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  • May 19th, 2016 @ 9:26am

    Viva la status quo

    Oversight isn’t just being undermined, it’s being systematically neutered because actual oversight challenged institutionalized illegal practices. PLCLOB was the turd in NSA’s punchbowl.

  • May 18th, 2016 @ 5:43pm

    Inquisition II

    Any conclusion that is forgone is a non-argument; evidentialism requires proof. It’s possible the guy is guilty as sin, but he is clearly being denied due process by being confined without charge. The growing use of the foregone conclusion doctrine, coupled with the All Writs Act, is nothing short of the second coming of the Inquisition—the State just knows that you are guilty; this is not history we should suffer to repeat.

    The Act specifically states it must be used in accordance with the principles of law. What principle is it where a citizen has to help their government understand encoded works? The State’s characterization of this act as mere production is intentionally misleading. He is being ordered by an entity that is barred from so doing to work against his own rights and realize whatever evidence may be on that drive. Code is considered speech, so such decoding would naturally be testimonial.

  • Apr 25th, 2016 @ 9:43am

    The repercussions of the truth

    Warrantless, haphazard collection is plainly illegal—even if it only affects hundreds of people; Clapper hasn't answered honestly because the answer is "we monitor everyone who sends anything upstream," and that admission would be all the evidence we need to gain standing and legally challenge the program, which begins its unlawfulness at the point of seizure.

  • Apr 18th, 2016 @ 5:22pm

    Battery and manslaughter

    I’m astounded by the glaring negligence and willful ignorance of this cop's roadside cavity search, which is, unmistakably, battery, if not attempted manslaughter. The cop’s untrained pushing, pulling, and squeezing could’ve easily perforated the victim’s colon.

    It’s also amazing that this didn’t end up with someone being killed, because the guy would’ve been totally justifed in using force against the officer. You have the absolute right to protect yourself from assault.

  • Apr 6th, 2016 @ 7:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Neither the existence of a locked box nor the desire to keep its contents private is—itself—incriminating. Encryption is also not a "storage" method; the safe analogy fails on many levels.

  • Apr 1st, 2016 @ 8:50am

    NSLs are not laws

    NSL edicts don’t belong in a free society, and their gag orders have previously been found unconstitutional: ederal-judge-rules

    So, what changed? Why are we stepping gingerly to ensure that canary reporting is legal? Of course it’s legal—it’s speech about what should be a public activity. If the government is asserting that its privileges trump our right to speak, then it needs to be disabused of that notion through civil disobedience.

  • Mar 11th, 2016 @ 9:32am

    To the extent that all code is expressive

    To the extent Apple’s software includes expressive elements—such as variable names and comments—the Order permits Apple to express whatever it wants, so long as the software functions.

    The FBI plans to let Apple choose their variable names and make notes in their own code? How magnanimous! I’m sure that the people who died in the founding and service of this country would appreaciate the government’s redefinition of the constituent elements of speech and forcing people to write things that have been relegated to non-expressive status. /s

  • Mar 8th, 2016 @ 8:38am

    Agreeable to principles

    The All Writs Act states that it must be "agreeable to the usages and principles of law;" as we no longer adhere to the principle that slavery is just or permissible, then how is slavery in the service of the State agreeable? That's exactly what law enforcement is trying to do: enslave Apple to be their little deputy because they might possibly help, regardless of their non-affiliation with the events or their willingness to participate. This won't stop at phones. Once this inch is given, they will come for the proverbial yard; this will apply to all devices by any manufacturer—"You made it, so you'll facilitate our access to it and to our specifications."

  • Feb 29th, 2016 @ 6:56am

    It's always in the last place you look

    ...we conducted a search of the locations or entities where records responsive to your request would reasonably be found.

    If the information exists at all, it may have been put somewhere it would not reasonably be found. Whenever I lose something, that's typically where I find it.

  • Feb 24th, 2016 @ 8:35am

    Fair notice

    The judge’s requirement that the action be explicitly in opposition of police activity shows that we need reform in how judges come to sit—and how they can be removed—from the bench, because that's not a cogent or defensible thought. Speech doesn’t have to be words; it can be symbolism that is oppositional, supportive, or even neutral, and the majority of photography is the latter. Ruling that the right to speech is contingent on vocal opposition or “fair notice” to a officer is actually compelling you to speak, where no such duty is owed to secure that right.

