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Comment Re:Wow. Talk about misreading, and missing the poi (Score 1) 66

Yeah, and guess what?

Smith v Maryland (1979) says that phone call records, as "business records" provided to a third party, do not have an expectation of privacy, and are not covered by the Fourth Amendment. And the only data within that haystack that we care about are the foreign intelligence needles. I know that's difficult to comprehend, but it's the law of the land, unless and until SCOTUS reverses that ruling. And they very well may.

Until that happens, "We're pretty aggressive within the law. As a professional, Iâ(TM)m troubled if I'm not using the full authority allowed by law." -- General Michael Hayden

Comment Re:Correct. Including the US government. (Score 0) 66

Here's your mistake, and the mistake of everyone who thinks the way you do:

You cherry-pick examples of abuse -- and that's exactly what it is, illegal abuse -- and extrapolate it, in your mind, to being a systemic problem. You imagine it's happening all the time, and that people just sit around at their desks looking up their friends, girlfriends, neighbors, and ex-spouses for fun.

You then cherry-pick completely unrelated, long-ago-condemned examples of things that happened decades ago under the Hoover FBI, which is about 180 degrees opposite from what NSA does for foreign intelligence, and before there was any semblance of anything that could remotely be called intel oversight, and pretend it's exactly the same.

Your mistake is that you think isolated examples of abuse are not isolated, without proof; then you believe that any such examples indicate what, to you, is obviously a systemic, widespread problem. Abuse will ALWAYS happen, and it will never stop. This is true at all levels of government, and anywhere a human being exists. The answer to that is oversight (something you also think doesn't exist, but is actually so overbearing and restrictive that if you could actually witness it, you wouldn't believe it), not removing any authority that "could" be abused, because then we would necessarily have to remove them all.

Yes, intentional abuse, unintentional abuse, simple mistakes, human or machine error, and all manner of things happen in intelligence work. And those errors are such a vanishingly small proportion of what NSA does that it is nearly zero -- and they are still taken seriously. In fact, this is one of the single most important things drilled into anyone doing foreign SIGINT, military or civilian, every single day. It's not some kind of a joke.

I hate to break it to you, but how things actually work might disappoint you if you think there is rampant abuse everywhere.

Comment General IT (Score 1) 159

A more general IT course would be better as a requirement. It could cover the relationship between clients and servers/clouds, what an OS is and isn't, normalization and data relationships (one-to-many, many-to-many, etc.), pro's and con's of different kinds of data keys/id's, encryption techniques, etc.

They will likely need to know a bit about such in the work-place even if they are not a coder. Coding is only one aspect of IT.

It's better 100% of students are slightly less naive about general IT which at least 90% will use at work, compared to 100% prepared for a career in coding that only 3% will end up in. It's not a logical use of school resources and time to put a coding class over an IT class.

Comment Wow. Talk about misreading, and missing the point. (Score 1, Troll) 66

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen ... you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.

No. That's not what I said, at all.

What I said was -- all arguments about crypto aside -- was precisely what I said:

If you're an American (or frankly, any innocent person) anywhere in the world who isn't an active member of a foreign terrorist organization or an agent of a foreign power, the Intelligence Community DOES NOT CARE ABOUT and actually DOES NOT WANT your data.

That is in no way, shape, or form akin to saying, "you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide." It is not making an argument that the government "should" have your data. It is saying that the Intelligence Community, in the form of the foreign intelligence agencies, does not want your data -- doesn't want to touch it, doesn't want to see it, doesn't want to read it, whether it's encrypted or not. And no, using crypto does not "make you a suspect". (And the FBI doesn't want the data of innocent people, either. What the FBI wishes for is a state of affairs where criminals for whom exist actual individualized warrants wouldn't be able to employ the digital equivalent of an impenetrable fortress, out of reach of the legitimate authority of enforcement mechanisms in a democratic society. But it may have to come to terms with that reality.)

If you believe you defend these things by undermining what they actually mean, then I'm afraid you don't deserve to have these things defended since you've already given up on them.

Talk about missing the point. You are basing your entire argument on a false premise, and false assumption of what you believe my argument to be; namely, that we should be giving up our rights in order to protect them. Not only am I not making that argument, I am making the precise opposite: that if you believe those rights are important, you need to understand that we can and do take steps to execute military and intelligence actions against our adversaries, whether they be terrorists or nation-states.

You crow about all these rights you think you and Americans, collectively, have "given up", when in reality, nothing substantive has actually changed (oh, I realize you think it's changed, and that you're living in a borderline police state). You believe your rights are being trampled, when you are, from a real and practical standpoint, more free while living in organized, civil society than any other people throughout history -- at least as free as is possible without living in a vacuum with no connection to humanity.

You hold out WWII codebreakers as heroes, practically idolizing them, and vilify the modern day equivalent, while ignoring the reality that US adversaries coexist in the same web of global digital communications as we do, utilizing the same devices, systems, services, networks, operating systems, encryption standards, and so on, and then act surprised when elements of the US government actually dare develop ways to exploit those systems, just because Americans also happen to use them -- totally misunderstanding the landscape.

