I agreed with just about everything you said, except this:
That point, that we treat terrorism as different than crime really hits home. When there's a criminal spree -- bank robberies, burglaries, car thefts -- we may make certain changes in how we act (get better locks, security systems, etc.) but we don't seem to change our entire national psyche.
Sorry, but property crime has been treated differently from violence for quite some time here in the USA. But our miss-handling of terrorism is much closer to the War on Drugs and gangs. Much like having to take our shoes off at airports, now when you need a decongestant, many states require you to show a gov't ID so they can keep track. Plenty of other parallels to be had if you look for them.
"If people don't trust Congress and the judiciary then I think we are going to have some problems here,"
He does read the polls right? Only 6% of likely voters think Congress does a good job. 68% think it does a poor job! About the only group who consistently gets a lower approval rating in the US are the terrorists themselves!
And the judiciary is a red herring. The FISA courts are designed to be a rubber stamp for the executive branch since they meet in secret, their decisions are secret and unlike other courts there is nobody representing the other side. Our whole American justice system is designed around BOTH sides being able to make their argument in front of a judge/jury and the FISA court is therefore the most un-American court in the nation.
is a bit of an interesting choice. Unlike the other examples, Ryan isn't a journalist- From what I gather, instead he took advantage of lazy journalists who pretty much failed to do any of their own research and fact checking.
Did he take advantage of them? Absolutely. Was it malicious at times? Almost certainly. And while I don't condone what he did, the fact that he was so wildly successful at it seems to indicate there is a bigger problem within the journalist community then just Ryan taking advantage of their trust.
To be fair, I explicitly refrained from using the word "censorship". It's an easy label to apply, but I'm ok with the "it's my site, I make the rules" stance. Nothing is preventing me/you from posting our comments here after all. I'll call it editorial control.
Just don't pretend you're open to an honest debate when you trash all the comments you don't agree with so you don't have to respond and your readers don't have to think too hard.
The whole thing about headphones in the workplace is an odd comment indeed. One thing I've noticed is that the younger generation (I'm mid-30's) likes is the low cube walls or cube-less designs that you hear about at companies like Facebook where you have no privacy, but extremely easy face-to-face communication with your peers.
Personally, I can't do it- too much distraction, especially with movement in my peripheral vision and my productivity goes to hell.
So the *taxpayers* are out $170K. Trying to figure out why the Boston PD has any real incentive to change... clearly bad publicity isn't enough to fix problems in Oakland or Los Angeles, so I don't see how a fine to a tax funded government entity would change things.
Now if there cops in question were held liable for their actions, that would seem to actually change things, but it seems highly unlikely that the DA would dare to prosecute them in todays political climate.
Actually Franklin used numerous pseudonyms through out his life. Some were well known to be Franklin others were done anonymously. A number of the writings would probably fall under the "troll" category as he often enjoyed taking shots at his competition in an effort to make fun of them, etc.
Frankly, I don't think Falkenthal could of picked two worse examples to backup the claim that anonymity is bad.
I actually for the first time in years watched a little CSPAN this morning while Sen. Wyden was talking. He didn't say what the new interpretation was- but he specifically pointed out how the gov't could get "records" as part of an "investigation".
Reading between the lines, my guess is that they've expanded what constitutes an investigation to allow them access to *everyone's* bank, credit card, phone, travel, etc records and they're data mining the data looking for patterns which might indicate terrorism/etc. Basically using records to start investigations rather then getting records as part of an existing one. Read up on what Thomas Drake (NSA guy who built a data mining solution, only to find the gov't stripped all the privacy protections from it) has been talking about and it fits:
Later I was listening to NPR on the way into work and they were talking about the vote over Ryan's budget bill which privatizes Medicare and it's political ramifications for the Dems/Reps for the next election. It then hit me- as a society we're more concerned about entitlements ($$$) then the the Bill of Rights.
"Storing hashes of files and linking to those in the user's accounts is no more of a privacy concern than having hashes of passwords on a server (which is impossible to get around)"
Sure it is. Now it's trivial find out if someone has a copy of a file. Would you want someone you don't know be able to determine what files you have on your computer? If you care about privacy, the answer would be "no".
"Furthermore, each account is encrypted and not available to be seen by Dropbox employees, so security is pretty much as good as it gets."
"And if they didn't reduce file duplication .... it might not be FREE."
Oh no! Not FREE! If only there was some standard way for me to compensate someone for a service that would meet my needs! What a horrible idea!
They did it for politics. Notice that the New York Times, The Guardian and other media organizations are publishing the exact same cables that Wikileaks is, but they weren't blocked. If it was really about the content of the cables, then all sources would of been blocked. The fact that only Wikileaks was blocked shows that it's really about demonizing Wikileaks.
I think the answer is far simpler. If they did the same to the New York Times, The Guardian and other "respected" news organizations then they'd have a shit storm on their hands. By targeting only Wikileaks they hope to keep members of the media complacent and avoid them completely revolting against the government's attempt to stifle free speech.
See, the gov't needs the media's help to demonize Wikileaks for doing the exact same things that the media has done. If the government went after the NYT, then it and the rest of the media would start a huge campaign attacking the actions of the government.
On a side note, you do realize the Pentagon Papers were all about the war in Vietnam right? That sounds pretty "international" to me so I'm not sure how'd you'd use that standard as a differentiation.
Yes free speech does have limits, but the US Supreme Court ruled that leaked gov't secrets are perfectly legal to publish after the New York Times published the Pentagon Papers. The act of leaking them is NOT legal, but Wikileaks, the NYT, Guardian, etc all have a right to publish them.
So the constitutional question has already been decided, but surprise surprise those in power find such rights inconvenient and hence go after relatively small organizations Wikileaks rather then companies like the New York Times who have posted the exact same cables that Wikileaks did.
If there is a law, then why aren't they blocking the New York Times too? The political grandstanding about Wikileaks is reaching the point where it seems everyone in D.C. appears to completely lost what little common sense they once had. Frankly, I didn't need another reason to dislike my senator (Feinstein), but at least she's consistently wrong so it makes it that much easier to vote against her (again).