Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


About Uriel-238

Uriel-238’s Comments comment rss

  • Mar 30th, 2017 @ 2:15pm

    Leaving Google isn't easy.

    Well, I was referring to Google's direct services, such as search, email, calendar, contacts, etc. al.

    As for evading their advertising tags, I started using NoScript a few years ago after a Chinese phisher got me and shanghaied my browser. After that debacle, I've become careful to the point of paranoid what kind of scripts I let the system run, sometimes to the point of just not using websites if its resources are too complex to untangle.

    That said, few websites require googletagservices or the other auxiliary Google-related sites, so for they degree Google does track me, it works for it.

    Not that this helps anyone else. I don't really recommend going as paranoid as I have. But also my web-browsing sometimes takes me to some pretty exotic places.

  • Mar 30th, 2017 @ 6:45am

    Use a VPN anyway

    Some VPN software is set up to have features to allow dissidents in oppressive regimes to tunnel out of their zone without looking like they're tunneling out of their zone.

    VPN use slows reduces your bandwidth, and stealthing reduces it even further, but it's something, especially when you're trying to report about conditions behind great firewalls.

    And yeah, the US is really trying hard to become the next oppressive regime.

  • Mar 30th, 2017 @ 6:29am

    Why Google won't

    The difference is that I can personally stop using Google and there are competitors to the services Google provides. That way, they have a strong motivation to play nice with the data of mine they sell (e.g. not even anonymizing my profile, but actually only selling analyses of bulk data that includes my profile.)

    But I (now) live in a Comcast monopoly zone. If I don't use Comcast, I don't use the internet.

    So they have zero motivations to be nice regarding my personal and private date.

  • Mar 29th, 2017 @ 2:27pm

    Why not?

    We can't purchase anything from an ISP unless it is willing to sell it, but what's to stop the ISP from acting as a man-in-the-middle and scooping up all communications from a given IP addy?

    What is to prevent the ISP from, then, compiling a dossier on its location, and the users that connect to and from that ISP, including reading anything that it can decrypt,much the way the NSA uses only metadata?

    Google has everything about me in its database. Google's policy stops it from using that data to dox me or stalk me. According to Google's policy, they'll defend my from government access except as required by a warrant or due process. And they sell analyses of data that includes my data, without ever mentioning me specifically.

    But without the limitations of this policy, a Google agent could determine what I read on the potty and what I think about when I masturbate.

    Comcast (a monopoly in my town) doesn't have these policies. What stops them from selling an extensive dossier of me to whoever wants it?

  • Mar 29th, 2017 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Meanwhile on the limbus of the darknet

    ...Believing these are their targets is delusional

    Not the targets of ISPs doing deep-packet scans, (or triangulating to link devices to a common identity or scanning for medical keywords or... or...) Rest assured they just want to assemble marketing profiles to sell. If those profiles are useful to law enforcement (and allow agents an end run around fourth-amendment protections well...)

    But I was commenting on how the narrative changes with the stakeholders.

    Not long ago agency officials and legislators alike were hewing and crying over the internet going dark thanks to a wider adoption of crypto.

    At the time the concern was phone encryption defaulting to on when a fresh phone was configured.

    Rumors of (exempli gratia) ISPs selling end-user cyber-data-based medical profiles to health insurance companies will motivate a wider adaption of encryption, such as that used to secure a VPN tunnel, which runs contrary to the OMG! Anarchists! Lunatics! Terrorists! rhetoric we've heard before regarding how we should mandate crypto hobbling. And discourage crypto implementation.

    It doesn't matter that terrorists don't seem to need crypto.

    It doesn't matter that web-traffic scanning doesn't catch very many bad guys.

    Our intelligence and law-enforcement agencies want to listen in.

    It used to be a non-partisan issue, in which those who opposed strong end-user security and privacy protections and those who endorsed them were not divided along party lines, but tech-savvy lines.

    But now it's different.

  • Mar 29th, 2017 @ 11:20am

    regarding clean phones

    There's no phone service I know of (certainly no major carrier) that requires proprietary software to use their service. So one alternative is to purchase a phone directly from the manufacturer. Excepting iOS phones (which lock your phone to the carrier once chipped) manufacturer OSes generally are made with the end user in mind, carrier-specific specializations (typically disabled features) are inserted after the fact.

