sigalrm’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Aug 27th, 2015 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They might. But they'll have made a conscious decision to do so, and will be capable of articulating "why" if necessary.

    A Missile? Not so much.

  • Aug 27th, 2015 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re:

    Or a Special Forces team raiding the premises? Doesn't matter which team (even an ad-hoc team with personnel from all the different units) goes in: they're all trained to shoot their target(s) dead, no questions asked.

    Wow. You're really equating a special ops teams capabilities to a missile platform? Do you really have so little respect for US soldiers?

    A soldier with a rifle is capable of determining who their target is and shooting them. They're also - at least in theory - able to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, and will not generally kill indiscriminately (or, at least, the special forces guys I've known wouldn't). If they go into a building and determine its filled with nuns and orphans, they can make an intelligent decision and, for example, not execute the orphans. Doesn't mean they always make the "right" decision, but at least they have the capability to do so.

    A missile platform's targeting capability is only as granular as its blast radius.

  • Aug 25th, 2015 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Posting PII IS a crime

    Fraudulent use and possession of identifying information about an individual is unambiguously illegal in the United States

    Federal Statute creating a general ban on possession of personally identifiable information (PII) in this context, please?

    This is by all accounts a non-US hosting company (Ukraine is called out) and there's nothing to indicate a locality for the person publishing the website so there are likely jurisdictional issues here.

    Past that, nowhere in the actual letter was PII referenced. It was certainly alluded to. But the lawyers reference "Private, personal, information".

    To your other point about providing information? The website in its current form checks for the presence of a user-provided email address in the dataset, and returns a yes/no along with an explanation of why presence in in the database isn't an automatic indicator of being an active user.

  • Aug 25th, 2015 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Do no harm.


    Also, don't forget general (though not absolute) prohibitions against prior restraint.

    In the US, at least.

  • Aug 25th, 2015 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Posting PII IS a crime


    The route that ALM's lawyers are taking is to send heavily caveated, non-legally binding demand letters to someone that they hope doesn't have competent legal counsel, and will therefore comply because "lawyers saying scary sounding things."

    Frankly, they'd probably get a better response if they sent a letter saying "look, there's no legal basis for us to ask this, so we're not going to threaten, but you'd be doing an awful lot of people a solid if you took this content down."

  • Aug 25th, 2015 @ 2:59pm

    Re: ALM or SONY

    First, if you're depending on news agencies to be "fair and unbiased", you're doing it wrong.

    Second, some of the people in those news agencies are likely ALM Customers, and as such will have run afoul of the morality clauses in their employment agreements, and hence have a vested interest in ensuring the data never gets looked at too closely.

  • Aug 20th, 2015 @ 12:37pm


    Chances are good that if you're actually filming something like this, you're in the middle of a good sized adrenaline dump, and working through an adrenaline dump isn't something most civilians are used to. Shaking hands is one sign of that.

  • Aug 20th, 2015 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "But if you want it introduced as an Exhibit, you really want the phone itself, with the original recording on it."

    Yup. That's why you release it publicly first. Otherwise it gets buried in the legal process.

  • Aug 13th, 2015 @ 8:18am

    For years, people have been told "don't get involved, call the police"

    For 20+ years now, the public has been told - starting early in grade school - "don't get involved, don't try to catch the bad guy, don't take matters into your own hands." It starts in school, where you'll be suspended without question if someone else punches you and you _don't_ respond.

    "Evans said that should never happen. ā€œIā€™d also like to see some legislation that if a cop is on the ground struggling with someone, like he was the other night and everybody is videotaping, someone should be held accountable for not stepping up and helping them,ā€ he said."

    Someone standing around video taping is almost certainly of a generation that has been raised from cradle-age with the "let the police handle it" training. And now we've come to it's logical conclusion. You won't over-ride that type of indoctrination with a law and wishful thinking.

    At most, you might expect someone to call 911 on behalf of the officer being beaten. Since that's what they've been trained to do.

  • Aug 10th, 2015 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Or, maybe she's just young enough not to have lived through Reagan and Nixon's respective presidencies at an age where their actions were meaningful.

