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  • May 18th, 2016 @ 9:34am


    The reality is that LEOs aren't "going dark", it's that they're getting blinded by the light. The Boston Marathon bombing case (where the Feds blew of clear and specific warnings about the Tsarnaev brothers) is a classic example of the real information-overload problem.

  • May 18th, 2016 @ 7:17am

    (untitled comment)

    Given that it's the tech companies who put cameras in millions of people's pockets with which to catch Cops Behaving Badly, then they've earned the title "gatekeepers of justice", and a damn good thing, too.

  • May 17th, 2016 @ 3:23pm

    (untitled comment)

    The explanation is 2,000 words long. It does not make a huge amount of sense

    It seems to have finally been pulled from his page, but of course nothing that catches people's attention ever truly disappears from the Internet. Behold, a serving of word salad that makes Sarah Palin look like Daniel Webster:

    Curious by nature, I wanted to test the suggestion that somehow, lurking out in the pornographic world there is some evil operator waiting for the one in a gazillion chance that a candidate for federal office would go to that particular website and thereby be infected with a virus that would cause his or her FEC data file to crash the FECfile application each time that it was loaded on the day of the filing deadline, as well as impact other critical campaign systems. Well, the Geek Squad techs testified to me, after servicing thousands of computers at the Baileys Crossroads location that they had never seen any computer using their signature virus protection for the time period to acquire over 4800 viruses, 300 of which would require re-installation of the operating system. We are currently awaiting their attempt at recovery of files on that machine accidentally deleted when they failed to backup files before re-installation, a scenario about which Matthew Wavro speculated openly to me before we were informed by the Geek Squad that that had indeed occurred. Generally, the circumstances in which I have been involved in a life with over 30 years of leadership, I cannot just shoot from the hip, like reporters in this town who could not even get my campaign history straight, an incumbent who believed that 7000 Americans died because of global climate change, a nomination rival who assumed that a “conservative surge” was just going to magically appear in November like it did on Super Tuesday, had they not been Dump Trump Democrats in fact, or who now is being called silly by the incumbent for not doing his homework on Metro. I don’t just like being right wing, I also like being right.

    But, now let me tell you the results of my empirical inquiry that introduced me to Layla and Ivone. Around Powerball lottery time, January 9, 2016, I calculated the odds that my friend Rev. Howard John Wesley and I working independently arrived at the same prayer plan, and I was able to determine that there was about a one in a billion chance that that could have occurred in the way that it did. ( Well, as much as folks like Duffy Taylor want to hope that the Devil is waiting for Christian candidates on a particular pornographic website to infect his or her FEC data file is even more improbable than my Paul and Silas story, and I know that Duffy Taylor is not a man of faith belief; so, I don’t know how he empirically arrives at his conclusion. I couldn’t see the probability or possibility without a RAND computer.

  • May 13th, 2016 @ 10:56am

    (untitled comment)

    If the police have nothing to hide, then they have nothing to fear.

  • May 3rd, 2016 @ 9:03am

    (untitled comment)

    Ultimately, the only thing that will stop this sort of nonsense is a "death penalty" (work matures into the public domain immediately) for particularly egregious attempts to abuse copyright law.

  • May 2nd, 2016 @ 4:18pm

    (untitled comment)

    Note the statement toward the end of the screed:

    Lastly, it's imperative to understand that we are in the middle of pending litigation.

    "We"? Is the Aiken Standard a defendant in the case? Or, more likely, did they run a police press release under the cover of an editorial without properly scrubbing off the serial numbers?

  • Apr 29th, 2016 @ 12:05pm

    (untitled comment)

    If we received a court order demanding our users' passwords, we couldn't provide them.

    Well, that wouldn't be a problem any more, since Burr-Feinstein would prohibit hashes, lossy compression, etc.

  • Apr 29th, 2016 @ 12:03pm

    (untitled comment)

    Critics in the industry suggest that providing access to encrypted data will weaken their systems. But these same companies, for business purposes, already maintain and have access to vast amounts of encrypted personal information, such as credit-card numbers, bank-account information and purchase histories.

