jlaprise’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 3:04pm

    (untitled comment)

    It's worth noting that if the telcos had not received immunity, their liability would likely have bankrupted them all. Every captured record might be judged as an "instance."

  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Here's the thing ...

    I agree that the Snowden revelations have changed the calculus. However, it remains to be seen how much the status quo has changed. There is a long history of pro-privacy services going bankrupt.

    I disagree with the developing world/disenfranchised classes argument. Mobile banking (such as M-Pesa) is light years ahead in Africa and spreading into Asia. Moreover cultural privacy norms are different making the privacy advantage of cryptocurrency questionable. Cryptocurrency's best bet is to make itself (and its UI) look and feel just like any other currency rather than different for broad user adoption. Ideally, users should know that they are using cryptocurrency, but it shouldn't feel any different than using a credit card or e-payment.

  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 11:30am

    Re: Here's the thing ...

    Good luck bitcoin.

    Currency/money is about trust. That's why we still have people who think gold is special. It's intrinsic (industrial) value has little to do with its market price.

    The bitcoin technology is fantastic and works, it still needs adopters while competing with traditional currency systems. National currencies are implicitly/explicitly backed by states or groups of states. Bitcoin is still an innovator's technology. Most people don't particularly see great value in impossible to trace transactions. On the other hand, lots of state foes do. The rhetoric is predictable.

    Bitcoin will get better. The question is whether people beyond innovators and early adopters who place a high value on privacy are enough to drive adoption. Privacy has yet to be a successful baseline selling point.

  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 10:49am


    Congress took that out of his hands when they indemnified the telcos...

  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 10:48am


    Sorry, wrong link:


  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 10:45am

    History: AT&T and Federal Government

    The ties between AT&T and the intelligence community predate Mark Klein. In a modern sense, they begin with telecommunications security policy from the Ford Administration

  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 9:52am

    Ignoring the Real Competition

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I think this is less about innovation and more about monopoly. Bitcoin at its heart challenges currency and banks are the powerful gatekeepers of capital. Financial institutions have no interest in decentralized financial power and will lobby furiously to protect their position. This is not unlike the battle between uber and traditional taxi services except the stakes are much higher. Beyond the banks are governments which at some point will feel threatened by the potential loss of control over macroeconomic policy posed by bitcoin.

    I look forward to meeting you at Copia.

  • Mar 5th, 2015 @ 10:24am

    Hiding statistics

    Clapper doesn't want to say that government programs use statistics to make is expensive and difficult for large conspiracies to succeed but do not defend against individual actors and uncoordinated groups. (See link)

  • Feb 6th, 2015 @ 11:32am

    (untitled comment)

    Heheh...I already submitted my entries, both for longest duration. Teaser, I was doing research on White House telecommunications security policy at the time...

  • Jan 20th, 2015 @ 11:41am

    (untitled comment)

    This is why Fox so strongly and publicly retracted their story. Someone in their international legal department realized that they were potentially on the hook for a sizable libel or defamation legal action. The rules in Europe are different and it would be very bad for Fox's public image to be successfully prosecuted.

  • Jan 8th, 2015 @ 1:07pm


    Stats are essential to understanding economics and in our data driven world, and increasingly essential tool of daily life.

  • Oct 10th, 2014 @ 9:23am

    (untitled comment)

    I disagree. It's not glib. It reflects an engineering mindset applied to statistical analysis. The NSA uses large statistical models to identify potential threats with a degree of liklihood. Association with a likely terrorist raises an individual's own liklihood.

    It's just statistics.

  • Nov 13th, 2013 @ 1:39am

    Historical Perspective

    History supports the NSA contention. Known examples of US economic espionage address issues such as foreign bribery. The NSA discovers illegal behavior by a foreign corporation in negotiations and then provides that information to US diplomatic personnel who reveal this knowledge to the contracting entity to compel them to take action to address the misconduct. The USTR may be a consumer of intelligence for good reason if the treaty addresses misconduct and the USTR wants to know to what degree it is occurring.

  • Jul 18th, 2013 @ 3:28am

    "There simply is no legitimate rationale for such a thing."

    I've been thinking about this a lot recently and I think there may be a legitimate rationale. Draconian copyright laws are a brake on innovation. Continuous improvements in communication technology have catalyzed the acceleration of social and technological change. Most established entities (states & corporations) prefer the status quo over significant change, unless they have knowledge or control over the effect of a change. Given the fluidity of change right now, knowledge and control are hard to come by. Therefore, such entities support the status quo and draconian IP protections.

    Essentially, change is scary and scarier for those with a lot to lose.

    This brings us to legitimacy which is sort of in the eye of the beholder. We all know people who embrace change and reject change. Slowing down change may be good or bad depending on the point of view.

  • Jun 25th, 2013 @ 4:30pm

    Full court press

    No, it has its place alongside other undisclosed tools.

  • Jun 25th, 2013 @ 4:27pm

    (untitled comment)

    Completely missing the point people. Wikileaks contains still classified material. Yes I know that sounds silly but its true. People with security clearances such as General Alexander can and do lose their security clearances (it's a prosecutable crime) for reading classified material above their clearance. General Alexander probably has nothing to worry about...then again...

  • Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 5:07am

    Explaining the NSA's predicament

    I'm pretty sure legally they can't because if they did they _would_ violate the law. As I understand it, the NSA gathers email (without looking at the content) and then conducts statistical tests on the legally unprotected metadata seeking to find suspiscious patterns of behaviour/network characteristics. It then takes those findings to the FISA court which issues warrants to allow them to look at the content of those emails. Citizenship is not reliably ascertained from metadata but from content. Therefore the NSA literally doesn't know how many Americans' emails it has collected and to ascertain that number it would have to violate individual privacy rights by viewing the content without a warrant.

  • Apr 12th, 2010 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re: Wrong on so many levels...

    The point I was making with the treaties is that states are treating the threat seriously because they are putting diplomatic energy into discussions about.

    There are people on this thread who do not take it seriously but it's indisputable that governments do treat it as facta nd take it seriously and that has real implications.

  • Apr 11th, 2010 @ 9:25am

    Wrong on so many levels... (as John Laprise)

    Nuclear war was the shadow that loomed over the Cold War. Did we have a nuclear war? No. Are there nuclear weapons? Yes.

    Cyberwar is a shadow that looms over us presently, even if we choose not to take note of it. Is there an observable well defined cyber war? Probably not though some attacks in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe come close. Attribution is really hard and most cybersecurity professionals are more concerned with closing the security hole and limiting the than figuring out who did what to whom. Are there cyber weapons? Yes, viruses, worms and hackers exist. Are governments developing them? Yes, there is good evidence that China, Russia, and the US are all developing cyberwar fighting capabilities.

    So, do militaries develop weapons with the intent never to use them. Sort of. Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are developed in the hope that they are never used but better to be prepared than caught unprepared. Those weapons are directly lethal. Their effects are acknowledged and constrained by international treaty because they are so devastating. Cyberweapons unknown effects allow them to remain outside the law because we prefer not to think of them. Russia is actively seeking an international agreement on cyberwar.

    Countries do not seek to make treaties about non-existent threats.

  • Oct 28th, 2009 @ 1:09am

    Uhmmm...you know... (as John Laprise)

    You know, Redbox could avoid everything if they simply offered to buy used DVDs from the public and from resale shops. They don't have to buy new. Also, for those people interested in whole CDs, this would be an effective way of redistributing music without running afoul of any IP issues...

    Even better, Redbox or another user of this kind of system could innoculate themselves from IP arguements further by freely offering a flat percentage of rental fees to the artist/studio etc...

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