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  • Oct 18th, 2017 @ 11:20am

    Not for the TL;DR crowd...

    Just in case some people don't understand the current difference between civil and criminal forfeiture...
    "Civil forfeiture in the United States, also called civil asset forfeiture or civil judicial forfeiture or occasionally civil seizure, is a controversial legal process in which law enforcement officers take assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing. While civil procedure, as opposed to criminal procedure, generally involves a dispute between two private citizens, civil forfeiture involves a dispute between law enforcement and property such as a pile of cash or a house or a boat, such that the thing is suspected of being involved in a crime. To get back the seized property, owners must prove it was not involved in criminal activity. Sometimes it can mean a threat to seize property as well as the act of seizure itself. In 2015, Eric Holder ended 'adoptive forfeiture' which occurred "when a state or local law enforcement agency seizes property pursuant to state law and requests that a federal agency take the seized asset and forfeit it under federal law" due to abuse. States proceeded to curtail the powers of police to seize assets, actions by the justice department in July 2017 have sought to reinstate police seizure powers to raise funding for federal agencies and local law enforcement."
    This practice goes against section one of the 14th amendment: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."....
    You see the part about "not depriving any person of their property without due process of the laws"?
    I suppose the big bone of contention to those advocating for law enforcement's "right" to unrestricted power to confiscate property at their discretion is that they don't view most of those whose rights are being violated, as "persons"...
    Sure makes silly things like violating the constitution easy to ignore or even cheer on, when you feel the odds of you being on the receiving end are pretty slim...
    Until it happens to you or someone you know.

  • Oct 11th, 2017 @ 11:44am

    (untitled comment)

    Well, as long as it's the taxpayers that foot the bill for these miscarriages of justice, then nobody is really hurt... Right?
    Taking action without fear of consequences must be an awesome thing.

  • Oct 10th, 2017 @ 5:51am

    (untitled comment)

    After reading the document, it is kinda hard to say one could not be even slightly aware that this could lead to abuse or gross negligence without fear of consequences.
    If the authors of the bill are not aware of this fact, then perhaps they should not be authoring such documents and should seek employment elsewhere.
    But as is more likely the case they are well aware of the possibility and openly welcome it.
    After all what are laws for but for the peasantry?
    It is more then likely the hope was that this would slip by quietly while trump creates some other idiotic distraction and the press for the most part once again ignores the erosion of what's left of democracy to focus on his uncouth, retarded behavior.
    And this will slip by quietly while trump threatens war and tweets childish insults and boasts.
    Look at the funny monkey everyone... Ignore the guy pulling down your pants and just focus on the damn monkey...

  • Oct 6th, 2017 @ 8:44am

    (untitled comment)

    "Intelligent butt plug"... For a moment I thought you were referring to the FCC chairman but then I realized you said "intelligent", not "lying"... Oh well.

  • Oct 5th, 2017 @ 11:03am

    Neither shocked nor dismayed... A bit gassy though.

    I say we all go back to good old fashioned ink on paper snail mail...
    At least when the government spied on you back then, the agent had to physically get your mail and sort through it...
    That was exercise and that probably saved taxpayers millions in unnecessary health problems for these poor and probably now fat agents...
    And you didn't have criminals in Eastern Europe and Russia stealing your mail...
    Unless that's where you were sending it...
    Come on folks... Who's with me on this?...
    Megh... Figures... Techy crowd...
    Oh well...
    But seriously... Is anybody surprised anymore?
    I think we need to just start reporting on companies that haven't been hacked in X number of days...
    Maybe come up with an award... The "NoHacky"... Eh?
    Well, I'm getting back to working on the future of mail... A cybernetic carrier pigeon drone with Siri technology, that you scream the subject of your letter at and then send it on it's way... When or if it arrives it delivers the message using a form of primitive interpretive dance.
    So far I've managed to duct tape a bunch of pigeons to drones... Next step is teaching them to dance...
    Don't be dismissive... The Internet sounded stupid when it was new and look how long it's taken to become this stupid.

  • Sep 28th, 2017 @ 10:42am

    Re: this is bigger than piracy

    Exactly... And in the end when there are four or less mega streaming services, we will be in far worse shape, then with cable.
    Consumers will pay more for less and the streaming services which will have gained more power then the cable companies and because the parent companies of the mega streamers are already so well versed in bending the laws to protect their interests, they will use their power and influence to further silence free speech and creativity all in the name of protecting their walled gardens from the pirates they created...
    People cheer the death of cable, but what is waiting down the road is not better, just different and eventually a lot worse.

