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Comment: Re:You cannot know *WHO* is voting (Score 1) 258

by bigpat (#49691971) Attached to: Online Voting Should Be Verifiable -- But It's a Hard Problem

Small town corruption has always been a significant and insidious problem, and you can do a case study with pretty much any town under 20k people with a few families holding the power and retribution being common enough to simply assume.

Yes, but in a small town you can do something about it. Big City, state-wide, or national corruption can become systemic and entrenched. Seems like pretty much every Big City and state in the country is beholden to one party machine or the other. Where local elections and issues are more grassroots, personal and non-partisan.

Comment: Re:You cannot know *WHO* is voting (Score 1) 258

by bigpat (#49691935) Attached to: Online Voting Should Be Verifiable -- But It's a Hard Problem

Based on my own experiences living in small towns, I can only conclude that either you never have, or you're smoking some mighty fine dope. There's no place where anonymous voting is more necessary. Boss Hogg knows where you live, and where your kids play. And will make certainly know he knows.

I don't partake. And I am not taking about voting for representatives or to elect individual people.

Have you lived in a small town with an open town meeting form of government? Roberts Rules. You sit in a big hall, sometimes there is a voice vote when you either say yay or nay and if the moderator cannot determine the yays or nays then you stand and are counted as either yay or nay. Only for votes on salaries for particular town officials do they pass around the paper for an anonymous vote. You could do something similar online for voting on spending issues or bylaws without worrying about anonymity.

If you don't want to stand up and be counted then don't vote, just like there are many people that don't come to Town Meeting.

Comment: Re:You cannot know *WHO* is voting (Score 2) 258

by bigpat (#49689999) Attached to: Online Voting Should Be Verifiable -- But It's a Hard Problem

Online voting is a solution looking for a problem.

I mostly agree with this. But I do see an opportunity for more participatory government if there is a way to vote online on local issues.

I live in a Town with an open meeting form of local government. That means anyone can show up and vote on items that are on the agenda. Our votes are not anonymous because anyone can look around the room and see who is voting which way on what.

Specific votes by individuals are not officially recorded, but they could be recorded by anyone. If you give up on the idea of online elections, and focus instead on online town meeting voting on particular bylaws or local spending, which doesn't need to be anonymous, then I think you could really increase participation in local issues.... which are the kinds of issues that count in people's day to day lives and where a few votes really do matter.

Even if you show up, you don't find much democracy in national or even state elections... your vote is just too watered down to really matter in most elections and even if it did matter, the people elected are beholden to the organizations and parties that got them elected. So, I'd rather see more participation in local issues, than worry about the mostly symbolic voting people do in state and national elections.

Comment: Re:They've invested billions (Score 1) 142

by bigpat (#49688997) Attached to: House Votes To End Spy Agencies' Bulk Collection of Phone Data

There is no requirement to mothball it. They can still use it but only in accordance with the US Constitution. They have to get a warrant. Novel idea that, probably never catch on.

Somehow the United States survived for over two hundred years requiring the government to get a warrant to search the records of individuals and businesses and without the kind of dragnet surveillance being perpetrated against the American people. The threat that the USA Freedom Act poses to the American People is far far greater than what any terrorist could do.

Comment: Kill the USA Freedom Act (Score 1) 142

by bigpat (#49688939) Attached to: House Votes To End Spy Agencies' Bulk Collection of Phone Data
The USA Freedom Act is an Orwellian attempt to extend unlimited surveillance of all Americans. In spirit, in word and in action the USA Freedom Act is a complete and total violation of the US Constitution. The so called limitations on phone record searches are merely symbolic limitations and don't address the unlimited number of non-phone call records that are being collected and doesn't even adequately address limitation on the collection of phone records. The USA Freedom Act will be used to destroy freedom in the US.

Comment: Re:Whatever... (Score 2) 142

by bigpat (#49688905) Attached to: House Votes To End Spy Agencies' Bulk Collection of Phone Data

Section 215 could very easily be implemented in a way that is constitutionally sound, and thus the provision itself is not unconstitutional.

All evidence to the contrary... limitless authority is unconstitutional whether it is acted upon or not. And in this case we know the government is using that blank check authority to carry out dragnet searches of all Americans communications and business records. Phone records are a drop in the bucket.

