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Comment: Re:If they break into people's homes.... (Score 1) 388

That's another advantage of forcing the snoops back to "direct access" methods -- every so often one of them will get caught red-handed snooping on the wrong (i.e. clearly innocent and rich/influential) target, re-focusing attention on them and forcing another round of retrenchment until it blows over.

Comment: Re:Cost/benefit ratio (Score 1) 388

Now, if a backdoor is found by the bad guys, it will be used almost immediately to destroy a company.

If it's found by really bad guys (e.g. North Korea on a day when Dear Supreme Grand High Panjandrum is feeling especially trollish), it can be publicly circulated to destroy every company.

Comment: Re:And is this a bad thing? (Score 5, Insightful) 388

Forcing them to switch to "direct access" methods puts pressure on them to follow the law. First, as I noted in my earlier comment, the non-scaling time and manpower costs (each tail, bug, etc requires significant additional resources) forces careful selection of targets. Second, "direct access" methods put the snoops at a nontrivial risk of getting caught and/or leaving recoverable evidence each time they use them illegally.

Comment: That's Exactly What They SHOULD Be Doing (Score 2) 388

"Direct access" methods (tailing people, planting surveillance devices, etc) do not scale anywhere near as easily as network surveillance -- each "direct access" target requires a significant fixed cost in resources and manpower. This imposes discipline on the snoops and forces them to pick and choose actual suspects instead of trying to scoop up everything.

+ - Indiana Court Rules Melted Down Hard Drive Not Destruction of Evidence-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "An Indiana court has ruled that a hard drive that was sent to recycling was not destruction of evidence. The ruling stems from a BitTorrent file-sharing case filed by Malibu Media where a defendant claimed that his hard drive had failed thanks to heavy use. Malibu claimed that the act was destruction of evidence and filed a motion demanding a default judgement. The court denied this motion suggesting that because the hard drive failed, there was no evidence to destroy in the first place."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Cooperative Game... With Possible Exceptions (Score 1) 155

by Steve B (#48713709) Attached to: Designing the Best Board Game

That's one advantage of mostly cooperative board games where there might be a hidden "traitor" among the players who wins if the group loses (e.g. Shadows Over Camelot, Battlestar Galactica). With that possibility on the table, players can't just trust somebody else to make decisions and have to pay attention to what everyone else is doing (usually in these games, exposing the traitor has some reward, at least insofar as it curtails his ability to continue undermining the group).

Comment: Re:It's a TRAP! (Score 2) 175

by Steve B (#47630105) Attached to: Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

webmail kinda implies that the provider will either be storing the key or at the very least be able to access it

Obviously they need access to the PUBLIC keys in order to encrypt messages to the designated recipient. The whole point of public-key cryptography is that revealing the public key doesn't compromise security.

+ - Kansas drops plan for municipal broadband ban->

Submitted by Mokurai
Mokurai (458416) writes ""Facing public backlash over a Senate bill that would outlaw community broadband services statewide, Sen. Julia Lynn, R-Olathe, announced on Monday the postponement of hearings set to take place this week. Senate Bill 304 would prohibit cities and counties from building public broadband networks."

The bill was reportedly "introduced by John Federico, a cable industry lobbyist."

I didn't see this on SlashDot when it was introduced, but the Internet definitely responded to the threat of damage."

Link to Original Source

Comment: The "Known Reserves" Fallacy (Score 1) 1108

by Steve B (#26885271) Attached to: Why Sustainable Power Is Unsustainable

If the companies that sell X have access to a 15-year supply, they aren't going to spend money looking for more. As a result, anybody who looks at known reserves and doesn't understand the reality described in the previous sentence is going to run around yelling "ONOZ WE'RE GONNA RUN OUT OF X IN 15 YEARS OMG!!!1!"

Computer programmers do it byte by byte.