  • Sep 27th, 2017 @ 6:13am

    (untitled comment)

    I propose we make bribery legal, as it mostly is already and then develop a system where politicians can post the bids of their latest bribe offers so big companies and crowd funded citizen groups can bid against the current offers... This is basically what is going on anyway, minus ordinary citizens being able to participate in the bidding, so t least it would be right out there in the open for everyone to embrace...
    There would be plenty of advantages...
    Mostly for the furry little politicians, but at least big corporations, foreign governments and billionaires wouldn't have to do all this ridiculously transparent nonsense they do to skirt the "laws"...
    It would streamline the process and make for great Reality TV...
    They could even make a special streaming "Bribe Wars" channel just for these events and the two remaining ISPs could mandate that everyone be subscribed to it for $20 a month as a "politcal duty" fee, part of their way of offering better service for their customers...
    They could also hook up the system to some form of online gambling so citizens could make a few bucks here and there.
    It would then be totally legal to do what is already being done in every facet of government and at least when parents tell their children that "the system works" they wouldn't be full of shit, delusional or vastly misinformed.
    Come on people...
    You know it's coming... I say we just surrender to the inevitable... strip naked, lube ourselves up and jump boldly into this writhing mass of a fuckfest they call the future.

  • Sep 26th, 2017 @ 12:33pm

    (untitled comment)

    Regardless of how many people have done it before Clinton or after Clinton, Trump made it his rallying call and based his campaign on "Crooked Hillary's" email fiasco.
    This just goes to show what a non issue it was in his mind, and in the minds of everyone in that family.
    It further shows how little integrity or honesty he or his family have, that they would make a major campaign issue out of the Clinton emails and then ignore any concerns of the implications of impropriety their own actions might relay.
    It underlines how much bullshit the Trump campaign was based on and how little respect this unprofessional clown has for the people of this nation.
    So, while this might not be on the same level, nor the first time this has happened... Screw him, throw it back at him, he'd do nothing less himself.
    Crooked Ivanka... Crooked Jared... Crooked Donald!!
    Crooked Ivanka... Crooked Jared... Crooked Donald!!
    Crooked Ivanka... Crooked Jared... Crooked Donald!!
    Lock them up... Lock them up... Lock them up!
    Lock them up... Lock them up... Lock them up!
    Lock them up... Lock them up... Lock them up!

  • Sep 20th, 2017 @ 12:16pm

    (untitled comment)

    HP has just given me one more reason to never again buy another one of their printers.
    Any ink has to be better then HP's...
    Watery food coloring or hamster diarrhea is a step up.
    HP has some of the flimsiest printers, worst inks and crummiest papers available to mankind, so it's no wonder they don't want anyone using cheaper, better ink in their printers.

  • Sep 19th, 2017 @ 1:12pm

    (untitled comment)

    So when Blumenthal went after Craigslist and foreseeable drove off the bad guys to somewhere much harder for law enforcement to keep tabs on them, which ended up making the situation worse, didn't he in fact knowingly participate in a venture that facilitated the commission of this sort of crime?

  • Sep 14th, 2017 @ 3:20pm


    I'm sure quoting Marx (Karl, not Groucho) will piss some people off, but if I'm not mistaken he once said something to the effect of "Religion is the opium of the masses"... Well, in his day there were a lot of religious people...
    Today you have fewer people who are religious and more who are addicted to Hollywood movies, sports, and everything social media... All of which to some degree are connected to the Internet.
    These are today's "opiate of the masses".
    What surprise is it then that there are those who wish to seize as much control of that as possible, for their own purposes?
    Let politicians go about their business as usual and they will do what their kind does naturally, which is sell out the interests of the people to the highest bidder and then say it was in the best interest of the people.

  • Sep 13th, 2017 @ 10:39am

    (untitled comment)

    I like the 1700-1800s when the politicians may have been equally thin skinned, but they would at least actually grant you the courtesy of engaging them in fisticuffs to clear their dubious honor... This modern crop of fragile losers use law enforcement to rough up reporters and protesters, twist the law to quell the voice of dissent and hide behind the privileges of office to weasel away from any uncomfortable situation.
    The use of "willful disruption of government process" has of late become disgustingly twisted to appease officials trying to hide from questions they don't have the guts or answers to face.
    Disruption of what process? Was he made late for a bribe?
    Yeah, it may be a difficult job, but if they can't handle the stress they should do everyone a favor and pack up their cartoon loot bags with the dollar signs on them, and just get the hell out of politics.

  • Sep 6th, 2017 @ 4:13pm

    (untitled comment)


  • Sep 6th, 2017 @ 6:10am

    (untitled comment)

    I couldn't care less about the Olympics, but isn't it a little hypocritical to say that esports "are about violence, killing and explosions", when hockey is still an Olympic event?
    Granted there are fewer explosives used in hockey nowadays, but it's not an example of perfect nonviolent sportsmanship.
    Okay, you aren't shooting or firing arrows at anyone, which in my opinion would make these sports more interesting, but guns and arrow firing devices are sorta associated with certain death causing events, or am I missing the history of guns and arrows?
    Fine, I'll give them that one...
    Okay... Hitting other people isn't a form of violence if it's it's in a ring?
    Sounds like a good argument for a domestic violence lawyer...
    But, no... as humorous as it is to see two people beat the snot out of each other, I'm not giving them that one...
    How many people have committed suicide watching that event?
    Does the IOC not remember that the origins of the relay race involved a lit stick of dynamite instead of a baton or that javelin throwers used to aim at each other?
    Probably not, because I just made that up, but that's no less stupid then claiming all video games are about violence.
    My guess is nobody associated with esporting events wanted to pay the high suggested bribery fees to get the ball rolling on that.
    It's better off for esports anyway, let it have its own venue and not be weighed down by the Olympic brand and other IOC nonsense.
    The Olympics are just a big fat nepotistic money making machine that have strayed too far from their original ideal.
    Yes there are fine athletes and good people there... but the IOC?... Pfft.