This is exactly what I am talking about when I say people need to gain some perspective on history, or reality. Either would do.

Comment Re: In three years ... (Score 1) 159

Someone has to set the educational standards for the entire country. ..and you're willing to leave that up to the whims of politicians?

We can't have 50 states marching to a different drummer, especially when we have a political culture that values ignorance over intelligence.

I think it's hilarious that you believe central authority is a remedy to this problem.


Comment Re: In three years ... (Score 2) 159

I remember the push back in the late '70s and early '80s when the educrats were tossing around the term "computer literacy" to try to scare the politicians into giving them more money. A lot of kids who didn't give a shit about coding were forced to waste time writing BASIC programs to shit out multiplication tables and biorhythms.

Rahm Emmanuel should STFU about things he doesn't know shit about. Shame on anyone in Chicago who ever voted for that asshole.


Comment Correct. Including the US government. (Score 3, Insightful) 66

And two former DIRNSAs agree.

So does ADM Rogers -- except that every interpretation of various US officials' arguments on encryption wildly conflate multiple issues (such as domestic law enforcement, which can and does sometimes have a foreign intelligence connection, and foreign signals intelligence purposes), or utterly misunderstand the purpose, function, and targets of foreign intelligence.

Yes, I know you (not OP, the "royal you") think you know it all, because you have taken things you think of as "proof" utterly out-of-context with zero understanding about things like foreign SIGINT actually works, and have seen 3-4 unrelated pieces of a 1000 piece puzzle, with some of those pieces actually parts of different puzzles, and believe you have the full picture.

People continually and willfully seem to want to forget or ignore that actual, no-shit foreign intelligence targets also -- gasp! -- use things like iPhones, Gmail, Hotmail, WhatsApp, and so on. And, when foreign intelligence targets use these modes of communication, amazingly, we actually want to target them.

If you're an American (or frankly, any innocent person) anywhere in the world who isn't an active member of a foreign terrorist organization or an agent of a foreign power, the Intelligence Community DOES NOT CARE ABOUT and actually DOES NOT WANT your data. Sounds crazy and bizarre for foreign intelligence agencies to care about things like foreign intelligence, I know, but it's true. Weird!

I guess it's easier to believe that functioning democracies* all are constantly looking for ways to illegally spy on their own citizens who have done nothing wrong, rather than to believe that intelligence work in the digital age where the only distinction is no longer the physical location or even the technology used, but simply the target -- the person at the other end, is actually extremely complicated, and not fun.

* If you don't think the Western liberal democracies of the world are worth a shit, or laugh at the term "functioning democracies" when used in reference to the US, warts and all, that simply means you have lost all perspective of reality, and are part of the problem. And it will be to our peril, because there actually are governments in the world who do spy on their own citizens, and wherein the people don't have anywhere NEAR the level of freedoms we have, no matter how terrible you think we are. And guess what? It's our national security and intelligence apparatus that we use to defend ourselves. If you're now so jaded that you don't actually believe the US and its allies, and their principles, are something worth defending and fighting for, then everything I have said here means nothing to you anyway. Just be advised that your perception of history and reality is fatally skewed.

Comment Re:My brother had his car stolen there two weeks a (Score 1) 359

"So why do the developers need to be located in the same city as the PR department?

2. A lot of the venture capital people are in SF.

Ditto for the money people."

Because in many startups the developers and the pr people, and the money people are all the same people. They are called startups after all.

"Anyway, "real" tech exists more in S. Florida than N/Central. Only UCF has really tried to do a proper research park, and that's only about 2 decades old."

Yes and that is a big part of the problem you do not have the schools feeding the tech companies. UF is in Gainsville which really is the middle of nowhere and FSU is in Tallahassee which is a city with two major employers, State government and FSU.

"Texas has less to offer than Florida, but it has a better tech reputation. Maybe it's because they know how to do something other than lure in tourists and use minimum-wage under-educated workers to do it."
Florida has more than that including aerospace and shipbuilding but the reputation is correct. I still think it is the disconnect between the Universities that have good tech programs and where the tech companies in FL are.
It really is too bad, I feel that a good tech company could do really well here.

Comment Re: In three years ... (Score 1) 159

Back in the dark ages when I graduated high school one of the required classes was called "comparative government". A few years early it was called Democracy vs Communism but they decided to tone it down a bit. I was in the class with two friends of mine and where actually getting into the class about four weeks into the class the teacher pulled us over and asked us to stop asking so many questions. He simply put it this way, "You guys are going to pass this class with As but I have kids in here that may not pass at all and not graduate. I do not have the time to answer your questions and help them pass."

Maybe a class in logic and critical thing would be a better mandatory class than programing.

Comment Bingo (Score 1) 359

the San Francisco and Silicon Valley communities have gotten themselves into a trap where preservationists and local politics

The housing bubble in the bay area is a direct result of government interference in the housing market. Every local government around here is extremely hostile to new construction, especially to increasing housing density.

A plot of land with a five million dollar single-family house on it would be worth far more if you put a ten-story apartment building on it, and it would make homes available at far lower cost for far more people.


What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!