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Comment: Re:Unfortunately, Congress will make itself exempt (Score 3, Informative) 241

Until very recently Congress were the only individuals exempt from insider trading laws.

They effectively still are. A key part of the STOCK act was rolled back after the election.

Therefore, Congress will pass a law making itself exempt from CIA/NSA spying and the rest of the country be damned.

Interestingly, the UK already has something like this, it's called the Wilson Doctrine and is not a law but rather a promise the Prime Minister makes to MP's by tradition.

Comment: Re:Online in England, maybe (Score 2) 249

by IamTheRealMike (#47577577) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

The UK just passed a law that says any company whose website has UK users i.e. all of them has to comply with UK surveillance requests. It's as bad as the USA when it comes to those kinds of extra territorial laws now.

Politicians have generally not been able to handle the notion of borderless transactions and information flows. This "you have to comply with our laws if your service is accessible to our citizens" trick is their solution. You say, how do they enforce it, well, through exploiting the international world in which we live - grab people from planes using the absence of anonymous air travel, extradite people, seize assets, etc.

The way it's going, in future everyone who does anything interesting in this world will have a list of countries they can't go to or fly through, and organising conferences will become an exercise in set intersection ....

Comment: Re:Real life is complicated (Score 1) 507

Hmm, factory workers aren't really comparable to soldiers invading a foreign country, are they? The former makes useful things for people at home and the latter signed up voluntarily to go kill people who were not invading.

Look, you may not like people in the military (no clue why), but to say they deserve what they get is naive and stupid. Historically and currently, joining the military has been one of the most sure ways for intelligent, motivated people born into poor circumstances to raise themselves up the ladder of success.

Given the relative abundance of rich entrepreneurs vs rich veterans, I think a citation may be needed there.

Comment: Re:Institutional hypocrisy (Score 1) 184

They could sit on their thumbs doing nothing. While this option pleases the anarchist in us, you cannot expect a lawmaker to ignore lawbreakers

What law breakers? This new "law" that was invented by the courts with zero debate is so vague that whether someone is breaking it or not is entirely debatable and thus eminently ignorable.

Comment: Re:Correct yet misleading (Score 1) 184

Then companies that routinely exclude qualified candidates because "shit some HR lady found on google" will start to suffer and die as their stupid hiring process systematically excludes 99% of all people alive?

You know what? Smart companies, like Google, do not determine who they hire by what they find on Google. But if someone has a burning need to work for a company that is not smart, they are welcome to upload lots of cool content about themselves and/or explanations about why their previous acts are no longer relevant.

Comment: Re:Or maybe you're not so good at math (Score 5, Informative) 511

My memory is a bit foggy, when was the IRA importing mass shipments of long range artillery rockets from Iran and firing them at the UK?

They never did. They got the shipments from Libya instead.

Note that these weapons included rockets propelled grenades, surface to air missiles, flamethrowers, explosives and lots of machine guns.

By the way, a big source of IRA funding and support was the USA. But everyone has conveniently forgotten that post 9/11. Given the constant US wailing over the funding of terrorism, it'd be impolite to recall the open IRA fundraising activities that occurred in places like Boston.

Comment: Re: Like China och USSR (Score 2) 511

Chinese sites remove comments themselves too. They get "guidance" from the government on what to remove. Sounds like the French situation is exactly the same: the government lays out laws saying what is and is not acceptable speech and apparently, virtually all comments on this particular conflict are unacceptable.

I think the censor here is great for revealing what's going on, but his diagnosis seems odd. He thinks there's something different about this conflict in particular that results in more comments being taken down due to their content, but simultaneously admits that it's due to laws about anti-semitism which is specific to Jewish people. Perhaps if there were laws specific to Arab people and an Arab nation started doing what Israel is doing they'd see 90% takedown rates on those stories too.

Anyway to answer your point, I'm actually struggling to see the difference between this and what happens in China. The mechanisms and underlying logic are identical. It's actually quite shocking. I had no idea moderation rates would be that high.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 91

by IamTheRealMike (#47537871) Attached to: New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

To be slightly more accurate and less cynical, because their customers asked for one, and because there were no particular rules or guidelines laying out what to do with such requests thus no reason to refuse. Sure, any given CA could refuse on principle, in which case that customer would go to a competitor. That's why the CA system is regulated by browser/OS makers - to keep standards high in the presence of competitive market forces that would otherwise optimise for convenience.

Comment: Alternative explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 394

Routing traffic via the VPN changes the path the traffic flows over, possibly avoiding routes that are saturated and (who knows) pending upgrade.

It's tempting to imagine the internet as a giant blob of fungible bandwidth, but in reality it's just a big mess of cables some of which are higher capacity than others. Assuming malice is fun, but there isn't enough data here to say one way or another.

Comment: Re: Eh? (Score 1) 137

by IamTheRealMike (#47522441) Attached to: Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%

Did YOU look at the graph? The bars are comparing all of 2013 against the first half of 2014 (obviously, as the second half is in the future). So the fact that IE already matched last year's record is where the 100% figure comes from - it's another way to say "doubled". Unless the second half of 2014 has a lower exploit rate then the conclusion will be correct.

Comment: Re:Privacy is dead (Score 3, Insightful) 175

by IamTheRealMike (#47514657) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

The same exact reasoning to justify TSA

They're incomparable. TSA is mandated by governments, you have no choice in the matter. Using a particular brand of smartphone is not. You are free to use a smartphone that doesn't use Google services and indeed are free to buy a Nexus 5 and then say "no" to the billion and one "trade data for feature?" prompts that appear when switched on the first time. No government goon is going to step in and insist that you send all your data to Google.

In fact, if you would prefer a smartphone that has a different data/features tradeoff then - conveniently! - Google provides a rather good open source operating system for free that you can use to build one. If others feel the same way you do you can even sell them without paying Google a dime.

Comment: Re:popular online privacy tool Tor (Score 1) 52

Depends how you define "very popular" I guess. The most popular way to bypass state-level censorship in the Arab world and elsewhere is a product called HotSpot Shield. When Turkey blocked Twitter some time ago, HSS experienced 1000% growth and reached 1.1 million installs in the iOS App Store alone within only four days, with 800,000 regular users.

In contrast Tor went from 30,000 to 40,000 "direct connects" from Turkey.

HSS doesn't get much press in the geek world as it's just a plain old VPN run by a company in California that inserts ads into people's web pages to pay for the bandwidth costs. But usage wise it utterly dominates Tor.

Comment: Re:"Develop" or "Instigate the development of"? (Score 1) 129

by IamTheRealMike (#47501649) Attached to: Snowden Seeks To Develop Anti-Surveillance Technologies

Nothing I have read about Snowden indicates that he is actually some sort of uber-hacker

Except the stuff about how a 29 year old completely pwnd the NSA, probably the most technically sophisticated part of the US Government there is?

Sheesh. Your standards are high. What would it take, exactly?

Additionally, just because you have read nothing about his programming skills doesn't mean he has none. He once mentioned finding XSS holes in some CIA app so apparently he is good enough to do that.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan

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