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Comment: Re:So what's the real story here? (Score 2) 83

Just like they tell you that you any time you think you might be being pulled over by someone who's not a real cop (say, an unmarked car), you can drive to the parking lot of a police station before pulling over.

Disclaimer: That only works if you are white.

Comment: Re: Problems with the staff (Score 3, Funny) 123

by PopeRatzo (#48949953) Attached to: The Pirate Bay Is Back Online, Properly

there is a Flash exploit that STILL isn't patched, that only requires a user to visit a site with a bit of compromised embedded flash content like a banner ad, and BOOM, owned. You don't even have to click a link, just visit a domain hosting the content on a page.

I notice your account was created yesterday. Please let me be the first to welcome to you Slashdot.

Maybe you could tell us a little bit about yourself, by way of introduction. Like maybe your badge number.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 282

by causality (#48937501) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Name calling is not shunning or shaming. It is attaching the person and not the argument and therefore has no place on civil discourse.

By the way, now that I re-read this during a spare moment and once again think about it, I can again respond to you in what I hope to be a worthy way, yet this time focus on a different dimension of the thing at hand.

I would ask you to consider, simply, this other and possibly alien point of view: the "name-calling" types are simply enacting the lower (or if you like, "gutter") form of an idea that is nonetheless technically true. The name-callers are merely those who recognize this but also have a need to make you look worse in order that they know better, or otherwise focus on what they think is wrong with you, with little or no serious constructive suggestion concerning what precisely is wrong with your view and how better to regard the situation. Liike the thinking individuals, they see what the problem is; otherwise, they lack the clarity and objectivity to identify the problem and suggest a sensible solution. By contrast, they're simply bitching. But even those people are correctly identifying that somethng is amiss. They're just the least clever and easiest to ridicule among those who all arrive at the same conclusion.

Comment: Re:Since when is AMT controversial? (Score 2) 172

by PopeRatzo (#48937225) Attached to: FSF-Endorsed Libreboot X200 Laptop Comes With Intel's AMT Removed

There are reasons beyond the "4 GNU freedoms" to oppose these devices being installed into all new computers.

I'll bet your not so sanguine about having a device installed in your car that allows for remote shutoff, location reporting and monitoring of your driving habits.

Because the real question is not "what is so controversial?" but rather "how secure are these systems?" It's not about what a sysadmin can do with the power to remotely turn on your computer, but what some miscreant can do with that power when he inevitably gets his hands on it. And the computer in question is not the one on your desktop at work or your business laptop (that your company paid for anyway), but the one you have at home for your taxes/banking/personal communications.

Comment: Re:Since when is AMT controversial? (Score 3, Insightful) 172

by PopeRatzo (#48937169) Attached to: FSF-Endorsed Libreboot X200 Laptop Comes With Intel's AMT Removed

At some point, you have to start trusting people/organizations/companies.

What you're really saying is, "You don't have a choice, so just suck it up, princess. Privacy is so 20th century."

No, you don't have to trust people/organizations/companies who have not earned your trust. You are the one paying. Use the power you have as a consumer. Weaponize your purchasing power.

And always, always reserve the right to just say "Nope, I don't need it, I don't want it, and I'll find another way."

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 282

by causality (#48931289) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Today, all one needs to do is say the government wants it and many will assume it is bad. It is the flip side of the same coin.

That's because there is a limit to how many times they can lie to people, blatantly and without remorse, before the people stop trusting them. My grandparents grew up during a time when this went on, like it does today, but not nearly as much and was not well known (consider Hoover's FBI, or the involuntary radiation exposure experiments carried out against black people, or the use of the CIA to overthrow democratically elected foreign leaders). They saw it as a matter of honor or duty to have trust and faith in the republic and the leaders its processes have put there. That's been shattered and won't be repaired any time soon.

In the personal realm, most people become suspicious of everything someone says after the very first confirmed deliberate deception. The amazing part is that government is given so many chances, that people are so impressed with official symbols and pomp and circumstance that they would ever believe known liars who have never faced any serious consequences for their deceptions.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 282

by causality (#48929977) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

And how does one find those targets in the first place if they have no connection with known targets? How does one find the group to infiltrate? The point is that there are many new cells that are popping up that have no connection what so ever with known terrorists. How do you find those new cells?

The idea is that limiting police powers in order to safeguard freedoms (and with them, the balance of power between the individual and the government) is acknowledged as making the job of police harder. The polices' job being harder does, in fact, mean that some number of criminals will go free some of the time, criminals who otherwise would have been caught and prosecuted. This is why absolute security is the antithesis of absolute freedom, so the question then is how to balance the two. When you safeguard liberty as your first priority and assign a lower priority to the effectiveness of law enforcement, you understand that you are taking a higher risk that you yourself will be harmed by a criminal that law enforcement could have stopped.

That's why freedom is not for cowards. The problems you worry about are well known to people who understand and value freedom. They choose freedom anyway. They also realize that the danger with which you're so concerned has been overstated. You're much more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist, and any factual inquiry into that based on facts would lead you to the same conclusion. Incidentally, you're also more likely to be injured by lightning. In the last 100 years, many, many more people were killed by their own governments than by any foreign enemy, so the credibility of this danger has been well established. Limited, transparent government is a time-tested manner of managing this danger.

As an aside, if terrorism is truly such a great problem and we want to reduce it in a real and effective manner, we should also stop giving excuses to the people who hate us. It's much easier for an enemy to justify their position, raise their troops' morale, and recruit new members into their brand of exteremism when they can point to concrete acts of ruthless domination the USA has actually committed. Law enforcement would certainly be more effective if its list of potential suspects could be reduced, facilitating a more focused approach on those that remain.

Anyway, the real spirit of freedom, the more value-based, individual, and courageous part that you and so many others keep failing to even recognize, let alone try to understand, is that those who understand freedom realize that a few more guilty men may go free. They consider that a small price to pay, an exchange of a finite quantity that numbers can describe in order go gain something priceless and worthwhile. It's yet another instance of failing to comprehend a viewpoint because you do not personally share it, therefore you get sidetracked by related but irrelevant issues because you have no idea how to articulate a meaningful response to it.

If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are real good, you will get out of it.

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