ipgrunt 's Techdirt Comments

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  • Head Of Computer Security Firm Says Anonymity Is The Enemy Of Privacy

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 31 Oct, 2013 @ 11:47am

    Coviello's statements reek of law enforcement thinking, a mentality that believes freedom is a choice one makes to obey the law. People who think as he does put security cameras everywhere to catch anyone not conforming to society.

    This is Big Brother thinking, and it is reinforced by this fallacy -- why would you care when someone is monitoring your behavior if you aren't doing anything wrong?

    The old saw about preventing 9/11 -- I write this all the time -- Richard Clarke had the data on the terrorists in July of 2001, but couldn't get an appointment with Condoleeza and W to report the info. 9/11 happened because the people in charge weren't paying attention.

    Of course Art believes anonymity to be an inconvenience to his job. He wants your name and your number in his log file. Whether or not he uses it, it is a comfort knowing it is there.

    Call him a security worker, gatekeeper, or high-tech guard; he's simply a regulator and not a "privacy consumer" (yes, I hate it too.) Privacy slows his process and makes things harder for him. He wants it easy. I can agree with him on one thing -- I don't like the phrase Cyber Pearl Harbor, either.

    We may always need cops, but we should never let them make the laws.

  • DailyDirt: Journalism 2.0 Owned By Billionaires?

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 24 Oct, 2013 @ 08:12pm

    And Rupert Murdoch is news?

    They've been doing it for a long time, Mike.

    So how come you just noticed?

  • Contractors Who Built Healthcare.gov Website Blame Each Other For All The Problems

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 24 Oct, 2013 @ 09:26am

    Re: Looking for a new job?

    Looks like this job is covered under executive Federal Employees Health Benefits, and exempt to Obamacare.

  • People Happily Sign Petition Supporting The 'Orwellian Police State Based On Nazi Germany'

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 22 Oct, 2013 @ 01:00pm


    Orwellian -- what's that?

    People don't read -- they're watching cable shows.

    WSJ ran a bit recently about so-called IT workers not having engineering or science degrees. Still, I don't remember reading Orwell in engineering school.

    We're all responsible for our own education.

  • Lobbyists Looking To Call Themselves Something Else: Here Are A Few Suggestions

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 20 Oct, 2013 @ 01:14pm

    Simply, they are called:

    My Constituency

    I have no trouble with lobbyists, per se -- it is the money they dispense that causes corruption.

  • Dianne Feinstein Plays The 9/11 Card For Why The NSA Should Keep Spying On Every American

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 15 Oct, 2013 @ 10:51am

    Does anyone else remember this stuff?

    Richard A. Clarke was the head counter-terrorism honcho for Clinton and W Bush. In his book, Against All Enemies, he writes that they had the data on the hijackers, and new about them taking flying lessons. He tried from mid-July to Sept. 11 of 2001 to arrange a meeting with Condaleeeeza Rice and Pres. W to tell them there was a threat, but couldn't get an appointment.

    Anyone who's read a Tom Clancy book knows the NSA wasn't created by the Patriot Act. There's been a close relationship between NSA and the old ATT since they first laid the trans-oceanic cable in the early 1960s. The NSA, DIA, NRO, and other three-letter agencies have been in the business of tapping overseas cables, listening to microwave band radio communications, and tapping telephone switches for a long time before the 'war on terror'

    Senator Feinstein (Ms. Blum) is a long-time Washington insider married to a big California money guy. It's her job to manipulate the smoke and mirrors for USA, Inc. Would we expect any other message from Ms. Blum?

  • How The Dream Of Spying More On The Public With Cameras Will Likely Decrease Public Safety

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 11 Oct, 2013 @ 01:04pm

    This is an old argument with a new spin, that's been on the public agenda since the 1972 Munich Olympic murders and throughout the evolution of Islamic terrorism.

    When it comes to terrorism and cameras, all parties have an angle.

    Terrorists are looking for media coverage for publicity, legitimacy, and to seek a favorable understanding of their cause.

    Government wants to appear in control when telling the terror story, and to demonstrate how essential law and order is in everyone's daily life. They are also getting better with controlling the outflow of information.

    Television wants to be first with "news", they want drama, and these days they want to be part of the story.

    Victims want safety and retribution.

    With this dynamic, all parties want more cameras, except maybe those of us who think about privacy. Unfortunately, the emotional impact of seeing dead children on the TV will trump privacy every time.

