Crookshanks 's Techdirt Comments

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  • You're Not Helping: ESPN Delays 'Apex Legends' Broadcast After 2 Mass Shootings

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 15 Aug, 2019 @ 05:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: other countries with fairly widespread ownership

    Well, "removing" guns isn't tenable in the United States. The assault weapons ban is a joke, it criminalizes cosmetic features like pistol grips, making your standard issue AR-15 illegal while your standard issue Mini-14 is unaffected, despite them firing the same cartridge and both being semi-automatic firearms. I would argue that the Mini-14 is actually a better firearm anyway, as it has a more reliable action, it's the one I would want for the zombie apocalypse and is on par with the AR-15 when it comes to killing things very quickly, but it doesn't look as scary so nobody wants to ban it. The one thing we could do is ban high capacity magazines, I'm down for that and think it's long overdue, one doesn’t need >10 rounds at a time for self-defense, target shooting, or hunting, but our political system won't get there because one side secretly (sometimes openly) wants to eventually ban all firearms and the other side knows this and wins elections they'd otherwise lose because of it. Expanded background checks and red flag laws are a no brainer too but a background check won't stop someone who is a criminal "virgin", which nearly all of these killers have been. I love the concept of red flag laws, I think it will stop some intimate partner violence, which is a huge win, but I'm skeptical it moves the needle on mass shootings because the history of mass shooters is a history of young men that have fallen through all the cracks. Until we address the problem of society failing these angry young men the problem isn't going anywhere. So yeah, talk about gun control, I suspect you and I will find some common ground there, but ultimately it's just a bandaid.

  • The FBI Can't Get Into The Dayton Shooter's Phone. So What?

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 15 Aug, 2019 @ 04:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Umm?

    What history of "War on Encryption?" The only thing that comes to mind for me is the debate in the 1990s and that was a combination of: 1) The law not keeping up with technology (export controls vs. the Internet)
    2) Ill informed politicians. We won that one and it hasn't really been a mainstream debate since. To the best of my knowledge there hasn't even been a bill introduced in Congress, much less scheduled for committee meetings and actual floor votes. ????????‍♂️ Worrying about nothing, IMHO.

  • You're Not Helping: ESPN Delays 'Apex Legends' Broadcast After 2 Mass Shootings

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 14 Aug, 2019 @ 11:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: other countries with fairly widespread ownership of

    I would encourage anybody who is legitimately interested in this problem to read One of Us by Åsne Seierstad. It tells the story of the Norwegian shooter and some of his victims, in excruciatingly painful detail. Nobody wakes up one morning and just decides to kill dozens of people. Nobody is born a racist, homophobe, misogynist, etc. It generally takes years for someone to deteriorate to the point that they become a spree killer. Years that their friends, family, and society could have intervened, yet they slipped through the cracks.

  • You're Not Helping: ESPN Delays 'Apex Legends' Broadcast After 2 Mass Shootings

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 14 Aug, 2019 @ 11:08pm

    Re: Re: other countries with fairly widespread ownership of fire

    You missed the point entirely. I agree with you that we have a culture that fetishizes guns, I agree with you that it should be changed, I say all of this as a gun owner myself, but you're delusional if you think waving a magic wand and disappearing all the guns would actually solve the underlying problem or even significantly reduce the body count. Take all guns away tomorrow and the next disaffected loner with a chip on his shoulder will just drive a car through a crowd. The next one will try to top his body count and one after that and the one after that..... I can talk about all manner of ideas I have about gun control, if you really want to, but at the end of the day soceity failed these young men by allowing them to deteriorate as far as they did. Their friends failed them, their families failed them, we all failed them. Our friends across the pond have citizens that fall through the cracks too, but a lot less of them than we do, per capita. If I was dictator for a day and had the ability to fix one thing about the United States it wouldn't be the number of guns in circulation, it would be our social safety net.

  • You're Not Helping: ESPN Delays 'Apex Legends' Broadcast After 2 Mass Shootings

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 14 Aug, 2019 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Those Same Violent Games And Movies ...

