"...but, in reality, the real goal is protecting government employees from the people they serve."
You don't really think that these folks are actually interested in "serving" the public do you?
That is extremely naive.
The millionaire members of any fascist or corporate-owned state are solely and explicitly interested in turning the public into a money making machine through the re-writing and re-interpretation of laws that normally protect the public from the exploits of the rich.
The public serves them, until the public is empty, and then the fascists move on to the next victim state.
Methinks that as long as everyone keeps "believing" that all of this stuff is caused by ignorance/incompetence, rather than willful, intentional malice, its just gonna get worse. And, from I've seen over the last decade, its just gonna get worse.
After all, according to what we are learning these days, nobody is really waging any sort of "war" against the Drug Trade anymore anyway.
The Police have basically become employees of the Drug Trade, earning a far larger income from the Black Market than that which the public pays them. Exactly the same thing happened during the last moral prohibition.
This double income explains too, their recent Reverse Robin Hood assaults on the public, as their loyalty shifts towards the employer who pays the higher wage.
As the Drug Cartels collapse without a legally contraband product to sell, all the Drug Warrior Cops immediately lose their secondary employer and their second income, as the Drug-Trade based forfeiture laws lose their very reason for existence.
Lets face it. Ending the war On Drugs would be the biggest blow to organized crime since the end of the last phony political morality war - Prohibition.
No muss. No fuss.
And most of the bad cops - who are only in it for the extra income - would likely quit the force soon there-after, making room for employment of some actual crime fighters and investigators.
Then, while sanity is actively present, maybe we could also accept that the Drug Problem is a social and medical problem and not a criminal problem, and that its purported dangers are actually far more Hollywood Hero bullshit than Reality-based anyways.
Its where the very wealthy alter the laws so that they can rob the nation blind, legally.
It doesn't matter if the scam does not last long because the wealthy are busily pulling in millions of US dollars every day and like all the rich-guy scams of the past, nobody involved in this Reverse Robin Hood scenario will suffer any consequences when and if the scam and its membership is busted.
They changed the laws of the land first and are thus not guilty of breaking any laws.
The peasants have had a good run and have accumulated a ton of nice things. Its now time for the lords of the land to legally reverse that trend and take all those nice things for themselves.
You make it sound like the creation of their "claimed" moronic lack-of-filing non-system was a mistake they need to correct.
How could they realistically claim to need a legal loophole because of the horrid state of their record-keeping, if they don't convince the public that their record keeping ability is a complete disaster?
The simple truth however, is that they can and often do - for special corporate clients - search and retrieve thousands of documents in mere minutes, using their state of the art (tax-payer purchased) documents storage, retrieval and record-filing systems.
It is only the public-face of the agency that cannot find its ass with both hands, and that is 100% agency policy and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with their record storage and retrieval capacity.
If the claim was true, you would be seeing that agency begging for federal funds to update its technology, every two years, minimum.
As with almost every other branch of the American Fascist Government, bull-shitting the public, while shrugging off legal irritants that might benefit the public in some fashion, is now policy.
And why not? After all, like you, Americans mostly believe the bullshit their government and its agents spew, and besides, Americans no longer have the means to verify or dispute the claims anyway.
F.O.I.A. now stands for "Fuck Off Inquisitive Americans"
Ah, the inevitable growth of fascist control, as it continues to shield itself from the clutches of those it exploits, while insuring only that the millionaires making up its membership, thrive and profit at the expense of all others, by changing the laws of the land.
Keep up the great work America. Your continued ignorance of the situation you face and your determined failure to act in self defense, will insure the fascists succeed in bringing America to its knees financially from within, and thus create a perfect warning to the people of all other nations on earth.
We've never before actually witnessed and thus recorded, the process of national disintegration from within, at the hands of a nation's own wealthiest individuals, since it is they, the winners, who always write history.
Fascism. National Entropy.
Know that your sacrifice will aid those other nations who are watching your demise, in protecting themselves from the greed of those who are least in need, when the fascist millionaires use these same methods in their own respective nations.
Thank you Americans. You do the nations of the world a great service. You will not be forgotten. Soon.
"The problem, of course, is that all the public screaming in the world has yet to shift the thinking of
net neutrality opponents in Congress..."
There, in a nutshell, is the real problem today, not just for Net Neutrality but for absolutely everything concerning law.
As long as its 100% legal for corporate crooks to buy politicians, and 100% legal for politicians to take bribes and do the bidding of their corporate benefactors by writing laws that help the crooks make more money and ending laws that interfere with the crooks' methods of making more money, this thing can only get worse.
No matter what the public does, it will have far less effect than giving politicians wads of money has, and even when the public succeeds, it will only be a temporary success, undone once the crooks raise the amount of each politician's "lobby", or legal graft pay-outs.
