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Comment: How do we clean this radioactive, toxic swamp? (Score 1) 143

by dweller_below (#46518117) Attached to: Church Committee Members Say New Group Needed To Watch NSA
At this point, governance of the NSA is a constitutional sham. There is no just rule because there is no consent of the governed.

There appear to be 2 paths forward.

  1. 1) The path of trusted representation. If you can trust your representatives, maybe you can trust their oversight. This is the pathway that started with Frank Church and lead to Dianne Feinstein. The problem is, how do you regain trust when it has been so thoroughly abused? We now have lots of evidence that both the process and the people involved in this distribution of trust are not trustworthy. Simply resetting the process will not restore trust.
  2. 2) The path of transparency. For the last few years, our dreams of empire have tempted us to discard openness, transparency and rightful rule. But these are the very things that have created and preserved us. There is nothing new about the temptations of tyranny. The dream of power has not changed or evolved in the last few thousand years. The architects of our nation were just as familiar with these temptations are are we. We just need to turn back to open laws, open courts, and open public discourse.

Comment: When am I going to get rid of this tinfoil hat? (Score 5, Insightful) 234

by dweller_below (#46466629) Attached to: How the NSA Plans To Infect 'Millions' of Computers With Malware
So, now it turns out that the NSA really was attacking me. Just because I ran the routers and a few other critical things.

20 years ago, when I first started ranting about the NSA it was mostly theoretical. I ranted because there was no proof they were not evil. The stickers on my laptop's mic and camera were a bit of a joke. People would ask about them and it would give me a chance to rant. That's all I really wanted. A chance to rant from time to time.

But, now it is clear that all my rants were too conservative.

Now I am doing IT security for a university. I spend all day attempting to hold off the attacks of foreign governments. Some of those attacks now appear to be my own government. I never really wanted to be this paranoid. And it still appears that I am not paranoid enough.

When will I ever be able to take off this stupid tinfoil hat?

Congress keeps railing against money wasted on social programs. It appears the NSA and the CIA are elaborate social programs for sociopaths. Why can't we defund them?

Comment: Re:NSA Walks a Fine Line (Score 1) 324

by dweller_below (#46305285) Attached to: Schneier: Break Up the NSA
But, for the last 10 years, the NSA has not walked the line at all. If the NSA could evenly balance the equities issue:, then there would less problems. But, now, there is no balance. The NSA takes many actions that demonstrate that their drive to Attack has suppressed their duty to Defend. They include:
  1. 1) BULLRUN -
  2. 2) The exploit marketplace is greatly enhanced by the activities of the NSA. This marketplace drives the creation of new exploit. It threatens us all. The NSA never publishes an exploit. Instead, they purchase exploit. Again and again. Many times, they are purchasing exploit they already own, because they don't want to reveal what they own. It is inevitable that they frequently purchase info on exploit that they create. The exploit marketplace would collapse, if the NSA, CyberCommand and their consultants would just stop buying. The exploit marketplace would vanish, if the NSA freely disclosed a fraction (say 30%) of their exploits every year.
  3. 3) Large networks of Bots can only exist at the sufferance of the NSA. Again, if the NSA wished, they could easily, trivially track the C&C of the large criminal Bots. Then they could be dismantled using the ShadowServer's infrastructure: Instead, it appears the NSA is maintaining the existence of the Bots for it own reasons.
  4. 4) The lack of malware Epidemiology. The NSA could publish accurate statistics on incidence of malware. Again, the NSA is in a unique position to track the dissemination and activity of malware. With those stats, we could make accurate determinations of the effectiveness of different security measures. With accurate Epidemiology, we can move defense from superstition to science. Instead, it appears the NSA doesn't want effective defense.
  5. 5) Spoofed DoS packets on the internet can only exist because the NSA tolerates them. If the NSA wished, they could easily, trivially identify all the sources of Spoofed packets. The NSA has enough listening points they can track a stream of spoofed packets back to it's source. Then those sources would be identified, fixed/shunned, and eliminated. Instead, it appears the NSA maintains those sources as cover for their own activities.

That is why Schneier is advocating the breakup of the NSA. We must remove the equities debate from their hands. One part will be driven by offense, the other by defense. And Offense will stop being able to suppress Defense.

