Uriel-238’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Apr 18th, 2018 @ 2:13pm


    Last July, I wrote a piece on American Exceptionalism, what it is, how it compares to other we're-so-awesome-and-they're-not ideologies. And yes, the notion is very alluring to the public that people under their flag or their faith or their family crest are superior in quantifiable ways to people who aren't. And we humans seem to be eager to go out of our way if it means we can retain such beliefs without challenge.

    That said, maybe the outcome of this affair will serve as an example of what to do (or what not to do) when state interests decide to mandate hobbled encryption or internet censorship.

    Then again, companies are closing down or adding draconian terms of service in response to FOSTA / SESTA. It may take some time before we rally with an appropriate counter.

  • Apr 18th, 2018 @ 7:45am

    Putting your money on Russia

    I think this is one of those situations where Putin's Russia will win this one for certain definitions of winning. For instance the Kim dynasty has total control on the internet in North Korea. I bet Putin could arrange a similar level of control on his public.

    And some people would regard that as a victory of sorts.

  • Apr 18th, 2018 @ 7:38am

    US efforts to hobble crypto, "going dark" etc.

    Maybe the outcome of this affair will serve as a warning to the FBI and US agencies all to eager to sabotage encryption in the name of law enforcement.

    The more pressure from the states, the more the internet will be driven underground, and the more they will ally with (and tolerate) the Anarchists, Lunatics and Terrorists crowd.

  • Apr 18th, 2018 @ 7:09am

    Feinstein and Obama backing mass surveillance

    Yeah, Feinstein has been known not to think past her own (personal, short term) interests as far back as when she was Mayor of San Francisco. But Obama is supposed to be a constitutional scholar and should have well known the Palantirs and One Ring corrupt absolutely. Maybe he went Saruman while in office. I remember on many occasions his tune changed between Obama the Candidate and Obama the President.

    It's such a consistent phenomenon, I don't understand how any American voter would trust a candidate ever to retain integrity once in office. The public memory is embarrassingly fleeting.

  • Apr 18th, 2018 @ 6:59am

    In-My-... Sarcasticly-Named-"Humble"-Opinion?

    I'm typing by tablet tapping way too early in the morning. Sorry about the typos.

  • Apr 18th, 2018 @ 6:43am

    Doctor-client privilege AFAIK extends to crimes.

    It certainly extends to minors with STDs so that sexually active kids can be treated. On the other hand, some officials (commonly social workers) in some states have anduty to report child abuse (including sexual abuse), say if the partner is a parent figure or a teacher. The problem then is that kids will choose to not report to protect the partner.

    Undocumented immigrants are one that varies not just state-to-state but county-to-county. And in the duty-to-report zones, a lot of families choose to self treat or get meds on the black market, perpetuating both drug trade and epidemics. But illegal aliens are a hot topic right now.

    I know gunshot wounds must be reported thanks to the war on drugs and the mob shakedowns, and I think that reporting mandate is federal. But again, it mostly created a market for underground medical technicians.

    So IMSNHO doctor-patient privilege is generally a good thing, but if our state agencies could become more judicious and composed in how they managed cases, my opinion might change.

  • Apr 17th, 2018 @ 3:33pm

    We have a lot of terrorist-scared officials.

    At least I assume they're so frightened of terrorists that they felt the NSA mass-surveillance program was a good idea, otherwise it would mean they were intentionally looking to sweep out dissenters in the public.

    But I remember that Obama and company had concerns that Trump would sweep and clear dissenters. The thing is, although he's (thankfully) been too incompetent to do so, we're going to sooner or later elect someone who isn't, and will.

  • Apr 17th, 2018 @ 3:30pm

    Cause for Attorney-Client privilege...

    Is similar to cause for doctor-patient privilege. If a child gets a sexually-transmitted disease a doctor needs to be able to inform sexual partners without notifying authorities even though a crime has been committed. Otherwise, children end up not seeing doctors, and they and their sexual partners continue to spread STDs.

    Without attorney-client privilege, if clients won't get legal advice if they are afraid they might have committed a crime if the attorney is then obligated to report him. And considering how easy it is to commit crimes (three felonies a day, we average), that would include everyone.

  • Apr 17th, 2018 @ 2:08pm

    Honest lawyers.

    I expect that most lawyers lead lawful lives outside the purview of their professional practice.

  • Apr 17th, 2018 @ 11:06am

    Trump is not concerned about A-C privilege...

    ...Trump is concerned about his Attorney-Client privilege.

    He's long established anyone who isn't him or hiding things for him can go fuck themselves.

  • Apr 17th, 2018 @ 1:36am

    Selling cigarettes to children.

    No but it does have to do with companies suing states for lost profits, say if they regulate how cigarettes are sold.

    If you have a take on it other than an super-national court that can override legal protections of a civilian public, feel free to explain.

  • Apr 17th, 2018 @ 12:09am

    why did Trump completely drop out of the negotiations?