End "lobby" payouts - legalized bribery - and you will go a long way towards making things right again.
As long as it is up to the politicians to decide whether to end legal graft or not, nothing will change. They will NEVER choose to end the lobby fountain that constitutes a second income for doing corporate favors.
Damn, it would be ever so much nicer if there was a few ideas on how to fix the situation being aired here.
But, apparently, nobody has a single clue as to solutions because no two people can agree on what is actually amiss.
Why is that?
In a word; dis-information.
Dis-information is one of the major tools of Fascism.
Dis-information; otherwise known as lying, deception and outright bullshit, should be illegal.
In fact, it should be considered a form of treason, since it attempts to thwart the public's ability to make correct political and domestic decisions, allowing criminals to enter and hold political office, operate businesses and purchase/write reverse-able criminal friendly laws.
As long as you all just bicker over what is wrong, the bad guys keep winning and everything just gets worse.
Clue: EVERYTHING is wrong. The system itself, from vote to press is fucked and needs fixing. There is no single panacea for the current situation.
Then again, I suppose if ye all just keep beating each other over the head with personal slurs, you won't have to do a thing. It will be done for you by those who are making truck-loads of money from your confusion and inaction - the Billionaires and Millionaires of America.
And then, it will of course, be too late to do anything - which is the intended purpose of fascist dis-information.
Methinks if you take an honest look at just who is behind the profit side of the illegal drug economy, all this will make perfect sense.
The extremely wealthy love to invest their cash in things that show a good fast profit return. There is no better investment field than the illegal drug economy. Drugs are dirt cheap to make/grow. A dollar spent will return hundreds, if not thousands in return.
But the laws..... well, if you're law enforcement people are included in the profit side of the illegal drug economy too, then they have no reason to stop the drug trade, and thus no reason to target either the cartels, or their financiers.
On the other hand, since drug users have their "rights" stripped by the laws, they make the perfect target for law enforcement's reverse Robin Hood actions - for legal forfeiture-based theft by the cops, which leaves the users on the street to gather more stuff for later repeat forfeitures. A renewable resource!!
Once the cops can make a buck from the illegal drug economy, they become a part of that economy and will thereafter do whatever it takes to keep the ball rolling and the cash flowing in, which means actually protecting the drug economy financiers and the cartels.
In case you have not noticed yet, its also the wealthy who create the laws of the land.
This "problem", like most of the problems now facing the American people, has been manufactured by the American Wealthy, to provide a new source of tax free, unreported income, and has proven to be the most lucrative business model since War.
The problem however, is almost impossible to fix.
The American people are worshipers of the wealthy and will do nothing to reduce the ability of the wealthy to turn a profit, simply because they too want to be among the wealthy and want to make sure all of those extra ways and means of making money remain intact in case they too should some day become a member of the 1%.
Its the American Dream.
The American public is thus incapable of dealing with this problem in a sensible fashion and will continue to allow the billionaires to drain their wealth until as always, the fascists have shipped their host's wealth to their off-shore vaults and then migrate to take up residence in the next wealthy country. Shake and repeat.
Remember, Fascism is a for-profit business model, not a form of government.
I'm beginning to suspect that Hollywood is the directing force behind the American billionaire Fascist movement.
It is extremely amazing and quite amusing how well the Fascist political actors can portray both the Democratic and Republican Parties at the same time, and still keep most of the public fooled completely...
"You can fool most of the people all of the time and all of the people most of the time" is proving to be much more than an idle observation.
It has become a major business model as well as a fascist mantra.
"This is an agency boss who not only turned a blind eye to fraud and identity theft during the public comment period, but also apparently helped make up a DDOS attack just to try and downplay the massive, bipartisan opposition to his policies."
You might also note that somehow, Pai is able to simply give the middle finger to all attempts to investigate his crimes, without the slightest repercussion.
That's some serious (corporate) protection there. I mean hell, the man is immune to the law and nobody in power seems to mind.
Good thing there's no such thing as conspiracies huh.
Otherwise, one might get the notion that there is a concerted corporate effort world-wide, to destroy the internet as a means of anonymous public communications.
Anyone wanna cover my bet that Pai walks away from this mess unscathed, once the smoke clears and the internet is reduced to a selection of politically-neutered commercial walled-gardens at thrice today's cost to consumers?
I'd love to see his offshore bank accounts afterwards too. How much would you charge to do Corporate America's fascist dirty work, at this scale? :)
Looks to me like Mister Pai has been promised an end-game reward - a chalet in the Urals sort of thing, or a massive payment placed in a special off-shore account - if he can pull off the political-commercial desires of a couple of very friendly corporations, before a certain date. It also appears that he has been offered a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card, should he have to break any laws to get the task done.
