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  • Dec 2nd, 2016 @ 1:44pm

    Cha-Ching!

    And just like that the Copyright Office turned what was a one time payment into a steady(though smaller in the short term) stream of easy income, throwing everyone under the bus in the process.

    If they follow through on their idea of a site of 'unregistered sites' then you can be sure that the extortion via copyright schemes will shoot through the roof as well, also thanks to their boneheaded and/or incompetent move.

  • Dec 2nd, 2016 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    As Padpaw noted, if there's one thing the USG is really good at it's double-standards and hypocrisy.

    While the DOJ can now hack any computer anywhere with a single warrant and that's perfectly okay and now legal, if another country dared to do the same to an important US system that would of course be an unprovoked act of aggression and grounds for retaliation.

  • Dec 2nd, 2016 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Legacy

    Oh I'm quite aware that she's probably even less likely than him to do so, my point was that if she actually thought it was important for the public to know she could do something about it herself, rather than just send a useless letter and act like that's the best she can do.

  • Dec 2nd, 2016 @ 1:30pm

    Re: So when

    I believe it's been a few years, but I seem to recall at least one court ruling that was essentially just that, where they argued that your 'right' to stay silent only applied when you actively affirmed that you were using it.

    Don't say 'I am invoking my fifth amendment right against self-incrimination and staying silent' and they could use your silence against you.

  • Dec 2nd, 2016 @ 5:57am

    Legacy

    Obama won't, ever, release or declassify the thing, as I imagine he wants to pretend that it never happened so it doesn't add another stain to his already tainted legacy(because admitting that torture happened and he did nothing about it is so much worse than admitting it happened and endorsing it /s).

    Feinstein on the other hand... If she has access to the report she could potentially release it herself, classification be damned. It would destroy her career to be sure, but if she really feels it's that important it would make a powerful statement on her part, to the point that I might actually garner some respect for her, limited as it may be, for standing up for what's right at least once in her life.

  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 7:08pm

    Re:

    The 'an officer might take that the wrong way and shoot you' half might have been a 'friendly' warning, but the '... and no jury would ever convict them for it' bit makes it pretty clear it was a threat.

    It was little different than the cop stating flat out that he could gun down Akins on the spot if he wanted and not get in trouble for it, just using different words.

  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 7:01pm

    (untitled comment)

    A possible explanation lies in another article posted today, regarding the 'Rule 41' change. With the 'update' one warrant can be used to search thousands of computers, it's possible that something similar is going on here, where a single request is made to the government, and then turned around and used to demand access to multiple users/accounts.

    In that way both sides would technically be telling the truth, though the government numbers would be just a titch shady by hiding just how large the scope of demands are.

  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 5:00pm

    'Trust me', never a good sign

    While it's possible that the secrecy is because they're still working out the exact details and therefore don't have them available to share, I think I'm going to assume that the reason that they're keeping things hush-hush isn't because the program is just so awesome that they don't think that people would be able to handle it, but rather that they learned their lesson from the last time they got slapped down and are trying to be a little sneakier this time around.

  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re: Not news

    Where in the US constitution does it afford protections to non-citizens?

    If people visiting don't get the protection of the laws, exactly why should they follow them other than brute force, 'We'll kill you if you don't'?

    Or, put another way, if the USG and/or it's agencies aren't going to respect the laws, why should anyone else?

    If you want to apply the law to someone you don't get to do so halfway, only applying the punishments without also applying the protections. Saying that people visiting from other countries are bound by the US laws but government agencies interacting with them aren't is just a wee bit hypocritical.

  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 4:33pm

    (untitled comment)

    But the bid to prevent the imminent changes to Rule 41 ended quickly. After Wyden spoke, Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) immediately objected to all three bills, without waiting to hear from Coons and Daines.

    One person completely stopped cold any debate or discussion of a massive increase in the DOJ's power, allowing the changes to go through unopposed, not because they were voted for, but simply because they weren't voted against.

    Nice to know that all it takes is a single person in the right/wrong place in order to allow the various agencies to screw the public over in new and bigger ways.

  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re:

    But the forth one stayed drained, and it's the most blatantly corrupt patch of damp ground you've ever seen! It's so great and honest it doesn't even pretend not to be filled with alligators that will rip your limbs off the second you get close enough, unlike those other, dishonest swamps where the alligators promise that they're just really big geckos in need of belly rubs.

  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 7:23am

    US Border Crossing 101

    First, probably shouldn't enter the US at all if it can be avoided, as this and similar stories make clear. If you happen to be on a 'list' somewhere for whatever reason, you look 'suspicious', or a border agent just feels like some easy entertainment at your expense you're going to have a bad or really bad couple of hours, and even then you're not guaranteed to be allowed in anyway.

    Second, if you must come to the US never bring anything you're not willing to lose.

    Buy a cheap temporary phone, new journal and/or a cheap tablet to do your work on. Do not bring your normal device, because the only thing stopping it from being searched, and/or a demand that you unlock it and provide access is the whim of the border agent(s).

    Similarly do not carry any large amount of cash if at all possible, as that is likewise one decision away from being stolen from you, either at the border or within the country by 'law enforcement', and your odds of getting any of it back are slim to none, especially if you only have a limited time to do so.

