi. Blackwater just sounds so much cooler.

  • May 20th, 2013 @ 12:41pm

    Another astroturfing outfit?

    I wonder if Business Europe is anything like Creative America?

  • May 16th, 2013 @ 11:35am

    I can attest to this

    One Intersection near my home is a cash cow for the city. Every other intersection in the area has pedestrian lights that count down to zero, then there is a pause, then the main light turns yellow. On this one there is no pause. Plus the yellows are the shortest around.

  • May 1st, 2013 @ 9:42am

    Been there, seen this

    Some close friends of mine were in a band that broke up largely because of disputes with the IRS. Way to go revenuers, you made the world a sadder place all over a couple thousand dollars.

    It's also clearly true that the IRS gives preference to large businesses. An energy company can write off billions in investments and tools and equipment each year, but I can't deduct expenses for personal tools I'm required to provide because I'm too small.

  • Apr 30th, 2013 @ 3:33pm

    Nailed it, Mr Applegate

    He did.

  • Apr 30th, 2013 @ 2:22pm

    The company is called "Total Recall, Corp."?

    Call Colin Firth, or better yet Ahh-nold. One of them will get to the bottom of this.

  • Apr 1st, 2013 @ 12:41pm

    Must be nice to be so elite

    I'd lose my job if I ignored my email. Total BS being pulled by an elitist overlord. This alone should disqualify her from the job.

  • Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    No one pretends it's legal

    When crew members share discs with each other, when producers do it, whoever, no one pretends it's all on the up and up. You don't do it in front of a suit from corporate, you don't talk about it. These people understand its infringement. But there is, as I have pointed out, a consciousness about whether it's low grade or personal infringement vs. massive scale infringement. Do the one and the bosses look the other way, do the other and you lose your job.

  • Mar 19th, 2013 @ 9:32am

    Wish I could +10

    So very true. The crews I work with trade burned DVDs and mp3s frequently. It's not uncommon to hear a producer say to an actor "...oh, you should see that. I'll burn you a copy". It's simply the most convenient way. One thing to keep in mind about the industry is that the crew in the trenches, even lower level producers, have little love for the accountants/lawyers/exec. producers/CEOs at the top of the food chain. About as much in common as a liberal democrat working stiff bank teller has with the CEO of BofA.

    To be fair though, we must note the author's final paragraph. We feel no guilt at sharing a DVD with a friend, but very few of us would upload a torrent of something high profile. If copyright infringment never expanded beyond an occasional copy of a DVD between friends, the freakout that led to SOPA would not have happened, or would have been much attenuated. It's the mass sharing that really has the CEOs and shareholders worried. Since distribution is moving almost wholesale to an online scenario it has them doubly freaked about the future.

  • Mar 13th, 2013 @ 3:19pm

    Re: Re: Right to work for less

    Well, I'm with you in not being very happy about the rate of union dues. But let's compare what I've made on some shows I've worked on: non-union: made anywhere from sub minimum wage to about 15.00/hour, no medical plan and the working conditions are usually harder. Union: 17.00 to 24.00/hour with excellent medical coverage for me and my fam, and the working conditions are always better. But I pay 3% of my wages in dues. Sounds like union is the way to go -if your serious about making a career in this business.

  • Mar 11th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Your mileage may vary...

    By share examples I assume you mean states that have done film incentives "the right way"(?)

    I don't really have detailed figures, just rough information for my own state. I also know (as everyone in the industry does) that production is booming in New Mexico, Louisiana and the Carolinas (South in particular). And obviously the whole incentive/kickback/corporate welfare program was popularized in the first place by British Columbia and Ontario back in the 90's. I am not an accountant, and I realize there is debate about it, but most people seem to feel those areas have had a worthwhile payoff from their incentive programs.

    We all expected the Michigan incentive program was going to be a debacle from the get go. Too much money was promised, there was no way that was going to be worth it. They also didn't have an overabundance of experienced crew -it was never a particularly big production zone before the incentives, therefore a large proportion of the crew flew in from around the country (contrary to popular belief we don't all live in L.A.). Few were surprised at the amount of corruption either, I don't mean to cast aspersions, but the big cities in this area were always known for cronyism and political corruption.

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