    There are other countries with fairly widespread ownership of firearms that don't have mass shootings like the US does. I could pen a War and Peace length post positing the reasons for this; suffice it to say the US is generally a more angry and fearful country, with winners and losers, and we do a significantly worse job at taking care of the "losers" than other Western Countries. :( I do think we need a saner approach to firearms, there are far too many people that fetishize them, but that's the work of a generation, not something that will happen overnight, and regardless, so long as the anger/fear/resentment persist there will always be individuals that lash out. You're just as dead if you're run down as you are if you're shot.

  • Whitney Cummings Posts (Partially) Nude Photo Of Herself In Response To Blackmail Threat; Is That Revenge Porn?

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 14 Aug, 2019 @ 10:22pm


    Because, America, and we're a bunch of prudes by the standards of the rest of the Western World. Your average American has few issues with their kids watching violence but put a nipple on screen --- even in a non-sexual context, yes Americans, nudity isn't always sexual -- and they freak the hell out.

  • The FBI Can't Get Into The Dayton Shooter's Phone. So What?

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 14 Aug, 2019 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re: Umm?

    See my other replies above. tl;dr, Of course the FBI is going to bitch and moan, widespread encryption makes their job a lot harder than it used to be. It's perfectly legitimate to point out the fact that we're losing access to an investigative/intelligence tool that has actually saved lives and put bad people behind bars. Does that mean we try to put the genie back in the bottle? No. We couldn't even if we wanted to.

  • The FBI Can't Get Into The Dayton Shooter's Phone. So What?

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 14 Aug, 2019 @ 05:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Umm?

    The "going dark" phenomenon is a legitimate problem in the National Security/Counterterrorism arena. Traditionally, the United States and friends are much better at Signals Intelligence than we are at Human Intelligence. Go back to World War II and Enigma. Google "Zimmerman Telegram" and "Verona Project." Study the Washington Naval Treaty, specifically the part where the US and Great Britain pushed the Japanese as far as they were willing to go because we were reading their mail and knew what they were willing to accept and when they'd walk away. That's the stuff we know about. Parts of the Cold War haven't been declassified yet. In a few decades we'll learn about counterterrorism operations in the 1990s and 2000s and you can expect that Signals Intelligence was responsible for averted attacks that we never even knew about. So yes, you can expect our intelligence and law enforcement community to be frustrated about widespread adoption of encryption. It makes their jobs much more difficult than they used to be. They're human beings. I'd imagine technological changes that make your job more difficult frustrate the hell out of you. That doesn't mean the genie is going back in the bottle. The genie can't be put back in the bottle. I doubt you could pass domestic laws against encryption -- there are too many monied interests who are invested in encryption and cybersecurity -- and obviously we can't stop foreign actors from using it under any circumstance. The intelligence community will adjust. The law enforcement community will adjust. People hired today won't be frustrated by widespread encryption because they'll never have known any other world. Ill informed legislators that think we can outlaw encryption and/or mandate backdoors will be educated by a combination of reality and well monied interests (Big Tech, Big Finance, Healthcare, the list is endless.....) who are invested in encryption and cybersecurity. Life goes on.

  • The FBI Can't Get Into The Dayton Shooter's Phone. So What?

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 14 Aug, 2019 @ 05:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Umm?

    They way the authorities are going, nobody will be able to protect any account by use of a password unless it can be bypassed
    It won't happen. You think the financial sector would go for bypassable encryption? The healthcare sector? Hell, Hollywood? Those mofo's are more invested in encryption than the NSA..... I wish people would get perspective. Of course the FBI hates encryption that can't be broken. It's their job to investigate crimes and encryption makes that harder. Our State Police flipped the fuck out when Waze became a mainstream thing. All manner of arguments were levied against why it was a bad idea to let people track the cops, some legitimate, some pure FUD. Guess what? Waze is still a thing. It's not going anywhere. Society is a day to day tradeoff and balancing act. The FBI is pointing out a legitimate problem they face. That doesn't mean they're going to get what they want. There are too many interest groups -- big and small -- invested in cybersecurity. In the long term FBI employees will adjust to the new normal. Life goes on.

  • The FBI Can't Get Into The Dayton Shooter's Phone. So What?