    The act of neutrally monitoring law enforcement is, itself, a political statement—we don’t trust you not to misbehave. Even if that were not expressive, at the moment a cop tells you to stop performing a perfectly legal activity, any non-expressive action on your part is instantly converted to an action of recording your opposition to that conduct.

  • Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 9:19am

    Re: Conversation

    The "conversation" that the FBI wants to have is like the conversation we've had over the TPP—the one negotiated in secret with the text locked in a guarded room. Similar conversations are had when two wolves and a sheep discuss what's for dinner.

  • Feb 18th, 2016 @ 8:09pm


    Apple is not an arm of law enforcement, and the idea that they are obliged to create a new system of forensic analysis for one phone is ridiculous, and is such regardless of whether or not they are being compensated. Every moment they have to spend on that is a moment taking them away from making or improving their own products—the reason they’re in business. The propagandists can try to make this about Apple protecting terrorists, pedophiles, et al., but the real issue is one of basic freedom. It’s too neutral to say they are being “compelled” to comply in this situation; due to an act in which they played no part, they are being enslaved in the service of the state.

    If they create a workaround that compromises the security of their product, Apple will lose everyone’s trust, and they will suffer epic financial losses that will rip through the economy. All of this will happen for a device that likely has little to no intelligence value. If the government’s intent is to destroy their business anyway, then they should just close up shop in protest, like Lavabit.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 11:12am

    Crocodile tears

    When the culture of an organization is such that it’s willing to break laws and hurt people to get what they want, would that group’s publicly expressed apology have counted any more than a hidden one?
    “We gave some people coffee enemas and other nightmare fuel for the rest of their lifetimes for no good reason… our bad.”

    The most sincere avenue to apology would be criminal charges for everyone involved; this would, at least, be some assurance that this type of thing is not likely to happen again.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 10:30am

    Public observation is casual

    A necessary condition of being a passerby—on a road or otherwise—is that your observations are time-limited and coincidental. If law enforcement is engaged in any form of examination that a member of the public could not do in passing, then it’s a search, by definition.

    If we reduce the 6th Circuit’s argument to its absurb conclusion, then cameras could be installed outside every private home, trained on us 24/7, and we couldn’t complain. Nobody reasonably expects—or would tolerate—such monitoring.

  • Feb 8th, 2016 @ 10:49am

    Constitutional warrant requirements

    If only we could harness the power from the rotational forces of the founding fathers collectively rolling over in their graves…

    Without probable cause, there is only a general warrant, which is unconstitutional. We have no business assisting in enforcing legal standards that differ from our own and which we abandoned as inferior.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 8:10am


    This. I can’t tell which is more dangerous—a government that wants to publicly and explicitly codify powers that take priority over those of its citizens’ rights into constitutional law, or the government that has planned in open secret to seize that same authority.

  • Jan 28th, 2016 @ 12:37pm

    In other words...

    The officer then pulls the driver over and offers them a devil’s bargain: go to jail, or pay the original fine with an extra 25% processing fee tacked on

    So, extortion and usury?

  • Jan 8th, 2016 @ 9:11am


    Then again according to US law, even wget is a hacking tool if the stars align correctly.

    You may be correct, but I'm not aware of any official classification of wget as a hacking tool or of there being anything intrinsically illegal—or even detrimental—about it. It's described as a "command-line web browser," and it's the same utility that Mark Zuckerberg used on the road to building his Facebook empire. If a site honors a request for downloads, is that not tacit approval to do so?

  • Jan 6th, 2016 @ 9:05am

    Re: Speaking of probable cause...

    This is my question, as well. By staking out a gardening center's every customer for plate info, are they not already technically engaged in a mass warrantless search/seizure? Considering how many people garden as a hobby, it's a baseless presumption that a consumer at such a shop must be up to something illegal, and having the government tracking citizen whereabouts without a bona fide reason is not the intent of the 4th amendment.

  • Dec 19th, 2015 @ 8:32am

    Evil triumphs, when good men (and even companies) do nothing

    A mere opposition notice prohibits disclosure? I thought a court had to issue a gag order or injunction. At any rate, this is silly; the two tints are discernibly different.

    OXY really should have challenged D.T. in a legal battle. They could probably have requested summary judgment against the trademark on the grounds that magenta doesn't even exist; it's a creation of the mind.

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