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Comment: Re:Talking of FUD (Score 1) 146

by Xest (#47430415) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

You're still making stuff up, i.e.:

"This is a press release from the CPS - not an argument made in court. We don't know what was said in court. We do know, for certain, what the law says and it's quite clear. The prosecution do NOT need to prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' that someone remembers their password, as you claimed they do, except in exceptional circumstances."

Where are these exceptional circumstances? Where is the requirement for this? In the very case we're talking about the defendant, the judge, and the CPS all agree that "I forgot it" was enough for the CPS to have to then prove against that beyond all reasonable doubt. You're literally pretending there is some high standard of evidence required to satisfy that first point which is patently false, the law, expressed in plain English is saying:

"It is assumed a person does not have the key if:
a) There is reason to believe this is so, i.e. they claim they have forgotten it and
b) It is not proved otherwise beyond reasonable doubt"

You seem to have this idea that "sufficient evidence" is some really high standard, which is complete and utter nonsense. If there was a high standard of evidence required from the accused for their particular case it would state that they have to prove their point beyond reasonable doubt, but it doesn't say that, it says the prosecution has to.

I don't really know why you find this so hard to understand, especially when you've even linked a case which demonstrates exactly this point.

"The information we have is that he behaved consistently with someone who was being as helpful as possible to the police, but had forgotten his password."

Again, no we don't. That's your spin on it, nowhere do we have any evidence of this whatsoever. All we have is an outline of a case, the CPS explanation of what they had to do (prove he had it beyond all reasonable doubt) and the verdict, which determined that the prosecution had proved beyond all reasonable doubt that he had the key.

You can make things up all you want but those are the only actual facts of the case.

"So are you saying he should have lied to the police? Will any encryption software will let you encrypt data /without/ setting a password?"

Yes, absolutely if he wanted to get away with it. That's exactly what I'm saying. It doesn't matter that a password was required, he could've used any excuse under the sun such as my wifi was hacked, or other people have access to the machine and I've no idea what that file even is and so forth to create reasonable doubt. That's how pathetic this law is and that's why there have only been a handful of prosecutions, why each prosecution has only been succesful because of idiotic self-incrimination, and why many other attempted prosecutions under this section of RIPA have been outright dropped. The CPS only pursue it if the evidence is solid enough, if someone creates reasonable doubt by denying all knowledge they know full well they can't prove their case beyond reasonable doubt short of some other unlikely evidence (such as perhaps warrant backed covertly obtained video evidence of the person unlocking the file during the period they claim to deny knowing the password).

"I gave a example of precisely that happening."

No you didn't. You gave an example of someone claiming they forgot it, an argument which the jury found not plausible based on the evidence. That's not the same thing.

"Basically, based on the few contested cases that have come up so far, if the police demand a password to some file you encrypted, only 2 things can happen:"

Not at all because there have been numerous cases where charges have been dropped or the CPS have refused to prosecute because they do not feel the evidence produced by the police is sufficient. Again, you're either lying or extremely ignorant about the issue.

What you actually mean is that in the very small handful of cases where the CPS have actually decided to pursue the case because they feel the weight of evidence was strongly in their favour they actually succeeded.

The problem is you're working on this incorrect assumption that everyone who is given a disclosure notice is innocent- you believe there is not one single person handed a disclosure notice that is actually guilty, and that therefore anyone convicted of it has failed a miscarriage of justice. This is completely false, there have been many people handed these notices, some have claimed they do not have the password and the police have decided not to pursue, in other cases the police have decided to pursue but the CPS decided not to pursue, in other cases where both the police and CPS have decided their evidence is strong they have succeeded. This covers all ends of the spectrum from those genuinely innocent and those who forgot, to those not innocent but used plausible deniability to get away with it, to those who are actually guilty. Unfortunately you think the latter group just magically doesn't exist, which is why you're struggling so hard to understand the law and these court outcomes.

"This is going to have a chilling effect on the use of encryption in general"

When? It's been written over a decade and enforced for almost a decade. When is this chilling effect going to happen? You're spouting nonsense again.

"will give the authorities power over people who have done nothing wrong"

Again, when? where is the evidence? Please point to an actual miscarriage of justice rather than a case where you claim there is a miscarriage of justice but the person found guilty didn't even think it was a miscarriage enough to file an appeal?

"and will encourage those in the know to use 'deniable encryption' which will give police still less knowledge about the metadata."

Yes, which is the reason I personally think RIPA is stupid and a bad law. Sure it allows stupid criminals to implicate themselves in minor crimes but it does nothing to deal with their actual potentially more serious crimes, nor does it deal with those smart enough to use plausible deniability.

