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Eldakka’s Techdirt Profile


About Eldakka

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  • Feb 7th, 2019 @ 8:25am


    The entire operation is now under FBI investigation, but not necessarily for the illegal targeting of Americans.

    From this article, this appears to be a UAE operation, run by the UAE, from the UAE. Some of the personnel appear to be ex-NSA, that is, now private citizens and no longer US government employees, but employed by (or contractors to) the UAE government, i.e. civilian expats working in the UAE?

    In what way then would targeting Americans be illegal? Unless there are laws in the UAE that make it illegal to target Americans, wouldn't it be legal?

    What jurisdiction would the FBI have over an operation run by the UAE in the UAE?

    Or am I misunderstanding something?

  • Feb 7th, 2019 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There is no acceptable level of auto-accident deaths. That's why I support putting a 25mph speed cap on all cars. If you can think of a better alternative that accomplishes the same objective, present it.

    Limiting the speed wouldn't stop automobile accidents. You'd have to outright ban all automobiles.

    The only way to stop all copyright infringement would be revoke the principle of copyright entirely.

  • Feb 7th, 2019 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Even if it's not a sale (and valuable works would be purchased by those who value them enough to steal them), the name of the downloader can be worth up to several dollars, depending on the book.

    Sure, it's likely someone wouldn't steal something if there wasn't any value to it.

    However, we aren't talking about theft, we are talking about copyright infringement. While you might equate them, the law certainly doesn't.

  • Feb 7th, 2019 @ 7:49am

    (untitled comment)

    From the post:

    The only hint the privacy policy provides is that Whatsapp "may create a favorites list of your contacts for you" as part of its service, but it still isn't obvious why it would need to slurp up your entire address book, including non-Whatsapp user contact information, even for that.

    I am not supporting this activity, I totally disagree with it. But from previous articles from a few years ago - prior to the Facebook takeover, and possibly on techdirt itself, whatsapp collects this information so it can 'connect' users with each other. So, it sucks up your contacts, many of whom are not whatsapp users. However, if one of those contacts decides to become a whatsapp user, it hoovers up their contacts too. And now whatsapp can do data matching (phone numbers) and say to that user "Hey, a person you know, Cathy Gellis, is also on whatsapp, so now you can use whatsapp to contact her!", and whatsapp well send you a notification saying "Hi! Cathy! [don't you just love the way robotic/automated systems try to be 'friendly'?] Did you know that person you know Fred has just joined whatsapp and you can connect to them via whatsapp now?".

    This is how it knows when someone you already know (or have in your contacts at least) joins the service and encourages you to use the service when interacting with each other.

    Personally, I find this aspect rather creepy, which is why I do not use these types of services.

    But that's exactly why I can't use it, didn't finish installing the old Flywheel app, and refuse to use any other app that insists on reading all my contacts for no good, disclosed, or proportionally-narrow reason: I am a lawyer, and I can't let this information out. Our responsibility to protect client confidences may very well extend to the actual identity of our clients.

    I understand your issue with this and agree. But I have a bigger question. Why are you carrying confidential, perhaps even legally-privileged information, on your person? When you go home, when you go on holidays, take a cruise, and so on? Shouldn't this information not be on your phone? It should never leave the office.

    I know if I printed out a complete client list (or even a partial), and stuffed it into my bag and took it home, at best I'd be fired. If I stuffed commercial-in-confidence information (not even classified!) into a hold-all and carried it around with me while on personal business, took it outside the office except in circumstances when it was absolutely required for a current assignment, I might even be facing charges. This sort of information - client lists - shouldn't be on a mobile phone at all if it is privileged information. This is what work landlines are for.

  • Feb 5th, 2019 @ 10:35pm


    Courts rule based on evidence presented before a court.

    If, as apparently in this case, the side defending their mark doesn't actually produce the relevant evidence before a court - even if it does exist - the court will rule against them. They were (apparently) too lazy to present the appropriate evidence to the court. They assumed they'd win by just turning up and saying "we are McDonalds, you know who we are, therefore we don't need to produce any stnkin' evidence". Therefore it is a case of McDonalds shooting itself in the foot. The plaintiff's trying to cancel the mark didn't really so much win it, as McDonalds actively lost it through their own (in)actions.

  • Dec 26th, 2018 @ 5:38pm

    Re: Are your ducts old and tired?

    I have to wonder if at some point the Chinese population will get fed up with big brother.

    What, you mean like they did with the Tiananmen Square Protests that led to the Tiananmen Square Massacres?

  • Dec 6th, 2018 @ 10:33pm

    Re: It's called "stealing"

    The "scandal" is because Facebook didn't own the information. Just because it has the information doesn't mean it has any right to monetize it.

    That is not the scandal.

    It's a credibility thing. While it is perfectly reasonable for a commercial organisation to look into ways to monetise their assets, the issue is that FB has publically, and before various government committees, denied ever having even considered doing so.

    It is the lieing about doing so that is the issue, not that they did it. i.e. the cover-up is the problem.