    This "people let Google have personal information, so it's okay for the government to get people's personal information" argument is not only idiotic, it is offensive. It is precisely equivalent to "that stuck-up bitch has no business complaining that I pinched her butt when she goes out in public dressed like that".

  • Apr 19th, 2016 @ 11:44am

    Re: cough

    The question is at what point is the lock on the door overkill?

    For software security, the answer is "when it requires so much processor power that it significantly slows down other functionality". The issue doesn't really arise for the modern generation of smartphones.

  • Mar 28th, 2016 @ 9:21am


    He makes Sarah Palin sound like Daniel Webster.

  • Mar 23rd, 2016 @ 11:29am

    (untitled comment)

    My first thought was that when the FBI said that it had been alerted to a way in over the weekend, it potentially was using the announcement from researchers at Johns Hopkins about a flaw in iMessage encryption. If so, that would be particularly bogus, since everyone admits that the vulnerability found would not apply to this case.

    It still provides them with a smokescreen to cover their retreat -- most people are only going to remember "somebody found a flaw in iPhone security and then the FBI said they don't need Apple to unlock the phone".

  • Mar 18th, 2016 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Doesn't work out

    Wrong again. Tying up the staff that is capable of writing a new OS would obviously have yuuuge (to quote your intellectual peer among the current crop of candidates) implications (e.g. delaying the next iteration of the legitimate iOS because of the diversion of skilled expertise to FBiOS).

  • Mar 18th, 2016 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Doesn't work out

    Well, then, you need to start reading stuff that would educate you about the case. Apple has repeatedly pointed out that several highly trained engineers would have to put in a few weeks of work:

    According to the declaration of Apple manager of user privacy Erik Neuenschwander, it could take six to ten engineers anywhere from two to four weeks to design, create and deploy the requested software.

  • Mar 18th, 2016 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Doesn't work out

    I am not sure how many people would be lining up to hire people who may hold Apple essentially for ransom.

    Now, now, I'm sure the FBI guys will be able to find positions as mall security or something.

  • Mar 18th, 2016 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Doesn't work out

    The doctrine of force majeure (overwhelming circumstances beyond our control make compliance impossible) is a well-established legal doctrine.
    For example, if the airport is shut down by a blizzard, the airlines can cancel their flights. Under Whatever's understanding (if one may dignify it with that word) of the law, he can demand that they get him to his destination on time like it says on his ticket.

  • Mar 18th, 2016 @ 9:28am

    Re: Doesn't work out

    Nope. Given the mood in Silicon Valley, the more likely scenario is "I quit." followed by a tough decision between a half-dozen different employment offers each sending the message "I like the cut of your jib".

  • Mar 15th, 2016 @ 5:53pm


    Lies and a smear campaign. Very professional.

    Yep. Maybe next time the Feds will avoid doing that and not get their butts handed to them in the response....

  • Mar 15th, 2016 @ 10:28am

    Re: Government trying to avoid an open conflict

    The TL:DR version of the government's position: "Mommy! He hit me back!!"

  • Mar 15th, 2016 @ 10:25am


    Politician talks to a constituent and makes rational decision.

    So, when's the Techdirt Deal for a reinforced umbrella strong enough to withstand falling pig poop?

  • Mar 9th, 2016 @ 12:02pm

    (untitled comment)

    Even somebody who learned everything they know about the law from CSI: Wherever and Ace Attorney can see through the obvious absurdity of the "Apple can keep the backdoor code secure so it won't get out" argument. If the Feds actually allowed that (or pretended to allow that) it would open the door to scenarios like:

    Feds: We've got a search warrant for this phone, but we can't get in. Can you help?
    Me: (Sees owner's name engraved on phone back, and recognizes it as that of the asshole who stole my girlfriend, ran over my cat, and keyed my car) Sure! There's just one caveat, though -- I can't let you look at the code I'll be using because it might release a dangerous cyber pathogen.
    Feds: Well... OK.
    Feds: Geezus Q. Christ! We thought this guy was just stealing credit card numbers, and it turns out that he's the world's biggest kiddie-porn meth-lab jihadist ringleader!

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