Yeah, we're still debating what kinds of spying data is admissible in court.
That is the whole point, for instance, of the FISC is to issue warrants (which they do in excess) on spying data that's already collected so that it may be used if necessary. That's why there are regulations about what kinds of cell-phone data (metadata but not conversations except by warrant) or emails (after 180 days or when held by a third party) are collected above board.
Parallel reconstruction is there to reduce our dependence on any data which is obtained via secret or questionable ways, either to keep detection methods obscure (security through obscurity) or to prevent a method from being challenged as contrary to Forth-Amendment protections.
I do have a public key (buried) that I've never used because no-one else does. But this a problem with implementation. I remember once wrestling with winsock software in order to get internet access, where now it's hard to get my devices to not sign on.
I think we're approaching an era in which encryption will be as transparent to the user as our current HTTPS use. The notion of this era terrifies the FBI and law enforcement worldwide since they will actually have to deal with human privacy.
OR...spying will return to the way it was during the cold war, where it's a thing you're not supposed to do (and spying data is inadmissible in court) but everyone does it anyway, and it's appropriately embarrassing when it's discovered.
In the meantime, we proceed to encrypt internet communications end-to-end until they can spy all they want and still have nothing to process, and feed from big bads has to be run through number-crunchers the size of nuclear reactors before they have viable data to process.
Or drop it in their Swiss bank accounts and move to Uruguay, or spend it all on Columbian pure and high-stakes Baccarat, we invoke a concept called Odious Debt recognizing that the people of the banana republic have been taken by a scamming dictator over whom they've had no control.
It's one of the arguments about some of the US debt since penis statues (often in the form of questionable military campaigns) abound.
Here is a situation in which the entire government is pushing to put secret law in place circumventing whatever checks and balances we have left, behaving contrary to the power-grabbing partisanship characteristic of Washington in order to hand tons more power to corporations.
One might think we should question the vested interests in all the representatives, and the president.
TPP has smelled odious from the beginning. It's already been leaked to include the SOPA regulations and Corporate Sovereignty. Its secrecy -- and the fact that the people still haven't been allowed to view it at all -- is highly conspicuous and suspect.
We need to accept that we're about to lose all our remaining rights and become a corporate dictatorship. Or we need to stop this thing from moving forward by force.
~ He could have been using the DVD as a poor choice of screen saver, namely, nothing was going on on his computer, might as well have it serve as a radio / tv.
~ Porn is more sensitive an issue in the workplace than it need be. Even if we come to the conclusion that it's inappropriate to the workplace for other reasons, our society's sexual hang-ups make it more so.
~ Employees who are not being utilized (e.g. are waiting in the pool for actual work) should not be expected to sit there and twiddle their thumbs. And sometimes they are.
~ Given the provision that they do not disturb anyone else (without them going out of their way to be disturbed, e.g. checking concealed computer screens for offensive material) whatever media they consume should have minimal restrictions.
Given this porn-watching Baltimore Public Works employee, it's not made clear how his porn habits were discovered, only that we have a measure of how much porn he watched, and he was in his own office. And I agree in the current clime that it was a bad move on his part.
I'm not clear if he was watching porn on standby or supposed to be engaging in some other work instead of recreating, or if he was doing menial work like collating or stuffing envelopes.
Incidently, yes, the big blue-chip corporation I worked for in '88 had an a mostly paper-based filing system and my employment there was part of their efforts to modernize into the digital age. That specific project failed because my manager didn't know how to go about it, but I would be a part of that modernization process elsewhere in the company in the following years. But they employed bunches of people to literally shuffle paper around.
I even spent an entire week as the guy who operated the industrial shredder. Because the company just moved through that many sensitive pages. Paper, paper, everywhere.
My experiences were about 1988. No, the flight sims I installed weren't within company policy, but boss-keys were a standard feature at the time and some departments allowed games to be played during lunch or breaks.
Also, I had my own closet / office, in which no-one walked in or out except me. I wasn't disturbing anyone, and with the exception of someone in HR printing my paycheck, few knew I even existed. (And yes, it was pretty cushy, if I was wiser enough to just keep my head down, but at the time I was young and desperate to be actually useful. Really.)
I eventually did get disciplined for installing a game -- sorta. I installed Windows 3.0 and (for which there weren't any games yet, except the included applets like Klondike and Minesweeper) and a mouse. I got access to included graphics software which would allow me to do some work digitally that I had doing analog (with limited precision). My boss' boss mistook the GUI and the mouse as game paraphernalia and I got in trouble for it. (Six months later, Windows 3.0 would be installed on every computer in the building.) To be fair, I was far from the most exemplary employee at the time. But the reasons I was dressed down were a long shot away from the reasons I should have been dressed down.