    Because in history curriculum these days, recent US history is getting a pretty hardcore white-wash, with lots of focus on what the US did that was good, leaving little to no time left over to focus on shortcomings.

  • Aug 7th, 2015 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re:

    "Not to mention how much resolution of the lawsuit will cost the taxpayers with no repercutions to the offending officers themselves."

    However much it is, history says it won't be nearly enough to get tax payers attention.

  • Aug 7th, 2015 @ 4:50pm


    Well, for what it's worth, they didn't summarily execute Grandma or her daughters. And presumably there were no pets in the house to be executed either, since there's no mention of dogs being shot out of hand.

    Frankly, given the totality of the circumstances described by the court, the occupants of the house should consider themselves extraordinarily lucky to be alive.

    And I mean that without even a touch of sarcasm.

  • Aug 7th, 2015 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Obstruction of Justice

    They weren't "eating of what they should have been tagging".

    They were "utilizing a new, highly effective field test" to confirm the presence of schedule 1 drugs in the Pot Shop.

    The test results are in...and they're apparently quite positive...

  • Aug 7th, 2015 @ 8:37am


    "Any other alternatives out there?"

    That you can trust on the say-so of a random stranger you met on the internet? Well, I guess it depends on your use case.

    Truecrypt was one of the few projects out there that was generally considered sufficiently trustworthy for non-coders and non-crypto geeks to feel comfortable using for storing information that could get them jailed or killed.

    Using a single letter posted online to destroy trust in TrueCrypt was truly a master stroke. :(

  • Aug 7th, 2015 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, that's where my money would be too.

    It's not worthwhile to break the crypto. It's far more efficient to just work around it.

  • Aug 7th, 2015 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re:

    or he does know what "possibly cracked" means, but the reporter taking the quote doesn't, and neither does the lawyer the reporter was interviewing.

    This story was probably abstracted and dumbed down 7 or 8 times _before_ it got to the reporter, and that assumes the reporter wasn't outright lied to.

    The internal conversations would have gone something like:

    Tech guy: "Yeah, boss, as you'll see on page 273 of my report, we used a keylogger and screenscraper to get his.."

    Boss: "Um, what? a keyscraper? what's that? Wait, you mean you scraped stuff off his keyboard? So that means we used Bio...statistics? Or DNA?"

    Tech guy: "No, no...Listen. So, um, yeah, we cracked his password"

    Boss: "Ok, so we've cracked truecrypt. Awesome. I'll tell my bosses."

    Tech guy: "um, yeah. whatever makes you happy."

    The only conclusions you can safely draw from this article is a) they caught someone and b) he had information in a truecrypt volume that the FBI was able to access.

  • Aug 7th, 2015 @ 7:54am


    Well, yes.

    Because in the words of the prophet:

    War is Peace,
    Freedom is Slavery,
    Ignorance is Strength

  • Aug 6th, 2015 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Asimov himself

    There were several flaws, and it fascinating to see how he adjusted them over the course of his writing.

    Damnit. Now I need to go reread the Robot Series and the Foundation books again.

  • Aug 6th, 2015 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "First, if that wasn't the case, who would want to buy it? (Sad, but true.)"

    The snarky side of me is thinking that since it's software, there's technically no reason "accident avoidance preference" couldn't be remembered by the vehicle as a driver profile preference, in the same vein as mirror adjustment, seat position, steering wheel adjustment, etc.

    So, people who are willing to sacrifice themselves to save, e.g., a deer or a child could set it to the most "altruistic" setting, and sociopaths could set it to "maximum driver safety", with a variety of settings in between.

    Maybe throw in some external visual and/or audible indicators to give folks in cross walks an idea of what to expect from the vehicle, behavior wise (green indicator and Barney's "I love you" theme song means you're ok to enter the crosswalk, red indicator and Flight of the Valkyries means you might want to wait a few seconds), and couple it with a cellular tie-in to your car and life insurance companies so they can adjust your coverage levels and rates on the fly, and you're all set.

  • Aug 6th, 2015 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think we're in agreement on both points,

    Frankly, I'm just glad I'm not the engineer writing the code that makes the decisions.

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