Ramon Creager’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 9:10am

    Re: Practical Solutions

    Not a bad thought, but even simpler: send an encrypted bootable SSD drive to your destination via overnight express. Your laptop can have a cheap spinning drive with Win10 on it for travel. On my laptop, it's a matter of taking of the bottom cover (2-screws) and swapping them.
  • May 6th, 2015 @ 4:42am

    "Left" or "Right", they're all the same

    This neatly illustrates what's wrong with the political systems of the West. Canada's government by the Conservative Party, France by the Socialist Party. The people of France turned to the Socialists in response to the Euro crisis and other problems. What they got is more of the same. It's like flipping a broken switch.
  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 8:48pm

    What needs to happen...

    ...is for officers to be charged with perjury when they are caught lying under oath like this. Their word can ruin someone's life. Therefore they must be held to a higher standard. It seems that every time there is a video, they are shown to be lying. It will be the same-ol same-ol until they start being held accountable for lying like rugs.
  • Mar 14th, 2015 @ 7:05am

    Question all assumptions

    When assessing whether the surveillance regime is accomplishing its purpose we must question what that purpose is. We can no longer accept the assertions that this is to protect us from criminals and terrorists, because, as pointed out here, empirical evidence shows that given that purpose it is a colossal failure. But if the purpose is different, surveillance could be achieving its goals.

    And what are those? We can discard "keeping us safe." They missed ISIS because they weren't looking for ISIS. Besides, the GWOT is highly profitable for a hugely influential segment of our society. They fail to detect massive fraud and rigging of the financial system, as with HSBC, even when such fraud is directly related to a supposed adversary, terrorists. They don't care about drug lords; the war on drugs is too profitable, and doesn't threaten the people this is really built to protect: the power elites.

    So who are the adversaries here? We are. The 99.9%. And the system is designed to keep the 0.1% safe. Why else do we need to "collect everything"? Compromise every device? Break all encryption? Store what is collected essentially indefinitely, long after any terror threat would have dissipated? Set the FBI's counterterror units on political targets such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter? The answer is that this will be useful against any threats to the position of the current power elite. Any emerging movement, any political opposition, can be swiftly and retroactively surveilled and undermined. At this, the current surveillance regime is strikingly effective, both to chill dissent by its very existence, and to undermine it once underway.

    That's what this is all about.
  • Feb 6th, 2015 @ 9:00pm

    Media don't trust their readers

    That's the bottom line. They whine about what a waste the comment section is, but in reality it could be a very interesting place if handled right. Requiring real names doesn't work. Requiring one to have a google account (YouTube) CLEARLY doesn't work. These are authoritarian solutions. What we need is to allow the community to collectively decide which comments are worthwhile, and which arent.

    Allowing users to up or down-vote comments, a-la StackOverflow or Reddit, seems to work well. It's a simple feature. So why isn't it used more?
  • Dec 19th, 2014 @ 6:14am

    Trademarks and Patents as a Lottery

    People seem to be treating these as a lottery. First-come-first-served! Easy money! I didn't create this but I was clever because I was first! This does nothing at all to promote trade, and if the USPTO grants this it is playing right into this perception of lottery and easy money.

    Unfortunately, given the sorry record of our government to date, I can also no longer dismiss the thought that the USPTO will be urged to grant this as a political move to throw a monkey wrench into the protests.
  • Dec 16th, 2014 @ 1:22pm

    It does matter wether torture works

    It is a well established consensus amongst experts on the subject (interrogation etc.) that torture does not work well as an intelligence gathering tool.

    Because of this, one has to then ask why? Why do so many support torture (of Muslims, I suspect)? This leaves two possibilities: People mistakenly believes it does work; or, they just want to make our "enemies" suffer. Revenge fantasies and sadism, in other words. It shouldn't be hard to design a poll that ferrets out which one of these it is. I don't think the results would be flattering.

    9/11 has brought out the worst in us. We have become meaner, more selfish. Or, probably more accurately, it has allowed many of us to openly display these qualities with self-righteousness. The gloves were off, as Cheney put it. Racists and haters could now come out of the woodwork and vent their hate at The Enemy (and anyone else they didn't like) with impunity. We are seeing the results today within our police departments, and within our federal government.

    Can there be any wonder that the general population is following suit?
  • Sep 25th, 2014 @ 2:27pm

    This judge needs to be fired.