I agree with you that I think consideration of colleagues is important in the workplace. But that extends not just to videos you may watch but any media that might invade the space of others. Your coworkers may not like your choice of Gospel radio, let alone Wes Craven classics or Broadway show tunes. On the other hand, if you use headphones and your screen is unlikely to be viewed by wayward eyes, having something on the screen might be useful in keeping one's wits while they stuff envelopes. And then, yes, it's only prudishness, if not of employers themselves, then of a society that would scorn companies that allow employees to watch porn if they really wanted.
Once upon a time, Elvis was NSFW. The Beatles were NSFW. And in one of the offices in which I worked, popular Gangsta Rap was the radio station of choice for everyone else in earshot. So my objections were voted down.
In the meantime, Techdirt has reported on terrible policies that have become common (if not normal) in workplaces, such as that period when new employees would have to turn in their Facebook passwords or friend their bosses in case they said something objectionable on a social network. (I think in some states they're still allowed to do that.) In a prior industry of mine, worker abuse (e.g. 90-hour work weeks without overtime compensation) is not merely accepted, but anticipated and regarded by upper management as the price developers mployees pay for being in a creative field. It doesn't matter that it wreaks havoc on both the end product and the employees themselves, they just think it's good business.
This is an age of seriously crap policies and seriously crap management of seriously crap companies. It's a product of there being a labor surplus and an average of eighteen months of job-hunting to find an underpaying job. So just because there's a policy in place somewhere (or everywhere!) doesn't make it a policy that is either ethical or sensical.
This is a problem, given most people are rarely in circumstances where they need to assert rights, hence the rights of people are not confirmed by regular testing, rather are only conspicuous when those rights are absent in circumstances that they should be there, and this is made public.
The sensors by which we detect problems with our rights are passive, but that encourages law enforcement to hack the system to stealth rights violations so they continue to go undetected.
You know, Gwiz, you're absolutely right. Plea bargaining was legal (under qualified circumstances) after the Brady v. US ruling in 1970.
I remember also in the news media during the 80s the notion that plea-bargaining was unethical and procedurally unacceptable. It was implied to be criminal for the prosecution and defense to even negotiate outside the court, even with people getting in trouble for trying. This idea was preponderant in the (Los-Angeles-based) television I consumed. So yeah, I, too, wonder where I got that from.
In fictional media, plea-bargaining was regarded as a device of corrupted agents. A plea-bargain attempt pointed to a PA on the take just as much as secret police and preponderance of security cameras pointed to a dystopian police state.
Some time in the 90s, plea-bargaining became not only acceptable, but the norm. Lampshaded thoroughly by Sorkin (albeit in military courts) in A Few Good Men. It's around the same time as when a handful of SWAT raids made it into the media as a new trend, given that they weren't hostage-barricade situations, and in one case, shot up a family.
You create a society with the people you have, not the people you wish you had.
Whenever we decide to blame the people (or blame a demographic of the people) it just goes to show that no, the US Constitution wasn't enough. Human beings are not angels, and we don't have the capacity to always know our personal best interests, and vote for them (rather than values voting or defensive voting).
There are many many ways our government could be improved that we already know but cannot change due to too much disenfranchisement. And then we have problems we know will eventually wreck the next iteration that our framers knew when they made this one. I think they hoped the system would stay intact long enough that we could fix it.
People are people. You can demand rationality of a single person, but not of a voting bloc. Certainly not of a population. Non-point-source vigilance always becomes a tragedy of the commons.
Not a literal screen-saver that automatically runs, but knowing he wasn't going to be getting any input from the computer that would push past his DVD/media player, he puts it on while doing tedious hand-sorting of paper files.
Having been tasked with the hand-sorting of paper files, I would have enjoyed some kind of media distraction (though yeah, not necessarily porn). That's the sort of shit-work that a manager assigns someone to let them know they're under-appreciated -- though in the era of paper files, it had to be done.
Also, as a clerk buried deep in the bowels of a multi-national general contracting corporation, I was one of the the first computer-savvy clerics they had, for whom they had no tasks and would say Here's a computer. Do computer stuff.
I gave them a list of computer stuff that might be useful and waited. And waited. And waited. After about the third day of zero tasks, I installed a flight sim.
So to be fair, I suspect that this guy chose poorly his distracting media, but wasn't tasked with doing actual work. I personally don't think watching porn while on stand-by should be more odious than watching Gilligan's Island (or whatever these guys are watching) while on standby. But our society has some serious hang-ups about sex so Porn = NSFW.
It seems our law enforcement gets its cues from big media such as the MPAA and RIAA, or have ever since the Dotcom bust. But this is the primary reason why they take an interest in your electronics at the border, going so far as to confiscate them or withhold them for hours while they transfer all your data for analysis.
Hope there was nothing private on there. Expect any cheesecake shots to be shared around the precinct.