James Burkhardt’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: slippery flat area?

    Id argue that allowing DEA agents to search your room does not give up your privacy interest in the room. You haven't given a blanket right for everyone, everywhere, anytime, to look into that room. You have only given a temporary pass to search the room to a specific set of individuals. If they came back tomorrow, you can deny them then, because you still have a privacy interest in the room

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 2:40pm

    Re: We can't see TPP?

    I can't believe you believe that. But given how late you are to the party, I can't believe you are a troll. So here it goes:

    FTA hasn't been approved. No one but industry reps can see TPP.

    If you are trrying to be funny or perform satire, it failed.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: slippery flat area?

    I thought so. Thank you.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: slippery flat area?

    I dont understand your comment. You are implictly answering yes to my first question, as shown by answering the second, conditional question. So please, enlighten me as to the court case that ruled that.

    As to your answer of my second question-Why, if they could get in whenever the maid could (which is all the time, do not disturb or not) would them pretending to be a 'third' party (police would also be a third party, so I fail to see the distinction) help them gain access to the room? I guess because they dont have to worry about the 'safety bolt' then?

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 12:48pm


    Obamacare was openly debated in congress. I remember the news coverage of those debates. I remember the repeated debates over the public option (which was included and axed several times), republicans bluffing and insisting congress Obamacare was so bad that congress wouldn't use it. I remember then changing their tune and decried how Democrats were exempting congress when Democrats called that bluff and made congress the only employer exempt from Obamacare's employer mandate. Members of congress could take notes, show their staffers, discuss with their staffers. Obama care was one of the longest and most drawn out legislative fight in recent history. The Republican argument that The ACA was slipped in and passed secretly only appeared after the bill passed, and doesn't hold muster. Contrast with this debate in which a lack of transparency and the inability of congress to read the text of the TPP is being criticized during the process and no substantive debate over the content of the TPP is taking place. That's a sign of lack of transparency with congress.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 12:11pm

    Re: How is this news?

    Demanding/Requesting the data =/= automatic handoff before the data is asked for. Italy =/= the US. If the only example you have of a motel automatically handing data to the police proactively is hotels in Italy holding on to your ID (really? Does that mean once i check in I can't leave till I check out? How does one take a lengthly trip to Italy and see the sights? Or are the pla ces you are talking about hourly rentals? Cause motel 6 is by the night...) so that if the police want to they can come by and take down your information, you are making several false equivilencies, notably the differences between US and Italian law, and the difference between handing information the police ask for and faxing your passport over the the police just in case.

    This is news because instead of doing the former, they are doing the latter.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I said why. Because not of what you have done, but because of the potential of the tool. I just expressed the significant differences in how encryption could be used as a tool for crime compared to a gun. Moreover, all criminals were at one point law abiding citizens. The distinction is that, until using encryption is a crime or communications are a crime, the law abiding citizen who gets his hands on encryption does not substantially modify his ability to commit a crime. A gun does. And, the sloth of your LPD notwithstanding, we do not prevent a sane, law abiding citizen from getting a gun. We merely make sure the hands we put a gun in are in fact those of a sane, law abiding hands (without a background check, there is no way to know you are a sane, law abiding citizen).

    Again, lets use the mental illness example. In one case, the Mentally ill person gets ahold of encryption and wants to kill someone. The worst they can do is hide his communications with a contract killer. The encryption might have helped, but it isn't doing the killing, nor is it facilitating a crime that otherwise could not have happened as the communication could have happened over other untracable communication lines, such as in-person or via snail mail. In all situations with encryption, the mentall ill can not take direct, immediate action. Contrast with a mentally ill person getting a gun. In a reasonable scenario, they kill the person they want to kill. Potentially some bystanders. maybe its the bystanders that they want to kill. In any case, the gun allows them to take direct immediate action upon their whims. A background check can help prevent people with no criminal record (law abiding citizen) with known mental health problems (I know a guy with paranoid schizophrenia, hes great 95% of the time on his meds, but the other 5%?) don't get a hold of weapons that allow him to act on impulses coming from a damaged psyche.

    Cars are deadly in the wrong hands. So we regulate the shit out of them. Licences, regestration, mandatory insurance, tests both written and practical. Encryption is not deadly, its not a weapon, and we don't need to track who has it.

    You have a very flawed premise. Police don't like locked doors because criminals use them. Should we require a permit for a door lock? Police don't like cheap pay as you go phones because criminals use these 'burners'. Should we require a permit for them? Guns are not controlled because law enforcement doesn't like that criminals might use them. They are controlled because evidence has shown that sensible gun control laws save lives.

    To debate with me, you really need to address why this comparison is, despite my claims, not actually an apples to oranges comparison. You made the claim that they are the same with your only evidence being that law enforcement dislikes both for the same reason. I responded by giving you clear reasons why they should not be treated the same by law. Your response was to again make the claim that they are the same because law enforcement dislikes both. So I again have demonstrated a line of reasoning that expresses the fact that they are different and should be treated differently. Now I am going to ask something of you. Prove your point. You made the claim that guns are the apple to encryption's apple. You claim they are the same. I can show that gun control solves both a law enforcement problem (registration helps track guns used in crimes) and a public interest problem (reducing crime by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill). Can you bring up any evidence of how a permit system for encryption would solve either a law enforcement problem (They don't want it at all), or a public interest one?