    It goes to the credibility of the organisation. They are lieing about having done perfectly legal and reasonable things, things they didn't have to lie about. It would have been perfectly fine to have said "we considered it, but then rejected doing it." But they didn't say that, they said they never even considered it.

  • Jul 25th, 2018 @ 6:17pm

    (untitled comment)

    > The BBC did what it could to verify this info and flew its helicopter over Richard's house on the off chance it was being raided.

    Not quite, the BBC were in constant SMS communication with the police. The BBC received messages about the police heading to the house, and a "we're going in" when they breached.

    Also, Cliff Richard lives an a private, gated community. No press allowed (without residents permission) into the community, this is why they needed a helicopter, because they would have been trespassing if they entered the community.

    This was part of the balancing by the judge. Since the entire community was gated, Cliff Richard does have an expectation of privacy even when standing on the street in front of his house, because it is a private road. There was no place, apart from the air, that a non-authorised party - i.e. a non-resident of the community or who lacks permission from a resident to be there or who does not have a warrant to be there - could have seen and filmed the events without trespassing. This wasn't a case of the BBC crew being on the public street out front and filming what they could see.

    Personally, in this case since no charges were even filed, I think that the BBC should have to announce short updates, in the same places, at the sames times (e.g. peak-hour news shows) with the same attention-grabbing graphics/headlines, noting that not only were no charges ever filed, but also that the person who made the claims is now under investigation for making false statements.

  • Jul 23rd, 2018 @ 9:25pm

    (untitled comment)

    Surely if it is truly an emergency, getting a warrant could be done in less than an hour?

    I understand that run-of-the-mill warrants could take a day or 2 to fill out the paperwork, get approval from the police's internal processes to get it submitted to a judge, get put on the judges 'todo' list which they'll look at after they've finished current activities such as the trials/hearing they are conducting today, and so on.

    But if it's truly an emergency, surely a senior police officer (e.g. a Captain, Chief Inspector, or whatever level is above them) would personally take a warrant application to the local courthouse, walk through the corridors/chambers in person and find any judge who is available - even interrupting a current proceeding - to get it signed?

    I mean, if they aren't willing to do that, is it really an emergency?

  • Jul 9th, 2018 @ 12:06am

    (untitled comment)

    It would have worked out well for Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was facing a lot of negative coverage over the sudden and unexplained appearance of $700 million in his bank account.

    Oh, that's what I did with the money, my mistake.

    Have Najib Razak contact me and I can give him my account details for him to transfer that $700m back into my account.

  • Jun 13th, 2018 @ 11:22pm

    Re: Re: How to screw things up with no benefits

    There's an inherent requirement to running a breathalyzer test on a stopped motorist. There has to be suspicion that he's drunk.

    Not in Australia (or NZ, or UK) there doesn't have to be.

    The police can pull any driver over at any time, with or without suspicion, to conduct a roadside Random Breath Test (RBT) or, in some states at least, a Random Drug Test (RDT), on the driver of any vehicle (drivers only, can't be done on passengers).

    All police cars have RBT equipment (the hand-held type) and can pull over anyone to test, at any time.

    Sometimes they'll set up roadside "Buses" where there could be a score or more of police set up for an hour or 2 pulling over thousands of drivers. Typically along major roads, during known busy-hours, 6pm peak traffic, or midnight-early am'ish Friday/Saturday night catching party-goers. The 'Bus' is a truck or bus for image with higher-end testing kit, the same benchtop-type equipment that would be found in a police station, where if the roadside "blow in here" test turns up a positive result, the now suspect can be taken to perform a more accurate test. If they pass that test in the bus they are free to go, otherwise drunk driving charges follow.

  • Jun 13th, 2018 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, it is not an Amazon tax or a tax levied on Amazon. It is an attempt to shift the point of collection of an existing tax, the 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST), the same type of tax as the EU regions VAT (Value Added Tax), from the Customs Service at the border to the point of origin seller, exactly as it already is for Australian-based businesses.

    To collect monies like a 10% GST at import time is quite expensive. First, Customs has to assess the value of the package, so they have to read any invoices and so on. If they determine there is duty to pay, then they have to place a hold on the parcel. Once the decision is made on how much to collect, it has to then be collected. So a bill has to be issued, the receiver has to then pay it, whether in person (which involves more expense as someone has to be there to receive the payment) or electronically, then it has to be accounted for, audited and whatnot. Then the package has to be released.

    Until recently, the GST on imported goods was only applied if it is valued at over AUD$1k, because the cost of collecting the tax on goods under that figure is more than the revenue gained in collecting it. Therefore, reasonably, they elected to not charge it in that situation. So where it makes financial sense - more is collected than the costs of doing so - it is collected at import time.

    However, the bricks-and-mortar stores started whining about the unfair competition, since those imports (of less than AUD$1k) aren't charged the 10% GST, thus they are at least 10% cheaper than any Australian-based store could possibly sell it for. The government has given in and decided to start charging that GST - even tho it will cost the government more than it will earn in revenue from collection, just to shut them up (although they'd argue it's to make a fairer playing field).