    So yeah, get your service and phone separately, and it should be easier to install crypto thats opaque to the carrier.

  • Mar 29th, 2017 @ 6:54am

    Meanwhile on the limbus of the darknet

    We anarchists, terrorists and child-pornographers are going to have plenty more noise in which to conceal our dark work.

  • Mar 24th, 2017 @ 2:28pm

    Alfa Bank, Ms. Streisand Effect. Ms. Effect, Mr. Bank.

    This is how conspiracy theories keep going and going.

    They could have ignored it and let it go away on its own. But no.

  • Mar 21st, 2017 @ 1:27pm

    Rampage killings

    The rampage incidents are not a problem regarding gun control. Rampage killers extensively pre-plan and typically overprepare. This is to say if you criminalize firearms, they'll just get more creative, and find another engine of destruction perhaps, say, with fertilizer bombs or siphoned gasoline.

    (In fact, some do. They're called arsonists, and they get away more.)

    It's peculiar to me how rampage shooters are the flagship of anti-gun activists. The primary risk of gun ownership is suicide. Suicide is typically not planned, but spontaneous, and a handgun (less so, long arms) provide that easy vector. So if you have a suicide risk in your family, it's better not to have a firearm. About 2/3 of gun deaths in the US are suicides.

    But anti-gun positions are seldom about the protection of life. US drone strike programs kill more than all the guns in the United States. Drone Strikes are rampage killings, wiping out chunks of village at a time, including women and children, bloodily massacred in the worst possible way.

    Only they don't appear in mainstream media. Records of them are kept secret or quickly purged. We call those civilians bugsplats and militants (or the kids fun sized terrorists), and we let them go on in the shadows.

    Our newly elected President is looking to expand our CIA drone-strike programs, incidentally, so that he can use them anywhere, not just in designated War on Terror hotzones.

    So really, it's about keeping the ugliness out of our newsfeeds. So long as kids are dying offscreen, it's okay. So long as they're dying of diabetes or depression, piecemeal, that's the way we like it. Those fatsos were too weak to live, anyway.

    The truth of the matter also is that we suck at deciding what is a danger, whether it's bicycles causing lesbianism or AD&D and Rock-&-Roll as a gateway to Satanism, we're ever eager to decide one thing or another is endangering us. Whether its GMOs or Vaccine preservatives, we're going to freak out.

    And in that light, our outrage about guns and their link to rampage killings is yet another moral panic. You might as well also be protesting pants, as they, too correlate.

  • Mar 20th, 2017 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Close one

    Well, if you're actually behaving like a weapon designer, you'll char your bench-vice.

    I take that demolitions scientists only stereotypically have names like Left Ear or Cyclops or Two-fingers.

  • Mar 20th, 2017 @ 1:43pm

    The Trump era illustrates the failure of the old notions of "Loyalty"

    Trump demands loyalty of a classic feudal nature, the loyalty to a king. There's a Persian(?) saying When at noon the Caliph declares it midnight, behold the stars!.

    During the late middle ages we developed the notion of loyalty to a flag -- to a nation as defined by a territory or a people -- rather than the magistrate that governs it. In the United States, patriotism and treason should be defined by loyalty (or disloyalty) to the principles that we have defined as essential to our nation.

    So, whistleblowers act in loyalty to the fundamental principles of the United States (many of which are enshrined, as clearly as could be done in 18th century language, in the Constitution of the United States).

    Considering that most elected and appointed positions (and plenty of hired ones) require an oath to protect and defend the US Constitution, I think loyalty to individuals is misjudgement. It's loyalty to what best serves the nation and its fundamental principles that should be encouraged and rewarded. Sadly, people will fight for loyalty to themselves, whereas those principles don't without champions.

  • Mar 14th, 2017 @ 5:10pm

    It's about time that we start using phones with plausible deniability.

    Phones with encryption that looks like junk data in unused sectors.