    Third, it's important to remember that as far as the border agents are concerned you have no rights. They can and will do anything they please, secure in the knowledge that so long as they claim 'Because terrorists/National Security!' the courts will back them up and agree that they acted properly.

    Having the number for a lawyer written down and/or memorized is probably a good idea, though don't expect you will be allowed to contact them in time to prevent any violations of the rights you thought you had, meaning it will mostly be an after-the-fact discussion if one takes place, where they can tell you that you've got essentially no chance at getting any form of restitution, but if you've got the money you can at least try.

  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 7:05am

    How pavlovian

    Article: 'Something bad might/will/is happening under the Trump administration/campaign/group'.

    AC: 'Who cares about that, Clinton would have been just as bad!'

    It doesn't matter what might have happened under the Clinton administration because she's not the one who's going to be president. It's irrelevant what she might have done/allowed, while it's very relevant what Trump might/will do/allow, because, and I note this again for emphasis, he's the one that's going to be president.

    The election is over, stop focusing on what Clinton might have done and start focusing on what Trump is doing or is likely to do.

  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 5:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Now Trump is a book burner?

    ('Hypocritical'. The word you're looking for is 'hypocritical', not 'silly'.)

    But of course, making laws based upon that other book is absurd, anyone can write a book, why should laws be made simply based upon what some heathen wrote a couple hundred years past!

    Their 'book' however is a divinely inspired tome filled with holy commands delivered and/or inspired by nothing less than the creator of life, the universe and everything, and as such it's only common sense to make laws based upon such perfection, and only a heretic would have the audacity to say otherwise. If they don't want to live in a country with laws based upon perfection then they can go live in North Korea or some other heathen country!

  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re: Might be a stupid question but...

    Given how cheap storage space is and continues to be, that seems like it would work nicely. One gig here, one gig there, spread out globally so that each chunk has numerous backups and can be restored any time a particular bit suffers 'damage'(intentional or accidental).

  • Dec 1st, 2016 @ 4:43am

    Choices are hard

    Having to decide between being ripped off by Company A or being ripped off by Company B is hard, a totally unnecessary hassle for customers. Mergers between already massive companies are therefor absolutely pro-customer as they remove yet another road-block between US customers and their 'Best In The World' internet service, and as such should absolutely be allowed.

    It's all about how best to serve the public after all.

  • Nov 30th, 2016 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Heheheh!

    Disbarment for life? um no so much.

    Yes so much. This was not a minor, one-time event where emotion caused a temporary 'lapse of judgement', she repeatedly forged a judge's signature in order to conduct illegal surveillance of two people over the course of a year.

    That goes well beyond an 'oops' and into deliberate and flagrant abuse of authority, and makes it clear that she cannot be trusted to have that authority. As such permanent disbarment would be entirely fitting, both as a punishment for her actions and as a message that such activity carries harsh penalties for anyone else considering doing anything similar.

  • Nov 30th, 2016 @ 3:35pm

    Might be a stupid question but...

    Why have one backup when you could have many? I know the archive has got to be massive, but break it up into manageable chunks, put it up on a torrent site(or several) and I imagine you'd have plenty of people willing to download and host various pieces, to the point that if one or two went down for whatever reason there'd be half a dozen backups just waiting.

  • Nov 30th, 2016 @ 8:45am

    Wasted but worthy effort

    Without Snowden, it would have been decades, if ever, until Americans learned what intelligence agencies acting in our name had been up to.

    Well yeah, that was kinda the point. Keeping the public in the dark as long as possible, ideally forever, with regards to what the spy agencies were supposedly doing 'in their name'.

    To Obama and others in the government that support the indiscriminate mass surveillance that's a point against Snowden, not for.

    There are, of course, differences between these cases and Snowden’s. But the crucial point is that only in Snowden’s case was the motivation behind his illegal activity to benefit America. The three others involved efforts to gain glory or avoid criticism, or simple convenience and simple disregard for the law that put our security at risk. Yet the perpetrators were treated leniently.*

    At the 'cost' of exposing the dirty laundry of those in power, making them look bad and forcing them to scramble for excuses and to try and hide and/or 'legitimize' their actions.

    The glory hounds mentioned broke the laws on classified materials for their own gain, and most importantly in a way that didn't make the USG in general and it's spy agencies in particular look bad, so it's hardly surprising that between that and their connections they got a slap on the wrist while numerous people in the USG bay for Snowden's head(literally at times).

    While I applaud their effort and the fact that they were willing to publicly make their position known like this, they had to have known that between their history(people who are all in favor of mass surveillance aren't going to look kindly on those with a history of reigning such activity in), and the fact that arguing that without Snowden the public never would have known what was happening isn't going to have much impact on someone that considers an ignorant public a good thing.

  • Nov 30th, 2016 @ 8:27am

    Just couldn't help himself

    Given I doubt he's going to put the powers to use himself in the time he has remaining I can only assume that he just couldn't resist screwing over the public one last time(I hope it's the last time anyway) before leaving office, because why not?

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