"Imagine a young man called Daniel Snowberg. He has a doctorate in international relations, and once spent a summer interning at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the think tank specializing in digital freedom."
Okay, let's face it. If he had even so much as had a bookmark in his browser pointing to the EFF, he'd have never even been allowed in the building at the NSA or CIA.
"'The people in the creative community are furious about the fact that this was done,' says a lawyer who works for organizations that support strong copyright laws..."
I am a content creator, a musician, a digital artist and a writer. I am also more reasonably versed in copyright than the average bear. I am internet savvy as well, and have a host of tools at my disposal to flex my reasonably ordinary artistic muscles. I don't possess massive distribution channels, cross-licensing capabilities, or hordes of capital to keep me "lawyered up".
But I am also not in the minority, and this anonymous legal honk does not speak for me.
I think this also puts a chink into the ISP argument for usage caps as well. If you're getting gigabit speeds to the home, then there has to be a stout backbone to support multiple users and subnets for it. And if the bulk of your customers are sitting around 25-50Mb, then you've got an EXTREME amount of headroom in the pipe, sometimes even during peak times. IMO, this makes the idea of a usage cap even more ridiculous and empty than it already is.
"the next few weeks you'll see a barrage of new editorials trying to claim that cable box competition will hurt the children, frighten puppies, and almost certainly rip a giant hole in the time-space continuum."
I think that's an incredibly shallow, insensitive, hyperbolic statement to make, and you should be ashamed of yourself, Karl. We're sick and tired of being marginalized in this discussion, and demand that you be more inclusive next time.
The only thing that bothers me here is that we're seeing basically the same thing that happened with Gawker: somebody with deep pockets trying to run another company down. In Gawker's case, it was litigating out of existence. In St. Jude's, it's driving the stock price down. Now, the argument can be made that motivations were different, that MedSEC is maybe a shred more altruistic than Theil, and that this isn't anywhere near likely to put St. Jude out of business (not directly, anyway), but it's still an interesting thought exercise.
Senator McCain: Call to order. We finally have an expert witness from the tech field here with us, who's going to use his weak arguments and failed analysis to try and tell us why weakened security is a bad thing.
Industry Nerd: Thank you senator for your time. I'll be brief, I only have one exhibit. This is what happens when security is weakened.
(boots up a ten-year-old Windows computer with no updates)
(picks up mic off stand, drops it on the floor, and walks out)
And yet millions of women refuse to report abuse from a significant other because they feel that the police don't take them seriously, or that the authorities have made the bar for reporting abuse too high.
It's amazing how motivated the police can be when things align with their interests.
We here as a community at Techdirt are quite familiar with all of this. We even have a name for it, thanks to Bruce Schneier: "security theatre". It's the same performance on a different stage.
Law enforcement providing the illusion that they're "doing something". And nobody in the press or the public is going to revisit this in a year to see the fruits of the state's labor. As a resident of Florida, I see it all too often coming from Polk County's finest and the infamous Grady Judd.
I would love to see John Oliver and the crew at Last Week Tonight do a piece on this. It seems right up their alley.
Are you listening, John?!? (flushing jokes withheld)
"We know there are great people in the DoJ and the FBI. We work shoulder to shoulder with them all the time. That's why this cheap shot brief surprises us so much. We help when we're asked to. We're honest about what we can and cannot do."
This is the great duality of any government entity. The "great people" he refers to are the boots on the ground, agents that do all of the heavy lifting within both the DOJ and the FBI. They are the end nodes on the organizational chart, if they even show up there at all.
After you elevate past a certain level, you cease to find useful people, and start coming across bureaucrats. Make no mistake. Comey and his ilk are not law enforcement. They're politicians.
Isn't this why people are so disenfranchised with the federal government? The arrogant hardline stance that they know how to handle our stuff better than we do? Doesn't really matter if it's our own bodies (abortion, drugs, healthcare), our own property (eminent domain, asset forfeiture, triennial DMCA exemptions), or in some cases, our own opinions (lobbyists and cronyism contravening the will of the people). And with an alleged consolidation of power in various critical segments of the public sector, it's a wonder they haven't gotten further than they have.
The goal of terrorism is to make you fearful. Murder is just a means to an end, and the fear doesn't have to spawn from the perpetrator.
The day that the federal government started curtailing civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism, making us jerk and twitch at the slightest mention of bad people, is the day the goal was achieved. Whether anybody died from the act is immaterial to the results.
Rest assured that if Farook had survived, the FBI would have surely used some form of liberty-depriving investigative technique to get the information it needed. To paraphrase a snippet of an old parable, it's in the snake's nature.
In the context of the situation, Apple's biggest sin here (along with anybody who owns, operates, or manufactures a cell phone) is that they're the ones still living.
I wondered about this, too, whether it violated some kind of chain-of-custody rule, though I think in the end, it won't matter, because the phone itself wasn't actually modified or handled, it was the iCloud account.
"The company explained that it had felt that it's conversations with the government had been confidential until the FBI revealed this detail in the totally unexpected Motion to Compel it filed Friday."
So what they're saying is that, for a time, Apple was even respecting the government's privacy? Now that the cat's out of the bag on that one, I wonder how much it stings to have your private details encroached on...
"And let's define 'terrorist organization'. A terrorist organization is an organization that scares you on a daily basis and makes you change your behavior. What does CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC do on a daily basis? Wolf Blitzer? Terrorist. Glenn Beck, terrorist. Nancy Grace? F**king terrorist. And her plastic surgeon. Yeah, that guy's a menace."
That's a pendulum that swings both ways. I"ll admit, I am not a lawyer, nor a legislator, nor a law enforcement representative, so I may not be hip on all of the wranglings of the law. However, I am a technical professional. If I were to tell them that they don't know or understand dick about technology (which, less face it, does seem likely at times), they'd take umbrage to such a statement.