  • Sep 6th, 2017 @ 4:06am

    (untitled comment)

    Ah... It's close enough... And that's good enough.
    Besides, one gets to pretend they are on CSI Miami with the Star Trek technology instantly identifying suspects and solving crimes at the touch of a button.
    Granted one can foil this technology by wearing an eyepatch, having the mumps, or wearing a fake nose and mustache (does that count as a mask?)... The point is it's flashy new technology and it only cost taxpayer money, so it doesn't have to be perfect... Or work well... It just has to be cool.

  • Aug 30th, 2017 @ 12:34pm

    Comments are good

    Granted that often commentary goes off the deep end in many places, especially news, but it does afford people a chance to hear other opinions... Even if they can be quite batshit insane at times.
    Few news outlets of any sort have comment sections anymore and while one can often to some degree blame trolls, abusers, spammers and other antagonistic clowns, it's ultimately the site owner's call, and in my opinion it probably comes down to some degree of feeling they are avoiding controversy and liability by eliminating comments.
    Sad, because sometimes it's nice to see someone call out a crappy article or to point out something the article missed... Or even to see people's comments that reflect something you feel too... Or to have a chance to speak your opinion too.
    I don't always agree with some Techdirt articles, but that Techdirt still has a comments space is very cool and adds some balance... Even if at times the commentary is kinda wacky or reality deprived, it's a very honest view into what others feel about these topics... For better or worse, that is important.
    Kinda makes you feel free speech isn't entirely dead and laying rotting in a ditch somewhere.
    Thanks Techdirt.

  • Aug 19th, 2017 @ 4:23am

    Re: Re: Does anyone here love America?

    What does that prove?
    I love this country and therefore I wish to make it better.
    If you care for a friend do you stay silent about their destructive alcoholism?
    Do remain silent while they are killing themselves with illegal drugs or if they are living an unhealthy lifestyle that is worsening an existing medical condition?
    That not love or caring, that's stupid.
    If you are concerned the country is going in the wrong direction or doing something detrimental to its existence as a nation... However many elite citizens it may offend or make uncomfortable... You point it out.
    You discuss and seek answers on how to better that nation, not just for the few who don't give a rat's ass about it, but for all.
    That's true caring.
    Yeah, I love America, but not the oozing warts of destructive greed and political corruption.
    Advocating blind patriotism and willful blindness to a bad situation is not patriotic nor loving.
    I do not wish to stand at the funeral for this nation and think "Gee, I wish I would have said something", as so many have said for friends and family that intervention may have saved.

  • Aug 18th, 2017 @ 12:01pm

    (untitled comment)

    No matter how much manufacturers can improve "smart" products, anything that needs to be connected to the Internet, receive constant updates or has the potential to become "bricked" is a product that has just one more way to fail.
    So previously you have ordinary wear and tear, the possibility of a manufacturer defect and now let's add "smart fail".
    Some things are just better off dumb... no matter how cool it seems be able to turn on your electric toothbrush or check your coffeemaker's emotional status from halfway across the planet, you are just adding more vectors for failure and frustration.

  • Jul 28th, 2017 @ 2:06pm

    (untitled comment)

    I like this judge and the fact that he seemed to be concerned with a citizen's constitutional rights and all...
    Maybe he actually is, but I kinda started wonder about that once I read the part about the Hartes being former CIA employees and their family connection to the NYPD and Naval JAG corp.
    That kinda changes the dynamic a bit.
    Ordinary citizens probably would not have been afforded that effort.
    Perhaps, but more likely not.
    Seems more like a case of a small police department messing with the wrong people.

  • Jul 28th, 2017 @ 10:57am

    It's soooooo confusing!

    Wait now...
    I'm confused...
    Both product are liquids, so they must be the same...
    But they both use red in their logos and so does Stolichnaya vodka, so that means they are both vodkas...
    And the font on the E&B logo is very similar to the font of J&R's Steakhouse and since both products use ampersands in their logos...
    Both products must be Steak Vodka...
    Both names start with an E and the E in E&J refers to the name Ernest, and that is very similar to Ernie, and since I know about Ernie and Bert, the B must stand for Bert...
    So both products are Steak Vodka, made by the rival muppets on Sesame Street... Right?
    Okay... Got it.
    It was very confusing, but I figured it out.
    I'm glad their stupid lawsuit cleared this up for me.
    Okay, Ernie & Bert Gallo... I want my Steak Vodka now.

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