  • Schools Ban Tag, Cartwheels And 'Unstructured Play:' The Inevitable Outcome Of Unrealistic Promises And Expectations [UPDATED]

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 10 Oct, 2013 @ 10:32am

    I don't think limiting liability is only "part of it," but most of it, hence the no-tolerance policies. Both perpetrator and victim are punished now in school altercations.

    There was an article out of dallas yesterday covering a study that demonstrated anti-bullying classes actually train youngsters in new bully techniques, and have been increasing the amount of bullying in the schools being studied.


    It seems as if we've lost the ability as a culture to handle even the simplest tasks anymore.

  • The Difference Between Plagiarism And Copyright Infringement

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 10 Oct, 2013 @ 01:20am

    Difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement?

    Joe Biden has never been guilty of copyright infringement.

  • Why Won't Eric Holder Guarantee First Amendment Rights For Journalists?

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 27 Sep, 2013 @ 04:31pm

    Us vs. Them

    Like the Nixon administration, the Obama admin exhibits a certain paranoia, a siege mentality, a denial of legal and political reality, and an "us vs. them" attitude, while at the same time, the mainstream press ignores these issues, refuses to ask embarrassing questions, and tacitly cooperates with the general deception. Leading congressional democrats play doublespeak or offer deliberate misinformation, while insisting that there is nothing illegal about NSA's spying.

    Of course, there are another dozen three-letter agencies that also spy on Americans, with federal bureau of ineptitude having a long history of private files on many public figures dating back to the Hoover administration (and I don't mean Herbert).

    As already noted, most Americans are happily viewing Dancing with the Stars and couldn't care less about invasions of privacy and the steady erosion of basic constitutional rights. We passed the second of the patriot acts almost ten years ago -- Snowden's "leaks" only skim the surface of its ramifications upon freedom in America.

    Remember the talk of revoking Patriot II? It all disappeared when Obama threatened to bomb Syria. Mission accomplished.

    The facts show that not only is the First Amendment in jeopardy, but also 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8.

    And this trend did not start with Obama. The question is, who does he, and past presidents, serve? Certainly not the American people -- only our "vital interests."

    There is certainly something fundamentally wrong about our government, but it goes much deeper than allowing 2 journalists to travel freely.

  • Amicus Brief From Public Knowledge Distills Ultramercial's 'Complex' Patent To 16 Lines Of Code

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 26 Sep, 2013 @ 01:19pm


    What can possibly be innovative about a method that has funded radio and television in the US for over 75 years?

  • How Could Dianne Feinstein Not Have Seen The Report Laying Out NSA Abuses?

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 16 Aug, 2013 @ 03:03pm

    Richard Blum

    Senator Feinstein is in real life, Mrs. Richard Blum, who is "connected" in California and US politics and a member of the upper echelons of international business. His capital investment firms own many US government contractors, for instance, EG&G, which he purchased from The Carlyle Group. Rumors abounded after 9/11 associating the Carlyle Group with the Saudi royal family and the Bush family.

    Senator Feinstein's voting record has demonstrated conflicts of interest in favor of her husband's firms over the years. These stories never amount to much in the national press. Mr. Blum also had conflict of interest problems while serving as a U of Cal Regent. His influence via his capital companies is extensive, to say the least.

    Senator Feinstein first came to national prominence as a SF Supervisor after the 1978 assassination of SF Mayor George Mosconi by fellow Supervisor Dan White (remember the Twinkie defense?) Ms. Feinstein followed Mosconi as SF Mayor, which served as a political stepping stone to her Senate seat. She and Mr. Blum married in 1980.

  • Good News: You Can Now Call France's President A Jerk

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 02 Aug, 2013 @ 04:56pm

    Think globally, criticize locally...

    Why look so far to for a chief exec to criticize when there are so many more opportunities at home?

  • Zero Tolerance Policies Put Students In The Hands Of Bad Cops

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 28 Jul, 2013 @ 09:10am

    Mixed message

    Zero tolerance in schools sends a mixed message to students. They are taught to not defend themselves, even under the influence of a bully. Boys are prosecuted for pushing back, even after the first punch was thrown by an aggressor. I have no idea what would happen to a girl who was trying to ward off sexual aggression from a male student? Probably she too, would be cited for violent action in the defense of her person. The system, a knee-jerk response to Columbine here in Colorado, does not work, for administrators, teachers, parents, or students. (The district lawyers think it's neat. So does the local chief of police.) Who are we serving with this kind of hypocrisy?
    Once upon a time, children, we had a common sense concept called "self-defense." It worked pretty well. Let's bring it back!

