James’s Techdirt Profile


About James

James’s Comments comment rss

  • Mar 27th, 2014 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re:

    The problem with your scenario is that it assumes I have access to a computer, the internet, and my super-secret-squirrel password.

    I have nothing to hide (ha!) but should I ever be arrested, or even detained, I doubt I'll be able to ask for a connection to my confiscated phone so I can spoliate whatever evidence might be there.

    Were I paranoid, I'd likely root my phone and install a mod that executes different routines, based on my screen unlock code:
    1234 gives me access as me
    5678 gives me access to a subset suitable for a child or friend
    2468 performs a "factory reset" such that the phone isn't damaged, but I can reinstall my apps and backed-up data
    9753 performs a 5220-level wipe, then triggers some hardware exploit that leads to a melted phone.

    In fact, if such a mod were available, I'd pay for it. Just because it would be nice to have. In case, you know, I need to carry some Scentsy across town, or stand with my buttocks clenched the wrong way.
  • Oct 25th, 2013 @ 10:30am

    Might be YOUR "main concern." Not Mine.

    But what we're mainly concerned about is the fact that an agency that claims its doing this to combat terrorism can't seem to come up with much evidence that its programs are working. The NSA has deprived us of civil liberties while delivering next to nothing in terms of security.

    No, that's not what I'm mainly concerned about. I don't care if the program(s) work. I don't care if the surveillance allows DHS, the NSA, the CIA and the FBI to thwart 50 attacks each.

    I care that people without provable guilt are being searched and their records/papers retained without due process of law, and without a warrant having been obtained as a result of sworn testimony.

    I'm most concerned that the federal government is depriving us of civil liberties. Period. Full Stop.

    Haven't I read right here on this very blog that we could prevent a lot more crime by installing cameras on every corner and stationing police in every home, but that approach is simply unacceptable?
  • Sep 4th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    from the "I didn't speak up because I wasn't ____________" dept.

    Ask any motorcyclist who's been riding for more than 15 years or so, and this kind of behavior will bring back (not so fond) memories.

    Any gathering of more than, say, a dozen bikes would draw the attention of the local constabulary. There were a handful of times I saw cops going down a line of bikes, taking down license plate numbers and sometimes checking VINs.

    Not for any enforcement action ... simply because there were a lot of bikes around, and that meant danger.

    Never mind that I, and the people I rode with, didn't belong to motorcycle clubs (in the gangster sense), and the most illegal thing we did was ride too fast.

    But actions taken during Occupy Wall Street show that the PD's agenda usually means treating protesters (as well as anyone with a camera) as criminals. And attempting to "unmask" participants in an Anonymous rally lumps all attendees in with the activist group, even if many of them have never actively participated in any illegal activities. It also shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Anonymous' "structure," i.e., there is none. There's no "head" to capture and mount on the metaphorical wall. There's also no "tail" to drag off to HQ and sweat down in hopes of it offering up higher-ranked members.
  • Aug 30th, 2013 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: I wonder if I will read articles here again

    Thank you for a cogent, passionate encapsulation of the beauty of atheism.

    As you lambast people for having faith, you display your own ignorance. Not because you're an atheist. But because you are an asshole. The two are not inextricably intertwined.
  • Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    (untitled comment)

    "We won't torture or Kill Eric Snowden."

    "We won't illegally detain the partner of a journalist who's engaged in acts we disagree with."

    "We won't abuse the power entrusted to us."

  • Aug 19th, 2013 @ 5:36am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm wondering when the NSA surveillance will have its "Bork Blockbuster" moment. For those with short memories, it used to be legal to share video rental history data ... until Robert Bork's video rental history was revealed during his confirmation hearings.

    Now that every conversation in Washington DC (the 202 area code)has been monitored, will Congress finally realize that they are targets too? After all, they are simply citizens, USPs to the NSA.
  • Aug 7th, 2013 @ 8:50am


  • Jul 17th, 2013 @ 12:44pm


    re: wearing charges of villainy ...

    You left out the part about "doing so for those who were unwilling to do so."

    I love the way he called out his co-workers and Congress as cowards.
  • Jul 15th, 2013 @ 5:37am

    Re: this is funny but

    what would be outrageous is police arresting and attorneys general prosecuting people using ordinary computers under the bad wording of this statute--NOT the bad wording itself. The bad wording does not necessarily or even usually produce the conceptually possible bad result based on the bad wording. This is one reason we have judges--they typically don't let cases move forward that fall outside reasonable interpretations of the law (and yes, this happened in all the criminal CFAA cases too, but let's leave those alone for now).

    Relying on prosecutorial discretion is a really, really bad idea. Just ask the kid who got bailed out on $500,000 for a stupid rant on Facebook, or Aaron, or Weev, or pretty much anybody that the government has decided holds views that are objectionable or contrary to good order and discipline within the state.
  • Jun 28th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    "Why should I worry?"

    This is another data point in the argument against, "I haven't done anything wrong. Why should I care if the NSA monitors my every utterance and online post?"