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 10:44am

    Re: slippery flat area?

    Has a court actually agreed that the police can come in and search a room without a warrant any time the maid can? If so, then why did the FBI need to pose as cable operators to get into that hotel room? And why did that approach denied and the evidence thrown out?

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 10:38am

    (untitled comment)

    Others have aluded to this, but I am goin to say it in full.

    The solution to this challenge by President Obama is for the Congressmen challenged to take it up. 'Read' into the record the problematic parts of the deal 'as best you can' by memory. Express both before and after that you are leaking the contents of this in response to Obama telling you you should. Tell Obama that if you have anything wrong, he can prove it by releasing the relevant parts of the current text and telling us what it means.

    P.S. Bonus points if you can distort the text to imply that the TPP mandates concentration camps or institues Sharia law.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Another entry

    Yeah, that assumption that cheap hotels are only used for illegal activities? That's what allows this kind of bullshit to go on. Id imagine that assumption is wrong. For one, if I wouldn't sleep there, why would I fuck there?

    Drugs (users and dealers) are more likely actually. But even then, if I travel, I normally don't have the cash to afford a more upscale place. And normally the only thing I need is a place to rest my head. Most Motel 6's I've been too are clean enough for that.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    First off, thank you for more directly stating your question. It makes debate on the subject far easier.

    As to your question - Apples and oranges. First off, I don't remember any "fatalities by encryption" in the last year. Secondly, even when a criminal has encryption, The encryption isn't a tool to commit a crime. Quite the opposite. The closest it comes to being a tool to commit a crime, is in that it can hide digital communication and therefore might hide the discussion of a crime. But aside from sharing classified information and ridiculous 'Racketeering' or 'conspiracy' charges, communication is not, in itself, a crime in this country. Thirdly, unless you are a large corporation, you rarely buy encryption products. You purchase a product that includes encryption as a feature. I can't think of a parallel that is legal in the gun world. Any vehicle that comes with a gun mount either has it completely removed or comes without the gun itself when sold to private parties.

    The fact is, that (as an example) in the hands of people who are mentally unstable, encryption doesn't become directly dangerous to the health of others. Guns do. Encryption doesn't give you a way to act upon raging emotions in the heat of the moment. Guns do.

    As for the local PD being slow approving your purchase permits (or background checks), I can see that being a clear and present problem. That probably should be addressed. If its due to a permit backlog, they should really hire some temporary workers while a backlog exists. If its due to officers being slothful in their duties, a response time should be mandated by law with the Local PD being fined for not meeting that response time (perhaps a refund of the filing fee and mandated recovery of any court costs if a lawsuit is filed because it goes beyond 30 days past due?) If its a problem with your filings individually, sounds like a clear case of discrimination, and you could probably get it handled on those grounds.

    Frankly, no. A permit and background check system for encryption is not only not supported by me, its unsupportable. It doesn't help solve the problems law enforcement have with it (permitted encrypted communications are still encrypted communications), it doesn't serve a public need (as it does with guns), and wide spread public encryption has a number of known, proven benefits (reduction in online theft, improving Anonymous conversation for the discussion of sensitive topics like government overreach esp in regions subject to government retaliation, ect).

    As I said, its an apples to oranges comparison.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re:

    My comments on gun laws were based on New Jersey laws, since that is the only place he listed that can be clearly identified (those parts of Illinois being too vague to look up on wikipedia)

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 9:22am


    Not sure why you couldn't reply to my comment so it could clearly be recogognized as such in threaded view. You defined 'one of those states' somewhat strangely, giving 2 definitive locations, but not really defining what they share in common. You also failed to define difficult, so Ive looked up the laws.

    There appears to be a permit requirement to purchase a gun of any type. You need a purchase for each handgun purchase, and can only purchase 1 handgun every 30 days. Not sure the process and forms, but that sounds like a background check for the lifetime purchaser permit, and the handgun permit regulates the once every 30 days restriction. Seem to be a reasonable, sensible laws. No licence for ownership, so if you get the gun as a gift or inheritance the only hoop you possibly have to jump through is registration if it was a gift. Now you might actually have a problem with the lack of ability to CARRY a gun, but that's not making it difficult to buy or own it, just the ability to carry in public. I am not going to take a stance on the carry permit, but know that if that is your problem, you aren't properly expressing it, which could lead to confusion.

    Your original comment was confusing for several reasons. You asked if we supported your right to own firearms (which sounds like the beginning of a rhetorical device to poke a hole in logic), but then discard the rhetorical framing and say "because the government makes it difficult". I could reasonably assume your point was that somehow like guns, encryption should be regulated. But combined with your second argument, it sounds more like your suggesting that we should call for the deregulation of guns as well? Still can't find your purpose in bringing guns up.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 7:56am


    I do. However, Define 'difficult'. Please also define 'one of those states'. Please also define what that has to do with encryption?