I don't like the law either, but just because I don't like it doesn't mean I have to jump to some absurd conclusion you have that anyone found guilty under the law is a completely innocent victim. It's surprisingly hard for the CPS to get the required procedures and standards of evidence in place to even pursue a prosecution in the first place - watch any British police show documentary, the CPS fails to file charges for even those caught red handed on camera because of procedural errors. That's why when the CPS does decide to pursue, something it's very conservative about because it wants as high a success rate as possible, and when it does get a conviction, this is often because they do have a strong body of evidence in their favour. Look at the recent phone hacking scandal, they had CCTV of Brooks' husband binning evidence and still failed to pass the reasonable doubt test for a conviction - surely this helps you see how strong the CPS evidence actually has to be to win their case given that even in that case the evidence still left just a little bit too much room for doubt?

If you think the CPS can get a successful prosecution based on weak evidence then you have absolutely no idea whatsoever about how tough our justice system actually is. Do I think we have bad courts? yes, the supreme court here was created to give politicians sway over the judiciary at the highest levels which is sick (because they are involved in appointment of those who sit in it politicising that court). But this wasn't a supreme court case so that doesn't apply.

Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 1) 302

No the GP is right for the simple fact that are counter-examples to your argument. Some of the freest societies in the world have much higher taxes than the US like Norway, Sweden, New Zealand and the Netherlands. Some might even argue one sits right next door to you - Canada.

Hence, it is not an inherent human condition, but in fact a societal attitude problem. The overeach of paramilitary forces to the level being discussed is almost entirely unique to the US in the Western world. It has nothing to do with tax levels - that's just Republican small government propaganda. It's largely a result of the fact that Americans are extremely susceptible to the politics of fear and hate in large part because it's always been a deeply divided nation that lacks any degree of national resilience - it lost the plot as a result of 9/11 and turned against the very things it always claimed to stand for like freedom.

Compare and contrast this to the likes of the much more muted reaction of the Norwegians to Anders Breivik's attacks and you can see the difference.

It's incredible how American politics has become so partisan that even the most unrelated things turn into a debate on taxation and small government vs. big government. It's perfectly possible to have big government without that resulting in a police force that drives around in tanks and armoured vehicles and chases down citizens in helicopters.

Comment: Re:Consipricy nuts, go! (Score 1) 98

Right, because those journalists decided to embed themselves with the rebels to act as propagandists for Putins regime.

She's still done nothing wrong, there's no onus on soldiers to be psychic in guessing what stupid thing journalists may or may not have decided to do, the onus is entirely on journalists to stay safe, it's part and package of the job.

Thus there's no merit to the charges because whilst it's illegal under international law to specifically target journalists, it's most definitely not anyone elses fault when they get themselves killed by putting themselves in danger's way without notifying anyone. There is most definitely no merit to her being kidnapped and smuggled out of the Ukraine by Russian forces. That's the sort of extraordinary rendition we've been railing against America for for the last decade. It's never acceptable.

Comment: Re:Consipricy nuts, go! (Score 1) 98

Anyone with any sanity is a Russophobe right now given the new levels of retardedness the nation has reached.

Calling someone a Russophobe now is a bit like calling someone a Naziphobe in the late 1930s. I don't really see that as a bad thing, it seems like an extremely positive thing to call someone, so thank you for recognise my ability to spot countries that are fucking nasty. I'm actually quite proud of it, as would be any decent human being.

Comment: Re:Consipricy nuts, go! (Score 4, Interesting) 98

Meanwhile Russia has actually kidnapped a Ukrainian doing nothing illegal beyond defending her country against Russian state sponsored terrorists:

I have zero sympathy for Russia in this case given that they're crying wolf whilst doing exactly what they're crying about to others.

Comment: Re:UK is not a free country (Score 1) 146

by Xest (#47425723) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

No, the reason I originally wrote that I'm torn was because I meant I was torn between the fact that yes we're a fucked up country, but we're also not as bad as we could be. I'm torn in the fact that in the global rankings of shit countries we actually do very well, but doing very well is still apparently depressingly bad.

It's really quite sad. It's almost like we need a new cold war so that Western countries can actually pretend to be the freedom loving side again and actually have to do something to prove that.

I do sympathise with your point though for what it's worth, I've noticed much of the logic you describe in many guises ranging from people with the viewpoint that America is bad so Iran must be good, rather than the more rational possibility involving shades of grey for both, through to North Korea is worse so Britain must be perfect. I do know where you're coming from.

Comment: Re:"Emergency" laws. (Score 1) 146

by Xest (#47425677) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

I think it depends what level you're at, genuinely there are a large number of MPs that really don't get much on the side (other than the expenses they manage to fiddle). It's easy to see people like Tony Blair, or Chelsea Clinton (who last I checked was never a British MP) and assume they all make millions but that's rarely true. Even the genuine millionaires largely came into the profession with their fortunes in the first place which is a problem in itself, albeit it a separate one.