    Of course, then they'll just have to detain anyone and everyone who happens to just have a clean phone.

  • Mar 14th, 2017 @ 1:13pm

    Tarring all on the actions of a few

    A ten thousand percent increase in SWAT raids tells me I'm not tarring all the police from the actions of a few.

    The NYC pressure on officers to do Terry stops tells me I'm not tarring all the police from the actions of a few.

    The privileged reviews that law enforcement officers get (in contrast to the lest-than-sixty seconds rest of us get) to determine indictment tells me I'm not tarring all the police from the actions of a few.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions refusing to read and then declaring mostly anectdotal the reports on human rights violations by law enforcement in the US tells me I'm not tarring all the police from the actions of a few.

    The FBI's policy to refuse to report shootings by officers to the BJS -- despite congressional mandate -- tells me I'm not tarring all the police from the actions of a few.

    The police unions' desperate lobbying efforts to cease advances in accountability and culpability of law enforcement agents tells me I'm not tarring all the police from the actions of a few

    I know officers who are true believers in the To Protect And Serve motto. I know good officers, so I know good officers exist. But remember, as the mistrial of Officer Randall Kerrick has shown us (as well as the short list of convicted officers) this is a systemic problem, not something you can blame on bad apples.

    No, rather, law enforcement internal affairs was supposed to manage their own. And. They. Don't. The precincts circle the wagons every single time. It doesn't help that the bad apples are not brought to justice, and then typically keep their jobs (at most, in another precinct.)

    None of this is about tarring all the police from the actions of a few

    We have bad apples throughout the Department of Justice, right up to Sessions, himself. We have judges that collude with bad apples, because they'd rather see a hundred innocent get incarcerated than a guilty suspect go free. And we don't know how often they get the culprit on first try, but if the various exoneration projects are to be believed, it's somewhere between a third and a half of inmates.

    The bad apples have, this time, spoiled the barrel. We're beyond tossing the bad ones and need to salvage any good ones in a whole 'nother barrel.

  • Mar 14th, 2017 @ 12:40pm

    A statement of intent

    You seem to forget that we are living in an era in which white nationalism is being normalized and hate crimes against marginalized groups have accelerated.

    So, no, while I can appreciate good comedy, even comedy about controversy, part of the art of craft is being able to joke about it without deriding those who are being marginalized. And yes, it's tricky. Sometimes you have to know your audience.

    Seinfeld and Chris Rock have, from time to time both been able to do exactly that. And Chris has intentionally trod up to the line. They know those risks.

  • Mar 14th, 2017 @ 6:53am

    Drone Strikes

    ...and now Trump is looking to loosen rules of engagement regarding targeted killings with drone strikes.

    Same as the old boss.

  • Mar 14th, 2017 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: Did you really just suggest that gays enjoy getting assaulted by the police?

    In this era? No. It wasn't just a joke. It was a statement of intent.

  • Mar 14th, 2017 @ 5:48am

    But some animals are more equal than others.

    Animal Farm, written in 1945 by George Orwell.

  • Mar 14th, 2017 @ 5:44am

    Attacks on the blue, a hate crime.

    Lawmakers in New Jersey and Texas have tried to implement laws to do exactly that (dunno where else). So it's certainly been tried.

  • Mar 14th, 2017 @ 5:40am

    "The numbers don't support it."

    Do tell, then. Let's see some numbers. Show us the counties in which the police have been dropping like flies.

    2016 was a bad year for the Dallas Police Department, for instance. But that's an anomaly. Here are the rest of Dallas' fallen.

    So, yeah, show me where in the US where the War on Cops really is.

  • Mar 13th, 2017 @ 6:10pm

    PS: Regarding sexuality

    Gays just like partners of their own sex rather than of the opposite sex.

    It's bottoms in BDSM, specifically masochists that enjoy heavier degrees of stimulation, and then they tend to like specific things, and in a safe consensual setting.

    There are rare incidents of people who like fearing for their life, and getting hit hard, but even they don't want to be strangled to death under a jackboot, or shot in the back, which seems to be the kind of play preferred by malicious police officers.

More comments from Uriel-238 >>