But of course, as all Americans know, that sort of thing simply can't happen here in the land of Milk and Honey.
Its far too big a cash cow for the protected Big Players, especially once they get rid of the little upstarts competing for their customers and their dollars through this and future legislation.
As with the War on Drugs, this is all about creating a false market shortage to raise prices, while eliminating small time competitors. After all, the Big Protected Players in this game are upstanding millionaire citizens, who will never be subjected to these laws.
But this move will indeed raise the cost of renting a child for sex, which will make the protected Big Dealers much wealthier, while eliminating the small dealer competition outright through legal web-site destruction.
And since most of the big players are actually members of federal/state government and CEOs of major corporations, it also gives the Big Players a nice list of perverts who they can blackmail should the need arise at some later date.
Blackmail is probably one of the fastest growing business models in the world today, because the victims always remain silent.
Is a crime that is never reported, actually a crime?
Of course, this law and those pending, will also eliminate a ton of websites that are not actually advertising any kind of "sex4rent" along the way, but that's just icing on the fascist cake.
Two things this law will not do, is protect children from sexual exploitation, or harm the real "sex4rent" industry.
It seems America is finally becoming aware of exactly what the term "Police State" means... And it only took a few thousand dead civilians.
Be very interesting to see a comparison for the last ten years between Cops Shot Dead By Civilians VS Civilians Shot Dead By Cops.
As far as I can tell, once you reach this state, there is no going back, simply because there is no longer anyone in power to serve the public demands.
Once all the politicians and judges are on the Payroll, there is simply nobody left for the public to speak their grievances to.
Note how the officials in this case, as with all the others, simply exonerate all concerned - even when there is blatant evidence of criminal action, including witnesses and video footage.
Gird your loins America. You're in for the ride of your life, and the last ride of your life, because you have been conquered by your own billionaires and you are too proud and too scared to even admit it has happened, let alone actually do something about it. Not that there is really anything you can do about it.
There is certainly nothing legal you can do about it anyway. The laws have all been Lawyered by and for the Billionaires now and dissent of any kind is now simply illegal.
At least you can take heart in the fact that the minions of the fascists, such as the cops, will be dumped as soon as the billionaires decide its time to leave the corpse of American and move on. Then the civilians can and will take their revenge on those who did the dirty work.
Fascism always succeeds in destroying its host nation, because the enemy is the always the nation's wealthiest citizens.
The public does not want to stop them - it wants to be them.
All you can do now is wait for them to drain the USA and move on to some other nation. Then you can try and rebuild from the ground up with the very few resources the Fascist could not carry off with them.
That is of course, assuming the fascists do not start a war to help eradicate the evidence of their actions before they leave. In that case, you're all just plain fucked.
(Admittedly slightly off topic.) But NOT a rant! Just a question. ================================
My ignorance in this field - hacking - is impressive, but having found no assurance to the contrary, I've always wondered why platforms like Valve/Steam are never considered as a security risk.
I assume it's because they affect mainly kid's computers, so nobody really cares because everyone knows that kids don't have sensitive data on their PCs and that kids are just incorrigible pirates anyway.... /s
After all, these platforms try to force gamers to play online, where they can be monitored, and they apparently gain administrative rights on PCs via installed software, to insure that gamers are not using pirated software versions of the games.
If this installed software detects a non-legal copy of a game being launched, it has the ability to prevent the launch. I assume this is an administrative privilege.
To play offline, you need to get permission through the installed software's dialogue interface, else no play is allowed.
I would think that the very fact that these platforms run proprietary software with administrative rights on gamers' PCs, while the computers are online, offers bad actors a simple, unprotected venue for illegal access and secret surveillance of millions of computers.
Perhaps such platforms actually have only limited administrative rights... but even then, this appears to be an open and obvious doorway for nefarious practices by governments and other criminal organizations and groups.
What assurance is there that Valve's mounted software is impregnable to intrusion and outside control by bad actors?
Steam's Screenshot-Uploader application, for example, runs as soon as the PC is booted, and remains running in the background until the computer is turned off, whether you launch one of their games or not.
Valve "allows" this background application to be turned off through the Steam Interface On-line, but the stated process does not actually work and the application remains active after following the instruction for turning it off.
Nor will Steam actually respond to any post that demands that this aspect of their installed software be turned off, or for that matter, any post that does not praise the company and its actions as being a gift from Gawd.
Could such a background application not be used by law enforcement to scan for illegal pornographic images, or by government searching for words in email, or edited text files, that might be used by terrorists or drug dealers?
What assurances do we have that such platforms as Steam, do not simply record everything a kid or adult does on their PC and deliver it whole to government for extra income.