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Comment: Re:What if he forgot it? (Score 1) 350

by Aighearach (#47440855) Attached to: UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

"Beyond reasonable doubt" is the standard for convicting somebody of a crime. Why would that be the standard for deciding a factual detail relating to evidence, such as if you forgot, or if you're not a reliable witness?

If you're not a reliable witness, then it doesn't matter very much if you claim to have forgotten. In that case the Judge would be looking at which version is more likely.

Comment: Re:I found this article to be more informative (Score 1) 215

by Aighearach (#47437073) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

I'd prefer a more proactive response, maybe carry around a bunch of WWII concentration camp photos and wave those around whenever the Germans complain about "spying."

No they shouldn't be punished forever, but we probably should keep an eye on them forever.

Their history with the Nazi state and the Gestapo secret police is exactly why Germans are so bothered by spying. They know for a fact that gathered information can easily be put to nefarious use.

If they understand the history and are against having people make sure they're not subjected to that sort of governance again... that tells me which side they're on!

Luckily pretty much everybody in American politics supports spying on the Germans, so I can be sure I'll remain protected from them no matter what they think of it.

Comment: Re:Why is Obama doing this . . . ? (Score 1) 215

by Aighearach (#47437055) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

That was my point. They don't work for him, they work for the Federal Government. Much about their employment is regulated directly by Congress, including their budget. A President can fire a department head, but then what? That might actually not matter at all to the section heads within the NSA. The political leadership comes and goes, but the rest of the organization is self-managing. The Director of the NSA might in fact not be able to run around snapping his fingers and cause the desired effect. They manage their own budget on a blank check from Congress.

Obviously the departments that are overseen more directly by members of the Cabinet then the President has extensive access and generally better control. Except of course Law Enforcement which is all delegated as per post-Watergate rules.

Something else you might not have considered, when you fire the Director, then the Deputy Director takes over. The Director is a military position; the Deputy Director is required to be a civilian. This guarantees that it will be a "career professional" from inside the organization, but who can't be appointed as Director. This means if you fire the Director, the short term effect is turn full control over to the organization. And then the replacement has to be formally Nominated and then Confirmed by the Senate. Whoever you just fired had connections in the Senate to have gotten confirmed in the first place. So firing him upsets those people. So the replacement will likely be further from the President than whoever he fired, because he'll have a weakened hand in confirmation.

Also, the NSA is military, which means most of the President's staff don't have any say at all. Most of what the President wants to get done has to be done directly, and through the Secretary of Defense. And then most of the workers are actually civilians, so he can't give them orders as Commander in Chief. And the Secretary of Defense mostly has to go through the command structure.

Civics is actually interesting to learn about. There are real reasons it is structured the way it is.

Comment: Re:Collision unlikely (Score 3, Informative) 302

Helicopters might not be nearly as robust as you assume. They might in fact be very touchy, and prone to a wide variety of damage.

And what if that down-draft flips the drone over and it catches an eddy? It could easily get blown up by air being forced down, even if most of the time it would get blown down.

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 2) 215

by Aighearach (#47427361) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

Wouldn't the existance of spies be the reason for a "no-spy list?" I mean if you're not spying on each other anyways, then why waste time and money negotiating that? Seems to be a required precondition.

This proves the status quo is spying, therefore the premise of a no-spy list is valid.

Comment: Re:I found this article to be more informative (Score 1, Insightful) 215

by Aighearach (#47427333) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

I'd prefer a more proactive response, maybe carry around a bunch of WWII concentration camp photos and wave those around whenever the Germans complain about "spying."

No they shouldn't be punished forever, but we probably should keep an eye on them forever.

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