    Note how the judge bends over backwards for the prosecution and the FBI. The defense's witness is presumed unqualified out of hand; no need for the prosecution to lift a finger and actually have to, you know, work to make that case in court. OTOH the FBI's expert's qualifications and his work are to be taken for granted, and shielded from meaningful scrutiny (trust us! National Security!). Jarring.

    Now, am I to take it that the judge in this case is an incompetent? Does he routinely preside over a kangaroo court?
  • Sep 15th, 2014 @ 7:32am


    "This is a fucking joke that funnels money into corporate sponsors pockets."

    Yup. Just listen to Mother Jone's Shane Bauer tell about his visit to Urban Shield, where they can look at all the cool expensive new gear of repression (and find out how it can be funded by money stolen from those they mean to repress!), and live out adolescent fantasies about saving the world from brown "folks" and dangerous unarmed protesters. It's pretty brazenly about $$$. And when you can throw in authoritarianism with your crony capitalism, so much the better.
  • Aug 1st, 2014 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    LOL, thanks! I needed a good laugh.
  • Jul 31st, 2014 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Skeptical

    Yeah. Who knew that our Keith was a scam artist?
  • Jul 31st, 2014 @ 6:35am

    Right up there with "I'm not a racist but..."

    If you find yourself compelled to make disclaimers like:

    ...these recommendations might possibly "be an undesirably chilling step towards tyranny,"

    then possibly, maybe you're wrong and should listen to your inner angel and STFU.
  • Jun 9th, 2014 @ 10:32am

    Laws are for the little people

    A serious crime Bill will be brought forward to tackle child neglect, disrupt serious organised crime and strengthen powers to seize the proceeds of crime.

    One can bet that this doesn't apply to the City bankers who robbed us all blind, despite the "serious" label. This bill is all about keeping the unwashed masses in their place.
  • May 21st, 2014 @ 8:03am

    It is classic surveillance

    It just bears no resemblance to what spying used to mean.

    Not sure I agree, unless by 'it' you mean the scope of the targeting. Collecting metadata is what every PI, stalker, spy has always done: When did I go to work? Who came to see me? When did I leave? Did I go home? or did I go somewhere else? Did I stop by the jewelry store on my way somewhere else? This is the same sort of information that metadata reveals.

    The fact that NSA does this to everyone and can retroactively target anyone they don't like is the new wrinkle. It's surveillance on steroids.
  • May 5th, 2014 @ 8:19am


    Yes, this is a rather muddled statement. Given that he says "All of you at the Freedom Online Coalition are on the right side of this debate", the rest of the sentence reads more like an incoherent attempt at shoehorning the US gov. position into the "right side" ("if only you knew what we know you'd see we're on your side", etc. etc.), rather than as a subtle threat. It's as if he thinks the problem is a PR issue, not that the government's position is really at odds with civil libertarians.
  • May 5th, 2014 @ 6:26am

    Just 'cause he says so, it's true.

    That is the mentality of these ruling elites. Remember this gem?

    ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
  • Apr 30th, 2014 @ 11:27am

    Whose intellectual property again?

    stop the theft of our nation's intellectual property

    No. It is most emphatically not "our nation's intellectual property." It belongs to Disney, Universal, Fox, etc. etc. Multinationals all of them, with no real allegiance to "our nation."

    What rot.
  • Apr 15th, 2014 @ 3:01pm


    What if Google reports it to the gov, and the gov then turns around classifies the info and forbids Google from disclosing it? Non-Google customers would still be screwed. Not sure how legal that would be but they seem to just do whatever they please.
  • Apr 14th, 2014 @ 7:16am

    Anti-competitive behaviour: the new normal

    Not a GOT viewer, but I am a cord-cutter and a soccer nut. While I can watch UEFA Champion's League soccer on FoxSoccer2Go and MLS soccer on MLSLive (both reasonable models on how it ought to be done), I can't watch any of my favorites, the Spanish Primera. And that is because BeIN sports owns the rights (and those to the EPL), and will only stream to Comcast, DirecTV and Dish customers.

    Now, why would I need an expensive satellite or cable contract so that I can bypass it all and stream? It makes Zero sense. This is IMO an anti-competitive practice. It really is theft (how ironic), and ought to be banned. (I'm not holding my breath.)

    The other thing that may change this situation is more people cutting the cord. Just say no to bundling thievery, and yes to a better life without these crooks.
  • Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:41am

    This is a feature, not a bug.

    At least to the US and its multi-national corporate and financial masters. To the rest of us, the very name Investor State Dispute Settlement is an insult. It places a sovereign state, representing the people of its nation, on the same level as unnamed, unaccountable "investors." Nice.

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