Comment: Re:Talking of FUD (Score 2) 146

by Xest (#47425667) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

"and then and only then does the prosecution"

Where exactly does the law state that? There's no "then and only then" or similar even written there, this is an assumption you've made up to try and align your incorrect understanding of RIPA with what's actually written. The rest of your rant is therefore irrelevant because it's based on a mis-reading of the law, and insertion of a clause that just is not there. You're effectively parroting the Daily Mail esque FUD that The Register has spouted over the years, and ultimately that's the problem with reading The Register, it'll let you be about as informed as someone who gets all their news from Fox.

This is the same publication after all that was claiming the Eurofighter had no air to ground capability whilst it was actually blowing up tanks in Libya. Yes. Really.

Now read the news Statesman article you linked to,where you claim someone quite plausibly forgot his password, I quote:

"Evidence showed that the defendant admitted in police interviews that he had set an encrypted password of between 40 and 50 characters containing both letters and numbers using an encryption software programme and that he had had originally relied on his memory to recall it but could not recall it when he was served with the notice.

The jury heard both the prosecution and defence case and accepted the prosecution case that the defendant must have kept a record of this very complex password, rather than relying on memory"

So again we're talking about someone stupid enough to incriminate himself, he admitted he had set the password, he admitted he knew the length and consistency but could not even begin to take a stab at what it was. Hence, the jury found his story to simply not be plausible. You have to keep in mind that in such trials a combination of things are taken into account that are not ever recorded in reports on it - if someone keeps changing their story this may not be mentioned but it's enough for the jury to take into account to reach a beyond reasonable doubt conclusion.

Worse, even the CPS themselves highlight that your earlier interpretation of the law is wrong:

"As the defendant claimed to have forgotten a password that he had previously memorised, it was for the prosecution to rebut this and to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that this was not the reason for the defendant failing to disclose it."

Note that they themselves accept that it's upto the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he hadn't simply forgotten it. Something they must hence have achieved to obtain the conviction.

This is a far cry from simply saying "I've no idea what it is I never set it", or simply "I forgot it". As I said, no such case to date has ever happened - all convictions have been based on the stupidity of self incrimination and why? Because guess what, a lot of criminals crack under cross-examination and that's one of the key methods juries and judges use in determining cases.

So to jump to the conclusion he genuinely forgot it and is a victim of injustice is complete nonsense. You claim the judge must have been corrupt, okay, sure, so why didn't he appeal to get another judge? It's not like this is the US where he wouldn't have been able to afford representation, he'd have got full legal aid in 2009.

Comment: Re:UK is not a free country (Score 1) 146

by Xest (#47425279) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

I never said that, you're just drawing a conclusion that isn't there. I'm merely stating that some things are worse elsewhere, that doesn't inherently mean I believe therefore that everything is okay. There's always room for improvement but I tend to weight things based on comparisons to other countries. If we're in the top 20 globally that doesn't mean we're doing good overall, it just means we're doing well relatively.

I think you're missing the point of relatively well, vs. absolutely well, and making some implication that I must mean that because it's not as bad as elsewhere then in an absolute manner it's okay, but that makes no sense as you pointed out yourself so I don't really know why you'd jump to such a conclusion in the first place.

Comment: Re:"Emergency" laws. (Score 2, Insightful) 146

by Xest (#47424463) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

This bit was a complete joke too:

"I am simply not prepared to be a prime minister who has to address the people after a terrorist incident and explain that I could have done more to prevent it."

Right, but you're willing to stand up and be the cunt the said fuck you to human rights law and obliterated all remaining semblance of privacy in the UK? What a twat.

Comment: Re:UK is not a free country (Score 5, Informative) 146

by Xest (#47424407) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

I'm torn because whilst things like this sicken me (as a British citizen) I think it's still sensationalist nonsense to claim Britain isn't a free country, god only knows we still don't have quite the limits on free speech of France and Germany. As Western countries go we're still pretty free, and Western countries are still generally freer than most, so it seems a silly stretch to claim Britain isn't a free country. Most things used when citing Britain as not free are FUD made up by people who love to bash Britain, or like a bit of conspiracy theory or reason to bitch and moan in general, for example, claims about CCTV counts that include static traffic cameras that only take photos of people actually speeding - i.e. breaking the law and don't have a capability for constant monitoring, or only log a text response when a particular number plate is detected. Do I like them? no, but it's hardly the constantly filmed bullshit the paranoid conspiracy theorists claim it is. Similarly there's a lot of FUD about RIPA's password clause by people who haven't read the law which explicitly states that police have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone has a key before they can be prosecuted for not handing it over (if you don't believe me Google it - section 53.3 makes the requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt that a suspect actually holds the key explicit in law) which is in contradiction to the nonsense about how you can arbitrarily convicted with that as the excuse - you can't, it's never happened, everyone prosecuted to date has been like the plonker in yesterday's news story who incriminated themselves for the simple reason they were actually dickheads.