Comment: Victim of success (Score 3, Insightful) 37

by bigpat (#49667391) Attached to: Google Shuts Down Map Maker Following Hacks
Wikipedia has gone through similar growing pains in the past which they dealt with successfully. Slashdot... Seems you just need to balance out the contributions with a couple levels of crowd sourced reviewers. Make people that are contributing to Google Maps review 5 map edits in the area for instance. It shouldn't be a big deal. I recall trying to get a local park listed on some maps in the days before Google Maps and Open Street Maps... it used to take years to get sorted out and relying on "official" maps just made the issues worse because nobody in city or state government gave a damn.

Comment: Re:Stay objective. (Score 2) 249

police aware they are being recorded while they are committing what you perceive as a criminal act then you endanger yourself.

This needs to be fixed. Probably at the federal level*. If members of the public are far enough back from some activity to not be interfering with it, then holding a camera shouldn't change that.

Agreed. The former chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court was on the radio today saying that this was her strongest dissent in an opinion. The same supposedly liberal court that legalized gay marriage also said that people could be prosecuted under the state wiretap law for recording audio of what they perceive is police misconduct.

If it is a felony to record audio of public officials performing public duties in a public place, then there is no freedom of press.

Comment: Re:Stay objective. (Score 1) 249

I will reserve judgment until the evidence is available.

This is both the point and not the point. That is the question. The people with the power and authority to collect and present the evidence are the people with the power to suppress the evidence about themselves.

A free press and real public oversight are supposed to be the answer in a free society. But many state have laws make it a felony to record the police without their knowledge and if you make the police aware they are being recorded while they are committing what you perceive as a criminal act then you endanger yourself.

Comment: Re:This is not a matter of neutrality (Score 1) 438

by bigpat (#49590553) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Define inadequate peering.

Exactly my point. Adequate peering should be defined in technical terms based on capacity and measured demand. It wouldn't be terribly difficult to come up with an effective rule.

Something along the lines of some thresholds that mandated that if a peering connection was regularly saturated for X number of hours the previous 3 months, then it would trigger some sort of upgrade negotiation process between the networks with the FCC as arbiter if agreement could not be made.

Comment: Re:This is not a matter of neutrality (Score 1) 438

by bigpat (#49587407) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Netflix wasn't looking for a free ride on Comcast's network to service Verizon's or some other network's customers... Netflix was looking to locally peer with Comcast to serve content that Comcast's own customers were themselves requesting and those customers had already more than adequately paid both Comcast and Netflix to have sufficient access to.

Net Neutrality is or should be about preventing that kind of monopolistic and destructive abuse of our communications infrastructure to cynically squeeze money out of monopolized customers. The Comcast/Netlfix deal is and was some sort of protection racket or payola scheme not a legitimate business practice.

No one is saying if I have a server in California that a Massachusetts ISP should be forced to connect to me in California. But if a network's customers are regularly saturating the local link to another network, then yes there should be an effective regulation to say that the Massachusetts ISP has some defined obligation to peer to the long haul network at sufficient bandwidth at a locally designated peering point.

That is how the Internet was built. In good faith, in the best interest of efficient communications without sabotaging peering arrangements to squeeze more money out of customers.

Comment: Re:This is not a matter of neutrality (Score 1) 438

by bigpat (#49587097) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Once you have third parties deciding what contracts between consenting adults are and are-not void, you -- by definition -- don't have a "free market" any more... Either they are all valid and enforceable or there is no enforcement at all.

In a free market there is either "enforcement of all contracts and agreements" or "no enforcement of such". As soon as a third party gets to pick and choose which contracts and agreements are enforced, the free aspect of the free market is removed, because *really* every agreement exists at the whim of an unrelated third party.

There is no possibility of a free market without rules governing the free market which keep it free.

The only "rules" that are even theoretically necessary are ones ensuring that all agreements and contracts are enforced. ALL, except in the presence of actual fraud (which, let's be clear, is not at issue here, but is in your shopkeeper example).

Interference and enforcement are two very different things. In every scenario in every transaction in a free market you have the potential for conflict over what constitutes an agreement, about what is fraudulent, about what is intimidation, about what is theft, and ultimately about what the regulators of a free market believe is worth using force to "enforce".

I agree with the point that regulation should be working towards the most competitive free market, but I don't think a free market means what you think it means, even in the ideal.

That fundamental disagreement about terms alone demonstrates that the idea of one rule "ensuring that all agreements and contracts are enforced" itself is poorly constructed as the sole basis and definition for a free market.

And by its nature an agreement is no longer an agreement if it needs to be enforced by a third party.

And on the seventh day, He exited from append mode.

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