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 13 Aug, 2019 @ 03:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's my point. Violent felons lie on that form nearly 100,000 times a year and are virtually never prosecuted. In this case they came across a dude with pot and mushrooms in the course of a different investigation and they busted his ass for it. I just can't get that excited about mushrooms and pot. I'm sorry. If he was dealing heroin I could see getting him on this violation, but weed and shrooms? I'm curious how exactly they established that he lied on the 4473. I've filled out the 4473 and marked the drug question "No" because that was the correct/truthful answer at the time. If years later I smoke a joint does that mean I lied on the 4473? My guess is the dude cooperated with the Feds because he was genuinely horrified by what his friend did and admitted to the violation himself, otherwise I can't see how they would establish that timeline. Again, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, someone trying to do the right thing is busted for what's essentially a technical violation and has a lifetime as a convicted felon to look forward to. Side note: HR8 is the background check bill. I've read the text and it seems perfectly reasonable to me as a gun owner, essentially any transfer except a temporary loan at a range/while hunting or to a family member (defined as aunts, uncles, siblings, children, parents and grandparents) has to go through a licensed FFL. I always did that regardless when I sold firearms because I didn't want it coming back on my conscience if one of "my" guns was later used in a crime. The only part I'd change is the section that says the Attorney General can't regulate the fees the FFL can charge. I would cap the fee at $25-$30, enough to cover the cost incurred by the FFL but not high enough to represent a burden to private party sales.

  • The FBI Can't Get Into The Dayton Shooter's Phone. So What?

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 13 Aug, 2019 @ 02:34pm

    Re: Re: Umm?

    iMessage wouldn't show in telco logs. Neither would WhatsApp and similar applications. They'd also want to look at his photos, notes, etc. Some of that stuff might be in a Cloud account somewhere but a good portion of it won't be. It's perfectly legitimate for them to want to get into a phone in an investigation like this. I truly don't see why this desire on their part is remotely controversial. Their desire to weaken encryption is and should be controversial, for a variety of reasons, but I doubt any of you would be up in arms if the suspect had neglected to secure his phone and they searched it after the issuance of a warrant. The dude killed nine people. The authorities are going to go over his life with a fine toothed comb to find out 1) Why and 2) If anyone helped him.

  • The FBI Can't Get Into The Dayton Shooter's Phone. So What?

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 13 Aug, 2019 @ 01:10pm

    Re: Re:

    They went after him for a stupid firearm violation. Possession of drugs (pot!) while in possession of a firearm, or, more accurately, lying on ATF Form 4473 (that's the background check paperwork filled out at point-of-sale) about his use of drugs. Regardless of one's opinion about guns or pot it's worth noting that the Feds very rarely charge people for lying on that form, even people who lie about being violent felons and are disqualified from firearms ownership for that reason. Each year there's nearly 100,000 rejections at point of sale and each year the Feds charge only a few dozen people for lying on the form. Getting this dude for possession of pot leaves a bad taste in my mouth when violent felons are lying on the form without consequence. I'm not a "gun nut" but this is what the NRA means when they say we need to enforce the laws we have.

  • The FBI Can't Get Into The Dayton Shooter's Phone. So What?

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 13 Aug, 2019 @ 01:24pm


    The question is why the FBI needs to do this. Like its previous skirmish with device makers over the encrypted contents of the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, this complaint features a dead suspect and the highly-dubious implication that there's something of value contained in the locked device. There's no investigation being impeded by inaccessible data. The shooter is dead and the shooting is over.

    You're questioning why they need to conduct an investigation? You don't think trying to determine if the shooter had any outside assistance is a legitimate investigative goal? You don't think trying to piece together a timeline and motive provides any benefit even if there were no co-conspirators?

    C'mon dude. I don't agree with the FBI and AG on encryption, not even a little bit, but questioning the very need to investigate this? That's an absurd overstatement even by the editorial standards of the Internet.

  • If You Lament The State Of Politics Today, Lament The Loss Of Aereo

    Crookshanks ( profile ), 12 Aug, 2019 @ 08:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Aereo made sense within the context of the law aroun

    "Because Reasons" is pretty straightforward. SCOTUS can't moot an Act of Congress unless it violates the US Constitution in some fashion. Barring that circumstance, a court case generally comes down to the reading of the legislation in question and the intent of the legislative body when it wrote said legislation. Aereo was engaged in interstate commerce and Congress has the authority to regulate copyrights, so the question of Congressional power was never in doubt, only intent. When they lost they could have petitioned Congress to re-write the laws and if successful the SCOTUS case would have been moot.