  • Apr 25th, 2015 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    THe problem is its likely a plane that was never built to grant consumers Wi-Fi that now does so. And they didn't install an entire new, dedicated system that doesnt touch the flight ops in the plane. So now we have this problem.

  • Apr 25th, 2015 @ 6:57pm

    Re: The what now...?

    It would appear that electroplating is a little more complex then pressing start. Depending on your solution and intended thickness, different temperatures, times, and current What you describe, a series of setting dials/digital incriminators is also a user interface, just not a computer one. If this was nothing more then a special chamber to hold the solution and was otherwise dumb, it probably would be A) cheaper and B) useless. The entire point is to provide a semblance of the control provided by professional machines, but still fit on you workbench.

    I would argue that if you don't want full and robust configuration of your semi-professional electroplating machine, your probably not the target market, which seems to be high end "makers" (as in the maker Faire), either professional or hobbiest. Your abhorrence of the cloud really seems secondary.

    Now I hate the cloud aspects, and the phone app only aspect. A desktop control app would seem to be preferable, as it sounds like otherwise your phone is tethered to the device until completion. And in no way should this need to access a proprietary server system for it to work. that is just ridiculous.

  • Apr 24th, 2015 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly. He has committed seizure of that person. which is what i said happened. You seem to be arguing against yourself here.
    Let me change my wording again, so your trollish pedantry can not get in the way of my question. Has the go ahead to search a vehicle within 100 miles of the border to determine the presence, or lack thereof, of aliens been interpreted to allow the collection of possessions, papers, and/or electronic devices unrelated to the presence, or lack thereof, of aliens? By interpreted I mean has this been attempted by border patrol. I am asking because after much investigation into previous tech dirt posts on this topic, I can't find the case where these two rulings have actually been conflated to create the hypotetical 100-mile constitution free zone.

  • Apr 24th, 2015 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually, that would be the seizure of a person, not personal belongings. Technically at that point only you enter custody. And being obtuse does not detract from my argument. Some district courts (not the SC) have rlued police have the right to stop anyone within 100 miles of the border to search the vehicle for aliens. But does that stop also grant the ability to confiscate anything they want as when you are searched at the border?

  • Apr 24th, 2015 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A small claims court for Copyright would, ok, maybe not be a disaster. But if its effective, meaning quick (so as to not create a massive backlog) and cheap (to make it useful, also will *require* quick trials), I see a lot of potential for abuse, on both sides. Let me use a problem I had with normal small claims courts to illustrate the problem.

    I gave my 30 days notice and left an apartment. After another 30 ahd passed I was still waiting for my deposit. When I finally did recieve notice about my deposit, it was in the form a a notice that they had to spend my deposit on 'cleaning' the apartment. 2 things about the law in my area, you can only deduct cleaning expenses beyond normal wear and tear (they went beyond that), and you must notify the former tenant within 30 days, or forfit the deposit. So I Took them to small claims court. They actually showed up, but begged poverty (you're not supposed to spend deposits, but oh well) and got the judge to set them up on a payment plan. Which they promptly didn't pay. So I took them to court again (see where this is going?). I refused to take them to court the third time, because i wasn't going to keep doing it and eat even more in court fees.

    So heres how I, the troll, evade the copyright small claims court. Everytime i get a judgement rendered against me, that video comes down. but i just pop up with a different face and a different name and the video. Forcing them to pay again to enforce the takedown. Its the same problem rights holders have with the current system, but now they have to pay every fucking time to get their video taken down.

    But what if the court had enough authority to get me to pay? Well now the trolling comes from another angle. Now a firm can file a claim in New York while i live in Los Angeles, and rake in those $50-$100 default judgements when I can't fly across the country to defend myself. And if you force the suit to be in the jurisdiction of the defendant, now the independent artist can't enforce his copyrights, because he can't fly all over the country enforcing them.

    Providing both a cheap quick venue for copyright holders to air their grievances and at the same time providing defendants the time and ability to mount a vigorous defense is difficult. I see repeated instances where trolls could come in to abuse the process just as bad if not worse then with a DMCA takedown.

    Furthermore, as for independent artists, yes they like their work shared. They do not like their work to be appropriated, however. And that is becoming a big problem in the photography, digital music, and animation industries.

  • Apr 24th, 2015 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    DRM =/= hakcing devices. Some forms yes. But many forms of DRM do not harm or manipulate your computer.

    I apparently gave you too much credit. I was holding off on referring to your approach as the anarchists approach, but that appears to be what you are advocating. Just burn it all down, and sort out the pieces later.

    Doing away with the DMCA would leave us without several laws regarding copyright in digital mediums. Likely this would result in a worse situation for everyone, as court attempt to use the Copyright Act to fill the void.

    We need no other provisions? Here are a few other Provisions of the DMCA that were and still are needed:
    Provisions for copies made in the course of repairing digital devices. (under the Copyright Act, this was ruled illegal)
    Statutory Licencing for Broadcasting
    Additional support for Library Archival of phonographs
    Recognizing International copyrights.

    And that's just based on reading a few summaries. I'm sure there are more provisions which we will find interesting to lack.

    We need copyright reform, including the DMCA. But that means actual comprehensive reform, not just burning it all down and seeing whats left.

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