  • Jimmy Carter Says NSA Scandal Shows America Has No Functioning Democracy

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 19 Jul, 2013 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: No American outlets covered the event

    Not enough -- too many Americans are still at the circus with Zimmerman and Martin, the heat wave, Justin Bieber's tatoo, the Royal infant, Detroit, etc. Read the headlines.

    How many Americans read, or are even aware of The Guardian?

  • Valerie Plame & Joe Wilson: This Has Nothing To Do With Snowden, The Intelligence-Industrial Complex Is Out Of Control

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 30 Jun, 2013 @ 02:12pm

    Re: Let's talk about leaking secrets...

    Mr. Coward, I believe you miss the point about the trade-off here between "secrets being leaked" and a free society.

    The gatekeepers who decide what is secret and what is not are the same group who are violating our constitutionally guaranteed rights to privacy, speech, thought, and trial by jury. This situation violates our tradition of the balance of power and is therefore intolerable in the American system of government.

    Many Americans, including no doubt Mr. Snowden, believe that these gatekeepers are 1) abusing their citizen-given power, and 2) covering up their abuse of power by making the fact a "national security secret."

    Hell, every day new revelation. Now it is revealed that we have violated the trust of our own allies by spying on their government and citizens. We risk becoming a pariah on the world stage because of the actions of the "intelligence-industrial complex."

    I think the point many are making, including Valerie Plame & Joe Wilson is that our "national security" is in greater danger from the usurpation of constitutional rights by those who abuse that power without accountability, than it is from any foreign power who might wish us harm.

    Our federal government has no constitutional basis for wire-tapping and recording every telephone call made in America. Yet, the government not only does exactly this, it lies about it.

    The IRS is again being used as a hammer in which to smash those within this country who's thoughts are not aligned with the powers in office. This is a Nixonian-era abuse of power that added to pressuring one president to resign office.

    Even the offices of the Associated Press, a wire service that feeds all other news services, has been wiretapped without cause and without a court order.

    I believe America has a mandate to support and defend the right to privacy, free speech, and free thought. Yet, this and past administrations violate all three principles of freedom.

    Have the events of 9/11/2001 repealed our Bill of Rights? Those in power seem to think so, with Patriot I and Patriot II, and who knows how many other Presidential Findings?

    However, I am not willing to trade my constitutional guarantees of freedom of privacy, speech, thought, and trial by jury for the current political simulation of national security we now have, which is in my opinion, designed for consumption by and pacification of an uninformed citizenry.

    There are better methods to maintain security than spying on every American who uses a telephone or sends an email. If we don't know what they are today, then we better find them, fast.

    Have you no outrage about these intrusions on our basic freedoms or are you content with the status-quo?

    Bravo to Mr. Snowden, a true American freedom-lover who had the courage to act. America needs to stand behind Mr. Snowden.

  • IRS Audited Over Inappropriate Spending, Claims It Can't Find Its Receipts

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 05 Jun, 2013 @ 11:10am


    For the IRS, not keeping receipts was "inappropriate" but for the taxpayer, it's called a disqualified expense. Throw these arrogant bastards into prison.

  • Police Send SWAT Team, Break Into Wrong House (With TV Film Crew) In Response To Internet Troll

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 22 Jun, 2012 @ 09:07pm


    Makes sense that Buckley signaled the Firing Line.

  • QR Codes: Ugly, Overused and Doomed

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 09 Mar, 2012 @ 10:02am

    QR Codes and URLs

    The widespread use of QR codes appear to this writer, to be a backlash against corporate "branders" to jump on the WWW bandwagon to register and use WWW domains when they were first available in the mid-1990s.

    In the name of "we're not going to make that mistake again," we now see these inane blots in inappropriate places, etc.

    When malware distributors and crackers begin using QR codes to plant rootkits, worms, bots, keyloggers, and other little nasties in smart phones, which will likely spread to the networks in which they operate, perhaps the "me too" attitude regarding QRs will change to a more reasonable policy that balances risk against benefit.

    Loading the content from any anonymous link into your browser, no matter what the platform, is always a bad idea.

  • The Internet Wins: PIPA & SOPA Delayed

    ipgrunt ( profile ), 20 Jan, 2012 @ 09:31am


    Today, we've witnessed a victory of democracy -- the voice of the people has been heard and acknowledged.

    This bill has been tabled, but it will raise its ugly hydra-headed attack on the Constitution in the future.

    Be vigilant.