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

End the antiquated requirement for anonymous ballots, and the technical solution becomes very easy.

End anonymous ballots and you end democracy.

That's awesomely definite! I'll assume educated. Please explain to me how Athens successfully used a mix of anonymous and non-anonymous voting systems without ending democracy.

But neither should you be able to check an individuals vote anonymously. Coercing or discriminating against someone for their vote needs to become a serious crime before any of this could be put into place though.

How do you prove you were "encouraged" to vote a certain way? You can't, and even an attempt to sue for example your employer will affect your future in sufficiently negative way to make the prospect daunting. Nor can you prove someone wasn't so influenced. So the election result has zero credibility, thus delegitimazing the entire system. Which, of course, is the goal of various non-anonymous voting schemes that people suggest from time to time.

How can you prove you were abused a certain way? When victims start coming out of the shadows, it doesn't take much detective work to identify the patterns and psychopaths. But if you don't have a system in place which gives victims a fair chance of resolution, then they will stay in the shadows.

The solution is to fix the system rather than pander to the actors with bad intent - who enjoy more freedom to coerce currently then they would be under a thoughtfully considered mix of social and software engineering.

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

I like how you point out the most important reason for the anonymous ballot while simultaneously calling for its end. Hint: It's already a crime to try and coerce someone's vote. It's also a very difficult crime to prove, which is why it's simpler to just say, "Your boss can't go into the booth with you." than "Tell is if your boss is trying to intimidate you."

Thank you, I have put some thought into the whole e-democracy thing, and it's very validating of you to recognise that.

You're forgetting the Bill Cosby Principle - each additional person this hypothetical boss intimidates becomes a liability a few years down the line - can you imagine any threats this boss could use which would be as intimidating in a different election cycle with a different employer?

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

End the antiquated requirement for anonymous ballots, and the technical solution becomes very easy. But neither should you be able to check an individuals vote anonymously. Coercing or discriminating against someone for their vote needs to become a serious crime before any of this could be put into place though.

Comment Re:all astroturfing is immoral (Score 2) 128

A fan who receives gifts or money in exchange for positive public relations work, and doesn't disclose this, is a shill.

So no, it's really easy to tell the difference - unless there is intent to deceive.

I have a hard time calling it "immoral" though, in the sense that we're talking about the Free Market, where such fancy ideas such as morality evidently bear no relevance. Put it in the big pile of "badwrong" by the door.

Comment Re:Same Shit Different Day (Score 1) 205

When talk turns to conspiracy theories, it's generally the end of intelligent conversation. But you're in luck, since I'm perfectly willing to pick up your slack on this one.

When I'm checking my gmail - shit, 10 years this April - and I see an AdWords related to the content, then my absolute privacy has been violated. I'm going to borrow from Timothy Leary and analyze this transaction in terms of entities in space/time and the signals being sent between them. Given that we are talking about the internet, and units of privacy, this seems quite apt. I have to either trust Google when it tells me that the advertisers don't receive demographic or other personally identifiable data about me, that the extent of the violation is safe within the Google cloud - or - stop using a service which doesn't offer 100% privacy. In order to make that choice properly, you need to be aware of the actors you are interacting with.

Which, until certain overdue changes are made to the US Legal System, is a utopian dream. My private data is not safe anywhere online, or even on any computer I own even if I don't connect it to the internet, apparently. In other words, as soon as I attract the attention of any intelligence agency, my personal life - as documented in 10 years and 3.06gb of uncensored gmail data - is freely available to any NSA agent without the integrity of Snowden. I really don't want the remote risk that my life is about to become more interesting.

Look at my comment history - I've defended Google in years past, and most recently in vocal support of wikileaks. It's also not-exactly-progress that I can't debate political and social issues online without the fear of losing all of my privacy and potential freedom to the US Government, because my views aren't the "right" ones.

But the recent promise by Obama to scrap no-challenge/no-inform NSA orders is significant in one way - as a longtime customer of Google, I trust them to do everything they can to defend my private data.

Comment Re:Same Shit Different Day (Score 1) 205

As a consumer you make choices about how and where you spend your privacy, or you lose out on a lot of useful services by refusing them all. The internet equivalent of hiding behind the curtains at a party. Given their past record, and (most of) their corporate ideology/political activity - I believe Google is a company with a lot of good intentions which still fucks up occasionally. But when making privacy decisions, the motivations of the other party is a very large factor for me.