    In an effort to avoid that collection expense however, where it costs more to collect than the revenue derived, they are trying to pass the cost of collecting it (in all cases, not just below AUD$1k) to the sellers of the goods. Basing it on the not illogical conclusion that it will be cheaper for the sellers to collect it as part of the up-front payment - simply adding an additional 10% to the bill - than it is for the Australian Customs Service to have to levy it and then collect it at import time.

    However, what might make financial/economic sense for the Australian government, does not necessarily make it so for the entities - foreign entities at that - to accommodate.

    So international Amazon has decided that they want no part in the process. As is their right. And to save any legal hassle - which I believe they'd win, but it's still a hassle to go through - they've just removed the situation entirely by not shipping to Australia at all anymore. In the same way many companies have just blocked EU residents rather than wanting to deal with GDPR.

  • Jun 3rd, 2018 @ 12:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Hands Off WHOIS!

    Well, it must be a special piece of firewall, if it's asking for consent based on IP addresses, possibly with the WHOIS query already integrated in the interface (on the address or the domain name, I don't care).

    Do you have any idea what you are talking about? possibly WHOIS query - obviously you don't, otherwise the word possibly wouldn't be being used.

    OK, here's the way any properly configured firewall works.

    It blocks all requests, either incoming or outgoing. Then the user configures to allow specific source and destination IP:port sets - both incoming and outgoing.

    Host-based software firewalls (including the standard inbuilt Microsoft Windows one) can be configured to pop up a warning (or question) each time an un-approved IP address access is attempted, whether incoming or outgoing. If it's a question, you can be given options such as block, allow once, allow (some other period of time), allow permanently.

    This is nothing special, it is not a 'reverse' firewall, it is 'a' firewall, and doesn't use WHOIS. It does it entirely based on the list of pre-approved addresses already configured. i.e. the addresses you've already 'accepeted' by having previously chosen an 'allow' answer to the question.

  • Jun 1st, 2018 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Hands Off WHOIS!

    What's this "reverse firewall" shit?

    Firewalls do, and always have, worked in both directions.

    Most home users tend to ignore the outbound configuration and allow unrestricted outbound requests. This means the user has chosen to hobble their firewall.

    By enabling outbound request filtering as well is nothing special, it's how a firewall is supposed to be used.

  • Jun 1st, 2018 @ 4:18am

    (untitled comment)

    and they frequently allow KrebsOnSecurity to break important stories about the connections between and identities behind various cybercriminal operations and the individuals/networks actively supporting or enabling those activities.

    In other words, it hurts Krebs income stream, therefore he is complaining about it.

    I respect Kreb's work. However, he is a private individual who has no particular mandate - or right - to do the work he does. If things change to make his self-employed job less lucrative, a shame for him personally, but not really a societal issue.

    It's like saying that some of the recent judgements and law changes to make patent/copyright trolling harder are bad because they make life harder for, or are putting these trolling lawyers out of work, therefore we should roll them back. Or like cord-cutting is making cable less profitable, downsizing and firing people. Should we ban cord-cutting?

    Shit happens, trends change to make some jobs less valuable (or less easy), while new opportunities arise.

  • May 23rd, 2018 @ 11:41pm

    Re: Thoughts on small business

    If the company is doing business on the internet, it's subject and should be.

    IANAL, but I don't believe GDPR is limited to electronic (internet) systems.

    If you are an old-fashioned mail-order house and only accept and send communications via snail-mail then I believe you would still have to comply.

  • May 23rd, 2018 @ 11:38pm

    Re: From Inside A Company Who Is Not Prepared

    We're not ready and I doubt many of our peers are.

    The GDPR legislation was passed 2 years ago with a 'start date' set 2 years after passage.

    Your company has had 2 years to get ready.

    If they aren't ready, it's their own fault.

  • May 23rd, 2018 @ 11:26pm

    (untitled comment)

    I don't think Murdoch is a hypocrite.

    His one goal in life is to make money.

    Everything he says, his position on laws, regulations, whether pro or against, is solely for the purpose of making money, of gaining an advantage.

  • Apr 26th, 2018 @ 10:38pm

    Additional information

    Additional information in this Canberra Times article:

    Telstra has since confirmed that it was the company involved.

    The ABS said the information was obtained under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act, and that it is also bound by the Privacy Act.

    The period in the study was before mandatory data retention laws came into effect, but the ABS is one of the government agencies that can request metadata from telecommunications companies.

    "For the ABS project Telstra supplied anonymised and aggregated data insights under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. No individual customer information was provided," the [Telstra] spokesman said.

  • Apr 24th, 2018 @ 4:22am

    Re: Ain’t no common law down under you dipshit.

    While I understand the post you are replying to is a troll post, I'm not sure if this is a troll post also. As Australia is a common law legal system country, and has common law precedents that trace back to English common law precedents set several hundred years before the British colonisation of Australia, there's no other way to read:

    Ain’t no common law down under you dipshit.

    as anything but a troll.

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