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Comment: Re:Not just "unreasonable". (Score 1) 221

by Astro Dr Dave (#48235095) Attached to: When Snowden Speaks, Future Lawyers (and Judges) Listen

Very nice, but I see you neglected to quote any of the legislation authorizing the activities of the intelligence agencies.

Any reason for that?

It's irrelevant. If there is a recognized civil right that is being violated, then 18 USC 241/242 apply, regardless of other legislation.

Comment: Re:Not just "unreasonable". (Score 4, Informative) 221

by Astro Dr Dave (#48232893) Attached to: When Snowden Speaks, Future Lawyers (and Judges) Listen
As I see it, every agency that has a hand in the domestic surveillance programs detailed by Snowden is in violation of Federal law, and yes these are felonies. From Title 18 of the United States Code:

241. If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

242. Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

+ - Slashdot creates beta site users express theirs dislike-> 4

Submitted by who_stole_my_kidneys
who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) writes "Slashdot started redirecting users in February to its newly revamped webpage and received a huge backlash from users. The majority of comments dislike the new site while some do offer solutions to make it better. The question is will Slashdot force the unwanted change on its users that clearly do not want change?"
Link to Original Source

+ - SCOTUS to weigh smartphone searches by police->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether police can search an arrested criminal suspect's cell phone without a warrant in two cases that showcase how the courts are wrestling to keep up with rapid technological advances.

Taking up cases from California and Massachusetts arising from criminal prosecutions that used evidence obtained without a warrant, the high court will wade into how to apply older court precedent, which allows police to search items carried by a defendant at the time of arrest, to cell phones."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Hold on there... (Score 4, Informative) 187

by Astro Dr Dave (#45970209) Attached to: FISA Judges Oppose Intelligence Reform Proposals Aimed At Court
The judges know that a true adversarial process is not on the table - and never will be. They aren't calling for real reform. Mostly they are worried about their workload. This is all spelled out in the actual document which you can get here They don't want an advocate or adversarial process, because it wouldn't change anything.

Here is the full quote: "The participation of a privacy advocate is unnecessary and could prove counterproductive in the vast majority of FISA matters, which involve the application of a probable cause or other factual standard to case-specific facts and typically implicate the privacy interests of few persons other than the specific target. Given the nature of FISA proceedings, the participation of an advocate would neither create a truly adversarial process nor constructively assist the Court in assessing the facts, as the advocate would be unable to communicate with the target or conduct an independent investigation. Advocate involvement in run-of-the-mill FISA matters would substantially hamper the work of the Courts without providing any commensurate benefit in terms of privacy protection or otherwise; indeed, such pervasive participation could actually undermine the Courts' ability to receive complete and accurate information on the matters before them."

Of course, we already know the courts are not getting complete and accurate information, and they rubber-stamp orders anyway.

Comment: Re:It's rigged (Score 4, Insightful) 187

by Astro Dr Dave (#45969909) Attached to: FISA Judges Oppose Intelligence Reform Proposals Aimed At Court

Fire them and throw them into jail.

A federal judge will never go to prison for rendering judgments favorable to the administration.

Soap box, ballot box, jury box... all have been subverted or suppressed to the point of failure. Massive protests? We had some a couple years ago, they were shut down by riot police. Elections are subverted by the money and connections necessary to get your name on a ballot. The jury box is of little utility. The role of a jury today is lessened from what it once was. The DoJ is more interested in prosecuting whistle-blowers while declining to prosecute bankers or even investigate documented illegal acts within the Executive branch, past and present. Hell, Holder even thinks he can justify extra-judicial killings of Americans.

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe

The "awkward stage" ends when the populace is more concerned with civil rights than American Idol. I don't see that happening yet. It might be possible to reign in some abusive practices without violence, but the more time passes the more difficult that will be.

Comment: It's rigged (Score 5, Insightful) 187

by Astro Dr Dave (#45969493) Attached to: FISA Judges Oppose Intelligence Reform Proposals Aimed At Court
If they're against an adversarial process, that suggests that the FISA court is not a neutral party. While I agree that it is inadequate, a third-party advocate for civil liberties would be better than the nothing that we have at the moment.

