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Comment: Re:Also Disturbing (Score 1) 116

by danheskett (#46771699) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

Well you are right. Thanks for that. I think that I have improperly cement Section I as the only one establishing courts because it is the one most cited in research, Section II being well settled by this point.

I was not originally suggesting the Court seek out cases or controversies, or have a police power (like in, say, France).

I do suggest that they need to actively distrust in hearings and rulings the claim that the Government will do what it says. In the case, Lavabit, the Government says matter of factly that it will not use the SSL keys to do anything to the other 400,000 customers of Lavabit's service, but that is (a) not binding and (b) not believable. It would be ideal if a Judge, hearing such a claim, pro-actively took steps to either force the Government to adhere to that (i.e. consent agree) or to in some other way hold it harmless. It is really in a way too bad that the Government can't usually be forced to post a bond. Levinson was fairly clearly concerned that the Government would overstep their authority, leaving his customers damaged and himself without recourse. This was the nature of his request to provide the data after the fact (after he could verify it was only targeted to one customer who under investigation). The Judge immediately dismissed his concern because the Government stated - in a non-binding, non-policy specific way - that they would only tap one customer.

Comment: Re:Also Disturbing (Score 2) 116

by danheskett (#46770895) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

Judges should NOT start being proactive.

I suppose I should have said "in their rulings". Meaning, they should be defacto skeptical of Government claims, and defacto assume that Government shall not be trusted. Currently, they take the Government's claims at face value. I.E. the Government says they wont use any data they are not allowed to, so we trust them. They should be proactive in assuming that the Government lies.

n the US, at least, judges are - per the US constitution - reactive.

Really? Where is that? Article III establishes the Judicary, but does not in any way circumscribe the power of the Courts, or make them reactive in nature. There is nothing even suggesting that a suit must be made - only that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction.

The entire concept of a reactive, ex-post facto review based Court is entirely based on statue and tradition (Marbury v. Madison et all). There is nothing inherently anti-Constitutional about, for example, the Court being given, by Congress, an ad-hoc review power of any government action. Or a pre-enactment review authority over all legislation.

At very least, allowing judges to be proactive would require a massive rewriting of laws, starting with the constitution and working your way down.

I disagree. Most of it is all stacked precedent and not black letter law.

Comment: Re:The problem is that too much of it is state bas (Score 1) 135

by the gnat (#46770379) Attached to: U.S. Biomedical Research 'Unsustainable' Prominent Researchers Warn

This is the thing. Its like the abortion debate. MY body.

Again, you're not understanding my point. I'm not arguing with patient choice, I'm against companies marketing snake oil, which is one of the specific reasons that the FDA exists. The difference between these drugs and most other phony cures is that the drugs can actually kill you. I feel the same way about tobacco - I think people should be allowed to do anything they want as long as they don't harm anyone else, but I'm totally in favor of bans on cigarette ads. The distinction is between allowing potentially unsafe behavior, versus encouraging it.

Comment: Re:A remarkable order. (Score 3, Insightful) 116

by danheskett (#46770139) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

The cogent and accurate description of public key cryptography a

Disagree. The "padlock" analogy was garbage. In PKI, anyone cannot simply "lock the padlock" as the author of the ruling states. For any key-set, exactly 1 key can "lock", and exactly 1 key can "unlock". The brief claimed that anyone could come by and lock it, and that's not true. And it's relevant since, as Levinson stated, with the keys, the Government could impersonate his service to any of his 400,000 users.

As we know, they government routinely uses deception. The DEA creates fake histories of evidence and plants it on local law enforcement.

Comment: Also Disturbing (Score 4, Insightful) 116

by danheskett (#46770093) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

I think one thing we need to be aware of is that the Court defers to the Government's claim that, once decrypted, the Government will not view anything but the "metadata" of the communication, not it's "content", and not for anyone but the target.