    I'm pretty sure Trump believed the rest of the signatories wouldn't sign without the US. It turns out they did, and got rid of all the stuff the US wanted.

    It may not have all of Hollywood's copyright-infringement-is-a-crime laws but doesn't it still have corporate sovereignty that allows tobacco companies to sell cigarettes to children?

  • Apr 17th, 2018 @ 12:06am

    Mass surveillance

    It means an agency or precinct that buys the full version can run it on any iPhone on any detained individual they come across, and if it yields access to their online accounts, all their emails, social networking and contacts.

    This can runaway into mass surveillance pretty fast.

  • Apr 15th, 2018 @ 10:33am

    What makes them counterfeit?

    The Apple logo doesn't go on until the product is complete. Screens, screws, batteries, even circuit-boards are made by secondary manufacturers. And they do make extras and sell them as OEM.

    Granted, repair shops have had a long history of replacing Apple-installed bolts (that is, Foxconn-installed screws) with weird keys with standard Philips-head bolts. But that's because Apple was only doing this to fuck with repair shops.

    At what point did it become against the fucking law to repair a thing you own? Because it was inserted into an unreasonable TOS? This is how we get extreme levels of piracy.

    (Piracy beyond its use to indicate maritime raiding seems always to be applied with doing something unlicensed. I wonder if this emerged from the difference between piracy and privateering)

    The thing is at this point we're creating crimes by prohibiting perfectly legitimate behavior by mandating licenses which are totally not for the protection of the end users, but a way to enhance the revenues of already huge companies, to the point they're hiring mercenaries to enforce their monopolies.

    Didn't we suffer enough though the middle ages to be done with this sort of bullshit?

  • Apr 15th, 2018 @ 10:17am

    Re: ICE too strong

    They have guns and troopers willing to use them. That's their power. They need to be challenged for acting as mercenaries under the color of law enforcement.

    I don't know if Kim Dotcom's counter suits include challenging the jurisdiction of ICE (ICE was responsible for the raid on his house and his arrest, and were doing it essentially as MPAA goons), but ICE is going to continue serving as a rent-a-SWAT until a legal challenge.

  • Apr 15th, 2018 @ 10:12am

    ICE renting themselves out

    This smacks of ICE appearing in New Zealand to raid Kim Dotcom's house in 2012. ICE didn't exactly have jurisdiction in New Zealand nor is their job to attack alleged copyright infringers. Curiously at the time MPAA advisors were on site. I suspect it was them who wanted to see a SWAT style raid, rather than (as Dotcom noted) intercepting him on his routine way to work.

    ICE are serving as corporate mercenaries. And I suspect the department is getting a fee from Apple for these raids.

  • Apr 13th, 2018 @ 3:19pm

    Deplorables = Undesirables = Untermenschen

    These days, so many people admit to so many things in plea bargains, mostly to evade compound charges with stacked mandatory minimums specifically piled by the prosecutor in order to motivate them to confess, even if falsely.

    The problem remains, we judge our legal system based on convictions, not on cases fairly adjudicated. And this is how we have prisons full of innocent warm bodies and our incarceration rate is the highest in the world.

    Deplorables are the ones that most seriously need defense. Because once any of us -- even you -- are in the crosshairs of the same system, it's easy for us to become deplorable in the eyes of the media, and consequently the public.

  • Apr 13th, 2018 @ 10:34am

    This is illegal seizure in the color of law.

    I can only imagine that the prosecution is banking on the likelihood that this won't get challenged enough to be put before a judge, or that a judge will be biased enough by the alleged threat to children to ignore the malfeasance that is indicated by the order of the process.

    I've said this before: this is not about law, this is about enemies, and it informs the rest of us that we are all susceptible to the same predatory prosecution engine once it gets hungry again, and should any of us look to be a serviceable meal.

  • Apr 12th, 2018 @ 11:18am

    It's a toss up.

    Clinton would have been more open to pressure from the public. Her positions could evolve.

    Trump on the other hand is motivating people to get louder and to mobilize locally. I only wish he wasn't doing everything he could to fleece the country in the meantime.

    Weighing the choice between a douche and a turd sandwich, I think the damage-to-progress ratio would have been lower with Clinton than it is with Trump, but that's because Trump is going to great lengths to wreck US institutions, and shows malevolent behavior as much as he does guilty behavior.

    Meanwhile we're going to watch as (metaphorically) Aristocracy tries to evacuate France before the people bust out the guillotines. Hopefully, they'll be prosecuted in international tribunals where they're out of reach of local ones.

  • Apr 12th, 2018 @ 10:52am

    "Protected Classes"

    It's entirely off topic, though it is a problem that we have:

    Large amounts of accepted hate speech is against classes who aren't yet (or aren't quite) protected, whether countercultures, disabled, obese people, or the biggest one, poor people, even though there are clear trends of discrimination against them. (Trump's new welfare reform serving as a notable recent example.)

    It's a problem that we classify one form of bigotry over another rather than defining specific actions that are universally regarded as acts of hatred. As a result, society's level of awareness is always many steps behind.

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