I'm suspicious of an advocate chosen by the court. Fox guarding the henhouse?

Then again, I'm also suspicious of secret court proceedings.

+ - NSA Can Bridge Air-Gapped Systems-> 2

Submitted by jddeluxe
jddeluxe (965655) writes "An article just published in the New York Times outlines how the NSA has compromised systems not connected to the Internet.
The practice, ongoing from 2008, " relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target."
Break out the tin foil hats..."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Almost no one is killed by "assault weapons" (Score 1) 1862

by Astro Dr Dave (#42595491) Attached to: 3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws
Nice attempt to spin the story, but nothing indicates that it jammed because of his "haste". He did manage to change magazines. Those magazines tend to cause jams because of the forces involved with the long spring. Lives were spared because he used an extended magazine.

Reloading with a magazine takes almost no time... well under a second If you are competent. At Columbine, Sandy Hook and VA tech the shooters reloaded many times, and nobody stopped them.

Comment: Re:Almost no one is killed by "assault weapons" (Score 1) 1862

by Astro Dr Dave (#42592389) Attached to: 3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws
Incorrect; in Tucson, the gun jammed because he was using an unreliable extended magazine.

I'm not aware of any mass shooting incidents where reloading provided sufficient opportunity to physically stop the shooter.

From an LA Times article:

Loughner fired all 31 bullets in the magazine and was reloading when a woman in the crowd, already wounded, attempted to grab the gun from him. He finally changed the magazine and tried to fire, but the gun jammed. Meanwhile, two men from the crowd grabbed him and subdued him, officials said.

Had Loughner been successful in firing the second magazine, "there would have been a huge, greater catastrophe," Sheriff Dupnik said. The sheriff also said that the toll had climbed to 20, six dead and 14 injured, including the congresswoman.

Comment: Re:Government Must Fear Pissing Off Its Citizens (Score 1) 1388

by Astro Dr Dave (#42543321) Attached to: Smart Guns To Stop Mass Killings
The protections afforded by the Bill of Rights are not open to re-interpretation by Congress or any other ballot box, except for a 2/3 majority (of either both houses of Congress, or the state legislatures) followed by ratification by 3/4 of the states. That has not occurred, and it will not in the forseeable future.

And if you think defense against tyranny is not a recognized purpose of the 2nd amendment, you should go and read Scalia's DC v Heller opinion again; not just the syllabus.

Comment: Re:Nothing related to guns can be considered "smar (Score 1) 1388

by Astro Dr Dave (#42543197) Attached to: Smart Guns To Stop Mass Killings
Obligatory xkcd

The reason some studies find that not owning a gun makes you safer is because approximately 3/4 of violent crime in the US is perpetrated by people with multiple felony convictions, upon other violent people with multiple felony convictions. Statistically speaking, the scenarioes you describe are mostly insignificant.

Suicides are modestly significant, but pills and alcohol work just fine for that, too.

Comment: Re:This device empowers criminals. (Score 1) 575

by Astro Dr Dave (#38758114) Attached to: NYPD Developing Portable Body Scanner For Detecting Guns
I see no reason for your claim of illegitimacy. Virtually every civilized society recognizes violent force used in self-defense as legitimate. Firearms are essentially the "power tools" of weaponry, which makes them particularly useful because they level the field between people of disparate size and strength -- and that makes them the most effective means of self defense. Rural or urban locale is irrelevant; arguably defensive tools are more necessary in urban areas where virtually everyone is a stranger.

If firearms were not legitimate tools of self-defense, then police would not carry guns.

Think on this: what if that robber 10 years ago had wanted more than your cash and cell phone? What could you have done? Your experience is a perfect example of the futility of gun control laws. Canada has very strict regulation of handguns... yet the robber had one anyway, and you were at his mercy.

As for the violence rates in America, they are comparable to Canada or Europe if you exclude gang and drug-infested inner-city areas. Canada and Europe don't have the same demographic diversity. The violence problem in America has nothing to do with the availability of guns (violence rates are worst in the areas where guns are most heavily regulated), it is primarily socioeconomic and cultural.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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