But this? this is genuinely fucking embarrassing. This is a genuine what the flying fuck are you thinking politicians? This is a genuine there is something very broken with our country. It's not that we're not still free, we really are, anyone who claims otherwise is full of shit, the problem is that there's a slippery slope that we might slide down to become not free, and that's the real worry. Sometimes slippery slope arguments don't occur making them a fallacy, but sometimes they do, and I'm not willing to accept that risk when the claimed benefit just does not exist - 7/7 still happened, the Boston bombings still happened - blanket data sweeping does not work, terrorist attacks are still occuring as (in)frequently as they always have even with the NSA and GCHQ's absolutely massive dragnet.

The worst part is they're saying this is a temporary power that'll be reviewed in 2016 when Labour will almost certainly be in power. The Milliband/Brown/Balls strain of Labour is the most dictatorial leadership we've seen in decades given that they were the "brains" behind the ID card database, they wanted the IMP, they wanted a nationwide DNA database of everyone. I see little hope for this doing anything other than getting worse in the coming years.

Which is a shame, because things had largely gotten better in the last 4 years on this particular front - the Digital Economy Act whilst not destroyed has at least been gutted, the national ID database had been scrapped, the ability of many authorities such as local councils to spy had been massively curbed, CCTV had been scaled back. Still a hell of a long way to go, but definitely civil liberties had improved in the last 4 years, especially compared to the massive downward spiral under Brown. Unfortunately it seems the ConDems decided they'd fuck up the only thing they haven't fucked up right in their last 9 months. Why? What the fuck is wrong with them? We nearly did it. We nearly made it a full parliamentary term without dictatorship syndrome kicking in, alas, here it is.

Comment: Re:"Emergency" laws. (Score 3, Insightful) 146

by Xest (#47424261) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

The Lib Dems seem to have finally completely and utterly removed any reason for their existence too. I really don't get it.

They'd already seen their support tank for ignoring students, but those that remained in support of them still largely supported them because despite that they were still the best option for civil liberties given that they blocked Cameron and co's previous plan to brink back the interception modernisation programme. For all their mistakes they had at least to date still stood in defend of civil liberties.

Now they've thrown that away, so there's literally no reason to vote for them anymore. We used to see regular jokes on TV, in the media and so forth about the Lib Dems being pointless but it's now no longer a joke, it's a simple statement of fact.

Personally I'd vote Pirate but they don't stand around here anyway so I guess my only choice is the greens whom unfortunately focus far too much on feminism issues for my taste (it's important to me, but not as important as they rate it- there are many other things that matter more than that because they effect everyone, not just half the population). This said I don't even think the greens stand around here now anyway, so I guess it's time to scribble the old "Fuck you" party onto my ballot from now on.

Comment: Re:What if he forgot it? (Score 1) 349

by Xest (#47422893) Attached to: UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

No not in the slightest, not even close:

Section 53.3 of RIPA is very explicit:

(3) For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have shown that he was not in possession of a key to protected information at a particular time ifâ"

(a)sufficient evidence of that fact is adduced to raise an issue with respect to it; and

(b)the contrary is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Note point b), one of the two criteria required to prove someone has a key but will not turn it over in order to jail them is that there must be proof beyond reasonable doubt that the person has the key. The default assumption as written in law is that a person does not have they key, unless sufficient evidence is raised to suggest otherwise, and that it's proven beyond reasonable doubt that the contrary to them not having it is true - i.e. that there's incredibly strong evidence (the same level of evidence required for rape and murder convictions for example) that that's the case.

So not only are you completely wrong to say if you can prove you don't have a key you can be jailed for it, you don't even have to prove you don't have a key, the onus is entirely on the prosecution to provide sufficient evidence that you have the key.

This guy was an idiot, rather than keeping quiet or claiming he didn't have it he admitted he did then spent ages taunting and screwing the police around with false keys. This guy only got jailed under this act because he was a complete fucking tool who opted to incriminate himself. You are completely misrepresenting, no, outright lying about what is possible under RIPA. Yes RIPA is still a massive problem for idiots who choose to incriminate themselves, no it's not a threat to people who are genuinely innocent which isn't to say it's a good law, but that it's not the extreme type of law people like you claim it is. To be convicted under this law the same standard of evidence is required as to be convicted of murder, if you believe it's not sufficient evidence then that means you believe our current evidence for murder and so forth is also too weak which is a fair argument, because people do still get wrongly convicted in fringe cases, but it's a broader problem as to what level of false positives under the reasonable doubt system are acceptable than that being discussed here.

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