Comment: Re:since when is the FBI a spy agency? (Score 4, Insightful) 324

by dweller_below (#46304997) Attached to: Schneier: Break Up the NSA
Looking at the FBI Mission: it looks like the Priorities are based on Crazy Congressional Wishlist. There are just too many Priorities. And, they are ranked according to sensationalism, not importance to the survival of the Nation. That page lists them as:
  1. 1. Protect the United States from terrorist attack
  2. 2. Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage
  3. 3. Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes
  4. 4. Combat public corruption at all levels
  5. 5. Protect civil rights
  6. 6. Combat transnational/national criminal organizations and enterprises
  7. 7. Combat major white-collar crime
  8. 8. Combat significant violent crime
  9. 9. Support federal, state, local and international partners
  10. 10. Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI’s mission

At this point, I think we can all clearly see that Terrorism only has as much importance as we create for it. If we don't regard it as important, the Terrorism threat goes almost entirely away. If you were to rank these Priorities according to what most impacts the survival of the Nation, I believe it would look more like:

  1. 1. Combat public corruption at all levels
  2. 2. Combat transnational/national criminal organizations and enterprises
  3. 3. Protect civil rights
  4. 4. Combat major white-collar crime
  5. 5. Combat significant violent crime
  6. 6. Support federal, state, local and international partners
  7. 7. Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI’s mission
  8. 8. Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes
  9. 9. Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage
  10. 10. Protect the United States from terrorist attack

Comment: yes & glad i resisted temptation (Score 1) 692

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#46010041) Attached to: Blowing Up a Pointless Job Interview
I once got asked a question which I found hurtful and offensive, and felt tempted to 'blow up' the interview at that point. Fortunately, I resisted the temptation. As it turns out, the question was his way of introducing the next thing, which was telling me that he was offering me the job.

Comment: Preliminary injunction (Score 1) 211

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#45924005) Attached to: Supreme Court To Hear Aereo Case
I guess it would take a litigator to notice this, but it's quite unusual that a preliminary injunction denial would be getting this kind of appellate attention.

In the first place, it was unusual for an interlocutory appeal to be granted from the denial of the preliminary injunction motion. In federal court usually you can only appeal from a final judgment.

Similarly, apart from the fact that it's always rare for a certiorari petition to be granted, it's especially tough where the appeal is not from a final judgment, but just from a preliminary injunction denial which does not dispose of the whole case.

Comment: Re:Interesting... (Score 1) 133

by Kadin2048 (#45874339) Attached to: UK Company Successfully Claims Ownership of "Pinterest" Trademark

In the US, trademarks only extend as far as someone might be confused by their use. It's not a hard black and white line, but you can use "Word" if you wanted to, in an unrelated industry from Microsoft's, provided that nobody thought that customers might be confused and think that your product was, or was in some way related to, Microsoft's. (Obviously since Microsoft is such a big company and does so much stuff, this might be harder than if they were purely in the word processing business.)

A good example is Apple Records vs Apple Computer Corp. There was a lot of argument that went back and forth as to whether Apple Computers might be confused with Apple Records -- which seemed ridiculous at the time, because why would Apple Computer ever get into the music business? So they worked it out and came to a settlement to stay out of each other's turf. That happens very frequently. (It got interesting when Apple-the-computer-company decided to get into the music business; my understanding is that they made Apple Records an offer they couldn't refuse.)

And given how ubiquitous Microsoft's products are -- love them or hate them -- the breadth of their trademarks are probably not unreasonable. A no-name company ought not be able to assert a trademark with any similar breadth, because there's so little chance of confusion.

Comment: Re:Use it or lose it (Score 1) 133

by Kadin2048 (#45874279) Attached to: UK Company Successfully Claims Ownership of "Pinterest" Trademark

Well they are registered in the .com TLD, which is basically United States namespace, so it would make sense that US trademark law would apply at least in terms of the domain name. I doubt some European company would be able to convince a US court to order Verisign to turn over the domain to them.

So at worst, I would think that Pinterest could continue to operate under the "" domain name; the challenge would be whether they want to advertise in the European market, which might be prohibited without changing their name.

Comment: Re:The distinction is minor (Score 1) 223

by knewter (#45489903) Attached to: Google Nexus Gets Wireless Charger

My wife somehow every one of her devices that results in the connection for the charger being exceedingly fiddly. I don't know if she just applies massive pressure to the USB input or what, but the end result is her complaining to me very frequently about how her electronics don't work like they ought to (and for some reason, mentioning that none of mine, which are the exact same model, exhibit this flaw that every one of her devices exhibits, doesn't make her think I've made a valid point and instead gets me in trouble).

This will save me at least an hour of hearing about something I can't fix each week. I'll gladly pay for that :)

Comment: Re:Why can't I? (Score 1) 124

by NewYorkCountryLawyer (#45427770) Attached to: Google Books Case Dismissed On Fair Use Grounds

I would like to retain your services in this matter. Please list your bank account information so that I may transfer a retainer payment to you. Thank you. Sincerely, Prince Bernard Koffi Austine Nigeria

Dear Prince Bernard, If you're talking about my bank account, you're barking up the wrong tree :)

"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)