Every legal case, every Court hearing, from here forever, the Government must never be given the benefit of the doubt. Any time they have the capability to abuse that claim, we must assume that they will, and Judges should start factoring that assumption into their discussions. We know, only through illicit disclosures, the government will abuse the legal theories that are plainly written in black letter law (Section 215 for example), and will simply declare that the domestic law doesn't not apply for any number of novel theories outside the review of anyone.

Judges must start being proactive. I think it's fairly clear that Levinson was skeptical that the Government would only target one user, and that the Government would never use any of that data that they were not permitted to have. In that regard, he was 100% right that forcing mass decryption is in fact "a general warrant", the precise protection that the 4th Amendment's specific language was intended for.

The whole affair also shows how badly the Stored Communications Act and the Pen/Trap statue's are drafted and how out of date they are. The Law must finally realize that there is no such thing as "meta-data" anymore. It's a label without meaning. The message is the message, including the routing information. "Content" versus "Meta-data" is a garbage distinction with email. The entire layer 7 message - headers and all, is the content.

Comment: Demonstrates the futility of opposition.. (Score 5, Informative) 116

by danheskett (#46769715) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

I think that the ruling and the case demonstrate the futility and the problems with attempting to defend yourself or your clients against the government. It seems clear to me that Lavabit suspected that the order was overbroad, but had no idea what to do about it. The contempt charge was probably inevitable as he searched for a legal basis and representation to do what was quite obviously "the right thing".

The ruling also has a powerful, and sad, commentary on our system of government as it stands today:

"Because of the nature of the underlying criminal investigation, portions of the record, including the target’s identity, are sealed."

We are right back at Star Chambers and secret courts and hidden rulings and anonymous witnesses. We've devolved back to a legal system which is only concerned with secrecy.

Comment: Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 1) 268

by gmhowell (#46764195) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

Honestly I don't get the stance of some ppl from the US against Russia.
Russia is the best friend and has been the most loyal, the strongest and the most valuable ally for the USA. Really. At times of apocalyptic events Russians and Americans stood together. It was before and it may be again when we have to save the Earth itself. Nobody can help the US but Russia when things get hot. Alienating Russians is what make things worse.

Those things are called movies. The space aliens didn't really invade Earth.

Idiot, he was referring to the documentary about the asteroid that they blew up with the nuke. You know, when Daredevil makes out with Arwen.

Comment: Re:Shareholders profits? (Score 1) 143

by gmhowell (#46764147) Attached to: How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

Replying to myself: I assumed they would cut expenses to feed the shareholders but I was wrong. TFA explains:

Amazon generated a whopping $74.45 billion in revenue for its financial year to 31 December 2013, but just $274 million in net income, a margin of roughly 0.3 percent. It sells Kindles at cost.

Compare this with Google, which saw net income of $12.9 billion on revenues of $59.8 billion for the year to 31 December 2013, a margin on 21.6 percent; or to Microsoft, which posted revenue of $77.9 billion for the year to 30 June, with a net income $21.9 billion, a margin of 28.1 percent

Question is: how do they manage to make shareholders accept that?

I'm guessing the investors expect Amazon to become and stay the Walmart of the internet (or perhaps the Sears and Roebuck from catalog days) and be be able to either ramp up margins or pay them at that level for a LONG time.

Comment: Re:Two things to note (Score 1) 526

by danheskett (#46763203) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

The reason is understandable and explained in the above paragraph - the vast majority of software developers out there are probably not able to contribute meaningfully to a project such as OpenSSL.

You got it big time, right on the nose. The power of Open Source is that it attracts professionals and experts from across the world to contribute. Do we really think that there is a big concentration of the best and most skilled crypto experts in the world all centered around Redmond Washington USA? Money will only go so far. There are likely exploits in Microsoft's SSL stack that are so subtle that their small team of experts are not even aware that they exist. Assuming they were not paid for by the NSA or other agency.

1 Billion dollars of budget deficit = 1 Gramm-Rudman

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