    And for the Dad-haters - maybe, just maybe, the Old Man is hoping that others will learn, by the example of his son's incarceration, of the dangers of posting "casual" threats.

    Used to be, if you were in a "bad part of town," you'd keep your mouth shut about the way someone was dressed or how hot a woman looked - the local denizens might just inflict some instant justice on you for your freedom of expression.

    Now, the thugs wear suits (or uniforms) and use the courts, rather than their fists.
  • Jun 24th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    re: AC said:
    The only way to get a representative sample of a population is to choose members randomly.

    Jury duty on steroids? So only people too committed or stupid to get out of Congress Duty will be making laws?

    Yes, that sounds good. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Jun 18th, 2013 @ 8:41am


    Who the heck are you, and what is your problem?

    I generally avoid feeding the trolls ... but I'm genuinely curious.

    What merits, exactly, do you think Mike is avoiding?
    How should they be addressed?
    Is it your contention that we should ignore the issue of governmental monitoring?

    If you don't have a coherent point to make, then go away. If you're willing to discuss the issue, or make a cogent argument as to why the issue shouldn't be discussed, say your piece.

    Or keep sniping, being the annoying gadfly that does little more than annoy the participants here.
  • Jun 14th, 2013 @ 1:14pm

    How long till complete collase?

    Imagine how quickly the USPS would dry up and blow away if there was any question that every letter was going to be opened, and the contents recorded for posterity,before delivery.

    Secure competitors would spring up overnight.
  • Jun 11th, 2013 @ 1:05pm

    (untitled comment)

    Apparently Stop Watching Us has been hacked, as the link to their Privacy Policy is redirected to heroku.com.

    Who knows where the emails, names, and addresses of those who "Signed" the site have ended up.

    I don't mind standing up for my rights - I'll even stand up publicly. But it truly sucks when online "protests" are vulnerable to potential redirection of personal information.

    It's no-win:
    Don't use real info, and the "signatures" won't be taken seriously.

    Use real info, and Google only knows who gets copies of that info.

    Even if the SSL error I got is benign, the issue remains: just because "FightForTheFuture" says they're protesting, who's to know?

    You attempted to reach www.fightforthefuture.org, but instead you actually reached a server identifying itself as *.heroku.com. This may be caused by a misconfiguration on the server or by something more serious. An attacker on your network could be trying to get you to visit a fake (and potentially harmful) version of www.fightforthefuture.org.
  • Jun 7th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Politician ignores tough issue until forced to acknowledge it

    News at 11.

    Seriously ... where are the "old school" journalists who dared to ask tough questions? Of lots of people? And then report what they found out, even if it was tough to talk about?

    I'm not talking about Bill's under-the-presidential-desk un-sex, or JFK's affairs. I'm talking about Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, even Whitewater.

    Instead, the evening news is "Instant Index" "reports" of he latest viral video, and how many boobs Angelina has left.

    It's saddening. And now it's time for me to go have a beer and watch some Deadliest Catch reruns.
  • Jun 6th, 2013 @ 10:18am

    (untitled comment)

    What can we do about it?

    If you're an American voter ...
    You can email your senators and congressman from their officially provided web sites. You can get there via:



    It only takes a couple of minutes to let your voice be heard.
    Speak up.
    Better yet, call your elected representatives' offices on your cell phone, and inform the person who answers that the call is being logged by the NSA.
  • Jun 6th, 2013 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Refining," as in "making better." Not as in "never been done."

    A large American insurance company uses a HUGE database of policyholders, claims, physicians, and other data. Their fraud division routinely mines this data for connections that imply the possibility of fraud. On a simple level, it's "If a policyholder in the zip code 90210 has a claim for back injury as a result of auto accident and sees this doctor, investigate." In reality, it's far, far more complex.

    With the metadata the NSA has been collecting, at a simple level, it could be "Trace the connections involving three international calls, within 24 hours, of this bank of numbers of "known terrorists."

    So a Chechen-descended American citizen calls home, then calls his girlfriend, who calls her brother, who contacts a veterinarian, who is the same one I call for my cat's excessive hairball. The calls are each unrelated, but I am now "tagged" as being in the communication chain with the Boston Bomber.

    When it works, we get stories like this one http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/22/us-usa-explosion-florida-idUSBRE94L0J820130522 (except for the suspect dies in custody part).

    But "I have nothing to fear, so why should I care?" Well, through sheer coincidence, I'm now linked with the terrorists. And should another unlikely coincidence occur, I could well wake up to quasi-military police kicking down my door to ask some questions.
  • Jun 6th, 2013 @ 5:44am

    If you haven't spoken up ...

    If you're an American voter ...
    You can email your senators and congressman from their officially provided web sites. You can get there via:



    It only takes a couple of minutes to let your voice be heard.
    Speak up.
  • Jun 6th, 2013 @ 5:14am


    The NSA has these new-fangled things called computers, that allow them to look at the data faster than humans can. Depending on what these "computers" are told to do (by people called "programmers"), the computers may be able to compare the call data and make unexpected connections.

    I wonder if there's a list of protesters' phone numbers somewhere.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it