Which is to say I'm happy with the consumer bargain I've struck with Google - I'm more than happy to defend them when I think they deserve it - it's not-exactly-progress that you can't say anything positive in a situation like this about a corporation, without becoming part of The Greater Google Conspiracy.

Where have I been for the last few years? Ooooh!

IT

Submission + - Disempowering the singular sysadmin 3

An anonymous reader writes: Practically every computer system appears to be at the mercy of at least one individual who holds root or whatever other superuser identity can destroy (or subvert, etc.) that system. Each application on a system has the same weakness. However, making a system require multiple individuals for any root operation (think of the classic two-keys to launch a nuke) has shortcomings: simple operations sometimes require root, and would be enormously cumbersome if they needed a consensus of administrators to execute. There is the idea of a Distributed Administration Network, which is like a cluster of independently-administered servers, but this is a limited case for deployment of certain applications... and anyway it is still presumably vaporware. Are there more sweeping yet practical solutions out there for avoiding the weakness of a singular empowered superuser?

Comment Re:Oh really (Score 1) 210

Misleading headline is misleading. Next time, RTFA. However, even if we stick with just the title, it's a big strech to go from "evidence suggests" to "OMFG DEY CUVERED UP STUFF!!!!".

So ... once again ... example?

I'm sure that you're not as ignorant of this event as your sarcasm suggests - they refused a FOIA request to release the video on grounds of political expediency.

That's a cover up.

Is it Watergate? No. It's worse. Innocent people were murdered.

Again, I think your inability to get past the title/subtitle is a serious problem. Nothing in that article suggests that the US government is looking to discredit wikilieaks, let alone that they have actually done so; it only speaks about taking legal action against those who leak classified information. And if the only complaint you can come up with is that they're charging people who violate the terms of their contract and break the law ... well, don't expect to be taken seriously.

Paranoia and poor comprehension abilities are a horrible mix. You'd fit right in with the 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

The military report described in that article identifies Wikileaks as an operational threat, and describes several methods which could be used to "damage or destroy" the trust and reputation of Wikileaks.

That report is two years old and the military have been using those tactics against Wikileaks since.

But nice attempt trying to discredit me as a truther. And fuck you, too.

Comment Re:Oh really (Score 1) 210

This argument would have more weight if it were not for the fact that because of Wikileaks we have been made more aware of conspiracies to cover up illegal activities ...

We have? Example, please?

Sure

and that some of those groups whose actions have been uncovered are actively trying to discredit Wikileaks and limit its ability to function

Oh, I see. More paranoia. NM then.

There is evidence for that, too.

But judging from your condescending tone, I don't expect fact to sway your opinion, so please continue.

Comment Re:Oh really (Score 2, Insightful) 210

This argument would have more weight if it were not for the fact that because of Wikileaks we have been made more aware of conspiracies to cover up illegal activities, and that some of those groups whose actions have been uncovered are actively trying to discredit Wikileaks and limit its ability to function.

Comment Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (Score 1) 265

Wow. This is insanely delusional.

The "evil" is that Google is "allowing" the wired Internet to remain "neutral" as long as we give them the world-wide wireless network to do with as they please.

Considering that this proposal does not change the status-quo with regards wireless networks, this makes absolutely no sense at all.

This is blackmail, plain and simple. It's not only evil, it's the Internet version of what the biggest banks did in 2008.

No, it really isn't.

They basically put a gun to the head of the financial system and said, "give us all the money or the economy gets it in the head". Google is saying "give us the newest, most profitable part of the Internet and we'll let you keep the rest of the Internet.

Explain how, after making no legislative change to the way wireless networks are regulated, Google is suddenly granted potential super powers which it doesn't already have today.

We don't need the Internet to stay "free from regulation". We need it to stay neutral.

Okay, sure.

Google and other big players are trying to capitalize on all the FUD about evil "government regulations"

What? Where? When? ... Huh?

to accomplish the biggest land-grab in the history of the World.

We are at the cusp of the biggest social change ever.

You've lost me.

We can just stand and watch as they declare themselves the new boss. The Justice Department of the US, and/or the equivalent in Europe, needs to hit Google with a huge anti-trust case immediately. They have become way too big to exist. They are a danger to us now.

Uh huh. How about hating on Google for the things they do screw up on, rather than all this conspiracy theory paranoid what-if rabbit-holing?

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